Matt Davis and Ingrid Johnsrude have a very thoughtful new review, "Hearing speech sounds: Top-down influences on the interface between audition and speech perception" in the journal Hearing Research. The paper is available on the journal's web site already.
Matt and Ingrid review several critical bottom-up and top-down aspects of speech perception, both from the perspective of perception research and cognitive neuroscience. They review four types of phenomena: grouping, segmentation, perceptual learning, and categorical perception. The paper makes a persuasive case for the nuanced interaction between top-down factors in bottom-up analysis.
Indeed, their review converges in interesting ways with the Hickok & Poeppel (2007) review, and with another forthcoming review by -- yes, sorry -- me (Poeppel), Bill Idsardi, and Virginie van Wassenhove: "Speech perception at the interface of neurobiology and linguistics", a paper in press at Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
Across these three papers I think there is a fair amount of covergence -- a successful model bridging perception, computation, and brain must account for the subtle but principled interaction between the bottom-up processes we need (by logical necessity) and the top-down processes we (our brains) bring to the problem (by sheer damn luck).
Is this news? Well, there certainly is still controversy, although there may be no issue ... But it seems to me that, say, research on automatic speech recognition is not particularly well-informed by the processes that human brains actually execute in perception. (Neuromorphic engineering approaches are, it goes without saying, an exception.)