RN voice synthesis study

Welcome and thank you for your interest in this study! Please read the information below before you begin.

You will need to complete the experiment in one go, so make sure you have about 10-15 minutes.

About the study

The voice carries a wealth of information, even if no words are spoken. From laughs to screams to noncommital grunts, we use many nonverbal exclamations in our everyday interactions to indicate how we feel and what we intend to do. In order to understand how information is extracted from non-speech sounds, we have developed an open-source algorithm for sound synthesis at Lund University in Sweden. We used this algorithm to synthesize a number of human vocalizations and then varied some acoustic parameters.

Learning how such manipulations affect the meaning of each sound may help to "crack the code" of how the voice expresses emotion. This work can contribute to better algorithms for automatic recognition of the speaker's emotion, for example in human-machine interaction and assistance technology for people with disabilities, and even improve animal welfare through acoustic monitoring of the sounds made by farm animals.

Informed consent

I consent to participate in this session, which will involve rating synthetic nonverbal vocalizations. I understand that all data will be kept confidential by the researcher, and I will not be asked to provide any personal information. I am free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

I consent to the publication of study results as long as the information is anonymous, so that no identification of participants can be made. The study has received approval from the Department of Cognitive Science of Lund University, Sweden.

By clicking the "Begin" button below, I confirm that I have read and understand the explanations, and I voluntarily consent to participate in this study.


Find a quiet spot to do this experiment and use headphones if possible. You will hear 50 non-speech sounds. They are all SYNTHETIC, but inspired by some real-life human recordings. Try to treat them as if they were produced by a human being and imagine what the speaker might be feeling.

The task is to judge how the "speaker" might be feeling: pleased or unhappy, alert or relaxed, socially dominant or submissive. You will hear each sound three times, answering one question each time. Click the scale to answer the posed question. You can replay a sound by clicking the picture of a loudspeaker, but try to do the test as quickly as possible.

Supported browsers: Firefox / Chrome / Safari (but NOT Internet Explorer). Test the sound and volume level by clicking this loudspeaker (you should hear a laugh):

Ready? OK then, click "Begin"!