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Recognising the identity of conspecifics is an important, yet highly variable skill. Approximately 2% of the population suffers from a socially debilitating deficit in face recognition. More recently the existence of a similar deficit in voice perception has emerged (phonagnosia). Face perception tests have been readily available for years, advancing our understanding of underlying mechanisms in face perception. In contrast, voice perception has received less attention, and the construction of standardised voice perception tests has been neglected. Here we report the construction of the first standardised test for voice perception ability. Participants make a same/different identity decision after hearing two voice samples. Item Response Theory guided item selection to ensure the test discriminates between a range of abilities. The test provides a starting point for the systematic exploration of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying voice perception. With a high test-retest reliability (r=.86) and short assessment duration (~10 minutes) this test examines individual abilities reliably and quickly and therefore also has potential for use in developmental and neuropsychological populations.


  • voice identity perception, individual differences, phonagnosia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Early online date9 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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