The Pervasiveness of 1/f Scaling in Speech Reflects the Metastable Basis of Cognition
Version of Record online: 10 FEB 2010
2008 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 32, Issue 7, pages 1217–1231, October-November 2008
How to Cite
Kello, C. T., Anderson, G. G., Holden, J. G. and Van Orden, G. C. (2008), The Pervasiveness of 1/f Scaling in Speech Reflects the Metastable Basis of Cognition. Cognitive Science, 32: 1217–1231. doi: 10.1080/03640210801944898
- Issue online: 10 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 10 FEB 2010
- Received 02 July 2007; accepted 17 January 2008; received in revised from 06 November 2007
- 1/f noise;
- Intrinsic fluctuations
Human neural and behavioral activities have been reported to exhibit fractal dynamics known as 1/f noise, which is more aptly named 1/f scaling. Some argue that 1/f scaling is a general and pervasive property of the dynamical substrate from which cognitive functions are formed. Others argue that it is an idiosyncratic property of domain-specific processes. An experiment was conducted to investigate whether 1/f scaling pervades the intrinsic fluctuations of a spoken word. Ten participants each repeated the word bucket over 1,000 times, and fluctuations in acoustic measurements across repetitions generally followed the 1/f scaling relation, including numerous parallel yet distinct series of 1/f fluctuations. On the basis of work showing that 1/f scaling is a universal earmark of metastability, it is proposed that the observed pervasiveness of 1/f fluctuations in speech reflects the fact that cognitive functions are formed as metastable patterns of activity in brain, body, and environment.