Variable Rate Working Memories for Phonetic Categorization and Invariant Speech Perception
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Speech can be understood at widely varying production rates. A working memory is described for short-term storage of temporal lists of input items. The working memory is a cooperative-competitive neural network that automatically adjusts its integration rate, or gain, to generate a short-term memory code for a list that is independent of item presentation rate. Such an invariant working memory model is used to simulate data of Repp (1980) concerning the changes of phonetic category boundaries as a function of their presentation rate. Thus the variability of categorical boundaries can be traced to the temporal in variance of the working memory code.