Language Imaging Lab Aphasia Battery

(~20 minutes)

Phoneme Discrimination

This test assesses the phoneme perception system using an AB (same-different) discrimination task with minimal-pair phoneme contrasts (Binder et al., 2017). Phonetic features such as place of articulation, voicing, manner of articulation, and vowel color are known to differ in discriminability, and discriminability also depends, to a lesser degree, on position of a phoneme within a syllable. Phonetic contrast type and syllable structure are thus the main factors assessed.

To minimize the possibility of discrimination based on pre-phonemic acoustic differences, all trials – including “same” trials containing the same phonemes – consist of non-identical recordings.


Procedure (see figure):

Schematic illustration of a phoneme discrimination trial.

Trials per condition:

Syllable Structure
ContrastCVVC CCVVCC Total
None 20 20 20 20 80
Manner 5 5 5 5 20
Place 5 5 5 5 20
Voicing 5 5 5 5 20
Vowel 5 5 5 5 20

Data analysis:

A second matched set of 160 trials is available for optimizing reliability or repeat assessment.


Binder JR, Pillay SB, Humphries CJ, Kraegel P, & Book DS. (2017). Phoneme perception deficits from unilateral left hemisphere stroke: A voxel-based lesion correlation study. Society for the Neurobiology of Language, Baltimore, MD, USA.