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  1. Speech Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, Thomas

    Speech intelligibility (SI) is important for different fields of research, engineering and diagnostics in order to quantify very different phenomena like the quality of recordings, communication and playback devices, the reverberation of auditoria, characteristics of hearing impairment, benefit using hearing aids or combinations of these things.

  2. Improving Alaryngeal Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, John M.; Dwyer, Patricia E.

    1990-01-01

    Laryngectomized patients using esophageal speech or an electronic artificial larynx have difficulty producing correct voicing contrasts between homorganic consonants. This paper describes a therapy technique that emphasizes "pushing harder" on voiceless consonants to improve alaryngeal speech intelligibility and proposes focusing on the production…

  3. Expectations and speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Babel, Molly; Russell, Jamie

    2015-05-01

    Socio-indexical cues and paralinguistic information are often beneficial to speech processing as this information assists listeners in parsing the speech stream. Associations that particular populations speak in a certain speech style can, however, make it such that socio-indexical cues have a cost. In this study, native speakers of Canadian English who identify as Chinese Canadian and White Canadian read sentences that were presented to listeners in noise. Half of the sentences were presented with a visual-prime in the form of a photo of the speaker and half were presented in control trials with fixation crosses. Sentences produced by Chinese Canadians showed an intelligibility cost in the face-prime condition, whereas sentences produced by White Canadians did not. In an accentedness rating task, listeners rated White Canadians as less accented in the face-prime trials, but Chinese Canadians showed no such change in perceived accentedness. These results suggest a misalignment between an expected and an observed speech signal for the face-prime trials, which indicates that social information about a speaker can trigger linguistic associations that come with processing benefits and costs. PMID:25994710

  4. Predicting the intelligibility of vocoded speech

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2010-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of a number of speech intelligibility indices in terms of predicting the intelligibility of vocoded speech. Design Noise-corrupted sentences were vocoded in a total of 80 conditions, involving three different SNR levels (-5, 0 and 5 dB) and two types of maskers (steady-state noise and two-talker). Tone-vocoder simulations were used as well as simulations of combined electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS). The vocoded sentences were presented to normal-hearing listeners for identification, and the resulting intelligibility scores were used to assess the correlation of various speech intelligibility measures. These included measures designed to assess speech intelligibility, including the speech-transmission index (STI) and articulation index (AI) based measures, as well as distortions in hearing aids (e.g., coherence-based measures). These measures employed primarily either the temporal-envelope or the spectral-envelope information in the prediction model. The underlying hypothesis in the present study is that measures that assess temporal envelope distortions, such as those based on the speech-transmission index, should correlate highly with the intelligibility of vocoded speech. This is based on the fact that vocoder simulations preserve primarily envelope information, similar to the processing implemented in current cochlear implant speech processors. Similarly, it is hypothesized that measures such as the coherence-based index that assess the distortions present in the spectral envelope could also be used to model the intelligibility of vocoded speech. Results Of all the intelligibility measures considered, the coherence-based and the STI-based measures performed the best. High correlations (r=0.9-0.96) were maintained with the coherence-based measures in all noisy conditions. The highest correlation obtained with the STI-based measure was 0.92, and that was obtained when high modulation rates (100

  5. Speech Intelligibility in Severe Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bender, Brenda K.; Cannito, Michael P.; Murry, Thomas; Woodson, Gayle E.

    2004-01-01

    This study compared speech intelligibility in nondisabled speakers and speakers with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) before and after botulinum toxin (Botox) injection. Standard speech samples were obtained from 10 speakers diagnosed with severe ADSD prior to and 1 month following Botox injection, as well as from 10 age- and gender-matched…

  6. Relationship between Speech Intelligibility and Speech Comprehension in Babble Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontan, Lionel; Tardieu, Julien; Gaillard, Pascal; Woisard, Virginie; Ruiz, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The authors investigated the relationship between the intelligibility and comprehension of speech presented in babble noise. Method: Forty participants listened to French imperative sentences (commands for moving objects) in a multitalker babble background for which intensity was experimentally controlled. Participants were instructed to…

  7. Intelligibility of the Speech of Deaf Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amcoff, Sven

    To develop a simple, inexpensive technique to quantify speech comprehension of pupils (aged 7 to 13) in special schools for the deaf, the verbal responses to pictures by 111 pupils were judged for intelligibility by untrained listeners. Pupils were asked to identify 30 pictures; their taped replies were judged by listeners who wrote down what they…

  8. Improving the speech intelligibility in classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Choi Ling Coriolanus

    One of the major acoustical concerns in classrooms is the establishment of effective verbal communication between teachers and students. Non-optimal acoustical conditions, resulting in reduced verbal communication, can cause two main problems. First, they can lead to reduce learning efficiency. Second, they can also cause fatigue, stress, vocal strain and health problems, such as headaches and sore throats, among teachers who are forced to compensate for poor acoustical conditions by raising their voices. Besides, inadequate acoustical conditions can induce the usage of public address system. Improper usage of such amplifiers or loudspeakers can lead to impairment of students' hearing systems. The social costs of poor classroom acoustics will be large to impair the learning of children. This invisible problem has far reaching implications for learning, but is easily solved. Many researches have been carried out that they have accurately and concisely summarized the research findings on classrooms acoustics. Though, there is still a number of challenging questions remaining unanswered. Most objective indices for speech intelligibility are essentially based on studies of western languages. Even several studies of tonal languages as Mandarin have been conducted, there is much less on Cantonese. In this research, measurements have been done in unoccupied rooms to investigate the acoustical parameters and characteristics of the classrooms. The speech intelligibility tests, which based on English, Mandarin and Cantonese, and the survey were carried out on students aged from 5 years old to 22 years old. It aims to investigate the differences in intelligibility between English, Mandarin and Cantonese of the classrooms in Hong Kong. The significance on speech transmission index (STI) related to Phonetically Balanced (PB) word scores will further be developed. Together with developed empirical relationship between the speech intelligibility in classrooms with the variations

  9. The Modulation Transfer Function for Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Taffeta M.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2009-01-01

    We systematically determined which spectrotemporal modulations in speech are necessary for comprehension by human listeners. Speech comprehension has been shown to be robust to spectral and temporal degradations, but the specific relevance of particular degradations is arguable due to the complexity of the joint spectral and temporal information in the speech signal. We applied a novel modulation filtering technique to recorded sentences to restrict acoustic information quantitatively and to obtain a joint spectrotemporal modulation transfer function for speech comprehension, the speech MTF. For American English, the speech MTF showed the criticality of low modulation frequencies in both time and frequency. Comprehension was significantly impaired when temporal modulations <12 Hz or spectral modulations <4 cycles/kHz were removed. More specifically, the MTF was bandpass in temporal modulations and low-pass in spectral modulations: temporal modulations from 1 to 7 Hz and spectral modulations <1 cycles/kHz were the most important. We evaluated the importance of spectrotemporal modulations for vocal gender identification and found a different region of interest: removing spectral modulations between 3 and 7 cycles/kHz significantly increases gender misidentifications of female speakers. The determination of the speech MTF furnishes an additional method for producing speech signals with reduced bandwidth but high intelligibility. Such compression could be used for audio applications such as file compression or noise removal and for clinical applications such as signal processing for cochlear implants. PMID:19266016

  10. Effects of interior aircraft noise on speech intelligibility and annoyance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearsons, K. S.; Bennett, R. L.

    1977-01-01

    Recordings of the aircraft ambiance from ten different types of aircraft were used in conjunction with four distinct speech interference tests as stimuli to determine the effects of interior aircraft background levels and speech intelligibility on perceived annoyance in 36 subjects. Both speech intelligibility and background level significantly affected judged annoyance. However, the interaction between the two variables showed that above an 85 db background level the speech intelligibility results had a minimal effect on annoyance ratings. Below this level, people rated the background as less annoying if there was adequate speech intelligibility.

  11. Variability and Diagnostic Accuracy of Speech Intelligibility Scores in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hustad, Katherine C.; Oakes, Ashley; Allison, Kristen

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We examined variability of speech intelligibility scores and how well intelligibility scores predicted group membership among 5-year-old children with speech motor impairment (SMI) secondary to cerebral palsy and an age-matched group of typically developing (TD) children. Method: Speech samples varying in length from 1-4 words were…

  12. Correlation study of predictive and descriptive metrics of speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefaniw, Abigail; Shimizu, Yasushi; Smith, Dana

    2002-11-01

    There exists a wide range of speech-intelligibility metrics, each of which is designed to encapsulate a different aspect of room acoustics that relates to speech intelligibility. This study reviews the different definitions of and correlations between various proposed speech intelligibility measures. Speech Intelligibility metrics can be grouped by two main uses: prediction of designed rooms and description of existing rooms. Two descriptive metrics still under investigation are Ease of Hearing and Acoustical Comfort. These are measured by a simple questionnaire, and their relationships with each other and with significant speech intelligibility metrics are explored. A variety of rooms are modeled and auralized in cooperation with a larger study, including classrooms, lecture halls, and offices. Auralized rooms are used to conveniently provide calculated metrics and cross-talk canceled auralizations for diagnostic and descriptive intelligibility tests. Rooms are modeled in CATT-Acoustic and auralized with a multi-channel speaker array in a hemi-anechoic chamber.

  13. Predicting Speech Intelligibility with a Multiple Speech Subsystems Approach in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jimin; Hustad, Katherine C.; Weismer, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Speech acoustic characteristics of children with cerebral palsy (CP) were examined with a multiple speech subsystems approach; speech intelligibility was evaluated using a prediction model in which acoustic measures were selected to represent three speech subsystems. Method: Nine acoustic variables reflecting different subsystems, and…

  14. Evaluating airborne sound insulation in terms of speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Park, H K; Bradley, J S; Gover, B N

    2008-03-01

    This paper reports on an evaluation of ratings of the sound insulation of simulated walls in terms of the intelligibility of speech transmitted through the walls. Subjects listened to speech modified to simulate transmission through 20 different walls with a wide range of sound insulation ratings, with constant ambient noise. The subjects' mean speech intelligibility scores were compared with various physical measures to test the success of the measures as sound insulation ratings. The standard Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Weighted Sound Reduction Index ratings were only moderately successful predictors of intelligibility scores, and eliminating the 8 dB rule from STC led to very modest improvements. Various previously established speech intelligibility measures (e.g., Articulation Index or Speech Intelligibility Index) and measures derived from them, such as the Articulation Class, were all relatively strongly related to speech intelligibility scores. In general, measures that involved arithmetic averages or summations of decibel values over frequency bands important for speech were most strongly related to intelligibility scores. The two most accurate predictors of the intelligibility of transmitted speech were an arithmetic average transmission loss over the frequencies from 200 to 2.5 kHz and the addition of a new spectrum weighting term to R(w) that included frequencies from 400 to 2.5 kHz. PMID:18345835

  15. Speech Technology-Based Assessment of Phoneme Intelligibility in Dysarthria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Nuffelen, Gwen; Middag, Catherine; De Bodt, Marc; Martens, Jean-Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Background: Currently, clinicians mainly rely on perceptual judgements to assess intelligibility of dysarthric speech. Although often highly reliable, this procedure is subjective with a lot of intrinsic variables. Therefore, certain benefits can be expected from a speech technology-based intelligibility assessment. Previous attempts to develop an…

  16. Objectivization of evaluation of speech intelligibility during flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frolov, M. V.; Cherkasov, O. A.; Tarasenko, G. I.; Petlenko, I. A.

    1983-11-01

    Results of monitoring speech by an auditor and checking parameters of the articular trust of the speaker are analyzed to find a reliable and affective means of evaluating intelligibility of speech. The affect of a mask on syllable intelligibility was tested.

  17. Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech: Perceptions of Speakers and Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walshe, Margaret; Miller, Nick; Leahy, Margaret; Murray, Aisling

    2008-01-01

    Background: Many factors influence listener perception of dysarthric speech. Final consensus on the role of gender and listener experience is still to be reached. The speaker's perception of his/her speech has largely been ignored. Aims: (1) To compare speaker and listener perception of the intelligibility of dysarthric speech; (2) to explore the…

  18. Monaural speech intelligibility and detection in maskers with varying amounts of spectro-temporal speech features.

    PubMed

    Schubotz, Wiebke; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger; Ewert, Stephan D

    2016-07-01

    Speech intelligibility is strongly affected by the presence of maskers. Depending on the spectro-temporal structure of the masker and its similarity to the target speech, different masking aspects can occur which are typically referred to as energetic, amplitude modulation, and informational masking. In this study speech intelligibility and speech detection was measured in maskers that vary systematically in the time-frequency domain from steady-state noise to a single interfering talker. Male and female target speech was used in combination with maskers based on speech for the same or different gender. Observed data were compared to predictions of the speech intelligibility index, extended speech intelligibility index, multi-resolution speech-based envelope-power-spectrum model, and the short-time objective intelligibility measure. The different models served as analysis tool to help distinguish between the different masking aspects. Comparison shows that overall masking can to a large extent be explained by short-term energetic masking. However, the other masking aspects (amplitude modulation an informational masking) influence speech intelligibility as well. Additionally, it was obvious that all models showed considerable deviations from the data. Therefore, the current study provides a benchmark for further evaluation of speech prediction models. PMID:27475175

  19. Experimental comparison between speech transmission index, rapid speech transmission index, and speech intelligibility index.

    PubMed

    Larm, Petra; Hongisto, Valtteri

    2006-02-01

    During the acoustical design of, e.g., auditoria or open-plan offices, it is important to know how speech can be perceived in various parts of the room. Different objective methods have been developed to measure and predict speech intelligibility, and these have been extensively used in various spaces. In this study, two such methods were compared, the speech transmission index (STI) and the speech intelligibility index (SII). Also the simplification of the STI, the room acoustics speech transmission index (RASTI), was considered. These quantities are all based on determining an apparent speech-to-noise ratio on selected frequency bands and summing them using a specific weighting. For comparison, some data were needed on the possible differences of these methods resulting from the calculation scheme and also measuring equipment. Their prediction accuracy was also of interest. Measurements were made in a laboratory having adjustable noise level and absorption, and in a real auditorium. It was found that the measurement equipment, especially the selection of the loudspeaker, can greatly affect the accuracy of the results. The prediction accuracy of the RASTI was found acceptable, if the input values for the prediction are accurately known, even though the studied space was not ideally diffuse. PMID:16521772

  20. Implementing Speech Supplementation Strategies: Effects on Intelligibility and Speech Rate of Individuals with Chronic Severe Dysarthria.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hustad, Katherine C.; Jones, Tabitha; Dailey, Suzanne

    2003-01-01

    A study compared intelligibility and speech rate differences following speaker implementation of 3 strategies (topic, alphabet, and combined topic and alphabet supplementation) and a habitual speech control condition for 5 speakers with severe dysarthria. Combined cues and alphabet cues yielded significantly higher intelligibility scores and…

  1. Optimizing acoustical conditions for speech intelligibility in classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wonyoung

    High speech intelligibility is imperative in classrooms where verbal communication is critical. However, the optimal acoustical conditions to achieve a high degree of speech intelligibility have previously been investigated with inconsistent results, and practical room-acoustical solutions to optimize the acoustical conditions for speech intelligibility have not been developed. This experimental study validated auralization for speech-intelligibility testing, investigated the optimal reverberation for speech intelligibility for both normal and hearing-impaired listeners using more realistic room-acoustical models, and proposed an optimal sound-control design for speech intelligibility based on the findings. The auralization technique was used to perform subjective speech-intelligibility tests. The validation study, comparing auralization results with those of real classroom speech-intelligibility tests, found that if the room to be auralized is not very absorptive or noisy, speech-intelligibility tests using auralization are valid. The speech-intelligibility tests were done in two different auralized sound fields---approximately diffuse and non-diffuse---using the Modified Rhyme Test and both normal and hearing-impaired listeners. A hybrid room-acoustical prediction program was used throughout the work, and it and a 1/8 scale-model classroom were used to evaluate the effects of ceiling barriers and reflectors. For both subject groups, in approximately diffuse sound fields, when the speech source was closer to the listener than the noise source, the optimal reverberation time was zero. When the noise source was closer to the listener than the speech source, the optimal reverberation time was 0.4 s (with another peak at 0.0 s) with relative output power levels of the speech and noise sources SNS = 5 dB, and 0.8 s with SNS = 0 dB. In non-diffuse sound fields, when the noise source was between the speaker and the listener, the optimal reverberation time was 0.6 s with

  2. Predicting Speech Intelligibility with A Multiple Speech Subsystems Approach in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jimin; Hustad, Katherine C.; Weismer, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Speech acoustic characteristics of children with cerebral palsy (CP) were examined with a multiple speech subsystem approach; speech intelligibility was evaluated using a prediction model in which acoustic measures were selected to represent three speech subsystems. Method Nine acoustic variables reflecting different subsystems, and speech intelligibility, were measured in 22 children with CP. These children included 13 with a clinical diagnosis of dysarthria (SMI), and nine judged to be free of dysarthria (NSMI). Data from children with CP were compared to data from age-matched typically developing children (TD). Results Multiple acoustic variables reflecting the articulatory subsystem were different in the SMI group, compared to the NSMI and TD groups. A significant speech intelligibility prediction model was obtained with all variables entered into the model (Adjusted R-squared = .801). The articulatory subsystem showed the most substantial independent contribution (58%) to speech intelligibility. Incremental R-squared analyses revealed that any single variable explained less than 9% of speech intelligibility variability. Conclusions Children in the SMI group have articulatory subsystem problems as indexed by acoustic measures. As in the adult literature, the articulatory subsystem makes the primary contribution to speech intelligibility variance in dysarthria, with minimal or no contribution from other systems. PMID:24824584

  3. Speech Intelligibility Advantages using an Acoustic Beamformer Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.; Sunder, Kaushik; Godfroy, Martine; Otto, Peter

    2015-01-01

    A speech intelligibility test conforming to the Modified Rhyme Test of ANSI S3.2 "Method for Measuring the Intelligibility of Speech Over Communication Systems" was conducted using a prototype 12-channel acoustic beamformer system. The target speech material (signal) was identified against speech babble (noise), with calculated signal-noise ratios of 0, 5 and 10 dB. The signal was delivered at a fixed beam orientation of 135 deg (re 90 deg as the frontal direction of the array) and the noise at 135 deg (co-located) and 0 deg (separated). A significant improvement in intelligibility from 57% to 73% was found for spatial separation for the same signal-noise ratio (0 dB). Significant effects for improved intelligibility due to spatial separation were also found for higher signal-noise ratios (5 and 10 dB).

  4. An OFDM-Based Speech Encryption System without Residual Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Der-Chang; Chiu, Jung-Hui

    Since an FFT-based speech encryption system retains a considerable residual intelligibility, such as talk spurts and the original intonation in the encrypted speech, this makes it easy for eavesdroppers to deduce the information contents from the encrypted speech. In this letter, we propose a new technique based on the combination of an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) scheme and an appropriate QAM mapping method to remove the residual intelligibility from the encrypted speech by permuting several frequency components. In addition, the proposed OFDM-based speech encryption system needs only two FFT operations instead of the four required by the FFT-based speech encryption system. Simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of this proposed technique.

  5. The Intelligibility of Time-Compressed Speech. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, John B.; Cramer, H. Leslie

    Time-compressed speech is now being used to present recorded lectures to groups at word rates up to two and one-half times that at which they were originally spoken. This process is particularly helpful to the blind. This study investigated the intelligibility of speech processed with seven different discard intervals and at seven rates from two…

  6. Influence of Visual Information on the Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keintz, Connie K.; Bunton, Kate; Hoit, Jeannette D.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the influence of visual information on speech intelligibility for a group of speakers with dysarthria associated with Parkinson's disease. Method: Eight speakers with Parkinson's disease and dysarthria were recorded while they read sentences. Speakers performed a concurrent manual task to facilitate typical speech production.…

  7. Intelligibility for Binaural Speech with Discarded Low-SNR Speech Components.

    PubMed

    Schoenmaker, Esther; van de Par, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Speech intelligibility in multitalker settings improves when the target speaker is spatially separated from the interfering speakers. A factor that may contribute to this improvement is the improved detectability of target-speech components due to binaural interaction in analogy to the Binaural Masking Level Difference (BMLD). This would allow listeners to hear target speech components within specific time-frequency intervals that have a negative SNR, similar to the improvement in the detectability of a tone in noise when these contain disparate interaural difference cues. To investigate whether these negative-SNR target-speech components indeed contribute to speech intelligibility, a stimulus manipulation was performed where all target components were removed when local SNRs were smaller than a certain criterion value. It can be expected that for sufficiently high criterion values target speech components will be removed that do contribute to speech intelligibility. For spatially separated speakers, assuming that a BMLD-like detection advantage contributes to intelligibility, degradation in intelligibility is expected already at criterion values below 0 dB SNR. However, for collocated speakers it is expected that higher criterion values can be applied without impairing speech intelligibility. Results show that degradation of intelligibility for separated speakers is only seen for criterion values of 0 dB and above, indicating a negligible contribution of a BMLD-like detection advantage in multitalker settings. These results show that the spatial benefit is related to a spatial separation of speech components at positive local SNRs rather than to a BMLD-like detection improvement for speech components at negative local SNRs. PMID:27080648

  8. Speech Intelligibility and Prosody Production in Children with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chin, Steven B.; Bergeson, Tonya R.; Phan, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to examine the relation between speech intelligibility and prosody production in children who use cochlear implants. Methods: The Beginner's Intelligibility Test (BIT) and Prosodic Utterance Production (PUP) task were administered to 15 children who use cochlear implants and 10 children with normal…

  9. Talker Versus Dialect Effects on Speech Intelligibility: A Symmetrical Study.

    PubMed

    McCloy, Daniel R; Wright, Richard A; Souza, Pamela E

    2015-09-01

    This study investigates the relative effects of talker-specific variation and dialect-based variation on speech intelligibility. Listeners from two dialects of American English performed speech-in-noise tasks with sentences spoken by talkers of each dialect. An initial statistical model showed no significant effects for either talker or listener dialect group, and no interaction. However, a mixed-effects regression model including several acoustic measures of the talker's speech revealed a subtle effect of talker dialect once the various acoustic dimensions were accounted for. Results are discussed in relation to other recent studies of cross-dialect intelligibility. PMID:26529902

  10. Talker versus dialect effects on speech intelligibility: a symmetrical study

    PubMed Central

    McCloy, Daniel R.; Wright, Richard A.; Souza, Pamela E.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the relative effects of talker-specific variation and dialect-based variation on speech intelligibility. Listeners from two dialects of American English performed speech-in-noise tasks with sentences spoken by talkers of each dialect. An initial statistical model showed no significant effects for either talker or listener dialect group, and no interaction. However, a mixed-effects regression model including several acoustic measures of the talker’s speech revealed a subtle effect of talker dialect once the various acoustic dimensions were accounted for. Results are discussed in relation to other recent studies of cross-dialect intelligibility. PMID:26529902

  11. Exploring the Role of Brain Oscillations in Speech Perception in Noise: Intelligibility of Isochronously Retimed Speech

    PubMed Central

    Aubanel, Vincent; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that brain oscillations track speech. This mechanism is thought to maximize processing efficiency by allocating resources to important speech information, effectively parsing speech into units of appropriate granularity for further decoding. However, some aspects of this mechanism remain unclear. First, while periodicity is an intrinsic property of this physiological mechanism, speech is only quasi-periodic, so it is not clear whether periodicity would present an advantage in processing. Second, it is still a matter of debate which aspect of speech triggers or maintains cortical entrainment, from bottom-up cues such as fluctuations of the amplitude envelope of speech to higher level linguistic cues such as syntactic structure. We present data from a behavioral experiment assessing the effect of isochronous retiming of speech on speech perception in noise. Two types of anchor points were defined for retiming speech, namely syllable onsets and amplitude envelope peaks. For each anchor point type, retiming was implemented at two hierarchical levels, a slow time scale around 2.5 Hz and a fast time scale around 4 Hz. Results show that while any temporal distortion resulted in reduced speech intelligibility, isochronous speech anchored to P-centers (approximated by stressed syllable vowel onsets) was significantly more intelligible than a matched anisochronous retiming, suggesting a facilitative role of periodicity defined on linguistically motivated units in processing speech in noise.

  12. Predicting Speech Intelligibility Decline in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Based on the Deterioration of Individual Speech Subsystems

    PubMed Central

    Yunusova, Yana; Wang, Jun; Zinman, Lorne; Pattee, Gary L.; Berry, James D.; Perry, Bridget; Green, Jordan R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine the mechanisms of speech intelligibility impairment due to neurologic impairments, intelligibility decline was modeled as a function of co-occurring changes in the articulatory, resonatory, phonatory, and respiratory subsystems. Method Sixty-six individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were studied longitudinally. The disease-related changes in articulatory, resonatory, phonatory, and respiratory subsystems were quantified using multiple instrumental measures, which were subjected to a principal component analysis and mixed effects models to derive a set of speech subsystem predictors. A stepwise approach was used to select the best set of subsystem predictors to model the overall decline in intelligibility. Results Intelligibility was modeled as a function of five predictors that corresponded to velocities of lip and jaw movements (articulatory), number of syllable repetitions in the alternating motion rate task (articulatory), nasal airflow (resonatory), maximum fundamental frequency (phonatory), and speech pauses (respiratory). The model accounted for 95.6% of the variance in intelligibility, among which the articulatory predictors showed the most substantial independent contribution (57.7%). Conclusion Articulatory impairments characterized by reduced velocities of lip and jaw movements and resonatory impairments characterized by increased nasal airflow served as the subsystem predictors of the longitudinal decline of speech intelligibility in ALS. Declines in maximum performance tasks such as the alternating motion rate preceded declines in intelligibility, thus serving as early predictors of bulbar dysfunction. Following the rapid decline in speech intelligibility, a precipitous decline in maximum performance tasks subsequently occurred. PMID:27148967

  13. Aircraft noise and speech intelligibility in an outdoor living space.

    PubMed

    Alvarsson, Jesper J; Nordström, Henrik; Lundén, Peter; Nilsson, Mats E

    2014-06-01

    Studies of effects on speech intelligibility from aircraft noise in outdoor places are currently lacking. To explore these effects, first-order ambisonic recordings of aircraft noise were reproduced outdoors in a pergola. The average background level was 47 dB LA eq. Lists of phonetically balanced words (LAS max,word = 54 dB) were reproduced simultaneously with aircraft passage noise (LAS max,noise = 72-84 dB). Twenty individually tested listeners wrote down each presented word while seated in the pergola. The main results were (i) aircraft noise negatively affects speech intelligibility at sound pressure levels that exceed those of the speech sound (signal-to-noise ratio, S/N < 0), and (ii) the simple A-weighted S/N ratio was nearly as good an indicator of speech intelligibility as were two more advanced models, the Speech Intelligibility Index and Glasberg and Moore's [J. Audio Eng. Soc. 53, 906-918 (2005)] partial loudness model. This suggests that any of these indicators is applicable for predicting effects of aircraft noise on speech intelligibility outdoors. PMID:24907809

  14. Correlation of subjective and objective measures of speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowden, Erica E.; Wang, Lily M.; Palahanska, Milena S.

    2003-10-01

    Currently there are a number of objective evaluation methods used to quantify the speech intelligibility in a built environment, including the Speech Transmission Index (STI), Rapid Speech Transmission Index (RASTI), Articulation Index (AI), and the Percentage Articulation Loss of Consonants (%ALcons). Many of these have been used for years; however, questions remain about their accuracy in predicting the acoustics of a space. Current widely used software programs can quickly evaluate STI, RASTI, and %ALcons from a measured impulse response. This project compares subjective human performance on modified rhyme and phonetically balanced word tests with objective results calculated from impulse response measurements in four different spaces. The results of these tests aid in understanding performance of various methods of speech intelligibility evaluation. [Work supported by the Univ. of Nebraska Center for Building Integration.] For Speech Communication Best Student Paper Award.

  15. Enhancing Speech Intelligibility: Interactions among Context, Modality, Speech Style, and Masker

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Engen, Kristin J.; Phelps, Jasmine E. B.; Smiljanic, Rajka; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The authors sought to investigate interactions among intelligibility-enhancing speech cues (i.e., semantic context, clearly produced speech, and visual information) across a range of masking conditions. Method: Sentence recognition in noise was assessed for 29 normal-hearing listeners. Testing included semantically normal and anomalous…

  16. The Mutual Intelligibility of L2 Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Murray J.; Derwing, Tracey M.; Morton, Susan L.

    2006-01-01

    When understanding or evaluating foreign-accented speech, listeners are affected not only by properties of the speech itself but by their own linguistic backgrounds and their experience with different speech varieties. Given the latter influence, it is not known to what degree a diverse group of listeners might share a response to second language…

  17. Influence of auditory fatigue on masked speech intelligibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, D. E.; Martens, W. L.; Johnston, P. A.

    1980-01-01

    Intelligibility of PB word lists embedded in simultaneous masking noise was evaluated before and after fatiguing-noise exposure, which was determined by observing the number of words correctly repeated during a shadowing task. Both the speech signal and the masking noise were filtered to a 2825-3185-Hz band. Masking-noise leves were varied from 0- to 90-dB SL. Fatigue was produced by a 1500-3000-Hz octave band of noise at 115 dB (re 20 micron-Pa) presented continuously for 5 min. The results of three experiments indicated that speed intelligibility was reduced when the speech was presented against a background of silence but that the fatiguing-noise exposure had no effect on intelligibility when the speech was made more intense and embedded in masking noise of 40-90-dB SL. These observations are interpreted by considering the recruitment produced by fatigue and masking noise.

  18. Acheiving speech intelligibility at Paddington Station, London, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goddard, Helen M.

    2002-11-01

    Paddington Station in London, UK is a large rail terminus for long distance electric and diesel powered trains. This magnificent train shed has four arched spans and is one of the remaining structural testaments to the architect Brunel. Given the current British and European legislative requirements for intelligible speech in public buildings AMS Acoustics were engaged to design an electroacoustic solution. In this paper we will outline how the significant problems of lively natural acoustics, the high operational noise levels and the strict aesthetic constraints were addressed. The resultant design is radical, using the most recent dsp controlled line array loudspeakers. In the paper we detail the acoustic modeling undertaken to predict both even direct sound pressure level coverage and STI. Further it presents the speech intelligibility measured upon handover of the new system. The design has proved to be successful and given the nature of the space, outstanding speech intelligibility is achieved.

  19. Variability and Intelligibility of Clarified Speech to Different Listener Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silber, Ronnie F.

    Two studies examined the modifications that adult speakers make in speech to disadvantaged listeners. Previous research that has focused on speech to the deaf individuals and to young children has shown that adults clarify speech when addressing these two populations. Acoustic measurements suggest that the signal undergoes similar changes for both populations. Perceptual tests corroborate these results for the deaf population, but are nonsystematic in developmental studies. The differences in the findings for these populations and the nonsystematic results in the developmental literature may be due to methodological factors. The present experiments addressed these methodological questions. Studies of speech to hearing impaired listeners have used read, nonsense, sentences, for which speakers received explicit clarification instructions and feedback, while in the child literature, excerpts of real-time conversations were used. Therefore, linguistic samples were not precisely matched. In this study, experiments used various linguistic materials. Experiment 1 used a children's story; experiment 2, nonsense sentences. Four mothers read both types of material in four ways: (1) in "normal" adult speech, (2) in "babytalk," (3) under the clarification instructions used in the "hearing impaired studies" (instructed clear speech) and (4) in (spontaneous) clear speech without instruction. No extra practice or feedback was given. Sentences were presented to 40 normal hearing college students with and without simultaneous masking noise. Results were separately tabulated for content and function words, and analyzed using standard statistical tests. The major finding in the study was individual variation in speaker intelligibility. "Real world" speakers vary in their baseline intelligibility. The four speakers also showed unique patterns of intelligibility as a function of each independent variable. Results were as follows. Nonsense sentences were less intelligible than story

  20. The Effects of Auditory Contrast Tuning upon Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Killian, Nathan J.; Watkins, Paul V.; Davidson, Lisa S.; Barbour, Dennis L.

    2016-01-01

    We have previously identified neurons tuned to spectral contrast of wideband sounds in auditory cortex of awake marmoset monkeys. Because additive noise alters the spectral contrast of speech, contrast-tuned neurons, if present in human auditory cortex, may aid in extracting speech from noise. Given that this cortical function may be underdeveloped in individuals with sensorineural hearing loss, incorporating biologically-inspired algorithms into external signal processing devices could provide speech enhancement benefits to cochlear implantees. In this study we first constructed a computational signal processing algorithm to mimic auditory cortex contrast tuning. We then manipulated the shape of contrast channels and evaluated the intelligibility of reconstructed noisy speech using a metric to predict cochlear implant user perception. Candidate speech enhancement strategies were then tested in cochlear implantees with a hearing-in-noise test. Accentuation of intermediate contrast values or all contrast values improved computed intelligibility. Cochlear implant subjects showed significant improvement in noisy speech intelligibility with a contrast shaping procedure. PMID:27555826

  1. The Effects of Auditory Contrast Tuning upon Speech Intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Killian, Nathan J; Watkins, Paul V; Davidson, Lisa S; Barbour, Dennis L

    2016-01-01

    We have previously identified neurons tuned to spectral contrast of wideband sounds in auditory cortex of awake marmoset monkeys. Because additive noise alters the spectral contrast of speech, contrast-tuned neurons, if present in human auditory cortex, may aid in extracting speech from noise. Given that this cortical function may be underdeveloped in individuals with sensorineural hearing loss, incorporating biologically-inspired algorithms into external signal processing devices could provide speech enhancement benefits to cochlear implantees. In this study we first constructed a computational signal processing algorithm to mimic auditory cortex contrast tuning. We then manipulated the shape of contrast channels and evaluated the intelligibility of reconstructed noisy speech using a metric to predict cochlear implant user perception. Candidate speech enhancement strategies were then tested in cochlear implantees with a hearing-in-noise test. Accentuation of intermediate contrast values or all contrast values improved computed intelligibility. Cochlear implant subjects showed significant improvement in noisy speech intelligibility with a contrast shaping procedure. PMID:27555826

  2. Comparison of a short-time speech-based intelligibility metric to the speech transmission index and intelligibility data.

    PubMed

    Payton, Karen L; Shrestha, Mona

    2013-11-01

    Several algorithms have been shown to generate a metric corresponding to the Speech Transmission Index (STI) using speech as a probe stimulus [e.g., Goldsworthy and Greenberg, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 3679-3689 (2004)]. The time-domain approaches work well on long speech segments and have the added potential to be used for short-time analysis. This study investigates the performance of the Envelope Regression (ER) time-domain STI method as a function of window length, in acoustically degraded environments with multiple talkers and speaking styles. The ER method is compared with a short-time Theoretical STI, derived from octave-band signal-to-noise ratios and reverberation times. For windows as short as 0.3 s, the ER method tracks short-time Theoretical STI changes in stationary speech-shaped noise, fluctuating restaurant babble and stationary noise plus reverberation. The metric is also compared to intelligibility scores on conversational speech and speech articulated clearly but at normal speaking rates (Clear/Norm) in stationary noise. Correlation between the metric and intelligibility scores is high and, consistent with the subject scores, the metrics are higher for Clear/Norm speech than for conversational speech and higher for the first word in a sentence than for the last word. PMID:24180791

  3. Comparison of a short-time speech-based intelligibility metric to the speech transmission index and intelligibility dataa

    PubMed Central

    Payton, Karen L.; Shrestha, Mona

    2013-01-01

    Several algorithms have been shown to generate a metric corresponding to the Speech Transmission Index (STI) using speech as a probe stimulus [e.g., Goldsworthy and Greenberg, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 3679–3689 (2004)]. The time-domain approaches work well on long speech segments and have the added potential to be used for short-time analysis. This study investigates the performance of the Envelope Regression (ER) time-domain STI method as a function of window length, in acoustically degraded environments with multiple talkers and speaking styles. The ER method is compared with a short-time Theoretical STI, derived from octave-band signal-to-noise ratios and reverberation times. For windows as short as 0.3 s, the ER method tracks short-time Theoretical STI changes in stationary speech-shaped noise, fluctuating restaurant babble and stationary noise plus reverberation. The metric is also compared to intelligibility scores on conversational speech and speech articulated clearly but at normal speaking rates (Clear/Norm) in stationary noise. Correlation between the metric and intelligibility scores is high and, consistent with the subject scores, the metrics are higher for Clear/Norm speech than for conversational speech and higher for the first word in a sentence than for the last word. PMID:24180791

  4. Chinese speech intelligibility and its relationship with the speech transmission index for children in elementary school classrooms.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jianxin; Yan, Nanjie; Wang, Dan

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated Chinese speech intelligibility in 28 classrooms from nine different elementary schools in Guangzhou, China. The subjective Chinese speech intelligibility in the classrooms was evaluated with children in grades 2, 4, and 6 (7 to 12 years old). Acoustical measurements were also performed in these classrooms. Subjective Chinese speech intelligibility scores and objective speech intelligibility parameters, such as speech transmission index (STI), were obtained at each listening position for all tests. The relationship between subjective Chinese speech intelligibility scores and STI was revealed and analyzed. The effects of age on Chinese speech intelligibility scores were compared. Results indicate high correlations between subjective Chinese speech intelligibility scores and STI for grades 2, 4, and 6 children. Chinese speech intelligibility scores increase with increase of age under the same STI condition. The differences in scores among different age groups decrease as STI increases. To achieve 95% Chinese speech intelligibility scores, the STIs required for grades 2, 4, and 6 children are 0.75, 0.69, and 0.63, respectively. PMID:25618041

  5. Intelligibility of reverberant noisy speech with ideal binary masking.

    PubMed

    Roman, Nicoleta; Woodruff, John

    2011-10-01

    For a mixture of target speech and noise in anechoic conditions, the ideal binary mask is defined as follows: It selects the time-frequency units where target energy exceeds noise energy by a certain local threshold and cancels the other units. In this study, the definition of the ideal binary mask is extended to reverberant conditions. Given the division between early and late reflections in terms of speech intelligibility, three ideal binary masks can be defined: an ideal binary mask that uses the direct path of the target as the desired signal, an ideal binary mask that uses the direct path and early reflections of the target as the desired signal, and an ideal binary mask that uses the reverberant target as the desired signal. The effects of these ideal binary mask definitions on speech intelligibility are compared across two types of interference: speech shaped noise and concurrent female speech. As suggested by psychoacoustical studies, the ideal binary mask based on the direct path and early reflections of target speech outperforms the other masks as reverberation time increases and produces substantial reductions in terms of speech reception threshold for normal hearing listeners. PMID:21973369

  6. Intelligibility of whispered speech in stationary and modulated noise maskers

    PubMed Central

    Freyman, Richard L.; Griffin, Amanda M.; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the role of natural periodic temporal fine structure in helping listeners take advantage of temporal valleys in amplitude-modulated masking noise when listening to speech. Young normal-hearing participants listened to natural, whispered, and/or vocoded nonsense sentences in a variety of masking conditions. Whispering alters normal waveform temporal fine structure dramatically but, unlike vocoding, does not degrade spectral details created by vocal tract resonances. The improvement in intelligibility, or masking release, due to introducing 16-Hz square-wave amplitude modulations in an otherwise steady speech-spectrum noise was reduced substantially with vocoded sentences relative to natural speech, but was not reduced for whispered sentences. In contrast to natural speech, masking release for whispered sentences was observed even at positive signal-to-noise ratios. Whispered speech has a different short-term amplitude distribution relative to natural speech, and this appeared to explain the robust masking release for whispered speech at high signal-to-noise ratios. Recognition of whispered speech was not disproportionately affected by unpredictable modulations created by a speech-envelope modulated noise masker. Overall, the presence or absence of periodic temporal fine structure did not have a major influence on the degree of benefit obtained from imposing temporal fluctuations on a noise masker. PMID:23039445

  7. Speech Intelligibility and Prosody Production in Children with Cochlear Implants

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Steven B.; Bergeson, Tonya R.; Phan, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of the current study was to examine the relation between speech intelligibility and prosody production in children who use cochlear implants. Methods The Beginner's Intelligibility Test (BIT) and Prosodic Utterance Production (PUP) task were administered to 15 children who use cochlear implants and 10 children with normal hearing. Adult listeners with normal hearing judged the intelligibility of the words in the BIT sentences, identified the PUP sentences as one of four grammatical or emotional moods (i.e., declarative, interrogative, happy, or sad), and rated the PUP sentences according to how well they thought the child conveyed the designated mood. Results Percent correct scores were higher for intelligibility than for prosody and higher for children with normal hearing than for children with cochlear implants. Declarative sentences were most readily identified and received the highest ratings by adult listeners; interrogative sentences were least readily identified and received the lowest ratings. Correlations between intelligibility and all mood identification and rating scores except declarative were not significant. Discussion The findings suggest that the development of speech intelligibility progresses ahead of prosody in both children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing; however, children with normal hearing still perform better than children with cochlear implants on measures of intelligibility and prosody even after accounting for hearing age. Problems with interrogative intonation may be related to more general restrictions on rising intonation, and the correlation results indicate that intelligibility and sentence intonation may be relatively dissociated at these ages. PMID:22717120

  8. Speech intelligibility enhancement using hearing-aid array processing.

    PubMed

    Saunders, G H; Kates, J M

    1997-09-01

    Microphone arrays can improve speech recognition in the noise for hearing-impaired listeners by suppressing interference coming from other than desired signal direction. In a previous paper [J. M. Kates and M. R. Weiss, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 99, 3138-3148 (1996)], several array-processing techniques were evaluated in two rooms using the AI-weighted array gain as the performance metric. The array consisted of five omnidirectional microphones having uniform 2.5-cm spacing, oriented in the endfire direction. In this paper, the speech intelligibility for two of the array processing techniques, delay-and-sum beamforming and superdirective processing, is evaluated for a group of hearing-impaired subjects. Speech intelligibility was measured using the speech reception threshold (SRT) for spondees and speech intelligibility rating (SIR) for sentence materials. The array performance is compared with that for a single omnidirectional microphone and a single directional microphone having a cardioid response pattern. The SRT and SIR results show that the superdirective array processing was the most effective, followed by the cardioid microphone, the array using delay-and-sum beamforming, and the single omnidirectional microphone. The relative processing ratings do not appear to be strongly affected by the size of the room, and the SRT values determined using isolated spondees are similar to the SIR values produced from continuous discourse. PMID:9301060

  9. Speech intelligibility measure for vocal control of an automaton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naranjo, Michel; Tsirigotis, Georgios

    1998-07-01

    The acceleration of investigations in Speech Recognition allows to augur, in the next future, a wide establishment of Vocal Control Systems in the production units. The communication between a human and a machine necessitates technical devices that emit, or are submitted to important noise perturbations. The vocal interface introduces a new control problem of a deterministic automaton using uncertain information. The purpose is to place exactly the automaton in a final state, ordered by voice, from an unknown initial state. The whole Speech Processing procedure, presented in this paper, has for input the temporal speech signal of a word and for output a recognised word labelled with an intelligibility index given by the recognition quality. In the first part, we present the essential psychoacoustic concepts for the automatic calculation of the loudness of a speech signal. The architecture of a Time Delay Neural Network is presented in second part where we also give the results of the recognition. The theory of the fuzzy subset, in third part, allows to extract at the same time a recognised word and its intelligibility index. In the fourth part, an Anticipatory System models the control of a Sequential Machine. A prediction phase and an updating one appear which involve data coming from the information system. A Bayesian decision strategy is used and the criterion is a weighted sum of criteria defined from information, minimum path functions and speech intelligibility measure.

  10. Respiratory Dynamics and Speech Intelligibility in Speakers with Generalized Dystonia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaBlance, Gary R.; Rutherford, David R.

    1991-01-01

    This study compared respiratory function during quiet breathing and monologue, in six adult dystonic subjects and a control group of four neurologically intact adults. Dystonic subjects showed a faster breathing rate, less rhythmic breathing pattern, decreased lung volume, and apnea-like periods. Decreased speech intelligibility was related to…

  11. Time-forward speech intelligibility in time-reversed rooms

    PubMed Central

    Longworth-Reed, Laricia; Brandewie, Eugene; Zahorik, Pavel

    2009-01-01

    The effects of time-reversed room acoustics on word recognition abilities were examined using virtual auditory space techniques, which allowed for temporal manipulation of the room acoustics independent of the speech source signals. Two acoustical conditions were tested: one in which room acoustics were simulated in a realistic time-forward fashion and one in which the room acoustics were reversed in time, causing reverberation and acoustic reflections to precede the direct-path energy. Significant decreases in speech intelligibility—from 89% on average to less than 25%—were observed between the time-forward and time-reversed rooms. This result is not predictable using standard methods for estimating speech intelligibility based on the modulation transfer function of the room. It may instead be due to increased degradation of onset information in the speech signals when room acoustics are time-reversed. PMID:19173377

  12. Lexical effects on speech production and intelligibility in Parkinson's disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, Yi-Fang

    Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) often have speech deficits that lead to reduced speech intelligibility. Previous research provides a rich database regarding the articulatory deficits associated with PD including restricted vowel space (Skodda, Visser, & Schlegel, 2011) and flatter formant transitions (Tjaden & Wilding, 2004; Walsh & Smith, 2012). However, few studies consider the effect of higher level structural variables of word usage frequency and the number of similar sounding words (i.e. neighborhood density) on lower level articulation or on listeners' perception of dysarthric speech. The purpose of the study is to examine the interaction of lexical properties and speech articulation as measured acoustically in speakers with PD and healthy controls (HC) and the effect of lexical properties on the perception of their speech. Individuals diagnosed with PD and age-matched healthy controls read sentences with words that varied in word frequency and neighborhood density. Acoustic analysis was performed to compare second formant transitions in diphthongs, an indicator of the dynamics of tongue movement during speech production, across different lexical characteristics. Young listeners transcribed the spoken sentences and the transcription accuracy was compared across lexical conditions. The acoustic results indicate that both PD and HC speakers adjusted their articulation based on lexical properties but the PD group had significant reductions in second formant transitions compared to HC. Both groups of speakers increased second formant transitions for words with low frequency and low density, but the lexical effect is diphthong dependent. The change in second formant slope was limited in the PD group when the required formant movement for the diphthong is small. The data from listeners' perception of the speech by PD and HC show that listeners identified high frequency words with greater accuracy suggesting the use of lexical knowledge during the

  13. Speech Intelligibility of Cochlear-Implanted and Normal-Hearing Children

    PubMed Central

    Poursoroush, Sara; Ghorbani, Ali; Soleymani, Zahra; Kamali, Mohammd; Yousefi, Negin; Poursoroush, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Speech intelligibility, the ability to be understood verbally by listeners, is the gold standard for assessing the effectiveness of cochlear implantation. Thus, the goal of this study was to compare the speech intelligibility between normal-hearing and cochlear-implanted children using the Persian intelligibility test. Materials and Methods: Twenty-six cochlear-implanted children aged 48–95 months, who had been exposed to 95–100 speech therapy sessions, were compared with 40 normal-hearing children aged 48–84 months. The average post-implanted time was 14.53 months. Speech intelligibility was assessed using the Persian sentence speech intelligibility test. Results: The mean score of the speech intelligibility test among cochlear-implanted children was 63.71% (standard deviation [SD], 1.06) compared with 100% intelligible among all normal-hearing children (P<0.000). No effects of age or gender on speech intelligibility were observed in these two groups at this range of ages (P>0.05). Conclusion: Speech intelligibility in the Persian language was poorer in cochlear-implanted children in comparison with normal-hearing children. The differences in speech intelligibility between cochlear-implanted and normal-hearing children can be shown through the Persian sentence speech intelligibility test. PMID:26568940

  14. SNR Loss: A new objective measure for predicting speech intelligibility of noise-suppressed speech

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jianfen; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2010-01-01

    Most of the existing intelligibility measures do not account for the distortions present in processed speech, such as those introduced by speech-enhancement algorithms. In the present study, we propose three new objective measures that can be used for prediction of intelligibility of processed (e.g., via an enhancement algorithm) speech in noisy conditions. All three measures use a critical-band spectral representation of the clean and noise-suppressed signals and are based on the measurement of the SNR loss incurred in each critical band after the corrupted signal goes through a speech enhancement algorithm. The proposed measures are flexible in that they can provide different weights to the two types of spectral distortions introduced by enhancement algorithms, namely spectral attenuation and spectral amplification distortions. The proposed measures were evaluated with intelligibility scores obtained by normal-hearing listeners in 72 noisy conditions involving noise-suppressed speech (consonants and sentences) corrupted by four different maskers (car, babble, train and street interferences). Highest correlation (r=−0.85) with sentence recognition scores was obtained using a variant of the SNR loss measure that only included vowel/consonant transitions and weak consonant information. High correlation was maintained for all noise types, with a maximum correlation (r=−0.88) achieved in street noise conditions. PMID:21503274

  15. Improvement of intelligibility of ideal binary-masked noisy speech by adding background noise.

    PubMed

    Cao, Shuyang; Li, Liang; Wu, Xihong

    2011-04-01

    When a target-speech/masker mixture is processed with the signal-separation technique, ideal binary mask (IBM), intelligibility of target speech is remarkably improved in both normal-hearing listeners and hearing-impaired listeners. Intelligibility of speech can also be improved by filling in speech gaps with un-modulated broadband noise. This study investigated whether intelligibility of target speech in the IBM-treated target-speech/masker mixture can be further improved by adding a broadband-noise background. The results of this study show that following the IBM manipulation, which remarkably released target speech from speech-spectrum noise, foreign-speech, or native-speech masking (experiment 1), adding a broadband-noise background with the signal-to-noise ratio no less than 4 dB significantly improved intelligibility of target speech when the masker was either noise (experiment 2) or speech (experiment 3). The results suggest that since adding the noise background shallows the areas of silence in the time-frequency domain of the IBM-treated target-speech/masker mixture, the abruption of transient changes in the mixture is smoothed and the perceived continuity of target-speech components becomes enhanced, leading to improved target-speech intelligibility. The findings are useful for advancing computational auditory scene analysis, hearing-aid/cochlear-implant designs, and understanding of speech perception under "cocktail-party" conditions. PMID:21476677

  16. Role of binaural hearing in speech intelligibility and spatial release from masking using vocoded speech.

    PubMed

    Garadat, Soha N; Litovsky, Ruth Y; Yu, Gongqiang; Zeng, Fan-Gang

    2009-11-01

    A cochlear implant vocoder was used to evaluate relative contributions of spectral and binaural temporal fine-structure cues to speech intelligibility. In Study I, stimuli were vocoded, and then convolved through head related transfer functions (HRTFs) to remove speech temporal fine structure but preserve the binaural temporal fine-structure cues. In Study II, the order of processing was reversed to remove both speech and binaural temporal fine-structure cues. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured adaptively in quiet, and with interfering speech, for unprocessed and vocoded speech (16, 8, and 4 frequency bands), under binaural or monaural (right-ear) conditions. Under binaural conditions, as the number of bands decreased, SRTs increased. With decreasing number of frequency bands, greater benefit from spatial separation of target and interferer was observed, especially in the 8-band condition. The present results demonstrate a strong role of the binaural cues in spectrally degraded speech, when the target and interfering speech are more likely to be confused. The nearly normal binaural benefits under present simulation conditions and the lack of order of processing effect further suggest that preservation of binaural cues is likely to improve performance in bilaterally implanted recipients. PMID:19894832

  17. Assessment of Intelligibility Using Children's Spontaneous Speech: Methodological Aspects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lagerberg, Tove B.; Åsberg, Jakob; Hartelius, Lena; Persson, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Background: Intelligibility is a speaker's ability to convey a message to a listener. Including an assessment of intelligibility is essential in both research and clinical work relating to individuals with communication disorders due to speech impairment. Assessment of the intelligibility of spontaneous speech can be used as an overall…

  18. Speech Intelligibility of Pediatric Cochlear Implant Recipients with 7 Years of Device Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peng, Shu-Chen; Spencer, Linda J.; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Speech intelligibility of 24 prelingually deaf pediatric cochlear implant (CI) recipients with 84 months of device experience was investigated. Each CI participant's speech samples were judged by a panel of 3 listeners. Intelligibility scores were calculated as the average of the 3 listeners' responses. The average write-down intelligibility score…

  19. Perceptual and production variables in explicating interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Amee P.; Vavva, Zoi

    2005-04-01

    This study attempts to investigate the importance of the degree of similarity or difference in the language backgrounds of the speakers and listeners, as it interacts differentially in intelligibility judgment of foreign-accented speech (Bent and Bradlow, 2003). The present study attempts to clarify the distinction in the matched and mismatched listening conditions, in context of addressing the overarching question whether auditory exposure to a language alone, without corresponding proficiency in production of that language, can provide a listening advantage. Particularly, do listeners understand accented-English speech spoken by native individuals of the language to which they are exposed to, as compared to listeners without that exposure? Greek-accented English speakers (and native monolingual English speakers) were judged for their speech intelligibility by four groups of listeners (n=10, each): native Greek speakers (matched), Greek-Americans (matched only through auditory exposure to Greek without any corresponding spoken proficiency), native monolingual American-English speakers (unmatched), and a mixed group (mismatched). Pilot data have shown that the intelligibility judgments by Greek-American listeners are intermediate to the native Greeks, and both the American-English and the mixed group. Further data-collection is underway, and will be presented as they bear important theoretical and clinical implications.

  20. Predicting the intelligibility of deaf children's speech from acoustic measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchanski, Rosalie M.; Geers, Ann E.; Brenner, Christine M.; Tobey, Emily A.

    2001-05-01

    A weighted combination of speech-acoustic measures may provide an objective assessment of speech intelligibility in deaf children that could be used to evaluate the benefits of sensory aids and rehabilitation programs. This investigation compared the accuracy of two different approaches, multiple linear regression and a simple neural net. These two methods were applied to identical sets of acoustic measures, including both segmental (e.g., voice-onset times of plosives, spectral moments of fricatives, second formant frequencies of vowels) and suprasegmental measures (e.g., sentence duration, number and frequency of intersentence pauses). These independent variables were obtained from digitized recordings of deaf children's imitations of 11 simple sentences. The dependent measure was the percentage of spoken words from the 36 McGarr Sentences understood by groups of naive listeners. The two predictive methods were trained on speech measures obtained from 123 out of 164 8- and 9-year-old deaf children who used cochlear implants. Then, predictions were obtained using speech measures from the remaining 41 children. Preliminary results indicate that multiple linear regression is a better predictor of intelligibility than the neural net, accounting for 79% as opposed to 65% of the variance in the data. [Work supported by NIH.

  1. Speech intelligibility in the community mosques of Dhaka City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najmul Imam, Sheikh Muhammad

    2002-11-01

    A mosque facilitates a Muslim community through different religious activities like congregational prayers, recitation and theological education. Speech in a mosque usually generates through bare voice though sound amplification system is also applied. Since no musical instrument is used in any liturgy, a mosque involves only speech acoustics. The community mosques of Dhaka city, the densely populated capital of Bangladesh, are usually designed and constructed by common people inspired from religious virtues. Seeking consultancy for acoustical design is almost never done. As an obvious consequence, there is a common crisis of speech intelligibility in different mosques, except those saved for their smaller volume and other parameters generated by chance. In a very few cases, a trial and error method is applied to solve the problem. But in most of the cases, the problem remains unsolved, putting the devotees in endless sufferings. This paper identifies the type and magnitudes of the prevailing crisis of speech intelligibility of these community mosques through instrumental measurements and questionnaire survey. This paper is also intended to establish certain research rationale and hypothesis for further research, which will propose certain parameters in acoustical design for mosques of Dhaka city in particular and of Bangladesh in general.

  2. Søren Buus' contribution to speech intelligibility prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müsch, Hannes; Florentine, Mary

    2005-04-01

    In addition to his work in psychoacoustics, Søren Buus also contributed to the field of speech intelligibility prediction by developing a model that predicts the results of speech recognition tests [H. Müsch and S. Buus, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 109, 2896-2909 (2001)]. The model was successful in test conditions that are outside the scope of the Articulation Index. It builds on Green and Birdsall's concept of describing a speech recognition task as selecting one of several response alternatives [in D. Green and J. Swets, Signal Detection Theory (1966), pp. 609-619], and on Durlach et al.'s model for discriminating broadband sounds [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 80, 63-72 (1986)]. Experimental evidence suggests that listeners can extract redundant, independent, or synergistic information from spectrally distinct speech bands. One of the main accomplishments of the model is to reflect this ability. The model also provides for a measure of linguistic entropy to enter the intelligibility prediction. Recent model development has focused on investigating whether this measure, the cognitive noise, can account for the effects of semantic and syntactic context. This presentation will review the model and present new model predictions. [Work supported by NIH grant R01DC00187.

  3. Effects of Instantaneous Multiband Dynamic Compression on Speech Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzke, Tobias; Hohmann, Volker

    2005-12-01

    The recruitment phenomenon, that is, the reduced dynamic range between threshold and uncomfortable level, is attributed to the loss of instantaneous dynamic compression on the basilar membrane. Despite this, hearing aids commonly use slow-acting dynamic compression for its compensation, because this was found to be the most successful strategy in terms of speech quality and intelligibility rehabilitation. Former attempts to use fast-acting compression gave ambiguous results, raising the question as to whether auditory-based recruitment compensation by instantaneous compression is in principle applicable in hearing aids. This study thus investigates instantaneous multiband dynamic compression based on an auditory filterbank. Instantaneous envelope compression is performed in each frequency band of a gammatone filterbank, which provides a combination of time and frequency resolution comparable to the normal healthy cochlea. The gain characteristics used for dynamic compression are deduced from categorical loudness scaling. In speech intelligibility tests, the instantaneous dynamic compression scheme was compared against a linear amplification scheme, which used the same filterbank for frequency analysis, but employed constant gain factors that restored the sound level for medium perceived loudness in each frequency band. In subjective comparisons, five of nine subjects preferred the linear amplification scheme and would not accept the instantaneous dynamic compression in hearing aids. Four of nine subjects did not perceive any quality differences. A sentence intelligibility test in noise (Oldenburg sentence test) showed little to no negative effects of the instantaneous dynamic compression, compared to linear amplification. A word intelligibility test in quiet (one-syllable rhyme test) showed that the subjects benefit from the larger amplification at low levels provided by instantaneous dynamic compression. Further analysis showed that the increase in intelligibility

  4. Comparing the information conveyed by envelope modulation for speech intelligibility, speech quality, and music quality.

    PubMed

    Kates, James M; Arehart, Kathryn H

    2015-10-01

    This paper uses mutual information to quantify the relationship between envelope modulation fidelity and perceptual responses. Data from several previous experiments that measured speech intelligibility, speech quality, and music quality are evaluated for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. A model of the auditory periphery is used to generate envelope signals, and envelope modulation fidelity is calculated using the normalized cross-covariance of the degraded signal envelope with that of a reference signal. Two procedures are used to describe the envelope modulation: (1) modulation within each auditory frequency band and (2) spectro-temporal processing that analyzes the modulation of spectral ripple components fit to successive short-time spectra. The results indicate that low modulation rates provide the highest information for intelligibility, while high modulation rates provide the highest information for speech and music quality. The low-to-mid auditory frequencies are most important for intelligibility, while mid frequencies are most important for speech quality and high frequencies are most important for music quality. Differences between the spectral ripple components used for the spectro-temporal analysis were not significant in five of the six experimental conditions evaluated. The results indicate that different modulation-rate and auditory-frequency weights may be appropriate for indices designed to predict different types of perceptual relationships. PMID:26520329

  5. An Alternative to the Computational Speech Intelligibility Index Estimates: Direct Measurement of Rectangular Passband Intelligibilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warren, Richard M.; Bashford, James A., Jr.; Lenz, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    The need for determining the relative intelligibility of passbands spanning the speech spectrum has been addressed by publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). When the Articulation Index (AI) standard (ANSI, S3.5, 1969, R1986) was developed, available filters confounded passband and slope contributions. The AI procedure…

  6. Preschool Speech Intelligibility and Vocabulary Skills Predict Long-Term Speech and Language Outcomes Following Cochlear Implantation in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G.; Beer, Jessica; Henning, Shirley C.; Colson, Bethany G.; Pisoni, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Speech and language measures during grade school predict adolescent speech-language outcomes in children who receive cochlear implants, but no research has examined whether speech and language functioning at even younger ages is predictive of long-term outcomes in this population. The purpose of this study was to examine if early preschool measures of speech and language performance predict speech-language functioning in long-term users of cochlear implants. Early measures of speech intelligibility and receptive vocabulary (obtained during preschool ages of 3 – 6 years) in a sample of 35 prelingually deaf, early-implanted children predicted speech perception, language, and verbal working memory skills up to 18 years later. Age of onset of deafness and age at implantation added additional variance to preschool speech intelligibility in predicting some long-term outcome scores, but the relationship between preschool speech-language skills and later speech-language outcomes was not significantly attenuated by the addition of these hearing history variables. These findings suggest that speech and language development during the preschool years is predictive of long-term speech and language functioning in early-implanted, prelingually deaf children. As a result, measures of speech-language functioning at preschool ages can be used to identify and adjust interventions for very young CI users who may be at long-term risk for suboptimal speech and language outcomes. PMID:23998347

  7. Preschool speech intelligibility and vocabulary skills predict long-term speech and language outcomes following cochlear implantation in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Beer, Jessica; Henning, Shirley C; Colson, Bethany G; Pisoni, David B

    2014-07-01

    Speech and language measures during grade school predict adolescent speech-language outcomes in children who receive cochlear implants (CIs), but no research has examined whether speech and language functioning at even younger ages is predictive of long-term outcomes in this population. The purpose of this study was to examine whether early preschool measures of speech and language performance predict speech-language functioning in long-term users of CIs. Early measures of speech intelligibility and receptive vocabulary (obtained during preschool ages of 3-6 years) in a sample of 35 prelingually deaf, early-implanted children predicted speech perception, language, and verbal working memory skills up to 18 years later. Age of onset of deafness and age at implantation added additional variance to preschool speech intelligibility in predicting some long-term outcome scores, but the relationship between preschool speech-language skills and later speech-language outcomes was not significantly attenuated by the addition of these hearing history variables. These findings suggest that speech and language development during the preschool years is predictive of long-term speech and language functioning in early-implanted, prelingually deaf children. As a result, measures of speech-language functioning at preschool ages can be used to identify and adjust interventions for very young CI users who may be at long-term risk for suboptimal speech and language outcomes. PMID:23998347

  8. Evaluation of adult aphasics with the Pediatric Speech Intelligibility test.

    PubMed

    Jerger, S; Oliver, T A; Martin, R C

    1990-04-01

    Results of conventional adult speech audiometry may be compromised by the presence of speech/language disorders, such as aphasia. The purpose of this project was to determine the efficacy of the speech intelligibility materials and techniques developed for young children in evaluating central auditory function in aphasic adults. Eight adult aphasics were evaluated with the Pediatric Speech Intelligibility (PSI) test, a picture-pointing approach that was carefully developed to be relatively insensitive to linguistic-cognitive skills and relatively sensitive to auditory-perceptual function. Results on message-to-competition ratio (MCR) functions or performance-intensity (PI) functions were abnormal in all subjects. Most subjects served as their own controls, showing normal performance on one ear coupled with abnormal performance on the other ear. The patterns of abnormalities were consistent with the patterns seen (1) on conventional speech audiometry in brain-lesioned adults without aphasia and (2) on the PSI test in brain-lesioned children without aphasia. An exception to this general observation was an atypical pattern of abnormality on PI-function testing in the subgroup of nonfluent aphasics. The nonfluent subjects showed substantially poorer word-max scores than sentence-max scores, a pattern seen previously in only one other patient group, namely young children with recurrent otitis media. The unusually depressed word-max abnormality was not meaningfully related to clinical diagnostic data regarding the degree of hearing loss and the location and severity of the lesions or to experimental data regarding the integrity of phonologic processing abilities. The observations of ear-specific and condition-specific abnormalities suggest that the linguistically- and cognitively-simplified PSI test may be useful in the evaluation of auditory-specific deficits in the aphasic adult. PMID:2132591

  9. Using the Speech Transmission Index for predicting non-native speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wijngaarden, Sander J.; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.; Houtgast, Tammo; Steeneken, Herman J. M.

    2004-03-01

    While the Speech Transmission Index (STI) is widely applied for prediction of speech intelligibility in room acoustics and telecommunication engineering, it is unclear how to interpret STI values when non-native talkers or listeners are involved. Based on subjectively measured psychometric functions for sentence intelligibility in noise, for populations of native and non-native communicators, a correction function for the interpretation of the STI is derived. This function is applied to determine the appropriate STI ranges with qualification labels (``bad''-``excellent''), for specific populations of non-natives. The correction function is derived by relating the non-native psychometric function to the native psychometric function by a single parameter (ν). For listeners, the ν parameter is found to be highly correlated with linguistic entropy. It is shown that the proposed correction function is also valid for conditions featuring bandwidth limiting and reverberation.

  10. How broadband speech may avoid neural firing rate saturation at high intensities and maintain intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Bashford, James A.; Warren, Richard M.; Lenz, Peter W.

    2015-01-01

    Three experiments examined the intelligibility enhancement produced when noise bands flank high intensity rectangular band speech. When white noise flankers were added to the speech individually at a low spectrum level (−30 dB relative to the speech) only the higher frequency flanker produced a significant intelligibility increase (i.e., recovery from intelligibility rollover). However, the lower-frequency flanking noise did produce an equivalent intelligibility increase when its spectrum level was increased by 10 dB. This asymmetrical intensity requirement, and other results, support previous suggestions that intelligibility loss at high intensities is reduced by lateral inhibition in the cochlear nuclei. PMID:25920887

  11. Traffic noise annoyance and speech intelligibility in persons with normal and persons with impaired hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aniansson, G.; Björkman, M.

    1983-05-01

    Annoyance ratings in speech intelligibility tests at 45 dB(A) and 55 dB(A) traffic noise were investigated in a laboratory study. Subjects were chosen according to their hearing acuity to be representative of 70-year-old men and women, and of noise-induced hearing losses typical for a great number of industrial workers. These groups were compared with normal hearing subjects of the same sex and, when possible, the same age. The subjects rated their annoyance on an open 100 mm scale. Significant correlations were found between annoyance expressed in millimetres and speech intelligibility in percent when all subjects were taken as one sample. Speech intelligibility was also calculated from physical measurements of speech and noise by using the articulation index method. Observed and calculated speech intelligibility scores are compared and discussed. Also treated is the estimation of annoyance by traffic noise at moderate noise levels via speech intelligibility scores.

  12. Formant trajectory characteristics in speakers with dysarthria and homogeneous speech intelligibility scores: Further data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yunjung; Weismer, Gary; Kent, Ray D.

    2005-09-01

    In previous work [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 2605 (2005)], we reported on formant trajectory characteristics of a relatively large number of speakers with dysarthria and near-normal speech intelligibility. The purpose of that analysis was to begin a documentation of the variability, within relatively homogeneous speech-severity groups, of acoustic measures commonly used to predict across-speaker variation in speech intelligibility. In that study we found that even with near-normal speech intelligibility (90%-100%), many speakers had reduced formant slopes for some words and distributional characteristics of acoustic measures that were different than values obtained from normal speakers. In the current report we extend those findings to a group of speakers with dysarthria with somewhat poorer speech intelligibility than the original group. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of certain acoustic measures as indices of speech intelligibility, and as explanatory data for theories of dysarthria. [Work supported by NIH Award R01 DC00319.

  13. Evaluation of the importance of time-frequency contributions to speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chengzhu; Wójcicki, Kamil K; Loizou, Philipos C; Hansen, John H L; Johnson, Michael T

    2014-05-01

    Recent studies on binary masking techniques make the assumption that each time-frequency (T-F) unit contributes an equal amount to the overall intelligibility of speech. The present study demonstrated that the importance of each T-F unit to speech intelligibility varies in accordance with speech content. Specifically, T-F units are categorized into two classes, speech-present T-F units and speech-absent T-F units. Results indicate that the importance of each speech-present T-F unit to speech intelligibility is highly related to the loudness of its target component, while the importance of each speech-absent T-F unit varies according to the loudness of its masker component. Two types of mask errors are also considered, which include miss and false alarm errors. Consistent with previous work, false alarm errors are shown to be more harmful to speech intelligibility than miss errors when the mixture signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is below 0 dB. However, the relative importance between the two types of error is conditioned on the SNR level of the input speech signal. Based on these observations, a mask-based objective measure, the loudness weighted hit-false, is proposed for predicting speech intelligibility. The proposed objective measure shows significantly higher correlation with intelligibility compared to two existing mask-based objective measures. PMID:24815280

  14. Working memory and intelligibility of hearing-aid processed speech

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Pamela E.; Arehart, Kathryn H.; Shen, Jing; Anderson, Melinda; Kates, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874

  15. Working memory and intelligibility of hearing-aid processed speech.

    PubMed

    Souza, Pamela E; Arehart, Kathryn H; Shen, Jing; Anderson, Melinda; Kates, James M

    2015-01-01

    Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874

  16. Evaluating the role of spectral and envelope characteristics in the intelligibility advantage of clear speech

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Jean C.; Braida, Louis D.

    2009-01-01

    In adverse listening conditions, talkers can increase their intelligibility by speaking clearly [Picheny, M.A., et al. (1985). J. Speech Hear. Res. 28, 96–103; Payton, K. L., et al. (1994). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 1581–1592]. This modified speaking style, known as clear speech, is typically spoken more slowly than conversational speech [Picheny, M. A., et al. (1986). J. Speech Hear. Res. 29, 434–446; Uchanski, R. M., et al. (1996). J. Speech Hear. Res. 39, 494–509]. However, talkers can produce clear speech at normal rates (clear∕normal speech) with training [Krause, J. C., and Braida, L. D. (2002). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 112, 2165–2172] suggesting that clear speech has some inherent acoustic properties, independent of rate, that contribute to its improved intelligibility. Identifying these acoustic properties could lead to improved signal processing schemes for hearing aids. Two global-level properties of clear∕normal speech that appear likely to be associated with improved intelligibility are increased energy in the 1000–3000-Hz range of long-term spectra and increased modulation depth of low-frequency modulations of the intensity envelope [Krause, J. C., and Braida, L. D. (2004). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115, 362–378]. In an attempt to isolate the contributions of these two properties to intelligibility, signal processing transformations were developed to manipulate each of these aspects of conversational speech independently. Results of intelligibility testing with hearing-impaired listeners and normal-hearing listeners in noise suggest that (1) increasing energy between 1000 and 3000 Hz does not fully account for the intelligibility benefit of clear∕normal speech, and (2) simple filtering of the intensity envelope is generally detrimental to intelligibility. While other manipulations of the intensity envelope are required to determine conclusively the role of this factor in intelligibility, it is also likely that additional properties important for

  17. Quantifying the intelligibility of speech in noise for non-native talkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wijngaarden, Sander J.; Steeneken, Herman J. M.; Houtgast, Tammo

    2002-12-01

    The intelligibility of speech pronounced by non-native talkers is generally lower than speech pronounced by native talkers, especially under adverse conditions, such as high levels of background noise. The effect of foreign accent on speech intelligibility was investigated quantitatively through a series of experiments involving voices of 15 talkers, differing in language background, age of second-language (L2) acquisition and experience with the target language (Dutch). Overall speech intelligibility of L2 talkers in noise is predicted with a reasonable accuracy from accent ratings by native listeners, as well as from the self-ratings for proficiency of L2 talkers. For non-native speech, unlike native speech, the intelligibility of short messages (sentences) cannot be fully predicted by phoneme-based intelligibility tests. Although incorrect recognition of specific phonemes certainly occurs as a result of foreign accent, the effect of reduced phoneme recognition on the intelligibility of sentences may range from severe to virtually absent, depending on (for instance) the speech-to-noise ratio. Objective acoustic-phonetic analyses of accented speech were also carried out, but satisfactory overall predictions of speech intelligibility could not be obtained with relatively simple acoustic-phonetic measures.

  18. Effects of Audio-Visual Information on the Intelligibility of Alaryngeal Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evitts, Paul M.; Portugal, Lindsay; Van Dine, Ami; Holler, Aline

    2010-01-01

    Background: There is minimal research on the contribution of visual information on speech intelligibility for individuals with a laryngectomy (IWL). Aims: The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of mode of presentation (audio-only, audio-visual) on alaryngeal speech intelligibility. Method: Twenty-three naive listeners were…

  19. Speech intelligibility of children with cochlear implants, tactile aids, or hearing aids.

    PubMed

    Osberger, M J; Maso, M; Sam, L K

    1993-02-01

    Speech intelligibility was measured in 31 children who used the 3M/House single-channel implant (n = 12), the Nucleus 22-Channel Cochlear Implant System (n = 15), or the Tactaid II + two-channel vibrotactile aid (n = 4). The subjects were divided into subgroups based on age at onset of deafness (early or late). The speech intelligibility of the experimental subjects was compared to that of children who were profoundly hearing impaired who used conventional hearing aids (n = 12) or no sensory aid (n = 2). The subjects with early onset of deafness who received their single- or multichannel cochlear implant before age 10 demonstrated the highest speech intelligibility, whereas subjects who did not receive their device until after age 10 had the poorest speech intelligibility. There was no obvious difference in the speech intelligibility scores of these subjects as a function of type of device (implant or tactile aid). On the average, the postimplant or tactile aid speech intelligibility of the subjects with early onset of deafness was similar to that of hearing aid users with hearing levels between 100 and 110 dB HL and limited hearing in the high frequencies. The speech intelligibility of subjects with late onset of deafness showed marked deterioration after the onset of deafness with relatively large improvements by most subjects after they received a single- or multichannel implant. The one subject with late onset of deafness who used a tactile aid showed no improvement in speech intelligibility. PMID:8450658

  20. Speech Intelligibility of Children with Cochlear Implants, Tactile, or Hearing Aids.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osberger, Mary Joe; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This study found that children with early onset of deafness who received single-channel or multichannel cochlear implants before age 10 demonstrated higher speech intelligibility than children receiving their device after age 10. There was no obvious difference in speech intelligibility scores as a function of type of device (implant or tactile…

  1. The Relationship between Measures of Hearing Loss and Speech Intelligibility in Young Deaf Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musselman, Carol Reich

    1990-01-01

    This study of 121 young deaf children identified 3 distinct groups: children with losses of 70-89 decibels developed some intelligible speech, children with losses of 90-104 decibels exhibited considerable variability, and children with losses above 105 decibels developed little intelligible speech. The unaided hearing threshold level was the best…

  2. Speech-in-noise enhancement using amplification and dynamic range compression controlled by the speech intelligibility index.

    PubMed

    Schepker, Henning; Rennies, Jan; Doclo, Simon

    2015-11-01

    In many speech communication applications, such as public address systems, speech is degraded by additive noise, leading to reduced speech intelligibility. In this paper a pre-processing algorithm is proposed that is capable of increasing speech intelligibility under an equal-power constraint. The proposed AdaptDRC algorithm comprises two time- and frequency-dependent stages, i.e., an amplification stage and a dynamic range compression stage that are both dependent on the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII). Experiments using two objective measures, namely, the extended SII and the short-time objective intelligibility measure (STOI), and a formal listening test were conducted to compare the AdaptDRC algorithm with a modified version of a recently proposed algorithm in three different noise conditions (stationary car noise and speech-shaped noise and non-stationary cafeteria noise). While the objective measures indicate a similar performance for both algorithms, results from the formal listening test indicate that for the two stationary noises both algorithms lead to statistically significant improvements in speech intelligibility and for the non-stationary cafeteria noise only the proposed AdaptDRC algorithm leads to statistically significant improvements. A comparison of both objective measures and results from the listening test shows high correlations, although, in general, the performance of both algorithms is overestimated. PMID:26627746

  3. Minimal Pair Distinctions and Intelligibility in Preschool Children with and without Speech Sound Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Megan M.; Gotzke, Carrie L.

    2011-01-01

    Listeners' identification of young children's productions of minimally contrastive words and predictive relationships between accurately identified words and intelligibility scores obtained from a 100-word spontaneous speech sample were determined for 36 children with typically developing speech (TDS) and 36 children with speech sound disorders…

  4. Speech intelligibility and speech quality of modified loudspeaker announcements examined in a simulated aircraft cabin.

    PubMed

    Pennig, Sibylle; Quehl, Julia; Wittkowski, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic modifications of loudspeaker announcements were investigated in a simulated aircraft cabin to improve passengers' speech intelligibility and quality of communication in this specific setting. Four experiments with 278 participants in total were conducted in an acoustic laboratory using a standardised speech test and subjective rating scales. In experiments 1 and 2 the sound pressure level (SPL) of the announcements was varied (ranging from 70 to 85 dB(A)). Experiments 3 and 4 focused on frequency modification (octave bands) of the announcements. All studies used a background noise with the same SPL (74 dB(A)), but recorded at different seat positions in the aircraft cabin (front, rear). The results quantify speech intelligibility improvements with increasing signal-to-noise ratio and amplification of particular octave bands, especially the 2 kHz and the 4 kHz band. Thus, loudspeaker power in an aircraft cabin can be reduced by using appropriate filter settings in the loudspeaker system. PMID:25183056

  5. Speech intelligibility in free field: Spatial unmasking in preschool children

    PubMed Central

    Garadat, Soha N.; Litovsky, Ruth Y.

    2009-01-01

    This study introduces a new test (CRISP-Jr.) for measuring speech intelligibility and spatial release from masking (SRM) in young children ages 2.5–4 years. Study 1 examined whether thresholds, masking, and SRM obtained with a test designed for older children (CRISP) and CRISP-Jr. are comparable in 4 to 5-year-old children. Thresholds were measured for target speech in front, in quiet, and with a different-sex masker either in front or on the right. CRISP-Jr. yielded higher speech reception thresholds (SRTs) than CRISP, but the amount of masking and SRM did not differ across the tests. In study 2, CRISP-Jr. was extended to a group of 3-year-old children. Results showed that while SRTs were higher in the younger group, there were no age differences in masking and SRM. These findings indicate that children as young as 3 years old are able to use spatial cues in sound source segregation, which suggests that some of the auditory mechanisms that mediate this ability develop early in life. In addition, the findings suggest that measures of SRM in young children are not limited to a particular set of stimuli. These tests have potentially useful applications in clinical settings, where bilateral fittings of amplification devices are evaluated. PMID:17348527

  6. The relationship of speech intelligibility with hearing sensitivity, cognition, and perceived hearing difficulties varies for different speech perception tests.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Antje; Henshaw, Helen; Ferguson, Melanie A

    2015-01-01

    Listeners vary in their ability to understand speech in noisy environments. Hearing sensitivity, as measured by pure-tone audiometry, can only partly explain these results, and cognition has emerged as another key concept. Although cognition relates to speech perception, the exact nature of the relationship remains to be fully understood. This study investigates how different aspects of cognition, particularly working memory and attention, relate to speech intelligibility for various tests. Perceptual accuracy of speech perception represents just one aspect of functioning in a listening environment. Activity and participation limits imposed by hearing loss, in addition to the demands of a listening environment, are also important and may be better captured by self-report questionnaires. Understanding how speech perception relates to self-reported aspects of listening forms the second focus of the study. Forty-four listeners aged between 50 and 74 years with mild sensorineural hearing loss were tested on speech perception tests differing in complexity from low (phoneme discrimination in quiet), to medium (digit triplet perception in speech-shaped noise) to high (sentence perception in modulated noise); cognitive tests of attention, memory, and non-verbal intelligence quotient; and self-report questionnaires of general health-related and hearing-specific quality of life. Hearing sensitivity and cognition related to intelligibility differently depending on the speech test: neither was important for phoneme discrimination, hearing sensitivity alone was important for digit triplet perception, and hearing and cognition together played a role in sentence perception. Self-reported aspects of auditory functioning were correlated with speech intelligibility to different degrees, with digit triplets in noise showing the richest pattern. The results suggest that intelligibility tests can vary in their auditory and cognitive demands and their sensitivity to the challenges that

  7. The relationship of speech intelligibility with hearing sensitivity, cognition, and perceived hearing difficulties varies for different speech perception tests

    PubMed Central

    Heinrich, Antje; Henshaw, Helen; Ferguson, Melanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Listeners vary in their ability to understand speech in noisy environments. Hearing sensitivity, as measured by pure-tone audiometry, can only partly explain these results, and cognition has emerged as another key concept. Although cognition relates to speech perception, the exact nature of the relationship remains to be fully understood. This study investigates how different aspects of cognition, particularly working memory and attention, relate to speech intelligibility for various tests. Perceptual accuracy of speech perception represents just one aspect of functioning in a listening environment. Activity and participation limits imposed by hearing loss, in addition to the demands of a listening environment, are also important and may be better captured by self-report questionnaires. Understanding how speech perception relates to self-reported aspects of listening forms the second focus of the study. Forty-four listeners aged between 50 and 74 years with mild sensorineural hearing loss were tested on speech perception tests differing in complexity from low (phoneme discrimination in quiet), to medium (digit triplet perception in speech-shaped noise) to high (sentence perception in modulated noise); cognitive tests of attention, memory, and non-verbal intelligence quotient; and self-report questionnaires of general health-related and hearing-specific quality of life. Hearing sensitivity and cognition related to intelligibility differently depending on the speech test: neither was important for phoneme discrimination, hearing sensitivity alone was important for digit triplet perception, and hearing and cognition together played a role in sentence perception. Self-reported aspects of auditory functioning were correlated with speech intelligibility to different degrees, with digit triplets in noise showing the richest pattern. The results suggest that intelligibility tests can vary in their auditory and cognitive demands and their sensitivity to the challenges that

  8. Quantifying the intelligibility of speech in noise for non-native listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wijngaarden, Sander J.; Steeneken, Herman J. M.; Houtgast, Tammo

    2002-04-01

    When listening to languages learned at a later age, speech intelligibility is generally lower than when listening to one's native language. The main purpose of this study is to quantify speech intelligibility in noise for specific populations of non-native listeners, only broadly addressing the underlying perceptual and linguistic processing. An easy method is sought to extend these quantitative findings to other listener populations. Dutch subjects listening to Germans and English speech, ranging from reasonable to excellent proficiency in these languages, were found to require a 1-7 dB better speech-to-noise ratio to obtain 50% sentence intelligibility than native listeners. Also, the psychometric function for sentence recognition in noise was found to be shallower for non-native than for native listeners (worst-case slope around the 50% point of 7.5%/dB, compared to 12.6%/dB for native listeners). Differences between native and non-native speech intelligibility are largely predicted by linguistic entropy estimates as derived from a letter guessing task. Less effective use of context effects (especially semantic redundancy) explains the reduced speech intelligibility for non-native listeners. While measuring speech intelligibility for many different populations of listeners (languages, linguistic experience) may be prohibitively time consuming, obtaining predictions of non-native intelligibility from linguistic entropy may help to extend the results of this study to other listener populations.

  9. Is the Speech Transmission Index (STI) a robust measure of sound system speech intelligibility performance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapp, Peter

    2002-11-01

    Although RaSTI is a good indicator of the speech intelligibility capability of auditoria and similar spaces, during the past 2-3 years it has been shown that RaSTI is not a robust predictor of sound system intelligibility performance. Instead, it is now recommended, within both national and international codes and standards, that full STI measurement and analysis be employed. However, new research is reported, that indicates that STI is not as flawless, nor robust as many believe. The paper highlights a number of potential error mechanisms. It is shown that the measurement technique and signal excitation stimulus can have a significant effect on the overall result and accuracy, particularly where DSP-based equipment is employed. It is also shown that in its current state of development, STI is not capable of appropriately accounting for a number of fundamental speech and system attributes, including typical sound system frequency response variations and anomalies. This is particularly shown to be the case when a system is operating under reverberant conditions. Comparisons between actual system measurements and corresponding word score data are reported where errors of up to 50 implications for VA and PA system performance verification will be discussed.

  10. Investigation of in-vehicle speech intelligibility metrics for normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samardzic, Nikolina

    The effectiveness of in-vehicle speech communication can be a good indicator of the perception of the overall vehicle quality and customer satisfaction. Currently available speech intelligibility metrics do not account in their procedures for essential parameters needed for a complete and accurate evaluation of in-vehicle speech intelligibility. These include the directivity and the distance of the talker with respect to the listener, binaural listening, hearing profile of the listener, vocal effort, and multisensory hearing. In the first part of this research the effectiveness of in-vehicle application of these metrics is investigated in a series of studies to reveal their shortcomings, including a wide range of scores resulting from each of the metrics for a given measurement configuration and vehicle operating condition. In addition, the nature of a possible correlation between the scores obtained from each metric is unknown. The metrics and the subjective perception of speech intelligibility using, for example, the same speech material have not been compared in literature. As a result, in the second part of this research, an alternative method for speech intelligibility evaluation is proposed for use in the automotive industry by utilizing a virtual reality driving environment for ultimately setting targets, including the associated statistical variability, for future in-vehicle speech intelligibility evaluation. The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) was evaluated at the sentence Speech Receptions Threshold (sSRT) for various listening situations and hearing profiles using acoustic perception jury testing and a variety of talker and listener configurations and background noise. In addition, the effect of individual sources and transfer paths of sound in an operating vehicle to the vehicle interior sound, specifically their effect on speech intelligibility was quantified, in the framework of the newly developed speech intelligibility evaluation method. Lastly

  11. Effect of Whole-Body Vibration on Speech. Part 2; Effect on Intelligibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    2011-01-01

    The effect on speech intelligibility was measured for speech where talkers reading Diagnostic Rhyme Test material were exposed to 0.7 g whole body vibration to simulate space vehicle launch. Across all talkers, the effect of vibration was to degrade the percentage of correctly transcribed words from 83% to 74%. The magnitude of the effect of vibration on speech communication varies between individuals, for both talkers and listeners. A worst case scenario for intelligibility would be the most sensitive listener hearing the most sensitive talker; one participant s intelligibility was reduced by 26% (97% to 71%) for one of the talkers.

  12. Predicting speech intelligibility in noise for hearing-critical jobs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soli, Sigfrid D.; Laroche, Chantal; Giguere, Christian

    2003-10-01

    Many jobs require auditory abilities such as speech communication, sound localization, and sound detection. An employee for whom these abilities are impaired may constitute a safety risk for himself or herself, for fellow workers, and possibly for the general public. A number of methods have been used to predict these abilities from diagnostic measures of hearing (e.g., the pure-tone audiogram); however, these methods have not proved to be sufficiently accurate for predicting performance in the noise environments where hearing-critical jobs are performed. We have taken an alternative and potentially more accurate approach. A direct measure of speech intelligibility in noise, the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT), is instead used to screen individuals. The screening criteria are validated by establishing the empirical relationship between the HINT score and the auditory abilities of the individual, as measured in laboratory recreations of real-world workplace noise environments. The psychometric properties of the HINT enable screening of individuals with an acceptable amount of error. In this presentation, we will describe the predictive model and report the results of field measurements and laboratory studies used to provide empirical validation of the model. [Work supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

  13. Effects of Adaptation Rate and Noise Suppression on the Intelligibility of Compressed-Envelope Based Speech

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Ying-Hui; Tsao, Yu; Chen, Fei

    2015-01-01

    Temporal envelope is the primary acoustic cue used in most cochlear implant (CI) speech processors to elicit speech perception for patients fitted with CI devices. Envelope compression narrows down envelope dynamic range and accordingly degrades speech understanding abilities of CI users, especially under challenging listening conditions (e.g., in noise). A new adaptive envelope compression (AEC) strategy was proposed recently, which in contrast to the traditional static envelope compression, is effective at enhancing the modulation depth of envelope waveform by making best use of its dynamic range and thus improving the intelligibility of envelope-based speech. The present study further explored the effect of adaptation rate in envelope compression on the intelligibility of compressed-envelope based speech. Moreover, since noise reduction is another essential unit in modern CI systems, the compatibility of AEC and noise reduction was also investigated. In this study, listening experiments were carried out by presenting vocoded sentences to normal hearing listeners for recognition. Experimental results demonstrated that the adaptation rate in envelope compression had a notable effect on the speech intelligibility performance of the AEC strategy. By specifying a suitable adaptation rate, speech intelligibility could be enhanced significantly in noise compared to when using static envelope compression. Moreover, results confirmed that the AEC strategy was suitable for combining with noise reduction to improve the intelligibility of envelope-based speech in noise. PMID:26196508

  14. Evaluating the benefit of recorded early reflections from a classroom for speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Jeffery B.

    Recent standards for classrooms acoustics recommend achieving low levels of reverberation to provide suitable conditions for speech communication (ANSI, 2002; ASHA, 1995). Another viewpoint recommends optimizing classroom acoustics to emphasize early reflections and reduce later arriving reflections (Boothroyd, 2004; Bradley, Sato, & Picard, 2003). The idea of emphasizing early reflections is based in the useful-to-detrimental ratio (UDR) model of speech intelligibility in rooms (Lochner & Burger, 1964). The UDR model predicts that listeners integrate energy from early reflections to improve the signal-to-noise (SNR) of the direct speech signal. However, both early and more recent studies of early reflections and speech intelligibility have used simulated reflections that may not accurately represent the effects of real early reflections on the speech intelligibility of listeners. Is speech intelligibility performance enhanced by the presence of real early reflections in noisy classroom environments? The effect of actual early reflections on speech intelligibility was evaluated by recording a binaural impulse response (BRIR) with a K.E.M.A.R. in a college classroom. From the BRIR, five listening conditions were created with varying amounts of early reflections. Young-adult listeners with normal hearing participated in a fixed SNR word intelligibility task and a variable SNR task to test if speech intelligibility was improved in competing noise when recorded early reflections were present as compared to direct speech alone. Mean speech intelligibility performance gains or SNR benefits were not observed with recorded early reflections. When simulated early reflections were included, improved speech understanding was observed for simulated reflections but for with real reflections. Spectral, temporal, and phonemic analyses were performed to investigate acoustic differences in recorded and simulated reflections. Spectral distortions in the recorded reflections may have

  15. Speech Intelligibility in Deaf Children After Long-Term Cochlear Implant Use

    PubMed Central

    Montag, Jessica L.; AuBuchon, Angela M.; Pisoni, David B.; Kronenberger, William G.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study investigated long-term speech intelligibility outcomes in 63 prelingually deaf children, adolescents, and young adults who received cochlear implants (CIs) before age 7 (M = 2;11 [years;months], range = 0;8–6;3) and used their implants for at least 7 years (M = 12;1, range = 7;0–22;5). Method Speech intelligibility was assessed using playback methods with naïve, normal-hearing listeners. Results Mean intelligibility scores were lower than scores obtained from an age- and nonverbal IQ–matched, normal-hearing control sample, although the majority of CI users scored within the range of the control sample. Our sample allowed us to investigate the contribution of several demographic and cognitive factors to speech intelligibility. CI users who used their implant for longer periods of time exhibited poorer speech intelligibility scores. Crucially, results from a hierarchical regression model suggested that this difference was due to more conservative candidacy criteria in CI users with more years of use. No other demographic variables accounted for significant variance in speech intelligibility scores beyond age of implantation and amount of spoken language experience (assessed by communication mode and family income measures). Conclusion Many factors that have been found to contribute to individual differences in language outcomes in normal-hearing children also contribute to long-term CI users’ ability to produce intelligible speech. PMID:25260109

  16. Comparing the single-word intelligibility of two speech synthesizers for small computers

    SciTech Connect

    Cochran, P.S.

    1986-01-01

    Previous research on the intelligibility of synthesized speech has placed emphasis on the segmental intelligibility (rather than word or sentence intelligibility) of expensive and sophisticated synthesis systems. There is a need for more information about the intelligibility of low-to-moderately priced speech synthesizers because they are the most likely to be widely purchase for clinical and educational use. This study was to compare the word intelligibility of two such synthesizers for small computers, the Votrax Personal Speech System (PSS) and the Echo GP (General Purpose). A multiple-choice word identification task was used in a two-part study in which 48 young adults served as listeners. Groups of subjects in Part I completed one trial listening to taped natural speech followed by one trial with each synthesizer. Subjects in Part II listened to the taped human speech followed by two trials with the same synthesizer. Under the quiet listening conditions used for this study, taped human speech was 30% more intelligible than the Votrax PSS, and 53% more intelligible than the Echo GP.

  17. Speech Intelligibility of Pediatric Cochlear Implant Recipients With 7 Years of Device Experience

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Shu-Chen; Spencer, Linda J.; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Speech intelligibility of 24 prelingually deaf pediatric cochlear implant (CI) recipients with 84 months of device experience was investigated. Each CI participant's speech samples were judged by a panel of 3 listeners. Intelligibility scores were calculated as the average of the 3 listeners' responses. The average write-down intelligibility score was 71.54% (SD = 29.89), and the average rating-scale intelligibility score was 3.03 points (SD = 1.01). Write-down and rating-scale intelligibility scores were highly correlated (r = .91, p < .001). Linear regression analyses revealed that both age at implantation and different speech-coding strategies contribute to the variability of CI participants' speech intelligibility. Implantation at a younger age and the use of the spectral-peak speech-coding strategy yielded higher intelligibility scores than implantation at an older age and the use of the multipeak speech-coding strategy. These results serve as indices for clinical applications when long-term advancements in spoken-language development are considered for pediatric CI recipients. PMID:15842006

  18. Factors Contributing to the Developnent of Intelligible Speech among Prelingually Deaf Persons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sims, Donald G.; And Others

    1980-01-01

    A descriptive study of the incidence of semi-intelligible or better speech among 108 National Technical Institute for the Deaf students with congenital hearing loss greater than 91 decibels is presented. (Author/PHR)

  19. Microscopic prediction of speech intelligibility in spatially distributed speech-shaped noise for normal-hearing listeners.

    PubMed

    Geravanchizadeh, Masoud; Fallah, Ali

    2015-12-01

    A binaural and psychoacoustically motivated intelligibility model, based on a well-known monaural microscopic model is proposed. This model simulates a phoneme recognition task in the presence of spatially distributed speech-shaped noise in anechoic scenarios. In the proposed model, binaural advantage effects are considered by generating a feature vector for a dynamic-time-warping speech recognizer. This vector consists of three subvectors incorporating two monaural subvectors to model the better-ear hearing, and a binaural subvector to simulate the binaural unmasking effect. The binaural unit of the model is based on equalization-cancellation theory. This model operates blindly, which means separate recordings of speech and noise are not required for the predictions. Speech intelligibility tests were conducted with 12 normal hearing listeners by collecting speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in the presence of single and multiple sources of speech-shaped noise. The comparison of the model predictions with the measured binaural SRTs, and with the predictions of a macroscopic binaural model called extended equalization-cancellation, shows that this approach predicts the intelligibility in anechoic scenarios with good precision. The square of the correlation coefficient (r(2)) and the mean-absolute error between the model predictions and the measurements are 0.98 and 0.62 dB, respectively. PMID:26723354

  20. Methods of Improving Speech Intelligibility for Listeners with Hearing Resolution Deficit

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Methods developed for real-time time scale modification (TSM) of speech signal are presented. They are based on the non-uniform, speech rate depended SOLA algorithm (Synchronous Overlap and Add). Influence of the proposed method on the intelligibility of speech was investigated for two separate groups of listeners, i.e. hearing impaired children and elderly listeners. It was shown that for the speech with average rate equal to or higher than 6.48 vowels/s, all of the proposed methods have statistically significant impact on the improvement of speech intelligibility for hearing impaired children with reduced hearing resolution and one of the proposed methods significantly improves comprehension of speech in the group of elderly listeners with reduced hearing resolution. Virtual slides http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2065486371761991 PMID:23009662

  1. Proximate factors associated with speech intelligibility in children with cochlear implants: A preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Chin, Steven B; Kuhns, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this descriptive pilot study was to examine possible relationships among speech intelligibility and structural characteristics of speech in children who use cochlear implants. The Beginners Intelligibility Test (BIT) was administered to 10 children with cochlear implants, and the intelligibility of the words in the sentences was judged by panels of naïve adult listeners. Additionally, several qualitative and quantitative measures of word omission, segment correctness, duration, and intonation variability were applied to the sentences used to assess intelligibility. Correlational analyses were conducted to determine if BIT scores and the other speech parameters were related. There was a significant correlation between BIT score and percent words omitted, but no other variables correlated significantly with BIT score. The correlation between intelligibility and word omission may be task-specific as well as reflective of memory limitations. PMID:25000376

  2. Effects of Noise and Speech Intelligibility on Listener Comprehension and Processing Time of Korean-Accented English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Erin O'Brien; Spaulding, Tammie J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This study evaluated the effects of noise and speech intelligibility on the processing of speech produced from native English; high-intelligibility, Korean-accented English; and moderate-intelligibility, Korean-accented English speakers. Method: Both listener comprehension, determined by accuracy judgment on true/false sentences, and…

  3. Perceptual Measures of Speech from Individuals with Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis: Intelligibility and beyond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Joan E.; Tjaden, Kris

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to compare percent correct word and sentence intelligibility scores for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) with scaled estimates of speech severity obtained for a reading passage. Method: Speech samples for 78 talkers were judged, including 30 speakers with MS, 16…

  4. Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Vowel Intelligibility for Older Adults with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To establish the range of talker variability for vowel intelligibility in clear versus conversational speech for older adults with hearing loss and to determine whether talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for older adults with hearing loss. Method: Clear and conversational vowels…

  5. Intelligibility, Comprehensibility, and Accentedness of L2 Speech: The Role of Listener Experience and Semantic Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Sara; Trofimovich, Pavel

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated how listener experience (extent of previous exposure to non-native speech) and semantic context (degree and type of semantic information available) influence measures of intelligibility, comprehensibility, and accentedness of non-native (L2) speech. Participants were 24 native English-speaking listeners, half experienced…

  6. Effects of Loud and Amplified Speech on Sentence and Word Intelligibility in Parkinson Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neel, Amy T.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: In the two experiments in this study, the author examined the effects of increased vocal effort (loud speech) and amplification on sentence and word intelligibility in speakers with Parkinson disease (PD). Methods: Five talkers with PD produced sentences and words at habitual levels of effort and using loud speech techniques. Amplified…

  7. Intelligibility of Modified Speech for Young Listeners with Normal and Impaired Hearing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uchanski, Rosalie M.; Geers, Ann E.; Protopapas, Athanassios

    2002-01-01

    A study examined whether the benefits of modified speech could be extended to provide intelligibility improvements for eight children (ages 8-14) with severe-to-profound hearing impairments who wear sensory aids and five controls. All varieties of modified speech (envelope-amplified, slowed, and both) yielded either equivalent or poorer…

  8. Three Factors Are Critical in Order to Synthesize Intelligible Noise-Vocoded Japanese Speech.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Takuya; Nakajima, Yoshitaka; Ueda, Kazuo; Remijn, Gerard B

    2016-01-01

    Factor analysis (principal component analysis followed by varimax rotation) had shown that 3 common factors appear across 20 critical-band power fluctuations derived from spoken sentences of eight different languages [Ueda et al. (2010). Fechner Day 2010, Padua]. The present study investigated the contributions of such power-fluctuation factors to speech intelligibility. The method of factor analysis was modified to obtain factors suitable for resynthesizing speech sounds as 20-critical-band noise-vocoded speech. The resynthesized speech sounds were used for an intelligibility test. The modification of factor analysis ensured that the resynthesized speech sounds were not accompanied by a steady background noise caused by the data reduction procedure. Spoken sentences of British English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese were subjected to this modified analysis. Confirming the earlier analysis, indeed 3-4 factors were common to these languages. The number of power-fluctuation factors needed to make noise-vocoded speech intelligible was then examined. Critical-band power fluctuations of the Japanese spoken sentences were resynthesized from the obtained factors, resulting in noise-vocoded-speech stimuli, and the intelligibility of these speech stimuli was tested by 12 native Japanese speakers. Japanese mora (syllable-like phonological unit) identification performances were measured when the number of factors was 1-9. Statistically significant improvement in intelligibility was observed when the number of factors was increased stepwise up to 6. The 12 listeners identified 92.1% of the morae correctly on average in the 6-factor condition. The intelligibility improved sharply when the number of factors changed from 2 to 3. In this step, the cumulative contribution ratio of factors improved only by 10.6%, from 37.3 to 47.9%, but the average mora identification leaped from 6.9 to 69.2%. The results indicated that, if the number of factors is 3 or more, elementary linguistic

  9. Three Factors Are Critical in Order to Synthesize Intelligible Noise-Vocoded Japanese Speech

    PubMed Central

    Kishida, Takuya; Nakajima, Yoshitaka; Ueda, Kazuo; Remijn, Gerard B.

    2016-01-01

    Factor analysis (principal component analysis followed by varimax rotation) had shown that 3 common factors appear across 20 critical-band power fluctuations derived from spoken sentences of eight different languages [Ueda et al. (2010). Fechner Day 2010, Padua]. The present study investigated the contributions of such power-fluctuation factors to speech intelligibility. The method of factor analysis was modified to obtain factors suitable for resynthesizing speech sounds as 20-critical-band noise-vocoded speech. The resynthesized speech sounds were used for an intelligibility test. The modification of factor analysis ensured that the resynthesized speech sounds were not accompanied by a steady background noise caused by the data reduction procedure. Spoken sentences of British English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese were subjected to this modified analysis. Confirming the earlier analysis, indeed 3–4 factors were common to these languages. The number of power-fluctuation factors needed to make noise-vocoded speech intelligible was then examined. Critical-band power fluctuations of the Japanese spoken sentences were resynthesized from the obtained factors, resulting in noise-vocoded-speech stimuli, and the intelligibility of these speech stimuli was tested by 12 native Japanese speakers. Japanese mora (syllable-like phonological unit) identification performances were measured when the number of factors was 1–9. Statistically significant improvement in intelligibility was observed when the number of factors was increased stepwise up to 6. The 12 listeners identified 92.1% of the morae correctly on average in the 6-factor condition. The intelligibility improved sharply when the number of factors changed from 2 to 3. In this step, the cumulative contribution ratio of factors improved only by 10.6%, from 37.3 to 47.9%, but the average mora identification leaped from 6.9 to 69.2%. The results indicated that, if the number of factors is 3 or more, elementary

  10. Assessing Speech Intelligibility in Children with Hearing Loss: Toward Revitalizing a Valuable Clinical Tool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Newborn hearing screening, early intervention programs, and advancements in cochlear implant and hearing aid technology have greatly increased opportunities for children with hearing loss to become intelligible talkers. Optimizing speech intelligibility requires that progress be monitored closely. Although direct assessment of…

  11. Predicting the intelligibility of reverberant speech for cochlear implant listeners with a non-intrusive intelligibility measure

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Hazrati, Oldooz; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2012-01-01

    Reverberation is known to reduce the temporal envelope modulations present in the signal and affect the shape of the modulation spectrum. A non-intrusive intelligibility measure for reverberant speech is proposed motivated by the fact that the area of the modulation spectrum decreases with increasing reverberation. The proposed measure is based on the average modulation area computed across four acoustic frequency bands spanning the signal bandwidth. High correlations (r = 0.98) were observed with sentence intelligibility scores obtained by cochlear implant listeners. Proposed measure outperformed other measures including an intrusive speech-transmission index based measure. PMID:23710246

  12. The effect of three variables on synthetic speech intelligibility in noisy environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munlin, Joyce C.

    1990-03-01

    Military Command and Control (C2) requires easy access to information needed for the commander's situation assessment and direction of troops. Providing this information via synthetic speech is a viable alternative, but additional information is required before speech systems can be implemented for C2 functions. An experiment was conducted to study several factors which may affect the intelligibility of synthetic speech. The factors examined were: (1) speech rate; (2) synthetic speech messages presented at lower, the same, and higher frequencies than background noise frequency; (3) voice richness; and (4) interactions between speech rate, voice fundamental frequency, and voice richness. Response latency and recognition accuracy were measured. Results clearly indicate that increasing speech rate leads to an increase latency and a decrease in recognition accuracy, at least for the novice user. No effect of voice fundamental frequency or richness was demonstrated.

  13. Functional connectivity between face-movement and speech-intelligibility areas during auditory-only speech perception.

    PubMed

    Schall, Sonja; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    It has been proposed that internal simulation of the talking face of visually-known speakers facilitates auditory speech recognition. One prediction of this view is that brain areas involved in auditory-only speech comprehension interact with visual face-movement sensitive areas, even under auditory-only listening conditions. Here, we test this hypothesis using connectivity analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Participants (17 normal participants, 17 developmental prosopagnosics) first learned six speakers via brief voice-face or voice-occupation training (<2 min/speaker). This was followed by an auditory-only speech recognition task and a control task (voice recognition) involving the learned speakers' voices in the MRI scanner. As hypothesized, we found that, during speech recognition, familiarity with the speaker's face increased the functional connectivity between the face-movement sensitive posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) and an anterior STS region that supports auditory speech intelligibility. There was no difference between normal participants and prosopagnosics. This was expected because previous findings have shown that both groups use the face-movement sensitive STS to optimize auditory-only speech comprehension. Overall, the present findings indicate that learned visual information is integrated into the analysis of auditory-only speech and that this integration results from the interaction of task-relevant face-movement and auditory speech-sensitive areas. PMID:24466026

  14. Talker differences in clear and conversational speech: Vowel intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargus Ferguson, Sarah

    2004-10-01

    Several studies have shown that when a talker is instructed to speak as though talking to a hearing-impaired person, the resulting ``clear'' speech is significantly more intelligible than typical conversational speech. While variability among talkers during speech production is well known, only one study to date [Gagné et al., J. Acad. Rehab. Audiol. 27, 135-158 (1994)] has directly examined differences among talkers producing clear and conversational speech. Data from that study, which utilized ten talkers, suggested that talkers vary in the extent to which they improve their intelligibility by speaking clearly. Similar variability can be also seen in studies using smaller groups of talkers [e.g., Picheny, Durlach, and Braida, J. Speech Hear. Res. 28, 96-103 (1985)]. In the current paper, clear and conversational speech materials were recorded from 41 male and female talkers aged 18 to 45 years. A listening experiment demonstrated that for normal-hearing listeners in noise, vowel intelligibility varied widely among the 41 talkers for both speaking styles, as did the magnitude of the speaking style effect. While female talkers showed a larger clear speech vowel intelligibility benefit than male talkers, neither talker age nor prior experience communicating with hearing-impaired listeners significantly affected the speaking style effect. .

  15. Intelligibilities of 1-octave rectangular bands spanning the speech spectrum when heard separately and paired

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Richard M.; Bashford, James A.; Lenz, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    There is a need, both for speech theory and for many practical applications, to know the intelligibilities of individual passbands that span the speech spectrum when they are heard singly and in combination. While indirect procedures have been employed for estimating passband intelligibilities (e.g., the Speech Intelligibility Index), direct measurements have been blocked by the confounding contributions from transition band slopes that accompany filtering. A recent study has reported that slopes of several thousand dBA/octave produced by high-order finite impulse response filtering were required to produce the effectively rectangular bands necessary to eliminate appreciable contributions from transition bands [Warren et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115, 1292–1295 (2004)]. Using such essentially vertical slopes, the present study employed sentences, and reports the intelligibilities of their six 1-octave contiguous passbands having center frequencies from 0.25 to 8 kHz when heard alone, and for each of their 15 possible pairings. PMID:16334905

  16. Three Subgroups of Preschool Children with Speech Intelligibility Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whaley, Patricia; And Others

    The study was designed to measure language, cognitive, perceptual, and oral-motor abilities in 17 preschoolers referred for speech-language evaluation because of unintelligible speech. Ss were administered a test battery which included tests of hearing, coarticulation, vocabulary, speech sound discrimination, and oral examination of the speech…

  17. State of the Art in Rehabilitative Audiology: Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Martin C.

    In a speech presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Speech and Hearing Association (1974), the author discusses prospective direction for research in speech recognition and comprehension of the hearing impaired. A theoretical perspective focuses on the role of probabilities in the process of transmitting and receiving auditory messages.…

  18. The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for native speakers of Mandarin: Production and perception of English word-final voicing contrasts

    PubMed Central

    Hayes-Harb, Rachel; Smith, Bruce L.; Bent, Tessa; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the intelligibility of native and Mandarin-accented English speech for native English and native Mandarin listeners. The word-final voicing contrast was considered (as in minimal pairs such as `cub' and `cup') in a forced-choice word identification task. For these particular talkers and listeners, there was evidence of an interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for listeners (i.e., native Mandarin listeners were more accurate than native English listeners at identifying Mandarin-accented English words). However, there was no evidence of an interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for talkers (i.e., native Mandarin listeners did not find Mandarin-accented English speech more intelligible than native English speech). When listener and talker phonological proficiency (operationalized as accentedness) was taken into account, it was found that the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for listeners held only for the low phonological proficiency listeners and low phonological proficiency speech. The intelligibility data were also considered in relation to various temporal-acoustic properties of native English and Mandarin-accented English speech in effort to better understand the properties of speech that may contribute to the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit. PMID:19606271

  19. On the Role of Theta-Driven Syllabic Parsing in Decoding Speech: Intelligibility of Speech with a Manipulated Modulation Spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded

    2012-01-01

    Recent hypotheses on the potential role of neuronal oscillations in speech perception propose that speech is processed on multi-scale temporal analysis windows formed by a cascade of neuronal oscillators locked to the input pseudo-rhythm. In particular, Ghitza (2011) proposed that the oscillators are in the theta, beta, and gamma frequency bands with the theta oscillator the master, tracking the input syllabic rhythm and setting a time-varying, hierarchical window structure synchronized with the input. In the study described here the hypothesized role of theta was examined by measuring the intelligibility of speech with a manipulated modulation spectrum. Each critical-band signal was manipulated by controlling the degree of temporal envelope flatness. Intelligibility of speech with critical-band envelopes that are flat is poor; inserting extra information, restricted to the input syllabic rhythm, markedly improves intelligibility. It is concluded that flattening the critical-band envelopes prevents the theta oscillator from tracking the input rhythm, hence the disruption of the hierarchical window structure that controls the decoding process. Reinstating the input-rhythm information revives the tracking capability, hence restoring the synchronization between the window structure and the input, resulting in the extraction of additional information from the flat modulation spectrum. PMID:22811672

  20. Assessing children's speech intelligibility and oral structures, and functions via an Internet-based telehealth system.

    PubMed

    Waite, Monique C; Theodoros, Deborah G; Russell, Trevor G; Cahill, Louise M

    2012-06-01

    We examined the validity and reliability of an Internet-based telehealth system for screening speech intelligibility and oro-motor structure, and function in children with speech disorders. Twenty children aged 4-9 years were assessed by a clinician in the conventional, face-to-face (FTF) manner; simultaneously, they were assessed by a second clinician via the videoconferencing system using a 128-kbit/s Internet connection. Speech intelligibility in conversation was rated and an informal assessment of oro-motor structure and function was conducted. There was a high level of agreement between the online and FTF speech intelligibility ratings, with 70% exact agreement and 100% close agreement (within ± point on a 5-point scale). The weighted kappa statistic revealed very good agreement between raters (kappa = 0.86). Data for online and FTF ratings of oro-motor function revealed overall exact agreement of 73%, close agreement of 96%, moderate or good strength of agreement for six variables (kappa = 0.48-0.74), and poor to fair agreement for six variables (kappa = 0.12-0.36). Intra- and inter-rater reliability measures (ICCs) were similar between the online and FTF assessments. Low levels of agreement for some oro-motor variables highlighted the subjectivity of this assessment. However, the overall results support the validity and reliability of Internet-based screening of speech intelligibility and oro-motor function in children with speech disorders. PMID:22604277

  1. Usage of the HMM-Based Speech Synthesis for Intelligent Arabic Voice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fares, Tamer S.; Khalil, Awad H.; Hegazy, Abd El-Fatah A.

    2008-06-01

    The HMM as a suitable model for time sequence modeling is used for estimation of speech synthesis parameters, A speech parameter sequence is generated from HMMs themselves whose observation vectors consists of spectral parameter vector and its dynamic feature vectors. HMMs generate cepstral coefficients and pitch parameter which are then fed to speech synthesis filter named Mel Log Spectral Approximation (MLSA), this paper explains how this approach can be applied to the Arabic language to produce intelligent Arabic speech synthesis using the HMM-Based Speech Synthesis and the influence of using of the dynamic features and the increasing of the number of mixture components on the quality enhancement of the Arabic speech synthesized.

  2. Listening to the brainstem: musicianship enhances intelligibility of subcortical representations for speech.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Michael W; Bidelman, Gavin M

    2015-01-28

    Auditory experiences including musicianship and bilingualism have been shown to enhance subcortical speech encoding operating below conscious awareness. Yet, the behavioral consequence of such enhanced subcortical auditory processing remains undetermined. Exploiting their remarkable fidelity, we examined the intelligibility of auditory playbacks (i.e., "sonifications") of brainstem potentials recorded in human listeners. We found naive listeners' behavioral classification of sonifications was faster and more categorical when evaluating brain responses recorded in individuals with extensive musical training versus those recorded in nonmusicians. These results reveal stronger behaviorally relevant speech cues in musicians' neural representations and demonstrate causal evidence that superior subcortical processing creates a more comprehensible speech signal (i.e., to naive listeners). We infer that neural sonifications of speech-evoked brainstem responses could be used in the early detection of speech-language impairments due to neurodegenerative disorders, or in objectively measuring individual differences in speech reception solely by listening to individuals' brain activity. PMID:25632143

  3. Prediction of the influence of reverberation on binaural speech intelligibility in noise and in quiet.

    PubMed

    Rennies, Jan; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2011-11-01

    Reverberation usually degrades speech intelligibility for spatially separated speech and noise sources since spatial unmasking is reduced and late reflections decrease the fidelity of the received speech signal. The latter effect could not satisfactorily be predicted by a recently presented binaural speech intelligibility model [Beutelmann et al. (2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 2479-2497]. This study therefore evaluated three extensions of the model to improve its predictions: (1) an extension of the speech intelligibility index based on modulation transfer functions, (2) a correction factor based on the room acoustical quantity "definition," and (3) a separation of the speech signal into useful and detrimental parts. The predictions were compared to results of two experiments in which speech reception thresholds were measured in a reverberant room in quiet and in the presence of a noise source for listeners with normal hearing. All extensions yielded better predictions than the original model when the influence of reverberation was strong, while predictions were similar for conditions with less reverberation. Although model (3) differed substantially in the assumed interaction of binaural processing and early reflections, its predictions were very similar to model (2) that achieved the best fit to the data. PMID:22087928

  4. Listening effort and speech intelligibility in listening situations affected by noise and reverberation.

    PubMed

    Rennies, Jan; Schepker, Henning; Holube, Inga; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-11-01

    This study compared the combined effect of noise and reverberation on listening effort and speech intelligibility to predictions of the speech transmission index (STI). Listening effort was measured in normal-hearing subjects using a scaling procedure. Speech intelligibility scores were measured in the same subjects and conditions: (a) Speech-shaped noise as the only interfering factor, (b) + (c) fixed signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) of 0 or 7 dB and reverberation as detrimental factors, and (d) reverberation as the only detrimental factor. In each condition, SNR and reverberation were combined to produce STI values of 0.17, 0.30, 0.43, 0.57, and 0.70, respectively. Listening effort always decreased with increasing STI, thus enabling a rough prediction, but a significant bias was observed indicating that listening effort was lower in reverberation only than in noise only at the same STI for one type of impulse responses. Accordingly, speech intelligibility increased with increasing STI and was significantly better in reverberation only than in noise only at the same STI. Further analyses showed that the broadband reverberation time is not always a good estimate of speech degradation in reverberation and that different speech materials may differ in their robustness toward detrimental effects of reverberation. PMID:25373965

  5. The effect of semantic context on speech intelligibility in reverberant rooms

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Nirmal; Zahorik, Pavel

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that semantic context affects speech intelligibility and that different reverberant rooms affect speech intelligibility differentially, these effects have seldom been studied together. Revised SPIN sentences in a background of Gaussian noise in simulated rooms with reverberation time (T60) of 1 and 0.25 s were used. The carrier phrase and the target word of the speech stimuli were manipulated to be either in the same room or in different rooms. As expected, intelligibility of predictable sentences was higher compared to unpredictable sentences-the context effect. The context effect was higher in the low-reverberant room as compared to the high-reverberant room. When the carrier phrase and target words were in different rooms, the context effect was higher when the carrier phrase was in the low-reverberant room and target word in the high-reverberant room. For predictable sentences, changing the target word from high-reverberation to low reverberation with a high reverberant carrier increased intelligibility. However, with a low-reverberant carrier and different rooms for the target word, there was no change in intelligibility. Overall, it could be concluded that there is an interaction between semantic context and room acoustics for speech intelligibility. PMID:24058720

  6. The benefit of head orientation to speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    Grange, Jacques A; Culling, John F

    2016-02-01

    Spatial release from masking is traditionally measured with speech in front. The effect of head-orientation with respect to the speech direction has rarely been studied. Speech-reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for eight head orientations and four spatial configurations. Benefits of head orientation away from the speech source of up to 8 dB were measured. These correlated with predictions of a model based on better-ear listening and binaural unmasking (r = 0.96). Use of spontaneous head orientations was measured when listeners attended to long speech clips of gradually diminishing speech-to-noise ratio in a sound-deadened room. Speech was presented from the loudspeaker that initially faced the listener and noise from one of four other locations. In an undirected paradigm, listeners spontaneously turned their heads away from the speech in 56% of trials. When instructed to rotate their heads in the diminishing speech-to-noise ratio, all listeners turned away from the speech and reached head orientations associated with lower SRTs. Head orientation may prove valuable for hearing-impaired listeners. PMID:26936554

  7. The Role of Music in Speech Intelligibility of Learners with Post Lingual Hearing Impairment in Selected Units in Lusaka District

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katongo, Emily Mwamba; Ndhlovu, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    This study sought to establish the role of music in speech intelligibility of learners with Post Lingual Hearing Impairment (PLHI) and strategies teachers used to enhance speech intelligibility in learners with PLHI in selected special units for the deaf in Lusaka district. The study used a descriptive research design. Qualitative and quantitative…

  8. Effect of the Number of Presentations on Listener Transcriptions and Reliability in the Assessment of Speech Intelligibility in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lagerberg, Tove B.; Johnels, Jakob Åsberg; Hartelius, Lena; Persson, Christina

    2015-01-01

    Background: The assessment of intelligibility is an essential part of establishing the severity of a speech disorder. The intelligibility of a speaker is affected by a number of different variables relating, "inter alia," to the speech material, the listener and the listener task. Aims: To explore the impact of the number of…

  9. Peaks in the Frequency Response of Hearing Aids: Evaluation of the Effects on Speech Intelligibility and Sound Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buuren, Ronald A. van; And Others

    1996-01-01

    This study evaluated speech intelligibility under noise conditions of varying peaks (10, 20, and 30 decibels) in frequency response, with 26 listeners with sensorineural impaired hearing who used hearing aids and 10 listeners with normal hearing. Results indicated that the peaks affected speech intelligibility more for listeners with impaired than…

  10. Understanding the effect of noise on electrical stimulation sequences in cochlear implants and its impact on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Qazi, Obaid Ur Rehman; van Dijk, Bas; Moonen, Marc; Wouters, Jan

    2013-05-01

    The present study investigates the most important factors that limit the intelligibility of the cochlear implant (CI) processed speech in noisy environments. The electrical stimulation sequences provided in CIs are affected by the noise in the following three manners. First of all, the natural gaps in the speech are filled, which distorts the low-frequency ON/OFF modulations of the speech signal. Secondly, speech envelopes are distorted to include modulations of both speech and noise. Lastly, the N-of-M type of speech coding strategies may select the noise dominated channels instead of the dominant speech channels at low signal-to-noise ratio's (SNRs). Different stimulation sequences are tested with CI subjects to study how these three noise effects individually limit the intelligibility of the CI processed speech. Tests are also conducted with normal hearing (NH) subjects using vocoded speech to identify any significant differences in the noise reduction requirements and speech distortion limitations between the two subject groups. Results indicate that compared to NH subjects CI subjects can tolerate significantly lower levels of steady state speech shaped noise in the speech gaps but at the same time can tolerate comparable levels of distortions in the speech segments. Furthermore, modulations in the stimulus current level have no effect on speech intelligibility as long as the channel selection remains ideal. Finally, wrong maxima selection together with the introduction of noise in the speech gaps significantly degrades the intelligibility. At low SNRs wrong maxima selection introduces interruptions in the speech and makes it difficult to fuse noisy and interrupted speech signals into a coherent speech stream. PMID:23396271

  11. [Communication and noise. Speech intelligibility of airplane pilots with and without active noise compensation].

    PubMed

    Matschke, R G

    1994-08-01

    Noise exposure measurements were performed with pilots of the German Federal Navy during flight situations. The ambient noise levels during regular flight were maintained at levels above a 90 dB A-weighted level. This noise intensity requires wearing ear protection to avoid sound-induced hearing loss. To be able to understand radio communication (ATC) in spite of a noisy environment, headphone volume must be raised above the noise of the engines. The use of ear plugs in addition to the headsets and flight helmets is only of limited value because personal ear protection affects the intelligibility of ATC. Whereas speech intelligibility of pilots with normal hearing is affected to only a smaller degree, pilots with pre-existing high-frequency hearing losses show substantial impairments of speech intelligibility that vary in proportion to the hearing deficit present. Communication abilities can be reduced drastically, which in turn can affect air traffic security. The development of active noise compensation devices (ANC) that make use of the "anti-noise" principle may be a solution to this dilemma. To evaluate the effectiveness of an ANC-system and its influence on speech intelligibility, speech audiometry was performed with a German standardized test during simulated flight conditions with helicopter pilots. Results demonstrate the helpful effect on speech understanding especially for pilots with noise-induced hearing losses. This may help to avoid pre-retirement professional disability. PMID:7960953

  12. Envelope and intensity based prediction of psychoacoustic masking and speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Biberger, Thomas; Ewert, Stephan D

    2016-08-01

    Human auditory perception and speech intelligibility have been successfully described based on the two concepts of spectral masking and amplitude modulation (AM) masking. The power-spectrum model (PSM) [Patterson and Moore (1986). Frequency Selectivity in Hearing, pp. 123-177] accounts for effects of spectral masking and critical bandwidth, while the envelope power-spectrum model (EPSM) [Ewert and Dau (2000). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181-1196] has been successfully applied to AM masking and discrimination. Both models extract the long-term (envelope) power to calculate signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Recently, the EPSM has been applied to speech intelligibility (SI) considering the short-term envelope SNR on various time scales (multi-resolution speech-based envelope power-spectrum model; mr-sEPSM) to account for SI in fluctuating noise [Jørgensen, Ewert, and Dau (2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134, 436-446]. Here, a generalized auditory model is suggested combining the classical PSM and the mr-sEPSM to jointly account for psychoacoustics and speech intelligibility. The model was extended to consider the local AM depth in conditions with slowly varying signal levels, and the relative role of long-term and short-term SNR was assessed. The suggested generalized power-spectrum model is shown to account for a large variety of psychoacoustic data and to predict speech intelligibility in various types of background noise. PMID:27586734

  13. Accent, intelligibility, and comprehensibility in the perception of foreign-accented Lombard speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chi-Nin

    2003-10-01

    Speech produced in noise (Lombard speech) has been reported to be more intelligible than speech produced in quiet (normal speech). This study examined the perception of non-native Lombard speech in terms of intelligibility, comprehensibility, and degree of foreign accent. Twelve Cantonese speakers and a comparison group of English speakers read simple true and false English statements in quiet and in 70 dB of masking noise. Lombard and normal utterances were mixed with noise at a constant signal-to-noise ratio, and presented along with noise-free stimuli to eight new English listeners who provided transcription scores, comprehensibility ratings, and accent ratings. Analyses showed that, as expected, utterances presented in noise were less well perceived than were noise-free sentences, and that the Cantonese speakers' productions were more accented, but less intelligible and less comprehensible than those of the English speakers. For both groups of speakers, the Lombard sentences were correctly transcribed more often than their normal utterances in noisy conditions. However, the Cantonese-accented Lombard sentences were not rated as easier to understand than was the normal speech in all conditions. The assigned accent ratings were similar throughout all listening conditions. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

  14. Cross-Channel Amplitude Sweeps Are Crucial to Speech Intelligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prendergast, Garreth; Green, Gary G. R.

    2012-01-01

    Classical views of speech perception argue that the static and dynamic characteristics of spectral energy peaks (formants) are the acoustic features that underpin phoneme recognition. Here we use representations where the amplitude modulations of sub-band filtered speech are described, precisely, in terms of co-sinusoidal pulses. These pulses are…

  15. Outcome measures based on classification performance fail to predict the intelligibility of binary-masked speech.

    PubMed

    Kressner, Abigail Anne; May, Tobias; Rozell, Christopher J

    2016-06-01

    To date, the most commonly used outcome measure for assessing ideal binary mask estimation algorithms is based on the difference between the hit rate and the false alarm rate (H-FA). Recently, the error distribution has been shown to substantially affect intelligibility. However, H-FA treats each mask unit independently and does not take into account how errors are distributed. Alternatively, algorithms can be evaluated with the short-time objective intelligibility (STOI) metric using the reconstructed speech. This study investigates the ability of H-FA and STOI to predict intelligibility for binary-masked speech using masks with different error distributions. The results demonstrate the inability of H-FA to predict the behavioral intelligibility and also illustrate the limitations of STOI. Since every estimation algorithm will make errors that are distributed in different ways, performance evaluations should not be made solely on the basis of these metrics. PMID:27369123

  16. The relationship between the intelligibility of time-compressed speech and speech in noise in young and elderly listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versfeld, Niek J.; Dreschler, Wouter A.

    2002-01-01

    A conventional measure to determine the ability to understand speech in noisy backgrounds is the so-called speech reception threshold (SRT) for sentences. It yields the signal-to-noise ratio (in dB) for which half of the sentences are correctly perceived. The SRT defines to what degree speech must be audible to a listener in order to become just intelligible. There are indications that elderly listeners have greater difficulty in understanding speech in adverse listening conditions than young listeners. This may be partly due to the differences in hearing sensitivity (presbycusis), hence audibility, but other factors, such as temporal acuity, may also play a significant role. A potential measure for the temporal acuity may be the threshold to which speech can be accelerated, or compressed in time. A new test is introduced where the speech rate is varied adaptively. In analogy to the SRT, the time-compression threshold (or TCT) then is defined as the speech rate (expressed in syllables per second) for which half of the sentences are correctly perceived. In experiment I, the TCT test is introduced and normative data are provided. In experiment II, four groups of subjects (young and elderly normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects) participated, and the SRT's in stationary and fluctuating speech-shaped noise were determined, as well as the TCT. The results show that the SRT in fluctuating noise and the TCT are highly correlated. All tests indicate that, even after correction for the hearing loss, elderly normal-hearing subjects perform worse than young normal-hearing subjects. The results indicate that the use of the TCT test or the SRT test in fluctuating noise is preferred over the SRT test in stationary noise.

  17. The effects of fundamental frequency contour manipulations on speech intelligibility in background noise.

    PubMed

    Miller, Sharon E; Schlauch, Robert S; Watson, Peter J

    2010-07-01

    Previous studies have documented that speech with flattened or inverted fundamental frequency (F0) contours is less intelligible than speech with natural variations in F0. The purpose of this present study was to further investigate how F0 manipulations affect speech intelligibility in background noise. Speech recognition in noise was measured for sentences having the following F0 contours: unmodified, flattened at the median, natural but exaggerated, inverted, and sinusoidally frequency modulated at rates of 2.5 and 5.0 Hz, rates shown to make vowels more perceptually salient in background noise. Five talkers produced 180 stimulus sentences, with 30 unique sentences per F0 contour condition. Flattening or exaggerating the F0 contour reduced key word recognition performance by 13% relative to the naturally produced speech. Inverting or sinusoidally frequency modulating the F0 contour reduced performance by 23% relative to typically produced speech. These results support the notion that linguistically incorrect or misleading cues have a greater deleterious effect on speech understanding than linguistically neutral cues. PMID:20649237

  18. Relative intelligibility of dynamically extracted transient versus steady-state components of speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boston, J. R.; Yoo, Sungyub; Li, C. C.; El-Jaroudi, Amro; Durrant, J. D.; Kovacyk, Kristie; Karn, Stacey

    2001-05-01

    Consonants are recognized to dominate higher frequencies of the speech spectrum and to carry more information than vowels, but both demonstrate quasi-steady state and transient components, such as vowel to consonant transitions. Fixed filters somewhat separate these effects, but probably not optimally, given diverse words, speakers, and situations. To enhance the transient characteristics of speech, this study used time-varying adaptive filters [Rao and Kumaresan, IEEE Trans. Speech Audio Process. 8, 240-254 (2000)], following high-pass filtering at 700 Hz (well-known to have minimal effect on intelligibility), to extract predominantly steady-state components of speech material (CVC words, NU-6). The transient component was the difference between the sum of the filter outputs and the original signal. Psychometric functions were determined in five subjects with and without background noise and fitted by ogives. The transient components averaged filtered speech energy, but PBmax was not significantly different (nonparametric ANOVA) from that of either the original or highpass filtered speech. The steady-state components yielded significantly lower PBmax (p 3D 0.003) despite their much greater energy, as expected. These results suggest a potential approach to dynamic enhancement of speech intelligibility. [Work supported by ONR.

  19. Investigation of objective measures for intelligibility prediction of noise-reduced speech for Chinese, Japanese, and English.

    PubMed

    Li, Junfeng; Xia, Risheng; Ying, Dongwen; Yan, Yonghong; Akagi, Masato

    2014-12-01

    Many objective measures have been reported to predict speech intelligibility in noise, most of which were designed and evaluated with English speech corpora. Given the different perceptual cues used by native listeners of different languages, examining whether there is any language effect when the same objective measure is used to predict speech intelligibility in different languages is of great interest, particularly when non-linear noise-reduction processing is involved. In the present study, an extensive evaluation is taken of objective measures for speech intelligibility prediction of noisy speech processed by noise-reduction algorithms in Chinese, Japanese, and English. Of all the objective measures tested, the short-time objective intelligibility (STOI) measure produced the most accurate results in speech intelligibility prediction for Chinese, while the normalized covariance metric (NCM) and middle-level coherence speech intelligibility index ( CSIIm) incorporating the signal-dependent band-importance functions (BIFs) produced the most accurate results for Japanese and English, respectively. The objective measures that performed best in predicting the effect of non-linear noise-reduction processing in speech intelligibility were found to be the BIF-modified NCM measure for Chinese, the STOI measure for Japanese, and the BIF-modified CSIIm measure for English. Most of the objective measures examined performed differently even under the same conditions for different languages. PMID:25480075

  20. Phonological Accuracy and Intelligibility in Connected Speech of Boys with Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Elizabeth; Roberts, Joanne; Long, Steven H.; Martin, Gary E.; Berni, Mary C.; Mandulak, Kerry C.; Sideris, John

    2008-01-01

    Purpose We compared the phonological accuracy and speech intelligibility of boys with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD), fragile X syndrome only (FXS-O), Down Syndrome (DS), and typically developing (TD) boys. Method Participants were 32 boys with FXS-O (3 to 14 years), 31 with FXS-ASD (5 to 15 years), 34 with DS (4 to16 years), and 45 TD boys of similar nonverbal mental age. We used connected speech samples to compute measures of phonological accuracy, phonological process occurrence, and intelligibility. Results The boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, did not differ from TD boys on phonological accuracy and phonological process occurrence but produced fewer intelligible words than TD boys. The boys with DS scored lower on measures of phonological accuracy and occurrence of phonological processes than all other groups and used fewer intelligible words than TD boys. The boys with FXS and the boys with DS did not differ on measures of intelligibility. Conclusion Boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, exhibit phonological characteristics similar to those of younger TD children but are less intelligible in connected speech. The boys with DS show greater delays in all phonological measures than the boys with FXS and TD boys. PMID:19641081

  1. On the relationship between auditory cognition and speech intelligibility in cochlear implant users: An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Finke, Mareike; Büchner, Andreas; Ruigendijk, Esther; Meyer, Martin; Sandmann, Pascale

    2016-07-01

    There is a high degree of variability in speech intelligibility outcomes across cochlear-implant (CI) users. To better understand how auditory cognition affects speech intelligibility with the CI, we performed an electroencephalography study in which we examined the relationship between central auditory processing, cognitive abilities, and speech intelligibility. Postlingually deafened CI users (N=13) and matched normal-hearing (NH) listeners (N=13) performed an oddball task with words presented in different background conditions (quiet, stationary noise, modulated noise). Participants had to categorize words as living (targets) or non-living entities (standards). We also assessed participants' working memory (WM) capacity and verbal abilities. For the oddball task, we found lower hit rates and prolonged response times in CI users when compared with NH listeners. Noise-related prolongation of the N1 amplitude was found for all participants. Further, we observed group-specific modulation effects of event-related potentials (ERPs) as a function of background noise. While NH listeners showed stronger noise-related modulation of the N1 latency, CI users revealed enhanced modulation effects of the N2/N4 latency. In general, higher-order processing (N2/N4, P3) was prolonged in CI users in all background conditions when compared with NH listeners. Longer N2/N4 latency in CI users suggests that these individuals have difficulties to map acoustic-phonetic features to lexical representations. These difficulties seem to be increased for speech-in-noise conditions when compared with speech in quiet background. Correlation analyses showed that shorter ERP latencies were related to enhanced speech intelligibility (N1, N2/N4), better lexical fluency (N1), and lower ratings of listening effort (N2/N4) in CI users. In sum, our findings suggest that CI users and NH listeners differ with regards to both the sensory and the higher-order processing of speech in quiet as well as in

  2. Northeast Artificial Intelligence Consortium (NAIC). Volume 8. Artificial intelligence applications to speech recognition. Final report, Sep 84-Dec 89

    SciTech Connect

    Rhody, H.; Biles, J.

    1990-12-01

    The Northeast Artificial Intelligence Consortium (NAIC) was created by the Air Force Systems Command, Rome Air Development Center, and the Office of Scientific Research. Its purpose was to conduct pertinent research in artificial intelligence and to perform activities ancillary to this research. This report describes progress during the existence of the NAIC of the technical research tasks undertaken at the member universities. The topics covered in general are: versatile expert system for equipment maintenance, distributed AI for communications system control, automatic photointerpretation, time-oriented problem solving, speech understanding systems, knowledge based maintenance, hardware architectures for very large systems, knowledge based reasoning and planning, and a knowledge acquisition, assistance, and explanation system. The specific topic for this volume is the design and implementation of a knowledge-based system to read speech spectrograms.

  3. Modeling the effects of a single reflection on binaural speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Rennies, Jan; Warzybok, Anna; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-03-01

    Recently the influence of delay and azimuth of a single speech reflection on speech reception thresholds (SRTs) was systematically investigated using frontal, diffuse, and lateral noise [Warzybok et al. (2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 133, 269-282]. The experiments showed that the benefit of an early reflection was independent of its azimuth and mostly independent of noise type, but that the detrimental effect of a late reflection depended on its direction relative to the noise. This study tests if different extensions of a binaural speech intelligibility model can predict these data. The extensions differ in the order in which binaural processing and temporal integration of early reflections take place. Models employing a correction for the detrimental effects of reverberation on speech intelligibility after performing the binaural processing predict SRTs in symmetric masking conditions (frontal, diffuse), but cannot predict the measured interaction of temporal and spatial integration. In contrast, a model extension accounting for the distinction between useful and detrimental reflections before the binaural processing stage predicts the data with an overall R(2) of 0.95. This indicates that any model framework predicting speech intelligibility in rooms should incorporate an interaction between binaural and temporal integration of reflections at a comparatively early stage. PMID:24606290

  4. Listening with a foreign-accent: The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit in Mandarin speakers of English

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xin; Fowler, Carol A.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the intelligibility of native and Mandarin-accented English speech for native English and native Mandarin listeners. In the latter group, it also examined the role of the language environment and English proficiency. Three groups of listeners were tested: native English listeners (NE), Mandarin-speaking Chinese listeners in the US (M-US) and Mandarin listeners in Beijing, China (M-BJ). As a group, M-US and M-BJ listeners were matched on English proficiency and age of acquisition. A nonword transcription task was used. Identification accuracy for word-final stops in the nonwords established two independent interlanguage intelligibility effects. An interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for listeners (ISIB-L) was manifest by both groups of Mandarin listeners outperforming native English listeners in identification of Mandarin-accented speech. In the benefit for talkers (ISIB-T), only M-BJ listeners were more accurate identifying Mandarin-accented speech than native English speech. Thus, both Mandarin groups demonstrated an ISIB-L while only the M-BJ group overall demonstrated an ISIB-T. The English proficiency of listeners was found to modulate the magnitude of the ISIB-T in both groups. Regression analyses also suggested that the listener groups differ in their use of acoustic information to identify voicing in stop consonants. PMID:24293741

  5. The Use of Artificial Neural Networks to Estimate Speech Intelligibility from Acoustic Variables: A Preliminary Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metz, Dale Evan; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A preliminary scheme for estimating the speech intelligibility of hearing-impaired speakers from acoustic parameters, using a computerized artificial neural network to process mathematically the acoustic input variables, is outlined. Tests with 60 hearing-impaired speakers found the scheme to be highly accurate in identifying speakers separated by…

  6. Speech Intelligibility and Marital Communication in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Karin; Bornman, Juan; Alant, Erna

    2011-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease, has a devastating impact not only on individuals diagnosed with ALS but also their spouses. Speech intelligibility, often compromised as a result of dysarthria, affects the couple's ability to maintain effective, intimate communication. The purpose of this…

  7. The Effect of Fundamental Frequency on the Intelligibility of Speech with Flattened Intonation Contours

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Peter J.; Schlauch, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the effect of fundamental frequency (F0) on the intelligibility of speech with flattened F0 contours in noise. Method: Participants listened to sentences produced by 2 female talkers in white noise. The listening conditions included the unmodified original sentences and sentences with resynthesized F0 that reflected the average…

  8. Vowel Targeted Intervention for Children with Persisting Speech Difficulties: Impact on Intelligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speake, Jane; Stackhouse, Joy; Pascoe, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the treatment of consonant segments, the treatment of vowels is infrequently described in the literature on children's speech difficulties. Vowel difficulties occur less frequently than those with consonants but may have significant impact on intelligibility. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of vowel targeted intervention (VTI)…

  9. Factors influencing relative speech intelligibility in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma: a prospective study using automatic, computer-based speech analysis.

    PubMed

    Stelzle, F; Knipfer, C; Schuster, M; Bocklet, T; Nöth, E; Adler, W; Schempf, L; Vieler, P; Riemann, M; Neukam, F W; Nkenke, E

    2013-11-01

    Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its treatment impair speech intelligibility by alteration of the vocal tract. The aim of this study was to identify the factors of oral cancer treatment that influence speech intelligibility by means of an automatic, standardized speech-recognition system. The study group comprised 71 patients (mean age 59.89, range 35-82 years) with OSCC ranging from stage T1 to T4 (TNM staging). Tumours were located on the tongue (n=23), lower alveolar crest (n=27), and floor of the mouth (n=21). Reconstruction was conducted through local tissue plasty or microvascular transplants. Adjuvant radiotherapy was performed in 49 patients. Speech intelligibility was evaluated before, and at 3, 6, and 12 months after tumour resection, and compared to that of a healthy control group (n=40). Postoperatively, significant influences on speech intelligibility were tumour localization (P=0.010) and resection volume (P=0.019). Additionally, adjuvant radiotherapy (P=0.049) influenced intelligibility at 3 months after surgery. At 6 months after surgery, influences were resection volume (P=0.028) and adjuvant radiotherapy (P=0.034). The influence of tumour localization (P=0.001) and adjuvant radiotherapy (P=0.022) persisted after 12 months. Tumour localization, resection volume, and radiotherapy are crucial factors for speech intelligibility. Radiotherapy significantly impaired word recognition rate (WR) values with a progression of the impairment for up to 12 months after surgery. PMID:23845298

  10. The role of accent imitation in sensorimotor integration during processing of intelligible speech.

    PubMed

    Adank, Patti; Rueschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Bekkering, Harold

    2013-01-01

    Recent theories on how listeners maintain perceptual invariance despite variation in the speech signal allocate a prominent role to imitation mechanisms. Notably, these simulation accounts propose that motor mechanisms support perception of ambiguous or noisy signals. Indeed, imitation of ambiguous signals, e.g., accented speech, has been found to aid effective speech comprehension. Here, we explored the possibility that imitation in speech benefits perception by increasing activation in speech perception and production areas. Participants rated the intelligibility of sentences spoken in an unfamiliar accent of Dutch in a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging experiment. Next, participants in one group repeated the sentences in their own accent, while a second group vocally imitated the accent. Finally, both groups rated the intelligibility of accented sentences in a post-test. The neuroimaging results showed an interaction between type of training and pre- and post-test sessions in left Inferior Frontal Gyrus, Supplementary Motor Area, and left Superior Temporal Sulcus. Although alternative explanations such as task engagement and fatigue need to be considered as well, the results suggest that imitation may aid effective speech comprehension by supporting sensorimotor integration. PMID:24109447

  11. Spectrotemporal Modulation Sensitivity as a Predictor of Speech Intelligibility for Hearing-Impaired Listeners

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Joshua G.W.; Mehraei, Golbarg; Shamma, Shihab; Gallun, Frederick J.; Theodoroff, Sarah M.; Leek, Marjorie R.

    2014-01-01

    Background A model that can accurately predict speech intelligibility for a given hearing-impaired (HI) listener would be an important tool for hearing-aid fitting or hearing-aid algorithm development. Existing speech-intelligibility models do not incorporate variability in suprathreshold deficits that are not well predicted by classical audiometric measures. One possible approach to the incorporation of such deficits is to base intelligibility predictions on sensitivity to simultaneously spectrally and temporally modulated signals. Purpose The likelihood of success of this approach was evaluated by comparing estimates of spectrotemporal modulation (STM) sensitivity to speech intelligibility and to psychoacoustic estimates of frequency selectivity and temporal fine-structure (TFS) sensitivity across a group of HI listeners. Research Design The minimum modulation depth required to detect STM applied to an 86 dB SPL four-octave noise carrier was measured for combinations of temporal modulation rate (4, 12, or 32 Hz) and spectral modulation density (0.5, 1, 2, or 4 cycles/octave). STM sensitivity estimates for individual HI listeners were compared to estimates of frequency selectivity (measured using the notched-noise method at 500, 1000measured using the notched-noise method at 500, 2000, and 4000 Hz), TFS processing ability (2 Hz frequency-modulation detection thresholds for 500, 10002 Hz frequency-modulation detection thresholds for 500, 2000, and 4000 Hz carriers) and sentence intelligibility in noise (at a 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio) that were measured for the same listeners in a separate study. Study Sample Eight normal-hearing (NH) listeners and 12 listeners with a diagnosis of bilateral sensorineural hearing loss participated. Data Collection and Analysis STM sensitivity was compared between NH and HI listener groups using a repeated-measures analysis of variance. A stepwise regression analysis compared STM sensitivity for individual HI listeners to

  12. Speech Intelligibility and Accents in Speech-Mediated Interfaces: Results and Recommendations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Halcyon M.

    2013-01-01

    There continues to be significant growth in the development and use of speech--mediated devices and technology products; however, there is no evidence that non-native English speech is used in these devices, despite the fact that English is now spoken by more non-native speakers than native speakers, worldwide. This relative absence of nonnative…

  13. Emotional intelligence, not music training, predicts recognition of emotional speech prosody.

    PubMed

    Trimmer, Christopher G; Cuddy, Lola L

    2008-12-01

    Is music training associated with greater sensitivity to emotional prosody in speech? University undergraduates (n = 100) were asked to identify the emotion conveyed in both semantically neutral utterances and melodic analogues that preserved the fundamental frequency contour and intensity pattern of the utterances. Utterances were expressed in four basic emotional tones (anger, fear, joy, sadness) and in a neutral condition. Participants also completed an extended questionnaire about music education and activities, and a battery of tests to assess emotional intelligence, musical perception and memory, and fluid intelligence. Emotional intelligence, not music training or music perception abilities, successfully predicted identification of intended emotion in speech and melodic analogues. The ability to recognize cues of emotion accurately and efficiently across domains may reflect the operation of a cross-modal processor that does not rely on gains of perceptual sensitivity such as those related to music training. PMID:19102595

  14. Speech intelligibility prediction in reverberation: Towards an integrated model of speech transmission, spatial unmasking, and binaural de-reverberation.

    PubMed

    Leclère, Thibaud; Lavandier, Mathieu; Culling, John F

    2015-06-01

    Room acoustic indicators of intelligibility have focused on the effects of temporal smearing of speech by reverberation and masking by diffuse ambient noise. In the presence of a discrete noise source, these indicators neglect the binaural listener's ability to separate target speech from noise. Lavandier and Culling [(2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 387-399] proposed a model that incorporates this ability but neglects the temporal smearing of speech, so that predictions hold for near-field targets. An extended model based on useful-to-detrimental (U/D) ratios is presented here that accounts for temporal smearing, spatial unmasking, and binaural de-reverberation in reverberant environments. The influence of the model parameters was tested by comparing the model predictions with speech reception thresholds measured in three experiments from the literature. Accurate predictions were obtained by adjusting the parameters to each room. Room-independent parameters did not lead to similar performances, suggesting that a single U/D model cannot be generalized to any room. Despite this limitation, the model framework allows to propose a unified interpretation of spatial unmasking, temporal smearing, and binaural de-reverberation. PMID:26093423

  15. The effects of syllabic compression and frequency shaping on speech intelligibility in hearing impaired people.

    PubMed

    Verschuure, H; Prinsen, T T; Dreschler, W A

    1994-02-01

    The effect of syllabic compression on speech intelligibility is rarely positive and in those cases that positive effects have been found, the same positive results could in general be obtained by frequency shaping of the frequency response curve. We programmed a syllabic compressor on a digital processor; the compressor differed from a conventional syllabic compressor by incorporating a delay in the signal path to suppress overshoots and thus minimize transient distortion. Furthermore, the time constants were short: attack time of 5 msec and release time of 15 msec. The compressor was only active in the high-frequency band. An essentially linear signal was added to deliver the low-frequency speech components. The processing resulted in a frequency response that mirrored the hearing loss near threshold and became much flatter for higher level input signals. Speech intelligibility scores for nonsense consonant-vowel-consonant words embedded in carrier phrases were determined for hearing-impaired persons with sloping audiograms and discrimination losses for speech. Results showed little additional effect of frequency shaping to the existing improved speech score for compressed speech. Optimum results were found for a compression ratio 2 with lower speech scores for linear amplification and for compression ratio 8. We next determined the effect of providing high-frequency emphasis to the speech signal and/or to the compression control signal to compensate for the upward spread of masking. The frequency response at the root-mean-square level was adjusted according to the half-gain rule. The positive effects of moderate compression could be found again; the high-frequency emphasis, however, was positive for the vowels but made consonant recognition poorer.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8194675

  16. Effects of a single reflection with varied horizontal angle and time delay on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, T; Ando, Y

    1991-12-01

    Previously, almost all physical measures for estimating speech intelligibility in a room have been derived from only temporal-monaural criteria. This paper shows that speech intelligibility for a sound field with a single reflection depends not only on the temporal-monaural factor but also on the spatial-binaural factor of the sound field. Articulation tests for sound fields simulated with a single reflection of delay time delta t1 after the direct sound were conducted changing the horizontal incident angle xi of the reflection. Remarkable findings are as followings: (1) speech intelligibility (SI) decreases with increasing delay time delta t1, (2) SI increases when xi approaches 90 degrees; the horizontal angle of the reflection causes a significant effect on SI, and (3) the analysis of variance for articulation test scores clearly demonstrated that the effects of both delta t1 and xi on SI are fully independent. Concerning result (2), if listeners get a spatial separation of signals at the two ears, then the listener's capability for speech perception is assumed to be improved due to "adding" further information to the temporal pattern recognition. PMID:1787252

  17. Channel selection in the modulation domain for improved speech intelligibility in noise

    PubMed Central

    Wójcicki, Kamil K.; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2012-01-01

    Background noise reduces the depth of the low-frequency envelope modulations known to be important for speech intelligibility. The relative strength of the target and masker envelope modulations can be quantified using a modulation signal-to-noise ratio, (S/N)mod, measure. Such a measure can be used in noise-suppression algorithms to extract target-relevant modulations from the corrupted (target + masker) envelopes for potential improvement in speech intelligibility. In the present study, envelopes are decomposed in the modulation spectral domain into a number of channels spanning the range of 0–30 Hz. Target-dominant modulations are identified and retained in each channel based on the (S/N)mod selection criterion, while modulations which potentially interfere with perception of the target (i.e., those dominated by the masker) are discarded. The impact of modulation-selective processing on the speech-reception threshold for sentences in noise is assessed with normal-hearing listeners. Results indicate that the intelligibility of noise-masked speech can be improved by as much as 13 dB when preserving target-dominant modulations, present up to a modulation frequency of 18 Hz, while discarding masker-dominant modulations from the mixture envelopes. PMID:22501068

  18. The combined effects of reverberation and noise on speech intelligibility by cochlear implant listeners

    PubMed Central

    Hazrati, Oldooz; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2013-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this study is to assess the individual effect of reverberation and noise, as well as their combined effect, on speech intelligibility by cochlear implant (CI) users. Design Sentence stimuli corrupted by reverberation, noise, and reverberation + noise are presented to 11 CI listeners for word identification. They are tested in two reverberation conditions (T60 = 0.6 s, 0.8 s), two noise conditions (SNR = 5 dB, 10 dB), and four reverberation + noise conditions. Study sample Eleven CI users participated. Results Results indicated that reverberation degrades speech intelligibility to a greater extent than additive noise (speech-shaped noise), at least for the SNR levels tested. The combined effects were greater than those introduced by either reverberation or noise alone. Conclusions The effect of reverberation on speech intelligibility by CI users was found to be larger than that by noise. The results from the present study highlight the importance of testing CI users in reverberant conditions, since testing in noise-alone conditions might underestimate the difficulties they experience in their daily lives where reverberation and noise often coexist. PMID:22356300

  19. Intelligibility of foreign-accented speech: Effects of listening condition, listener age, and listener hearing status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2005-09-01

    It is well known that, for listeners with normal hearing, speech produced by non-native speakers of the listener's first language is less intelligible than speech produced by native speakers. Intelligibility is well correlated with listener's ratings of talker comprehensibility and accentedness, which have been shown to be related to several talker factors, including age of second language acquisition and level of similarity between the talker's native and second language phoneme inventories. Relatively few studies have focused on factors extrinsic to the talker. The current project explored the effects of listener and environmental factors on the intelligibility of foreign-accented speech. Specifically, monosyllabic English words previously recorded from two talkers, one a native speaker of American English and the other a native speaker of Spanish, were presented to three groups of listeners (young listeners with normal hearing, elderly listeners with normal hearing, and elderly listeners with hearing impairment; n=20 each) in three different listening conditions (undistorted words in quiet, undistorted words in 12-talker babble, and filtered words in quiet). Data analysis will focus on interactions between talker accent, listener age, listener hearing status, and listening condition. [Project supported by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association AARC Award.

  20. The relative importance of temporal envelope information for intelligibility prediction: a study on cochlear-implant vocoded speech.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fei

    2011-10-01

    Vocoder simulation has been long applied as an effective tool to assess factors influencing the intelligibility of cochlear implants listeners. Considering that the temporal envelope information contained in contiguous bands of vocoded speech is correlated and redundant, this study examined the hypothesis that the intelligibility measure evaluating the distortions from a small number of selected envelope cues is sufficient to well predict the intelligibility scores. The speech intelligibility data from 80 conditions was collected from vocoder simulation experiments involving 22 normal-hearing listeners. The relative importance of temporal envelope information in cochlear-implant vocoded speech was modeled by correlating its speech-transmission indices (STIs) with the intelligibility scores. The relative importance pattern was subsequently utilized to determine a binary weight vector for STIs of all envelopes to compute the index predicting the speech intelligibility. A high correlation (r=0.95) was obtained when selecting a small number (e.g., 4 out of 20) of temporal envelope cues from disjoint bands to predict the intelligibility of cochlear-implant vocoded speech. PMID:21546304

  1. Reference-Free Assessment of Speech Intelligibility Using Bispectrum of an Auditory Neurogram

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Mohammad E.; Jassim, Wissam A.; Zilany, Muhammad S. A.

    2016-01-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to damage to the inner and outer hair cells of the peripheral auditory system. Hearing loss can cause decreases in audibility, dynamic range, frequency and temporal resolution of the auditory system, and all of these effects are known to affect speech intelligibility. In this study, a new reference-free speech intelligibility metric is proposed using 2-D neurograms constructed from the output of a computational model of the auditory periphery. The responses of the auditory-nerve fibers with a wide range of characteristic frequencies were simulated to construct neurograms. The features of the neurograms were extracted using third-order statistics referred to as bispectrum. The phase coupling of neurogram bispectrum provides a unique insight for the presence (or deficit) of supra-threshold nonlinearities beyond audibility for listeners with normal hearing (or hearing loss). The speech intelligibility scores predicted by the proposed method were compared to the behavioral scores for listeners with normal hearing and hearing loss both in quiet and under noisy background conditions. The results were also compared to the performance of some existing methods. The predicted results showed a good fit with a small error suggesting that the subjective scores can be estimated reliably using the proposed neural-response-based metric. The proposed metric also had a wide dynamic range, and the predicted scores were well-separated as a function of hearing loss. The proposed metric successfully captures the effects of hearing loss and supra-threshold nonlinearities on speech intelligibility. This metric could be applied to evaluate the performance of various speech-processing algorithms designed for hearing aids and cochlear implants. PMID:26967160

  2. Reference-Free Assessment of Speech Intelligibility Using Bispectrum of an Auditory Neurogram.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Mohammad E; Jassim, Wissam A; Zilany, Muhammad S A

    2016-01-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to damage to the inner and outer hair cells of the peripheral auditory system. Hearing loss can cause decreases in audibility, dynamic range, frequency and temporal resolution of the auditory system, and all of these effects are known to affect speech intelligibility. In this study, a new reference-free speech intelligibility metric is proposed using 2-D neurograms constructed from the output of a computational model of the auditory periphery. The responses of the auditory-nerve fibers with a wide range of characteristic frequencies were simulated to construct neurograms. The features of the neurograms were extracted using third-order statistics referred to as bispectrum. The phase coupling of neurogram bispectrum provides a unique insight for the presence (or deficit) of supra-threshold nonlinearities beyond audibility for listeners with normal hearing (or hearing loss). The speech intelligibility scores predicted by the proposed method were compared to the behavioral scores for listeners with normal hearing and hearing loss both in quiet and under noisy background conditions. The results were also compared to the performance of some existing methods. The predicted results showed a good fit with a small error suggesting that the subjective scores can be estimated reliably using the proposed neural-response-based metric. The proposed metric also had a wide dynamic range, and the predicted scores were well-separated as a function of hearing loss. The proposed metric successfully captures the effects of hearing loss and supra-threshold nonlinearities on speech intelligibility. This metric could be applied to evaluate the performance of various speech-processing algorithms designed for hearing aids and cochlear implants. PMID:26967160

  3. Within-speaker speech intelligibility in dysarthria: Variation across a reading passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yunusova, Yana; Weismer, Gary; Westbury, John; Rusche, Nicole

    2001-05-01

    Understanding factors underlying intelligibility deficits in dysarthria is important for clinical and theoretical reasons. Correlation/regression analyses between intelligibility measures and various speech production measures (e.g., acoustic or phonetic) are often reported in the literature. However, the analyses rarely control for the effect of a third variable (severity of speech disorder, in this case) likely to be correlated with the primary correlated variables. The current report controls for this effect by using a within-speaker analysis approach. Factors that were hypothesized to underlie the intelligibility variations in multiple breath groups within a connected discourse included structural elements (e.g., number of total words) as well as acoustic measures (e.g., F2 variation). Results showed that speech intelligibility in dysarthric speakers with two forms of neurological disease (Parkinson and ALS) does, in fact, vary across breath groups extracted from a connected discourse, and that these variations are related in some cases to a per breath estimate of F2 variation. [Work supported by NIDCD Award No. R01 DC03723.

  4. The effect of vocal and demographic traits on speech intelligibility over bone conduction.

    PubMed

    Pollard, Kimberly A; Tran, Phuong K; Letowski, Tomasz

    2015-04-01

    Bone conduction (BC) communication systems provide benefits over air conduction systems but are not in widespread use, partly due to problems with speech intelligibility. Contributing factors like device location and background noise have been explored, but little attention has been paid to the role of individual user differences. Because BC signals travel through an individual's skull and facial tissues, demographic factors such as user age, sex, race, or regional origin may influence sound transmission. Vocal traits such as pitch, spectral tilt, jitter, and shimmer may also play a role. Along with microphone placement and background noise, these factors can affect BC speech intelligibility. Eight diverse talkers were recorded with bone microphones on two different skull locations and in different background noise conditions. Twenty-four diverse listeners listened to these samples over BC and completed Modified Rhyme Tests for speech intelligibility. Forehead bone recordings were more intelligible than condyle recordings. In condyle recordings, female talkers, talkers with high fundamental frequency, and talkers in background noise were understood better, as were communications between talkers and listeners of the same regional origin. Listeners' individual traits had no significant effects. Thoughtful application of this knowledge can help improve BC communication for diverse users. PMID:25920856

  5. Objective measures for predicting speech intelligibility in noisy conditions based on new band-importance functions

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jianfen; Hu, Yi; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2009-01-01

    The articulation index (AI), speech-transmission index (STI), and coherence-based intelligibility metrics have been evaluated primarily in steady-state noisy conditions and have not been tested extensively in fluctuating noise conditions. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the performance of new speech-based STI measures, modified coherence-based measures, and AI-based measures operating on short-term (30 ms) intervals in realistic noisy conditions. Much emphasis is placed on the design of new band-importance weighting functions which can be used in situations wherein speech is corrupted by fluctuating maskers. The proposed measures were evaluated with intelligibility scores obtained by normal-hearing listeners in 72 noisy conditions involving noise-suppressed speech (consonants and sentences) corrupted by four different maskers (car, babble, train, and street interferences). Of all the measures considered, the modified coherence-based measures and speech-based STI measures incorporating signal-specific band-importance functions yielded the highest correlations (r=0.89–0.94). The modified coherence measure, in particular, that only included vowel∕consonant transitions and weak consonant information yielded the highest correlation (r=0.94) with sentence recognition scores. The results from this study clearly suggest that the traditional AI and STI indices could benefit from the use of the proposed signal- and segment-dependent band-importance functions. PMID:19425678

  6. Stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus area in Parkinson's disease: effects on speech and intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Serge; Ferraye, Murielle; Espesser, Robert; Fraix, Valérie; Maillet, Audrey; Guirchoum, Jennifer; Layani-Zemour, Deborah; Ghio, Alain; Chabardès, Stéphan; Pollak, Pierre; Debû, Bettina

    2014-10-01

    Improvement of gait disorders following pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease has previously been reported and led us to propose this surgical treatment to patients who progressively developed severe gait disorders and freezing despite optimal dopaminergic drug treatment and subthalamic nucleus stimulation. The outcome of our prospective study on the first six patients was somewhat mitigated, as freezing of gait and falls related to freezing were improved by low frequency electrical stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus area in some, but not all, patients. Here, we report the speech data prospectively collected in these patients with Parkinson's disease. Indeed, because subthalamic nucleus surgery may lead to speech impairment and a worsening of dysarthria in some patients with Parkinson's disease, we felt it was important to precisely examine any possible modulations of speech for a novel target for deep brain stimulation. Our results suggested a trend towards speech degradation related to the pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery (off stimulation) for aero-phonatory control (maximum phonation time), phono-articulatory coordination (oral diadochokinesis) and speech intelligibility. Possibly, the observed speech degradation may also be linked to the clinical characteristics of the group of patients. The influence of pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation per se was more complex, depending on the nature of the task: it had a deleterious effect on maximum phonation time and oral diadochokinesis, and mixed effects on speech intelligibility. Whereas levodopa intake and subthalamic nucleus stimulation alone had no and positive effects on speech dimensions, respectively, a negative interaction between the two treatments was observed both before and after pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery. This combination effect did not seem to be modulated by pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation. Although limited in our group of

  7. Spectral density affects the intelligibility of tone-vocoded speech: Implications for cochlear implant simulations.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Stuart; Zhang, Yue; Speers, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    For small numbers of channels, tone vocoders using low envelope cutoff frequencies are less intelligible than noise vocoders, even though the noise carriers introduce random fluctuations into the crucial envelope information. Here it is shown that using tone carriers with a denser spectrum improves performance considerably over typical tone vocoders, at least equaling, and often surpassing, the performance possible with noise vocoders. In short, the spectral sparseness of tone vocoded sounds for low channel numbers, separate from the degradations introduced by using only a small number of channels, is an important limitation on the intelligibility of tone-vocoded speech. PMID:26428833

  8. Synthesized Speech Intelligibility and Early Preschool-Age Children: Comparing Accuracy for Single-Word Repetition with Repeated Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinkoski-Ball, Carrie L.; Reichle, Joe; Munson, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This investigation examined the effect of repeated exposure to novel and repeated spoken words in typical environments on the intelligibility of 2 synthesized voices and human recorded speech in preschools. Method: Eighteen preschoolers listened to and repeated single words presented in human-recorded speech, DECtalk Paul, and AT&T Voice…

  9. Phonological Accuracy and Intelligibility in Connected Speech of Boys with Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Elizabeth; Roberts, Joanne; Long, Steven H.; Martin, Gary E.; Berni, Mary C.; Mandulak, Kerry C.; Sideris, John

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the phonological accuracy and speech intelligibility of boys with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD), fragile X syndrome only (FXS-O), Down syndrome (DS), and typically developing (TD) boys. Method: Participants were 32 boys with FXS-O (3-14 years), 31 with FXS-ASD (5-15 years), 34 with DS (4-16 years),…

  10. Effect of Gender and Sound Spatialization on Speech Intelligibility in Multiple Speaker Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, M.; Iyer, M.; Gupta, N.; Barreto, A.

    In multiple speaker environments such as teleconferences we observe a loss of intelligibility, particularly if the sound is monaural in nature. In this study, we exploit the "Cocktail Party Effect", where a person can isolate one sound above all others using sound localization and gender cues. To improve clarity of speech, each speaker is assigned a direction using Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) which creates an auditory map of multiple conversations. A mixture of male and female voices is used to improve comprehension.

  11. The influence of visual speech information on the intelligibility of English consonants produced by non-native speakers.

    PubMed

    Kawase, Saya; Hannah, Beverly; Wang, Yue

    2014-09-01

    This study examines how visual speech information affects native judgments of the intelligibility of speech sounds produced by non-native (L2) speakers. Native Canadian English perceivers as judges perceived three English phonemic contrasts (/b-v, θ-s, l-ɹ/) produced by native Japanese speakers as well as native Canadian English speakers as controls. These stimuli were presented under audio-visual (AV, with speaker voice and face), audio-only (AO), and visual-only (VO) conditions. The results showed that, across conditions, the overall intelligibility of Japanese productions of the native (Japanese)-like phonemes (/b, s, l/) was significantly higher than the non-Japanese phonemes (/v, θ, ɹ/). In terms of visual effects, the more visually salient non-Japanese phonemes /v, θ/ were perceived as significantly more intelligible when presented in the AV compared to the AO condition, indicating enhanced intelligibility when visual speech information is available. However, the non-Japanese phoneme /ɹ/ was perceived as less intelligible in the AV compared to the AO condition. Further analysis revealed that, unlike the native English productions, the Japanese speakers produced /ɹ/ without visible lip-rounding, indicating that non-native speakers' incorrect articulatory configurations may decrease the degree of intelligibility. These results suggest that visual speech information may either positively or negatively affect L2 speech intelligibility. PMID:25190408

  12. Intelligibility of time-compressed speech: the effect of uniform versus non-uniform time-compression algorithms.

    PubMed

    Schlueter, Anne; Lemke, Ulrike; Kollmeier, Birger; Holube, Inga

    2014-03-01

    For assessing hearing aid algorithms, a method is sought to shift the threshold of a speech-in-noise test to (mostly positive) signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) that allow discrimination across algorithmic settings and are most relevant for hearing-impaired listeners in daily life. Hence, time-compressed speech with higher speech rates was evaluated to parametrically increase the difficulty of the test while preserving most of the relevant acoustical speech cues. A uniform and a non-uniform algorithm were used to compress the sentences of the German Oldenburg Sentence Test at different speech rates. In comparison, the non-uniform algorithm exhibited greater deviations from the targeted time compression, as well as greater changes of the phoneme duration, spectra, and modulation spectra. Speech intelligibility for fast Oldenburg sentences in background noise at different SNRs was determined with 48 normal-hearing listeners. The results confirmed decreasing intelligibility with increasing speech rate. Speech had to be compressed to more than 30% of its original length to reach 50% intelligibility at positive SNRs. Characteristics influencing the discrimination ability of the test for assessing effective SNR changes were investigated. Subjective and objective measures indicated a clear advantage of the uniform algorithm in comparison to the non-uniform algorithm for the application in speech-in-noise tests. PMID:24606289

  13. Evolution of the speech intelligibility of prelinguistically deaf children who received a cochlear implant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchard, Marie-Eve; Cohen, Henri; Lenormand, Marie-Therese

    2005-04-01

    The 2 main objectives of this investigation are (1) to assess the evolution of the speech intelligibility of 12 prelinguistically deaf children implanted between 25 and 78 months of age and (2) to clarify the influence of the age at implantation on the intelligibility. Speech productions videorecorded at 6, 18 and 36 months following surgery during a standardized free play session. Selected syllables were then presented to 40 adults listeners who were asked to identify the vowels or the consonants they heard and to judge the quality of the segments. Perceived vowels were then located in the vocalic space whereas consonants were classified according to voicing, manner and place of articulation. 3 (Groups) ×3 (Times) ANOVA with repeated measures revealed a clear influence of time as well as age at implantation on the acquisition patterns. Speech intelligibility of these implanted children tended to improve as their experience with the device increased. Based on these results, it is proposed that sensory restoration following cochlear implant served as a probe to develop articulatory strategies allowing them to reach the intended acoustico-perceptual target.

  14. Auditory "bubbles": Efficient classification of the spectrotemporal modulations essential for speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Venezia, Jonathan H; Hickok, Gregory; Richards, Virginia M

    2016-08-01

    Speech intelligibility depends on the integrity of spectrotemporal patterns in the signal. The current study is concerned with the speech modulation power spectrum (MPS), which is a two-dimensional representation of energy at different combinations of temporal and spectral (i.e., spectrotemporal) modulation rates. A psychophysical procedure was developed to identify the regions of the MPS that contribute to successful reception of auditory sentences. The procedure, based on the two-dimensional image classification technique known as "bubbles" (Gosselin and Schyns (2001). Vision Res. 41, 2261-2271), involves filtering (i.e., degrading) the speech signal by removing parts of the MPS at random, and relating filter patterns to observer performance (keywords identified) over a number of trials. The result is a classification image (CImg) or "perceptual map" that emphasizes regions of the MPS essential for speech intelligibility. This procedure was tested using normal-rate and 2×-time-compressed sentences. The results indicated: (a) CImgs could be reliably estimated in individual listeners in relatively few trials, (b) CImgs tracked changes in spectrotemporal modulation energy induced by time compression, though not completely, indicating that "perceptual maps" deviated from physical stimulus energy, and PMID:27586738

  15. A physical method for estimating speech intelligibility in a reverberant sound field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogura, Y.

    1984-12-01

    The MTF-STI method which is a physical method for measuring the quality of speech-transmission in a tunnel was investigated and it appears that the STI, which can be deduced from the MTF, correlates highly with the sound articulation score. The character of the information loss represented by the MTF, and the calculating system of the MTF are considered. In this system the effect of the reverberation on the MTF is calculated from the impulse response in a tunnel, and the effect of the noise separate from the effect of the reverberation is considered. The MTF is converted to the STI (Speech Transmission Index), which corresponds directly to the speech intelligibility. Essentially the STI represents an extension of the Articulation Index (AI) concept, therefore we determine the values of the parameters used in the STI calculation from the parameters of the AI for Japanese. Resulting STI correlates highly with the -log(1-s), where s is a sound articulation score. The data suggest that the STI may serve as a convenient predictor of speech intelligibility in a tunnel.

  16. Comparisons of Auditory Performance and Speech Intelligibility after Cochlear Implant Reimplantation in Mandarin-Speaking Users

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Chung-Feng; Ko, Hui-Chen; Tsou, Yung-Ting; Chan, Kai-Chieh; Fang, Hsuan-Yeh; Wu, Che-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. We evaluated the causes, hearing, and speech performance before and after cochlear implant reimplantation in Mandarin-speaking users. Methods. In total, 589 patients who underwent cochlear implantation in our medical center between 1999 and 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Data related to demographics, etiologies, implant-related information, complications, and hearing and speech performance were collected. Results. In total, 22 (3.74%) cases were found to have major complications. Infection (n = 12) and hard failure of the device (n = 8) were the most common major complications. Among them, 13 were reimplanted in our hospital. The mean scores of the Categorical Auditory Performance (CAP) and the Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) obtained before and after reimplantation were 5.5 versus 5.8 and 3.7 versus 4.3, respectively. The SIR score after reimplantation was significantly better than preoperation. Conclusions. Cochlear implantation is a safe procedure with low rates of postsurgical revisions and device failures. The Mandarin-speaking patients in this study who received reimplantation had restored auditory performance and speech intelligibility after surgery. Device soft failure was rare in our series, calling attention to Mandarin-speaking CI users requiring revision of their implants due to undesirable symptoms or decreasing performance of uncertain cause. PMID:27413753

  17. Intelligibility of American English Vowels of Native and Non-Native Speakers in Quiet and Speech-Shaped Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    This study examined intelligibility of twelve American English vowels produced by English, Chinese, and Korean native speakers in quiet and speech-shaped noise in which vowels were presented at six sensation levels from 0 dB to 10 dB. The slopes of vowel intelligibility functions and the processing time for listeners to identify vowels were…

  18. Preparing an E-learning-based Speech Therapy (EST) efficacy study: Identifying suitable outcome measures to detect within-subject changes of speech intelligibility in dysarthric speakers.

    PubMed

    Beijer, L J; Rietveld, A C M; Ruiter, M B; Geurts, A C H

    2014-12-01

    We explored the suitability of perceptual and acoustic outcome measures to prepare E-learning based Speech Therapy (EST) efficacy tests regarding speech intelligibility in dysarthric speakers. Eight speakers with stroke (n=3), Parkinson's disease (n=4) and traumatic brain injury (n=1) participated in a 4 weeks EST trial. A repeated measures design was employed. Perceptual measures were (a) scale ratings for "ease of intelligibility" and "pleasantness" in continuous speech and (b) orthographic transcription scores of semantically unpredictable sentences. Acoustic measures were (c) "intensity during closure" (ΔIDC) in the occlusion phase of voiceless plosives, (d) changes in the vowel space of /a/, /e/ and /o/ and (e) the F0 variability in semantically unpredictable sentences. The only consistent finding concerned an increased (instead of the expected decreased) ΔIDC after EST, possibly caused by increased speech intensity without articulatory adjustments. The importance of suitable perceptual and acoustic measures for efficacy research is discussed. PMID:25025268

  19. Effects of cross-language voice training on speech perception: Whose familiar voices are more intelligible?

    PubMed Central

    Levi, Susannah V.; Winters, Stephen J.; Pisoni, David B.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that familiarity with a talker’s voice can improve linguistic processing (herein, “Familiar Talker Advantage”), but this benefit is constrained by the context in which the talker’s voice is familiar. The current study examined how familiarity affects intelligibility by manipulating the type of talker information available to listeners. One group of listeners learned to identify bilingual talkers’ voices from English words, where they learned language-specific talker information. A second group of listeners learned the same talkers from German words, and thus only learned language-independent talker information. After voice training, both groups of listeners completed a word recognition task with English words produced by both familiar and unfamiliar talkers. Results revealed that English-trained listeners perceived more phonemes correct for familiar than unfamiliar talkers, while German-trained listeners did not show improved intelligibility for familiar talkers. The absence of a processing advantage in speech intelligibility for the German-trained listeners demonstrates limitations on the Familiar Talker Advantage, which crucially depends on the language context in which the talkers’ voices were learned; knowledge of how a talker produces linguistically relevant contrasts in a particular language is necessary to increase speech intelligibility for words produced by familiar talkers. PMID:22225059

  20. Bidirectional clear speech perception benefit for native and high-proficiency non-native talkers and listeners: Intelligibility and accentednessa

    PubMed Central

    Smiljanić, Rajka; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated how native language background interacts with speaking style adaptations in determining levels of speech intelligibility. The aim was to explore whether native and high proficiency non-native listeners benefit similarly from native and non-native clear speech adjustments. The sentence-in-noise perception results revealed that fluent non-native listeners gained a large clear speech benefit from native clear speech modifications. Furthermore, proficient non-native talkers in this study implemented conversational-to-clear speaking style modifications in their second language (L2) that resulted in significant intelligibility gain for both native and non-native listeners. The results of the accentedness ratings obtained for native and non-native conversational and clear speech sentences showed that while intelligibility was improved, the presence of foreign accent remained constant in both speaking styles. This suggests that objective intelligibility and subjective accentedness are two independent dimensions of non-native speech. Overall, these results provide strong evidence that greater experience in L2 processing leads to improved intelligibility in both production and perception domains. These results also demonstrated that speaking style adaptations along with less signal distortion can contribute significantly towards successful native and non-native interactions. PMID:22225056

  1. The correlation between subjective and objective measures of coded speech quality and intelligibility following noise corruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayser, J. A.

    1981-12-01

    A scoring metric of speech intelligibility based on linear predictive coding (LPC) was developed and evaluated. The data base used for evaluating the metric consisted of a list of 50 words from the Modified Rhyme Test. The list was transmitted over a LPC-10 Vocoder with no background noise. The list was scored subjectively for intelligibility by a trained listener panel. The subjective scores were used to judge the effectiveness of the objective metric. The LPC scoring metric was calculated for the list of words and compared to the subjective scoring. The intelligibility score for the objective scoring metric was 82.99% with a standard deviation of 14.41%. The score for the subjective listener testing was 84.91% with a standard deviation of 7.47%. This shows a possible correlation between the objective LPC scoring metric and standard subjective listener scoring methods.

  2. Development of speech intelligibility and narrative abilities and their interrelationship three and five years after paediatric cochlear implantation.

    PubMed

    Huttunen, Kerttu

    2008-11-01

    This study sought to determine the level of speech intelligibility, narrative abilities, and their interrelationship in 18 Finnish children implanted at the average age of three years, four months. Additionally, background factors associated with speech intelligibility and storytelling ability were examined. Speech intelligibility was examined by means of an item identification task with five listeners per child. Three and five years after activation of the implant, the children reached average intelligibility scores of 53% and 81%, respectively. The story generation abilities of the implanted children exceeded their hearing age by one year, on average. This was found after comparing their results with those of normally-hearing two- to six-year-olds (N = 49). According to multiple regression analysis, comorbidity (number of additional needs), chronological age, and/or age at activation usually explained from 46% to 70% of the variation in speech intelligibility and narrative abilities. After controlling for age, communication mode, and number of additional needs, speech intelligibility and ability to narrate were statistically significantly associated with each other three years after activation, but not anymore five years after activation. PMID:19012111

  3. Role of intelligence tests in speech/language referrals.

    PubMed

    Sparks, R; Ganschow, L; Thomas, A

    1996-08-01

    This study examined the relation of the WISC-R Verbal IQ with measures of oral and written language among 190 students referred to a private educational clinic over a 5-yr. period. Correlations of Verbal IQ with scores on measures of oral language, written language, receptive language, reading comprehension, and basic reading skills were calculated for the total sample and by Grades 1-3, 4-7, and 8-11. Standard regression coefficients were used to estimate the proportion of variance explained by these five measures. Significant correlations were found for Verbal IQ with the measures, ranging from .36 (Basic Reading Skills) to .69 (Receptive Vocabulary). Multiple regression indicated that 59% of the variance was explained by the five measures and that three--Oral Language, Receptive Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension--contributed significantly to Verbal IQ. Correlations across grades showed inconsistent differences by grade for Verbal IQ with language variables. Implications for speech-language referral practices are discussed. PMID:8873192

  4. Analysis of masking effects on speech intelligibility with respect to moving sound stimulus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chiung Yao

    2001-05-01

    The purpose of this study is to compare the disturbed degree of speech by an immovable noise source and an apparent moving one (AMN). In the study of the sound localization, we found that source-directional sensitivity (SDS) well associates with the magnitude of interaural cross correlation (IACC). Ando et al. [Y. Ando, S. H. Kang, and H. Nagamatsu, J. Acoust. Soc. Jpn. (E) 8, 183-190 (1987)] reported that potential correlation between left and right inferior colliculus at auditory path in the brain is in harmony with the correlation function of amplitude input into two ear-canal entrances. We assume that the degree of disturbance under the apparent moving noisy source is probably different from that being installed in front of us within a constant distance in a free field (no reflection). Then, we found there is a different influence on speech intelligibility between a moving and a fixed source generated by 1/3-octave narrow-band noise with the center frequency 2 kHz. However, the reasons for the moving speed and the masking effects on speech intelligibility were uncertain.

  5. Inferior frontal sensitivity to common speech sounds is amplified by increasing word intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Vaden, Kenneth I.; Kuchinsky, Stefanie E.; Keren, Noam I.; Harris, Kelly C.; Ahlstrom, Jayne B.; Dubno, Judy R.; Eckert, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) exhibits increased responsiveness when people listen to words composed of speech sounds that frequently co-occur in the English language (Vaden, Piquado, Hickok, 2011), termed high phonotactic frequency (Vitevitch & Luce, 1998). The current experiment aimed to further characterize the relation of phonotactic frequency to LIFG activity by manipulating word intelligibility in participants of varying age. Thirty six native English speakers, 19–79 years old (mean = 50.5, sd = 21.0) indicated with a button press whether they recognized 120 binaurally presented consonant-vowel-consonant words during a sparse sampling fMRI experiment (TR = 8 sec). Word intelligibility was manipulated by low-pass filtering (cutoff frequencies of 400 Hz, 1000 Hz, 1600 Hz, and 3150 Hz). Group analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between phonotactic frequency and LIFG activity, which was unaffected by age and hearing thresholds. A region of interest analysis revealed that the relation between phonotactic frequency and LIFG activity was significantly strengthened for the most intelligible words (low-pass cutoff at 3150 Hz). These results suggest that the responsiveness of the left inferior frontal cortex to phonotactic frequency reflects the downstream impact of word recognition rather than support of word recognition, at least when there are no speech production demands. PMID:21925521

  6. Factors Affecting the Variation of Maximum Speech Intelligibility in Patients With Sensorineural Hearing Loss Other Than Apparent Retrocochlear Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Yahata, Izumi; Miyazaki, Hiromitsu; Takata, Yusuke; Yamauchi, Daisuke; Nomura, Kazuhiro; Katori, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the relationship between speech intelligibilities among the similar level of hearing loss and threshold elevation of the auditory brainstem response (ABR). Methods The relationship between maximum speech intelligibilities among similar levels of hearing loss and relative threshold elevation of the click-evoked ABR (ABR threshold - pure tone average at 2,000 and 4,000 Hz) was retrospectively reviewed in patients with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) other than apparent retrocochlear lesions as auditory neuropathy, vestibular schwannoma and the other brain lesions. Results Comparison of the speech intelligibilities in subjects with similar levels of hearing loss found that the variation in maximum speech intelligibility was significantly correlated with the threshold elevation of the ABR. Conclusion The present results appear to support the idea that variation in maximum speech intelligibility in patients with similar levels of SNHL may be related to the different degree of dysfunctions of the inner hair cells and/or cochlear nerves in addition to those of outer hair cells. PMID:26330909

  7. Developing a speech intelligibility test based on measuring speech reception thresholds in noise for English and Finnish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vainio, Martti; Suni, Antti; Järveläinen, Hanna; Järvikivi, Juhani; Mattila, Ville-Veikko

    2005-09-01

    A subjective test was developed suitable for evaluating the effect of mobile communications devices on sentence intelligibility in background noise. Originally a total of 25 lists, each list including 16 sentences, were developed in British English and Finnish to serve as the test stimuli representative of adult language today. The sentences, produced by two male and two female speakers, were normalized for naturalness, length, and intelligibility in each language. The sentence sets were balanced with regard to the expected lexical and phonetic distributions in the given language. The sentence lists are intended for adaptive measurement of speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in noise. In the verification of the test stimuli, SRTs were measured for ten subjects in Finnish and nine subjects in English. Mean SRTs were -2.47 dB in Finnish and -1.12 dB in English, with standard deviations of 1.61 and 2.36 dB, respectively. The mean thresholds did not vary significantly between the lists or the talkers after two lists were removed from the Finnish set and one from the English set. Thus the numbers of lists were reduced from 25 to 23 and 24, respectively. The statistical power of the test increased when thresholds were averaged over several sentence lists. With three lists per condition, the test is able to detect a 1.5-dB difference in SRTs with the probability of about 90%.

  8. Dual-microphone and binaural noise reduction techniques for improved speech intelligibility by hearing aid users

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousefian Jazi, Nima

    Spatial filtering and directional discrimination has been shown to be an effective pre-processing approach for noise reduction in microphone array systems. In dual-microphone hearing aids, fixed and adaptive beamforming techniques are the most common solutions for enhancing the desired speech and rejecting unwanted signals captured by the microphones. In fact, beamformers are widely utilized in systems where spatial properties of target source (usually in front of the listener) is assumed to be known. In this dissertation, some dual-microphone coherence-based speech enhancement techniques applicable to hearing aids are proposed. All proposed algorithms operate in the frequency domain and (like traditional beamforming techniques) are purely based on the spatial properties of the desired speech source and does not require any knowledge of noise statistics for calculating the noise reduction filter. This benefit gives our algorithms the ability to address adverse noise conditions, such as situations where interfering talker(s) speaks simultaneously with the target speaker. In such cases, the (adaptive) beamformers lose their effectiveness in suppressing interference, since the noise channel (reference) cannot be built and updated accordingly. This difference is the main advantage of the proposed techniques in the dissertation over traditional adaptive beamformers. Furthermore, since the suggested algorithms are independent of noise estimation, they offer significant improvement in scenarios that the power level of interfering sources are much more than that of target speech. The dissertation also shows the premise behind the proposed algorithms can be extended and employed to binaural hearing aids. The main purpose of the investigated techniques is to enhance the intelligibility level of speech, measured through subjective listening tests with normal hearing and cochlear implant listeners. However, the improvement in quality of the output speech achieved by the

  9. Synthesized speech rate and pitch effects on intelligibility of warning messages for pilots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, C. A.; Marchionda-Frost, K.

    1984-01-01

    In civilian and military operations, a future threat-warning system with a voice display could warn pilots of other traffic, obstacles in the flight path, and/or terrain during low-altitude helicopter flights. The present study was conducted to learn whether speech rate and voice pitch of phoneme-synthesized speech affects pilot accuracy and response time to typical threat-warning messages. Helicopter pilots engaged in an attention-demanding flying task and listened for voice threat warnings presented in a background of simulated helicopter cockpit noise. Performance was measured by flying-task performance, threat-warning intelligibility, and response time. Pilot ratings were elicited for the different voice pitches and speech rates. Significant effects were obtained only for response time and for pilot ratings, both as a function of speech rate. For the few cases when pilots forgot to respond to a voice message, they remembered 90 percent of the messages accurately when queried for their response 8 to 10 sec later.

  10. A multi-language evaluation of the RASTI method for estimating speech intelligibility in auditoria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houtgast, T.; Steeneken, H. J. M.

    1982-01-01

    The physical measure Rapid Speech Transmission Index (RASTI) was developed to assess speech intelligibility in auditoria. In order to evaluate this method, a set of 14 auditorium conditions (plus 2 replicas) with various degrees of reverberation and/or interfering noise were subjected to: (1) RASTI measurements; (2) articulation tests performed by laboratories in 11 different countries; and (3) additional quality rating experiment by 4 of these laboratories. The various listening experiments show substantial differences in the ranking of the 14 conditions. For instance, it appears that the absence of a carrier phrase in some of the articulation tests has great influence on the relative importance of reverberation as compared to noise interference. When considering only the tests which use an appropriate carrier phrase (7 countries), it is found that the RASTI values are in good agreement with the mean results of these articulation tests.

  11. Contributions of cochlea-scaled entropy and consonant-vowel boundaries to prediction of speech intelligibility in noise

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that spectral change, as measured by cochlea-scaled entropy (CSE), predicts speech intelligibility better than the information carried by vowels or consonants in sentences. Motivated by this finding, the present study investigates whether intelligibility indices implemented to include segments marked with significant spectral change better predict speech intelligibility in noise than measures that include all phonetic segments paying no attention to vowels/consonants or spectral change. The prediction of two intelligibility measures [normalized covariance measure (NCM), coherence-based speech intelligibility index (CSII)] is investigated using three sentence-segmentation methods: relative root-mean-square (RMS) levels, CSE, and traditional phonetic segmentation of obstruents and sonorants. While the CSE method makes no distinction between spectral changes occurring within vowels/consonants, the RMS-level segmentation method places more emphasis on the vowel-consonant boundaries wherein the spectral change is often most prominent, and perhaps most robust, in the presence of noise. Higher correlation with intelligibility scores was obtained when including sentence segments containing a large number of consonant-vowel boundaries than when including segments with highest entropy or segments based on obstruent/sonorant classification. These data suggest that in the context of intelligibility measures the type of spectral change captured by the measure is important. PMID:22559382

  12. Comparison of speech intelligibility in cockpit noise using SPH-4 flight helmet with and without active noise reduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jeffrey W.; Simpson, Carol A.

    1990-01-01

    Active Noise Reduction (ANR) is a new technology which can reduce the level of aircraft cockpit noise that reaches the pilot's ear while simultaneously improving the signal to noise ratio for voice communications and other information bearing sound signals in the cockpit. A miniature, ear-cup mounted ANR system was tested to determine whether speech intelligibility is better for helicopter pilots using ANR compared to a control condition of ANR turned off. Two signal to noise ratios (S/N), representative of actual cockpit conditions, were used for the ratio of the speech to cockpit noise sound pressure levels. Speech intelligibility was significantly better with ANR compared to no ANR for both S/N conditions. Variability of speech intelligibility among pilots was also significantly less with ANR. When the stock helmet was used with ANR turned off, the average PB Word speech intelligibility score was below the Normally Acceptable level. In comparison, it was above that level with ANR on in both S/N levels.

  13. Effect of the division between early and late reflections on intelligibility of ideal binary-masked speech.

    PubMed

    Li, Junfeng; Xia, Risheng; Fang, Qiang; Li, Aijun; Pan, Jielin; Yan, Yonghong

    2015-05-01

    The ideal binary mask (IBM) that was originally defined in anechoic conditions has been found to yield substantial improvements in speech intelligibility in noise. The IBM has recently been extended to reverberant conditions where the direct sound and early reflections of target speech are regarded as the desired signal. It is of great interest to know how the division between early and late reflections impacts on the intelligibility of the IBM-processed noisy reverberant speech. In this present study, the division between early and late reflections in three rooms was first determined by four typical estimation approaches and then used to compute the IBMs in reverberant conditions. The IBMs were then applied to the noisy reverberant mixture signal for segregating the desired signal, and the segregated signal was further presented to normal-hearing listeners for word recognition. Results showed that the IBMs with different divisions between early and late reflections provided substantial improvements in speech intelligibility over the unprocessed mixture signals in all conditions tested, and there were small, but statistically significant, differences in speech intelligibility between the different IBMs in some conditions tested. PMID:25994708

  14. Effects of noise reduction on speech intelligibility, perceived listening effort, and personal preference in hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Brons, Inge; Houben, Rolph; Dreschler, Wouter A

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluates the perceptual effects of single-microphone noise reduction in hearing aids. Twenty subjects with moderate sensorineural hearing loss listened to speech in babble noise processed via noise reduction from three different linearly fitted hearing aids. Subjects performed (a) speech-intelligibility tests, (b) listening-effort ratings, and (c) paired-comparison ratings on noise annoyance, speech naturalness, and overall preference. The perceptual effects of noise reduction differ between hearing aids. The results agree well with those of normal-hearing listeners in a previous study. None of the noise-reduction algorithms improved speech intelligibility, but all reduced the annoyance of noise. The noise reduction that scored best with respect to noise annoyance and preference had the worst intelligibility scores. The trade-off between intelligibility and listening comfort shows that preference measurements might be useful in addition to intelligibility measurements in the selection of noise reduction. Additionally, this trade-off should be taken into consideration to create realistic expectations in hearing-aid users. PMID:25315377

  15. Evaluation of Speech Intelligibility and Sound Localization Abilities with Hearing Aids Using Binaural Wireless Technology

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahim, Iman; Parsa, Vijay; Macpherson, Ewan; Cheesman, Margaret

    2012-01-01

    Wireless synchronization of the digital signal processing (DSP) features between two hearing aids in a bilateral hearing aid fitting is a fairly new technology. This technology is expected to preserve the differences in time and intensity between the two ears by co-ordinating the bilateral DSP features such as multichannel compression, noise reduction, and adaptive directionality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of wireless communication as implemented in two commercially available hearing aids. More specifically, this study measured speech intelligibility and sound localization abilities of normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners using bilateral hearing aids with wireless synchronization of multichannel Wide Dynamic Range Compression (WDRC). Twenty subjects participated; 8 had normal hearing and 12 had bilaterally symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. Each individual completed the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) and a sound localization test with two types of stimuli. No specific benefit from wireless WDRC synchronization was observed for the HINT; however, hearing impaired listeners had better localization with the wireless synchronization. Binaural wireless technology in hearing aids may improve localization abilities although the possible effect appears to be small at the initial fitting. With adaptation, the hearing aids with synchronized signal processing may lead to an improvement in localization and speech intelligibility. Further research is required to demonstrate the effect of adaptation to the hearing aids with synchronized signal processing on different aspects of auditory performance. PMID:26557339

  16. Speech Intelligibility in Various Noise Conditions with the Nucleus® 5 CP810 Sound Processor.

    PubMed

    Dillier, Norbert; Lai, Wai Kong

    2015-06-11

    The Nucleus(®) 5 System Sound Processor (CP810, Cochlear™, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia) contains two omnidirectional microphones. They can be configured as a fixed directional microphone combination (called Zoom) or as an adaptive beamformer (called Beam), which adjusts the directivity continuously to maximally reduce the interfering noise. Initial evaluation studies with the CP810 had compared performance and usability of the new processor in comparison with the Freedom™ Sound Processor (Cochlear™) for speech in quiet and noise for a subset of the processing options. This study compares the two processing options suggested to be used in noisy environments, Zoom and Beam, for various sound field conditions using a standardized speech in noise matrix test (Oldenburg sentences test). Nine German-speaking subjects who previously had been using the Freedom speech processor and subsequently were upgraded to the CP810 device participated in this series of additional evaluation tests. The speech reception threshold (SRT for 50% speech intelligibility in noise) was determined using sentences presented via loudspeaker at 65 dB SPL in front of the listener and noise presented either via the same loudspeaker (S0N0) or at 90 degrees at either the ear with the sound processor (S0NCI+) or the opposite unaided ear (S0NCI-). The fourth noise condition consisted of three uncorrelated noise sources placed at 90, 180 and 270 degrees. The noise level was adjusted through an adaptive procedure to yield a signal to noise ratio where 50% of the words in the sentences were correctly understood. In spatially separated speech and noise conditions both Zoom and Beam could improve the SRT significantly. For single noise sources, either ipsilateral or contralateral to the cochlear implant sound processor, average improvements with Beam of 12.9 and 7.9 dB in SRT were found. The average SRT of -8 dB for Beam in the diffuse noise condition (uncorrelated noise from both sides and

  17. Speech Intelligibility in Various Noise Conditions with the Nucleus® 5 CP810 Sound Processor

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Wai Kong

    2015-01-01

    The Nucleus® 5 System Sound Processor (CP810, Cochlear™, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia) contains two omnidirectional microphones. They can be configured as a fixed directional microphone combination (called Zoom) or as an adaptive beamformer (called Beam), which adjusts the directivity continuously to maximally reduce the interfering noise. Initial evaluation studies with the CP810 had compared performance and usability of the new processor in comparison with the Freedom™ Sound Processor (Cochlear™) for speech in quiet and noise for a subset of the processing options. This study compares the two processing options suggested to be used in noisy environments, Zoom and Beam, for various sound field conditions using a standardized speech in noise matrix test (Oldenburg sentences test). Nine German-speaking subjects who previously had been using the Freedom speech processor and subsequently were upgraded to the CP810 device participated in this series of additional evaluation tests. The speech reception threshold (SRT for 50% speech intelligibility in noise) was determined using sentences presented via loudspeaker at 65 dB SPL in front of the listener and noise presented either via the same loudspeaker (S0N0) or at 90 degrees at either the ear with the sound processor (S0NCI+) or the opposite unaided ear (S0NCI-). The fourth noise condition consisted of three uncorrelated noise sources placed at 90, 180 and 270 degrees. The noise level was adjusted through an adaptive procedure to yield a signal to noise ratio where 50% of the words in the sentences were correctly understood. In spatially separated speech and noise conditions both Zoom and Beam could improve the SRT significantly. For single noise sources, either ipsilateral or contralateral to the cochlear implant sound processor, average improvements with Beam of 12.9 and 7.9 dB in SRT were found. The average SRT of –8 dB for Beam in the diffuse noise condition (uncorrelated noise from both sides and

  18. Perception of interrupted speech: Effects of dual-rate gating on the intelligibility of words and sentencesa

    PubMed Central

    Shafiro, Valeriy; Sheft, Stanley; Risley, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Perception of interrupted speech and the influence of speech materials and memory load were investigated using one or two concurrent square-wave gating functions. Sentences (Experiment 1) and random one-, three-, and five-word sequences (Experiment 2) were interrupted using either a primary gating rate alone (0.5−24 Hz) or a combined primary and faster secondary rate. The secondary rate interrupted only speech left intact after primary gating, reducing the original speech to 25%. In both experiments, intelligibility increased with primary rate, but varied with memory load and speech material (highest for sentences, lowest for five-word sequences). With dual-rate gating of sentences, intelligibility with fast secondary rates was superior to that with single rates and a 25% duty cycle, approaching that of single rates with a 50% duty cycle for some low and high rates. For dual-rate gating of words, the positive effect of fast secondary gating was smaller than for sentences, and the advantage of sentences over word-sequences was not obtained in many dual-rate conditions. These findings suggest that integration of interrupted speech fragments after gating depends on the duration of the gated speech interval and that sufficiently robust acoustic-phonetic word cues are needed to access higher-level contextual sentence information. PMID:21973362

  19. Spectral contrast enhancement improves speech intelligibility in noise for cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Waldo; Rode, Thilo; Büchner, Andreas

    2016-02-01

    Spectral smearing causes, at least partially, that cochlear implant (CI) users require a higher signal-to-noise ratio to obtain the same speech intelligibility as normal hearing listeners. A spectral contrast enhancement (SCE) algorithm has been designed and evaluated as an additional feature for a standard CI strategy. The algorithm keeps the most prominent peaks within a speech signal constant while attenuating valleys in the spectrum. The goal is to partly compensate for the spectral smearing produced by the limited number of stimulation electrodes and the overlap of electrical fields produced in CIs. Twelve CI users were tested for their speech reception threshold (SRT) using the standard CI coding strategy with and without SCE. No significant differences in SRT were observed between conditions. However, an analysis of the electrical stimulation patterns shows a reduction in stimulation current when using SCE. In a second evaluation, 12 CI users were tested in a similar configuration of the SCE strategy with the stimulation being balanced between the SCE and the non-SCE variants such that the loudness perception delivered by the strategies was the same. Results show a significant improvement in SRT of 0.57 dB (p < 0.0005) for the SCE algorithm. PMID:26936556

  20. Previous exposure to intact speech increases intelligibility of its digitally degraded counterpart as a function of stimulus complexity.

    PubMed

    Hakonen, Maria; May, Patrick J C; Alho, Jussi; Alku, Paavo; Jokinen, Emma; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2016-01-15

    Recent studies have shown that acoustically distorted sentences can be perceived as either unintelligible or intelligible depending on whether one has previously been exposed to the undistorted, intelligible versions of the sentences. This allows studying processes specifically related to speech intelligibility since any change between the responses to the distorted stimuli before and after the presentation of their undistorted counterparts cannot be attributed to acoustic variability but, rather, to the successful mapping of sensory information onto memory representations. To estimate how the complexity of the message is reflected in speech comprehension, we applied this rapid change in perception to behavioral and magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiments using vowels, words and sentences. In the experiments, stimuli were initially presented to the subject in a distorted form, after which undistorted versions of the stimuli were presented. Finally, the original distorted stimuli were presented once more. The resulting increase in intelligibility observed for the second presentation of the distorted stimuli depended on the complexity of the stimulus: vowels remained unintelligible (behaviorally measured intelligibility 27%) whereas the intelligibility of the words increased from 19% to 45% and that of the sentences from 31% to 65%. This increase in the intelligibility of the degraded stimuli was reflected as an enhancement of activity in the auditory cortex and surrounding areas at early latencies of 130-160ms. In the same regions, increasing stimulus complexity attenuated mean currents at latencies of 130-160ms whereas at latencies of 200-270ms the mean currents increased. These modulations in cortical activity may reflect feedback from top-down mechanisms enhancing the extraction of information from speech. The behavioral results suggest that memory-driven expectancies can have a significant effect on speech comprehension, especially in acoustically adverse

  1. Conversational and clear speech intelligibility of /bVd/ syllables produced by native and non-native English speakers.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Catherine L; DeMasi, Teresa M; Krause, Jean C

    2010-07-01

    The ability of native and non-native speakers to enhance intelligibility of target vowels by speaking clearly was compared across three talker groups: monolingual English speakers and native Spanish speakers with either an earlier or a later age of immersion in an English-speaking environment. Talkers produced the target syllables "bead, bid, bayed, bed, bad" and "bod" in 'conversational' and clear speech styles. The stimuli were presented to native English-speaking listeners in multi-talker babble with signal-to-noise ratios of -8 dB for the monolingual and early learners and -4 dB for the later learners. The monolinguals and early learners of English showed a similar average clear speech benefit, and the early learners showed equal or greater intelligibility than monolinguals for most target vowels. The 4-dB difference in signal-to-noise ratio yielded approximately equal average intelligibility for the monolinguals and later learners. The average clear speech benefit was smallest for the later learners, and a significant clear speech decrement was obtained for the target syllable "bid." These results suggest that later learners of English as a second language may be less able than monolinguals to accommodate listeners in noisy environments, due to a reduced ability to improve intelligibility by speaking more clearly. PMID:20649235

  2. The Intelligibility and Comprehensibility of Learner Speech in Russian: A Study in the Salience of Pronunciation, Lexicon, Grammar and Syntax

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuendorf, Jill A.

    2010-01-01

    This study of L-2 Russian interlanguage production examined the salience of phonetic, lexical and syntactical features for L-1 listener intelligibility, based on L-2 recitation of written scripts (Part I) and also unrehearsed speech (Part II). Part III of the study investigated strategies used by native-speaking teachers of Russian as a Second…

  3. Hybridizing Conversational and Clear Speech to Investigate the Source of Increased Intelligibility in Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tjaden, Kris; Kain, Alexander; Lam, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: A speech analysis-resynthesis paradigm was used to investigate segmental and suprasegmental acoustic variables explaining intelligibility variation for 2 speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Method: Sentences were read in conversational and clear styles. Acoustic characteristics from clear sentences were extracted and applied to…

  4. Relations Between the Intelligibility of Speech in Noise and Psychophysical Measures of Hearing Measured in Four Languages Using the Auditory Profile Test Battery

    PubMed Central

    Van Esch, T. E. M.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the relations between the intelligibility of speech in noise and measures of auditory resolution, loudness recruitment, and cognitive function. The analyses were based on data published earlier as part of the presentation of the Auditory Profile, a test battery implemented in four languages. Tests of the intelligibility of speech, resolution, loudness recruitment, and lexical decision making were measured using headphones in five centers: in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Correlations and stepwise linear regression models were calculated. In sum, 72 hearing-impaired listeners aged 22 to 91 years with a broad range of hearing losses were included in the study. Several significant correlations were found with the intelligibility of speech in noise. Stepwise linear regression analyses showed that pure-tone average, age, spectral and temporal resolution, and loudness recruitment were significant predictors of the intelligibility of speech in fluctuating noise. Complex interrelationships between auditory factors and the intelligibility of speech in noise were revealed using the Auditory Profile data set in four languages. After taking into account the effects of pure-tone average and age, spectral and temporal resolution and loudness recruitment had an added value in the prediction of variation among listeners with respect to the intelligibility of speech in noise. The results of the lexical decision making test were not related to the intelligibility of speech in noise, in the population studied. PMID:26647417

  5. Relations Between the Intelligibility of Speech in Noise and Psychophysical Measures of Hearing Measured in Four Languages Using the Auditory Profile Test Battery.

    PubMed

    Van Esch, T E M; Dreschler, W A

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the relations between the intelligibility of speech in noise and measures of auditory resolution, loudness recruitment, and cognitive function. The analyses were based on data published earlier as part of the presentation of the Auditory Profile, a test battery implemented in four languages. Tests of the intelligibility of speech, resolution, loudness recruitment, and lexical decision making were measured using headphones in five centers: in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Correlations and stepwise linear regression models were calculated. In sum, 72 hearing-impaired listeners aged 22 to 91 years with a broad range of hearing losses were included in the study. Several significant correlations were found with the intelligibility of speech in noise. Stepwise linear regression analyses showed that pure-tone average, age, spectral and temporal resolution, and loudness recruitment were significant predictors of the intelligibility of speech in fluctuating noise. Complex interrelationships between auditory factors and the intelligibility of speech in noise were revealed using the Auditory Profile data set in four languages. After taking into account the effects of pure-tone average and age, spectral and temporal resolution and loudness recruitment had an added value in the prediction of variation among listeners with respect to the intelligibility of speech in noise. The results of the lexical decision making test were not related to the intelligibility of speech in noise, in the population studied. PMID:26647417

  6. The Effect of Automatic Gain Control Structure and Release Time on Cochlear Implant Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Khing, Phyu P.; Swanson, Brett A.; Ambikairajah, Eliathamby

    2013-01-01

    Nucleus cochlear implant systems incorporate a fast-acting front-end automatic gain control (AGC), sometimes called a compression limiter. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of replacing the front-end compression limiter with a newly proposed envelope profile limiter. A secondary objective was to investigate the effect of AGC speed on cochlear implant speech intelligibility. The envelope profile limiter was located after the filter bank and reduced the gain when the largest of the filter bank envelopes exceeded the compression threshold. The compression threshold was set equal to the saturation level of the loudness growth function (i.e. the envelope level that mapped to the maximum comfortable current level), ensuring that no envelope clipping occurred. To preserve the spectral profile, the same gain was applied to all channels. Experiment 1 compared sentence recognition with the front-end limiter and with the envelope profile limiter, each with two release times (75 and 625 ms). Six implant recipients were tested in quiet and in four-talker babble noise, at a high presentation level of 89 dB SPL. Overall, release time had a larger effect than the AGC type. With both AGC types, speech intelligibility was lower for the 75 ms release time than for the 625 ms release time. With the shorter release time, the envelope profile limiter provided higher group mean scores than the front-end limiter in quiet, but there was no significant difference in noise. Experiment 2 measured sentence recognition in noise as a function of presentation level, from 55 to 89 dB SPL. The envelope profile limiter with 625 ms release time yielded better scores than the front-end limiter with 75 ms release time. A take-home study showed no clear pattern of preferences. It is concluded that the envelope profile limiter is a feasible alternative to a front-end compression limiter. PMID:24312408

  7. Suppressed alpha oscillations predict intelligibility of speech and its acoustic details.

    PubMed

    Obleser, Jonas; Weisz, Nathan

    2012-11-01

    Modulations of human alpha oscillations (8-13 Hz) accompany many cognitive processes, but their functional role in auditory perception has proven elusive: Do oscillatory dynamics of alpha reflect acoustic details of the speech signal and are they indicative of comprehension success? Acoustically presented words were degraded in acoustic envelope and spectrum in an orthogonal design, and electroencephalogram responses in the frequency domain were analyzed in 24 participants, who rated word comprehensibility after each trial. First, the alpha power suppression during and after a degraded word depended monotonically on spectral and, to a lesser extent, envelope detail. The magnitude of this alpha suppression exhibited an additional and independent influence on later comprehension ratings. Second, source localization of alpha suppression yielded superior parietal, prefrontal, as well as anterior temporal brain areas. Third, multivariate classification of the time-frequency pattern across participants showed that patterns of late posterior alpha power allowed best for above-chance classification of word intelligibility. Results suggest that both magnitude and topography of late alpha suppression in response to single words can indicate a listener's sensitivity to acoustic features and the ability to comprehend speech under adverse listening conditions. PMID:22100354

  8. Suppressed Alpha Oscillations Predict Intelligibility of Speech and its Acoustic Details

    PubMed Central

    Weisz, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    Modulations of human alpha oscillations (8–13 Hz) accompany many cognitive processes, but their functional role in auditory perception has proven elusive: Do oscillatory dynamics of alpha reflect acoustic details of the speech signal and are they indicative of comprehension success? Acoustically presented words were degraded in acoustic envelope and spectrum in an orthogonal design, and electroencephalogram responses in the frequency domain were analyzed in 24 participants, who rated word comprehensibility after each trial. First, the alpha power suppression during and after a degraded word depended monotonically on spectral and, to a lesser extent, envelope detail. The magnitude of this alpha suppression exhibited an additional and independent influence on later comprehension ratings. Second, source localization of alpha suppression yielded superior parietal, prefrontal, as well as anterior temporal brain areas. Third, multivariate classification of the time–frequency pattern across participants showed that patterns of late posterior alpha power allowed best for above-chance classification of word intelligibility. Results suggest that both magnitude and topography of late alpha suppression in response to single words can indicate a listener's sensitivity to acoustic features and the ability to comprehend speech under adverse listening conditions. PMID:22100354

  9. The effect of reduced vowel working space on speech intelligibility in Mandarin-speaking young adults with cerebral palsy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Huei-Mei; Tsao, Feng-Ming; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2005-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of reduced vowel working space on dysarthric talkers' speech intelligibility using both acoustic and perceptual approaches. In experiment 1, the acoustic-perceptual relationship between vowel working space area and speech intelligibility was examined in Mandarin-speaking young adults with cerebral palsy. Subjects read aloud 18 bisyllabic words containing the vowels /eye/, /aye/, and /you/ using their normal speaking rate. Each talker's words were identified by three normal listeners. The percentage of correct vowel and word identification were calculated as vowel intelligibility and word intelligibility, respectively. Results revealed that talkers with cerebral palsy exhibited smaller vowel working space areas compared to ten age-matched controls. The vowel working space area was significantly correlated with vowel intelligibility (r=0.632, p<0.005) and with word intelligibility (r=0.684, p<0.005). Experiment 2 examined whether tokens of expanded vowel working spaces were perceived as better vowel exemplars and represented with greater perceptual spaces than tokens of reduced vowel working spaces. The results of the perceptual experiment support this prediction. The distorted vowels of talkers with cerebral palsy compose a smaller acoustic space that results in shrunken intervowel perceptual distances for listeners. .

  10. Effects of a music therapy voice protocol on speech intelligibility, vocal acoustic measures, and mood of individuals with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Haneishi, E

    2001-01-01

    This study examined the effects of a Music Therapy Voice Protocol (MTVP) on speech intelligibility, vocal intensity, maximum vocal range, maximum duration of sustained vowel phonation, vocal fundamental frequency, vocal fundamental frequency variability, and mood of individuals with Parkinson's disease. Four female patients, who demonstrated voice and speech problems, served as their own controls and participated in baseline assessment (study pretest), a series of MTVP sessions involving vocal and singing exercises, and final evaluation (study posttest). In study pre and posttests, data for speech intelligibility and all acoustic variables were collected. Statistically significant increases were found in speech intelligibility, as rated by caregivers, and in vocal intensity from study pretest to posttest as the results of paired samples t-tests. In addition, before and after each MTVP session (session pre and posttests), self-rated mood scores and selected acoustic variables were collected. No significant differences were found in any of the variables from the session pretests to posttests, across the entire treatment period, or their interactions as the results of two-way ANOVAs with repeated measures. Although not significant, the mean of mood scores in session posttests (M = 8.69) was higher than that in session pretests (M = 7.93). PMID:11796078

  11. Sentence intelligibility during segmental interruption and masking by speech-modulated noise: Effects of age and hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Fogerty, Daniel; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Bologna, William J; Dubno, Judy R

    2015-06-01

    This study investigated how single-talker modulated noise impacts consonant and vowel cues to sentence intelligibility. Younger normal-hearing, older normal-hearing, and older hearing-impaired listeners completed speech recognition tests. All listeners received spectrally shaped speech matched to their individual audiometric thresholds to ensure sufficient audibility with the exception of a second younger listener group who received spectral shaping that matched the mean audiogram of the hearing-impaired listeners. Results demonstrated minimal declines in intelligibility for older listeners with normal hearing and more evident declines for older hearing-impaired listeners, possibly related to impaired temporal processing. A correlational analysis suggests a common underlying ability to process information during vowels that is predictive of speech-in-modulated noise abilities. Whereas, the ability to use consonant cues appears specific to the particular characteristics of the noise and interruption. Performance declines for older listeners were mostly confined to consonant conditions. Spectral shaping accounted for the primary contributions of audibility. However, comparison with the young spectral controls who received identical spectral shaping suggests that this procedure may reduce wideband temporal modulation cues due to frequency-specific amplification that affected high-frequency consonants more than low-frequency vowels. These spectral changes may impact speech intelligibility in certain modulation masking conditions. PMID:26093436

  12. Sentence intelligibility during segmental interruption and masking by speech-modulated noise: Effects of age and hearing loss

    PubMed Central

    Fogerty, Daniel; Ahlstrom, Jayne B.; Bologna, William J.; Dubno, Judy R.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated how single-talker modulated noise impacts consonant and vowel cues to sentence intelligibility. Younger normal-hearing, older normal-hearing, and older hearing-impaired listeners completed speech recognition tests. All listeners received spectrally shaped speech matched to their individual audiometric thresholds to ensure sufficient audibility with the exception of a second younger listener group who received spectral shaping that matched the mean audiogram of the hearing-impaired listeners. Results demonstrated minimal declines in intelligibility for older listeners with normal hearing and more evident declines for older hearing-impaired listeners, possibly related to impaired temporal processing. A correlational analysis suggests a common underlying ability to process information during vowels that is predictive of speech-in-modulated noise abilities. Whereas, the ability to use consonant cues appears specific to the particular characteristics of the noise and interruption. Performance declines for older listeners were mostly confined to consonant conditions. Spectral shaping accounted for the primary contributions of audibility. However, comparison with the young spectral controls who received identical spectral shaping suggests that this procedure may reduce wideband temporal modulation cues due to frequency-specific amplification that affected high-frequency consonants more than low-frequency vowels. These spectral changes may impact speech intelligibility in certain modulation masking conditions. PMID:26093436

  13. The Interlanguage Speech Intelligibility Benefit as Bias Toward Native-Language Phonology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyan; van Heuven, Vincent J

    2015-12-01

    Two hypotheses have been advanced in the recent literature with respect to the so-called Interlanguage Speech Intelligibility Benefit (ISIB): a nonnative speaker will be better understood by a another nonnative listener than a native speaker of the target language will be (a) only when the nonnatives share the same native language (matched interlanguage) or (b) even when the nonnatives have different mother tongues (non-matched interlanguage). Based on a survey of published experimental materials, the present article will demonstrate that both the restricted (a) and the generalized (b) hypotheses are false when the ISIB effect is evaluated in terms of absolute intelligibility scores. We will then propose a simple way to compute a relative measure for the ISIB (R-ISIB), which we claim is a more insightful way of evaluating the interlanguage benefit, and test the hypotheses in relative (R-ISIB) terms on the same literature data. We then find that our R-ISIB measure only supports the more restricted hypothesis (a) while rejecting the more general hypothesis (b). This finding shows that the native language shared by the interactants biases the listener toward interpreting sounds in terms of the phonology of the shared mother tongue. PMID:27551352

  14. The Interlanguage Speech Intelligibility Benefit as Bias Toward Native-Language Phonology

    PubMed Central

    van Heuven, Vincent J.

    2015-01-01

    Two hypotheses have been advanced in the recent literature with respect to the so-called Interlanguage Speech Intelligibility Benefit (ISIB): a nonnative speaker will be better understood by a another nonnative listener than a native speaker of the target language will be (a) only when the nonnatives share the same native language (matched interlanguage) or (b) even when the nonnatives have different mother tongues (non-matched interlanguage). Based on a survey of published experimental materials, the present article will demonstrate that both the restricted (a) and the generalized (b) hypotheses are false when the ISIB effect is evaluated in terms of absolute intelligibility scores. We will then propose a simple way to compute a relative measure for the ISIB (R-ISIB), which we claim is a more insightful way of evaluating the interlanguage benefit, and test the hypotheses in relative (R-ISIB) terms on the same literature data. We then find that our R-ISIB measure only supports the more restricted hypothesis (a) while rejecting the more general hypothesis (b). This finding shows that the native language shared by the interactants biases the listener toward interpreting sounds in terms of the phonology of the shared mother tongue. PMID:27551352

  15. Speech communications in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The physical characteristics of speech, the methods of speech masking measurement, and the effects of noise on speech communication are investigated. Topics include the speech signal and intelligibility, the effects of noise on intelligibility, the articulation index, and various devices for evaluating speech systems.

  16. Dual-echo fMRI can detect activations in inferior temporal lobe during intelligible speech comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Halai, Ajay D.; Parkes, Laura M.; Welbourne, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    The neural basis of speech comprehension has been investigated intensively during the past few decades. Incoming auditory signals are analysed for speech-like patterns and meaningful information can be extracted by mapping these sounds onto stored semantic representations. Investigation into the neural basis of speech comprehension has largely focused on the temporal lobe, in particular the superior and posterior regions. The ventral anterior temporal lobe (vATL), which includes the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) and temporal fusiform gyrus (TFG) is consistently omitted in fMRI studies. In contrast, PET studies have shown the involvement of these ventral temporal regions. One crucial factor is the signal loss experienced using conventional echo planar imaging (EPI) for fMRI, at tissue interfaces such as the vATL. One method to overcome this signal loss is to employ a dual-echo EPI technique. The aim of this study was to use intelligible and unintelligible (spectrally rotated) sentences to determine if the vATL could be detected during a passive speech comprehension task using a dual-echo acquisition. A whole brain analysis for an intelligibility contrast showed bilateral superior temporal lobe activations and a cluster of activation within the left vATL. Converging evidence implicates the same ventral temporal regions during semantic processing tasks, which include language processing. The specific role of the ventral temporal region during intelligible speech processing cannot be determined from this data alone, but the converging evidence from PET, MEG, TMS and neuropsychology strongly suggest that it contains the stored semantic representations, which are activated by the speech decoding process. PMID:26037055

  17. Variations in the Slope of the Psychometric Functions for Speech Intelligibility: A Systematic Survey

    PubMed Central

    Akeroyd, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Although many studies have looked at the effects of different listening conditions on the intelligibility of speech, their analyses have often concentrated on changes to a single value on the psychometric function, namely, the threshold. Far less commonly has the slope of the psychometric function, that is, the rate at which intelligibility changes with level, been considered. The slope of the function is crucial because it is the slope, rather than the threshold, that determines the improvement in intelligibility caused by any given improvement in signal-to-noise ratio by, for instance, a hearing aid. The aim of the current study was to systematically survey and reanalyze the psychometric function data available in the literature in an attempt to quantify the range of slope changes across studies and to identify listening conditions that affect the slope of the psychometric function. The data for 885 individual psychometric functions, taken from 139 different studies, were fitted with a common logistic equation from which the slope was calculated. Large variations in slope across studies were found, with slope values ranging from as shallow as 1% per dB to as steep as 44% per dB (median = 6.6% per dB), suggesting that the perceptual benefit offered by an improvement in signal-to-noise ratio depends greatly on listening environment. The type and number of maskers used were found to be major factors on the value of the slope of the psychometric function while other minor effects of target predictability, target corpus, and target/masker similarity were also found. PMID:24906905

  18. [A study on functional plasticity of the brain in childhood. II. Speech development and intelligence after the damage of cerebral hemisphere under 1 year of age].

    PubMed

    Ichiba, N; Takigawa, H

    1992-11-01

    To investigate the functional plasticity of the brain in childhood, the speech development, the intelligence test and dichotic listening test were performed on 27 patients who had suffered from hemiplegia under 1 year of age. Among 13 patients with right hemiplegia, 7 to 24 years old, 11 patients showed a left ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the right hemisphere. All 14 patients with left hemiplegia, 5 to 37 years old, showed a right ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the left hemisphere. All 27 patients acquired speech function enough to converse with other people during daily life. There were no differences in speech development or intelligence scores between both groups of hemiplegia. Although there was no correlation between the speech development and the age of onset of hemiplegia, there was a correlation between the speech development and the intelligence score in both groups of hemiplegia. PMID:1419166

  19. Predicting binaural speech intelligibility using the signal-to-noise ratio in the envelope power spectrum domain.

    PubMed

    Chabot-Leclerc, Alexandre; MacDonald, Ewen N; Dau, Torsten

    2016-07-01

    This study proposes a binaural extension to the multi-resolution speech-based envelope power spectrum model (mr-sEPSM) [Jørgensen, Ewert, and Dau (2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134, 436-446]. It consists of a combination of better-ear (BE) and binaural unmasking processes, implemented as two monaural realizations of the mr-sEPSM combined with a short-term equalization-cancellation process, and uses the signal-to-noise ratio in the envelope domain (SNRenv) as the decision metric. The model requires only two parameters to be fitted per speech material and does not require an explicit frequency weighting. The model was validated against three data sets from the literature, which covered the following effects: the number of maskers, the masker types [speech-shaped noise (SSN), speech-modulated SSN, babble, and reversed speech], the masker(s) azimuths, reverberation on the target and masker, and the interaural time difference of the target and masker. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the simulated speech reception thresholds and the data across all experiments was 0.91. A model version that considered only BE processing performed similarly (correlation coefficient of 0.86) to the complete model, suggesting that BE processing could be considered sufficient to predict intelligibility in most realistic conditions. PMID:27475146

  20. Effect of Slow-Acting Wide Dynamic Range Compression on Measures of Intelligibility and Ratings of Speech Quality in Simulated-Loss Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosengard, Peninah S.; Payton, Karen L.; Braida, Louis D.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the extent to which 4-channel, slow-acting wide dynamic range amplitude compression (WDRC) can counteract the perceptual effects of reduced auditory dynamic range and (b) to examine the relation between objective measures of speech intelligibility and categorical ratings of speech quality for…

  1. Parental and Spousal Self-Efficacy of Young Adults Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Relationship to Speech Intelligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adi-Bensaid, Limor; Michael, Rinat; Most, Tova; Gali-Cinamon, Rachel

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the parental and spousal self-efficacy (SE) of adults who are deaf and who are hard of hearing (d/hh) in relation to their speech intelligibility. Forty individuals with hearing loss completed self-report measures: Spousal SE in a relationship with a spouse who was hearing/deaf, parental SE to a child who was hearing/deaf, and…

  2. Acoustic source characteristics, across-formant integration, and speech intelligibility under competitive conditions.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Brian; Summers, Robert J; Bailey, Peter J

    2015-06-01

    An important aspect of speech perception is the ability to group or select formants using cues in the acoustic source characteristics--for example, fundamental frequency (F0) differences between formants promote their segregation. This study explored the role of more radical differences in source characteristics. Three-formant (F1+F2+F3) synthetic speech analogues were derived from natural sentences. In Experiment 1, F1+F3 were generated by passing a harmonic glottal source (F0 = 140 Hz) through second-order resonators (H1+H3); in Experiment 2, F1+F3 were tonal (sine-wave) analogues (T1+T3). F2 could take either form (H2 or T2). In some conditions, the target formants were presented alone, either monaurally or dichotically (left ear = F1+F3; right ear = F2). In others, they were accompanied by a competitor for F2 (F1+F2C+F3; F2), which listeners must reject to optimize recognition. Competitors (H2C or T2C) were created using the time-reversed frequency and amplitude contours of F2. Dichotic presentation of F2 and F2C ensured that the impact of the competitor arose primarily through informational masking. In the absence of F2C, the effect of a source mismatch between F1+F3 and F2 was relatively modest. When F2C was present, intelligibility was lowest when F2 was tonal and F2C was harmonic, irrespective of which type matched F1+F3. This finding suggests that source type and context, rather than similarity, govern the phonetic contribution of a formant. It is proposed that wideband harmonic analogues are more effective informational maskers than narrowband tonal analogues, and so become dominant in across-frequency integration of phonetic information when placed in competition. PMID:25751040

  3. Acoustic Source Characteristics, Across-Formant Integration, and Speech Intelligibility Under Competitive Conditions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    An important aspect of speech perception is the ability to group or select formants using cues in the acoustic source characteristics—for example, fundamental frequency (F0) differences between formants promote their segregation. This study explored the role of more radical differences in source characteristics. Three-formant (F1+F2+F3) synthetic speech analogues were derived from natural sentences. In Experiment 1, F1+F3 were generated by passing a harmonic glottal source (F0 = 140 Hz) through second-order resonators (H1+H3); in Experiment 2, F1+F3 were tonal (sine-wave) analogues (T1+T3). F2 could take either form (H2 or T2). In some conditions, the target formants were presented alone, either monaurally or dichotically (left ear = F1+F3; right ear = F2). In others, they were accompanied by a competitor for F2 (F1+F2C+F3; F2), which listeners must reject to optimize recognition. Competitors (H2C or T2C) were created using the time-reversed frequency and amplitude contours of F2. Dichotic presentation of F2 and F2C ensured that the impact of the competitor arose primarily through informational masking. In the absence of F2C, the effect of a source mismatch between F1+F3 and F2 was relatively modest. When F2C was present, intelligibility was lowest when F2 was tonal and F2C was harmonic, irrespective of which type matched F1+F3. This finding suggests that source type and context, rather than similarity, govern the phonetic contribution of a formant. It is proposed that wideband harmonic analogues are more effective informational maskers than narrowband tonal analogues, and so become dominant in across-frequency integration of phonetic information when placed in competition. PMID:25751040

  4. The intelligibility of noise-vocoded speech: spectral information available from across-channel comparison of amplitude envelopes

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Brian; Summers, Robert J.; Bailey, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Noise-vocoded (NV) speech is often regarded as conveying phonetic information primarily through temporal-envelope cues rather than spectral cues. However, listeners may infer the formant frequencies in the vocal-tract output—a key source of phonetic detail—from across-band differences in amplitude when speech is processed through a small number of channels. The potential utility of this spectral information was assessed for NV speech created by filtering sentences into six frequency bands, and using the amplitude envelope of each band (≤30 Hz) to modulate a matched noise-band carrier (N). Bands were paired, corresponding to F1 (≈N1 + N2), F2 (≈N3 + N4) and the higher formants (F3′ ≈ N5 + N6), such that the frequency contour of each formant was implied by variations in relative amplitude between bands within the corresponding pair. Three-formant analogues (F0 = 150 Hz) of the NV stimuli were synthesized using frame-by-frame reconstruction of the frequency and amplitude of each formant. These analogues were less intelligible than the NV stimuli or analogues created using contours extracted from spectrograms of the original sentences, but more intelligible than when the frequency contours were replaced with constant (mean) values. Across-band comparisons of amplitude envelopes in NV speech can provide phonetically important information about the frequency contours of the underlying formants. PMID:21068039

  5. Side effects of fast-acting dynamic range compression that affect intelligibility in a competing speech task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Michael A.; Moore, Brian C. J.

    2004-10-01

    Using a cochlear implant simulator, Stone and Moore [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 1023-1034 (2003)] reported that wideband fast-acting compression led to poorer intelligibility than slow-acting compression in a competing speech task. Compression speed was varied by using different pairs of attack and release times. In the first experiment reported here, it is shown that attack times less than about 2 ms in a wideband compressor are deleterious to intelligibility. In experiment 2, fast wideband compression was applied to the target and background either before or after mixing. The former reduced the modulation depth of each signal but maintained the independence between the two signals, while the latter introduced ``comodulation.'' Using simulations with 6 and 11 channels, intelligibility was higher when compression was applied before mixing. In experiment 3, wideband compression was compared with multichannel compression; the latter led to reduced comodulation effects. For 6 channels, the position of the compressor, either wideband or within each channel, had no effect on intelligibility. For 11 channels, channel compression severely degraded intelligibility compared to wideband compression, presumably because of the greater reduction of across-channel contrasts. Overall, caution appears necessary in the use of fast-acting compression in cochlear implants, so as to preserve intelligibility. .

  6. Expanding the phenotypic profile of Kleefstra syndrome: A female with low-average intelligence and childhood apraxia of speech.

    PubMed

    Samango-Sprouse, Carole; Lawson, Patrick; Sprouse, Courtney; Stapleton, Emily; Sadeghin, Teresa; Gropman, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    Kleefstra syndrome (KS) is a rare neurogenetic disorder most commonly caused by deletion in the 9q34.3 chromosomal region and is associated with intellectual disabilities, severe speech delay, and motor planning deficits. To our knowledge, this is the first patient (PQ, a 6-year-old female) with a 9q34.3 deletion who has near normal intelligence, and developmental dyspraxia with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). At 6, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Intelligence testing (WPPSI-III) revealed a Verbal IQ of 81 and Performance IQ of 79. The Beery Buktenica Test of Visual Motor Integration, 5th Edition (VMI) indicated severe visual motor deficits: VMI = 51; Visual Perception = 48; Motor Coordination < 45. On the Receptive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test-R (ROWPVT-R), she had standard scores of 96 and 99 in contrast to an Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary-R (EOWPVT-R) standard scores of 73 and 82, revealing a discrepancy in vocabulary domains on both evaluations. Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) on PQ's first evaluation reveals a significant difference between auditory comprehension and expressive communication with standard scores of 78 and 57, respectively, further supporting the presence of CAS. This patient's near normal intelligence expands the phenotypic profile as well as the prognosis associated with KS. The identification of CAS in this patient provides a novel explanation for the previously reported speech delay and expressive language disorder. Further research is warranted on the impact of CAS on intelligence and behavioral outcome in KS. Therapeutic and prognostic implications are discussed. PMID:26833960

  7. Acoustic Predictors of Intelligibility for Segmentally Interrupted Speech: Temporal Envelope, Voicing, and Duration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Temporal interruption limits the perception of speech to isolated temporal glimpses. An analysis was conducted to determine the acoustic parameter that best predicts speech recognition from temporal fragments that preserve different types of speech information--namely, consonants and vowels. Method: Young listeners with normal hearing…

  8. An Ecosystem of Intelligent ICT Tools for Speech-Language Therapy Based on a Formal Knowledge Model.

    PubMed

    Robles-Bykbaev, Vladimir; López-Nores, Martín; Pazos-Arias, José; Quisi-Peralta, Diego; García-Duque, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    The language and communication constitute the development mainstays of several intellectual and cognitive skills in humans. However, there are millions of people around the world who suffer from several disabilities and disorders related with language and communication, while most of the countries present a lack of corresponding services related with health care and rehabilitation. On these grounds, we are working to develop an ecosystem of intelligent ICT tools to support speech and language pathologists, doctors, students, patients and their relatives. This ecosystem has several layers and components, integrating Electronic Health Records management, standardized vocabularies, a knowledge database, an ontology of concepts from the speech-language domain, and an expert system. We discuss the advantages of such an approach through experiments carried out in several institutions assisting children with a wide spectrum of disabilities. PMID:26262008

  9. Comparing Binaural Pre-processing Strategies III: Speech Intelligibility of Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Listeners.

    PubMed

    Völker, Christoph; Warzybok, Anna; Ernst, Stephan M A

    2015-01-01

    A comprehensive evaluation of eight signal pre-processing strategies, including directional microphones, coherence filters, single-channel noise reduction, binaural beamformers, and their combinations, was undertaken with normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured in three noise scenarios (multitalker babble, cafeteria noise, and single competing talker). Predictions of three common instrumental measures were compared with the general perceptual benefit caused by the algorithms. The individual SRTs measured without pre-processing and individual benefits were objectively estimated using the binaural speech intelligibility model. Ten listeners with NH and 12 HI listeners participated. The participants varied in age and pure-tone threshold levels. Although HI listeners required a better signal-to-noise ratio to obtain 50% intelligibility than listeners with NH, no differences in SRT benefit from the different algorithms were found between the two groups. With the exception of single-channel noise reduction, all algorithms showed an improvement in SRT of between 2.1 dB (in cafeteria noise) and 4.8 dB (in single competing talker condition). Model predictions with binaural speech intelligibility model explained 83% of the measured variance of the individual SRTs in the no pre-processing condition. Regarding the benefit from the algorithms, the instrumental measures were not able to predict the perceptual data in all tested noise conditions. The comparable benefit observed for both groups suggests a possible application of noise reduction schemes for listeners with different hearing status. Although the model can predict the individual SRTs without pre-processing, further development is necessary to predict the benefits obtained from the algorithms at an individual level. PMID:26721922

  10. A comparison of NAL and DSL prescriptive methods for paediatric hearing-aid fitting: Predicted speech intelligibility and loudness

    PubMed Central

    Ching, Teresa Y.C.; Johnson, Earl E.; Hou, Sanna; Dillon, Harvey; Zhang, Vicky; Burns, Lauren; van Buynder, Patricia; Wong, Angela; Flynn, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To examine the impact of prescription on predicted speech intelligibility and loudness for children. DESIGN A between-group comparison of Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) and loudness, based on hearing aids fitted according to NAL-NL1, DSL v4.1, or DSL m[i/o] prescriptions. A within-group comparison of gains prescribed by DSL m[i/o] and NAL-NL2 for children in terms of SII and loudness. STUDY SAMPLE Participants were 200 children , who were randomly assigned to first hearing-aid fitting with either NAL-NL1, DSL v4.1, or DSL m[i/o]. Audiometric data and hearing aid data at 3 years of age were used. RESULTS On average, SII calculated on the basis of hearing-aid gains were higher for DSL than for NAL-NL1 at low input level, equivalent at medium input level, and higher for NAL-NL1 than DSL at high input level. Greater loudness was associated with DSL than with NAL-NL1, across a range of input levels. Comparing NAL-NL2 and DSL m[i/o] target gains revealed higher SII for the latter at low input level. SII was higher for NAL-NL2 than for DSL m[i/o] at medium- and high-input levels despite greater loudness for gains prescribed by DSL m[i/o] than by NAL-NL2. CONCLUSION The choice of prescription has minimal effects on speech intelligibility predictions but marked effects on loudness predictions. PMID:24350692

  11. Spectrotemporal modulation sensitivity for hearing-impaired listeners: Dependence on carrier center frequency and the relationship to speech intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Mehraei, Golbarg; Gallun, Frederick J.; Leek, Marjorie R.; Bernstein, Joshua G. W.

    2014-01-01

    Poor speech understanding in noise by hearing-impaired (HI) listeners is only partly explained by elevated audiometric thresholds. Suprathreshold-processing impairments such as reduced temporal or spectral resolution or temporal fine-structure (TFS) processing ability might also contribute. Although speech contains dynamic combinations of temporal and spectral modulation and TFS content, these capabilities are often treated separately. Modulation-depth detection thresholds for spectrotemporal modulation (STM) applied to octave-band noise were measured for normal-hearing and HI listeners as a function of temporal modulation rate (4–32 Hz), spectral ripple density [0.5–4 cycles/octave (c/o)] and carrier center frequency (500–4000 Hz). STM sensitivity was worse than normal for HI listeners only for a low-frequency carrier (1000 Hz) at low temporal modulation rates (4–12 Hz) and a spectral ripple density of 2 c/o, and for a high-frequency carrier (4000 Hz) at a high spectral ripple density (4 c/o). STM sensitivity for the 4-Hz, 4-c/o condition for a 4000-Hz carrier and for the 4-Hz, 2-c/o condition for a 1000-Hz carrier were correlated with speech-recognition performance in noise after partialling out the audiogram-based speech-intelligibility index. Poor speech-reception and STM-detection performance for HI listeners may be related to a combination of reduced frequency selectivity and a TFS-processing deficit limiting the ability to track spectral-peak movements. PMID:24993215

  12. Lip movements entrain the observers' low-frequency brain oscillations to facilitate speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyojin; Kayser, Christoph; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    During continuous speech, lip movements provide visual temporal signals that facilitate speech processing. Here, using MEG we directly investigated how these visual signals interact with rhythmic brain activity in participants listening to and seeing the speaker. First, we investigated coherence between oscillatory brain activity and speaker's lip movements and demonstrated significant entrainment in visual cortex. We then used partial coherence to remove contributions of the coherent auditory speech signal from the lip-brain coherence. Comparing this synchronization between different attention conditions revealed that attending visual speech enhances the coherence between activity in visual cortex and the speaker's lips. Further, we identified a significant partial coherence between left motor cortex and lip movements and this partial coherence directly predicted comprehension accuracy. Our results emphasize the importance of visually entrained and attention-modulated rhythmic brain activity for the enhancement of audiovisual speech processing. PMID:27146891

  13. Effect of the speed of a single-channel dynamic range compressor on intelligibility in a competing speech task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Michael A.; Moore, Brian C. J.

    2003-08-01

    Using a ``noise-vocoder'' cochlear implant simulator [Shannon et al., Science 270, 303-304 (1995)], the effect of the speed of dynamic range compression on speech intelligibility was assessed, using normal-hearing subjects. The target speech had a level 5 dB above that of the competing speech. Initially, baseline performance was measured with no compression active, using between 4 and 16 processing channels. Then, performance was measured using a fast-acting compressor and a slow-acting compressor, each operating prior to the vocoder simulation. The fast system produced significant gain variation over syllabic timescales. The slow system produced significant gain variation only over the timescale of sentences. With no compression active, about six channels were necessary to achieve 50% correct identification of words in sentences. Sixteen channels produced near-maximum performance. Slow-acting compression produced no significant degradation relative to the baseline. However, fast-acting compression consistently reduced performance relative to that for the baseline, over a wide range of performance levels. It is suggested that fast-acting compression degrades performance for two reasons: (1) because it introduces correlated fluctuations in amplitude in different frequency bands, which tends to produce perceptual fusion of the target and background sounds and (2) because it reduces amplitude modulation depth and intensity contrasts.

  14. Effect of the speed of a single-channel dynamic range compressor on intelligibility in a competing speech task.

    PubMed

    Stone, Michael A; Moore, Brian C J

    2003-08-01

    Using a "noise-vocoder" cochlear implant simulator [Shannon et al., Science 270, 303-304 (1995)], the effect of the speed of dynamic range compression on speech intelligibility was assessed, using normal-hearing subjects. The target speech had a level 5 dB above that of the competing speech. Initially, baseline performance was measured with no compression active, using between 4 and 16 processing channels. Then, performance was measured using a fast-acting compressor and a slow-acting compressor, each operating prior to the vocoder simulation. The fast system produced significant gain variation over syllabic timescales. The slow system produced significant gain variation only over the timescale of sentences. With no compression active, about six channels were necessary to achieve 50% correct identification of words in sentences. Sixteen channels produced near-maximum performance. Slow-acting compression produced no significant degradation relative to the baseline. However, fast-acting compression consistently reduced performance relative to that for the baseline, over a wide range of performance levels. It is suggested that fast-acting compression degrades performance for two reasons: (1) because it introduces correlated fluctuations in amplitude in different frequency bands, which tends to produce perceptual fusion of the target and background sounds and (2) because it reduces amplitude modulation depth and intensity contrasts. PMID:12942981

  15. Memory performance on the Auditory Inference Span Test is independent of background noise type for young adults with normal hearing at high speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Rönnberg, Niklas; Rudner, Mary; Lunner, Thomas; Stenfelt, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Listening in noise is often perceived to be effortful. This is partly because cognitive resources are engaged in separating the target signal from background noise, leaving fewer resources for storage and processing of the content of the message in working memory. The Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST) is designed to assess listening effort by measuring the ability to maintain and process heard information. The aim of this study was to use AIST to investigate the effect of background noise types and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on listening effort, as a function of working memory capacity (WMC) and updating ability (UA). The AIST was administered in three types of background noise: steady-state speech-shaped noise, amplitude modulated speech-shaped noise, and unintelligible speech. Three SNRs targeting 90% speech intelligibility or better were used in each of the three noise types, giving nine different conditions. The reading span test assessed WMC, while UA was assessed with the letter memory test. Twenty young adults with normal hearing participated in the study. Results showed that AIST performance was not influenced by noise type at the same intelligibility level, but became worse with worse SNR when background noise was speech-like. Performance on AIST also decreased with increasing memory load level. Correlations between AIST performance and the cognitive measurements suggested that WMC is of more importance for listening when SNRs are worse, while UA is of more importance for listening in easier SNRs. The results indicated that in young adults with normal hearing, the effort involved in listening in noise at high intelligibility levels is independent of the noise type. However, when noise is speech-like and intelligibility decreases, listening effort increases, probably due to extra demands on cognitive resources added by the informational masking created by the speech fragments and vocal sounds in the background noise. PMID:25566159

  16. Effects of fast-acting high-frequency compression on the intelligibility of speech in steady and fluctuating background sounds.

    PubMed

    Stone, M A; Moore, B C; Wojtczak, M; Gudgin, E

    1997-08-01

    This study examines whether speech intelligibility in background sounds can be improved for persons with loudness recruitment by the use of fast-acting compression applied at high frequencies, when the overall level of the sounds is held constant by means of a slow-acting automatic gain control (AGC) system and when appropriate frequency-response shaping is applied. Two types of fast-acting compression were used in the high-frequency channel of a two-channel system: a compression limiter with a 10:1 compression ratio and with a compression threshold about 9 dB below the peak level of the signal in the high-frequency channel; and a wide dynamic range compressor with a 2:1 compression ratio and with the compression threshold about 24 dB below the peak level of the signal in the high-frequency channel. A condition with linear processing in the high-frequency channel was also used. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for two background sounds: a steady speech-shaped noise and a single male talker. All subjects had moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss. Three different types of speech material were used: the adaptive sentence lists (ASL), the Bamford-Kowal-Bench (BKB) sentence lists and the Boothroyd word lists. For the steady background noise, the compression generally led to poorer performance than for the linear condition, although the deleterious effect was only significant for the 10:1 compression ratio. For the background of a single talker, the compression had no significant effect except for the ASL sentences, where the 10:1 compression gave significantly better performance than the linear condition. Overall, the results did not show any clear benefits of the fast-acting compression, possibly because the slow-acting AGC allowed the use of gains in the linear condition that were markedly higher than would normally be used with linear hearing aids. PMID:9307821

  17. Rasch Analysis of Word Identification and Magnitude Estimation Scaling Responses in Measuring Naive Listeners' Judgments of Speech Intelligibility of Children with Severe-to-Profound Hearing Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beltyukova, Svetlana A.; Stone, Gregory M.; Ellis, Lee W.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: Speech intelligibility research typically relies on traditional evidence of reliability and validity. This investigation used Rasch analysis to enhance understanding of the functioning and meaning of scores obtained with 2 commonly used procedures: word identification (WI) and magnitude estimation scaling (MES). Method: Narrative samples…

  18. The Speech Intelligibility Index and the Pure-Tone Average as Predictors of Lexical Ability in Children Fit with Hearing Aids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiles, Derek J.; Bentler, Ruth A.; McGregor, Karla K.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether a clinically obtainable measure of audibility, the aided Speech Intelligibility Index (SII; American National Standards Institute, 2007), is more sensitive than the pure-tone average (PTA) at predicting the lexical abilities of children who wear hearing aids (CHA). Method: School-age CHA and age-matched children with…

  19. Can Children Substitute for Adult Listeners in Judging the Intelligibility of the Speech of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloiber, Diana True; Ertmer, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Assessments of the intelligibility of speech produced by children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) provide unique insights into functional speaking ability, readiness for mainstream classroom placements, and intervention effectiveness. The development of sentence lists for a wide age range of children and the advent of handheld…

  20. The Influence of Cochlear Mechanical Dysfunction, Temporal Processing Deficits, and Age on the Intelligibility of Audible Speech in Noise for Hearing-Impaired Listeners.

    PubMed

    Johannesen, Peter T; Pérez-González, Patricia; Kalluri, Sridhar; Blanco, José L; Lopez-Poveda, Enrique A

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the relative importance of cochlear mechanical dysfunction, temporal processing deficits, and age on the ability of hearing-impaired listeners to understand speech in noisy backgrounds. Sixty-eight listeners took part in the study. They were provided with linear, frequency-specific amplification to compensate for their audiometric losses, and intelligibility was assessed for speech-shaped noise (SSN) and a time-reversed two-talker masker (R2TM). Behavioral estimates of cochlear gain loss and residual compression were available from a previous study and were used as indicators of cochlear mechanical dysfunction. Temporal processing abilities were assessed using frequency modulation detection thresholds. Age, audiometric thresholds, and the difference between audiometric threshold and cochlear gain loss were also included in the analyses. Stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to assess the relative importance of the various factors for intelligibility. Results showed that (a) cochlear gain loss was unrelated to intelligibility, (b) residual cochlear compression was related to intelligibility in SSN but not in a R2TM, (c) temporal processing was strongly related to intelligibility in a R2TM and much less so in SSN, and (d) age per se impaired intelligibility. In summary, all factors affected intelligibility, but their relative importance varied across maskers. PMID:27604779

  1. Intelligibility Assessment of Ideal Binary-Masked Noisy Speech with Acceptance of Room Acoustic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vladimír, Sedlak; Daniela, Durackova; Roman, Zalusky; Tomas, Kovacik

    2015-01-01

    In this paper the intelligibility of ideal binary-masked noisy signal is evaluated for different signal to noise ratio (SNR), mask error, masker types, distance between source and receiver, reverberation time and local criteria for forming the binary mask. The ideal binary mask is computed from time-frequency decompositions of target and masker signals by thresholding the local SNR within time-frequency units. The intelligibility of separated signal is measured using different objective measures computed in frequency and perceptual domain. The present study replicates and extends the findings which were already presented but mainly shows impact of room acoustic on the intelligibility performance of IBM technique.

  2. Lip movements entrain the observers’ low-frequency brain oscillations to facilitate speech intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyojin; Kayser, Christoph; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    During continuous speech, lip movements provide visual temporal signals that facilitate speech processing. Here, using MEG we directly investigated how these visual signals interact with rhythmic brain activity in participants listening to and seeing the speaker. First, we investigated coherence between oscillatory brain activity and speaker’s lip movements and demonstrated significant entrainment in visual cortex. We then used partial coherence to remove contributions of the coherent auditory speech signal from the lip-brain coherence. Comparing this synchronization between different attention conditions revealed that attending visual speech enhances the coherence between activity in visual cortex and the speaker’s lips. Further, we identified a significant partial coherence between left motor cortex and lip movements and this partial coherence directly predicted comprehension accuracy. Our results emphasize the importance of visually entrained and attention-modulated rhythmic brain activity for the enhancement of audiovisual speech processing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14521.001 PMID:27146891

  3. The Effects of Different Frequency Responses on Sound Quality Judgments and Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabrielsson, Alf; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Twelve hearing-impaired and eight normal-hearing adults listened to speech and music programs that were reproduced using five different frequency responses (one flat, the others combinations of reduced lower frequencies and/or increased higher frequencies). Most preferred was a flat response at lower frequencies and a 6dB/octave increase…

  4. Inferior Frontal Sensitivity to Common Speech Sounds Is Amplified by Increasing Word Intelligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vaden, Kenneth I., Jr.; Kuchinsky, Stefanie E.; Keren, Noam I.; Harris, Kelly C.; Ahlstrom, Jayne B.; Dubno, Judy R.; Eckert, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) exhibits increased responsiveness when people listen to words composed of speech sounds that frequently co-occur in the English language (Vaden, Piquado, & Hickok, 2011), termed high phonotactic frequency (Vitevitch & Luce, 1998). The current experiment aimed to further characterize the relation of…

  5. Can Children Substitute for Adult Listeners in Judging the Intelligibility of the Speech of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

    PubMed Central

    Kloiber, Diana True

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Assessments of the intelligibility of speech produced by children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) provide unique insights into functional speaking ability, readiness for mainstream classroom placements, and intervention effectiveness. The development of sentence lists for a wide age range of children and the advent of handheld digital recording devices have overcome two barriers to routine use of this tool. Yet, difficulties in recruiting adequate numbers of adults to judge speech samples continue to make routine assessment impractical. In response to this barrier, it has been proposed that children who are 9 years or older might be adequate substitutes for adult listener-judges (Ertmer, 2011). Method To examine this possibility, 22 children from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades identified words from speech samples previously judged by adults. Results Children in the 3rd and 4th grades identified fewer words than adults, whereas scores for 5th graders were not significantly different from those of the adults. All grade levels showed increasing scores across low, mid, and high levels of intelligibility. Conclusions Children who are functioning at a 5th grade level or higher can act as listener-judges in speech intelligibility assessments. Suggestions for implementing assessments and scoring child-listeners' written responses are discussed. PMID:25381439

  6. Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Deary, Ian J

    2012-01-01

    Individual differences in human intelligence are of interest to a wide range of psychologists and to many people outside the discipline. This overview of contributions to intelligence research covers the first decade of the twenty-first century. There is a survey of some of the major books that appeared since 2000, at different levels of expertise and from different points of view. Contributions to the phenotype of intelligence differences are discussed, as well as some contributions to causes and consequences of intelligence differences. The major causal issues covered concern the environment and genetics, and how intelligence differences are being mapped to brain differences. The major outcomes discussed are health, education, and socioeconomic status. Aging and intelligence are discussed, as are sex differences in intelligence and whether twins and singletons differ in intelligence. More generally, the degree to which intelligence has become a part of broader research in neuroscience, health, and social science is discussed. PMID:21943169

  7. Speech intelligibility in rooms: Effect of prior listening exposure interacts with room acoustics.

    PubMed

    Zahorik, Pavel; Brandewie, Eugene J

    2016-07-01

    There is now converging evidence that a brief period of prior listening exposure to a reverberant room can influence speech understanding in that environment. Although the effect appears to depend critically on the amplitude modulation characteristic of the speech signal reaching the ear, the extent to which the effect may be influenced by room acoustics has not been thoroughly evaluated. This study seeks to fill this gap in knowledge by testing the effect of prior listening exposure or listening context on speech understanding in five different simulated sound fields, ranging from anechoic space to a room with broadband reverberation time (T60) of approximately 3 s. Although substantial individual variability in the effect was observed and quantified, the context effect was, on average, strongly room dependent. At threshold, the effect was minimal in anechoic space, increased to a maximum of 3 dB on average in moderate reverberation (T60 = 1 s), and returned to minimal levels again in high reverberation. This interaction suggests that the functional effects of prior listening exposure may be limited to sound fields with moderate reverberation (0.4 ≤ T60 ≤ 1 s). PMID:27475133

  8. Developing Cultural Intelligence in Preservice Speech-Language Pathologists and Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffer, Mona R.; Perlis, Susan M.

    2007-01-01

    Postsecondary educators preparing future clinicians and teachers have an important responsibility to develop cultural competence of their students in order to meet the increasing and ever-changing demands of today's global workforce and diverse workplace. In this article, the authors discuss key components to developing cultural intelligence.…

  9. Multimodal Interaction in Ambient Intelligence Environments Using Speech, Localization and Robotics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galatas, Georgios

    2013-01-01

    An Ambient Intelligence Environment is meant to sense and respond to the presence of people, using its embedded technology. In order to effectively sense the activities and intentions of its inhabitants, such an environment needs to utilize information captured from multiple sensors and modalities. By doing so, the interaction becomes more natural…

  10. Speech of Color Naming and Intelligence: Association in Girls, Dissociation in Boys.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaffe, Joseph; And Others

    1985-01-01

    A rapid naming test was administered to 321 prereaders (five-seven years old). Results showed sex differences in degree of correlation between naming performance and a test of general intelligence. Results bear theoretically on the degree to which a learning disability can appear as an isolated deficit in the two sexes. (Author/CL)