Valter Ciocca


Professor and Director

Laurea (Universita’ degli Studi di Padova, 1984)
M.A. (McGill, 1985)
Ph.D. (McGill, 1988)


Phone: (604) 822-5795
Fax: (604) 822-6569


Valter Ciocca completed his undergraduate studies in Experimental Psychology at the University of Padua (Italy). He subsequently went to McGill University, where he completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology under the guidance of Albert Bregman, with a thesis on the application of auditory scene analysis principles to speech perception. He then continued his research training with Chris Darwin at the University of Sussex, where he investigated the effects of auditory grouping on pitch perception. In 1992, he joined the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Hong Kong University, where he applied his knowledge of auditory perception and speech science to the study of Cantonese speech and of lexical tones. At Hong Kong University he extended his research to the study of populations of listeners and speakers with communication disorders (individuals with cerebral palsy and hearing impairments, including cochlear implant users), as well as adults with normal communication abilities and typically developing children. Since 2007, he joined the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at UBC as the School’s Director.

Research Interests

My research has so far focused on three main themes within the field of speech and hearing sciences: auditory scene analysis, speech perception and production, and pitch perception and production.

My current projects include:

1. the perception of the illusory continuation  of interrupted sounds through louder noise and through short gaps of silence. This phenomenon is usually referred to as “temporal induction” or “auditory continuity”. Within this project I am investigating the perception of auditory continuity by listeners with normal hearing and by cochlear implant users.

2. the study of auditory processing abilities of individuals with autistic savant syndrome.

My current collaborators include: Denis Burnham (MARCS, University of Western Sydney; Laurent Mottron (Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal); Tara Whitehill, Anita Wong, and Lena Wong (University of Hong Kong); Patrick Wong (Northwestern University) Sipke Pijl and Brian Westerberg (UBC)

Auditory Perception and Speech Lab

Select Publications

Bonnel, A. C., McAdams, S., Smith, B. K., Berthiaume, C., Bertone, A., Ciocca, V., Burack, J. A., Mottron, M. (2010). Enhanced Pure-Tone Pitch Discrimination among Persons with Autism but not Asperger Syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 48, 2465-2475.

Lee, S. Y. A., Whitehill T. L., Ciocca V. (2009). Effect of Listener Training on Perceptual Judgement of Hypernasality. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 23, 319-334.

Wong, A., Ciocca, V. and Yung, S. (2009). The perception of lexical tone contrasts in Cantonese children with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Journal of Speech, language, and Hearing Research, 52, 1493-1509.

Ciocca V.  (2008) The auditory organization of complex sounds. Frontiers in Bioscience, 13, 148-169.

Khouw E. & Ciocca V. (2006). An acoustic and perceptual study of final stops produced by profoundly hearing impaired adolescents. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 172-185.

Khouw, E. & Ciocca, V. (2006) An Acoustic and Perceptual Study of Cantonese Tones Produced by Profoundly Hearing Impaired Adolescents. Ear and Hearing, 27, 243-255.

Lee A. S-Y., Ciocca V., & Whitehill T. L. (2004). Spectral analysis of hypernasality. Journal of Medical Speech and Language Pathology, 12, 173-177.

Leung M.T. and Ciocca V. (2004). The effect of vertical tongue loading on the position perception of the tongue. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(7), 1115-1124.

Francis A. L., Ciocca V. and Ng B. K. C. (2003) On the (non)categorical perception of lexical tones.  Perception & Psychophysics, 65(7), 1029-1044.

Ciocca V. and Lui J. Y.-K. (2003) The development of the perception of Cantonese lexical tones. The Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders, 1, 141-147.

Francis A. L., Ciocca V. and Yu J. M.-C. (2003)  Accuracy and variability of acoustic measures of voicing onset. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 113, 1025-1032.

Ciocca V., Francis A., Aisha R., and Wong L. (2002) The perception of Cantonese lexical tones by early-deafened cochlear implantees. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 111(5), 2250-2256.

Ciocca publication list Aug 2010


AUDI 514  Hearing Science I
AUDI 513  Acoustic and Articulatory Phonetics
AUDI 550A  Advanced Topics in Audiology (Speech Perception and Hearing Ability)