Pavo Orepic interviewed by NYT for perception of one's own voice

© 2023 EPFL

© 2023 EPFL

In a new study published in Royal Society Open Science, Orepic and colleagues from LNCO showed that bone conduction improves recognition of one's own voice. The study garnered media attention.

People rarely enjoy listening to their own voice. Moreover, while speaking, the vibrations transmitted though the skull make your voice sound deeper to yourself than to a foreign listener. In order to delineate the contribution of bone conduction of sound in the perception of your own voice, a group of LNCO researchers led by Pavo Orepic compared the ability to recognize your own voice recordings mixed with other voices in subjects hearing the sounds through standard air conduction (speakers or standard headphones) and bone-conduction headphones.

Interestingly, they found that people listening to the recordings through bone-conduction headphones were significantly more able to recognize their own voice, whereas bone conduction did not make any difference in discriminating familiar from unknown voices.

Taken together, these results demonstrate that one's own voice recognition is a multisensory process involving vibro-tactile stimuli, that contribute to self-consciousness.

Moreover, the multi-sensory nature of self-voice recognition should help patients with auditory-verbal hallucinations (i.e. "hearing voices"), or with impairments in self-consciousness, such as those following certain brain surgeries.


This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. 3100A0-112493), by the Bertarelli Foundation (grant no. 532024) and two generous donors advised by Carigest SA


Orepic P, Kannape OA, Faivre N, Blanke O. 2023 Bone conduction facilitates self-other voice discrimination.R. Soc.Open Sci.10: 221561.