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Sample records for speech perception

  1. Speech perception as categorization

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Lori L.; Lotto, Andrew J.

    2010-01-01

    Speech perception (SP) most commonly refers to the perceptual mapping from the highly variable acoustic speech signal to a linguistic representation, whether it be phonemes, diphones, syllables, or words. This is an example of categorization, in that potentially discriminable speech sounds are assigned to functionally equivalent classes. In this tutorial, we present some of the main challenges to our understanding of the categorization of speech sounds and the conceptualization of SP that has resulted from these challenges. We focus here on issues and experiments that define open research questions relevant to phoneme categorization, arguing that SP is best understood as perceptual categorization, a position that places SP in direct contact with research from other areas of perception and cognition. PMID:20601702

  2. Somatosensory function in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Takayuki; Tiede, Mark; Ostry, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Somatosensory signals from the facial skin and muscles of the vocal tract provide a rich source of sensory input in speech production. We show here that the somatosensory system is also involved in the perception of speech. We use a robotic device to create patterns of facial skin deformation that would normally accompany speech production. We find that when we stretch the facial skin while people listen to words, it alters the sounds they hear. The systematic perceptual variation we observe in conjunction with speech-like patterns of skin stretch indicates that somatosensory inputs affect the neural processing of speech sounds and shows the involvement of the somatosensory system in the perceptual processing in speech. PMID:19164569

  3. The Dynamic Nature of Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McQueen, James M.; Norris, Dennis; Cutler, Anne

    2006-01-01

    The speech perception system must be flexible in responding to the variability in speech sounds caused by differences among speakers and by language change over the lifespan of the listener. Indeed, listeners use lexical knowledge to retune perception of novel speech (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003). In that study, Dutch listeners made lexical…

  4. Infant Perception of Atypical Speech Signals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vouloumanos, Athena; Gelfand, Hanna M.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to decode atypical and degraded speech signals as intelligible is a hallmark of speech perception. Human adults can perceive sounds as speech even when they are generated by a variety of nonhuman sources including computers and parrots. We examined how infants perceive the speech-like vocalizations of a parrot. Further, we examined how…

  5. Metrical perception of trisyllabic speech rhythms.

    PubMed

    Benadon, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    The perception of duration-based syllabic rhythm was examined within a metrical framework. Participants assessed the duration patterns of four-syllable phrases set within the stress structure XxxX (an Abercrombian trisyllabic foot). Using on-screen sliders, participants created percussive sequences that imitated speech rhythms and analogous non-speech monotone rhythms. There was a tendency to equalize the interval durations for speech stimuli but not for non-speech. Despite the perceptual regularization of syllable durations, different speech phrases were conceived in various rhythmic configurations, pointing to a diversity of perceived meters in speech. In addition, imitations of speech stimuli showed more variability than those of non-speech. Rhythmically skilled listeners exhibited lower variability and were more consistent with vowel-centric estimates when assessing speech stimuli. These findings enable new connections between meter- and duration-based models of speech rhythm perception. PMID:23417710

  6. Sensorimotor influences on speech perception in infancy.

    PubMed

    Bruderer, Alison G; Danielson, D Kyle; Kandhadai, Padmapriya; Werker, Janet F

    2015-11-01

    The influence of speech production on speech perception is well established in adults. However, because adults have a long history of both perceiving and producing speech, the extent to which the perception-production linkage is due to experience is unknown. We addressed this issue by asking whether articulatory configurations can influence infants' speech perception performance. To eliminate influences from specific linguistic experience, we studied preverbal, 6-mo-old infants and tested the discrimination of a nonnative, and hence never-before-experienced, speech sound distinction. In three experimental studies, we used teething toys to control the position and movement of the tongue tip while the infants listened to the speech sounds. Using ultrasound imaging technology, we verified that the teething toys consistently and effectively constrained the movement and positioning of infants' tongues. With a looking-time procedure, we found that temporarily restraining infants' articulators impeded their discrimination of a nonnative consonant contrast but only when the relevant articulator was selectively restrained to prevent the movements associated with producing those sounds. Our results provide striking evidence that even before infants speak their first words and without specific listening experience, sensorimotor information from the articulators influences speech perception. These results transform theories of speech perception by suggesting that even at the initial stages of development, oral-motor movements influence speech sound discrimination. Moreover, an experimentally induced "impairment" in articulator movement can compromise speech perception performance, raising the question of whether long-term oral-motor impairments may impact perceptual development. PMID:26460030

  7. Speech Perception in Individuals with Auditory Neuropathy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeng, Fan-Gang; Liu, Sheng

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Speech perception in participants with auditory neuropathy (AN) was systematically studied to answer the following 2 questions: Does noise present a particular problem for people with AN: Can clear speech and cochlear implants alleviate this problem? Method: The researchers evaluated the advantage in intelligibility of clear speech over…

  8. Production and perception of clear speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradlow, Ann R.

    2003-04-01

    When a talker believes that the listener is likely to have speech perception difficulties due to a hearing loss, background noise, or a different native language, she or he will typically adopt a clear speaking style. Previous research has established that, with a simple set of instructions to the talker, ``clear speech'' can be produced by most talkers under laboratory recording conditions. Furthermore, there is reliable evidence that adult listeners with either impaired or normal hearing typically find clear speech more intelligible than conversational speech. Since clear speech production involves listener-oriented articulatory adjustments, a careful examination of the acoustic-phonetic and perceptual consequences of the conversational-to-clear speech transformation can serve as an effective window into talker- and listener-related forces in speech communication. Furthermore, clear speech research has considerable potential for the development of speech enhancement techniques. After reviewing previous and current work on the acoustic properties of clear versus conversational speech, this talk will present recent data from a cross-linguistic study of vowel production in clear speech and a cross-population study of clear speech perception. Findings from these studies contribute to an evolving view of clear speech production and perception as reflecting both universal, auditory and language-specific, phonological contrast enhancement features.

  9. Localization of Sublexical Speech Perception Components

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turkeltaub, Peter E.; Coslett, H. Branch

    2010-01-01

    Models of speech perception are in general agreement with respect to the major cortical regions involved, but lack precision with regard to localization and lateralization of processing units. To refine these models we conducted two Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analyses of the neuroimaging literature on sublexical speech perception.…

  10. Speech imagery recalibrates speech-perception boundaries.

    PubMed

    Scott, Mark

    2016-07-01

    The perceptual boundaries between speech sounds are malleable and can shift after repeated exposure to contextual information. This shift is known as recalibration. To date, the known inducers of recalibration are lexical (including phonotactic) information, lip-read information and reading. The experiments reported here are a proof-of-effect demonstration that speech imagery can also induce recalibration. PMID:27068050

  11. Speech perception and production in severe environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisoni, David B.

    1990-09-01

    The goal was to acquire new knowledge about speech perception and production in severe environments such as high masking noise, increased cognitive load or sustained attentional demands. Changes were examined in speech production under these adverse conditions through acoustic analysis techniques. One set of studies focused on the effects of noise on speech production. The experiments in this group were designed to generate a database of speech obtained in noise and in quiet. A second set of experiments was designed to examine the effects of cognitive load on the acoustic-phonetic properties of speech. Talkers were required to carry out a demanding perceptual motor task while they read lists of test words. A final set of experiments explored the effects of vocal fatigue on the acoustic-phonetic properties of speech. Both cognitive load and vocal fatigue are present in many applications where speech recognition technology is used, yet their influence on speech production is poorly understood.

  12. Individual differneces in degraded speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carbonell, Kathy M.

    One of the lasting concerns in audiology is the unexplained individual differences in speech perception performance even for individuals with similar audiograms. One proposal is that there are cognitive/perceptual individual differences underlying this vulnerability and that these differences are present in normal hearing (NH) individuals but do not reveal themselves in studies that use clear speech produced in quiet (because of a ceiling effect). However, previous studies have failed to uncover cognitive/perceptual variables that explain much of the variance in NH performance on more challenging degraded speech tasks. This lack of strong correlations may be due to either examining the wrong measures (e.g., working memory capacity) or to there being no reliable differences in degraded speech performance in NH listeners (i.e., variability in performance is due to measurement noise). The proposed project has 3 aims; the first, is to establish whether there are reliable individual differences in degraded speech performance for NH listeners that are sustained both across degradation types (speech in noise, compressed speech, noise-vocoded speech) and across multiple testing sessions. The second aim is to establish whether there are reliable differences in NH listeners' ability to adapt their phonetic categories based on short-term statistics both across tasks and across sessions; and finally, to determine whether performance on degraded speech perception tasks are correlated with performance on phonetic adaptability tasks, thus establishing a possible explanatory variable for individual differences in speech perception for NH and hearing impaired listeners.

  13. Neural pathways for visual speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Lynne E.; Liebenthal, Einat

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the questions, what levels of speech can be perceived visually, and how is visual speech represented by the brain? Review of the literature leads to the conclusions that every level of psycholinguistic speech structure (i.e., phonetic features, phonemes, syllables, words, and prosody) can be perceived visually, although individuals differ in their abilities to do so; and that there are visual modality-specific representations of speech qua speech in higher-level vision brain areas. That is, the visual system represents the modal patterns of visual speech. The suggestion that the auditory speech pathway receives and represents visual speech is examined in light of neuroimaging evidence on the auditory speech pathways. We outline the generally agreed-upon organization of the visual ventral and dorsal pathways and examine several types of visual processing that might be related to speech through those pathways, specifically, face and body, orthography, and sign language processing. In this context, we examine the visual speech processing literature, which reveals widespread diverse patterns of activity in posterior temporal cortices in response to visual speech stimuli. We outline a model of the visual and auditory speech pathways and make several suggestions: (1) The visual perception of speech relies on visual pathway representations of speech qua speech. (2) A proposed site of these representations, the temporal visual speech area (TVSA) has been demonstrated in posterior temporal cortex, ventral and posterior to multisensory posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). (3) Given that visual speech has dynamic and configural features, its representations in feedforward visual pathways are expected to integrate these features, possibly in TVSA. PMID:25520611

  14. Speech perception as an active cognitive process

    PubMed Central

    Heald, Shannon L. M.; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2014-01-01

    One view of speech perception is that acoustic signals are transformed into representations for pattern matching to determine linguistic structure. This process can be taken as a statistical pattern-matching problem, assuming realtively stable linguistic categories are characterized by neural representations related to auditory properties of speech that can be compared to speech input. This kind of pattern matching can be termed a passive process which implies rigidity of processing with few demands on cognitive processing. An alternative view is that speech recognition, even in early stages, is an active process in which speech analysis is attentionally guided. Note that this does not mean consciously guided but that information-contingent changes in early auditory encoding can occur as a function of context and experience. Active processing assumes that attention, plasticity, and listening goals are important in considering how listeners cope with adverse circumstances that impair hearing by masking noise in the environment or hearing loss. Although theories of speech perception have begun to incorporate some active processing, they seldom treat early speech encoding as plastic and attentionally guided. Recent research has suggested that speech perception is the product of both feedforward and feedback interactions between a number of brain regions that include descending projections perhaps as far downstream as the cochlea. It is important to understand how the ambiguity of the speech signal and constraints of context dynamically determine cognitive resources recruited during perception including focused attention, learning, and working memory. Theories of speech perception need to go beyond the current corticocentric approach in order to account for the intrinsic dynamics of the auditory encoding of speech. In doing so, this may provide new insights into ways in which hearing disorders and loss may be treated either through augementation or therapy. PMID

  15. The Neural Substrates of Infant Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Homae, Fumitaka; Watanabe, Hama; Taga, Gentaro

    2014-01-01

    Infants often pay special attention to speech sounds, and they appear to detect key features of these sounds. To investigate the neural foundation of speech perception in infants, we measured cortical activation using near-infrared spectroscopy. We presented the following three types of auditory stimuli while 3-month-old infants watched a silent…

  16. Sensorimotor influences on speech perception in infancy

    PubMed Central

    Bruderer, Alison G.; Danielson, D. Kyle; Kandhadai, Padmapriya; Werker, Janet F.

    2015-01-01

    The influence of speech production on speech perception is well established in adults. However, because adults have a long history of both perceiving and producing speech, the extent to which the perception–production linkage is due to experience is unknown. We addressed this issue by asking whether articulatory configurations can influence infants’ speech perception performance. To eliminate influences from specific linguistic experience, we studied preverbal, 6-mo-old infants and tested the discrimination of a nonnative, and hence never-before-experienced, speech sound distinction. In three experimental studies, we used teething toys to control the position and movement of the tongue tip while the infants listened to the speech sounds. Using ultrasound imaging technology, we verified that the teething toys consistently and effectively constrained the movement and positioning of infants’ tongues. With a looking-time procedure, we found that temporarily restraining infants’ articulators impeded their discrimination of a nonnative consonant contrast but only when the relevant articulator was selectively restrained to prevent the movements associated with producing those sounds. Our results provide striking evidence that even before infants speak their first words and without specific listening experience, sensorimotor information from the articulators influences speech perception. These results transform theories of speech perception by suggesting that even at the initial stages of development, oral–motor movements influence speech sound discrimination. Moreover, an experimentally induced “impairment” in articulator movement can compromise speech perception performance, raising the question of whether long-term oral–motor impairments may impact perceptual development. PMID:26460030

  17. Auditory perception bias in speech imitation

    PubMed Central

    Postma-Nilsenová, Marie; Postma, Eric

    2013-01-01

    In an experimental study, we explored the role of auditory perception bias in vocal pitch imitation. Psychoacoustic tasks involving a missing fundamental indicate that some listeners are attuned to the relationship between all the higher harmonics present in the signal, which supports their perception of the fundamental frequency (the primary acoustic correlate of pitch). Other listeners focus on the lowest harmonic constituents of the complex sound signal which may hamper the perception of the fundamental. These two listener types are referred to as fundamental and spectral listeners, respectively. We hypothesized that the individual differences in speakers' capacity to imitate F0 found in earlier studies, may at least partly be due to the capacity to extract information about F0 from the speech signal. Participants' auditory perception bias was determined with a standard missing fundamental perceptual test. Subsequently, speech data were collected in a shadowing task with two conditions, one with a full speech signal and one with high-pass filtered speech above 300 Hz. The results showed that perception bias toward fundamental frequency was related to the degree of F0 imitation. The effect was stronger in the condition with high-pass filtered speech. The experimental outcomes suggest advantages for fundamental listeners in communicative situations where F0 imitation is used as a behavioral cue. Future research needs to determine to what extent auditory perception bias may be related to other individual properties known to improve imitation, such as phonetic talent. PMID:24204361

  18. Speech Perception in Children with Speech Output Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nijland, Lian

    2009-01-01

    Research in the field of speech production pathology is dominated by describing deficits in output. However, perceptual problems might underlie, precede, or interact with production disorders. The present study hypothesizes that the level of the production disorders is linked to level of perception disorders, thus lower-order production problems…

  19. Prediction and constraint in audiovisual speech perception.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Sommers, Mitchell S

    2015-07-01

    During face-to-face conversational speech listeners must efficiently process a rapid and complex stream of multisensory information. Visual speech can serve as a critical complement to auditory information because it provides cues to both the timing of the incoming acoustic signal (the amplitude envelope, influencing attention and perceptual sensitivity) and its content (place and manner of articulation, constraining lexical selection). Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological evidence regarding listeners' use of visual speech information. Multisensory integration of audiovisual speech cues improves recognition accuracy, particularly for speech in noise. Even when speech is intelligible based solely on auditory information, adding visual information may reduce the cognitive demands placed on listeners through increasing the precision of prediction. Electrophysiological studies demonstrate that oscillatory cortical entrainment to speech in auditory cortex is enhanced when visual speech is present, increasing sensitivity to important acoustic cues. Neuroimaging studies also suggest increased activity in auditory cortex when congruent visual information is available, but additionally emphasize the involvement of heteromodal regions of posterior superior temporal sulcus as playing a role in integrative processing. We interpret these findings in a framework of temporally-focused lexical competition in which visual speech information affects auditory processing to increase sensitivity to acoustic information through an early integration mechanism, and a late integration stage that incorporates specific information about a speaker's articulators to constrain the number of possible candidates in a spoken utterance. Ultimately it is words compatible with both auditory and visual information that most strongly determine successful speech perception during everyday listening. Thus, audiovisual speech perception is accomplished through multiple stages of integration

  20. Prediction and constraint in audiovisual speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Peelle, Jonathan E.; Sommers, Mitchell S.

    2015-01-01

    During face-to-face conversational speech listeners must efficiently process a rapid and complex stream of multisensory information. Visual speech can serve as a critical complement to auditory information because it provides cues to both the timing of the incoming acoustic signal (the amplitude envelope, influencing attention and perceptual sensitivity) and its content (place and manner of articulation, constraining lexical selection). Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological evidence regarding listeners' use of visual speech information. Multisensory integration of audiovisual speech cues improves recognition accuracy, particularly for speech in noise. Even when speech is intelligible based solely on auditory information, adding visual information may reduce the cognitive demands placed on listeners through increasing precision of prediction. Electrophysiological studies demonstrate oscillatory cortical entrainment to speech in auditory cortex is enhanced when visual speech is present, increasing sensitivity to important acoustic cues. Neuroimaging studies also suggest increased activity in auditory cortex when congruent visual information is available, but additionally emphasize the involvement of heteromodal regions of posterior superior temporal sulcus as playing a role in integrative processing. We interpret these findings in a framework of temporally-focused lexical competition in which visual speech information affects auditory processing to increase sensitivity to auditory information through an early integration mechanism, and a late integration stage that incorporates specific information about a speaker's articulators to constrain the number of possible candidates in a spoken utterance. Ultimately it is words compatible with both auditory and visual information that most strongly determine successful speech perception during everyday listening. Thus, audiovisual speech perception is accomplished through multiple stages of integration, supported

  1. A causal test of the motor theory of speech perception: A case of impaired speech production and spared speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Stasenko, Alena; Bonn, Cory; Teghipco, Alex; Garcea, Frank E.; Sweet, Catherine; Dombovy, Mary; McDonough, Joyce; Mahon, Bradford Z.

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade, the debate about the causal role of the motor system in speech perception has been reignited by demonstrations that motor processes are engaged during the processing of speech sounds. However, the exact role of the motor system in auditory speech processing remains elusive. Here we evaluate which aspects of auditory speech processing are affected, and which are not, in a stroke patient with dysfunction of the speech motor system. The patient’s spontaneous speech was marked by frequent phonological/articulatory errors, and those errors were caused, at least in part, by motor-level impairments with speech production. We found that the patient showed a normal phonemic categorical boundary when discriminating two nonwords that differ by a minimal pair (e.g., ADA-AGA). However, using the same stimuli, the patient was unable to identify or label the nonword stimuli (using a button-press response). A control task showed that he could identify speech sounds by speaker gender, ruling out a general labeling impairment. These data suggest that the identification (i.e. labeling) of nonword speech sounds may involve the speech motor system, but that the perception of speech sounds (i.e., discrimination) does not require the motor system. This means that motor processes are not causally involved in perception of the speech signal, and suggest that the motor system may be used when other cues (e.g., meaning, context) are not available. PMID:25951749

  2. Speech-Perception-in-Noise Deficits in Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziegler, Johannes C.; Pech-Georgel, Catherine; George, Florence; Lorenzi, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Speech perception deficits in developmental dyslexia were investigated in quiet and various noise conditions. Dyslexics exhibited clear speech perception deficits in noise but not in silence. "Place-of-articulation" was more affected than "voicing" or "manner-of-articulation." Speech-perception-in-noise deficits persisted when performance of…

  3. 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…

  4. Perception and the temporal properties of speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Peter C.

    1991-11-01

    Four experiments addressing the role of attention in phonetic perception are reported. The first experiment shows that the relative importance of two cues to the voicing distinction changes when subjects must perform an arithmetic distractor task at the same time as identifying a speech stimulus. The voice onset time cue loses phonetic significance when subjects are distracted, while the F0 onset frequency cue does not. The second experiment shows a similar pattern for two cues to the distinction between the vowels /i/ (as in 'beat') and /I/ (as in 'bit'). Together these experiments indicate that careful attention to speech perception is necessary for strong acoustic cues to achieve their full phonetic impact, while weaker acoustic cues achieve their full phonetic impact without close attention. Experiment 3 shows that this pattern is obtained when the distractor task places little demand on verbal short term memory. Experiment 4 provides a large data set for testing formal models of the role of attention in speech perception. Attention is shown to influence the signal to noise ratio in phonetic encoding. This principle is instantiated in a network model in which the role of attention is to reduce noise in the phonetic encoding of acoustic cues. Implications of this work for understanding speech perception and general theories of the role of attention in perception are discussed.

  5. Auditory-visual speech perception and synchrony detection for speech and nonspeech signals

    PubMed Central

    Conrey, Brianna; Pisoni, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has identified a “synchrony window” of several hundred milliseconds over which auditory-visual (AV) asynchronies are not reliably perceived. Individual variability in the size of this AV synchrony window has been linked with variability in AV speech perception measures, but it was not clear whether AV speech perception measures are related to synchrony detection for speech only or for both speech and nonspeech signals. An experiment was conducted to investigate the relationship between measures of AV speech perception and AV synchrony detection for speech and nonspeech signals. Variability in AV synchrony detection for both speech and nonspeech signals was found to be related to variability in measures of auditory-only (A-only) and AV speech perception, suggesting that temporal processing for both speech and nonspeech signals must be taken into account in explaining variability in A-only and multisensory speech perception. PMID:16838548

  6. Nonsensory factors in speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Rachael F.; Carney, Arlene E.

    2001-05-01

    The nature of developmental differences was examined in a speech discrimination task, the change/no-change procedure, in which a varying number of speech stimuli are presented during a trial. Standard stimuli are followed by comparison stimuli that are identical to or acoustically different from the standard. Fourteen adults and 30 4- and 5-year-old children were tested with three speech contrast pairs at a variety of signal-to-noise ratios using various numbers of standard and comparison stimulus presentations. Adult speech discrimination performance followed the predictions of the multiple looks hypothesis [N. F. Viemeister and G. H. Wakefield, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 90, 858-865 (1991)] there was an increase in d by a factor of 1.4 for a doubling in the number of standard and comparison stimulus presentations near d values of 1.0. For children, increasing the number of standard stimuli improved discrimination performance, whereas increasing the number of comparisons did not. The multiple looks hypothesis did not explain the children's data. They are explained more parsimoniously by the developmental weighting shift [Nittrouer et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 101, 2253-2266 (1993)], which proposes that children attend to different aspects of speech stimuli from adults. [Work supported by NIDCD and ASHF.

  7. Phonological and Phonetic Biases in Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Key, Michael Parrish

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation investigates how knowledge of phonological generalizations influences speech perception, with a particular focus on evidence that phonological processing is autonomous from (rather than interactive with) auditory processing. A model is proposed in which auditory cue constraints and markedness constraints interact to determine a…

  8. The motor theory of speech perception reviewed

    PubMed Central

    GALANTUCCI, BRUNO; FOWLER, CAROL A.; TURVEY, M. T.

    2009-01-01

    More than 50 years after the appearance of the motor theory of speech perception, it is timely to evaluate its three main claims that (1) speech processing is special, (2) perceiving speech is perceiving gestures, and (3) the motor system is recruited for perceiving speech. We argue that to the extent that it can be evaluated, the first claim is likely false. As for the second claim, we review findings that support it and argue that although each of these findings may be explained by alternative accounts, the claim provides a single coherent account. As for the third claim, we review findings in the literature that support it at different levels of generality and argue that the claim anticipated a theme that has become widespread in cognitive science. PMID:17048719

  9. A causal test of the motor theory of speech perception: a case of impaired speech production and spared speech perception.

    PubMed

    Stasenko, Alena; Bonn, Cory; Teghipco, Alex; Garcea, Frank E; Sweet, Catherine; Dombovy, Mary; McDonough, Joyce; Mahon, Bradford Z

    2015-01-01

    The debate about the causal role of the motor system in speech perception has been reignited by demonstrations that motor processes are engaged during the processing of speech sounds. Here, we evaluate which aspects of auditory speech processing are affected, and which are not, in a stroke patient with dysfunction of the speech motor system. We found that the patient showed a normal phonemic categorical boundary when discriminating two non-words that differ by a minimal pair (e.g., ADA-AGA). However, using the same stimuli, the patient was unable to identify or label the non-word stimuli (using a button-press response). A control task showed that he could identify speech sounds by speaker gender, ruling out a general labelling impairment. These data suggest that while the motor system is not causally involved in perception of the speech signal, it may be used when other cues (e.g., meaning, context) are not available. PMID:25951749

  10. Cross-Modal Prediction in Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-García, Carolina; Alsius, Agnès; Enns, James T.; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2011-01-01

    Speech perception often benefits from vision of the speaker's lip movements when they are available. One potential mechanism underlying this reported gain in perception arising from audio-visual integration is on-line prediction. In this study we address whether the preceding speech context in a single modality can improve audiovisual processing and whether this improvement is based on on-line information-transfer across sensory modalities. In the experiments presented here, during each trial, a speech fragment (context) presented in a single sensory modality (voice or lips) was immediately continued by an audiovisual target fragment. Participants made speeded judgments about whether voice and lips were in agreement in the target fragment. The leading single sensory context and the subsequent audiovisual target fragment could be continuous in either one modality only, both (context in one modality continues into both modalities in the target fragment) or neither modalities (i.e., discontinuous). The results showed quicker audiovisual matching responses when context was continuous with the target within either the visual or auditory channel (Experiment 1). Critically, prior visual context also provided an advantage when it was cross-modally continuous (with the auditory channel in the target), but auditory to visual cross-modal continuity resulted in no advantage (Experiment 2). This suggests that visual speech information can provide an on-line benefit for processing the upcoming auditory input through the use of predictive mechanisms. We hypothesize that this benefit is expressed at an early level of speech analysis. PMID:21998642

  11. Social Expectation Improves Speech Perception in Noise.

    PubMed

    McGowan, Kevin B

    2015-12-01

    Listeners' use of social information during speech perception was investigated by measuring transcription accuracy of Chinese-accented speech in noise while listeners were presented with a congruent Chinese face, an incongruent Caucasian face, or an uninformative silhouette. When listeners were presented with a Chinese face they transcribed more accurately than when presented with the Caucasian face. This difference existed both for listeners with a relatively high level of experience and for listeners with a relatively low level of experience with Chinese-accented English. Overall, these results are inconsistent with a model of social speech perception in which listener bias reduces attendance to the acoustic signal. These results are generally consistent with exemplar models of socially indexed speech perception predicting that activation of a social category will raise base activation levels of socially appropriate episodic traces, but the similar performance of more and less experienced listeners suggests the need for a more nuanced view with a role for both detailed experience and listener stereotypes. PMID:27483742

  12. Localization of Sublexical Speech Perception Components

    PubMed Central

    Turkeltaub, Peter E; Coslett, H. Branch

    2010-01-01

    Models of speech perception are in general agreement with respect to the major cortical regions involved, but lack precision with regard to localization and lateralization of processing units. To refine these models we conducted two Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analyses of the neuroimaging literature on sublexical speech perception. Based on foci reported in 23 fMRI experiments, we identified significant activation likelihoods in left and right superior temporal cortex and the left posterior middle frontal gyrus. Subanalyses examining phonetic and phonological processes revealed only left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus activation likelihood. A lateralization analysis demonstrated temporal lobe left lateralization in terms of magnitude, extent, and consistency of activity. Experiments requiring explicit attention to phonology drove this lateralization. An ALE analysis of eight fMRI studies on categorical phoneme perception revealed significant activation likelihood in the left supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus. These results are consistent with a speech processing network in which the bilateral superior temporal cortices perform acoustic analysis of speech and nonspeech auditory stimuli, the left mid-posterior superior temporal sulcus performs phonetic and phonological analysis, and the left inferior parietal lobule is involved in detection of differences between phoneme categories. These results modify current speech perception models in three ways: 1) specifying the most likely locations of dorsal stream processing units, 2) clarifying that phonetic and phonological superior temporal sulcus processing is left lateralized and localized to the mid-posterior portion, and 3) suggesting that both the supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus may be involved in phoneme discrimination. PMID:20413149

  13. Phonological abstraction without phonemes in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Mitterer, Holger; Scharenborg, Odette; McQueen, James M

    2013-11-01

    Recent evidence shows that listeners use abstract prelexical units in speech perception. Using the phenomenon of lexical retuning in speech processing, we ask whether those units are necessarily phonemic. Dutch listeners were exposed to a Dutch speaker producing ambiguous phones between the Dutch syllable-final allophones approximant [r] and dark [l]. These ambiguous phones replaced either final /r/ or final /l/ in words in a lexical-decision task. This differential exposure affected perception of ambiguous stimuli on the same allophone continuum in a subsequent phonetic-categorization test: Listeners exposed to ambiguous phones in /r/-final words were more likely to perceive test stimuli as /r/ than listeners with exposure in /l/-final words. This effect was not found for test stimuli on continua using other allophones of /r/ and /l/. These results confirm that listeners use phonological abstraction in speech perception. They also show that context-sensitive allophones can play a role in this process, and hence that context-insensitive phonemes are not necessary. We suggest there may be no one unit of perception. PMID:23973464

  14. Speech Perception and Short-Term Memory Deficits in Persistent Developmental Speech Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenney, Mary Kay; Barac-Cikoja, Dragana; Finnegan, Kimberly; Jeffries, Neal; Ludlow, Christy L.

    2006-01-01

    Children with developmental speech disorders may have additional deficits in speech perception and/or short-term memory. To determine whether these are only transient developmental delays that can accompany the disorder in childhood or persist as part of the speech disorder, adults with a persistent familial speech disorder were tested on speech…

  15. Are there interactive processes in speech perception?

    PubMed

    McClelland, James L; Mirman, Daniel; Holt, Lori L

    2006-08-01

    Lexical information facilitates speech perception, especially when sounds are ambiguous or degraded. The interactive approach to understanding this effect posits that this facilitation is accomplished through bi-directional flow of information, allowing lexical knowledge to influence pre-lexical processes. Alternative autonomous theories posit feed-forward processing with lexical influence restricted to post-perceptual decision processes. We review evidence supporting the prediction of interactive models that lexical influences can affect pre-lexical mechanisms, triggering compensation, adaptation and retuning of phonological processes generally taken to be pre-lexical. We argue that these and other findings point to interactive processing as a fundamental principle for perception of speech and other modalities. PMID:16843037

  16. A specialization for speech perception.

    PubMed

    Liberman, A M; Mattingly, I G

    1989-01-27

    The processes that underlie perception of consonants and vowels are specifically phonetic, distinct from those that localize sources and assign auditory qualities to the sound from each source. This specialization, or module, increases the rate of information flow, establishes the parity between sender and receiver that every communication system must have, and provides for the natural development of phonetic structures in the species and in the individual. The phonetic module has certain properties in common with modules that are "closed" (for example, sound localization or echo ranging in bats) and, like other members of this class, is so placed in the architecture of the auditory system as to preempt information that is relevant to its special function. Accordingly, this information is not available to such "open" modules as those for pitch, loudness, and timbre. PMID:2643163

  17. Resonant cortical dynamics of speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossberg, Stephen

    2003-04-01

    What is the neural representation of a speech code as it evolves in time? How do listeners integrate temporally distributed phonemic information into coherent representations of syllables and words? How does the brain extract invariant properties of variable-rate speech? This talk describes a neural model that suggests answers to these questions, while quantitatively simulating speech and word recognition data. The conscious speech and word recognition code is suggested to be a resonant wave, and a percept of silence a temporal discontinuity in the rate that resonance evolves. A resonant wave emerges when sequential activation and storage of phonemic items in working memory provides bottom-up input to list chunks that group together sequences of items of variable length. The list chunks compete and winning chunks activate top-down expectations that amplify and focus attention on consistent working memory items, while suppressing inconsistent ones. The ensuing resonance boosts activation levels of selected items and chunks. Because resonance occurs after working memory activation, it can incorporate information presented after intervening silence intervals, so future sounds can influence how we hear past sounds. The model suggests that resonant dynamics enable the brain to learn quickly without suffering catastrophic forgetting, as described within Adaptive Resonance Theory.

  18. Infant speech perception bootstraps word learning.

    PubMed

    Werker, Janet F; Yeung, H Henny

    2005-11-01

    By their first birthday, infants can understand many spoken words. Research in cognitive development has long focused on the conceptual changes that accompany word learning, but learning new words also entails perceptual sophistication. Several developmental steps are required as infants learn to segment, identify and represent the phonetic forms of spoken words, and map those word forms to different concepts. We review recent research on how infants' perceptual systems unfold in the service of word learning, from initial sensitivity for speech to the learning of language-specific sound patterns. Building on a recent theoretical framework and emerging new methodologies, we show how speech perception is crucial for word learning, and suggest that it bootstraps the development of a separate but parallel phonological system that links sound to meaning. PMID:16202639

  19. Perception of Speech Sounds in School-Aged Children with Speech Sound Disorders.

    PubMed

    Preston, Jonathan L; Irwin, Julia R; Turcios, Jacqueline

    2015-11-01

    Children with speech sound disorders may perceive speech differently than children with typical speech development. The nature of these speech differences is reviewed with an emphasis on assessing phoneme-specific perception for speech sounds that are produced in error. Category goodness judgment, or the ability to judge accurate and inaccurate tokens of speech sounds, plays an important role in phonological development. The software Speech Assessment and Interactive Learning System, which has been effectively used to assess preschoolers' ability to perform goodness judgments, is explored for school-aged children with residual speech errors (RSEs). However, data suggest that this particular task may not be sensitive to perceptual differences in school-aged children. The need for the development of clinical tools for assessment of speech perception in school-aged children with RSE is highlighted, and clinical suggestions are provided. PMID:26458198

  20. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.; And Others

    Summarizing research activities in 1986, this is the twelfth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report contains the following 23 articles: "Comprehension of Digitally Encoded Natural Speech Using…

  1. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 15.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.

    Summarizing research activities in 1989, this is the fifteenth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis, synthesis, and recognition conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report contains the following 21 articles: "Perceptual Learning of Nonnative Speech Contrasts:…

  2. Perception of Intersensory Synchrony in Audiovisual Speech: Not that Special

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vroomen, Jean; Stekelenburg, Jeroen J.

    2011-01-01

    Perception of intersensory temporal order is particularly difficult for (continuous) audiovisual speech, as perceivers may find it difficult to notice substantial timing differences between speech sounds and lip movements. Here we tested whether this occurs because audiovisual speech is strongly paired ("unity assumption"). Participants made…

  3. Cortical Bases of Speech Perception: Evidence from Functional Lesion Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boatman, Dana

    2004-01-01

    Functional lesion studies have yielded new information about the cortical organization of speech perception in the human brain. We will review a number of recent findings, focusing on studies of speech perception that use the techniques of electrocortical mapping by cortical stimulation and hemispheric anesthetization by intracarotid amobarbital.…

  4. Vocoders and Speech Perception: Uses of Computer-Based Speech Analysis-Synthesis in Stimulus Generation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tierney, Joseph; Mack, Molly

    1987-01-01

    Stimuli used in research on the perception of the speech signal have often been obtained from simple filtering and distortion of the speech waveform, sometimes accompanied by noise. However, for more complex stimulus generation, the parameters of speech can be manipulated, after analysis and before synthesis, using various types of algorithms to…

  5. [Speech perception in the first two years].

    PubMed

    Bertoncini, J; Cabrera, L

    2014-10-01

    The development of speech perception relies upon early auditory capacities (i.e. discrimination, segmentation and representation). Infants are able to discriminate most of the phonetic contrasts occurring in natural languages, and at the end of the first year, this universal ability starts to narrow down to the contrasts used in the environmental language. During the second year, this specialization is characterized by the development of comprehension, lexical organization and word production. That process appears now as the result of multiple interactions between perceptual, cognitive and social developing abilities. Distinct factors like word acquisition, sensitivity to the statistical properties of the input, or even the nature of the social interactions, might play a role at one time or another during the acquisition of phonological patterns. Experience with the native language is necessary for phonetic segments to be functional units of perception and for speech sound representations (words, syllables) to be more specified and phonetically organized. This evolution goes on beyond 24 months of age in a learning context characterized from the early stages by the interaction with other developing (linguistic and non-linguistic) capacities. PMID:25218761

  6. Musical expertise and foreign speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Montes, Eduardo; Hernández-Pérez, Heivet; Chobert, Julie; Morgado-Rodríguez, Lisbet; Suárez-Murias, Carlos; Valdés-Sosa, Pedro A.; Besson, Mireille

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this experiment was to investigate the influence of musical expertise on the automatic perception of foreign syllables and harmonic sounds. Participants were Cuban students with high level of expertise in music or in visual arts and with the same level of general education and socio-economic background. We used a multi-feature Mismatch Negativity (MMN) design with sequences of either syllables in Mandarin Chinese or harmonic sounds, both comprising deviants in pitch contour, duration and Voice Onset Time (VOT) or equivalent that were either far from (Large deviants) or close to (Small deviants) the standard. For both Mandarin syllables and harmonic sounds, results were clear-cut in showing larger MMNs to pitch contour deviants in musicians than in visual artists. Results were less clear for duration and VOT deviants, possibly because of the specific characteristics of the stimuli. Results are interpreted as reflecting similar processing of pitch contour in speech and non-speech sounds. The implications of these results for understanding the influence of intense musical training from childhood to adulthood and of genetic predispositions for music on foreign language perception are discussed. PMID:24294193

  7. Review of Visual Speech Perception by Hearing and Hearing-Impaired People: Clinical Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodhouse, Lynn; Hickson, Louise; Dodd, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Background: Speech perception is often considered specific to the auditory modality, despite convincing evidence that speech processing is bimodal. The theoretical and clinical roles of speech-reading for speech perception, however, have received little attention in speech-language therapy. Aims: The role of speech-read information for speech…

  8. Neurophysiological influence of musical training on speech perception.

    PubMed

    Shahin, Antoine J

    2011-01-01

    Does musical training affect our perception of speech? For example, does learning to play a musical instrument modify the neural circuitry for auditory processing in a way that improves one's ability to perceive speech more clearly in noisy environments? If so, can speech perception in individuals with hearing loss (HL), who struggle in noisy situations, benefit from musical training? While music and speech exhibit some specialization in neural processing, there is evidence suggesting that skills acquired through musical training for specific acoustical processes may transfer to, and thereby improve, speech perception. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the influence of musical training on speech processing and the extent of this influence remains a rich area to be explored. A prerequisite for such transfer is the facilitation of greater neurophysiological overlap between speech and music processing following musical training. This review first establishes a neurophysiological link between musical training and speech perception, and subsequently provides further hypotheses on the neurophysiological implications of musical training on speech perception in adverse acoustical environments and in individuals with HL. PMID:21716639

  9. Multisensory Speech Perception in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kwakye, Leslie D.; Foss-Feig, Jennifer H.; Stevenson, Ryan A.; Stone, Wendy L.; Wallace, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined unisensory and multisensory speech perception in 8–17 year old children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing controls matched on chronological age, sex, and IQ. Consonant– vowel syllables were presented in visual only, auditory only, matched audio-visual, and mismatched audiovisual (“McGurk”) conditions. Participants with ASD displayed deficits in visual only and matched audiovisual speech perception. Additionally, children with ASD reported a visual influence on heard speech in response to mismatched audiovisual syllables over a wider window of time relative to controls. Correlational analyses revealed associations between multisensory speech perception, communicative characteristics, and responses to sensory stimuli in ASD. Results suggest atypical speech perception is linked to broader behavioral characteristics of ASD. PMID:23624833

  10. Brainstem Correlates of Speech-in-Noise Perception in Children

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; Skoe, Erika; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Zecker, Steven; Kraus, Nina

    2010-01-01

    Children often have difficulty understanding speech in challenging listening environments. In the absence of peripheral hearing loss, these speech perception difficulties may arise from dysfunction at more central levels in the auditory system, including subcortical structures. We examined brainstem encoding of pitch in a speech syllable in 38 school-age children. In children with poor speech-in-noise perception, we find impaired encoding of the fundamental frequency and the second harmonic, two important cues for pitch perception. Pitch, an important factor in speaker identification, aids the listener in tracking a specific voice from a background of voices. These results suggest that the robustness of subcortical neural encoding of pitch features in time-varying signals is an important factor in determining success with speech perception in noise. PMID:20708671

  11. Temporal regularity in speech perception: Is regularity beneficial or deleterious?

    PubMed Central

    Geiser, Eveline; Shattuck-Hufnagel, Stefanie

    2012-01-01

    Speech rhythm has been proposed to be of crucial importance for correct speech perception and language learning. This study investigated the influence of speech rhythm in second language processing. German pseudo-sentences were presented to participants in two conditions: ‘naturally regular speech rhythm’ and an ‘emphasized regular rhythm'. Nine expert English speakers with 3.5±1.6 years of German training repeated each sentence after hearing it once over headphones. Responses were transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet and analyzed for the number of correct, false and missing consonants as well as for consonant additions. The over-all number of correct reproductions of consonants did not differ between the two experimental conditions. However, speech rhythmicization significantly affected the serial position curve of correctly reproduced syllables. The results of this pilot study are consistent with the view that speech rhythm is important for speech perception. PMID:22701753

  12. Relationship between Speech Production and Perception in People Who Stutter.

    PubMed

    Lu, Chunming; Long, Yuhang; Zheng, Lifen; Shi, Guang; Liu, Li; Ding, Guosheng; Howell, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Speech production difficulties are apparent in people who stutter (PWS). PWS also have difficulties in speech perception compared to controls. It is unclear whether the speech perception difficulties in PWS are independent of, or related to, their speech production difficulties. To investigate this issue, functional MRI data were collected on 13 PWS and 13 controls whilst the participants performed a speech production task and a speech perception task. PWS performed poorer than controls in the perception task and the poorer performance was associated with a functional activity difference in the left anterior insula (part of the speech motor area) compared to controls. PWS also showed a functional activity difference in this and the surrounding area [left inferior frontal cortex (IFC)/anterior insula] in the production task compared to controls. Conjunction analysis showed that the functional activity differences between PWS and controls in the left IFC/anterior insula coincided across the perception and production tasks. Furthermore, Granger Causality Analysis on the resting-state fMRI data of the participants showed that the causal connection from the left IFC/anterior insula to an area in the left primary auditory cortex (Heschl's gyrus) differed significantly between PWS and controls. The strength of this connection correlated significantly with performance in the perception task. These results suggest that speech perception difficulties in PWS are associated with anomalous functional activity in the speech motor area, and the altered functional connectivity from this area to the auditory area plays a role in the speech perception difficulties of PWS. PMID:27242487

  13. Relationship between Speech Production and Perception in People Who Stutter

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Chunming; Long, Yuhang; Zheng, Lifen; Shi, Guang; Liu, Li; Ding, Guosheng; Howell, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Speech production difficulties are apparent in people who stutter (PWS). PWS also have difficulties in speech perception compared to controls. It is unclear whether the speech perception difficulties in PWS are independent of, or related to, their speech production difficulties. To investigate this issue, functional MRI data were collected on 13 PWS and 13 controls whilst the participants performed a speech production task and a speech perception task. PWS performed poorer than controls in the perception task and the poorer performance was associated with a functional activity difference in the left anterior insula (part of the speech motor area) compared to controls. PWS also showed a functional activity difference in this and the surrounding area [left inferior frontal cortex (IFC)/anterior insula] in the production task compared to controls. Conjunction analysis showed that the functional activity differences between PWS and controls in the left IFC/anterior insula coincided across the perception and production tasks. Furthermore, Granger Causality Analysis on the resting-state fMRI data of the participants showed that the causal connection from the left IFC/anterior insula to an area in the left primary auditory cortex (Heschl’s gyrus) differed significantly between PWS and controls. The strength of this connection correlated significantly with performance in the perception task. These results suggest that speech perception difficulties in PWS are associated with anomalous functional activity in the speech motor area, and the altered functional connectivity from this area to the auditory area plays a role in the speech perception difficulties of PWS. PMID:27242487

  14. Giving Speech a Hand: Gesture Modulates Activity in Auditory Cortex During Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Amy L.; Wilson, Stephen M.; Callan, Daniel E.; Dapretto, Mirella

    2008-01-01

    Viewing hand gestures during face-to-face communication affects speech perception and comprehension. Despite the visible role played by gesture in social interactions, relatively little is known about how the brain integrates hand gestures with co-occurring speech. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and an ecologically valid paradigm to investigate how beat gesture – a fundamental type of hand gesture that marks speech prosody – might impact speech perception at the neural level. Subjects underwent fMRI while listening to spontaneously-produced speech accompanied by beat gesture, nonsense hand movement, or a still body; as additional control conditions, subjects also viewed beat gesture, nonsense hand movement, or a still body all presented without speech. Validating behavioral evidence that gesture affects speech perception, bilateral nonprimary auditory cortex showed greater activity when speech was accompanied by beat gesture than when speech was presented alone. Further, the left superior temporal gyrus/sulcus showed stronger activity when speech was accompanied by beat gesture than when speech was accompanied by nonsense hand movement. Finally, the right planum temporale was identified as a putative multisensory integration site for beat gesture and speech (i.e., here activity in response to speech accompanied by beat gesture was greater than the summed responses to speech alone and beat gesture alone), indicating that this area may be pivotally involved in synthesizing the rhythmic aspects of both speech and gesture. Taken together, these findings suggest a common neural substrate for processing speech and gesture, likely reflecting their joint communicative role in social interactions. PMID:18412134

  15. Speech Perception and Working Memory in Children with Residual Speech Errors: A Case Study Analysis.

    PubMed

    Cabbage, Kathryn L; Farquharson, Kelly; Hogan, Tiffany P

    2015-11-01

    Some children with residual deficits in speech production also display characteristics of dyslexia; however, the causes of these disorders--in isolation or comorbidly--remain unknown. Presently, the role of phonological representations is an important construct for considering how the underlying system of phonology functions. In particular, two related skills--speech perception and phonological working memory--may provide insight into the nature of phonological representations. This study provides an exploratory investigation into the profiles of three 9-year-old children: one with residual speech errors, one with residual speech errors and dyslexia, and one who demonstrated typical, age-appropriate speech sound production and reading skills. We provide an in-depth examination of their relative abilities in the areas of speech perception, phonological working memory, vocabulary, and word reading. Based on these preliminary explorations, we suggest implications for the assessment and treatment of children with residual speech errors and/or dyslexia. PMID:26458199

  16. Alternative Organization of Speech Perception Deficits in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosy, Maria

    2007-01-01

    Children's first-language perception base takes shape gradually from birth onwards. Empirical research has confirmed that children may continue to fall short of age-based expectations in their speech perception. The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of various perception processes in both reading and learning disabled children.…

  17. Sound frequency affects speech emotion perception: results from congenital amusia.

    PubMed

    Lolli, Sydney L; Lewenstein, Ari D; Basurto, Julian; Winnik, Sean; Loui, Psyche

    2015-01-01

    Congenital amusics, or "tone-deaf" individuals, show difficulty in perceiving and producing small pitch differences. While amusia has marked effects on music perception, its impact on speech perception is less clear. Here we test the hypothesis that individual differences in pitch perception affect judgment of emotion in speech, by applying low-pass filters to spoken statements of emotional speech. A norming study was first conducted on Mechanical Turk to ensure that the intended emotions from the Macquarie Battery for Evaluation of Prosody were reliably identifiable by US English speakers. The most reliably identified emotional speech samples were used in Experiment 1, in which subjects performed a psychophysical pitch discrimination task, and an emotion identification task under low-pass and unfiltered speech conditions. Results showed a significant correlation between pitch-discrimination threshold and emotion identification accuracy for low-pass filtered speech, with amusics (defined here as those with a pitch discrimination threshold >16 Hz) performing worse than controls. This relationship with pitch discrimination was not seen in unfiltered speech conditions. Given the dissociation between low-pass filtered and unfiltered speech conditions, we inferred that amusics may be compensating for poorer pitch perception by using speech cues that are filtered out in this manipulation. To assess this potential compensation, Experiment 2 was conducted using high-pass filtered speech samples intended to isolate non-pitch cues. No significant correlation was found between pitch discrimination and emotion identification accuracy for high-pass filtered speech. Results from these experiments suggest an influence of low frequency information in identifying emotional content of speech. PMID:26441718

  18. Sound frequency affects speech emotion perception: results from congenital amusia

    PubMed Central

    Lolli, Sydney L.; Lewenstein, Ari D.; Basurto, Julian; Winnik, Sean; Loui, Psyche

    2015-01-01

    Congenital amusics, or “tone-deaf” individuals, show difficulty in perceiving and producing small pitch differences. While amusia has marked effects on music perception, its impact on speech perception is less clear. Here we test the hypothesis that individual differences in pitch perception affect judgment of emotion in speech, by applying low-pass filters to spoken statements of emotional speech. A norming study was first conducted on Mechanical Turk to ensure that the intended emotions from the Macquarie Battery for Evaluation of Prosody were reliably identifiable by US English speakers. The most reliably identified emotional speech samples were used in Experiment 1, in which subjects performed a psychophysical pitch discrimination task, and an emotion identification task under low-pass and unfiltered speech conditions. Results showed a significant correlation between pitch-discrimination threshold and emotion identification accuracy for low-pass filtered speech, with amusics (defined here as those with a pitch discrimination threshold >16 Hz) performing worse than controls. This relationship with pitch discrimination was not seen in unfiltered speech conditions. Given the dissociation between low-pass filtered and unfiltered speech conditions, we inferred that amusics may be compensating for poorer pitch perception by using speech cues that are filtered out in this manipulation. To assess this potential compensation, Experiment 2 was conducted using high-pass filtered speech samples intended to isolate non-pitch cues. No significant correlation was found between pitch discrimination and emotion identification accuracy for high-pass filtered speech. Results from these experiments suggest an influence of low frequency information in identifying emotional content of speech. PMID:26441718

  19. Audio-Visual Speech Perception: A Developmental ERP Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Mercure, Evelyne; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Dick, Fred; Thomas, Michael S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Being able to see a talking face confers a considerable advantage for speech perception in adulthood. However, behavioural data currently suggest that children fail to make full use of these available visual speech cues until age 8 or 9. This is particularly surprising given the potential utility of multiple informational cues during language…

  20. Precategorical Acoustic Storage and the Perception of Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankish, Clive

    2008-01-01

    Theoretical accounts of both speech perception and of short term memory must consider the extent to which perceptual representations of speech sounds might survive in relatively unprocessed form. This paper describes a novel version of the serial recall task that can be used to explore this area of shared interest. In immediate recall of digit…

  1. Speech Perception as a Cognitive Process: The Interactive Activation Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elman, Jeffrey L.; McClelland, James L.

    Research efforts to model speech perception in terms of a processing system in which knowledge and processing are distributed over large numbers of highly interactive--but computationally primative--elements are described in this report. After discussing the properties of speech that demand a parallel interactive processing system, the report…

  2. Beat Gestures Modulate Auditory Integration in Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biau, Emmanuel; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous beat gestures are an integral part of the paralinguistic context during face-to-face conversations. Here we investigated the time course of beat-speech integration in speech perception by measuring ERPs evoked by words pronounced with or without an accompanying beat gesture, while participants watched a spoken discourse. Words…

  3. Cognitive Control Factors in Speech Perception at 11 Months

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conboy, Barbara T.; Sommerville, Jessica A.; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2008-01-01

    The development of speech perception during the 1st year reflects increasing attunement to native language features, but the mechanisms underlying this development are not completely understood. One previous study linked reductions in nonnative speech discrimination to performance on nonlinguistic tasks, whereas other studies have shown…

  4. Individual Differences in Premotor and Motor Recruitment during Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szenkovits, Gayaneh; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Norris, Dennis; Davis, Matthew H.

    2012-01-01

    Although activity in premotor and motor cortices is commonly observed in neuroimaging studies of spoken language processing, the degree to which this activity is an obligatory part of everyday speech comprehension remains unclear. We hypothesised that rather than being a unitary phenomenon, the neural response to speech perception in motor regions…

  5. Audiovisual speech perception development at varying levels of perceptual processing.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2016-04-01

    This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children. PMID:27106318

  6. Cued speech for enhancing speech perception and first language development of children with cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Leybaert, Jacqueline; LaSasso, Carol J

    2010-06-01

    Nearly 300 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss. Hearing impairment, if not adequately managed, has strong socioeconomic and affective impact on individuals. Cochlear implants have become the most effective vehicle for helping profoundly deaf children and adults to understand spoken language, to be sensitive to environmental sounds, and, to some extent, to listen to music. The auditory information delivered by the cochlear implant remains non-optimal for speech perception because it delivers a spectrally degraded signal and lacks some of the fine temporal acoustic structure. In this article, we discuss research revealing the multimodal nature of speech perception in normally-hearing individuals, with important inter-subject variability in the weighting of auditory or visual information. We also discuss how audio-visual training, via Cued Speech, can improve speech perception in cochlear implantees, particularly in noisy contexts. Cued Speech is a system that makes use of visual information from speechreading combined with hand shapes positioned in different places around the face in order to deliver completely unambiguous information about the syllables and the phonemes of spoken language. We support our view that exposure to Cued Speech before or after the implantation could be important in the aural rehabilitation process of cochlear implantees. We describe five lines of research that are converging to support the view that Cued Speech can enhance speech perception in individuals with cochlear implants. PMID:20724357

  7. Cued Speech for Enhancing Speech Perception and First Language Development of Children With Cochlear Implants

    PubMed Central

    Leybaert, Jacqueline; LaSasso, Carol J.

    2010-01-01

    Nearly 300 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss. Hearing impairment, if not adequately managed, has strong socioeconomic and affective impact on individuals. Cochlear implants have become the most effective vehicle for helping profoundly deaf children and adults to understand spoken language, to be sensitive to environmental sounds, and, to some extent, to listen to music. The auditory information delivered by the cochlear implant remains non-optimal for speech perception because it delivers a spectrally degraded signal and lacks some of the fine temporal acoustic structure. In this article, we discuss research revealing the multimodal nature of speech perception in normally-hearing individuals, with important inter-subject variability in the weighting of auditory or visual information. We also discuss how audio-visual training, via Cued Speech, can improve speech perception in cochlear implantees, particularly in noisy contexts. Cued Speech is a system that makes use of visual information from speechreading combined with hand shapes positioned in different places around the face in order to deliver completely unambiguous information about the syllables and the phonemes of spoken language. We support our view that exposure to Cued Speech before or after the implantation could be important in the aural rehabilitation process of cochlear implantees. We describe five lines of research that are converging to support the view that Cued Speech can enhance speech perception in individuals with cochlear implants. PMID:20724357

  8. Plasticity in the human speech motor system drives changes in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Lametti, Daniel R; Rochet-Capellan, Amélie; Neufeld, Emily; Shiller, Douglas M; Ostry, David J

    2014-07-30

    Recent studies of human speech motor learning suggest that learning is accompanied by changes in auditory perception. But what drives the perceptual change? Is it a consequence of changes in the motor system? Or is it a result of sensory inflow during learning? Here, subjects participated in a speech motor-learning task involving adaptation to altered auditory feedback and they were subsequently tested for perceptual change. In two separate experiments, involving two different auditory perceptual continua, we show that changes in the speech motor system that accompany learning drive changes in auditory speech perception. Specifically, we obtained changes in speech perception when adaptation to altered auditory feedback led to speech production that fell into the phonetic range of the speech perceptual tests. However, a similar change in perception was not observed when the auditory feedback that subjects' received during learning fell into the phonetic range of the perceptual tests. This indicates that the central motor outflow associated with vocal sensorimotor adaptation drives changes to the perceptual classification of speech sounds. PMID:25080594

  9. 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.

  10. Conflict monitoring in speech processing: An fMRI study of error detection in speech production and perception.

    PubMed

    Gauvin, Hanna S; De Baene, Wouter; Brass, Marcel; Hartsuiker, Robert J

    2016-02-01

    To minimize the number of errors in speech, and thereby facilitate communication, speech is monitored before articulation. It is, however, unclear at which level during speech production monitoring takes place, and what mechanisms are used to detect and correct errors. The present study investigated whether internal verbal monitoring takes place through the speech perception system, as proposed by perception-based theories of speech monitoring, or whether mechanisms independent of perception are applied, as proposed by production-based theories of speech monitoring. With the use of fMRI during a tongue twister task we observed that error detection in internal speech during noise-masked overt speech production and error detection in speech perception both recruit the same neural network, which includes pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), anterior insula (AI), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Although production and perception recruit similar areas, as proposed by perception-based accounts, we did not find activation in superior temporal areas (which are typically associated with speech perception) during internal speech monitoring in speech production as hypothesized by these accounts. On the contrary, results are highly compatible with a domain general approach to speech monitoring, by which internal speech monitoring takes place through detection of conflict between response options, which is subsequently resolved by a domain general executive center (e.g., the ACC). PMID:26608243

  11. Production and perception of clear speech in Croatian and English

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smiljanić, Rajka; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2005-09-01

    Previous research has established that naturally produced English clear speech is more intelligible than English conversational speech. The major goal of this paper was to establish the presence of the clear speech effect in production and perception of a language other than English, namely Croatian. A systematic investigation of the conversational-to-clear speech transformations across languages with different phonological properties (e.g., large versus small vowel inventory) can provide a window into the interaction of general auditory-perceptual and phonological, structural factors that contribute to the high intelligibility of clear speech. The results of this study showed that naturally produced clear speech is a distinct, listener-oriented, intelligibility-enhancing mode of speech production in both languages. Furthermore, the acoustic-phonetic features of the conversational-to-clear speech transformation revealed cross-language similarities in clear speech production strategies. In both languages, talkers exhibited a decrease in speaking rate and an increase in pitch range, as well as an expansion of the vowel space. Notably, the findings of this study showed equivalent vowel space expansion in English and Croatian clear speech, despite the difference in vowel inventory size across the two languages, suggesting that the extent of vowel contrast enhancement in hyperarticulated clear speech is independent of vowel inventory size.

  12. Evidence for Cerebellar Contributions to Adaptive Plasticity in Speech Perception.

    PubMed

    Guediche, Sara; Holt, Lori L; Laurent, Patryk; Lim, Sung-Joo; Fiez, Julie A

    2015-07-01

    Human speech perception rapidly adapts to maintain comprehension under adverse listening conditions. For example, with exposure listeners can adapt to heavily accented speech produced by a non-native speaker. Outside the domain of speech perception, adaptive changes in sensory and motor processing have been attributed to cerebellar functions. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigates whether adaptation in speech perception also involves the cerebellum. Acoustic stimuli were distorted using a vocoding plus spectral-shift manipulation and presented in a word recognition task. Regions in the cerebellum that showed differences before versus after adaptation were identified, and the relationship between activity during adaptation and subsequent behavioral improvements was examined. These analyses implicated the right Crus I region of the cerebellum in adaptive changes in speech perception. A functional correlation analysis with the right Crus I as a seed region probed for cerebral cortical regions with covarying hemodynamic responses during the adaptation period. The results provided evidence of a functional network between the cerebellum and language-related regions in the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex. Consistent with known cerebellar contributions to sensorimotor adaptation, cerebro-cerebellar interactions may support supervised learning mechanisms that rely on sensory prediction error signals in speech perception. PMID:24451660

  13. Categorical Perception of Speech Sounds in Illiterate Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serniclaes, Willy; Ventura, Paulo; Morais, Jose; Kolinsky, Regine

    2005-01-01

    Children affected by dyslexia exhibit a deficit in the categorical perception of speech sounds, characterized by both poorer discrimination of between-category differences and by better discrimination of within-category differences, compared to normal readers. These categorical perception anomalies might be at the origin of dyslexia, by hampering…

  14. Audibility and visual biasing in speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clement, Bart Richard

    Although speech perception has been considered a predominantly auditory phenomenon, large benefits from vision in degraded acoustic conditions suggest integration of audition and vision. More direct evidence of this comes from studies of audiovisual disparity that demonstrate vision can bias and even dominate perception (McGurk & MacDonald, 1976). It has been observed that hearing-impaired listeners demonstrate more visual biasing than normally hearing listeners (Walden et al., 1990). It is argued here that stimulus audibility must be equated across groups before true differences can be established. In the present investigation, effects of visual biasing on perception were examined as audibility was degraded for 12 young normally hearing listeners. Biasing was determined by quantifying the degree to which listener identification functions for a single synthetic auditory /ba-da-ga/ continuum changed across two conditions: (1)an auditory-only listening condition; and (2)an auditory-visual condition in which every item of the continuum was synchronized with visual articulations of the consonant-vowel (CV) tokens /ba/ and /ga/, as spoken by each of two talkers. Audibility was altered by presenting the conditions in quiet and in noise at each of three signal-to- noise (S/N) ratios. For the visual-/ba/ context, large effects of audibility were found. As audibility decreased, visual biasing increased. A large talker effect also was found, with one talker eliciting more biasing than the other. An independent lipreading measure demonstrated that this talker was more visually intelligible than the other. For the visual-/ga/ context, audibility and talker effects were less robust, possibly obscured by strong listener effects, which were characterized by marked differences in perceptual processing patterns among participants. Some demonstrated substantial biasing whereas others demonstrated little, indicating a strong reliance on audition even in severely degraded acoustic

  15. Children's perception of their synthetically corrected speech production.

    PubMed

    Strömbergsson, Sofia; Wengelin, Asa; House, David

    2014-06-01

    We explore children's perception of their own speech - in its online form, in its recorded form, and in synthetically modified forms. Children with phonological disorder (PD) and children with typical speech and language development (TD) performed tasks of evaluating accuracy of the different types of speech stimuli, either immediately after having produced the utterance or after a delay. In addition, they performed a task designed to assess their ability to detect synthetic modification. Both groups showed high performance in tasks involving evaluation of other children's speech, whereas in tasks of evaluating one's own speech, the children with PD were less accurate than their TD peers. The children with PD were less sensitive to misproductions in immediate conjunction with their production of an utterance, and more accurate after a delay. Within-category modification often passed undetected, indicating a satisfactory quality of the generated speech. Potential clinical benefits of using corrective re-synthesis are discussed. PMID:24405224

  16. Modeling Interactions between Speech Production and Perception: Speech Error Detection at Semantic and Phonological Levels and the Inner Speech Loop

    PubMed Central

    Kröger, Bernd J.; Crawford, Eric; Bekolay, Trevor; Eliasmith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Production and comprehension of speech are closely interwoven. For example, the ability to detect an error in one's own speech, halt speech production, and finally correct the error can be explained by assuming an inner speech loop which continuously compares the word representations induced by production to those induced by perception at various cognitive levels (e.g., conceptual, word, or phonological levels). Because spontaneous speech errors are relatively rare, a picture naming and halt paradigm can be used to evoke them. In this paradigm, picture presentation (target word initiation) is followed by an auditory stop signal (distractor word) for halting speech production. The current study seeks to understand the neural mechanisms governing self-detection of speech errors by developing a biologically inspired neural model of the inner speech loop. The neural model is based on the Neural Engineering Framework (NEF) and consists of a network of about 500,000 spiking neurons. In the first experiment we induce simulated speech errors semantically and phonologically. In the second experiment, we simulate a picture naming and halt task. Target-distractor word pairs were balanced with respect to variation of phonological and semantic similarity. The results of the first experiment show that speech errors are successfully detected by a monitoring component in the inner speech loop. The results of the second experiment show that the model correctly reproduces human behavioral data on the picture naming and halt task. In particular, the halting rate in the production of target words was lower for phonologically similar words than for semantically similar or fully dissimilar distractor words. We thus conclude that the neural architecture proposed here to model the inner speech loop reflects important interactions in production and perception at phonological and semantic levels. PMID:27303287

  17. Modeling Interactions between Speech Production and Perception: Speech Error Detection at Semantic and Phonological Levels and the Inner Speech Loop.

    PubMed

    Kröger, Bernd J; Crawford, Eric; Bekolay, Trevor; Eliasmith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Production and comprehension of speech are closely interwoven. For example, the ability to detect an error in one's own speech, halt speech production, and finally correct the error can be explained by assuming an inner speech loop which continuously compares the word representations induced by production to those induced by perception at various cognitive levels (e.g., conceptual, word, or phonological levels). Because spontaneous speech errors are relatively rare, a picture naming and halt paradigm can be used to evoke them. In this paradigm, picture presentation (target word initiation) is followed by an auditory stop signal (distractor word) for halting speech production. The current study seeks to understand the neural mechanisms governing self-detection of speech errors by developing a biologically inspired neural model of the inner speech loop. The neural model is based on the Neural Engineering Framework (NEF) and consists of a network of about 500,000 spiking neurons. In the first experiment we induce simulated speech errors semantically and phonologically. In the second experiment, we simulate a picture naming and halt task. Target-distractor word pairs were balanced with respect to variation of phonological and semantic similarity. The results of the first experiment show that speech errors are successfully detected by a monitoring component in the inner speech loop. The results of the second experiment show that the model correctly reproduces human behavioral data on the picture naming and halt task. In particular, the halting rate in the production of target words was lower for phonologically similar words than for semantically similar or fully dissimilar distractor words. We thus conclude that the neural architecture proposed here to model the inner speech loop reflects important interactions in production and perception at phonological and semantic levels. PMID:27303287

  18. Perception of Speech Reflects Optimal Use of Probabilistic Speech Cues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayards, Meghan; Tanenhaus, Michael K.; Aslin, Richard N.; Jacobs, Robert A.

    2008-01-01

    Listeners are exquisitely sensitive to fine-grained acoustic detail within phonetic categories for sounds and words. Here we show that this sensitivity is optimal given the probabilistic nature of speech cues. We manipulated the probability distribution of one probabilistic cue, voice onset time (VOT), which differentiates word initial labial…

  19. Categorical perception of speech by children with specific language impairments.

    PubMed

    Coady, Jeffry A; Kluender, Keith R; Evans, Julia L

    2005-08-01

    Previous research has suggested that children with specific language impairments (SLI) have deficits in basic speech perception abilities, and this may be an underlying source of their linguistic deficits. These findings have come from studies in which perception of synthetic versions of meaningless syllables was typically examined in tasks with high memory demands. In this study, 20 children with SLI (mean age = 9 years, 3 months) and 20 age-matched peers participated in a categorical perception task. Children identified and discriminated digitally edited versions of naturally spoken real words in tasks designed to minimize memory requirements. Both groups exhibited all hallmarks of categorical perception: a sharp labeling function, discontinuous discrimination performance, and discrimination predicted from identification. There were no group differences for identification data, but children with SLI showed lower peak discrimination values. Children with SLI still discriminated phonemically contrastive pairs at levels significantly better than chance, with discrimination of same-label pairs at chance. These data suggest that children with SLI perceive natural speech tokens comparably to age-matched controls when listening to words under conditions that minimize memory load. Further, poor performance on speech perception tasks may not be due to a speech perception deficit, but rather to a consequence of task demands. PMID:16378484

  20. Competing Speech Perception in Middle Age

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This research forum article summarizes research from our laboratory that assessed middle-aged adults' ability to understand speech in the presence of competing talkers. Method The performance of middle-aged adults on laboratory-based speech understanding tasks was compared to that of younger and older adults. Results Decline in the ability to understand speech in complex listening environments can be demonstrated in midlife. The specific auditory and cognitive contributors to these problems have yet to be established. Conclusion There is evidence that the ability to understand a target speech message in the presence of competing speech messages changes relatively early in the aging process. The nature and impact of these changes warrant further investigation. PMID:25768264

  1. The effects of noise vocoding on speech quality perception.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Melinda C; Arehart, Kathryn H; Kates, James M

    2014-03-01

    Speech perception depends on access to spectral and temporal acoustic cues. Temporal cues include slowly varying amplitude changes (i.e. temporal envelope, TE) and quickly varying amplitude changes associated with the center frequency of the auditory filter (i.e. temporal fine structure, TFS). This study quantifies the effects of TFS randomization through noise vocoding on the perception of speech quality by parametrically varying the amount of original TFS available above 1500Hz. The two research aims were: 1) to establish the role of TFS in quality perception, and 2) to determine if the role of TFS in quality perception differs between subjects with normal hearing and subjects with sensorineural hearing loss. Ratings were obtained from 20 subjects (10 with normal hearing and 10 with hearing loss) using an 11-point quality scale. Stimuli were processed in three different ways: 1) A 32-channel noise-excited vocoder with random envelope fluctuations in the noise carrier, 2) a 32-channel noise-excited vocoder with the noise-carrier envelope smoothed, and 3) removal of high-frequency bands. Stimuli were presented in quiet and in babble noise at 18dB and 12dB signal-to-noise ratios. TFS randomization had a measurable detrimental effect on quality ratings for speech in quiet and a smaller effect for speech in background babble. Subjects with normal hearing and subjects with sensorineural hearing loss provided similar quality ratings for noise-vocoded speech. PMID:24333929

  2. Vision of tongue movements bias auditory speech perception.

    PubMed

    D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Berry, Jeffrey James; Fadiga, Luciano

    2014-10-01

    Audiovisual speech perception is likely based on the association between auditory and visual information into stable audiovisual maps. Conflicting audiovisual inputs generate perceptual illusions such as the McGurk effect. Audiovisual mismatch effects could be either driven by the detection of violations in the standard audiovisual statistics or via the sensorimotor reconstruction of the distal articulatory event that generated the audiovisual ambiguity. In order to disambiguate between the two hypotheses we exploit the fact that the tongue is hidden to vision. For this reason, tongue movement encoding can solely be learned via speech production but not via others׳ speech perception alone. Here we asked participants to identify speech sounds while matching or mismatching visual representations of tongue movements which were shown. Vision of congruent tongue movements facilitated auditory speech identification with respect to incongruent trials. This result suggests that direct visual experience of an articulator movement is not necessary for the generation of audiovisual mismatch effects. Furthermore, we suggest that audiovisual integration in speech may benefit from speech production learning. PMID:25172391

  3. Investigating Speech Perception in Children with Dyslexia: Is There Evidence of a Consistent Deficit in Individuals?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messaoud-Galusi, Souhila; Hazan, Valerie; Rosen, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The claim that speech perception abilities are impaired in dyslexia was investigated in a group of 62 children with dyslexia and 51 average readers matched in age. Method: To test whether there was robust evidence of speech perception deficits in children with dyslexia, speech perception in noise and quiet was measured using 8 different…

  4. The Role of the Listener's State in Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viswanathan, Navin

    2009-01-01

    Accounts of speech perception disagree on whether listeners perceive the acoustic signal (Diehl, Lotto, & Holt, 2004) or the vocal tract gestures that produce the signal (e.g., Fowler, 1986). In this dissertation, I outline a research program using a phenomenon called "perceptual compensation for coarticulation" (Mann, 1980) to examine this…

  5. Multisensory Speech Perception in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woynaroski, Tiffany G.; Kwakye, Leslie D.; Foss-Feig, Jennifer H.; Stevenson, Ryan A.; Stone, Wendy L.; Wallace, Mark T.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined unisensory and multisensory speech perception in 8-17 year old children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing controls matched on chronological age, sex, and IQ. Consonant-vowel syllables were presented in visual only, auditory only, matched audiovisual, and mismatched audiovisual ("McGurk")…

  6. Visual Influences on Speech Perception in Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iarocci, Grace; Rombough, Adrienne; Yager, Jodi; Weeks, Daniel J.; Chua, Romeo

    2010-01-01

    The bimodal perception of speech sounds was examined in children with autism as compared to mental age--matched typically developing (TD) children. A computer task was employed wherein only the mouth region of the face was displayed and children reported what they heard or saw when presented with consonant-vowel sounds in unimodal auditory…

  7. Crossmodal and Incremental Perception of Audiovisual Cues to Emotional Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkhuysen, Pashiera; Krahmer, Emiel; Swerts, Marc

    2010-01-01

    In this article we report on two experiments about the perception of audiovisual cues to emotional speech. The article addresses two questions: (1) how do visual cues from a speaker's face to emotion relate to auditory cues, and (2) what is the recognition speed for various facial cues to emotion? Both experiments reported below are based on tests…

  8. Variability in Cortical Representations of Speech Sound Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boatman, Dana F.

    2007-01-01

    Recent brain mapping studies have provided new insights into the cortical systems that mediate human speech perception. Electrocortical stimulation mapping (ESM) is a brain mapping method that is used clinically to localize cortical functions in neurosurgical patients. Recent ESM studies have yielded new insights into the cortical systems that…

  9. Auditory Sensitivity, Speech Perception, and Reading Development and Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Juan; McBride-Chang, Catherine

    2010-01-01

    While the importance of phonological sensitivity for understanding reading acquisition and impairment across orthographies is well documented, what underlies deficits in phonological sensitivity is not well understood. Some researchers have argued that speech perception underlies variability in phonological representations. Others have…

  10. Integrating Form and Meaning: A Distributed Model of Speech Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaskell, M. Gareth; Marslen-Wilson, William D.

    1997-01-01

    Presents a distributed connectionist model of the perception of spoken words, employing speech representation that combines lexical and abstract phonological information, with lexical access as a direct mapping on this distributed representation. The article examines the integration of partial cues to phonological identity, showing that the model…

  11. Asymmetries for the Visual Expression and Perception of Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholls, Michael E. R.; Searle, Dara A.

    2006-01-01

    This study explored asymmetries for movement, expression and perception of visual speech. Sixteen dextral models were videoed as they articulated: "bat," "cat," "fat," and "sat." Measurements revealed that the right side of the mouth was opened wider and for a longer period than the left. The asymmetry was accentuated at the beginning and ends of…

  12. Computational validation of the motor contribution to speech perception.

    PubMed

    Badino, Leonardo; D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Fadiga, Luciano; Metta, Giorgio

    2014-07-01

    Action perception and recognition are core abilities fundamental for human social interaction. A parieto-frontal network (the mirror neuron system) matches visually presented biological motion information onto observers' motor representations. This process of matching the actions of others onto our own sensorimotor repertoire is thought to be important for action recognition, providing a non-mediated "motor perception" based on a bidirectional flow of information along the mirror parieto-frontal circuits. State-of-the-art machine learning strategies for hand action identification have shown better performances when sensorimotor data, as opposed to visual information only, are available during learning. As speech is a particular type of action (with acoustic targets), it is expected to activate a mirror neuron mechanism. Indeed, in speech perception, motor centers have been shown to be causally involved in the discrimination of speech sounds. In this paper, we review recent neurophysiological and machine learning-based studies showing (a) the specific contribution of the motor system to speech perception and (b) that automatic phone recognition is significantly improved when motor data are used during training of classifiers (as opposed to learning from purely auditory data). PMID:24935820

  13. Infant Perception of Audio-Visual Speech Synchrony

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewkowicz, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments investigated perception of audio-visual (A-V) speech synchrony in 4- to 10-month-old infants. Experiments 1 and 2 used a convergent-operations approach by habituating infants to an audiovisually synchronous syllable (Experiment 1) and then testing for detection of increasing degrees of A-V asynchrony (366, 500, and 666 ms) or by…

  14. Speech Perception Deficits by Chinese Children with Phonological Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Wenli; Shu, Hua; Yang, Yufang

    2009-01-01

    Findings concerning the relation between dyslexia and speech perception deficits are inconsistent in the literature. This study examined the relation in Chinese children using a more homogeneous sample--children with phonological dyslexia. Two experimental tasks were administered to a group of Chinese children with phonological dyslexia, a group…

  15. Speech Perception Ability in Individuals with Friedreich Ataxia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rance, Gary; Fava, Rosanne; Baldock, Heath; Chong, April; Barker, Elizabeth; Corben, Louise; Delatycki

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate auditory pathway function and speech perception ability in individuals with Friedreich ataxia (FRDA). Ten subjects confirmed by genetic testing as being homozygous for a GAA expansion in intron 1 of the FXN gene were included. While each of the subjects demonstrated normal, or near normal sound detection, 3…

  16. "Perception of the speech code" revisited: Speech is alphabetic after all.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Carol A; Shankweiler, Donald; Studdert-Kennedy, Michael

    2016-03-01

    We revisit an article, "Perception of the Speech Code" (PSC), published in this journal 50 years ago (Liberman, Cooper, Shankweiler, & Studdert-Kennedy, 1967) and address one of its legacies concerning the status of phonetic segments, which persists in theories of speech today. In the perspective of PSC, segments both exist (in language as known) and do not exist (in articulation or the acoustic speech signal). Findings interpreted as showing that speech is not a sound alphabet, but, rather, phonemes are encoded in the signal, coupled with findings that listeners perceive articulation, led to the motor theory of speech perception, a highly controversial legacy of PSC. However, a second legacy, the paradoxical perspective on segments has been mostly unquestioned. We remove the paradox by offering an alternative supported by converging evidence that segments exist in language both as known and as used. We support the existence of segments in both language knowledge and in production by showing that phonetic segments are articulatory and dynamic and that coarticulation does not eliminate them. We show that segments leave an acoustic signature that listeners can track. This suggests that speech is well-adapted to public communication in facilitating, not creating a barrier to, exchange of language forms. PMID:26301536

  17. Longitudinal Study of Speech Perception, Speech, and Language for Children with Hearing Loss in an Auditory-Verbal Therapy Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dornan, Dimity; Hickson, Louise; Murdoch, Bruce; Houston, Todd

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the speech perception, speech, and language developmental progress of 25 children with hearing loss (mean Pure-Tone Average [PTA] 79.37 dB HL) in an auditory verbal therapy program. Children were tested initially and then 21 months later on a battery of assessments. The speech and language results over time were compared with…

  18. Objective Neural Indices of Speech-in-Noise Perception

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina

    2010-01-01

    Numerous factors contribute to understanding speech in noisy listening environments. There is a clinical need for objective biological assessment of auditory factors that contribute to the ability to hear speech in noise, factors that are free from the demands of attention and memory. Subcortical processing of complex sounds such as speech (auditory brainstem responses to speech and other complex stimuli [cABRs]) reflects the integrity of auditory function. Because cABRs physically resemble the evoking acoustic stimulus, they can provide objective indices of the neural transcription of specific acoustic elements (e.g., temporal, spectral) important for hearing speech. As with brainstem responses to clicks and tones, cABRs are clinically viable in individual subjects. Subcortical transcription of complex sounds is also clinically viable because of its known experience-dependence and role in auditory learning. Together with other clinical measures, cABRs can inform the underlying biological nature of listening and language disorders, inform treatment strategies, and provide an objective index of therapeutic outcomes. In this article, the authors review recent studies demonstrating the role of subcortical speech encoding in successful speech-in-noise perception. PMID:20724355

  19. Perception of Words and Pitch Patterns in Song and Speech

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Julia; Sammler, Daniela; Bangert, Marc; Goldhahn, Dirk; Lohmann, Gabriele; Turner, Robert; Friederici, Angela D.

    2012-01-01

    This functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines shared and distinct cortical areas involved in the auditory perception of song and speech at the level of their underlying constituents: words and pitch patterns. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to isolate the neural correlates of the word- and pitch-based discrimination between song and speech, corrected for rhythmic differences in both. Therefore, six conditions, arranged in a subtractive hierarchy were created: sung sentences including words, pitch and rhythm; hummed speech prosody and song melody containing only pitch patterns and rhythm; and as a control the pure musical or speech rhythm. Systematic contrasts between these balanced conditions following their hierarchical organization showed a great overlap between song and speech at all levels in the bilateral temporal lobe, but suggested a differential role of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and intraparietal sulcus (IPS) in processing song and speech. While the left IFG coded for spoken words and showed predominance over the right IFG in prosodic pitch processing, an opposite lateralization was found for pitch in song. The IPS showed sensitivity to discrete pitch relations in song as opposed to the gliding pitch in speech. Finally, the superior temporal gyrus and premotor cortex coded for general differences between words and pitch patterns, irrespective of whether they were sung or spoken. Thus, song and speech share many features which are reflected in a fundamental similarity of brain areas involved in their perception. However, fine-grained acoustic differences on word and pitch level are reflected in the IPS and the lateralized activity of the IFG. PMID:22457659

  20. Using Visible Speech to Train Perception and Production of Speech for Individuals with Hearing Loss.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Massaro, Dominic W.; Light, Joanna

    2004-01-01

    The main goal of this study was to implement a computer-animated talking head, Baldi, as a language tutor for speech perception and production for individuals with hearing loss. Baldi can speak slowly; illustrate articulation by making the skin transparent to reveal the tongue, teeth, and palate; and show supplementary articulatory features, such…

  1. Listeners' Perceptions of Speech and Language Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allard, Emily R.; Williams, Dale F.

    2008-01-01

    Using semantic differential scales with nine trait pairs, 445 adults rated five audio-taped speech samples, one depicting an individual without a disorder and four portraying communication disorders. Statistical analyses indicated that the no disorder sample was rated higher with respect to the trait of employability than were the articulation,…

  2. Cortical Mechanisms of Speech Perception in Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Patrick C. M.; Uppunda, Ajith K.; Parrish, Todd B.; Dhar, Sumitrajit

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The present study examines the brain basis of listening to spoken words in noise, which is a ubiquitous characteristic of communication, with the focus on the dorsal auditory pathway. Method: English-speaking young adults identified single words in 3 listening conditions while their hemodynamic response was measured using fMRI: speech in…

  3. Prosody Production and Perception with Conversational Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mo, Yoonsook

    2010-01-01

    Speech utterances are more than the linear concatenation of individual phonemes or words. They are organized by prosodic structures comprising phonological units of different sizes (e.g., syllable, foot, word, and phrase) and the prominence relations among them. As the linguistic structure of spoken languages, prosody serves an important function…

  4. [Speech perception test in Italian language for profoundly deaf children].

    PubMed

    Genovese, E; Orzan, E; Turrini, M; Babighian, G; Arslan, E

    1995-10-01

    Speech perception tests are an important part of procedures for diagnosing pre-verbal hearing loss. Merely establishing a child's hearing threshold with and without a hearing aid is not sufficient to ensure an adequate evaluation with a view to selecting cases suitable for cochlear implants because it fails to indicate the real benefit obtained from using a conventional hearing aid reliably. Speech perception tests have proved useful not only for patient selection, but also for subsequent evaluation of the efficacy of new hearing aids, such as tactile devices and cochlear implants. In clinical practice, the tests most commonly adopted with small children are: The Auditory Comprehension Test (ACT), Discrimination after Training (DAT), Monosyllable, Trochee, Spondee tests (MTS), Glendonald Auditory Screening Priocedure (GASP), Early Speech Perception Test (ESP), Rather than considering specific results achieved in individual cases, reference is generally made to the four speech perception classes proposed by Moog and Geers of the CID of St. Louis. The purpose of this classification, made on the results obtained with suitably differentiated tests according to the child's age and language ability, is to detect differences in perception of a spoken message in ideal listening conditions. To date, no italian language speech perception test has been designed to establish the assessment of speech perception level in children with profound hearing impairment. We attempted, therefore, to adapt the existing English tests to the Italian language taking into consideration the differences between the two languages. Our attention focused on the ESP test since it can be applied to even very small children (2 years old). The ESP is proposed in a standard version for hearing-impaired children over the age of 6 years and in a simplified version for younger children. The rationale we used for selecting Italian words reflect the rationale established for the original version, but the

  5. The effects of speech motor preparation on auditory perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, John

    Perception and action are coupled via bidirectional relationships between sensory and motor systems. Motor systems influence sensory areas by imparting a feedforward influence on sensory processing termed "motor efference copy" (MEC). MEC is suggested to occur in humans because speech preparation and production modulate neural measures of auditory cortical activity. However, it is not known if MEC can affect auditory perception. We tested the hypothesis that during speech preparation auditory thresholds will increase relative to a control condition, and that the increase would be most evident for frequencies that match the upcoming vocal response. Participants performed trials in a speech condition that contained a visual cue indicating a vocal response to prepare (one of two frequencies), followed by a go signal to speak. To determine threshold shifts, voice-matched or -mismatched pure tones were presented at one of three time points between the cue and target. The control condition was the same except the visual cues did not specify a response and subjects did not speak. For each participant, we measured f0 thresholds in isolation from the task in order to establish baselines. Results indicated that auditory thresholds were highest during speech preparation, relative to baselines and a non-speech control condition, especially at suprathreshold levels. Thresholds for tones that matched the frequency of planned responses gradually increased over time, but sharply declined for the mismatched tones shortly before targets. Findings support the hypothesis that MEC influences auditory perception by modulating thresholds during speech preparation, with some specificity relative to the planned response. The threshold increase in tasks vs. baseline may reflect attentional demands of the tasks.

  6. Audio-visual speech perception: a developmental ERP investigation

    PubMed Central

    Knowland, Victoria CP; Mercure, Evelyne; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Dick, Fred; Thomas, Michael SC

    2014-01-01

    Being able to see a talking face confers a considerable advantage for speech perception in adulthood. However, behavioural data currently suggest that children fail to make full use of these available visual speech cues until age 8 or 9. This is particularly surprising given the potential utility of multiple informational cues during language learning. We therefore explored this at the neural level. The event-related potential (ERP) technique has been used to assess the mechanisms of audio-visual speech perception in adults, with visual cues reliably modulating auditory ERP responses to speech. Previous work has shown congruence-dependent shortening of auditory N1/P2 latency and congruence-independent attenuation of amplitude in the presence of auditory and visual speech signals, compared to auditory alone. The aim of this study was to chart the development of these well-established modulatory effects over mid-to-late childhood. Experiment 1 employed an adult sample to validate a child-friendly stimulus set and paradigm by replicating previously observed effects of N1/P2 amplitude and latency modulation by visual speech cues; it also revealed greater attenuation of component amplitude given incongruent audio-visual stimuli, pointing to a new interpretation of the amplitude modulation effect. Experiment 2 used the same paradigm to map cross-sectional developmental change in these ERP responses between 6 and 11 years of age. The effect of amplitude modulation by visual cues emerged over development, while the effect of latency modulation was stable over the child sample. These data suggest that auditory ERP modulation by visual speech represents separable underlying cognitive processes, some of which show earlier maturation than others over the course of development. PMID:24176002

  7. Theta brain rhythms index perceptual narrowing in infant speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Bosseler, Alexis N.; Taulu, Samu; Pihko, Elina; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Imada, Toshiaki; Ahonen, Antti; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2013-01-01

    The development of speech perception shows a dramatic transition between infancy and adulthood. Between 6 and 12 months, infants' initial ability to discriminate all phonetic units across the world's languages narrows—native discrimination increases while non-native discrimination shows a steep decline. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine whether brain oscillations in the theta band (4–8 Hz), reflecting increases in attention and cognitive effort, would provide a neural measure of the perceptual narrowing phenomenon in speech. Using an oddball paradigm, we varied speech stimuli in two dimensions, stimulus frequency (frequent vs. infrequent) and language (native vs. non-native speech syllables) and tested 6-month-old infants, 12-month-old infants, and adults. We hypothesized that 6-month-old infants would show increased relative theta power (RTP) for frequent syllables, regardless of their status as native or non-native syllables, reflecting young infants' attention and cognitive effort in response to highly frequent stimuli (“statistical learning”). In adults, we hypothesized increased RTP for non-native stimuli, regardless of their presentation frequency, reflecting increased cognitive effort for non-native phonetic categories. The 12-month-old infants were expected to show a pattern in transition, but one more similar to adults than to 6-month-old infants. The MEG brain rhythm results supported these hypotheses. We suggest that perceptual narrowing in speech perception is governed by an implicit learning process. This learning process involves an implicit shift in attention from frequent events (infants) to learned categories (adults). Theta brain oscillatory activity may provide an index of perceptual narrowing beyond speech, and would offer a test of whether the early speech learning process is governed by domain-general or domain-specific processes. PMID:24130536

  8. Audio-visual speech perception: a developmental ERP investigation.

    PubMed

    Knowland, Victoria C P; Mercure, Evelyne; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Dick, Fred; Thomas, Michael S C

    2014-01-01

    Being able to see a talking face confers a considerable advantage for speech perception in adulthood. However, behavioural data currently suggest that children fail to make full use of these available visual speech cues until age 8 or 9. This is particularly surprising given the potential utility of multiple informational cues during language learning. We therefore explored this at the neural level. The event-related potential (ERP) technique has been used to assess the mechanisms of audio-visual speech perception in adults, with visual cues reliably modulating auditory ERP responses to speech. Previous work has shown congruence-dependent shortening of auditory N1/P2 latency and congruence-independent attenuation of amplitude in the presence of auditory and visual speech signals, compared to auditory alone. The aim of this study was to chart the development of these well-established modulatory effects over mid-to-late childhood. Experiment 1 employed an adult sample to validate a child-friendly stimulus set and paradigm by replicating previously observed effects of N1/P2 amplitude and latency modulation by visual speech cues; it also revealed greater attenuation of component amplitude given incongruent audio-visual stimuli, pointing to a new interpretation of the amplitude modulation effect. Experiment 2 used the same paradigm to map cross-sectional developmental change in these ERP responses between 6 and 11 years of age. The effect of amplitude modulation by visual cues emerged over development, while the effect of latency modulation was stable over the child sample. These data suggest that auditory ERP modulation by visual speech represents separable underlying cognitive processes, some of which show earlier maturation than others over the course of development. PMID:24176002

  9. Sources of Confusion in Infant Audiovisual Speech Perception Research

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Kathleen E.; Bortfeld, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Speech is a multimodal stimulus, with information provided in both the auditory and visual modalities. The resulting audiovisual signal provides relatively stable, tightly correlated cues that support speech perception and processing in a range of contexts. Despite the clear relationship between spoken language and the moving mouth that produces it, there remains considerable disagreement over how sensitive early language learners—infants—are to whether and how sight and sound co-occur. Here we examine sources of this disagreement, with a focus on how comparisons of data obtained using different paradigms and different stimuli may serve to exacerbate misunderstanding. PMID:26696919

  10. Neuroanatomical Characteristics and Speech Perception in Noise in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Patrick C. M.; Ettlinger, Marc; Sheppard, John P.; Gunasekera, Geshri M.; Dhar, Sumitrajit

    2010-01-01

    Objectives Previous research has attributed older adult’s difficulty with perceiving speech in noise to peripheral hearing loss. Recent studies have suggested a more complex picture, however, and implicate the central nervous system in sensation and sensory deficits. This study examines the relationship between the neuroanatomical structure of cognitive regions and the ability to perceive speech in noise in older adults. In particular, the neuroanatomical characteristics of the left ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortex are considered relative to standard measures of hearing in noise. Design The participants were fifteen older and fourteen younger right-handed native speakers of American English who had no neurological deficits and scored better than normal on standardized cognitive tests. We measured the participants’ peripheral hearing ability as well as their ability to perceive speech in noise using standardized tests. Anatomical magnetic resonance images were taken and analyzed to extract regional volumes and thicknesses of several key neuroanatomical structures. Results The results showed that younger adults had better hearing sensitivity and better speech perception in noise ability than older adults. For the older adults only, the volume of the left pars triangularis and the cortical thickness of the left superior frontal gyrus were significant predictors of performance on the speech-in-noise test. Discussion These findings suggest that, in addition to peripheral structures, the central nervous system also contributes to the ability to perceive speech in noise. In older adults, a decline in the volume and cortical thickness of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during aging can therefore be a factor in a declining ability to perceive speech in a naturalistic environment. Our study shows a link between anatomy of PFC and speech perception in older adults. These findings are consistent with the decline-compensation hypothesis, which states that a decline in

  11. Talker variability in audio-visual speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Heald, Shannon L. M.; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2014-01-01

    A change in talker is a change in the context for the phonetic interpretation of acoustic patterns of speech. Different talkers have different mappings between acoustic patterns and phonetic categories and listeners need to adapt to these differences. Despite this complexity, listeners are adept at comprehending speech in multiple-talker contexts, albeit at a slight but measurable performance cost (e.g., slower recognition). So far, this talker variability cost has been demonstrated only in audio-only speech. Other research in single-talker contexts have shown, however, that when listeners are able to see a talker’s face, speech recognition is improved under adverse listening (e.g., noise or distortion) conditions that can increase uncertainty in the mapping between acoustic patterns and phonetic categories. Does seeing a talker’s face reduce the cost of word recognition in multiple-talker contexts? We used a speeded word-monitoring task in which listeners make quick judgments about target word recognition in single- and multiple-talker contexts. Results show faster recognition performance in single-talker conditions compared to multiple-talker conditions for both audio-only and audio-visual speech. However, recognition time in a multiple-talker context was slower in the audio-visual condition compared to audio-only condition. These results suggest that seeing a talker’s face during speech perception may slow recognition by increasing the importance of talker identification, signaling to the listener a change in talker has occurred. PMID:25076919

  12. A music perception disorder (congenital amusia) influences speech comprehension.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fang; Jiang, Cunmei; Wang, Bei; Xu, Yi; Patel, Aniruddh D

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the underlying link between speech and music by examining whether and to what extent congenital amusia, a musical disorder characterized by degraded pitch processing, would impact spoken sentence comprehension for speakers of Mandarin, a tone language. Sixteen Mandarin-speaking amusics and 16 matched controls were tested on the intelligibility of news-like Mandarin sentences with natural and flat fundamental frequency (F0) contours (created via speech resynthesis) under four signal-to-noise (SNR) conditions (no noise, +5, 0, and -5dB SNR). While speech intelligibility in quiet and extremely noisy conditions (SNR=-5dB) was not significantly compromised by flattened F0, both amusic and control groups achieved better performance with natural-F0 sentences than flat-F0 sentences under moderately noisy conditions (SNR=+5 and 0dB). Relative to normal listeners, amusics demonstrated reduced speech intelligibility in both quiet and noise, regardless of whether the F0 contours of the sentences were natural or flattened. This deficit in speech intelligibility was not associated with impaired pitch perception in amusia. These findings provide evidence for impaired speech comprehension in congenital amusia, suggesting that the deficit of amusics extends beyond pitch processing and includes segmental processing. PMID:25445781

  13. A little more conversation, a little less action - candidate roles for motor cortex in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Sophie K; McGettigan, Carolyn; Eisner, Frank

    2014-01-01

    The motor theory of speech perception assumes that activation of the motor system is essential in the perception of speech. However, deficits in speech perception and comprehension do not arise from damage that is restricted to the motor cortex, few functional imaging studies reveal activity in motor cortex during speech perception, and the motor cortex is strongly activated by many different sound categories. Here, we evaluate alternative roles for the motor cortex in spoken communication and suggest a specific role in sensorimotor processing in conversation. We argue that motor-cortex activation it is essential in joint speech, particularly for the timing of turn-taking. PMID:19277052

  14. Neural mechanisms underlying song and speech perception can be differentiated using an illusory percept.

    PubMed

    Hymers, Mark; Prendergast, Garreth; Liu, Can; Schulze, Anja; Young, Michellie L; Wastling, Stephen J; Barker, Gareth J; Millman, Rebecca E

    2015-03-01

    The issue of whether human perception of speech and song recruits integrated or dissociated neural systems is contentious. This issue is difficult to address directly since these stimulus classes differ in their physical attributes. We therefore used a compelling illusion (Deutsch et al. 2011) in which acoustically identical auditory stimuli are perceived as either speech or song. Deutsch's illusion was used in a functional MRI experiment to provide a direct, within-subject investigation of the brain regions involved in the perceptual transformation from speech into song, independent of the physical characteristics of the presented stimuli. An overall differential effect resulting from the perception of song compared with that of speech was revealed in right midposterior superior temporal sulcus/right middle temporal gyrus. A left frontotemporal network, previously implicated in higher-level cognitive analyses of music and speech, was found to co-vary with a behavioural measure of the subjective vividness of the illusion, and this effect was driven by the illusory transformation. These findings provide evidence that illusory song perception is instantiated by a network of brain regions that are predominantly shared with the speech perception network. PMID:25512041

  15. Linking Speech Perception and Neurophysiology: Speech Decoding Guided by Cascaded Oscillators Locked to the Input Rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded

    2011-01-01

    The premise of this study is that current models of speech perception, which are driven by acoustic features alone, are incomplete, and that the role of decoding time during memory access must be incorporated to account for the patterns of observed recognition phenomena. It is postulated that decoding time is governed by a cascade of neuronal oscillators, which guide template-matching operations at a hierarchy of temporal scales. Cascaded cortical oscillations in the theta, beta, and gamma frequency bands are argued to be crucial for speech intelligibility. Intelligibility is high so long as these oscillations remain phase locked to the auditory input rhythm. A model (Tempo) is presented which is capable of emulating recent psychophysical data on the intelligibility of speech sentences as a function of “packaging” rate (Ghitza and Greenberg, 2009). The data show that intelligibility of speech that is time-compressed by a factor of 3 (i.e., a high syllabic rate) is poor (above 50% word error rate), but is substantially restored when the information stream is re-packaged by the insertion of silent gaps in between successive compressed-signal intervals – a counterintuitive finding, difficult to explain using classical models of speech perception, but emerging naturally from the Tempo architecture. PMID:21743809

  16. Effect of preceding speech on nonspeech sound perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Joseph D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2002-05-01

    Data from Japanese quail suggest that the effect of preceding liquids (/l/ or /r/) on response to subsequent stops (/g/ or /d/) arises from general auditory processes sensitive to the spectral structure of sound [A. J. Lotto, K. R. Kluender, and L. L. Holt, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 102, 1134-1140 (1997)]. If spectral content is key, appropriate nonspeech sounds should influence perception of speech sounds and vice versa. The former effect has been demonstrated [A. J. Lotto and K. R. Kluender, Percept. Psychophys. 60, 602-619 (1998)]. The current experiment investigated the influence of speech on the perception of nonspeech sounds. Nonspeech stimuli were 80-ms chirps modeled after the F2 and F3 transitions in /ga/ and /da/. F3 onset was increased in equal steps from 1800 Hz (/ga/ analog) to 2700 Hz (/da/ analog) to create a ten-member series. During AX discrimination trials, listeners heard chirps that were three steps apart on the series. Each chirp was preceded by a synthesized /al/ or /ar/. Results showed context effects predicted from differences in spectral content between the syllables and chirps. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that spectral contrast influences context effects in speech perception. [Work supported by ONR, NOHR, and CNBC.

  17. Spatial and temporal modifications of multitalker speech can improve speech perception in older adults.

    PubMed

    Gygi, Brian; Shafiro, Valeriy

    2014-04-01

    Speech perception in multitalker environments often requires listeners to divide attention among several concurrent talkers before focusing on one talker with pertinent information. Such attentionally demanding tasks are particularly difficult for older adults due both to age-related hearing loss (presbacusis) and general declines in attentional processing and associated cognitive abilities. This study investigated two signal-processing techniques that have been suggested as a means of improving speech perception accuracy of older adults: time stretching and spatial separation of target talkers. Stimuli in each experiment comprised 2-4 fixed-form utterances in which listeners were asked to consecutively 1) detect concurrently spoken keywords in the beginning of the utterance (divided attention); and, 2) identify additional keywords from only one talker at the end of the utterance (selective attention). In Experiment 1, the overall tempo of each utterance was unaltered or slowed down by 25%; in Experiment 2 the concurrent utterances were spatially coincident or separated across a 180-degree hemifield. Both manipulations improved performance for elderly adults with age-appropriate hearing on both tasks. Increasing the divided attention load by attending to more concurrent keywords had a marked negative effect on performance of the selective attention task only when the target talker was identified by a keyword, but not by spatial location. These findings suggest that the temporal and spatial modifications of multitalker speech improved perception of multitalker speech primarily by reducing competition among cognitive resources required to perform attentionally demanding tasks. PMID:24530609

  18. Music training and speech perception: a gene-environment interaction.

    PubMed

    Schellenberg, E Glenn

    2015-03-01

    Claims of beneficial side effects of music training are made for many different abilities, including verbal and visuospatial abilities, executive functions, working memory, IQ, and speech perception in particular. Such claims assume that music training causes the associations even though children who take music lessons are likely to differ from other children in music aptitude, which is associated with many aspects of speech perception. Music training in childhood is also associated with cognitive, personality, and demographic variables, and it is well established that IQ and personality are determined largely by genetics. Recent evidence also indicates that the role of genetics in music aptitude and music achievement is much larger than previously thought. In short, music training is an ideal model for the study of gene-environment interactions but far less appropriate as a model for the study of plasticity. Children seek out environments, including those with music lessons, that are consistent with their predispositions; such environments exaggerate preexisting individual differences. PMID:25773632

  19. Speech perception with tactile support in adverse listening conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drullman, Rob; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.

    2002-05-01

    Since long, different methods of vibrotactile stimulation have been used as an aid for speech perception by some people with severe hearing impairment. The fact that experiments have shown (limited) benefits proves that tactile information can indeed give some support. In our research program on multimodal interfaces, we wondered if normal hearing listeners could benefit from tactile information when speech was presented in adverse listening conditions. Therefore, we set up a pilot experiment with a male speaker against a background of one, two, four or eight competing male speakers or speech noise. Sound was presented diotically to the subjects and the speech-reception threshold (SRT) for short sentences was measured. The temporal envelope (0-30 Hz) of the speech signal was computed in real time and led to the tactile transducer (MiniVib), which was fixed to the index finger. First results show a significant drop in SRT of about 3 dB when using tactile stimulation in the condition of one competing speaker. In the other conditions no significant effects were found, but there is a trend of a decrease of the SRT when tactile information is given. We will discuss the results of further experiments.

  20. Narrowing of intersensory speech perception in infancy.

    PubMed

    Pons, Ferran; Lewkowicz, David J; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria

    2009-06-30

    The conventional view is that perceptual/cognitive development is an incremental process of acquisition. Several striking findings have revealed, however, that the sensitivity to non-native languages, faces, vocalizations, and music that is present early in life declines as infants acquire experience with native perceptual inputs. In the language domain, the decline in sensitivity is reflected in a process of perceptual narrowing that is thought to play a critical role during the acquisition of a native-language phonological system. Here, we provide evidence that such a decline also occurs in infant response to multisensory speech. We found that infant intersensory response to a non-native phonetic contrast narrows between 6 and 11 months of age, suggesting that the perceptual system becomes increasingly more tuned to key native-language audiovisual correspondences. Our findings lend support to the notion that perceptual narrowing is a domain-general as well as a pan-sensory developmental process. PMID:19541648

  1. Crossmodal Source Identification in Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Lachs, Lorin; Pisoni, David B.

    2011-01-01

    Four experiments examined the nature of multisensory speech information. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to match heard voices with dynamic visual-alone video clips of speakers' articulating faces. This cross-modal matching task was used to examine whether vocal source matching can be accomplished across sensory modalities. The results showed that observers could match speaking faces and voices, indicating that information about the speaker was available for cross-modal comparisons. In a series of follow-up experiments, several stimulus manipulations were used to determine some of the critical acoustic and optic patterns necessary for specifying cross-modal source information. The results showed that cross-modal source information was not available in static visual displays of faces and was not contingent on a prominent acoustic cue to vocal identity (f0). Furthermore, cross-modal matching was not possible when the acoustic signal was temporally reversed. PMID:21544262

  2. Critique: auditory form and gestural topology in the perception of speech.

    PubMed

    Remez, R E

    1996-03-01

    Some influential accounts of speech perception have asserted that the goal of perception is to recover the articulatory gestures that create the acoustic signal, while others have proposed that speech perception proceeds by a method of acoustic categorization of signal elements. These accounts have been frustrated by difficulties in identifying a set of primitive articulatory constituents underlying speech production, and a set of primitive acoustic-auditory elements underlying speech perception. An argument by Lindblom favors an account of production and perception based on the auditory form of speech and its cognitive elaboration, rejecting the aim of defining a set of articulatory primitives by appealing to theoretical principle, while recognizing the empirical difficulty of identifying a set of acoustic or auditory primitives. An examination of this thesis found opportunities to defend some of its conclusions with independent evidence, but favors a characterization of the constituents of speech perception as linguistic rather than as articulatory or acoustic. PMID:8964930

  3. ANALOGY AND DISANALOGY IN PRODUCTION AND PERCEPTION OF SPEECH

    PubMed Central

    Remez, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    A varied psychological vocabulary now describes the cognitive and social conditions of language production, the ultimate result of which is the mechanical action of vocal musculature in spoken expression. Following the logic of the speech chain, descriptions of production have often exhibited a clear analogy to accounts of perception. This reciprocality is especially evident in explanations that rely on reafference to control production, on articulation to inform perception, and on strict parity between produced and perceived form to provide invariance in the relation between abstract linguistic objects and observed expression. However, a causal account of production and perception cannot derive solely from this hopeful analogy. Despite sharing of abstract linguistic representations, the control functions in production and perception as well as the constraints on their use stand in fundamental disanalogy. This is readily seen in the different adaptive challenges to production — to speak in a single voice — and perception — to resolve familiar linguistic properties in any voice. This acknowledgment sets descriptive and theoretical challenges that break the symmetry of production and perception. As a consequence, this recognition dislodges an old impasse between the psychoacoustic and motoric accounts in the regulation of production and perception. PMID:25642428

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Spectrotemporal Modulation Detection and Speech Perception by Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Won, Jong Ho; Moon, Il Joon; Jin, Sunhwa; Park, Heesung; Woo, Jihwan; Cho, Yang-Sun; Chung, Won-Ho; Hong, Sung Hwa

    2015-01-01

    Spectrotemporal modulation (STM) detection performance was examined for cochlear implant (CI) users. The test involved discriminating between an unmodulated steady noise and a modulated stimulus. The modulated stimulus presents frequency modulation patterns that change in frequency over time. In order to examine STM detection performance for different modulation conditions, two different temporal modulation rates (5 and 10 Hz) and three different spectral modulation densities (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 cycles/octave) were employed, producing a total 6 different STM stimulus conditions. In order to explore how electric hearing constrains STM sensitivity for CI users differently from acoustic hearing, normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners were also tested on the same tasks. STM detection performance was best in NH subjects, followed by HI subjects. On average, CI subjects showed poorest performance, but some CI subjects showed high levels of STM detection performance that was comparable to acoustic hearing. Significant correlations were found between STM detection performance and speech identification performance in quiet and in noise. In order to understand the relative contribution of spectral and temporal modulation cues to speech perception abilities for CI users, spectral and temporal modulation detection was performed separately and related to STM detection and speech perception performance. The results suggest that that slow spectral modulation rather than slow temporal modulation may be important for determining speech perception capabilities for CI users. Lastly, test–retest reliability for STM detection was good with no learning. The present study demonstrates that STM detection may be a useful tool to evaluate the ability of CI sound processing strategies to deliver clinically pertinent acoustic modulation information. PMID:26485715

  7. The selective role of premotor cortex in speech perception: a contribution to phoneme judgements but not speech comprehension.

    PubMed

    Krieger-Redwood, Katya; Gaskell, M Gareth; Lindsay, Shane; Jefferies, Elizabeth

    2013-12-01

    Several accounts of speech perception propose that the areas involved in producing language are also involved in perceiving it. In line with this view, neuroimaging studies show activation of premotor cortex (PMC) during phoneme judgment tasks; however, there is debate about whether speech perception necessarily involves motor processes, across all task contexts, or whether the contribution of PMC is restricted to tasks requiring explicit phoneme awareness. Some aspects of speech processing, such as mapping sounds onto meaning, may proceed without the involvement of motor speech areas if PMC specifically contributes to the manipulation and categorical perception of phonemes. We applied TMS to three sites-PMC, posterior superior temporal gyrus, and occipital pole-and for the first time within the TMS literature, directly contrasted two speech perception tasks that required explicit phoneme decisions and mapping of speech sounds onto semantic categories, respectively. TMS to PMC disrupted explicit phonological judgments but not access to meaning for the same speech stimuli. TMS to two further sites confirmed that this pattern was site specific and did not reflect a generic difference in the susceptibility of our experimental tasks to TMS: stimulation of pSTG, a site involved in auditory processing, disrupted performance in both language tasks, whereas stimulation of occipital pole had no effect on performance in either task. These findings demonstrate that, although PMC is important for explicit phonological judgments, crucially, PMC is not necessary for mapping speech onto meanings. PMID:23937689

  8. Native and Non-native Speech Perception by Hearing-Impaired Listeners in Noise- and Speech Maskers

    PubMed Central

    Zekveld, Adriana; Hällgren, Mathias; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated how hearing-impaired listeners perceive native (Swedish) and nonnative (English) speech in the presence of noise- and speech maskers. Speech reception thresholds were measured for four different masker types for each target language. The maskers consisted of stationary and fluctuating noise and two-talker babble in Swedish and English. Twenty-three hearing-impaired native Swedish listeners participated, aged between 28 and 65 years. The participants also performed cognitive tests of working memory capacity in Swedish and English, nonverbal reasoning, and an English proficiency test. Results indicated that the speech maskers were more interfering than the noise maskers in both target languages. The larger need for phonetic and semantic cues in a nonnative language makes a stationary masker relatively more challenging than a fluctuating-noise masker. Better hearing acuity (pure tone average) was associated with better perception of the target speech in Swedish, and better English proficiency was associated with better speech perception in English. Larger working memory and better pure tone averages were related to the better perception of speech masked with fluctuating noise in the nonnative language. This suggests that both are relevant in highly taxing conditions. A large variance in performance between the listeners was observed, especially for speech perception in the nonnative language. PMID:25910504

  9. Automatic audiovisual integration in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Gentilucci, Maurizio; Cattaneo, Luigi

    2005-11-01

    Two experiments aimed to determine whether features of both the visual and acoustical inputs are always merged into the perceived representation of speech and whether this audiovisual integration is based on either cross-modal binding functions or on imitation. In a McGurk paradigm, observers were required to repeat aloud a string of phonemes uttered by an actor (acoustical presentation of phonemic string) whose mouth, in contrast, mimicked pronunciation of a different string (visual presentation). In a control experiment participants read the same printed strings of letters. This condition aimed to analyze the pattern of voice and the lip kinematics controlling for imitation. In the control experiment and in the congruent audiovisual presentation, i.e. when the articulation mouth gestures were congruent with the emission of the string of phones, the voice spectrum and the lip kinematics varied according to the pronounced strings of phonemes. In the McGurk paradigm the participants were unaware of the incongruence between visual and acoustical stimuli. The acoustical analysis of the participants' spoken responses showed three distinct patterns: the fusion of the two stimuli (the McGurk effect), repetition of the acoustically presented string of phonemes, and, less frequently, of the string of phonemes corresponding to the mouth gestures mimicked by the actor. However, the analysis of the latter two responses showed that the formant 2 of the participants' voice spectra always differed from the value recorded in the congruent audiovisual presentation. It approached the value of the formant 2 of the string of phonemes presented in the other modality, which was apparently ignored. The lip kinematics of the participants repeating the string of phonemes acoustically presented were influenced by the observation of the lip movements mimicked by the actor, but only when pronouncing a labial consonant. The data are discussed in favor of the hypothesis that features of both

  10. Predicting individual variation in language from infant speech perception measures.

    PubMed

    Cristia, Alejandrina; Seidl, Amanda; Junge, Caroline; Soderstrom, Melanie; Hagoort, Peter

    2014-01-01

    There are increasing reports that individual variation in behavioral and neurophysiological measures of infant speech processing predicts later language outcomes, and specifically concurrent or subsequent vocabulary size. If such findings are held up under scrutiny, they could both illuminate theoretical models of language development and contribute to the prediction of communicative disorders. A qualitative, systematic review of this emergent literature illustrated the variety of approaches that have been used and highlighted some conceptual problems regarding the measurements. A quantitative analysis of the same data established that the bivariate relation was significant, with correlations of similar strength to those found for well-established nonlinguistic predictors of language. Further exploration of infant speech perception predictors, particularly from a methodological perspective, is recommended. PMID:24320112

  11. Induced neural beta oscillations predict categorical speech perception abilities.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M

    2015-02-01

    Neural oscillations have been linked to various perceptual and cognitive brain operations. Here, we examined the role of these induced brain responses in categorical speech perception (CP), a phenomenon in which similar features are mapped to discrete, common identities despite their equidistant/continuous physical spacing. We recorded neuroelectric activity while participants rapidly classified sounds along a vowel continuum (/u/ to /a/). Time-frequency analyses applied to the EEG revealed distinct temporal dynamics in induced (non-phase locked) oscillations; increased β (15-30Hz) coded prototypical vowel sounds carrying well-defined phonetic categories whereas increased γ (50-70Hz) accompanied ambiguous tokens near the categorical boundary. Notably, changes in β activity were strongly correlated with the slope of listeners' psychometric identification functions, a measure of the "steepness" of their categorical percept. Our findings demonstrate that in addition to previously observed evoked (phase-locked) correlates of CP, induced brain activity in the β-band codes the ambiguity and strength of categorical speech percepts. PMID:25540857

  12. Only Behavioral But Not Self-Report Measures of Speech Perception Correlate with Cognitive Abilities

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Good speech perception and communication skills in everyday life are crucial for participation and well-being, and are therefore an overarching aim of auditory rehabilitation. Both behavioral and self-report measures can be used to assess these skills. However, correlations between behavioral and self-report speech perception measures are often low. One possible explanation is that there is a mismatch between the specific situations used in the assessment of these skills in each method, and a more careful matching across situations might improve consistency of results. The role that cognition plays in specific speech situations may also be important for understanding communication, as speech perception tests vary in their cognitive demands. In this study, the role of executive function, working memory (WM) and attention in behavioral and self-report measures of speech perception was investigated. Thirty existing hearing aid users with mild-to-moderate hearing loss aged between 50 and 74 years completed a behavioral test battery with speech perception tests ranging from phoneme discrimination in modulated noise (easy) to words in multi-talker babble (medium) and keyword perception in a carrier sentence against a distractor voice (difficult). In addition, a self-report measure of aided communication, residual disability from the Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile, was obtained. Correlations between speech perception tests and self-report measures were higher when specific speech situations across both were matched. Cognition correlated with behavioral speech perception test results but not with self-report. Only the most difficult speech perception test, keyword perception in a carrier sentence with a competing distractor voice, engaged executive functions in addition to WM. In conclusion, any relationship between behavioral and self-report speech perception is not mediated by a shared correlation with cognition. PMID:27242564

  13. Audiovisual Speech Perception in Children with Developmental Language Disorder in Degraded Listening Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meronen, Auli; Tiippana, Kaisa; Westerholm, Jari; Ahonen, Timo

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The effect of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the perception of audiovisual speech in children with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) was investigated by varying the noise level and the sound intensity of acoustic speech. The main hypotheses were that the McGurk effect (in which incongruent visual speech alters the…

  14. Tactile Aids for Speech Perception and Production by Hearing-Impaired People.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisenberger, Janet

    1989-01-01

    Laboratory results are presented which suggest that hearing-impaired individuals' speech perception can be enhanced through use of tactile aids with a number of tactile transducers conveying information about the spectral content of the speech signal, and speech production can be improved through experience using a multichannel tactile aid.…

  15. Children's Perception of Speech Produced in a Two-Talker Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Mallory; Buss, Emily; Jacks, Adam; Taylor, Crystal; Leibold, Lori J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study evaluated the degree to which children benefit from the acoustic modifications made by talkers when they produce speech in noise. Method: A repeated measures design compared the speech perception performance of children (5-11 years) and adults in a 2-talker masker. Target speech was produced in a 2-talker background or in…

  16. On the Perception of Speech Sounds as Biologically Significant Signals1,2

    PubMed Central

    Pisoni, David B.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews some of the major evidence and arguments currently available to support the view that human speech perception may require the use of specialized neural mechanisms for perceptual analysis. Experiments using synthetically produced speech signals with adults are briefly summarized and extensions of these results to infants and other organisms are reviewed with an emphasis towards detailing those aspects of speech perception that may require some need for specialized species-specific processors. Finally, some comments on the role of early experience in perceptual development are provided as an attempt to identify promising areas of new research in speech perception. PMID:399200

  17. Role of contextual cues on the perception of spectrally reduced interrupted speech.

    PubMed

    Patro, Chhayakanta; Mendel, Lisa Lucks

    2016-08-01

    Understanding speech within an auditory scene is constantly challenged by interfering noise in suboptimal listening environments when noise hinders the continuity of the speech stream. In such instances, a typical auditory-cognitive system perceptually integrates available speech information and "fills in" missing information in the light of semantic context. However, individuals with cochlear implants (CIs) find it difficult and effortful to understand interrupted speech compared to their normal hearing counterparts. This inefficiency in perceptual integration of speech could be attributed to further degradations in the spectral-temporal domain imposed by CIs making it difficult to utilize the contextual evidence effectively. To address these issues, 20 normal hearing adults listened to speech that was spectrally reduced and spectrally reduced interrupted in a manner similar to CI processing. The Revised Speech Perception in Noise test, which includes contextually rich and contextually poor sentences, was used to evaluate the influence of semantic context on speech perception. Results indicated that listeners benefited more from semantic context when they listened to spectrally reduced speech alone. For the spectrally reduced interrupted speech, contextual information was not as helpful under significant spectral reductions, but became beneficial as the spectral resolution improved. These results suggest top-down processing facilitates speech perception up to a point, and it fails to facilitate speech understanding when the speech signals are significantly degraded. PMID:27586760

  18. Speech Perception in Noise Deficits in Japanese Children with Reading Difficulties: Effects of Presentation Rate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Inoue, Tomohiro; Higashibara, Fumiko; Okazaki, Shinji; Maekawa, Hisao

    2011-01-01

    We examined the effects of presentation rate on speech perception in noise and its relation to reading in 117 typically developing (TD) children and 10 children with reading difficulties (RD) in Japan. Responses in a speech perception task were measured for speed, accuracy, and stability in two conditions that varied stimulus presentation rate:…

  19. The Development of the Mealings, Demuth, Dillon, and Buchholz Classroom Speech Perception Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mealings, Kiri T.; Demuth, Katherine; Buchholz, Jörg; Dillon, Harvey

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Open-plan classroom styles are increasingly being adopted in Australia despite evidence that their high intrusive noise levels adversely affect learning. The aim of this study was to develop a new Australian speech perception task (the Mealings, Demuth, Dillon, and Buchholz Classroom Speech Perception Test) and use it in an open-plan…

  20. Auditory Speech Perception Capacity of Child Implant Users Expressed as Equivalent Hearing Loss.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boothroyd, Arthur; Eran, Orna

    1994-01-01

    An imitative test of speech pattern contrast perception was administered to profoundly deaf children using hearing aids (n=76) or cochlear implants (n=18). Implant users performed, on average, similarly to individuals with an 88 decibel hearing loss, indicating that implant use can provide auditory speech perception capacity similar to that of…

  1. The Role of Broca's Area in Speech Perception: Evidence from Aphasia Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hickok, Gregory; Costanzo, Maddalena; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Motor theories of speech perception have been re-vitalized as a consequence of the discovery of mirror neurons. Some authors have even promoted a strong version of the motor theory, arguing that the motor speech system is critical for perception. Part of the evidence that is cited in favor of this claim is the observation from the early 1980s that…

  2. Noise on, Voicing off: Speech Perception Deficits in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziegler, Johannes C.; Pech-Georgel, Catherine; George, Florence; Lorenzi, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Speech perception of four phonetic categories (voicing, place, manner, and nasality) was investigated in children with specific language impairment (SLI) (n=20) and age-matched controls (n=19) in quiet and various noise conditions using an AXB two-alternative forced-choice paradigm. Children with SLI exhibited robust speech perception deficits in…

  3. Audiovisual Speech Perception and Eye Gaze Behavior of Adults with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saalasti, Satu; Katsyri, Jari; Tiippana, Kaisa; Laine-Hernandez, Mari; von Wendt, Lennart; Sams, Mikko

    2012-01-01

    Audiovisual speech perception was studied in adults with Asperger syndrome (AS), by utilizing the McGurk effect, in which conflicting visual articulation alters the perception of heard speech. The AS group perceived the audiovisual stimuli differently from age, sex and IQ matched controls. When a voice saying /p/ was presented with a face…

  4. The Effect of Technology and Testing Environment on Speech Perception Using Telehealth with Cochlear Implant Recipients

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goehring, Jenny L.; Hughes, Michelle L.; Baudhuin, Jacquelyn L.; Valente, Daniel L.; McCreery, Ryan W.; Diaz, Gina R.; Sanford, Todd; Harpster, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors evaluated the effect of remote system and acoustic environment on speech perception via telehealth with cochlear implant recipients. Method: Speech perception was measured in quiet and in noise. Systems evaluated were Polycom visual concert (PVC) and a hybrid presentation system (HPS). Each system was evaluated…

  5. [Development of improving speech perception of cochlear implants in noisy environment].

    PubMed

    Pan, Haolai; Chen, Zhengnong

    2016-01-01

    Cochlear implantation has been a standard therapy for treating severe deafness because patients who receive it have better speech perception. However, the hearing performance of cochlear implantation in noisy environment is far from satisfaction. Efforts have been made to reverse such condition, such as EAS, bimodal stimulation, environment-adaptive speech enhancement and multipolar stimulation, and patients who receive it get more or less better speech perception in noisy environment than traditional cochlear implantation. PMID:27192923

  6. The Effect of Short-Term Musical Training on Speech Perception in Noise.

    PubMed

    Jain, Chandni; Mohamed, Hijas; Kumar, Ajith U

    2015-01-21

    The aim of the study was to assess the effect of short-term musical training on speech perception in noise. In the present study speech perception in noise was measured pre- and post- short-term musical training. The musical training involved auditory perceptual training for raga identification of two Carnatic ragas. The training was given for eight sessions. A total of 18 normal hearing adults in the age range of 18-25 years participated in the study wherein group 1 consisted of ten individuals who underwent musical training and group 2 consisted of eight individuals who did not undergo any training. Results revealed that post training, speech perception in noise improved significantly in group 1, whereas group 2 did not show any changes in speech perception scores. Thus, short-term musical training shows an enhancement of speech perception in the presence of noise. However, generalization and long-term maintenance of these benefits needs to be evaluated. PMID:26557359

  7. Brain structure is related to speech perception abilities in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Burgaleta, Miguel; Baus, Cristina; Díaz, Begoña; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria

    2014-07-01

    Morphology of the human brain predicts the speed at which individuals learn to distinguish novel foreign speech sounds after laboratory training. However, little is known about the neuroanatomical basis of individual differences in speech perception when a second language (L2) has been learned in natural environments for extended periods of time. In the present study, two samples of highly proficient bilinguals were selected according to their ability to distinguish between very similar L2 sounds, either isolated (prelexical) or within words (lexical). Structural MRI was acquired and processed to estimate vertex-wise indices of cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (CSA), and the association between cortical morphology and behavioral performance was inspected. Results revealed that performance in the lexical task was negatively associated with the thickness of the left temporal cortex and angular gyrus, as well as with the surface area of the left precuneus. Our findings, consistently with previous fMRI studies, demonstrate that morphology of the reported areas is relevant for word recognition based on phonological information. Further, we discuss the possibility that increased CT and CSA in sound-to-meaning mapping regions, found for poor non-native speech sounds perceivers, would have plastically arisen after extended periods of increased functional activity during L2 exposure. PMID:23686398

  8. Comparison of Speech Perception in Background Noise with Acceptance of Background Noise in Aided and Unaided Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nabelek, Anna K.; Tampas, Joanna W.; Burchfield, Samuel B.

    2004-01-01

    l, speech perception in noiseBackground noise is a significant factor influencing hearing-aid satisfaction and is a major reason for rejection of hearing aids. Attempts have been made by previous researchers to relate the use of hearing aids to speech perception in noise (SPIN), with an expectation of improved speech perception followed by an…

  9. How may the basal ganglia contribute to auditory categorization and speech perception?

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Sung-Joo; Fiez, Julie A.; Holt, Lori L.

    2014-01-01

    Listeners must accomplish two complementary perceptual feats in extracting a message from speech. They must discriminate linguistically-relevant acoustic variability and generalize across irrelevant variability. Said another way, they must categorize speech. Since the mapping of acoustic variability is language-specific, these categories must be learned from experience. Thus, understanding how, in general, the auditory system acquires and represents categories can inform us about the toolbox of mechanisms available to speech perception. This perspective invites consideration of findings from cognitive neuroscience literatures outside of the speech domain as a means of constraining models of speech perception. Although neurobiological models of speech perception have mainly focused on cerebral cortex, research outside the speech domain is consistent with the possibility of significant subcortical contributions in category learning. Here, we review the functional role of one such structure, the basal ganglia. We examine research from animal electrophysiology, human neuroimaging, and behavior to consider characteristics of basal ganglia processing that may be advantageous for speech category learning. We also present emerging evidence for a direct role for basal ganglia in learning auditory categories in a complex, naturalistic task intended to model the incidental manner in which speech categories are acquired. To conclude, we highlight new research questions that arise in incorporating the broader neuroscience research literature in modeling speech perception, and suggest how understanding contributions of the basal ganglia can inform attempts to optimize training protocols for learning non-native speech categories in adulthood. PMID:25136291

  10. Using TMS to study the role of the articulatory motor system in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Möttönen, Riikka; Watkins, Kate E.

    2011-01-01

    Background: The ability to communicate using speech is a remarkable skill, which requires precise coordination of articulatory movements and decoding of complex acoustic signals. According to the traditional view, speech production and perception rely on motor and auditory brain areas, respectively. However, there is growing evidence that auditory-motor circuits support both speech production and perception. Aims: In this article we provide a review of how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used to investigate the excitability of the motor system during listening to speech and the contribution of the motor system to performance in various speech perception tasks. We also discuss how TMS can be used in combination with brain-imaging techniques to study interactions between motor and auditory systems during speech perception. Main contribution: TMS has proven to be a powerful tool to investigate the role of the articulatory motor system in speech perception. Conclusions: TMS studies have provided support for the view that the motor structures that control the movements of the articulators contribute not only to speech production but also to speech perception. PMID:22942513

  11. Vibrotactile support: initial effects on visual speech perception.

    PubMed

    Lyxell, B; Rönnberg, J; Andersson, J; Linderoth, E

    1993-01-01

    The study investigated the initial effects of the implementation of vibrotactile support on the individual's speech perception ability. Thirty-two subjects participated in the study; 16 with an acquired deafness and 16 with normal hearing. At a general level, the results indicated no immediate and direct improvement as a function of the implementation across all speech perception tests. However, when the subjects were divided into Skilled and Less Skilled groups, based on their performance in the visual condition of each test, it was found that the performance of the Skilled subjects deteriorated while that of the Less Skilled subjects improved when tactile information was provided in two conditions (word-discrimination and word-decoding conditions). It was concluded that tactile information interferes with Skilled subjects' automaticity of these functions. Furthermore, intercorrelations between discrimination and decoding tasks suggest that there are similarities between visually and tactilely supported speechreading in how they relate to sentence-based speechreading. Clinical implications of the results were discussed. PMID:8210957

  12. How the demographic makeup of our community influences speech perception.

    PubMed

    Lev-Ari, Shiri; Peperkamp, Sharon

    2016-06-01

    Speech perception is known to be influenced by listeners' expectations of the speaker. This paper tests whether the demographic makeup of individuals' communities can influence their perception of foreign sounds by influencing their expectations of the language. Using online experiments with participants from all across the U.S. and matched census data on the proportion of Spanish and other foreign language speakers in participants' communities, this paper shows that the demographic makeup of individuals' communities influences their expectations of foreign languages to have an alveolar trill versus a tap (Experiment 1), as well as their consequent perception of these sounds (Experiment 2). Thus, the paper shows that while individuals' expectations of foreign language to have a trill occasionally lead them to misperceive a tap in a foreign language as a trill, a higher proportion of non-trill language speakers in one's community decreases this likelihood. These results show that individuals' environment can influence their perception by shaping their linguistic expectations. PMID:27369129

  13. Cerebellum and speech perception: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Mathiak, Klaus; Hertrich, Ingo; Grodd, Wolfgang; Ackermann, Hermann

    2002-08-15

    A variety of data indicate that the cerebellum participates in perceptual tasks requiring the precise representation of temporal information. Access to the word form of a lexical item requires, among other functions, the processing of durational parameters of verbal utterances. Therefore, cerebellar dysfunctions must be expected to impair word recognition. In order to specify the topography of the assumed cerebellar speech perception mechanism, a functional magnetic resonance imaging study was performed using the German lexical items "Boden" ([bodn], Engl. "floor") and "Boten" ([botn], "messengers") as test materials. The contrast in sound structure of these two lexical items can be signaled either by the length of the wordmedial pause (closure time, CLT; an exclusively temporal measure) or by the aspiration noise of wordmedial "d" or "t" (voice onset time, VOT; an intrasegmental cue). A previous study found bilateral cerebellar disorders to compromise word recognition based on CLT whereas the encoding of VOT remained unimpaired. In the present study, two series of "Boden - Boten" utterances were resynthesized, systematically varying either in CLT or VOT. Subjects had to identify both words "Boden" and "Boten" by analysis of either the durational parameter CLT or the VOT aspiration segment. In a subtraction design, CLT categorization as compared to VOT identification (CLT - VOT) yielded a significant hemodynamic response of the right cerebellar hemisphere (neocerebellum Crus I) and the frontal lobe (anterior to Broca's area). The reversed contrast ( VOT - CLT) resulted in a single activation cluster located at the level of the supratemporal plane of the dominant hemisphere. These findings provide first evidence for a distinct contribution of the right cerebellar hemisphere to speech perception in terms of encoding of durational parameters of verbal utterances. Verbal working memory tasks, lexical response selection, and auditory imagery of word strings have been

  14. Effects of sounds of locomotion on speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Larsson, Matz; Ekström, Seth Reino; Ranjbar, Parivash

    2015-01-01

    Human locomotion typically creates noise, a possible consequence of which is the masking of sound signals originating in the surroundings. When walking side by side, people often subconsciously synchronize their steps. The neurophysiological and evolutionary background of this behavior is unclear. The present study investigated the potential of sound created by walking to mask perception of speech and compared the masking produced by walking in step with that produced by unsynchronized walking. The masking sound (footsteps on gravel) and the target sound (speech) were presented through the same speaker to 15 normal-hearing subjects. The original recorded walking sound was modified to mimic the sound of two individuals walking in pace or walking out of synchrony. The participants were instructed to adjust the sound level of the target sound until they could just comprehend the speech signal (“just follow conversation” or JFC level) when presented simultaneously with synchronized or unsynchronized walking sound at 40 dBA, 50 dBA, 60 dBA, or 70 dBA. Synchronized walking sounds produced slightly less masking of speech than did unsynchronized sound. The median JFC threshold in the synchronized condition was 38.5 dBA, while the corresponding value for the unsynchronized condition was 41.2 dBA. Combined results at all sound pressure levels showed an improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for synchronized footsteps; the median difference was 2.7 dB and the mean difference was 1.2 dB [P < 0.001, repeated-measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA)]. The difference was significant for masker levels of 50 dBA and 60 dBA, but not for 40 dBA or 70 dBA. This study provides evidence that synchronized walking may reduce the masking potential of footsteps. PMID:26168953

  15. Beyond production: Brain responses during speech perception in adults who stutter.

    PubMed

    Halag-Milo, Tali; Stoppelman, Nadav; Kronfeld-Duenias, Vered; Civier, Oren; Amir, Ofer; Ezrati-Vinacour, Ruth; Ben-Shachar, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Developmental stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the ability to produce speech fluently. While stuttering is typically diagnosed based on one's behavior during speech production, some models suggest that it involves more central representations of language, and thus may affect language perception as well. Here we tested the hypothesis that developmental stuttering implicates neural systems involved in language perception, in a task that manipulates comprehensibility without an overt speech production component. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals in adults who do and do not stutter, while they were engaged in an incidental speech perception task. We found that speech perception evokes stronger activation in adults who stutter (AWS) compared to controls, specifically in the right inferior frontal gyrus (RIFG) and in left Heschl's gyrus (LHG). Significant differences were additionally found in the lateralization of response in the inferior frontal cortex: AWS showed bilateral inferior frontal activity, while controls showed a left lateralized pattern of activation. These findings suggest that developmental stuttering is associated with an imbalanced neural network for speech processing, which is not limited to speech production, but also affects cortical responses during speech perception. PMID:27298762

  16. Adaptation to delayed auditory feedback induces the temporal recalibration effect in both speech perception and production.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kosuke; Kawabata, Hideaki

    2014-12-01

    We ordinarily speak fluently, even though our perceptions of our own voices are disrupted by various environmental acoustic properties. The underlying mechanism of speech is supposed to monitor the temporal relationship between speech production and the perception of auditory feedback, as suggested by a reduction in speech fluency when the speaker is exposed to delayed auditory feedback (DAF). While many studies have reported that DAF influences speech motor processing, its relationship to the temporal tuning effect on multimodal integration, or temporal recalibration, remains unclear. We investigated whether the temporal aspects of both speech perception and production change due to adaptation to the delay between the motor sensation and the auditory feedback. This is a well-used method of inducing temporal recalibration. Participants continually read texts with specific DAF times in order to adapt to the delay. Then, they judged the simultaneity between the motor sensation and the vocal feedback. We measured the rates of speech with which participants read the texts in both the exposure and re-exposure phases. We found that exposure to DAF changed both the rate of speech and the simultaneity judgment, that is, participants' speech gained fluency. Although we also found that a delay of 200 ms appeared to be most effective in decreasing the rates of speech and shifting the distribution on the simultaneity judgment, there was no correlation between these measurements. These findings suggest that both speech motor production and multimodal perception are adaptive to temporal lag but are processed in distinct ways. PMID:25106757

  17. On the perception/production interface in speech processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemphill, Rachel Marie

    1999-10-01

    In a series of five experiments, the author tests the hypothesis that speech processing in the human mind demands two separate phonological representations: one for perception and one for production (Menn 1980, 1983; Straight 1980; Menn & Matthei 1992). The experiments probe the structure and of these mental categories and how they change in the process of acquisition. Three groups of native English-speaking subjects were taught to categorically perceive a three way Thai voicing contrast in synthetic bilabial stop consonants, which varied only in VOT (after Pisoni, Aslin, Perey, and Hennessy 1982). Perception and production tests were administered following training. Subjects showed the ability, which improved with training, to categorically identify the three-way voicing contrast. Subsequent acoustic and perceptual analyses showed that they were unable to produce the contrast correctly, producing no difference, or manipulating acoustic variables other than VOT (vowel duration, vowel quality, nasalization, etc.). When subjects' productions were compared to their pronunciations of English labial stops, it was found that subjects construct a new production category for the Thai prevoiced stop category. In contrast, subjects split their existing English perceptual /b/ category, indicating that perceptual and production phonological categories do not change in parallel. In a subsequent experiment, subjects were re-tested on perception of the synthetic stimuli, productions of two native Thai speakers, and on their own productions from the previous experiments. An analysis of the perceptual data shows that subjects performed equally well on the four tasks, indicating that they are no better at identifying their own productions than those of novel talkers or synthetic talkers. This finding contradicts the hypothetical direct link between perception and production phonologies. These results are explained in terms of separate expressive and receptive representations and the

  18. Crossmodal and incremental perception of audiovisual cues to emotional speech.

    PubMed

    Barkhuysen, Pashiera; Krahmer, Emiel; Swerts, Marc

    2010-01-01

    In this article we report on two experiments about the perception of audiovisual cues to emotional speech. The article addresses two questions: 1) how do visual cues from a speaker's face to emotion relate to auditory cues, and (2) what is the recognition speed for various facial cues to emotion? Both experiments reported below are based on tests with video clips of emotional utterances collected via a variant of the well-known Velten method. More specifically, we recorded speakers who displayed positive or negative emotions, which were congruent or incongruent with the (emotional) lexical content of the uttered sentence. In order to test this, we conducted two experiments. The first experiment is a perception experiment in which Czech participants, who do not speak Dutch, rate the perceived emotional state of Dutch speakers in a bimodal (audiovisual) or a unimodal (audio- or vision-only) condition. It was found that incongruent emotional speech leads to significantly more extreme perceived emotion scores than congruent emotional speech, where the difference between congruent and incongruent emotional speech is larger for the negative than for the positive conditions. Interestingly, the largest overall differences between congruent and incongruent emotions were found for the audio-only condition, which suggests that posing an incongruent emotion has a particularly strong effect on the spoken realization of emotions. The second experiment uses a gating paradigm to test the recognition speed for various emotional expressions from a speaker's face. In this experiment participants were presented with the same clips as experiment I, but this time presented vision-only. The clips were shown in successive segments (gates) of increasing duration. Results show that participants are surprisingly accurate in their recognition of the various emotions, as they already reach high recognition scores in the first gate (after only 160 ms). Interestingly, the recognition scores

  19. Preserved Acoustic Hearing in Cochlear Implantation Improves Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Sheffield, Sterling W.; Jahn, Kelly; Gifford, René H.

    2015-01-01

    Background With improved surgical techniques and electrode design, an increasing number of cochlear implant (CI) recipients have preserved acoustic hearing in the implanted ear, thereby resulting in bilateral acoustic hearing. There are currently no guidelines, however, for clinicians with respect to audio-metric criteria and the recommendation of amplification in the implanted ear. The acoustic bandwidth necessary to obtain speech perception benefit from acoustic hearing in the implanted ear is unknown. Additionally, it is important to determine if, and in which listening environments, acoustic hearing in both ears provides more benefit than hearing in just one ear, even with limited residual hearing. Purpose The purposes of this study were to (1) determine whether acoustic hearing in an ear with a CI provides as much speech perception benefit as an equivalent bandwidth of acoustic hearing in the non-implanted ear, and (2) determine whether acoustic hearing in both ears provides more benefit than hearing in just one ear. Research Design A repeated-measures, within-participant design was used to compare performance across listening conditions. Study Sample Seven adults with CIs and bilateral residual acoustic hearing (hearing preservation) were recruited for the study. Data Collection and Analysis Consonant-nucleus-consonant word recognition was tested in four conditions: CI alone, CI + acoustic hearing in the nonimplanted ear, CI + acoustic hearing in the implanted ear, and CI + bilateral acoustic hearing. A series of low-pass filters were used to examine the effects of acoustic bandwidth through an insert earphone with amplification. Benefit was defined as the difference among conditions. The benefit of bilateral acoustic hearing was tested in both diffuse and single-source background noise. Results were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results Similar benefit was obtained for equivalent acoustic frequency bandwidth in either ear. Acoustic

  20. Speech perception and lexical effects in specific language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Richard G.; Scheffler, Frances L. V.; Lopez, Karece

    2014-01-01

    Using an identification task, we examined lexical effects on the perception of vowel duration as a cue to final consonant voicing in 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 13 age-matched (6;6–9;6) peers with typical language development (TLD). Naturally recorded CV/t/sets [word–word (WW), nonword–nonword (NN), word–nonword (WN) and nonword–word (NW)] were edited to create four 12-step continua. Both groups used duration as an identification cue but it was a weaker cue for children with SLI. For NN, WN and NW continua, children with SLI demonstrated certainty at shorter vowel durations than their TLD peers. Except for the WN continuum, children with SLI demonstrated category boundaries at shorter vowel durations. Both groups exhibited lexical effects, but they were stronger in the SLI group. Performance on the WW continuum indicated adequate perception of fine-grained duration differences. Strong lexical effects indicated reliance on familiar words in speech perception. PMID:23635335

  1. Auditory Speech Perception Tests in Relation to the Coding Strategy in Cochlear Implant

    PubMed Central

    Bazon, Aline Cristine; Mantello, Erika Barioni; Gonçales, Alina Sanches; Isaac, Myriam de Lima; Hyppolito, Miguel Angelo; Reis, Ana Cláudia Mirândola Barbosa

    2015-01-01

    Introduction  The objective of the evaluation of auditory perception of cochlear implant users is to determine how the acoustic signal is processed, leading to the recognition and understanding of sound. Objective  To investigate the differences in the process of auditory speech perception in individuals with postlingual hearing loss wearing a cochlear implant, using two different speech coding strategies, and to analyze speech perception and handicap perception in relation to the strategy used. Methods  This study is prospective cross-sectional cohort study of a descriptive character. We selected ten cochlear implant users that were characterized by hearing threshold by the application of speech perception tests and of the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults. Results  There was no significant difference when comparing the variables subject age, age at acquisition of hearing loss, etiology, time of hearing deprivation, time of cochlear implant use and mean hearing threshold with the cochlear implant with the shift in speech coding strategy. There was no relationship between lack of handicap perception and improvement in speech perception in both speech coding strategies used. Conclusion  There was no significant difference between the strategies evaluated and no relation was observed between them and the variables studied. PMID:27413409

  2. Bilateral and Unilateral Cochlear Implant Users Compared on Speech Perception in Noise

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Camille C.; Noble, William; Tyler, Richard S.; Kordus, Monika; Gantz, Bruce J.; Ji, Haihong

    2009-01-01

    Objective Compare speech performance in noise with matched bilateral (CICI) and unilateral (CI-Only) cochlear implant users. Design Thirty CICI and 30 CI-Only subjects were tested on a battery of speech perception tests in noise that utilize an 8-loudspeaker array. Results On average, CICI subject's performance with speech in noise was significantly better than the CI-Only subjects. Conclusion The CICI group showed significantly better performance on speech perception in noise compared to the CI-Only subjects, supporting the hypothesis that bilateral cochlear implantation is more beneficial than unilateral implantation. PMID:19858720

  3. No evidence of relation between working memory and perception of interrupted speech in young adults.

    PubMed

    Nagaraj, Naveen K; Knapp, Andrea N

    2015-08-01

    Understanding interrupted speech requires top-down linguistic and cognitive restoration mechanisms. To investigate the relation between working memory (WM) and perception of interrupted speech, 20 young adults were asked to recognize sentences interrupted at 2 Hz, 8 Hz, and a combination of 2 and 8 Hz. WM was measured using automated reading and operation span tasks. Interestingly, the results presented here revealed no statistical relation between any of the interrupted speech recognition scores and WM scores. This finding is in agreement with previous findings that suggest greater reliance on linguistic factors relative to cognitive factors during perception of interrupted speech. PMID:26328740

  4. Aided and Unaided Speech Perception by Older Hearing Impaired Listeners

    PubMed Central

    Woods, David L.; Arbogast, Tanya; Doss, Zoe; Younus, Masood; Herron, Timothy J.; Yund, E. William

    2015-01-01

    The most common complaint of older hearing impaired (OHI) listeners is difficulty understanding speech in the presence of noise. However, tests of consonant-identification and sentence reception threshold (SeRT) provide different perspectives on the magnitude of impairment. Here we quantified speech perception difficulties in 24 OHI listeners in unaided and aided conditions by analyzing (1) consonant-identification thresholds and consonant confusions for 20 onset and 20 coda consonants in consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) syllables presented at consonant-specific signal-to-noise (SNR) levels, and (2) SeRTs obtained with the Quick Speech in Noise Test (QSIN) and the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT). Compared to older normal hearing (ONH) listeners, nearly all unaided OHI listeners showed abnormal consonant-identification thresholds, abnormal consonant confusions, and reduced psychometric function slopes. Average elevations in consonant-identification thresholds exceeded 35 dB, correlated strongly with impairments in mid-frequency hearing, and were greater for hard-to-identify consonants. Advanced digital hearing aids (HAs) improved average consonant-identification thresholds by more than 17 dB, with significant HA benefit seen in 83% of OHI listeners. HAs partially normalized consonant-identification thresholds, reduced abnormal consonant confusions, and increased the slope of psychometric functions. Unaided OHI listeners showed much smaller elevations in SeRTs (mean 6.9 dB) than in consonant-identification thresholds and SeRTs in unaided listening conditions correlated strongly (r = 0.91) with identification thresholds of easily identified consonants. HAs produced minimal SeRT benefit (2.0 dB), with only 38% of OHI listeners showing significant improvement. HA benefit on SeRTs was accurately predicted (r = 0.86) by HA benefit on easily identified consonants. Consonant-identification tests can accurately predict sentence processing deficits and HA benefit in OHI listeners

  5. Perceptual discontinuities and categorization: Implications for speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Lori L.; Lotto, Andrew J.; Diehl, Randy L.

    2003-04-01

    Behavioral experiments with infants, adults and nonhuman animals converge with neurophysiological findings to suggest that there is a discontinuity in auditory processing of stimulus components differing in onset time by about 20 ms. This discontinuity has been implicated as a basis for boundaries between speech categories distinguished by VOT. Here, we investigate how this discontinuity interacts with the learning of novel perceptual categories. Adult listeners were trained to categorize a nonspeech acoustic cue that mimics the temporal distinction of VOT. One group of listeners learned categories with a boundary coincident with the perceptual discontinuity. Another group learned categories defined such that the perceptual discontinuity fell within a category. Listeners in the latter group required significantly more experience to reach criterion categorization performance. The evidence of interactions between the perceptual discontinuity and the learned categories extended to generalization tests as well. It has been hypothesized that languages make use of perceptual discontinuities to promote perceptual distinctiveness among sounds within a language inventory. The present data suggest that these influences interact with category learning. As such, learnability may play a predictive role in selection of language sound inventories. Moreover, it may be possible to observe predictable learning effects in infant speech perception.

  6. The influence of task on gaze during audiovisual speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchan, Julie; Paré, Martin; Yurick, Micheal; Munhall, Kevin

    2001-05-01

    In natural conversation, visual and auditory information about speech not only provide linguistic information but also provide information about the identity and the emotional state of the speaker. Thus, listeners must process a wide range of information in parallel to understand the full meaning in a message. In this series of studies, we examined how different types of visual information conveyed by a speaker's face are processed by measuring the gaze patterns exhibited by subjects watching audiovisual recordings of spoken sentences. In three experiments, subjects were asked to judge the emotion and the identity of the speaker, and to report the words that they heard under different auditory conditions. As in previous studies, eye and mouth regions dominated the distribution of the gaze fixations. It was hypothesized that the eyes would attract more fixations for more social judgment tasks, rather than tasks which rely more on verbal comprehension. Our results support this hypothesis. In addition, the location of gaze on the face did not influence the accuracy of the perception of speech in noise.

  7. The relationship of phonological ability, speech perception, and auditory perception in adults with dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Law, Jeremy M.; Vandermosten, Maaike; Ghesquiere, Pol; Wouters, Jan

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated whether auditory, speech perception, and phonological skills are tightly interrelated or independently contributing to reading. We assessed each of these three skills in 36 adults with a past diagnosis of dyslexia and 54 matched normal reading adults. Phonological skills were tested by the typical threefold tasks, i.e., rapid automatic naming, verbal short-term memory and phonological awareness. Dynamic auditory processing skills were assessed by means of a frequency modulation (FM) and an amplitude rise time (RT); an intensity discrimination task (ID) was included as a non-dynamic control task. Speech perception was assessed by means of sentences and words-in-noise tasks. Group analyses revealed significant group differences in auditory tasks (i.e., RT and ID) and in phonological processing measures, yet no differences were found for speech perception. In addition, performance on RT discrimination correlated with reading but this relation was mediated by phonological processing and not by speech-in-noise. Finally, inspection of the individual scores revealed that the dyslexic readers showed an increased proportion of deviant subjects on the slow-dynamic auditory and phonological tasks, yet each individual dyslexic reader does not display a clear pattern of deficiencies across the processing skills. Although our results support phonological and slow-rate dynamic auditory deficits which relate to literacy, they suggest that at the individual level, problems in reading and writing cannot be explained by the cascading auditory theory. Instead, dyslexic adults seem to vary considerably in the extent to which each of the auditory and phonological factors are expressed and interact with environmental and higher-order cognitive influences. PMID:25071512

  8. Internet Video Telephony Allows Speech Reading by Deaf Individuals and Improves Speech Perception by Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Mantokoudis, Georgios; Dähler, Claudia; Dubach, Patrick; Kompis, Martin; Caversaccio, Marco D.; Senn, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Objective To analyze speech reading through Internet video calls by profoundly hearing-impaired individuals and cochlear implant (CI) users. Methods Speech reading skills of 14 deaf adults and 21 CI users were assessed using the Hochmair Schulz Moser (HSM) sentence test. We presented video simulations using different video resolutions (1280×720, 640×480, 320×240, 160×120 px), frame rates (30, 20, 10, 7, 5 frames per second (fps)), speech velocities (three different speakers), webcameras (Logitech Pro9000, C600 and C500) and image/sound delays (0–500 ms). All video simulations were presented with and without sound and in two screen sizes. Additionally, scores for live Skype™ video connection and live face-to-face communication were assessed. Results Higher frame rate (>7 fps), higher camera resolution (>640×480 px) and shorter picture/sound delay (<100 ms) were associated with increased speech perception scores. Scores were strongly dependent on the speaker but were not influenced by physical properties of the camera optics or the full screen mode. There is a significant median gain of +8.5%pts (p = 0.009) in speech perception for all 21 CI-users if visual cues are additionally shown. CI users with poor open set speech perception scores (n = 11) showed the greatest benefit under combined audio-visual presentation (median speech perception +11.8%pts, p = 0.032). Conclusion Webcameras have the potential to improve telecommunication of hearing-impaired individuals. PMID:23359119

  9. Event-related potentials for better speech perception in noise by cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Soshi, Takahiro; Hisanaga, Satoko; Kodama, Narihiro; Kanekama, Yori; Samejima, Yasuhiro; Yumoto, Eiji; Sekiyama, Kaoru

    2014-10-01

    Speech perception in noise is still difficult for cochlear implant (CI) users even with many years of CI use. This study aimed to investigate neurophysiological and behavioral foundations for CI-dependent speech perception in noise. Seventeen post-lingual CI users and twelve age-matched normal hearing adults participated in two experiments. In Experiment 1, CI users' auditory-only word perception in noise (white noise, two-talker babble; at 10 dB SNR) degraded by about 15%, compared to that in quiet (48% accuracy). CI users' auditory-visual word perception was generally better than auditory-only perception. Auditory-visual word perception was degraded under information masking by the two-talker noise (69% accuracy), compared to that in quiet (77%). Such degradation was not observed for white noise (77%), suggesting that the overcoming of information masking is an important issue for CI users' speech perception improvement. In Experiment 2, event-related cortical potentials were recorded in an auditory oddball task in quiet and noise (white noise only). Similarly to the normal hearing participants, the CI users showed the mismatch negative response (MNR) to deviant speech in quiet, indicating automatic speech detection. In noise, the MNR disappeared in the CI users, and only the good CI performers (above 66% accuracy) showed P300 (P3) like the normal hearing participants. P3 amplitude in the CI users was positively correlated with speech perception scores. These results suggest that CI users' difficulty in speech perception in noise is associated with the lack of automatic speech detection indicated by the MNR. Successful performance in noise may begin with attended auditory processing indicated by P3. PMID:25158303

  10. Speech perception under adverse conditions: insights from behavioral, computational, and neuroscience research

    PubMed Central

    Guediche, Sara; Blumstein, Sheila E.; Fiez, Julie A.; Holt, Lori L.

    2014-01-01

    Adult speech perception reflects the long-term regularities of the native language, but it is also flexible such that it accommodates and adapts to adverse listening conditions and short-term deviations from native-language norms. The purpose of this article is to examine how the broader neuroscience literature can inform and advance research efforts in understanding the neural basis of flexibility and adaptive plasticity in speech perception. Specifically, we highlight the potential role of learning algorithms that rely on prediction error signals and discuss specific neural structures that are likely to contribute to such learning. To this end, we review behavioral studies, computational accounts, and neuroimaging findings related to adaptive plasticity in speech perception. Already, a few studies have alluded to a potential role of these mechanisms in adaptive plasticity in speech perception. Furthermore, we consider research topics in neuroscience that offer insight into how perception can be adaptively tuned to short-term deviations while balancing the need to maintain stability in the perception of learned long-term regularities. Consideration of the application and limitations of these algorithms in characterizing flexible speech perception under adverse conditions promises to inform theoretical models of speech. PMID:24427119

  11. The role of abstraction in non-native speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Pajak, Bozena; Levy, Roger

    2014-01-01

    The end-result of perceptual reorganization in infancy is currently viewed as a reconfigured perceptual space, “warped” around native-language phonetic categories, which then acts as a direct perceptual filter on any non-native sounds: naïve-listener discrimination of non-native-sounds is determined by their mapping onto native-language phonetic categories that are acoustically/articulatorily most similar. We report results that suggest another factor in non-native speech perception: some perceptual sensitivities cannot be attributed to listeners’ warped perceptual space alone, but rather to enhanced general sensitivity along phonetic dimensions that the listeners’ native language employs to distinguish between categories. Specifically, we show that the knowledge of a language with short and long vowel categories leads to enhanced discrimination of non-native consonant length contrasts. We argue that these results support a view of perceptual reorganization as the consequence of learners’ hierarchical inductive inferences about the structure of the language’s sound system: infants not only acquire the specific phonetic category inventory, but also draw higher-order generalizations over the set of those categories, such as the overall informativity of phonetic dimensions for sound categorization. Non-native sound perception is then also determined by sensitivities that emerge from these generalizations, rather than only by mappings of non-native sounds onto native-language phonetic categories. PMID:25197153

  12. Predicting contrast effects following reliable spectral properties in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Stilp, Christian E; Anderson, Paul W; Winn, Matthew B

    2015-06-01

    Vowel perception is influenced by precursor sounds that are resynthesized to shift frequency regions [Ladefoged and Broadbent (1957). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 29(1), 98-104] or filtered to emphasize narrow [Kiefte and Kluender (2008). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 123(1), 366-376] or broad frequency regions [Watkins (1991). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 90(6), 2942-2955]. Spectral differences between filtered precursors and vowel targets are perceptually enhanced, producing spectral contrast effects (e.g., emphasizing spectral properties of /ɪ/ in the precursor elicited more /ɛ/ responses to an /ɪ/-/ɛ/ vowel continuum, and vice versa). Historically, precursors have been processed by high-gain filters, resulting in prominent stable long-term spectral properties. Perceptual sensitivity to subtler but equally reliable spectral properties is unknown. Here, precursor sentences were processed by filters of variable bandwidths and different gains, then followed by vowel sounds varying from /ɪ/-/ɛ/. Contrast effects were widely observed, including when filters had only 100-Hz bandwidth or +5 dB gain. Average filter power was a good predictor of the magnitudes of contrast effects, revealing a close linear correspondence between the prominence of a reliable spectral property and the size of shifts in perceptual responses. High sensitivity to subtle spectral regularities suggests contrast effects are not limited to high-power filters, and thus may be more pervasive in speech perception than previously thought. PMID:26093434

  13. Speech Perception Benefits of FM and Infrared Devices to Children with Hearing Aids in a Typical Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Karen L.; Goldstein, Howard

    2004-01-01

    Children typically learn in classroom environments that have background noise and reverberation that interfere with accurate speech perception. Amplification technology can enhance the speech perception of students who are hard of hearing. Purpose: This study used a single-subject alternating treatments design to compare the speech recognition…

  14. Effects of Real-Time Cochlear Implant Simulation on Speech Perception and Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casserly, Elizabeth D.

    2013-01-01

    Real-time use of spoken language is a fundamentally interactive process involving speech perception, speech production, linguistic competence, motor control, neurocognitive abilities such as working memory, attention, and executive function, environmental noise, conversational context, and--critically--the communicative interaction between…

  15. Speech Perception for Adults Who Use Hearing Aids in Conjunction with Cochlear Implants in Opposite Ears

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mok, Mansze; Grayden, David; Dowell, Richard C.; Lawrence, David

    2006-01-01

    This study aimed to (a) investigate the effect of using a hearing aid in conjunction with a cochlear implant in opposite ears on speech perception in quiet and in noise, (b) identify the speech information obtained from a hearing aid that is additive to the information obtained from a cochlear implant, and (c) explore the relationship between…

  16. Perception of the Voicing Distinction in Speech Produced during Simultaneous Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacKenzie, Douglas J.; Schiavetti, Nicholas; Whitehead, Robert L.; Metz, Dale Evan

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated the perception of voice onset time (VOT) in speech produced during simultaneous communication (SC). Four normally hearing, experienced sign language users were recorded under SC and speech alone (SA) conditions speaking stimulus words with voiced and voiceless initial consonants embedded in a sentence. Twelve…

  17. The Link between Speech Perception and Production Is Phonological and Abstract: Evidence from the Shadowing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitterer, Holger; Ernestus, Mirjam

    2008-01-01

    This study reports a shadowing experiment, in which one has to repeat a speech stimulus as fast as possible. We tested claims about a direct link between perception and production based on speech gestures, and obtained two types of counterevidence. First, shadowing is not slowed down by a gestural mismatch between stimulus and response. Second,…

  18. Speech-Language Pathologists' Perceptions of Integrated Service Delivery in School Settings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elksnin, Linda K.; Capilouto, Gilson J.

    1994-01-01

    This survey of 31 speech-language pathologists who had adopted or were considering adopting integrated service delivery models examined their perceptions of their expertise; classroom teacher expertise; types of speech and language services provided in classrooms; characteristics of students served; and advantages and disadvantages of integrated…

  19. Compensation for Coarticulation: Disentangling Auditory and Gestural Theories of Perception of Coarticulatory Effects in Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viswanathan, Navin; Magnuson, James S.; Fowler, Carol A.

    2010-01-01

    According to one approach to speech perception, listeners perceive speech by applying general pattern matching mechanisms to the acoustic signal (e.g., Diehl, Lotto, & Holt, 2004). An alternative is that listeners perceive the phonetic gestures that structured the acoustic signal (e.g., Fowler, 1986). The two accounts have offered different…

  20. Research on Speech Perception. Progress Report No. 9, January 1983-December 1983.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pisoni, David B.; And Others

    Summarizing research activities from January 1983 to December 1983, this is the ninth annual report of research on speech perception, analysis and synthesis conducted in the Speech Research Laboratory of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University. The report includes extended manuscripts, short reports, and progress reports. The report…

  1. Hearing Aid-Induced Plasticity in the Auditory System of Older Adults: Evidence from Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavie, Limor; Banai, Karen; Karni, Avi; Attias, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We tested whether using hearing aids can improve unaided performance in speech perception tasks in older adults with hearing impairment. Method: Unaided performance was evaluated in dichotic listening and speech-­in-­noise tests in 47 older adults with hearing impairment; 36 participants in 3 study groups were tested before hearing aid…

  2. The Acquisition of Consonant Clusters by Japanese Learners of English: Interactions of Speech Perception and Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sperbeck, Mieko

    2010-01-01

    The primary aim of this dissertation was to investigate the relationship between speech perception and speech production difficulties among Japanese second language (L2) learners of English, in their learning complex syllable structures. Japanese L2 learners and American English controls were tested in a categorical ABX discrimination task of…

  3. Prosody and Semantics Are Separate but Not Separable Channels in the Perception of Emotional Speech: Test for Rating of Emotions in Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ben-David, Boaz M.; Multani, Namita; Shakuf, Vered; Rudzicz, Frank; van Lieshout, Pascal H. H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Our aim is to explore the complex interplay of prosody (tone of speech) and semantics (verbal content) in the perception of discrete emotions in speech. Method: We implement a novel tool, the Test for Rating of Emotions in Speech. Eighty native English speakers were presented with spoken sentences made of different combinations of 5…

  4. Separating Contributions of Hearing, Lexical Knowledge, and Speech Production to Speech-Perception Scores in Children with Hearing Impairments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paatsch, Louise E.; Blamey, Peter J.; Sarant, Julia Z.; Martin, Lois F.A.; Bow, Catherine P.

    2004-01-01

    Open-set word and sentence speech-perception test scores are commonly used as a measure of hearing abilities in children and adults using cochlear implants and/or hearing aids. These tests ore usually presented auditorily with a verbal response. In the case of children, scores are typically lower and more variable than for adults with hearing…

  5. Audiovisual Speech Perception in Infancy: The Influence of Vowel Identity and Infants' Productive Abilities on Sensitivity to (Mis)Matches between Auditory and Visual Speech Cues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Mani, Nivedita; Grossmann, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that infants' audiovisual speech perception is influenced by articulatory experience (Mugitani et al., 2008; Yeung & Werker, 2013). The current study extends these findings by testing if infants' emerging ability to produce native sounds in babbling impacts their audiovisual speech perception. We tested 44 6-month-olds…

  6. Left Posterior Auditory-Related Cortices Participate Both in Speech Perception and Speech Production: Neural Overlap Revealed by fMRI

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okada, Kayoko; Hickok, Gregory

    2006-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies and neuropsychological data suggest that there are regions in posterior auditory cortex that participate both in speech perception and speech production. An outstanding question is whether the same neural regions support both perception and production or whether there exist discrete cortical fields subserving these…

  7. Investigating speech perception in children with dyslexia: is there evidence of a consistent deficit in individuals?

    PubMed Central

    Messaoud-Galusi, Souhila; Hazan, Valerie; Rosen, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Purpose The claim that speech perception abilities are impaired in dyslexia was investigated in a group of 62 dyslexic children and 51 average readers matched in age. Method To test whether there was robust evidence of speech perception deficits in children with dyslexia, speech perception in noise and quiet was measured using eight different tasks involving the identification and discrimination of a complex and highly natural synthetic ‘pea’-‘bee’ contrast (copy synthesised from natural models) and the perception of naturally-produced words. Results Children with dyslexia, on average, performed more poorly than average readers in the synthetic syllables identification task in quiet and in across-category discrimination (but not when tested using an adaptive procedure). They did not differ from average readers on two tasks of word recognition in noise or identification of synthetic syllables in noise. For all tasks, a majority of individual children with dyslexia performed within norms. Finally, speech perception generally did not correlate with pseudo-word reading or phonological processing, the core skills related to dyslexia. Conclusions On the tasks and speech stimuli we used, most children with dyslexia do not appear to show a consistent deficit in speech perception. PMID:21930615

  8. Relation between Phonological Processing, Auditory Processing and Speech Perception among Bilingual Poor Readers

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives A deficit in phonological processing abilities has been hypothesized as a cause of reading deficits among poor readers, but the precise etiology of this deficit is still unknown. Many studies have investigated the relation of auditory processing and speech perception with phonological processing, while the relation between these are not well understood. Thus, the present study was carried out to investigate the relation between these abilities among poor readers. Subjects and Methods A total of 20 children between 7-12 years of age participated in the study. Among these 10 were typically developing children and 10 were poor readers. Auditory processing, speech perception in noise and phonological processing skills were assessed in both the groups. Results Auditory processing was not significantly different between children in both the groups. In contrast, phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory and rapid automatized naming, which reflect phonological processing, and speech perception in noise were found to be significantly affected in poor readers. In addition, the results showed a significant correlation between phonological processing and speech perception in noise. Conclusions The present study found a significant relationship between speech perception in noise and phonological processing, while there was no relationship between auditory processing and phonological processing. This finding suggests that poor speech perception among poor readers may be one of the contributing factors for phonological processing deficits, which in turn leads to reading difficulties. PMID:26771010

  9. Listener-speaker perceived distance predicts the degree of motor contribution to speech perception.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Eleonora; D'Ausilio, Alessandro; Berry, Jeffrey; Badino, Leonardo; Bever, Thomas; Fadiga, Luciano

    2015-02-01

    Listening speech sounds activates motor and premotor areas in addition to temporal and parietal brain regions. These activations are somatotopically localized according to the effectors recruited in the production of particular phonemes. Previous work demonstrated that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of speech motor centers somatotopically altered speech perception, suggesting a role for the motor system. However, these effects seemed to occur only under adverse listening conditions, suggesting that degraded speech may stimulate listeners to adopt unnatural neural strategies relying on motor centers. Here, we investigated whether naturally occurring interspeaker variability, which did not affect task difficulty, made a speech discrimination task sensitive to TMS interference. In this paradigm, TMS over tongue and lips motor representations somatotopically altered the discrimination time of speech. Furthermore, the TMS-induced effect correlated with listeners' similarity judgments between listeners' and speakers' speech productions. Thus, the degree of motor recruitment depends on the perceived distance between listener and speaker. This result supports the claim that discriminating others' speech pattern requires the contribution of the listener's own motor repertoire. We conclude that motor recruitment in speech perception can be a natural product of discriminating speech in a normally variable and unpredictable environment, not merely related to task difficulty. PMID:24046079

  10. Timing in audiovisual speech perception: A mini review and new psychophysical data.

    PubMed

    Venezia, Jonathan H; Thurman, Steven M; Matchin, William; George, Sahara E; Hickok, Gregory

    2016-02-01

    Recent influential models of audiovisual speech perception suggest that visual speech aids perception by generating predictions about the identity of upcoming speech sounds. These models place stock in the assumption that visual speech leads auditory speech in time. However, it is unclear whether and to what extent temporally-leading visual speech information contributes to perception. Previous studies exploring audiovisual-speech timing have relied upon psychophysical procedures that require artificial manipulation of cross-modal alignment or stimulus duration. We introduce a classification procedure that tracks perceptually relevant visual speech information in time without requiring such manipulations. Participants were shown videos of a McGurk syllable (auditory /apa/ + visual /aka/ = perceptual /ata/) and asked to perform phoneme identification (/apa/ yes-no). The mouth region of the visual stimulus was overlaid with a dynamic transparency mask that obscured visual speech in some frames but not others randomly across trials. Variability in participants' responses (~35 % identification of /apa/ compared to ~5 % in the absence of the masker) served as the basis for classification analysis. The outcome was a high resolution spatiotemporal map of perceptually relevant visual features. We produced these maps for McGurk stimuli at different audiovisual temporal offsets (natural timing, 50-ms visual lead, and 100-ms visual lead). Briefly, temporally-leading (~130 ms) visual information did influence auditory perception. Moreover, several visual features influenced perception of a single speech sound, with the relative influence of each feature depending on both its temporal relation to the auditory signal and its informational content. PMID:26669309

  11. Perception of Audio-Visual Speech Synchrony in Spanish-Speaking Children with and without Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pons, Ferran; Andreu, Llorenc; Sanz-Torrent, Monica; Buil-Legaz, Lucia; Lewkowicz, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Speech perception involves the integration of auditory and visual articulatory information, and thus requires the perception of temporal synchrony between this information. There is evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty with auditory speech perception but it is not known if this is also true for the…

  12. Speech Perception Outcomes after Cochlear Implantation in Children with GJB2/DFNB1 associated Deafness

    PubMed Central

    Davcheva-Chakar, Marina; Sukarova-Stefanovska, Emilija; Ivanovska, Valentina; Lazarevska, Vesna; Filipche, Ilija; Zafirovska, Beti

    2014-01-01

    Background: Cochlear implants (CI) for the rehabilitation of patients with profound or total bilateral sensorineural hypoacusis represent the initial use of electrical fields to provide audibility in cases where the use of sound amplifiers does not provide satisfactory results. Aims: To compare speech perception performance after cochlear implantation in children with connexin 26-associated deafness with that of a control group of children with deafness of unknown etiology. Study Design: Retrospective comparative study. Methods: During the period from 2006 to, cochlear implantation was performed on 26 children. Eighteen of these children had undergone genetic tests for mutation of the Gap Junction Protein Beta 2 (GJB2) gene. Bi-allelic GJB2 mutations were confirmed in 7 out of 18 examined children. In order to confirm whether genetic factors have influence on speech perception after cochlear implantation, we compared the post-implantation speech performance of seven children with mutations of the GBJ2 (connexin 26) gene with seven other children who had the wild type version of this particular gene. The latter were carefully matched according to the age at cochlear implantation. Speech perception performance was measured before cochlear implantation, and one and two years after implantation. All the patients were arranged in line with the appropriate speech perception category (SPC). Non-parametric tests, Friedman ANOVA and Mann-Whitney’s U test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Both groups showed similar improvements in speech perception scores after cochlear implantation. Statistical analysis did not confirm significant differences between the groups 12 and 24 months after cochlear implantation. Conclusion: The results obtained in this study showed an absence of apparent distinctions in the scores of speech perception between the two examined groups and therefore might have significant implications in selecting prognostic indicators of speech

  13. Effect of signal to noise ratio on the speech perception ability of older adults

    PubMed Central

    Shojaei, Elahe; Ashayeri, Hassan; Jafari, Zahra; Zarrin Dast, Mohammad Reza; Kamali, Koorosh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Speech perception ability depends on auditory and extra-auditory elements. The signal- to-noise ratio (SNR) is an extra-auditory element that has an effect on the ability to normally follow speech and maintain a conversation. Speech in noise perception difficulty is a common complaint of the elderly. In this study, the importance of SNR magnitude as an extra-auditory effect on speech perception in noise was examined in the elderly. Methods: The speech perception in noise test (SPIN) was conducted on 25 elderly participants who had bilateral low–mid frequency normal hearing thresholds at three SNRs in the presence of ipsilateral white noise. These participants were selected by available sampling method. Cognitive screening was done using the Persian Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) test. Results: Independent T- test, ANNOVA and Pearson Correlation Index were used for statistical analysis. There was a significant difference in word discrimination scores at silence and at three SNRs in both ears (p≤0.047). Moreover, there was a significant difference in word discrimination scores for paired SNRs (0 and +5, 0 and +10, and +5 and +10 (p≤0.04)). No significant correlation was found between age and word recognition scores at silence and at three SNRs in both ears (p≥0.386). Conclusion: Our results revealed that decreasing the signal level and increasing the competing noise considerably reduced the speech perception ability in normal hearing at low–mid thresholds in the elderly. These results support the critical role of SNRs for speech perception ability in the elderly. Furthermore, our results revealed that normal hearing elderly participants required compensatory strategies to maintain normal speech perception in challenging acoustic situations. PMID:27390712

  14. An integrated approach to improving noisy speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koval, Serguei; Stolbov, Mikhail; Smirnova, Natalia; Khitrov, Mikhail

    2002-05-01

    For a number of practical purposes and tasks, experts have to decode speech recordings of very poor quality. A combination of techniques is proposed to improve intelligibility and quality of distorted speech messages and thus facilitate their comprehension. Along with the application of noise cancellation and speech signal enhancement techniques removing and/or reducing various kinds of distortions and interference (primarily unmasking and normalization in time and frequency fields), the approach incorporates optimal listener expert tactics based on selective listening, nonstandard binaural listening, accounting for short-term and long-term human ear adaptation to noisy speech, as well as some methods of speech signal enhancement to support speech decoding during listening. The approach integrating the suggested techniques ensures high-quality ultimate results and has successfully been applied by Speech Technology Center experts and by numerous other users, mainly forensic institutions, to perform noisy speech records decoding for courts, law enforcement and emergency services, accident investigation bodies, etc.

  15. Improving Speech Perception in Noise with Current Focusing in Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Arthi G.; Padilla, Monica; Shannon, Robert V.; Landsberger, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users typically have excellent speech recognition in quiet but struggle with understanding speech in noise. It is thought that broad current spread from stimulating electrodes causes adjacent electrodes to activate overlapping populations of neurons which results in interactions across adjacent channels. Current focusing has been studied as a way to reduce spread of excitation, and therefore, reduce channel interactions. In particular, partial tripolar stimulation has been shown to reduce spread of excitation relative to monopolar stimulation. However, the crucial question is whether this benefit translates to improvements in speech perception. In this study, we compared speech perception in noise with experimental monopolar and partial tripolar speech processing strategies. The two strategies were matched in terms of number of active electrodes, microphone, filterbanks, stimulation rate and loudness (although both strategies used a lower stimulation rate than typical clinical strategies). The results of this study showed a significant improvement in speech perception in noise with partial tripolar stimulation. All subjects benefited from the current focused speech processing strategy. There was a mean improvement in speech recognition threshold of 2.7 dB in a digits in noise task and a mean improvement of 3 dB in a sentences in noise task with partial tripolar stimulation relative to monopolar stimulation. Although the experimental monopolar strategy was worse than the clinical, presumably due to different microphones, frequency allocations and stimulation rates, the experimental partial-tripolar strategy, which had the same changes, showed no acute deficit relative to the clinical. PMID:23467170

  16. Potential perceptual bases for successful use of a vibrotactile speech perception aid.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, L E; Tucker, P E; Auer, E T

    1998-09-01

    This paper examines the possibility that perception of vibrotactile speech stimuli is enhanced in adults with early and life-long use of hearing aids. We present evidence that vibrotactile aid benefit in adults is directly related to the age at which the hearing aid was fitted and the duration of its use. The stimulus mechanism responsible for this effect is hypothesized to be long-term vibrotactile stimulation by high powered hearing aids. We speculate on possible mechanisms for enhanced vibrotactile speech perception as the result of hearing aid use: (1) long-term experience receiving degraded or improverished speech stimuli results in a speech processing system that is more effective for novel stimuli, independent of perceptual modality; and/or (2) long-term sensory/perceptual experience causes neural changes that result in more effective delivery of speech information via somatosensory pathways. PMID:9800534

  17. [Auditory localization and speech perception in noise. Preliminary study concerning 5 cases of perceptual deafness].

    PubMed

    Canévet, G; Santon, F; Scharf, B

    1986-01-01

    The experiments reported here examine the psychoacoustical bases for poor speech perception in noise by persons with sensorineural impairment. Two major hypotheses are tested. First, because persons with cochlear impairment are less able than normal-hearing persons to separate out incoming signals on the basis of spectral differences (a deficit referred to as reduced frequency selectivity), they are less able to localize one sound in the presence of other sounds. Second, this reduced localization ability makes it difficult for the hearing-impaired person to take advantage of the spatial separation of a target speech source and other interfering sources. Such separation is common in real environments and facilitates speech perception by normal-hearing persons. Tests of these hypotheses are conducted by means of detailed psychoacoustical measures of frequency selectivity, of localization and speech perception under masking. PMID:3706968

  18. Working memory training to improve speech perception in noise across languages

    PubMed Central

    Ingvalson, Erin M.; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Wong, Patrick C. M.; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been linked to performance on many higher cognitive tasks, including the ability to perceive speech in noise. Current efforts to train working memory have demonstrated that working memory performance can be improved, suggesting that working memory training may lead to improved speech perception in noise. A further advantage of working memory training to improve speech perception in noise is that working memory training materials are often simple, such as letters or digits, making them easily translatable across languages. The current effort tested the hypothesis that working memory training would be associated with improved speech perception in noise and that materials would easily translate across languages. Native Mandarin Chinese and native English speakers completed ten days of reversed digit span training. Reading span and speech perception in noise both significantly improved following training, whereas untrained controls showed no gains. These data suggest that working memory training may be used to improve listeners' speech perception in noise and that the materials may be quickly adapted to a wide variety of listeners. PMID:26093435

  19. Contributions of electric and acoustic hearing to bimodal speech and music perception.

    PubMed

    Crew, Joseph D; Galvin, John J; Landsberger, David M; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2015-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users have difficulty understanding speech in noisy listening conditions and perceiving music. Aided residual acoustic hearing in the contralateral ear can mitigate these limitations. The present study examined contributions of electric and acoustic hearing to speech understanding in noise and melodic pitch perception. Data was collected with the CI only, the hearing aid (HA) only, and both devices together (CI+HA). Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were adaptively measured for simple sentences in speech babble. Melodic contour identification (MCI) was measured with and without a masker instrument; the fundamental frequency of the masker was varied to be overlapping or non-overlapping with the target contour. Results showed that the CI contributes primarily to bimodal speech perception and that the HA contributes primarily to bimodal melodic pitch perception. In general, CI+HA performance was slightly improved relative to the better ear alone (CI-only) for SRTs but not for MCI, with some subjects experiencing a decrease in bimodal MCI performance relative to the better ear alone (HA-only). Individual performance was highly variable, and the contribution of either device to bimodal perception was both subject- and task-dependent. The results suggest that individualized mapping of CIs and HAs may further improve bimodal speech and music perception. PMID:25790349

  20. Contributions of Electric and Acoustic Hearing to Bimodal Speech and Music Perception

    PubMed Central

    Crew, Joseph D.; Galvin III, John J.; Landsberger, David M.; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2015-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users have difficulty understanding speech in noisy listening conditions and perceiving music. Aided residual acoustic hearing in the contralateral ear can mitigate these limitations. The present study examined contributions of electric and acoustic hearing to speech understanding in noise and melodic pitch perception. Data was collected with the CI only, the hearing aid (HA) only, and both devices together (CI+HA). Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were adaptively measured for simple sentences in speech babble. Melodic contour identification (MCI) was measured with and without a masker instrument; the fundamental frequency of the masker was varied to be overlapping or non-overlapping with the target contour. Results showed that the CI contributes primarily to bimodal speech perception and that the HA contributes primarily to bimodal melodic pitch perception. In general, CI+HA performance was slightly improved relative to the better ear alone (CI-only) for SRTs but not for MCI, with some subjects experiencing a decrease in bimodal MCI performance relative to the better ear alone (HA-only). Individual performance was highly variable, and the contribution of either device to bimodal perception was both subject- and task-dependent. The results suggest that individualized mapping of CIs and HAs may further improve bimodal speech and music perception. PMID:25790349

  1. Working memory training to improve speech perception in noise across languages.

    PubMed

    Ingvalson, Erin M; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Wong, Patrick C M; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-06-01

    Working memory capacity has been linked to performance on many higher cognitive tasks, including the ability to perceive speech in noise. Current efforts to train working memory have demonstrated that working memory performance can be improved, suggesting that working memory training may lead to improved speech perception in noise. A further advantage of working memory training to improve speech perception in noise is that working memory training materials are often simple, such as letters or digits, making them easily translatable across languages. The current effort tested the hypothesis that working memory training would be associated with improved speech perception in noise and that materials would easily translate across languages. Native Mandarin Chinese and native English speakers completed ten days of reversed digit span training. Reading span and speech perception in noise both significantly improved following training, whereas untrained controls showed no gains. These data suggest that working memory training may be used to improve listeners' speech perception in noise and that the materials may be quickly adapted to a wide variety of listeners. PMID:26093435

  2. Children’s perception of speech produced in a two-talker background

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Mallory; Buss, Emily; Jacks, Adam; Taylor, Crystal; Leibold, Lori J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study evaluated the degree to which children benefit from the acoustic modifications made by talkers when they produce speech in noise. Method A repeated-measures design compared the speech perception performance of children (5–11 years) and adults in a two-talker masker. Target speech was produced in a two-talker background or in quiet. In experiment 1, recognition with the two target sets was assessed using an adaptive spondee identification procedure. In experiment 2, the benefit of speech produced in a two-talker background was assessed using an open-set, monosyllabic word recognition task at a fixed SNR. Results Children performed more poorly than adults, regardless of whether the target speech was produced in quiet or in a two-talker background. A small improvement in the SNR required to identify spondees was observed for both children and adults using speech produced in a two-talker background (experiment 1). Similarly, average open-set word recognition scores were 11 percentage points higher for both age groups using speech produced in a two-talker background compared to quiet (experiment 2). Conclusions The results indicate that children can use the acoustic modifications of speech produced in a two-talker background to improve masked speech perception, as previously demonstrated for adults. PMID:24687476

  3. The Perception of Syllable Affiliation of Singleton Stops in Repetitive Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Jong, Kenneth J.; Lim, Byung-jin; Nagao, Kyoko

    2004-01-01

    Stetson (1951) noted that repeating singleton coda consonants at fast speech rates makes them be perceived as onset consonants affiliated with a following vowel. The current study documents the perception of rate-induced resyllabification, as well as what temporal properties give rise to the perception of syllable affiliation. Stimuli were…

  4. Speech Perception Abilities of Adults with Dyslexia: Is There Any Evidence for a True Deficit?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hazan, Valerie; Messaoud-Galusi, Souhila; Rosen, Stuart; Nouwens, Suzan; Shakespeare, Bethanie

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated whether adults with dyslexia show evidence of a consistent speech perception deficit by testing phoneme categorization and word perception in noise. Method: Seventeen adults with dyslexia and 20 average readers underwent a test battery including standardized reading, language and phonological awareness tests, and…

  5. Infants' Perception and Representation of Speech: Development of a New Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuhl, Patricia K.

    A new series of studies on adults' and infants' perception of phonetic "prototypes," exceptionally good instances of phonetic categories, show that prototypes play a unique role in speech perception. Phonetic category prototypes function like "perceptual magnets" for other stimuli in the category. They attract nearby members of the category,…

  6. Perception of Suprasegmental Features of Speech by Children with Cochlear Implants and Children with Hearing Aids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Most, Tova; Peled, Miriam

    2007-01-01

    This study assessed perception of suprasegmental features of speech by 30 prelingual children with sensorineural hearing loss. Ten children had cochlear implants (CIs), and 20 children wore hearing aids (HA): 10 with severe hearing loss and 10 with profound hearing loss. Perception of intonation, syllable stress, word emphasis, and word pattern…

  7. Brain networks engaged in audiovisual integration during speech perception revealed by persistent homology-based network filtration.

    PubMed

    Kim, Heejung; Hahm, Jarang; Lee, Hyekyoung; Kang, Eunjoo; Kang, Hyejin; Lee, Dong Soo

    2015-05-01

    The human brain naturally integrates audiovisual information to improve speech perception. However, in noisy environments, understanding speech is difficult and may require much effort. Although the brain network is supposed to be engaged in speech perception, it is unclear how speech-related brain regions are connected during natural bimodal audiovisual or unimodal speech perception with counterpart irrelevant noise. To investigate the topological changes of speech-related brain networks at all possible thresholds, we used a persistent homological framework through hierarchical clustering, such as single linkage distance, to analyze the connected component of the functional network during speech perception using functional magnetic resonance imaging. For speech perception, bimodal (audio-visual speech cue) or unimodal speech cues with counterpart irrelevant noise (auditory white-noise or visual gum-chewing) were delivered to 15 subjects. In terms of positive relationship, similar connected components were observed in bimodal and unimodal speech conditions during filtration. However, during speech perception by congruent audiovisual stimuli, the tighter couplings of left anterior temporal gyrus-anterior insula component and right premotor-visual components were observed than auditory or visual speech cue conditions, respectively. Interestingly, visual speech is perceived under white noise by tight negative coupling in the left inferior frontal region-right anterior cingulate, left anterior insula, and bilateral visual regions, including right middle temporal gyrus, right fusiform components. In conclusion, the speech brain network is tightly positively or negatively connected, and can reflect efficient or effortful processes during natural audiovisual integration or lip-reading, respectively, in speech perception. PMID:25495216

  8. Brain Networks Engaged in Audiovisual Integration During Speech Perception Revealed by Persistent Homology-Based Network Filtration

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heejung; Hahm, Jarang; Lee, Hyekyoung; Kang, Eunjoo

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The human brain naturally integrates audiovisual information to improve speech perception. However, in noisy environments, understanding speech is difficult and may require much effort. Although the brain network is supposed to be engaged in speech perception, it is unclear how speech-related brain regions are connected during natural bimodal audiovisual or unimodal speech perception with counterpart irrelevant noise. To investigate the topological changes of speech-related brain networks at all possible thresholds, we used a persistent homological framework through hierarchical clustering, such as single linkage distance, to analyze the connected component of the functional network during speech perception using functional magnetic resonance imaging. For speech perception, bimodal (audio-visual speech cue) or unimodal speech cues with counterpart irrelevant noise (auditory white-noise or visual gum-chewing) were delivered to 15 subjects. In terms of positive relationship, similar connected components were observed in bimodal and unimodal speech conditions during filtration. However, during speech perception by congruent audiovisual stimuli, the tighter couplings of left anterior temporal gyrus-anterior insula component and right premotor-visual components were observed than auditory or visual speech cue conditions, respectively. Interestingly, visual speech is perceived under white noise by tight negative coupling in the left inferior frontal region–right anterior cingulate, left anterior insula, and bilateral visual regions, including right middle temporal gyrus, right fusiform components. In conclusion, the speech brain network is tightly positively or negatively connected, and can reflect efficient or effortful processes during natural audiovisual integration or lip-reading, respectively, in speech perception. PMID:25495216

  9. Speech perception in infancy predicts language development in the second year of life: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

    Infants' early phonetic perception is hypothesized to play an important role in language development. Previous studies have not assessed this potential link in the first 2 years of life. In this study, speech discrimination was measured in 6-month-old infants using a conditioned head-turn task. At 13, 16, and 24 months of age, language development was assessed in these same children using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory. Results demonstrated significant correlations between speech perception at 6 months of age and later language (word understanding, word production, phrase understanding). The finding that speech perception performance at 6 months predicts language at 2 years supports the idea that phonetic perception may play an important role in language acquisition. PMID:15260865

  10. The functional anatomy of speech perception: Dorsal and ventral processing pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickok, Gregory

    2003-04-01

    Drawing on recent developments in the cortical organization of vision, and on data from a variety of sources, Hickok and Poeppel (2000) have proposed a new model of the functional anatomy of speech perception. The model posits that early cortical stages of speech perception involve auditory fields in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (although asymmetrically). This cortical processing system then diverges into two broad processing streams, a ventral stream, involved in mapping sound onto meaning, and a dorsal stream, involved in mapping sound onto articulatory-based representations. The ventral stream projects ventrolaterally toward inferior posterior temporal cortex which serves as an interface between sound and meaning. The dorsal stream projects dorsoposteriorly toward the parietal lobe and ultimately to frontal regions. This network provides a mechanism for the development and maintenance of ``parity'' between auditory and motor representations of speech. Although the dorsal stream represents a tight connection between speech perception and speech production, it is not a critical component of the speech perception process under ecologically natural listening conditions. Some degree of bi-directionality in both the dorsal and ventral pathways is also proposed. A variety of recent empirical tests of this model have provided further support for the proposal.

  11. Robust speech perception: recognize the familiar, generalize to the similar, and adapt to the novel.

    PubMed

    Kleinschmidt, Dave F; Jaeger, T Florian

    2015-04-01

    Successful speech perception requires that listeners map the acoustic signal to linguistic categories. These mappings are not only probabilistic, but change depending on the situation. For example, one talker's /p/ might be physically indistinguishable from another talker's /b/ (cf. lack of invariance). We characterize the computational problem posed by such a subjectively nonstationary world and propose that the speech perception system overcomes this challenge by (a) recognizing previously encountered situations, (b) generalizing to other situations based on previous similar experience, and (c) adapting to novel situations. We formalize this proposal in the ideal adapter framework: (a) to (c) can be understood as inference under uncertainty about the appropriate generative model for the current talker, thereby facilitating robust speech perception despite the lack of invariance. We focus on 2 critical aspects of the ideal adapter. First, in situations that clearly deviate from previous experience, listeners need to adapt. We develop a distributional (belief-updating) learning model of incremental adaptation. The model provides a good fit against known and novel phonetic adaptation data, including perceptual recalibration and selective adaptation. Second, robust speech recognition requires that listeners learn to represent the structured component of cross-situation variability in the speech signal. We discuss how these 2 aspects of the ideal adapter provide a unifying explanation for adaptation, talker-specificity, and generalization across talkers and groups of talkers (e.g., accents and dialects). The ideal adapter provides a guiding framework for future investigations into speech perception and adaptation, and more broadly language comprehension. PMID:25844873

  12. Development and preliminary evaluation of a pediatric Spanish/English speech perception task

    PubMed Central

    Calandruccio, Lauren; Gomez, Bianca; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To develop a task to evaluate children’s English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers. Methods Eight bilingual Spanish/English and eight age matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9 –16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected for adaptively estimating masked speech reception thresholds. Speech stimuli were spoken by simultaneous bilingual Spanish/English talkers. The target stimuli were thirty disyllabic English and Spanish words, familiar to five-year-olds, and easily illustrated. Competing stimuli included either two-talker English or two-talker Spanish speech (corresponding to target language) and spectrally matched noise. Results For both groups of children, regardless of test language, performance was significantly worse for the two-talker than the noise masker. No difference in performance was found between bilingual and monolingual children. Bilingual children performed significantly better in English than in Spanish in competing speech. For all listening conditions, performance improved with increasing age. Conclusions Results indicate that the stimuli and task are appropriate for speech recognition testing in both languages, providing a more conventional measure of speech-in-noise perception as well as a measure of complex listening. Further research is needed to determine performance for Spanish-dominant listeners and to evaluate the feasibility of implementation into routine clinical use. PMID:24686915

  13. Getting the cocktail party started: masking effects in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Evans, S; McGettigan, C; Agnew, ZK; Rosen, S; Scott, SK

    2016-01-01

    Spoken conversations typically take place in noisy environments and different kinds of masking sounds place differing demands on cognitive resources. Previous studies, examining the modulation of neural activity associated with the properties of competing sounds, have shown that additional speech streams engage the superior temporal gyrus. However, the absence of a condition in which target speech was heard without additional masking made it difficult to identify brain networks specific to masking and to ascertain the extent to which competing speech was processed equivalently to target speech. In this study, we scanned young healthy adults with continuous functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), whilst they listened to stories masked by sounds that differed in their similarity to speech. We show that auditory attention and control networks are activated during attentive listening to masked speech in the absence of an overt behavioural task. We demonstrate that competing speech is processed predominantly in the left hemisphere within the same pathway as target speech but is not treated equivalently within that stream, and that individuals who perform better in speech in noise tasks activate the left mid-posterior superior temporal gyrus more. Finally, we identify neural responses associated with the onset of sounds in the auditory environment, activity was found within right lateralised frontal regions consistent with a phasic alerting response. Taken together, these results provide a comprehensive account of the neural processes involved in listening in noise. PMID:26696297

  14. Qualitative Assessment of Speech Perception Performance of Early and Late Cochlear Implantees.

    PubMed

    Kant, Anjali R; Pathak, Sonal

    2015-09-01

    The present study aims to provide a qualitative description and comparison of speech perception performance using model based tests like multisyllabic lexical neighborhood test (MLNT) and lexical neighborhood test (LNT), in early and late implanted (prelingual) hearing impaired children using cochlear implants. The subjects comprised of cochlear implantees; Group I (early implantees)-n = 15, 3-6 years of age; mean age at implantation-3½ years. Group II (late implantees)-n = 15, 7-13 years of age; mean age at implantation-5 years. The tests were presented in a sound treated room at 70 dBSPL. The children were instructed to repeat the words on hearing them. Responses were scored as percentage of words correctly repeated. Their means were computed. The late implantees achieved higher scores for words on MLNT than those on LNT. This may imply that late implantees are making use of length cues in order to aid them in speech perception. The major phonological process used by early implantees was deletion and by the late implantees was substitution. One needs to wait until the child achieves a score of 20 % on LNT before assessing other aspects of his/her speech perception abilities. There appears to be a need to use speech perception tests which are based on theoretical empirical models, in order to enable us to give a descriptive analysis of post implant speech perception performance. PMID:26405667

  15. Bimodal Hearing and Speech Perception with a Competing Talker

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pyschny, Verena; Landwehr, Markus; Hahn, Moritz; Walger, Martin; von Wedel, Hasso; Meister, Hartmut

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of bimodal stimulation upon hearing ability for speech recognition in the presence of a single competing talker. Method: Speech recognition was measured in 3 listening conditions: hearing aid (HA) alone, cochlear implant (CI) alone, and both devices together (CI + HA). To examine…

  16. The Functional Neuroanatomy of Prelexical Processing in Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Sophie K.; Wise, Richard J. S.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we attempt to relate the prelexical processing of speech, with particular emphasis on functional neuroimaging studies, to the study of auditory perceptual systems by disciplines in the speech and hearing sciences. The elaboration of the sound-to-meaning pathways in the human brain enables their integration into models of the human…

  17. The Word Unit in Second Language Speech Production and Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flege, James Emil; Munro, Murray J.

    1994-01-01

    Studied the word as a unit in second-language speech acquisition. Spanish and English monolinguals' renditions of "taco" differed systematically. Bilinguals' accuracy in producing the various segments of a second-language word may be interrelated. In judging second-language speech, listeners respond to phonetic errors distributed over the entire…

  18. Sources of Variability in Consonant Perception and Implications for Speech Perception Modeling.

    PubMed

    Zaar, Johannes; Dau, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the influence of various sources of response variability in consonant perception. A distinction was made between source-induced variability and receiver-related variability. The former refers to perceptual differences induced by differences in the speech tokens and/or the masking noise tokens; the latter describes perceptual differences caused by within- and across-listener uncertainty. Consonant-vowel combinations (CVs) were presented to normal-hearing listeners in white noise at six different signal-to-noise ratios. The obtained responses were analyzed with respect to the considered sources of variability using a measure of the perceptual distance between responses. The largest effect was found across different CVs. For stimuli of the same phonetic identity, the speech-induced variability across and within talkers and the across-listener variability were substantial and of similar magnitude. Even time-shifts in the waveforms of white masking noise produced a significant effect, which was well above the within-listener variability (the smallest effect). Two auditory-inspired models in combination with a template-matching back end were considered to predict the perceptual data. In particular, an energy-based and a modulation-based approach were compared. The suitability of the two models was evaluated with respect to the source-induced perceptual distance and in terms of consonant recognition rates and consonant confusions. Both models captured the source-induced perceptual distance remarkably well. However, the modulation-based approach showed a better agreement with the data in terms of consonant recognition and confusions. The results indicate that low-frequency modulations up to 16 Hz play a crucial role in consonant perception. PMID:27080685

  19. Reading Fluency and Speech Perception Speed of Beginning Readers with Persistent Reading Problems: The Perception of Initial Stop Consonants and Consonant Clusters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snellings, Patrick; van der Leij, Aryan; Blok, Henk; de Jong, Peter F.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the role of speech perception accuracy and speed in fluent word decoding of reading disabled (RD) children. A same-different phoneme discrimination task with natural speech tested the perception of single consonants and consonant clusters by young but persistent RD children. RD children were slower than chronological age…

  20. Development of an audiovisual speech perception app for children with autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    IRWIN, JULIA; PRESTON, JONATHAN; BRANCAZIO, LAWRENCE; D’ANGELO, MICHAEL; TURCIOS, JACQUELINE

    2015-01-01

    Perception of spoken language requires attention to acoustic as well as visible phonetic information. This article reviews the known differences in audiovisual speech perception in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and specifies the need for interventions that address this construct. Elements of an audiovisual training program are described. This researcher-developed program delivered via an iPad app presents natural speech in the context of increasing noise, but supported with a speaking face. Children are cued to attend to visible articulatory information to assist in perception of the spoken words. Data from four children with ASD ages 8–10 are presented showing that the children improved their performance on an untrained auditory speech-in-noise task. PMID:25313714

  1. Assessing speech perception in children with hearing loss: What conventional clinical tools may miss

    PubMed Central

    Hillock-Dunn, Andrea; Taylor, Crystal; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective This study tested the hypothesis that word recognition in a complex, two-talker masker is more closely related to real-world speech perception for children with hearing loss than testing performed in quiet or steady-state noise. Design Sixteen school-age hearing aid users were tested on aided word recognition in noise and two-talker speech. Unaided estimates of speech perception in quiet were retrospectively obtained from the clinical record. Ten parents completed a questionnaire regarding their children’s ease of communication and understanding in background noise. Results Unaided performance in quiet was correlated with aided performance in competing noise, but not in two-talker speech. Only results in the two-talker masker were correlated with parental reports of their children’s functional hearing abilities. Conclusions Speech perception testing in a complex background such as two-talker speech may provide a more accurate predictor of the communication challenges of children with hearing loss than testing in steady noise or quiet. PMID:25329371

  2. Auditory Processing and Speech Perception in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Relations with Oral Language and Literacy Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandewalle, Ellen; Boets, Bart; Ghesquiere, Pol; Zink, Inge

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study investigated temporal auditory processing (frequency modulation and between-channel gap detection) and speech perception (speech-in-noise and categorical perception) in three groups of 6 years 3 months to 6 years 8 months-old children attending grade 1: (1) children with specific language impairment (SLI) and literacy delay…

  3. Speech-in-Noise Perception Deficit in Adults with Dyslexia: Effects of Background Type and Listening Configuration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dole, Marjorie; Hoen, Michel; Meunier, Fanny

    2012-01-01

    Developmental dyslexia is associated with impaired speech-in-noise perception. The goal of the present research was to further characterize this deficit in dyslexic adults. In order to specify the mechanisms and processing strategies used by adults with dyslexia during speech-in-noise perception, we explored the influence of background type,…

  4. Temporal Processing and Speech Perception in Noise by Listeners with Auditory Neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Narne, Vijaya Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Aim The present study evaluated the relation between speech perception in the presence of background noise and temporal processing ability in listeners with Auditory Neuropathy (AN). Method The study included two experiments. In the first experiment, temporal resolution of listeners with normal hearing and those with AN was evaluated using measures of temporal modulation transfer function and frequency modulation detection at modulation rates of 2 and 10 Hz. In the second experiment, speech perception in quiet and noise was evaluated at three signal to noise ratios (SNR) (0, 5, and 10 dB). Results Results demonstrated that listeners with AN performed significantly poorer than normal hearing listeners in both amplitude modulation and frequency modulation detection, indicating significant impairment in extracting envelope as well as fine structure cues from the signal. Furthermore, there was significant correlation seen between measures of temporal resolution and speech perception in noise. Conclusion Results suggested that an impaired ability to efficiently process envelope and fine structure cues of the speech signal may be the cause of the extreme difficulties faced during speech perception in noise by listeners with AN. PMID:23409105

  5. Tactile perception by the profoundly deaf. Speech and environmental sounds.

    PubMed

    Plant, G L

    1982-11-01

    Four subjects fitted with single-channel vibrotactile aids and provided with training in their use took part in a testing programme aimed at assessing their aided and unaided lipreading performance, their ability to detect segmental and suprasegmental features of speech, and the discrimination of common environmental sounds. The results showed that the vibrotactile aid provided very useful information as to speech and non-speech stimuli with the subjects performing best on those tasks where time/intensity cues provided sufficient information to enable identification. The implications of the study are discussed and a comparison made with those results reported for subjects using cochlear implants. PMID:6897619

  6. Speech Perception Benefits of Internet Versus Conventional Telephony for Hearing-Impaired Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Dubach, Patrick; Pfiffner, Flurin; Kompis, Martin; Caversaccio, Marco

    2012-01-01

    Background Telephone communication is a challenge for many hearing-impaired individuals. One important technical reason for this difficulty is the restricted frequency range (0.3–3.4 kHz) of conventional landline telephones. Internet telephony (voice over Internet protocol [VoIP]) is transmitted with a larger frequency range (0.1–8 kHz) and therefore includes more frequencies relevant to speech perception. According to a recently published, laboratory-based study, the theoretical advantage of ideal VoIP conditions over conventional telephone quality has translated into improved speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. However, the speech perception benefits of nonideal VoIP network conditions, which may occur in daily life, have not been explored. VoIP use cannot be recommended to hearing-impaired individuals before its potential under more realistic conditions has been examined. Objective To compare realistic VoIP network conditions, under which digital data packets may be lost, with ideal conventional telephone quality with respect to their impact on speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. Methods We assessed speech perception using standardized test material presented under simulated VoIP conditions with increasing digital data packet loss (from 0% to 20%) and compared with simulated ideal conventional telephone quality. We monaurally tested 10 adult users of cochlear implants, 10 adult users of hearing aids, and 10 normal-hearing adults in the free sound field, both in quiet and with background noise. Results Across all participant groups, mean speech perception scores using VoIP with 0%, 5%, and 10% packet loss were 15.2% (range 0%–53%), 10.6% (4%–46%), and 8.8% (7%–33%) higher, respectively, than with ideal conventional telephone quality. Speech perception did not differ between VoIP with 20% packet loss and conventional telephone quality. The maximum benefits were observed under ideal VoIP conditions without packet loss and

  7. Speech pattern hearing aids for the profoundly hearing impaired: speech perception and auditory abilities.

    PubMed

    Faulkner, A; Ball, V; Rosen, S; Moore, B C; Fourcin, A

    1992-04-01

    A family of prototype speech pattern hearing aids for the profoundly hearing impaired has been compared to amplification. These aids are designed to extract acoustic speech patterns that convey essential phonetic contrasts, and to match this information to residual receptive abilities. In the first study, the presentation of voice fundamental frequency information from a wearable SiVo (sinusoidal voice) aid was compared to amplification in 11 profoundly deafened adults. Intonation reception was often better, and never worse, with fundamental frequency information. Four subjects scored more highly in audio-visual consonant identification with fundamental frequency information, five performed better with amplified speech, and two performed similarly under these two conditions. Five of the 11 subjects continued use of the SiVo aid after the tests were complete. A second study examined a laboratory prototype compound speech pattern aid, which encoded voice fundamental frequency, amplitude envelope, and the presence of voiceless excitation. In five profoundly deafened adults, performance was better in consonant identification when additional speech patterns were present than with fundamental frequency alone; the main advantage was derived from amplitude information. In both consonant identification and connected discourse tracking, performance with appropriately matched compound speech pattern signals was better than with amplified speech in three subjects, and similar to performance with amplified speech in the other two. In nine subjects, frequency discrimination, gap detection, and frequency selectivity were measured, and were compared to speech receptive abilities with both amplification and fundamental frequency presentation. The subjects who showed the greatest advantage from fundamental frequency presentation showed the greatest average hearing losses, and the least degree of frequency selectivity. Compound speech pattern aids appear to be more effective for some

  8. Speech perception in preschoolers at family risk for dyslexia: relations with low-level auditory processing and phonological ability.

    PubMed

    Boets, Bart; Ghesquière, Pol; van Wieringen, Astrid; Wouters, Jan

    2007-04-01

    We tested categorical perception and speech-in-noise perception in a group of five-year-old preschool children genetically at risk for dyslexia, compared to a group of well-matched control children and a group of adults. Both groups of children differed significantly from the adults on all speech measures. Comparing both child groups, the risk group presented a slight but significant deficit in speech-in-noise perception, particularly in the most difficult listening condition. For categorical perception a marginally significant deficit was observed on the discrimination task but not on the identification task. Speech parameters were significantly related to phonological awareness and low-level auditory measures. Results are discussed within the framework of a causal model where low-level auditory problems are hypothesized to result in subtle speech perception problems that might interfere with the development of phonology and reading and spelling ability. PMID:16887179

  9. Improving speech perception in noise with current focusing in cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Arthi G; Padilla, Monica; Shannon, Robert V; Landsberger, David M

    2013-05-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users typically have excellent speech recognition in quiet but struggle with understanding speech in noise. It is thought that broad current spread from stimulating electrodes causes adjacent electrodes to activate overlapping populations of neurons which results in interactions across adjacent channels. Current focusing has been studied as a way to reduce spread of excitation, and therefore, reduce channel interactions. In particular, partial tripolar stimulation has been shown to reduce spread of excitation relative to monopolar stimulation. However, the crucial question is whether this benefit translates to improvements in speech perception. In this study, we compared speech perception in noise with experimental monopolar and partial tripolar speech processing strategies. The two strategies were matched in terms of number of active electrodes, microphone, filterbanks, stimulation rate and loudness (although both strategies used a lower stimulation rate than typical clinical strategies). The results of this study showed a significant improvement in speech perception in noise with partial tripolar stimulation. All subjects benefited from the current focused speech processing strategy. There was a mean improvement in speech recognition threshold of 2.7 dB in a digits in noise task and a mean improvement of 3 dB in a sentences in noise task with partial tripolar stimulation relative to monopolar stimulation. Although the experimental monopolar strategy was worse than the clinical, presumably due to different microphones, frequency allocations and stimulation rates, the experimental partial-tripolar strategy, which had the same changes, showed no acute deficit relative to the clinical. PMID:23467170

  10. Speech Perception in Noise by Children With Cochlear Implants

    PubMed Central

    Caldwell, Amanda; Nittrouer, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Common wisdom suggests that listening in noise poses disproportionately greater difficulty for listeners with cochlear implants (CIs) than for peers with normal hearing (NH). The purpose of this study was to examine phonological, language, and cognitive skills that might help explain speech-in-noise abilities for children with CIs. Method Three groups of kindergartners (NH, hearing aid wearers, and CI users) were tested on speech recognition in quiet and noise and on tasks thought to underlie the abilities that fit into the domains of phonological awareness, general language, and cognitive skills. These last measures were used as predictor variables in regression analyses with speech-in-noise scores as dependent variables. Results Compared to children with NH, children with CIs did not perform as well on speech recognition in noise or on most other measures, including recognition in quiet. Two surprising results were that (a) noise effects were consistent across groups and (b) scores on other measures did not explain any group differences in speech recognition. Conclusions Limitations of implant processing take their primary toll on recognition in quiet and account for poor speech recognition and language/phonological deficits in children with CIs. Implications are that teachers/clinicians need to teach language/phonology directly and maximize signal-to-noise levels in the classroom. PMID:22744138

  11. Neurophysiological evidence that musical training influences the recruitment of right hemispheric homologues for speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Jantzen, McNeel G.; Howe, Bradley M.; Jantzen, Kelly J.

    2014-01-01

    Musicians have a more accurate temporal and tonal representation of auditory stimuli than their non-musician counterparts (Musacchia et al., 2007; Parbery-Clark et al., 2009a; Zendel and Alain, 2009; Kraus and Chandrasekaran, 2010). Musicians who are adept at the production and perception of music are also more sensitive to key acoustic features of speech such as voice onset timing and pitch. Together, these data suggest that musical training may enhance the processing of acoustic information for speech sounds. In the current study, we sought to provide neural evidence that musicians process speech and music in a similar way. We hypothesized that for musicians, right hemisphere areas traditionally associated with music are also engaged for the processing of speech sounds. In contrast we predicted that in non-musicians processing of speech sounds would be localized to traditional left hemisphere language areas. Speech stimuli differing in voice onset time was presented using a dichotic listening paradigm. Subjects either indicated aural location for a specified speech sound or identified a specific speech sound from a directed aural location. Musical training effects and organization of acoustic features were reflected by activity in source generators of the P50. This included greater activation of right middle temporal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus in musicians. The findings demonstrate recruitment of right hemisphere in musicians for discriminating speech sounds and a putative broadening of their language network. Musicians appear to have an increased sensitivity to acoustic features and enhanced selective attention to temporal features of speech that is facilitated by musical training and supported, in part, by right hemisphere homologues of established speech processing regions of the brain. PMID:24624107

  12. Neurophysiological evidence that musical training influences the recruitment of right hemispheric homologues for speech perception.

    PubMed

    Jantzen, McNeel G; Howe, Bradley M; Jantzen, Kelly J

    2014-01-01

    Musicians have a more accurate temporal and tonal representation of auditory stimuli than their non-musician counterparts (Musacchia et al., 2007; Parbery-Clark et al., 2009a; Zendel and Alain, 2009; Kraus and Chandrasekaran, 2010). Musicians who are adept at the production and perception of music are also more sensitive to key acoustic features of speech such as voice onset timing and pitch. Together, these data suggest that musical training may enhance the processing of acoustic information for speech sounds. In the current study, we sought to provide neural evidence that musicians process speech and music in a similar way. We hypothesized that for musicians, right hemisphere areas traditionally associated with music are also engaged for the processing of speech sounds. In contrast we predicted that in non-musicians processing of speech sounds would be localized to traditional left hemisphere language areas. Speech stimuli differing in voice onset time was presented using a dichotic listening paradigm. Subjects either indicated aural location for a specified speech sound or identified a specific speech sound from a directed aural location. Musical training effects and organization of acoustic features were reflected by activity in source generators of the P50. This included greater activation of right middle temporal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus in musicians. The findings demonstrate recruitment of right hemisphere in musicians for discriminating speech sounds and a putative broadening of their language network. Musicians appear to have an increased sensitivity to acoustic features and enhanced selective attention to temporal features of speech that is facilitated by musical training and supported, in part, by right hemisphere homologues of established speech processing regions of the brain. PMID:24624107

  13. High visual resolution matters in audiovisual speech perception, but only for some.

    PubMed

    Alsius, Agnès; Wayne, Rachel V; Paré, Martin; Munhall, Kevin G

    2016-07-01

    The basis for individual differences in the degree to which visual speech input enhances comprehension of acoustically degraded speech is largely unknown. Previous research indicates that fine facial detail is not critical for visual enhancement when auditory information is available; however, these studies did not examine individual differences in ability to make use of fine facial detail in relation to audiovisual speech perception ability. Here, we compare participants based on their ability to benefit from visual speech information in the presence of an auditory signal degraded with noise, modulating the resolution of the visual signal through low-pass spatial frequency filtering and monitoring gaze behavior. Participants who benefited most from the addition of visual information (high visual gain) were more adversely affected by the removal of high spatial frequency information, compared to participants with low visual gain, for materials with both poor and rich contextual cues (i.e., words and sentences, respectively). Differences as a function of gaze behavior between participants with the highest and lowest visual gains were observed only for words, with participants with the highest visual gain fixating longer on the mouth region. Our results indicate that the individual variance in audiovisual speech in noise performance can be accounted for, in part, by better use of fine facial detail information extracted from the visual signal and increased fixation on mouth regions for short stimuli. Thus, for some, audiovisual speech perception may suffer when the visual input (in addition to the auditory signal) is less than perfect. PMID:27150616

  14. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Speech Perception: Sense, Nonsense and Modulations

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Stuart; Wise, Richard J. S.; Chadha, Shabneet; Conway, Eleanor-Jayne; Scott, Sophie K.

    2011-01-01

    Background The well-established left hemisphere specialisation for language processing has long been claimed to be based on a low-level auditory specialization for specific acoustic features in speech, particularly regarding ‘rapid temporal processing’. Methodology A novel analysis/synthesis technique was used to construct a variety of sounds based on simple sentences which could be manipulated in spectro-temporal complexity, and whether they were intelligible or not. All sounds consisted of two noise-excited spectral prominences (based on the lower two formants in the original speech) which could be static or varying in frequency and/or amplitude independently. Dynamically varying both acoustic features based on the same sentence led to intelligible speech but when either or both acoustic features were static, the stimuli were not intelligible. Using the frequency dynamics from one sentence with the amplitude dynamics of another led to unintelligible sounds of comparable spectro-temporal complexity to the intelligible ones. Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to compare which brain regions were active when participants listened to the different sounds. Conclusions Neural activity to spectral and amplitude modulations sufficient to support speech intelligibility (without actually being intelligible) was seen bilaterally, with a right temporal lobe dominance. A left dominant response was seen only to intelligible sounds. It thus appears that the left hemisphere specialisation for speech is based on the linguistic properties of utterances, not on particular acoustic features. PMID:21980349

  15. Modeling Pathological Speech Perception From Data With Similarity Labels.

    PubMed

    Berisha, Visar; Liss, Julie; Sandoval, Steven; Utianski, Rene; Spanias, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The current state of the art in judging pathological speech intelligibility is subjective assessment performed by trained speech pathologists (SLP). These tests, however, are inconsistent, costly and, oftentimes suffer from poor intra- and inter-judge reliability. As such, consistent, reliable, and perceptually-relevant objective evaluations of pathological speech are critical. Here, we propose a data-driven approach to this problem. We propose new cost functions for examining data from a series of experiments, whereby we ask certified SLPs to rate pathological speech along the perceptual dimensions that contribute to decreased intelligibility. We consider qualitative feedback from SLPs in the form of comparisons similar to statements "Is Speaker A's rhythm more similar to Speaker B or Speaker C?" Data of this form is common in behavioral research, but is different from the traditional data structures expected in supervised (data matrix + class labels) or unsupervised (data matrix) machine learning. The proposed method identifies relevant acoustic features that correlate with the ordinal data collected during the experiment. Using these features, we show that we are able to develop objective measures of the speech signal degradation that correlate well with SLP responses. PMID:25435817

  16. Modeling Pathological Speech Perception From Data With Similarity Labels

    PubMed Central

    Berisha, Visar; Liss, Julie; Sandoval, Steven; Utianski, Rene; Spanias, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    The current state of the art in judging pathological speech intelligibility is subjective assessment performed by trained speech pathologists (SLP). These tests, however, are inconsistent, costly and, oftentimes suffer from poor intra- and inter-judge reliability. As such, consistent, reliable, and perceptually-relevant objective evaluations of pathological speech are critical. Here, we propose a data-driven approach to this problem. We propose new cost functions for examining data from a series of experiments, whereby we ask certified SLPs to rate pathological speech along the perceptual dimensions that contribute to decreased intelligibility. We consider qualitative feedback from SLPs in the form of comparisons similar to statements “Is Speaker A's rhythm more similar to Speaker B or Speaker C?” Data of this form is common in behavioral research, but is different from the traditional data structures expected in supervised (data matrix + class labels) or unsupervised (data matrix) machine learning. The proposed method identifies relevant acoustic features that correlate with the ordinal data collected during the experiment. Using these features, we show that we are able to develop objective measures of the speech signal degradation that correlate well with SLP responses. PMID:25435817

  17. On the context-dependent nature of the contribution of the ventral premotor cortex to speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    What is the nature of the interface between speech perception and production, where auditory and motor representations converge? One set of explanations suggests that during perception, the motor circuits involved in producing a perceived action are in some way enacting the action without actually causing movement (covert simulation) or sending along the motor information to be used to predict its sensory consequences (i.e., efference copy). Other accounts either reject entirely the involvement of motor representations in perception, or explain their role as being more supportive than integral, and not employing the identical circuits used in production. Using fMRI, we investigated whether there are brain regions that are conjointly active for both speech perception and production, and whether these regions are sensitive to articulatory (syllabic) complexity during both processes, which is predicted by a covert simulation account. A group of healthy young adults (1) observed a female speaker produce a set of familiar words (perception), and (2) observed and then repeated the words (production). There were two types of words, varying in articulatory complexity, as measured by the presence or absence of consonant clusters. The simple words contained no consonant cluster (e.g. “palace”), while the complex words contained one to three consonant clusters (e.g. “planet”). Results indicate that the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv) was significantly active during speech perception and speech production but that activation in this region was scaled to articulatory complexity only during speech production, revealing an incompletely specified efferent motor signal during speech perception. The right planum temporal (PT) was also active during speech perception and speech production, and activation in this region was scaled to articulatory complexity during both production and perception. These findings are discussed in the context of current theories theory of

  18. Differential Allocation of Attention During Speech Perception in Monolingual and Bilingual Listeners

    PubMed Central

    Astheimer, Lori B.; Berkes, Matthias; Bialystok, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Attention is required during speech perception to focus processing resources on critical information. Previous research has shown that bilingualism modifies attentional processing in nonverbal domains. The current study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to determine whether bilingualism also modifies auditory attention during speech perception. We measured attention to word onsets in spoken English for monolinguals and Chinese-English bilinguals. Auditory probes were inserted at four times in a continuous narrative: concurrent with word onset, 100 ms before or after onset, and at random control times. Greater attention was indexed by an increase in the amplitude of the early negativity (N1). Among monolinguals, probes presented after word onsets elicited a larger N1 than control probes, replicating previous studies. For bilinguals, there was no N1 difference for probes at different times around word onsets, indicating less specificity in allocation of attention. These results suggest that bilingualism shapes attentional strategies during English speech comprehension. PMID:27110579

  19. Age of second-language acquisition and perception of speech in noise.

    PubMed

    Mayo, L H; Florentine, M; Buus, S

    1997-06-01

    To determine how age of acquisition influences perception of second-language speech, the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN) test was administered to native Mexican-Spanish-speaking listeners who learned fluent English before age 6 (early bilinguals) or after age 14 (late bilinguals) and monolingual American-English speakers (monolinguals). Results show that the levels of noise at which the speech was intelligible were significantly higher and the benefit from context was significantly greater for monolinguals and early bilinguals than for late bilinguals. These findings indicate that learning a second language at an early age is important for the acquisition of efficient high-level processing of it, at least in the presence of noise. PMID:9210123

  20. Teachers' Perceptions of Students with Speech Sound Disorders: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overby, Megan; Carrell, Thomas; Bernthal, John

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined 2nd-grade teachers' perceptions of the academic, social, and behavioral competence of students with speech sound disorders (SSDs). Method: Forty-eight 2nd-grade teachers listened to 2 groups of sentences differing by intelligibility and pitch but spoken by a single 2nd grader. For each sentence group, teachers rated…

  1. A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Speech Perception Capabilities of Children Using Multichannel Tactile Vocoders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eilers, Rebecca E.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Thirty children with profound hearing impairments were followed over a three-year period with a semiannual battery of speech perception tests. Testing utilized multichannel tactile vocoders in variations of tactile and/or auditory/visual conditions. Performance in the tactile plus auditory condition generally exceeded that in other conditions,…

  2. Effects of Removing Low-Frequency Electric Information on Speech Perception with Bimodal Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, Jennifer R.; Eggleston, Jessica L.; Reavis, Kelly M.; McMillan, Garnett P.; Reiss, Lina A. J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The objective was to determine whether speech perception could be improved for bimodal listeners (those using a cochlear implant [CI] in one ear and hearing aid in the contralateral ear) by removing low-frequency information provided by the CI, thereby reducing acoustic-electric overlap. Method: Subjects were adult CI subjects with at…

  3. Native Speakers' Perception of the Nature of the OPI Communicative Speech Event.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Marysia

    A study investigated the Educational Testing Service's claim about the conversational nature of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) from the perspective of native speakers of the target second language. Eight subjects listened to 16 randomly-selected OPI communicative speech events, and their perceptions were measured using a semantic…

  4. The Effects of Corrective Feedback on Instructed L2 Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Andrew H.; Lyster, Roy

    2016-01-01

    To what extent do second language (L2) learners benefit from instruction that includes corrective feedback (CF) on L2 speech perception? This article addresses this question by reporting the results of a classroom-based experimental study conducted with 32 young adult Korean learners of English. An instruction-only group and an instruction + CF…

  5. Children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs: Their Perceptions of Their Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markham, Chris; van Laar, Darren; Gibbard, Deborah; Dean, Taraneh

    2009-01-01

    Background: This study is part of a programme of research aiming to develop a quantitative measure of quality of life for children with communication needs. It builds on the preliminary findings of Markham and Dean (2006), which described some of the perception's parents and carers of children with speech language and communication needs had…

  6. School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists' Knowledge and Perceptions of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Bullying

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ofe, Erin E.; Plumb, Allison M.; Plexico, Laura W.; Haak, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the current investigation was to examine speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') knowledge and perceptions of bullying, with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method: A 46-item, web-based survey was used to address the purposes of this investigation. Participants were recruited through e-mail and electronic…

  7. Speech Perception Results for Children Using Cochlear Implants Who Have Additional Special Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dettman, Shani J.; Fiket, Hayley; Dowell, Richard C.; Charlton, Margaret; Williams, Sarah S.; Tomov, Alexandra M.; Barker, Elizabeth J.

    2004-01-01

    Speech perception outcomes in young children with cochlear implants are affected by a number of variables including the age of implantation, duration of implantation, mode of communication, and the presence of a developmental delay or additional disability. The aim of this study is to examine the association between degree of developmental delay…

  8. Bullying in Children Who Stutter: Speech-Language Pathologists' Perceptions and Intervention Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blood, Gordon W.; Boyle, Michael P.; Blood, Ingrid M.; Nalesnik, Gina R.

    2010-01-01

    Bullying in school-age children is a global epidemic. School personnel play a critical role in eliminating this problem. The goals of this study were to examine speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) perceptions of bullying, endorsement of potential strategies for dealing with bullying, and associations among SLPs' responses and specific demographic…

  9. Gender and Speech Rate in the Perception of Competence and Social Attractiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldstein, Stanley; Dohm, Faith-Anne; Crown, Cynthia L.

    2001-01-01

    Presents a study that explores (1) whether listeners regard speakers with similar global speech rates as more competent and attractive and (2) the influence of gender on their perceptions. Explains that the judges consisted of 17 male and 28 female listeners. (CMK)

  10. General Auditory Processing, Speech Perception and Phonological Awareness Skills in Chinese-English Biliteracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Kevin K. H.; McBride-Chang, Catherine; Cheung, Him; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on the associations of general auditory processing, speech perception, phonological awareness and word reading in Cantonese-speaking children from Hong Kong learning to read both Chinese (first language [L1]) and English (second language [L2]). Children in Grades 2--4 ("N" = 133) participated and were administered measures of…

  11. The Perception of English Speech Sounds by Cantonese ESL Learners in Hong Kong

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Alice Y. W.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on the results of a research study which investigated the perception of English speech sounds by Hong Kong Cantonese English as a second language speakers. A total of 40 university English majors participated in one categorial discrimination task and two second language (L2) minimal pair identification tasks, which aimed at…

  12. The Relationship between Learning to Read and Language-Specific Speech Perception: Maturation versus Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horlyck, Stephanie; Reid, Amanda; Burnham, Denis

    2012-01-01

    Does the intensification of what can be called "language-specific speech perception" around reading onset occur as a function of maturation or experience? Preschool 5-year-olds with no school experience, 5-year-olds with 6 months' schooling, 6-year-olds with 6 months' schooling, and 6-year-olds with 18 months' schooling were tested on native and…

  13. Infants Are Sensitive to Within-Category Variation in Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMurray, Bob; Aslin, Richard N.

    2005-01-01

    Previous research on speech perception in both adults and infants has supported the view that consonants are perceived categorically; that is, listeners are relatively insensitive to variation below the level of the phoneme. More recent work, on the other hand, has shown adults to be systematically sensitive to within category variation [McMurray,…

  14. Modelling Relations between Sensory Processing, Speech Perception, Orthographic and Phonological Ability, and Literacy Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boets, Bart; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid; De Smedt, Bert; Ghesquiere, Pol

    2008-01-01

    The general magnocellular theory postulates that dyslexia is the consequence of a multimodal deficit in the processing of transient and dynamic stimuli. In the auditory modality, this deficit has been hypothesized to interfere with accurate speech perception, and subsequently disrupt the development of phonological and later reading and spelling…

  15. Melodic Contour Training and Its Effect on Speech in Noise, Consonant Discrimination, and Prosody Perception for Cochlear Implant Recipients.

    PubMed

    Lo, Chi Yhun; McMahon, Catherine M; Looi, Valerie; Thompson, William F

    2015-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) recipients generally have good perception of speech in quiet environments but difficulty perceiving speech in noisy conditions, reduced sensitivity to speech prosody, and difficulty appreciating music. Auditory training has been proposed as a method of improving speech perception for CI recipients, and recent efforts have focussed on the potential benefits of music-based training. This study evaluated two melodic contour training programs and their relative efficacy as measured on a number of speech perception tasks. These melodic contours were simple 5-note sequences formed into 9 contour patterns, such as "rising" or "rising-falling." One training program controlled difficulty by manipulating interval sizes, the other by note durations. Sixteen adult CI recipients (aged 26-86 years) and twelve normal hearing (NH) adult listeners (aged 21-42 years) were tested on a speech perception battery at baseline and then after 6 weeks of melodic contour training. Results indicated that there were some benefits for speech perception tasks for CI recipients after melodic contour training. Specifically, consonant perception in quiet and question/statement prosody was improved. In comparison, NH listeners performed at ceiling for these tasks. There was no significant difference between the posttraining results for either training program, suggesting that both conferred benefits for training CI recipients to better perceive speech. PMID:26494944

  16. Melodic Contour Training and Its Effect on Speech in Noise, Consonant Discrimination, and Prosody Perception for Cochlear Implant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Chi Yhun; McMahon, Catherine M.; Looi, Valerie; Thompson, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) recipients generally have good perception of speech in quiet environments but difficulty perceiving speech in noisy conditions, reduced sensitivity to speech prosody, and difficulty appreciating music. Auditory training has been proposed as a method of improving speech perception for CI recipients, and recent efforts have focussed on the potential benefits of music-based training. This study evaluated two melodic contour training programs and their relative efficacy as measured on a number of speech perception tasks. These melodic contours were simple 5-note sequences formed into 9 contour patterns, such as “rising” or “rising-falling.” One training program controlled difficulty by manipulating interval sizes, the other by note durations. Sixteen adult CI recipients (aged 26–86 years) and twelve normal hearing (NH) adult listeners (aged 21–42 years) were tested on a speech perception battery at baseline and then after 6 weeks of melodic contour training. Results indicated that there were some benefits for speech perception tasks for CI recipients after melodic contour training. Specifically, consonant perception in quiet and question/statement prosody was improved. In comparison, NH listeners performed at ceiling for these tasks. There was no significant difference between the posttraining results for either training program, suggesting that both conferred benefits for training CI recipients to better perceive speech. PMID:26494944

  17. Subjective ratings of masker disturbance during the perception of native and non-native speech

    PubMed Central

    Kilman, Lisa; Zekveld, Adriana A.; Hällgren, Mathias; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to address how 43 normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners subjectively experienced the disturbance generated by four masker conditions (i.e., stationary noise, fluctuating noise, Swedish two-talker babble and English two-talker babble) while listening to speech in two target languages, i.e., Swedish (native) or English (non-native). The participants were asked to evaluate their noise-disturbance experience on a continuous scale from 0 to 10 immediately after having performed each listening condition. The data demonstrated a three-way interaction effect between target language, masker condition, and group (HI versus NH). The HI listeners experienced the Swedish-babble masker as significantly more disturbing for the native target language (Swedish) than for the non-native language (English). Additionally, this masker was significantly more disturbing than each of the other masker types during the perception of Swedish target speech. The NH listeners, on the other hand, indicated that the Swedish speech-masker was more disturbing than the stationary and the fluctuating noise-maskers for the perception of English target speech. The NH listeners perceived more disturbance from the speech maskers than the noise maskers. The HI listeners did not perceive the speech maskers as generally more disturbing than the noise maskers. However, they had particular difficulty with the perception of native speech masked by native babble, a common condition in daily-life listening conditions. These results suggest that the characteristics of the different maskers applied in the current study seem to affect the perceived disturbance differently in HI and NH listeners. There was no general difference in the perceived disturbance across conditions between the HI listeners and the NH listeners. PMID:26321967

  18. Neuronal oscillations and speech perception: critical-band temporal envelopes are the essence

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded; Giraud, Anne-Lise; Poeppel, David

    2013-01-01

    A recent opinion article (Neural oscillations in speech: do not be enslaved by the envelope. Obleser et al., 2012) questions the validity of a class of speech perception models inspired by the possible role of neuronal oscillations in decoding speech (e.g., Ghitza, 2011; Giraud and Poeppel, 2012). The authors criticize, in particular, what they see as an over-emphasis of the role of temporal speech envelope information, and an over-emphasis of entrainment to the input rhythm while neglecting the role of top-down processes in modulating the entrainment of neuronal oscillations. Here we respond to these arguments, referring to the phenomenological model of Ghitza (2011), taken as a representative of the criticized approach. PMID:23316150

  19. Robust speech perception: Recognize the familiar, generalize to the similar, and adapt to the novel

    PubMed Central

    Kleinschmidt, Dave F.; Jaeger, T. Florian

    2016-01-01

    Successful speech perception requires that listeners map the acoustic signal to linguistic categories. These mappings are not only probabilistic, but change depending on the situation. For example, one talker’s /p/ might be physically indistinguishable from another talker’s /b/ (cf. lack of invariance). We characterize the computational problem posed by such a subjectively non-stationary world and propose that the speech perception system overcomes this challenge by (1) recognizing previously encountered situations, (2) generalizing to other situations based on previous similar experience, and (3) adapting to novel situations. We formalize this proposal in the ideal adapter framework: (1) to (3) can be understood as inference under uncertainty about the appropriate generative model for the current talker, thereby facilitating robust speech perception despite the lack of invariance. We focus on two critical aspects of the ideal adapter. First, in situations that clearly deviate from previous experience, listeners need to adapt. We develop a distributional (belief-updating) learning model of incremental adaptation. The model provides a good fit against known and novel phonetic adaptation data, including perceptual recalibration and selective adaptation. Second, robust speech recognition requires listeners learn to represent the structured component of cross-situation variability in the speech signal. We discuss how these two aspects of the ideal adapter provide a unifying explanation for adaptation, talker-specificity, and generalization across talkers and groups of talkers (e.g., accents and dialects). The ideal adapter provides a guiding framework for future investigations into speech perception and adaptation, and more broadly language comprehension. PMID:25844873

  20. The development of multisensory speech perception continues into the late childhood years.

    PubMed

    Ross, Lars A; Molholm, Sophie; Blanco, Daniella; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Saint-Amour, Dave; Foxe, John J

    2011-06-01

    Observing a speaker's articulations substantially improves the intelligibility of spoken speech, especially under noisy listening conditions. This multisensory integration of speech inputs is crucial to effective communication. Appropriate development of this ability has major implications for children in classroom and social settings, and deficits in it have been linked to a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism. It is clear from structural imaging studies that there is a prolonged maturational course within regions of the perisylvian cortex that persists into late childhood, and these regions have been firmly established as being crucial to speech and language functions. Given this protracted maturational timeframe, we reasoned that multisensory speech processing might well show a similarly protracted developmental course. Previous work in adults has shown that audiovisual enhancement in word recognition is most apparent within a restricted range of signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, we investigated when these properties emerge during childhood by testing multisensory speech recognition abilities in typically developing children aged between 5 and 14 years, and comparing them with those of adults. By parametrically varying SNRs, we found that children benefited significantly less from observing visual articulations, displaying considerably less audiovisual enhancement. The findings suggest that improvement in the ability to recognize speech-in-noise and in audiovisual integration during speech perception continues quite late into the childhood years. The implication is that a considerable amount of multisensory learning remains to be achieved during the later schooling years, and that explicit efforts to accommodate this learning may well be warranted. PMID:21615556

  1. The role of left inferior frontal cortex during audiovisual speech perception in infants.

    PubMed

    Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Grossmann, Tobias

    2016-06-01

    In the first year of life, infants' speech perception attunes to their native language. While the behavioral changes associated with native language attunement are fairly well mapped, the underlying mechanisms and neural processes are still only poorly understood. Using fNIRS and eye tracking, the current study investigated 6-month-old infants' processing of audiovisual speech that contained matching or mismatching auditory and visual speech cues. Our results revealed that infants' speech-sensitive brain responses in inferior frontal brain regions were lateralized to the left hemisphere. Critically, our results further revealed that speech-sensitive left inferior frontal regions showed enhanced responses to matching when compared to mismatching audiovisual speech, and that infants with a preference to look at the speaker's mouth showed an enhanced left inferior frontal response to speech compared to infants with a preference to look at the speaker's eyes. These results suggest that left inferior frontal regions play a crucial role in associating information from different modalities during native language attunement, fostering the formation of multimodal phonological categories. PMID:26946090

  2. Testing Speech Recognition in Spanish-English Bilingual Children with the Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment (CASPA): Initial Report.

    PubMed

    García, Paula B; Rosado Rogers, Lydia; Nishi, Kanae

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the English version of Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment (E-CASPA) with Spanish-English bilingual children. E-CASPA has been evaluated with monolingual English speakers ages 5 years and older, but it is unknown whether a separate norm is necessary for bilingual children. Eleven Spanish-English bilingual and 12 English monolingual children (6 to 12 years old) with normal hearing participated. Responses were scored by word, phoneme, consonant, and vowel. Regardless of scores, performance across three signal-to-noise ratio conditions was similar between groups, suggesting that the same norm can be used for both bilingual and monolingual children. PMID:26862712

  3. Left anterior temporal cortex actively engages in speech perception: A direct cortical stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Riki; Imamura, Hisaji; Inouchi, Morito; Nakagawa, Tomokazu; Yokoyama, Yohei; Matsuhashi, Masao; Mikuni, Nobuhiro; Miyamoto, Susumu; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Ikeda, Akio

    2011-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies proposed the importance of the anterior auditory pathway for speech comprehension. Its clinical significance is implicated by semantic dementia or pure word deafness. Neurodegenerative or cerebrovascular nature, however, precluded precise localization of the cortex responsible for speech perception. Electrical cortical stimulation could delineate such localization by producing transient, functional impairment. We investigated engagement of the left anterior temporal cortex in speech perception by means of direct electrical cortical stimulation. Subjects were two partial epilepsy patients, who underwent direct cortical stimulation as a part of invasive presurgical evaluations. Stimulus sites were coregistered to presurgical 3D-MRI, and then to MNI standard space for anatomical localization. Separate from the posterior temporal language area, electrical cortical stimulation revealed a well-restricted language area in the anterior part of the superior temporal sulcus and gyrus (aSTS/STG) in both patients. Auditory sentence comprehension was impaired upon electrical stimulation of aSTS/STG. In one patient, additional investigation revealed that the functional impairment was restricted to auditory sentence comprehension with preserved visual sentence comprehension and perception of music and environmental sounds. Both patients reported that they could hear the voice but not understand the sentence well (e.g., heard as a series of meaningless utterance). The standard coordinates of this restricted area at left aSTS/STG well corresponded with the coordinates of speech perception reported in neuroimaging activation studies in healthy subjects. The present combined anatomo-functional case study, for the first time, demonstrated that aSTS/STG in the language dominant hemisphere actively engages in speech perception. PMID:21251921

  4. Speech Perception in Noise by Children with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caldwell, Amanda; Nittrouer, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Common wisdom suggests that listening in noise poses disproportionately greater difficulty for listeners with cochlear implants (CIs) than for peers with normal hearing (NH). The purpose of this study was to examine phonological, language, and cognitive skills that might help explain speech-in-noise abilities for children with CIs.…

  5. Visual Speech Perception in Children with Language Learning Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Evans, Sam; Snell, Caroline; Rosen, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess the ability of children with developmental language learning impairments (LLIs) to use visual speech cues from the talking face. Method: In this cross-sectional study, 41 typically developing children (mean age: 8 years 0 months, range: 4 years 5 months to 11 years 10 months) and 27 children with…

  6. The Perception of Fluency in Native and Nonnative Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosker, Hans Rutger; Quené, Hugo; Sanders, Ted; de Jong, Nivja H.

    2014-01-01

    Where native speakers supposedly are fluent by default, nonnative speakers often have to strive hard to achieve a nativelike fluency level. However, disfluencies (such as pauses, fillers, repairs, etc.) occur in both native and nonnative speech and it is as yet unclear how fluency raters weigh the fluency characteristics of native and nonnative…

  7. Infant directed speech and the development of speech perception: Enhancing development or an unintended consequence?

    PubMed Central

    McMurray, Bob; Kovack-Lesh, Kristine A.; Goodwin, Dresden; McEchron, William

    2013-01-01

    Infant directed speech (IDS) is a speech register characterized by simpler sentences, a slower rate, and more variable prosody. Recent work has implicated it in more subtle aspects of language development. Kuhl et al. (1997) demonstrated that segmental cues for vowels are affected by IDS in a way that may enhance development: the average locations of the extreme “point” vowels (/a/, /i/ and /u/) are further apart in acoustic space. If infants learn speech categories, in part, from the statistical distributions of such cues, these changes may specifically enhance speech category learning. We revisited this by asking (1) if these findings extend to a new cue (Voice Onset Time, a cue for voicing); (2) whether they extend to the interior vowels which are much harder to learn and/or discriminate; and (3) whether these changes may be an unintended phonetic consequence of factors like speaking rate or prosodic changes associated with IDS. Eighteen caregivers were recorded reading a picture book including minimal pairs for voicing (e.g., beach/peach) and a variety of vowels to either an adult or their infant. Acoustic measurements suggested that VOT was different in IDS, but not in a way that necessarily supports better development, and that these changes are almost entirely due to slower rate of speech of IDS. Measurements of the vowel suggested that in addition to changes in the mean, there was also an increase in variance, and statistical modeling suggests that this may counteract the benefit of any expansion of the vowel space. As a whole this suggests that changes in segmental cues associated with IDS may be an unintended by-product of the slower rate of speech and different prosodic structure, and do not necessarily derive from a motivation to enhance development. PMID:23973465

  8. Mapping the Developmental Trajectory and Correlates of Enhanced Pitch Perception on Speech Processing in Adults with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Jennifer L.; Hannent, Ian; Heaton, Pamela F.

    2016-01-01

    Whilst enhanced perception has been widely reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), relatively little is known about the developmental trajectory and impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD. This paper presents data on perception of complex tones and…

  9. Speaker's hand gestures modulate speech perception through phase resetting of ongoing neural oscillations.

    PubMed

    Biau, Emmanuel; Torralba, Mireia; Fuentemilla, Lluis; de Diego Balaguer, Ruth; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2015-07-01

    Speakers often accompany speech with spontaneous beat gestures in natural spoken communication. These gestures are usually aligned with lexical stress and can modulate the saliency of their affiliate words. Here we addressed the consequences of beat gestures on the neural correlates of speech perception. Previous studies have highlighted the role played by theta oscillations in temporal prediction of speech. We hypothesized that the sight of beat gestures may influence ongoing low-frequency neural oscillations around the onset of the corresponding words. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were acquired while participants watched a continuous, naturally recorded discourse. The phase-locking value (PLV) at word onset was calculated from the EEG from pairs of identical words that had been pronounced with and without a concurrent beat gesture in the discourse. We observed an increase in PLV in the 5-6 Hz theta range as well as a desynchronization in the 8-10 Hz alpha band around the onset of words preceded by a beat gesture. These findings suggest that beats help tune low-frequency oscillatory activity at relevant moments during natural speech perception, providing a new insight of how speech and paralinguistic information are integrated. PMID:25595613

  10. Neural network simulation of habituation and dishabituation in infant speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gauthier, Bruno; Shi, Rushen; Proulx, Robert

    2001-05-01

    The habituation techniques used in infant speech perception studies are based on the fact that infants show renewed interest towards novel stimuli. Recent work has shown the possibility of using artificial neural networks to model habituation and dishabituation (e.g., Schafer and Mareschal, 2001). In our study we examine weather the self-organizing-feature-maps (SOM) (Kohonen, 1989) are appropriate for modeling short-term habituation to a repeated speech stimulus. We found that although SOMs are particularly useful for simulating categorization, they can be modified to model habituation and dishabituation, so that they can be applied to direct comparisons with behavioral data on infants' speech discrimination abilities. In particular, we modified the SOMs to include additional parameters that control the relation of input similarity, lateral inhibition, and local and lateral activation between neurons. Preliminary results suggest that these parameters are sufficient for the network to simulate the loss of sensitivity of the auditory system due to the presentation of multiple tokens of a speech stimulus, as well as to model the recovery of sensitivity to a novel stimulus. The implications of this approach to infant speech perception research will be considered.

  11. The Influence of Environmental Sound Training on the Perception of Spectrally Degraded Speech and Environmental Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Sheft, Stanley; Gygi, Brian; Ho, Kim Thien N.

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual training with spectrally degraded environmental sounds results in improved environmental sound identification, with benefits shown to extend to untrained speech perception as well. The present study extended those findings to examine longer-term training effects as well as effects of mere repeated exposure to sounds over time. Participants received two pretests (1 week apart) prior to a week-long environmental sound training regimen, which was followed by two posttest sessions, separated by another week without training. Spectrally degraded stimuli, processed with a four-channel vocoder, consisted of a 160-item environmental sound test, word and sentence tests, and a battery of basic auditory abilities and cognitive tests. Results indicated significant improvements in all speech and environmental sound scores between the initial pretest and the last posttest with performance increments following both exposure and training. For environmental sounds (the stimulus class that was trained), the magnitude of positive change that accompanied training was much greater than that due to exposure alone, with improvement for untrained sounds roughly comparable to the speech benefit from exposure. Additional tests of auditory and cognitive abilities showed that speech and environmental sound performance were differentially correlated with tests of spectral and temporal-fine-structure processing, whereas working memory and executive function were correlated with speech, but not environmental sound perception. These findings indicate generalizability of environmental sound training and provide a basis for implementing environmental sound training programs for cochlear implant (CI) patients. PMID:22891070

  12. Speech perception and quality of life of open-fit hearing aid users

    PubMed Central

    GARCIA, Tatiana Manfrini; JACOB, Regina Tangerino de Souza; MONDELLI, Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective To relate the performance of individuals with hearing loss at high frequencies in speech perception with the quality of life before and after the fitting of an open-fit hearing aid (HA). Methods The WHOQOL-BREF had been used before the fitting and 90 days after the use of HA. The Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) had been conducted in two phases: (1) at the time of fitting without an HA (situation A) and with an HA (situation B); (2) with an HA 90 days after fitting (situation C). Study Sample Thirty subjects with sensorineural hearing loss at high frequencies. Results By using an analysis of variance and the Tukey’s test comparing the three HINT situations in quiet and noisy environments, an improvement has been observed after the HA fitting. The results of the WHOQOL-BREF have showed an improvement in the quality of life after the HA fitting (paired t-test). The relationship between speech perception and quality of life before the HA fitting indicated a significant relationship between speech recognition in noisy environments and in the domain of social relations after the HA fitting (Pearson’s correlation coefficient). Conclusions The auditory stimulation has improved speech perception and the quality of life of individuals. PMID:27383708

  13. A role for amplitude modulation phase relationships in speech rhythm perception.

    PubMed

    Leong, Victoria; Stone, Michael A; Turner, Richard E; Goswami, Usha

    2014-07-01

    Prosodic rhythm in speech [the alternation of "Strong" (S) and "weak" (w) syllables] is cued, among others, by slow rates of amplitude modulation (AM) within the speech envelope. However, it is unclear exactly which envelope modulation rates and statistics are the most important for the rhythm percept. Here, the hypothesis that the phase relationship between "Stress" rate (∼2 Hz) and "Syllable" rate (∼4 Hz) AMs provides a perceptual cue for speech rhythm is tested. In a rhythm judgment task, adult listeners identified AM tone-vocoded nursery rhyme sentences that carried either trochaic (S-w) or iambic patterning (w-S). Manipulation of listeners' rhythm perception was attempted by parametrically phase-shifting the Stress AM and Syllable AM in the vocoder. It was expected that a 1π radian phase-shift (half a cycle) would reverse the perceived rhythm pattern (i.e., trochaic → iambic) whereas a 2π radian shift (full cycle) would retain the perceived rhythm pattern (i.e., trochaic → trochaic). The results confirmed these predictions. Listeners judgments of rhythm systematically followed Stress-Syllable AM phase-shifts, but were unaffected by phase-shifts between the Syllable AM and the Sub-beat AM (∼14 Hz) in a control condition. It is concluded that the Stress-Syllable AM phase relationship is an envelope-based modulation statistic that supports speech rhythm perception. PMID:24993221

  14. Speech perception of young children using nucleus 22-channel or CLARION cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Young, N M; Grohne, K M; Carrasco, V N; Brown, C

    1999-04-01

    This study compares the auditory perceptual skill development of 23 congenitally deaf children who received the Nucleus 22-channel cochlear implant with the SPEAK speech coding strategy, and 20 children who received the CLARION Multi-Strategy Cochlear Implant with the Continuous Interleaved Sampler (CIS) speech coding strategy. All were under 5 years old at implantation. Preimplantation, there were no significant differences between the groups in age, length of hearing aid use, or communication mode. Auditory skills were assessed at 6 months and 12 months after implantation. Postimplantation, the mean scores on all speech perception tests were higher for the Clarion group. These differences were statistically significant for the pattern perception and monosyllable subtests of the Early Speech Perception battery at 6 months, and for the Glendonald Auditory Screening Procedure at 12 months. Multiple regression analysis revealed that device type accounted for the greatest variance in performance after 12 months of implant use. We conclude that children using the CIS strategy implemented in the Clarion implant may develop better auditory perceptual skills during the first year postimplantation than children using the SPEAK strategy with the Nucleus device. PMID:10214811

  15. Musical background not associated with self-perceived hearing performance or speech perception in postlingual cochlear-implant users.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Christina; Free, Rolien; Maat, Bert; Başkent, Deniz

    2012-08-01

    In normal-hearing listeners, musical background has been observed to change the sound representation in the auditory system and produce enhanced performance in some speech perception tests. Based on these observations, it has been hypothesized that musical background can influence sound and speech perception, and as an extension also the quality of life, by cochlear-implant users. To test this hypothesis, this study explored musical background [using the Dutch Musical Background Questionnaire (DMBQ)], and self-perceived sound and speech perception and quality of life [using the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) and the Speech Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ)] in 98 postlingually deafened adult cochlear-implant recipients. In addition to self-perceived measures, speech perception scores (percentage of phonemes recognized in words presented in quiet) were obtained from patient records. The self-perceived hearing performance was associated with the objective speech perception. Forty-one respondents (44% of 94 respondents) indicated some form of formal musical training. Fifteen respondents (18% of 83 respondents) judged themselves as having musical training, experience, and knowledge. No association was observed between musical background (quantified by DMBQ), and self-perceived hearing-related performance or quality of life (quantified by NCIQ and SSQ), or speech perception in quiet. PMID:22894221

  16. A possible neurophysiological correlate of audiovisual binding and unbinding in speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Ganesh, Attigodu C.; Berthommier, Frédéric; Vilain, Coriandre; Sato, Marc; Schwartz, Jean-Luc

    2014-01-01

    Audiovisual (AV) speech integration of auditory and visual streams generally ends up in a fusion into a single percept. One classical example is the McGurk effect in which incongruent auditory and visual speech signals may lead to a fused percept different from either visual or auditory inputs. In a previous set of experiments, we showed that if a McGurk stimulus is preceded by an incongruent AV context (composed of incongruent auditory and visual speech materials) the amount of McGurk fusion is largely decreased. We interpreted this result in the framework of a two-stage “binding and fusion” model of AV speech perception, with an early AV binding stage controlling the fusion/decision process and likely to produce “unbinding” with less fusion if the context is incoherent. In order to provide further electrophysiological evidence for this binding/unbinding stage, early auditory evoked N1/P2 responses were here compared during auditory, congruent and incongruent AV speech perception, according to either prior coherent or incoherent AV contexts. Following the coherent context, in line with previous electroencephalographic/magnetoencephalographic studies, visual information in the congruent AV condition was found to modify auditory evoked potentials, with a latency decrease of P2 responses compared to the auditory condition. Importantly, both P2 amplitude and latency in the congruent AV condition increased from the coherent to the incoherent context. Although potential contamination by visual responses from the visual cortex cannot be discarded, our results might provide a possible neurophysiological correlate of early binding/unbinding process applied on AV interactions. PMID:25505438

  17. The Structural Correlates of Statistical Information Processing during Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Deschamps, Isabelle; Hasson, Uri; Tremblay, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    The processing of continuous and complex auditory signals such as speech relies on the ability to use statistical cues (e.g. transitional probabilities). In this study, participants heard short auditory sequences composed either of Italian syllables or bird songs and completed a regularity-rating task. Behaviorally, participants were better at differentiating between levels of regularity in the syllable sequences than in the bird song sequences. Inter-individual differences in sensitivity to regularity for speech stimuli were correlated with variations in surface-based cortical thickness (CT). These correlations were found in several cortical areas including regions previously associated with statistical structure processing (e.g. bilateral superior temporal sulcus, left precentral sulcus and inferior frontal gyrus), as well other regions (e.g. left insula, bilateral superior frontal gyrus/sulcus and supramarginal gyrus). In all regions, this correlation was positive suggesting that thicker cortex is related to higher sensitivity to variations in the statistical structure of auditory sequences. Overall, these results suggest that inter-individual differences in CT within a distributed network of cortical regions involved in statistical structure processing, attention and memory is predictive of the ability to detect structural structure in auditory speech sequences. PMID:26919234

  18. 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.

  19. Reading fluency and speech perception speed of beginning readers with persistent reading problems: the perception of initial stop consonants and consonant clusters

    PubMed Central

    van der Leij, Aryan; Blok, Henk; de Jong, Peter F.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the role of speech perception accuracy and speed in fluent word decoding of reading disabled (RD) children. A same-different phoneme discrimination task with natural speech tested the perception of single consonants and consonant clusters by young but persistent RD children. RD children were slower than chronological age (CA) controls in recognizing identical sounds, suggesting less distinct phonemic categories. In addition, after controlling for phonetic similarity Tallal’s (Brain Lang 9:182–198, 1980) fast transitions account of RD children’s speech perception problems was contrasted with Studdert-Kennedy’s (Read Writ Interdiscip J 15:5–14, 2002) similarity explanation. Results showed no specific RD deficit in perceiving fast transitions. Both phonetic similarity and fast transitions influenced accurate speech perception for RD children as well as CA controls. PMID:20652455

  20. Evaluation of Speech-Perception Training for Hearing Aid Users: A Multisite Study in Progress.

    PubMed

    Miller, James D; Watson, Charles S; Dubno, Judy R; Leek, Marjorie R

    2015-11-01

    Following an overview of theoretical issues in speech-perception training and of previous efforts to enhance hearing aid use through training, a multisite study, designed to evaluate the efficacy of two types of computerized speech-perception training for adults who use hearing aids, is described. One training method focuses on the identification of 109 syllable constituents (45 onsets, 28 nuclei, and 36 codas) in quiet and in noise, and on the perception of words in sentences presented in various levels of noise. In a second type of training, participants listen to 6- to 7-minute narratives in noise and are asked several questions about each narrative. Two groups of listeners are trained, each using one of these types of training, performed in a laboratory setting. The training for both groups is preceded and followed by a series of speech-perception tests. Subjects listen in a sound field while wearing their hearing aids at their usual settings. The training continues over 15 to 20 visits, with subjects completing at least 30 hours of focused training with one of the two methods. The two types of training are described in detail, together with a summary of other perceptual and cognitive measures obtained from all participants. PMID:27587914

  1. Speech perception skills of deaf infants following cochlear implantation: a first report

    PubMed Central

    Houston, Derek M.; Pisoni, David B.; Kirk, Karen Iler; Ying, Elizabeth A.; Miyamoto, Richard T.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Objective We adapted a behavioral procedure that has been used extensively with normal-hearing (NH) infants, the visual habituation (VH) procedure, to assess deaf infants’ discrimination and attention to speech. Methods Twenty-four NH 6-month-olds, 24 NH 9-month-olds, and 16 deaf infants at various ages before and following cochlear implantation (CI) were tested in a sound booth on their caregiver’s lap in front of a TV monitor. During the habituation phase, each infant was presented with a repeating speech sound (e.g. ‘hop hop hop’) paired with a visual display of a checkerboard pattern on half of the trials (‘sound trials’) and only the visual display on the other half (‘silent trials’). When the infant’s looking time decreased and reached a habituation criterion, a test phase began. This consisted of two trials: an ‘old trial’ that was identical to the ‘sound trials’ and a ‘novel trial’ that consisted of a different repeating speech sound (e.g. ‘ahhh’) paired with the same checkerboard pattern. Results During the habituation phase, NH infants looked significantly longer during the sound trials than during the silent trials. However, deaf infants who had received cochlear implants (CIs) displayed a much weaker preference for the sound trials. On the other hand, both NH infants and deaf infants with CIs attended significantly longer to the visual display during the novel trial than during the old trial, suggesting that they were able to discriminate the speech patterns. Before receiving CIs, deaf infants did not show any preferences. Conclusions Taken together, the findings suggest that deaf infants who receive CIs are able to detect and discriminate some speech patterns. However, their overall attention to speech sounds may be less than NH infants’. Attention to speech may impact other aspects of speech perception and spoken language development, such as segmenting words from fluent speech and learning novel words

  2. Speech perception, rapid temporal processing, and the left hemisphere: a case study of unilateral pure word deafness.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Martin, Randi C; Hamilton, A Cris; Joanisse, Marc F

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms and functional anatomy underlying the early stages of speech perception are still not well understood. One way to investigate the cognitive and neural underpinnings of speech perception is by investigating patients with speech perception deficits but with preserved ability in other domains of language. One such case is reported here: patient NL shows highly impaired speech perception despite normal hearing ability and preserved semantic knowledge, speaking, and reading ability, and is thus classified as a case of pure word deafness (PWD). NL has a left temporoparietal lesion without right hemisphere damage and DTI imaging suggests that he has preserved cross-hemispheric connectivity, arguing against an account of PWD as a disconnection of left lateralized language areas from auditory input. Two experiments investigated whether NL's speech perception deficit could instead result from an underlying problem with rapid temporal processing. Experiment 1 showed that NL has particular difficulty discriminating sounds that differ in terms of rapid temporal changes, be they speech or non-speech sounds. Experiment 2 employed an intensive training program designed to improve rapid temporal processing in language impaired children (Fast ForWord; Scientific Learning Corporation, Oakland, CA) and found that NL was able to improve his ability to discriminate rapid temporal differences in non-speech sounds, but not in speech sounds. Overall, these data suggest that patients with unilateral PWD may, in fact, have a deficit in (left lateralized) temporal processing ability, however they also show that a rapid temporal processing deficit is, by itself, unable to account for this patient's speech perception deficit. PMID:21093464

  3. The discrepancy in the perception of the public-political speech in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Tanta, Ivan; Lesinger, Gordana

    2014-03-01

    Key place in this paper takes the study of political speech in the Republic of Croatia and their impact on voters, or which keywords are in political speeches and public appearances of politicians in Croatia that their voting body wants to hear. Given listed below we will define the research topic in the form of a question - is there a discrepancy in the perception of the public-political speech in Croatia, and which keywords are specific to the two main regions in Croatia and that inhabitant these regions respond. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the most important Roman orator, he used a specific associative mnemonic technique that is called "technique room". He would talk expound on keywords and conceptual terms that he needed for the desired topic and join in these make them, according to the desired order, in a very creative and unique way, the premises of the house or palace, which he knew well. Then, while holding the speech intended to pass through rooms of the house or palace and then put keywords and concepts come to mind, again according to the desired order. Given that this is a specific kind of research political speech that is relatively recent in Croatia, it should be noted that there is still, this kind of political communication is not sufficiently explored. Particularly the emphasis on the impact and use of keywords specific to the Republic of Croatia, in everyday public and political communication. The paper will be analyzed the political, campaign speeches and promises several winning candidates, and now Croatian MEPs, specific keywords related to: economics, culture, science, education and health. The analysis is based on comparison of the survey results on the representation of key words in the speeches of politicians and qualitative analysis of the speeches of politicians on key words during the election campaign. PMID:24851633

  4. Fusions as a Source of Information on Higher-Order Influences Upon Speech Perception. CUNYForum, No. 4, 1978.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowart, Wayne

    This paper suggests that some features of the syntactic and semantic structure of sentences sometimes influence the phonemic analyses assigned to stretches of speech by the perceptual system. It is argued that the role of higher-order levels of linguistic analysis in speech perception can be productively studied. Theoretical issues appropriate for…

  5. Auditory cortical deactivation during speech production and following speech perception: an EEG investigation of the temporal dynamics of the auditory alpha rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Jenson, David; Harkrider, Ashley W.; Thornton, David; Bowers, Andrew L.; Saltuklaroglu, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor integration (SMI) across the dorsal stream enables online monitoring of speech. Jenson et al. (2014) used independent component analysis (ICA) and event related spectral perturbation (ERSP) analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) data to describe anterior sensorimotor (e.g., premotor cortex, PMC) activity during speech perception and production. The purpose of the current study was to identify and temporally map neural activity from posterior (i.e., auditory) regions of the dorsal stream in the same tasks. Perception tasks required “active” discrimination of syllable pairs (/ba/ and /da/) in quiet and noisy conditions. Production conditions required overt production of syllable pairs and nouns. ICA performed on concatenated raw 68 channel EEG data from all tasks identified bilateral “auditory” alpha (α) components in 15 of 29 participants localized to pSTG (left) and pMTG (right). ERSP analyses were performed to reveal fluctuations in the spectral power of the α rhythm clusters across time. Production conditions were characterized by significant α event related synchronization (ERS; pFDR < 0.05) concurrent with EMG activity from speech production, consistent with speech-induced auditory inhibition. Discrimination conditions were also characterized by α ERS following stimulus offset. Auditory α ERS in all conditions temporally aligned with PMC activity reported in Jenson et al. (2014). These findings are indicative of speech-induced suppression of auditory regions, possibly via efference copy. The presence of the same pattern following stimulus offset in discrimination conditions suggests that sensorimotor contributions following speech perception reflect covert replay, and that covert replay provides one source of the motor activity previously observed in some speech perception tasks. To our knowledge, this is the first time that inhibition of auditory regions by speech has been observed in real-time with the ICA/ERSP technique. PMID

  6. Perception of audio-visual speech synchrony in Spanish-speaking children with and without specific language impairment

    PubMed Central

    PONS, FERRAN; ANDREU, LLORENC.; SANZ-TORRENT, MONICA; BUIL-LEGAZ, LUCIA; LEWKOWICZ, DAVID J.

    2014-01-01

    Speech perception involves the integration of auditory and visual articulatory information and, thus, requires the perception of temporal synchrony between this information. There is evidence that children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) have difficulty with auditory speech perception but it is not known if this is also true for the integration of auditory and visual speech. Twenty Spanish-speaking children with SLI, twenty typically developing age-matched Spanish-speaking children, and twenty Spanish-speaking children matched for MLU-w participated in an eye-tracking study to investigate the perception of audiovisual speech synchrony. Results revealed that children with typical language development perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 666ms regardless of whether the auditory or visual speech attribute led the other one. Children with SLI only detected the 666 ms asynchrony when the auditory component followed the visual component. None of the groups perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 366ms. These results suggest that the difficulty of speech processing by children with SLI would also involve difficulties in integrating auditory and visual aspects of speech perception. PMID:22874648

  7. Speech Perception and Localisation with SCORE Bimodal: A Loudness Normalisation Strategy for Combined Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Francart, Tom; McDermott, Hugh

    2012-01-01

    A significant fraction of newly implanted cochlear implant recipients use a hearing aid in their non-implanted ear. SCORE bimodal is a sound processing strategy developed for this configuration, aimed at normalising loudness perception and improving binaural loudness balance. Speech perception performance in quiet and noise and sound localisation ability of six bimodal listeners were measured with and without application of SCORE. Speech perception in quiet was measured either with only acoustic, only electric, or bimodal stimulation, at soft and normal conversational levels. For speech in quiet there was a significant improvement with application of SCORE. Speech perception in noise was measured for either steady-state noise, fluctuating noise, or a competing talker, at conversational levels with bimodal stimulation. For speech in noise there was no significant effect of application of SCORE. Modelling of interaural loudness differences in a long-term-average-speech-spectrum-weighted click train indicated that left-right discrimination of sound sources can improve with application of SCORE. As SCORE was found to leave speech perception unaffected or to improve it, it seems suitable for implementation in clinical devices. PMID:23115622

  8. A Multidimensional Scaling Study of Native and Non-Native Listeners' Perception of Second Language Speech.

    PubMed

    Foote, Jennifer A; Trofimovich, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    Second language speech learning is predicated on learners' ability to notice differences between their own language output and that of their interlocutors. Because many learners interact primarily with other second language users, it is crucial to understand which dimensions underlie the perception of second language speech by learners, compared to native speakers. For this study, 15 non-native and 10 native English speakers rated 30-s language audio-recordings from controlled reading and interview tasks for dissimilarity, using all pairwise combinations of recordings. PROXSCAL multidimensional scaling analyses revealed fluency and aspects of speakers' pronunciation as components underlying listener judgments but showed little agreement across listeners. Results contribute to an understanding of why second language speech learning is difficult and provide implications for language training. PMID:27166328

  9. Turn-taking: From perception to speech preparation.

    PubMed

    Wesselmeier, Hendrik; Müller, Horst M

    2015-11-16

    We investigated the preparation of a spoken answer response to interrogative sentences by measuring response time (RT) and the response-related readiness potential (RP). By comparing the RT and RP results we aimed to identify whether the RP-onset is more related to the actual speech preparation process or the pure intention to speak after turn-anticipation. Additionally, we investigated if the RP-onset can be influenced by the syntactic structure (one or two completion points). Therefore, the EEG data were sorted based on two variables: the cognitive load required for the response and the syntactic structure of the stimulus questions. The results of the response utterance preparation associated event-related potential (ERP) and the RT suggest that the RP-onset is more related to the actual speech preparation process rather than the pure intention to speak after turn-anticipation. However, the RP-onset can be influenced by the syntactic structure of the question leading to an early response preparation. PMID:26483323

  10. A speech perception test for children in classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feijoo, Sergio; Fernandez, Santiago; Alvarez, Jose Manuel

    2002-11-01

    The combined effects of excessive ambient noise and reverberation in classrooms interfere with speech recognition and tend to degrade the learning process of young children. This paper reports a detailed analysis of a speech recognition test carried out with two different children populations of ages 8-9 and 10-11. Unlike English, Spanish has few minimal pairs to be used for phoneme recognition in a closed set manner. The test consisted in a series of two-syllable nonsense words formed by the combination of all possible syllables in Spanish. The test was administered to the children as a dictation task in which they had to write down the words spoken by their female teacher. The test was administered in two blocks on different days, and later repeated to analyze its consistency. The rationale for this procedure was (a) the test should reproduce normal academic situations, (b) all phonological and lexical context effects should be avoided, (c) errors in both words and phonemes should be scored to unveil any possible acoustic base for them. Although word recognition scores were similar among age groups and repetitions, phoneme errors showed high variability questioning the validity of such a test for classroom assessment.

  11. Speech Perception and Lexical Effects in Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Richard G.; Scheffler, Frances L. V.; Lopez, Karece

    2013-01-01

    Using an identification task, we examined lexical effects on the perception of vowel duration as a cue to final consonant voicing in 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 13 age-matched (6;6-9;6) peers with typical language development (TLD). Naturally recorded CVtsets [word-word (WW), nonword-nonword (NN), word-nonword (WN) and…

  12. Are Speech Perception Deficits Associated with Developmental Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manis, Franklin R.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Administered phonological awareness and phoneme identification tasks to dyslexic children and chronological age (CA) and reading-level (RL) comparison groups. Found no real differences in categorical perception between dyslexic and RL groups; however, more dyslexics (7 of 25) had abnormal identification functions. Results suggest that some…

  13. Lexical Effects on Speech Perception in Individuals with "Autistic" Traits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Mary E.; Ota, Mitsuhiko

    2008-01-01

    It has been claimed that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by a limited ability to process perceptual stimuli in reference to the contextual information of the percept. Such a connection between a nonholistic processing style and behavioral traits associated with ASD is thought to exist also within the neurotypical population albeit…

  14. Cerebral specialization for speech perception and movement organization in adults with Down's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Elliott, D; Weeks, D J

    1993-03-01

    Adults with Down's syndrome and a group of undifferentiated mentally handicapped persons were examined using a free recall dichotic listening procedure to determine a laterality index for the perception of speech sounds. Subjects also performed both the visual and verbal portions of a standard apraxia battery. As in previous research, subjects with Down's syndrome tended to display a left ear advantage on the dichotic listening test. As well, they performed better on the apraxia battery when movements were cued visually rather than verbally. This verbal-motor disadvantage increased as the left ear dichotic listening advantage became more pronounced. It is argued that the verbal-motor difficulties experienced by persons with Down's syndrome stem from a dissociation of the functional systems responsible for speech perception and movement organization (Elliott and Weeks, 1990). PMID:8472548

  15. Speech-perception training for older adults with hearing loss impacts word recognition and effort

    PubMed Central

    Kuchinsky, Stefanie E.; Ahlstrom, Jayne B.; Cute, Stephanie L.; Humes, Larry E.; Dubno, Judy R.; Eckert, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    The current pupillometry study examined the impact of speech-perception training on word recognition and cognitive effort in older adults with hearing loss. Trainees identified more words at the follow-up than at the baseline session. Training also resulted in an overall larger and faster peaking pupillary response, even when controlling for performance and reaction time. Perceptual and cognitive capacities affected the peak amplitude of the pupil response across participants but did not diminish the impact of training on the other pupil metrics. Thus, we demonstrated that pupillometry can be used to characterize training-related and individual differences in effort during a challenging listening task. Importantly, the results indicate that speech-perception training not only affects overall word recognition, but also a physiological metric of cognitive effort, which has the potential to be a biomarker of hearing loss intervention outcome. PMID:24909603

  16. Speech-perception training for older adults with hearing loss impacts word recognition and effort.

    PubMed

    Kuchinsky, Stefanie E; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Cute, Stephanie L; Humes, Larry E; Dubno, Judy R; Eckert, Mark A

    2014-10-01

    The current pupillometry study examined the impact of speech-perception training on word recognition and cognitive effort in older adults with hearing loss. Trainees identified more words at the follow-up than at the baseline session. Training also resulted in an overall larger and faster peaking pupillary response, even when controlling for performance and reaction time. Perceptual and cognitive capacities affected the peak amplitude of the pupil response across participants but did not diminish the impact of training on the other pupil metrics. Thus, we demonstrated that pupillometry can be used to characterize training-related and individual differences in effort during a challenging listening task. Importantly, the results indicate that speech-perception training not only affects overall word recognition, but also a physiological metric of cognitive effort, which has the potential to be a biomarker of hearing loss intervention outcome. PMID:24909603

  17. The Effect of Varying Talker Identity and Listening Conditions on Gaze Behavior During Audiovisual Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Buchan, Julie N.; Paré, Martin; Munhall, Kevin G.

    2009-01-01

    During face-to-face conversation the face provides auditory and visual linguistic information, and also conveys information about the identity of the speaker. This study investigated behavioral strategies involved in gathering visual information while watching talking faces. The effects of varying talker identity and varying the intelligibility of speech (by adding acoustic noise) on gaze behavior were measured with an eyetracker. Varying the intelligibility of the speech by adding noise had a noticeable effect on the location and duration of fixations. When noise was present subjects adopted a vantage point that was more centralized on the face by reducing the frequency of the fixations on the eyes and mouth and lengthening the duration of their gaze fixations on the nose and mouth. Varying talker identity resulted in a more modest change in gaze behavior that was modulated by the intelligibility of the speech. Although subjects generally used similar strategies to extract visual information in both talker variability conditions, when noise was absent there were more fixations on the mouth when viewing a different talker every trial as opposed to the same talker every trial. These findings provide a useful baseline for studies examining gaze behavior during audiovisual speech perception and perception of dynamic faces. PMID:18621032

  18. Visual and Auditory Components in the Perception of Asynchronous Audiovisual Speech.

    PubMed

    García-Pérez, Miguel A; Alcalá-Quintana, Rocío

    2015-12-01

    Research on asynchronous audiovisual speech perception manipulates experimental conditions to observe their effects on synchrony judgments. Probabilistic models establish a link between the sensory and decisional processes underlying such judgments and the observed data, via interpretable parameters that allow testing hypotheses and making inferences about how experimental manipulations affect such processes. Two models of this type have recently been proposed, one based on independent channels and the other using a Bayesian approach. Both models are fitted here to a common data set, with a subsequent analysis of the interpretation they provide about how experimental manipulations affected the processes underlying perceived synchrony. The data consist of synchrony judgments as a function of audiovisual offset in a speech stimulus, under four within-subjects manipulations of the quality of the visual component. The Bayesian model could not accommodate asymmetric data, was rejected by goodness-of-fit statistics for 8/16 observers, and was found to be nonidentifiable, which renders uninterpretable parameter estimates. The independent-channels model captured asymmetric data, was rejected for only 1/16 observers, and identified how sensory and decisional processes mediating asynchronous audiovisual speech perception are affected by manipulations that only alter the quality of the visual component of the speech signal. PMID:27551361

  19. Adaptive plasticity in speech perception: Effects of external information and internal predictions.

    PubMed

    Guediche, Sara; Fiez, Julie A; Holt, Lori L

    2016-07-01

    When listeners encounter speech under adverse listening conditions, adaptive adjustments in perception can improve comprehension over time. In some cases, these adaptive changes require the presence of external information that disambiguates the distorted speech signals, whereas in other cases mere exposure is sufficient. Both external (e.g., written feedback) and internal (e.g., prior word knowledge) sources of information can be used to generate predictions about the correct mapping of a distorted speech signal. We hypothesize that these predictions provide a basis for determining the discrepancy between the expected and actual speech signal that can be used to guide adaptive changes in perception. This study provides the first empirical investigation that manipulates external and internal factors through (a) the availability of explicit external disambiguating information via the presence or absence of postresponse orthographic information paired with a repetition of the degraded stimulus, and (b) the accuracy of internally generated predictions; an acoustic distortion is introduced either abruptly or incrementally. The results demonstrate that the impact of external information on adaptive plasticity is contingent upon whether the intelligibility of the stimuli permits accurate internally generated predictions during exposure. External information sources enhance adaptive plasticity only when input signals are severely degraded and cannot reliably access internal predictions. This is consistent with a computational framework for adaptive plasticity in which error-driven supervised learning relies on the ability to compute sensory prediction error signals from both internal and external sources of information. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26854531

  20. Visual and Auditory Components in the Perception of Asynchronous Audiovisual Speech

    PubMed Central

    Alcalá-Quintana, Rocío

    2015-01-01

    Research on asynchronous audiovisual speech perception manipulates experimental conditions to observe their effects on synchrony judgments. Probabilistic models establish a link between the sensory and decisional processes underlying such judgments and the observed data, via interpretable parameters that allow testing hypotheses and making inferences about how experimental manipulations affect such processes. Two models of this type have recently been proposed, one based on independent channels and the other using a Bayesian approach. Both models are fitted here to a common data set, with a subsequent analysis of the interpretation they provide about how experimental manipulations affected the processes underlying perceived synchrony. The data consist of synchrony judgments as a function of audiovisual offset in a speech stimulus, under four within-subjects manipulations of the quality of the visual component. The Bayesian model could not accommodate asymmetric data, was rejected by goodness-of-fit statistics for 8/16 observers, and was found to be nonidentifiable, which renders uninterpretable parameter estimates. The independent-channels model captured asymmetric data, was rejected for only 1/16 observers, and identified how sensory and decisional processes mediating asynchronous audiovisual speech perception are affected by manipulations that only alter the quality of the visual component of the speech signal. PMID:27551361

  1. Neural Adaptation and Behavioral Measures of Temporal Processing and Speech Perception in Cochlear Implant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fawen; Benson, Chelsea; Murphy, Dora; Boian, Melissa; Scott, Michael; Keith, Robert; Xiang, Jing; Abbas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The objective was to determine if one of the neural temporal features, neural adaptation, can account for the across-subject variability in behavioral measures of temporal processing and speech perception performance in cochlear implant (CI) recipients. Neural adaptation is the phenomenon in which neural responses are the strongest at the beginning of the stimulus and decline following stimulus repetition (e.g., stimulus trains). It is unclear how this temporal property of neural responses relates to psychophysical measures of temporal processing (e.g., gap detection) or speech perception. The adaptation of the electrical compound action potential (ECAP) was obtained using 1000 pulses per second (pps) biphasic pulse trains presented directly to the electrode. The adaptation of the late auditory evoked potential (LAEP) was obtained using a sequence of 1-kHz tone bursts presented acoustically, through the cochlear implant. Behavioral temporal processing was measured using the Random Gap Detection Test at the most comfortable listening level. Consonant nucleus consonant (CNC) word and AzBio sentences were also tested. The results showed that both ECAP and LAEP display adaptive patterns, with a substantial across-subject variability in the amount of adaptation. No correlations between the amount of neural adaptation and gap detection thresholds (GDTs) or speech perception scores were found. The correlations between the degree of neural adaptation and demographic factors showed that CI users having more LAEP adaptation were likely to be those implanted at a younger age than CI users with less LAEP adaptation. The results suggested that neural adaptation, at least this feature alone, cannot account for the across-subject variability in temporal processing ability in the CI users. However, the finding that the LAEP adaptive pattern was less prominent in the CI group compared to the normal hearing group may suggest the important role of normal adaptation pattern at the

  2. Speech perception, localization, and lateralization with bilateral cochlear implants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hoesel, Richard J. M.; Tyler, Richard S.

    2003-03-01

    Five bilateral cochlear implant users were tested for their localization abilities and speech understanding in noise, for both monaural and binaural listening conditions. They also participated in lateralization tasks to assess the impact of variations in interaural time delays (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs) for electrical pulse trains under direct computer control. The localization task used pink noise bursts presented from an eight-loudspeaker array spanning an arc of approximately 108° in front of the listeners at ear level (0-degree elevation). Subjects showed large benefits from bilateral device use compared to either side alone. Typical root-mean-square (rms) averaged errors across all eight loudspeakers in the array were about 10° for bilateral device use and ranged from 20° to 60° using either ear alone. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for sentences presented from directly in front of the listeners (0°) in spectrally matching speech-weighted noise at either 0°, +90° or -90° for four subjects out of five tested who could perform the task. For noise to either side, bilateral device use showed a substantial benefit over unilateral device use when noise was ipsilateral to the unilateral device. This was primarily because of monaural head-shadow effects, which resulted in robust SRT improvements (P<0.001) of about 4 to 5 dB when ipsilateral and contralateral noise positions were compared. The additional benefit of using both ears compared to the shadowed ear (i.e., binaural unmasking) was only 1 or 2 dB and less robust (P=0.04). Results from the lateralization studies showed consistently good sensitivity to ILDs; better than the smallest level adjustment available in the implants (0.17 dB) for some subjects. Sensitivity to ITDs was moderate on the other hand, typically of the order of 100 μs. ITD sensitivity deteriorated rapidly when stimulation rates for unmodulated pulse-trains increased above a few hundred Hz but at

  3. Speech perception, localization, and lateralization with bilateral cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    van Hoesel, Richard J M; Tyler, Richard S

    2003-03-01

    Five bilateral cochlear implant users were tested for their localization abilities and speech understanding in noise, for both monaural and binaural listening conditions. They also participated in lateralization tasks to assess the impact of variations in interaural time delays (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs) for electrical pulse trains under direct computer control. The localization task used pink noise bursts presented from an eight-loudspeaker array spanning an arc of approximately 108 degrees in front of the listeners at ear level (0-degree elevation). Subjects showed large benefits from bilateral device use compared to either side alone. Typical root-mean-square (rms) averaged errors across all eight loudspeakers in the array were about 10 degrees for bilateral device use and ranged from 20 degrees to 60 degrees using either ear alone. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for sentences presented from directly in front of the listeners (0 degrees) in spectrally matching speech-weighted noise at either 0 degrees, +90 degrees or -90 degrees for four subjects out of five tested who could perform the task. For noise to either side, bilateral device use showed a substantial benefit over unilateral device use when noise was ipsilateral to the unilateral device. This was primarily because of monaural head-shadow effects, which resulted in robust SRT improvements (P<0.001) of about 4 to 5 dB when ipsilateral and contralateral noise positions were compared. The additional benefit of using both ears compared to the shadowed ear (i.e., binaural unmasking) was only 1 or 2 dB and less robust (P = 0.04). Results from the lateralization studies showed consistently good sensitivity to ILDs; better than the smallest level adjustment available in the implants (0.17 dB) for some subjects. Sensitivity to ITDs was moderate on the other hand, typically of the order of 100 micros. ITD sensitivity deteriorated rapidly when stimulation rates for unmodulated

  4. Frame rate of motion picture and its influence on speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakazono, Kaoru

    1996-03-01

    The preservation of QoS for multimedia traffic through a data network is a difficult problem. We focus our attention on video frame rate and study its influence on speech perception. When sound and picture are discrepant (e.g., acoustic `ba' combined with visual `ga'), subjects perceive a different sound (such as `da'). This phenomenon is known as the McGurk effect. In this paper, the influence of degraded video frame rate on speech perception was studied. It was shown that when frame rate decreases, correct hearing is improved for discrepant stimuli and is degraded for congruent (voice and picture are the same) stimuli. Furthermore, we studied the case where lip closure was always captured by the synchronization of sampling time and lip position. In this case, frame rate has little effect on mishearing for congruent stimuli. For discrepant stimuli, mishearing is decreased with degraded frame rate. These results indicate that stiff motion of lips resulting from low frame rate cannot give enough labial information for speech perception. In addition, the effect of delaying the picture to correct for low frame rate was studied. The results, however, were not as definitive as expected because of compound effects related to the synchronization of sound and picture.

  5. Dynamic Changes In Superior Temporal Sulcus Connectivity During Perception Of Noisy Audiovisual Speech

    PubMed Central

    Nath, Audrey R.; Beauchamp, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Humans are remarkably adept at understanding speech, even when it is contaminated by noise. Multisensory integration may explain some of this ability: combining independent information from the auditory modality (vocalizations) and the visual modality (mouth movements) reduces noise and increases accuracy. Converging evidence suggests that the superior temporal sulcus (STS) is a critical brain area for multisensory integration, but little is known about its role in the perception of noisy speech. Behavioral studies have shown that perceptual judgments are weighted by the reliability of the sensory modality: more reliable modalities are weighted more strongly, even if the reliability changes rapidly. We hypothesized that changes in the functional connectivity of STS with auditory and visual cortex could provide a neural mechanism for perceptual reliability-weighting. To test this idea, we performed five blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI and behavioral experiments in 34 healthy subjects. We found increased functional connectivity between the STS and auditory cortex when the auditory modality was more reliable (less noisy) and increased functional connectivity between the STS and visual cortex when the visual modality was more reliable, even when the reliability changed rapidly during presentation of successive words. This finding matched the results of a behavioral experiment in which the perception of incongruent audiovisual syllables was biased toward the more reliable modality, even with rapidly changing reliability. Changes in STS functional connectivity may be an important neural mechanism underlying the perception of noisy speech. PMID:21289179

  6. Effects of Removing Low-Frequency Electric Information on Speech Perception With Bimodal Hearing

    PubMed Central

    Eggleston, Jessica L.; Reavis, Kelly M.; McMillan, Garnett P.; Reiss, Lina A. J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The objective was to determine whether speech perception could be improved for bimodal listeners (those using a cochlear implant [CI] in one ear and hearing aid in the contralateral ear) by removing low-frequency information provided by the CI, thereby reducing acoustic–electric overlap. Method Subjects were adult CI subjects with at least 1 year of CI experience. Nine subjects were evaluated in the CI-only condition (control condition), and 26 subjects were evaluated in the bimodal condition. CIs were programmed with 4 experimental programs in which the low cutoff frequency (LCF) was progressively raised. Speech perception was evaluated using Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant words in quiet, AzBio sentences in background babble, and spondee words in background babble. Results The CI-only group showed decreased speech perception in both quiet and noise as the LCF was raised. Bimodal subjects with better hearing in the hearing aid ear (< 60 dB HL at 250 and 500 Hz) performed best for words in quiet as the LCF was raised. In contrast, bimodal subjects with worse hearing (> 60 dB HL at 250 and 500 Hz) performed similarly to the CI-only group. Conclusions These findings suggest that reducing low-frequency overlap of the CI and contralateral hearing aid may improve performance in quiet for some bimodal listeners with better hearing. PMID:26535803

  7. Reduced audiovisual integration in synesthesia--evidence from bimodal speech perception.

    PubMed

    Sinke, Christopher; Neufeld, Janina; Zedler, Markus; Emrich, Hinderk M; Bleich, Stefan; Münte, Thomas F; Szycik, Gregor R

    2014-03-01

    Recent research suggests synesthesia as a result of a hypersensitive multimodal binding mechanism. To address the question whether multimodal integration is altered in synesthetes in general, grapheme-colour and auditory-visual synesthetes were investigated using speech-related stimulation in two behavioural experiments. First, we used the McGurk illusion to test the strength and number of illusory perceptions in synesthesia. In a second step, we analysed the gain in speech perception coming from seen articulatory movements under acoustically noisy conditions. We used disyllabic nouns as stimulation and varied signal-to-noise ratio of the auditory stream presented concurrently to a matching video of the speaker. We hypothesized that if synesthesia is due to a general hyperbinding mechanism this group of subjects should be more susceptible to McGurk illusions and profit more from the visual information during audiovisual speech perception. The results indicate that there are differences between synesthetes and controls concerning multisensory integration--but in the opposite direction as hypothesized. Synesthetes showed a reduced number of illusions and had a reduced gain in comprehension by viewing matching articulatory movements in comparison to control subjects. Our results indicate that rather than having a hypersensitive binding mechanism, synesthetes show weaker integration of vision and audition. PMID:23279836

  8. Electrophysiological measures of attention during speech perception predict metalinguistic skills in children

    PubMed Central

    Astheimer, Lori; Janus, Monika; Moreno, Sylvain; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) evidence demonstrates that preschool-aged children selectively attend to informative moments such as word onsets during speech perception. Although this observation indicates a role for attention in language processing, it is unclear whether this type of attention is part of basic speech perception mechanisms, higher-level language skills, or general cognitive abilities. The current study examined these possibilities by measuring ERPs from 5-year-old children listening to a narrative containing attention probes presented before, during, and after word onsets as well as at random control times. Children also completed behavioral tests assessing verbal and nonverbal skills. Probes presented after word onsets elicited a more negative ERP response beginning around 100 ms after probe onset than control probes, indicating increased attention to word-initial segments. Crucially, the magnitude of this difference was correlated with performance on verbal tasks, but showed no relationship to nonverbal measures. More specifically, ERP attention effects were most strongly correlated with performance on a complex metalinguistic task involving grammaticality judgments. These results demonstrate that effective allocation of attention during speech perception supports higher-level, controlled language processing in children by allowing them to focus on relevant information at individual word and complex sentence levels. PMID:24316548

  9. Modelling relations between sensory processing, speech perception, orthographic and phonological ability, and literacy achievement.

    PubMed

    Boets, Bart; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid; De Smedt, Bert; Ghesquière, Pol

    2008-07-01

    The general magnocellular theory postulates that dyslexia is the consequence of a multimodal deficit in the processing of transient and dynamic stimuli. In the auditory modality, this deficit has been hypothesized to interfere with accurate speech perception, and subsequently disrupt the development of phonological and later reading and spelling skills. In the visual modality, an analogous problem might interfere with literacy development by affecting orthographic skills. In this prospective longitudinal study, we tested dynamic auditory and visual processing, speech-in-noise perception, phonological ability and orthographic ability in 62 five-year-old preschool children. Predictive relations towards first grade reading and spelling measures were explored and the validity of the global magnocellular model was evaluated using causal path analysis. In particular, we demonstrated that dynamic auditory processing was related to speech perception, which itself was related to phonological awareness. Similarly, dynamic visual processing was related to orthographic ability. Subsequently, phonological awareness, orthographic ability and verbal short-term memory were unique predictors of reading and spelling development. PMID:18207564

  10. The effects of input-output configuration in syllabic compression on speech perception.

    PubMed

    Maré, M J; Dreschler, W A; Verschuure, H

    1992-06-01

    Speech perception was tested through a broad-band syllabic compressor with four different static input-output configurations. All other parameters of the compressor were held constant. The compressor was implemented digitally and incorporated a delay to reduce overshoot. We studied four different input-output configurations, including a linear reference condition. Normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects participated in the experiments testing perception of meaningful sentences as well as nonsense CVCs in carrier phrases. The speech materials were presented in quiet and in noise. The results from the CVCs were analyzed quantitatively in terms of scores and qualitatively in terms of phoneme confusions. Differences in speech perception due to the different input-output configurations were small. The input-output configuration with the highest amplification of low amplitude sounds yielded the best results. Detailed analysis of the results included a correlational analysis with a number of auditory functions characterizing the ears tested. The pure-tone audiogram provided parameters of auditory sensitivity: average audiometric loss and audiometric slope. Psychophysical tests provided parameters of temporal resolution and frequency selectivity: the temporal resolution factor, temporal gap detection, and auditory filter shape. The correlational analysis showed that the subjects with better temporal acuity obtained better results. PMID:1608260

  11. Effects of stimulus and noise rate variability on speech perception by younger and older adults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon-Salant, Sandra; Fitzgibbons, Peter J.

    2004-04-01

    The present experiments examine the effects of listener age and hearing sensitivity on the ability to understand temporally altered speech in quiet when the proportion of a sentence processed by time compression is varied. Additional conditions in noise investigate whether or not listeners are affected by alterations in the presentation rate of background speech babble, relative to the presentation rate of the target speech signal. Younger and older adults with normal hearing and with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing losses served as listeners. Speech stimuli included sentences, syntactic sets, and random-order words. Presentation rate was altered via time compression applied to the entire stimulus or to selected phrases within the stimulus. Older listeners performed more poorly than younger listeners in most conditions involving time compression, and their performance decreased progressively with the proportion of the stimulus that was processed with time compression. Older listeners also performed more poorly than younger listeners in all noise conditions, but both age groups demonstrated better performance in conditions incorporating a mismatch in the presentation rate between target signal and background babble compared to conditions with matched rates. The age effects in quiet are consistent with the generalized slowing hypothesis of aging. Performance patterns in noise tentatively support the notion that altered rates of speech signal and background babble may provide a cue to enhance auditory figure-ground perception by both younger and older listeners.

  12. Echoes of the spoken past: how auditory cortex hears context during speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Skipper, Jeremy I.

    2014-01-01

    What do we hear when someone speaks and what does auditory cortex (AC) do with that sound? Given how meaningful speech is, it might be hypothesized that AC is most active when other people talk so that their productions get decoded. Here, neuroimaging meta-analyses show the opposite: AC is least active and sometimes deactivated when participants listened to meaningful speech compared to less meaningful sounds. Results are explained by an active hypothesis-and-test mechanism where speech production (SP) regions are neurally re-used to predict auditory objects associated with available context. By this model, more AC activity for less meaningful sounds occurs because predictions are less successful from context, requiring further hypotheses be tested. This also explains the large overlap of AC co-activity for less meaningful sounds with meta-analyses of SP. An experiment showed a similar pattern of results for non-verbal context. Specifically, words produced less activity in AC and SP regions when preceded by co-speech gestures that visually described those words compared to those words without gestures. Results collectively suggest that what we ‘hear’ during real-world speech perception may come more from the brain than our ears and that the function of AC is to confirm or deny internal predictions about the identity of sounds. PMID:25092665

  13. How musical expertise shapes speech perception: evidence from auditory classification images

    PubMed Central

    Varnet, Léo; Wang, Tianyun; Peter, Chloe; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel

    2015-01-01

    It is now well established that extensive musical training percolates to higher levels of cognition, such as speech processing. However, the lack of a precise technique to investigate the specific listening strategy involved in speech comprehension has made it difficult to determine how musicians’ higher performance in non-speech tasks contributes to their enhanced speech comprehension. The recently developed Auditory Classification Image approach reveals the precise time-frequency regions used by participants when performing phonemic categorizations in noise. Here we used this technique on 19 non-musicians and 19 professional musicians. We found that both groups used very similar listening strategies, but the musicians relied more heavily on the two main acoustic cues, at the first formant onset and at the onsets of the second and third formants onsets. Additionally, they responded more consistently to stimuli. These observations provide a direct visualization of auditory plasticity resulting from extensive musical training and shed light on the level of functional transfer between auditory processing and speech perception. PMID:26399909

  14. Functional changes in inter- and intra-hemispheric cortical processing underlying degraded speech perception.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Howell, Megan

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that at poorer signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), auditory cortical event-related potentials are weakened, prolonged, and show a shift in the functional lateralization of cerebral processing from left to right hemisphere. Increased right hemisphere involvement during speech-in-noise (SIN) processing may reflect the recruitment of additional brain resources to aid speech recognition or alternatively, the progressive loss of involvement from left linguistic brain areas as speech becomes more impoverished (i.e., nonspeech-like). To better elucidate the brain basis of SIN perception, we recorded neuroelectric activity in normal hearing listeners to speech sounds presented at various SNRs. Behaviorally, listeners obtained superior SIN performance for speech presented to the right compared to the left ear (i.e., right ear advantage). Source analysis of neural data assessed the relative contribution of region-specific neural generators (linguistic and auditory brain areas) to SIN processing. We found that left inferior frontal brain areas (e.g., Broca's areas) partially disengage at poorer SNRs but responses do not right lateralize with increasing noise. In contrast, auditory sources showed more resilience to noise in left compared to right primary auditory cortex but also a progressive shift in dominance from left to right hemisphere at lower SNRs. Region- and ear-specific correlations revealed that listeners' right ear SIN advantage was predicted by source activity emitted from inferior frontal gyrus (but not primary auditory cortex). Our findings demonstrate changes in the functional asymmetry of cortical speech processing during adverse acoustic conditions and suggest that "cocktail party" listening skills depend on the quality of speech representations in the left cerebral hemisphere rather than compensatory recruitment of right hemisphere mechanisms. PMID:26386346

  15. Top-down influences of the medial olivocochlear efferent system in speech perception in noise.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Srikanta K; Lutman, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    One of the putative functions of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) system is to enhance signal detection in noise. The objective of this study was to elucidate the role of the MOC system in speech perception in noise. In normal-hearing human listeners, we examined (1) the association between magnitude of MOC inhibition and speech-in-noise performance, and (2) the association between MOC inhibition and the amount of contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS)-induced shift in speech-in-noise acuity. MOC reflex measurements in this study considered critical measurement issues overlooked in past work by: recording relatively low-level, linear click-evoked otoacoustic emissions (CEOAEs), adopting 6 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) criteria, and computing normalized CEOAE differences. We found normalized index to be a stable measure of MOC inhibition (mean = 17.21%). MOC inhibition was not related to speech-in-noise performance measured without CAS. However, CAS in a speech-in-noise task caused an SNRSP enhancement (mean = 2.45 dB), and this improvement in speech-in-noise acuity was directly related to their MOC reflex assayed by CEOAEs. Individuals do not necessarily use the available MOC-unmasking characteristic while listening to speech in noise, or do not utilize unmasking to the extent that can be shown by artificial MOC activation. It may be the case that the MOC is not actually used under natural listening conditions and the higher auditory centers recruit MOC-mediated mechanisms only in specific listening conditions-those conditions remain to be investigated. PMID:24465686

  16. Distributed neural representations of phonological features during speech perception.

    PubMed

    Arsenault, Jessica S; Buchsbaum, Bradley R

    2015-01-14

    A fundamental goal of the human auditory system is to map complex acoustic signals onto stable internal representations of the basic sound patterns of speech. Phonemes and the distinctive features that they comprise constitute the basic building blocks from which higher-level linguistic representations, such as words and sentences, are formed. Although the neural structures underlying phonemic representations have been well studied, there is considerable debate regarding frontal-motor cortical contributions to speech as well as the extent of lateralization of phonological representations within auditory cortex. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and multivoxel pattern analysis to investigate the distributed patterns of activation that are associated with the categorical and perceptual similarity structure of 16 consonant exemplars in the English language used in Miller and Nicely's (1955) classic study of acoustic confusability. Participants performed an incidental task while listening to phonemes in the MRI scanner. Neural activity in bilateral anterior superior temporal gyrus and supratemporal plane was correlated with the first two components derived from a multidimensional scaling analysis of a behaviorally derived confusability matrix. We further showed that neural representations corresponding to the categorical features of voicing, manner of articulation, and place of articulation were widely distributed throughout bilateral primary, secondary, and association areas of the superior temporal cortex, but not motor cortex. Although classification of phonological features was generally bilateral, we found that multivariate pattern information was moderately stronger in the left compared with the right hemisphere for place but not for voicing or manner of articulation. PMID:25589757

  17. Speech perception by four single-channel cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Dent, L J; Simmons, F B; White, R L; Roberts, L A

    1987-12-01

    Four profoundly deaf adults, each a recent recipient of a scala tympani implant, underwent auditory and auditory-visual speech comprehension evaluations. Two subjects had multiple-electrode auditory prostheses, and 2 had single-electrode implants. All subjects were tested preoperatively with a high-power hearing aid, and postoperatively with a single-channel wearable sound processor. Reported here are the results of the first formal speech recognition tests which were conducted during the 8 months after the sound processor fitting. Three subjects had used the single-channel processor on a daily basis for up to 8 months at the time of postoperative testing. The 4th subject was a nonuser. On listening tests, a comparison between pre- and post-implant scores revealed little difference for any subject. On postoperative speechreading tasks, all subjects identified medial consonant phonemes and 2-digit numerals better with stimulation than without. The 3 frequent users of the device experienced significant improvement on connected-discourse tracking, and their speechreading of videotaped and live voice CID Everyday Sentences (Davis & Silverman, 1978) was enhanced with the addition of stimulation. The nonuser was a very proficient speechreader at the outset and exhibited no significant difference on connected-discourse tracking with and without stimulation. Moreover her ability to speechread Everyday Sentences was hampered slightly by the addition of stimulation. This single-channel sound processor functioned as a sensory supplement for the 3 frequent users, but no subject was able to use the processor as a sensory substitute. PMID:3695442

  18. The neural dynamics of speech perception: Dissociable networks for processing linguistic content and monitoring speaker turn-taking.

    PubMed

    Foti, Dan; Roberts, Felicia

    2016-01-01

    The neural circuitry for speech perception is well-characterized, yet the temporal dynamics therein are largely unknown. This timing information is critical in that spoken language almost always occurs in the context of joint speech (i.e., conversations) where effective communication requires the precise timing of speaker turn-taking-a core aspect of prosody. Here, we used event-related potentials to characterize neural activity elicited by conversation stimuli within a large, unselected adult sample (N=115). We focused on two stages of speech perception: inter-speaker gaps and speaker responses. We found activation in two known speech perception networks, with functional and neuroanatomical specificity: silence during inter-speaker gaps primarily activated the posterior pathway involving the supramarginal gyrus and premotor cortex, whereas hearing speaker responses primarily activated the anterior pathway involving the superior temporal gyrus. These data provide the first direct evidence that the posterior pathway is uniquely involved in monitoring speaker turn-taking. PMID:27177112

  19. No Lexical-Prelexical Feedback during Speech Perception or: Is It Time to Stop Playing Those Christmas Tapes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McQueen, James M.; Jesse, Alexandra; Norris, Dennis

    2009-01-01

    The strongest support for feedback in speech perception comes from evidence of apparent lexical influence on prelexical fricative-stop compensation for coarticulation. Lexical knowledge (e.g., that the ambiguous final fricative of "Christma?" should be [s]) apparently influences perception of following stops. We argue that all such previous…

  20. Impact of a Moving Noise Masker on Speech Perception in Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Weissgerber, Tobias; Rader, Tobias; Baumann, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Previous studies investigating speech perception in noise have typically been conducted with static masker positions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of spatial separation of source and masker (spatial release from masking, SRM) in a moving masker setup and to evaluate the impact of adaptive beamforming in comparison with fixed directional microphones in cochlear implant (CI) users. Design Speech reception thresholds (SRT) were measured in S0N0 and in a moving masker setup (S0Nmove) in 12 normal hearing participants and 14 CI users (7 subjects bilateral, 7 bimodal with a hearing aid in the contralateral ear). Speech processor settings were a moderately directional microphone, a fixed beamformer, or an adaptive beamformer. The moving noise source was generated by means of wave field synthesis and was smoothly moved in a shape of a half-circle from one ear to the contralateral ear. Noise was presented in either of two conditions: continuous or modulated. Results SRTs in the S0Nmove setup were significantly improved compared to the S0N0 setup for both the normal hearing control group and the bilateral group in continuous noise, and for the control group in modulated noise. There was no effect of subject group. A significant effect of directional sensitivity was found in the S0Nmove setup. In the bilateral group, the adaptive beamformer achieved lower SRTs than the fixed beamformer setting. Adaptive beamforming improved SRT in both CI user groups substantially by about 3 dB (bimodal group) and 8 dB (bilateral group) depending on masker type. Conclusions CI users showed SRM that was comparable to normal hearing subjects. In listening situations of everyday life with spatial separation of source and masker, directional microphones significantly improved speech perception with individual improvements of up to 15 dB SNR. Users of bilateral speech processors with both directional microphones obtained the highest benefit. PMID:25970594

  1. Auditory Perceptual Learning for Speech Perception Can be Enhanced by Audiovisual Training

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Lynne E.; Auer, Edward T.; Eberhardt, Silvio P.; Jiang, Jintao

    2013-01-01

    Speech perception under audiovisual (AV) conditions is well known to confer benefits to perception such as increased speed and accuracy. Here, we investigated how AV training might benefit or impede auditory perceptual learning of speech degraded by vocoding. In Experiments 1 and 3, participants learned paired associations between vocoded spoken nonsense words and nonsense pictures. In Experiment 1, paired-associates (PA) AV training of one group of participants was compared with audio-only (AO) training of another group. When tested under AO conditions, the AV-trained group was significantly more accurate than the AO-trained group. In addition, pre- and post-training AO forced-choice consonant identification with untrained nonsense words showed that AV-trained participants had learned significantly more than AO participants. The pattern of results pointed to their having learned at the level of the auditory phonetic features of the vocoded stimuli. Experiment 2, a no-training control with testing and re-testing on the AO consonant identification, showed that the controls were as accurate as the AO-trained participants in Experiment 1 but less accurate than the AV-trained participants. In Experiment 3, PA training alternated AV and AO conditions on a list-by-list basis within participants, and training was to criterion (92% correct). PA training with AO stimuli was reliably more effective than training with AV stimuli. We explain these discrepant results in terms of the so-called “reverse hierarchy theory” of perceptual learning and in terms of the diverse multisensory and unisensory processing resources available to speech perception. We propose that early AV speech integration can potentially impede auditory perceptual learning; but visual top-down access to relevant auditory features can promote auditory perceptual learning. PMID:23515520

  2. Conditioned allophony in speech perception: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Miglietta, Sandra; Grimaldi, Mirko; Calabrese, Andrea

    2013-09-01

    A Mismatch Negativity (MMN) study was performed to investigate whether pre-attentive vowel perception is influenced by phonological status. We compared the MMN response to the acoustic distinction between the allophonic variation [ε-e] and phonemic contrast [e-i] present in a Southern-Italian variety (Tricase dialect). Clear MMNs were elicited for both the phonemic and allophonic conditions. Interestingly, a shorter latency was observed for the phonemic pair, but no significant amplitude difference was observed between the two conditions. Together, these results suggest that for isolated vowels, the phonological status of a vowel category is reflected in the latency of the MMN peak. The earlier latency of the phonemic condition argues for an easier parsing and encoding of phonemic contrasts in memory representations. Thus, neural computations mapping auditory inputs into higher perceptual representations seem 'sensitive' to the contrastive/non-contrastive status of the sounds as determined by the listeners' knowledge of the own phonological system. PMID:23911944

  3. The relationship between the neural computations for speech and music perception is context-dependent: an activation likelihood estimate study

    PubMed Central

    LaCroix, Arianna N.; Diaz, Alvaro F.; Rogalsky, Corianne

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between the neurobiology of speech and music has been investigated for more than a century. There remains no widespread agreement regarding how (or to what extent) music perception utilizes the neural circuitry that is engaged in speech processing, particularly at the cortical level. Prominent models such as Patel's Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH) and Koelsch's neurocognitive model of music perception suggest a high degree of overlap, particularly in the frontal lobe, but also perhaps more distinct representations in the temporal lobe with hemispheric asymmetries. The present meta-analysis study used activation likelihood estimate analyses to identify the brain regions consistently activated for music as compared to speech across the functional neuroimaging (fMRI and PET) literature. Eighty music and 91 speech neuroimaging studies of healthy adult control subjects were analyzed. Peak activations reported in the music and speech studies were divided into four paradigm categories: passive listening, discrimination tasks, error/anomaly detection tasks and memory-related tasks. We then compared activation likelihood estimates within each category for music vs. speech, and each music condition with passive listening. We found that listening to music and to speech preferentially activate distinct temporo-parietal bilateral cortical networks. We also found music and speech to have shared resources in the left pars opercularis but speech-specific resources in the left pars triangularis. The extent to which music recruited speech-activated frontal resources was modulated by task. While there are certainly limitations to meta-analysis techniques particularly regarding sensitivity, this work suggests that the extent of shared resources between speech and music may be task-dependent and highlights the need to consider how task effects may be affecting conclusions regarding the neurobiology of speech and music. PMID:26321976

  4. Use of Audiovisual Information in Speech Perception by Prelingually Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: A First Report

    PubMed Central

    Lachs, Lorin; Pisoni, David B.; Kirk, Karen Iler

    2012-01-01

    Objective Although there has been a great deal of recent empirical work and new theoretical interest in audiovisual speech perception in both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired adults, relatively little is known about the development of these abilities and skills in deaf children with cochlear implants. This study examined how prelingually deafened children combine visual information available in the talker’s face with auditory speech cues provided by their cochlear implants to enhance spoken language comprehension. Design Twenty-seven hearing-impaired children who use cochlear implants identified spoken sentences presented under auditory-alone and audiovisual conditions. Five additional measures of spoken word recognition performance were used to assess auditory-alone speech perception skills. A measure of speech intelligibility was also obtained to assess the speech production abilities of these children. Results A measure of audiovisual gain, “Ra,” was computed using sentence recognition scores in auditory-alone and audiovisual conditions. Another measure of audiovisual gain, “Rv,” was computed using scores in visual-alone and audiovisual conditions. The results indicated that children who were better at recognizing isolated spoken words through listening alone were also better at combining the complementary sensory information about speech articulation available under audiovisual stimulation. In addition, we found that children who received more benefit from audiovisual presentation also produced more intelligible speech, suggesting a close link between speech perception and production and a common underlying linguistic basis for audiovisual enhancement effects. Finally, an examination of the distribution of children enrolled in Oral Communication (OC) and Total Communication (TC) indicated that OC children tended to score higher on measures of audiovisual gain, spoken word recognition, and speech intelligibility. Conclusions The relationships

  5. When half a face is as good as a whole: effects of simple substantial occlusion on visual and audiovisual speech perception.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Timothy R; Thomas, Sharon M

    2011-10-01

    The visible movement of a talker's face is an influential component of speech perception. However, the ability of this influence to function when large areas of the face (~50%) are covered by simple substantial occlusions, and so are not visible to the observer, has yet to be fully determined. In Experiment 1, both visual speech identification and the influence of visual speech on identifying congruent and incongruent auditory speech were investigated using displays of a whole (unoccluded) talking face and of the same face occluded vertically so that the entire left or right hemiface was covered. Both the identification of visual speech and its influence on auditory speech perception were identical across all three face displays. Experiment 2 replicated and extended these results, showing that visual and audiovisual speech perception also functioned well with other simple substantial occlusions (horizontal and diagonal). Indeed, displays in which entire upper facial areas were occluded produced performance levels equal to those obtained with unoccluded displays. Occluding entire lower facial areas elicited some impairments in performance, but visual speech perception and visual speech influences on auditory speech perception were still apparent. Finally, implications of these findings for understanding the processes supporting visual and audiovisual speech perception are discussed. PMID:21842332

  6. Maladaptive connectivity of Broca's area in schizophrenia during audiovisual speech perception: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Szycik, G R; Ye, Z; Mohammadi, B; Dillo, W; Te Wildt, B T; Samii, A; Frieling, H; Bleich, S; Münte, T F

    2013-12-01

    Speech comprehension relies on auditory as well as visual information, and is enhanced in healthy subjects, when audiovisual (AV) information is present. Patients with schizophrenia have been reported to have problems regarding this AV integration process, but little is known about which underlying neural processes are altered. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 15 schizophrenia patients (SP) and 15 healthy controls (HC) to study functional connectivity of Broca's area by means of a beta series correlation method during perception of audiovisually presented bisyllabic German nouns, in which audio and video either matched or did not match. Broca's area of SP showed stronger connectivity with supplementary motor cortex for incongruent trials whereas HC connectivity was stronger for congruent trials. The right posterior superior temporal sulcus (RpSTS) area showed differences in connectivity for congruent and incongruent trials in HC in contrast to SP where the connectivity was similar for both conditions. These smaller differences in connectivity in SP suggest a less adaptive processing of audiovisually congruent and incongruent speech. The findings imply that AV integration problems in schizophrenia are associated with maladaptive connectivity of Broca's and RpSTS area in particular when confronted with incongruent stimuli. Results are discussed in light of recent AV speech perception models. PMID:23994183

  7. Talker-specific learning in amnesia: Insight into mechanisms of adaptive speech perception.

    PubMed

    Trude, Alison M; Duff, Melissa C; Brown-Schmidt, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    A hallmark of human speech perception is the ability to comprehend speech quickly and effortlessly despite enormous variability across talkers. However, current theories of speech perception do not make specific claims about the memory mechanisms involved in this process. To examine whether declarative memory is necessary for talker-specific learning, we tested the ability of amnesic patients with severe declarative memory deficits to learn and distinguish the accents of two unfamiliar talkers by monitoring their eye-gaze as they followed spoken instructions. Analyses of the time-course of eye fixations showed that amnesic patients rapidly learned to distinguish these accents and tailored perceptual processes to the voice of each talker. These results demonstrate that declarative memory is not necessary for this ability and points to the involvement of non-declarative memory mechanisms. These results are consistent with findings that other social and accommodative behaviors are preserved in amnesia and contribute to our understanding of the interactions of multiple memory systems in the use and understanding of spoken language. PMID:24657480

  8. The socially weighted encoding of spoken words: a dual-route approach to speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Sumner, Meghan; Kim, Seung Kyung; King, Ed; McGowan, Kevin B.

    2014-01-01

    Spoken words are highly variable. A single word may never be uttered the same way twice. As listeners, we regularly encounter speakers of different ages, genders, and accents, increasing the amount of variation we face. How listeners understand spoken words as quickly and adeptly as they do despite this variation remains an issue central to linguistic theory. We propose that learned acoustic patterns are mapped simultaneously to linguistic representations and to social representations. In doing so, we illuminate a paradox that results in the literature from, we argue, the focus on representations and the peripheral treatment of word-level phonetic variation. We consider phonetic variation more fully and highlight a growing body of work that is problematic for current theory: words with different pronunciation variants are recognized equally well in immediate processing tasks, while an atypical, infrequent, but socially idealized form is remembered better in the long-term. We suggest that the perception of spoken words is socially weighted, resulting in sparse, but high-resolution clusters of socially idealized episodes that are robust in immediate processing and are more strongly encoded, predicting memory inequality. Our proposal includes a dual-route approach to speech perception in which listeners map acoustic patterns in speech to linguistic and social representations in tandem. This approach makes novel predictions about the extraction of information from the speech signal, and provides a framework with which we can ask new questions. We propose that language comprehension, broadly, results from the integration of both linguistic and social information. PMID:24550851

  9. Improved perception of speech in noise and Mandarin tones with acoustic simulations of harmonic coding for cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Li, Xing; Nie, Kaibao; Imennov, Nikita S; Won, Jong Ho; Drennan, Ward R; Rubinstein, Jay T; Atlas, Les E

    2012-11-01

    Harmonic and temporal fine structure (TFS) information are important cues for speech perception in noise and music perception. However, due to the inherently coarse spectral and temporal resolution in electric hearing, the question of how to deliver harmonic and TFS information to cochlear implant (CI) users remains unresolved. A harmonic-single-sideband-encoder [(HSSE); Nie et al. (2008). Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing; Lie et al., (2010). Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing] strategy has been proposed that explicitly tracks the harmonics in speech and transforms them into modulators conveying both amplitude modulation and fundamental frequency information. For unvoiced speech, HSSE transforms the TFS into a slowly varying yet still noise-like signal. To investigate its potential, four- and eight-channel vocoder simulations of HSSE and the continuous-interleaved-sampling (CIS) strategy were implemented, respectively. Using these vocoders, five normal-hearing subjects' speech recognition performance was evaluated under different masking conditions; another five normal-hearing subjects' Mandarin tone identification performance was also evaluated. Additionally, the neural discharge patterns evoked by HSSE- and CIS-encoded Mandarin tone stimuli were simulated using an auditory nerve model. All subjects scored significantly higher with HSSE than with CIS vocoders. The modeling analysis demonstrated that HSSE can convey temporal pitch cues better than CIS. Overall, the results suggest that HSSE is a promising strategy to enhance speech perception with CIs. PMID:23145619

  10. Relationships Among Peripheral and Central Electrophysiological Measures of Spatial and Spectral Selectivity and Speech Perception in Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Scheperle, Rachel A.; Abbas, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The ability to perceive speech is related to the listener’s ability to differentiate among frequencies (i.e., spectral resolution). Cochlear implant (CI) users exhibit variable speech-perception and spectral-resolution abilities, which can be attributed in part to the extent of electrode interactions at the periphery (i.e., spatial selectivity). However, electrophysiological measures of peripheral spatial selectivity have not been found to correlate with speech perception. The purpose of this study was to evaluate auditory processing at the periphery and cortex using both simple and spectrally complex stimuli to better understand the stages of neural processing underlying speech perception. The hypotheses were that (1) by more completely characterizing peripheral excitation patterns than in previous studies, significant correlations with measures of spectral selectivity and speech perception would be observed, (2) adding information about processing at a level central to the auditory nerve would account for additional variability in speech perception, and (3) responses elicited with spectrally complex stimuli would be more strongly correlated with speech perception than responses elicited with spectrally simple stimuli. Design Eleven adult CI users participated. Three experimental processor programs (MAPs) were created to vary the likelihood of electrode interactions within each participant. For each MAP, a subset of 7 of 22 intracochlear electrodes was activated: adjacent (MAP 1), every-other (MAP 2), or every third (MAP 3). Peripheral spatial selectivity was assessed using the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) to obtain channel-interaction functions for all activated electrodes (13 functions total). Central processing was assessed by eliciting the auditory change complex (ACC) with both spatial (electrode pairs) and spectral (rippled noise) stimulus changes. Speech-perception measures included vowel-discrimination and the Bamford

  11. Fundamental frequency is critical to speech perception in noise in combined acoustic and electric hearinga

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Jeff; Tiaden, Stephanie; Zeng, Fan-Gang

    2011-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users have been shown to benefit from residual low-frequency hearing, specifically in pitch related tasks. It remains unclear whether this benefit is dependent on fundamental frequency (F0) or other acoustic cues. Three experiments were conducted to determine the role of F0, as well as its frequency modulated (FM) and amplitude modulated (AM) components, in speech recognition with a competing voice. In simulated CI listeners, the signal-to-noise ratio was varied to estimate the 50% correct response. Simulation results showed that the F0 cue contributes to a significant proportion of the benefit seen with combined acoustic and electric hearing, and additionally that this benefit is due to the FM rather than the AM component. In actual CI users, sentence recognition scores were collected with either the full F0 cue containing both the FM and AM components or the 500-Hz low-pass speech cue containing the F0 and additional harmonics. The F0 cue provided a benefit similar to the low-pass cue for speech in noise, but not in quiet. Poorer CI users benefited more from the F0 cue than better users. These findings suggest that F0 is critical to improving speech perception in noise in combined acoustic and electric hearing. PMID:21973360

  12. Talker-to-listener distance effects on speech production and perception.

    PubMed

    Cheyne, Harold A; Kalgaonkar, Kaustubh; Clements, Mark; Zurek, Patrick

    2009-10-01

    Simulating talker-to-listener distance (TLD) in virtual audio environments requires mimicking natural changes in vocal effort. Studies have identified several acoustic parameters manipulated by talkers when varying vocal effort. However, no systematic study has investigated vocal effort variations due to TLD, under natural conditions, and their perceptual consequences. This work examined the feasibility of varying the vocal effort cues for TLD in synthesized speech and real speech by (a) recording and analyzing single word tokens spoken at 1 m < or = TLD < or = 32 m, (b) creating synthetic and modified speech tokens that vary in one or more acoustic parameters associated with vocal effort, and (c) conducting perceptual tests on the reference, synthetic, and modified tokens to identify salient cues for TLD perception. Measured changes in fundamental frequency, intensity, and formant frequencies of the reference tokens across TLD were similar to other reports in the literature. Perceptual experiments that asked listeners to estimate TLD showed that TLD estimation is most accurate with real speech; however, large standard deviations in the responses suggest that reliable judgments can only be made for gross changes in TLD. PMID:19813814

  13. 40Hz-Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) selectively modulates speech perception.

    PubMed

    Rufener, Katharina S; Zaehle, Tino; Oechslin, Mathias S; Meyer, Martin

    2016-03-01

    The present study investigated the functional relevance of gamma oscillations for the processing of rapidly changing acoustic features in speech signals. For this purpose we analyzed repetition-induced perceptual learning effects in 18 healthy adult participants. The participants received either 6Hz or 40Hz tACS over the bilateral auditory cortex, while repeatedly performing a phoneme categorization task. In result, we found that 40Hz tACS led to a specific alteration in repetition-induced perceptual learning. While participants in the non-stimulated control group as well as those in the experimental group receiving 6Hz tACS considerably improved their perceptual performance, the application of 40Hz tACS selectively attenuated the repetition-induced improvement in phoneme categorization abilities. Our data provide causal evidence for a functional relevance of gamma oscillations during the perceptual learning of acoustic speech features. Moreover, we demonstrate that even less than twenty minutes of alternating current stimulation below the individual perceptual threshold is sufficient to affect speech perception. This finding is relevant in that this novel approach might have implications with respect to impaired speech processing in dyslexics and older adults. PMID:26779822

  14. Bayesian model of categorical effects in L1 and L2 speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronrod, Yakov

    In this dissertation I present a model that captures categorical effects in both first language (L1) and second language (L2) speech perception. In L1 perception, categorical effects range between extremely strong for consonants to nearly continuous perception of vowels. I treat the problem of speech perception as a statistical inference problem and by quantifying categoricity I obtain a unified model of both strong and weak categorical effects. In this optimal inference mechanism, the listener uses their knowledge of categories and the acoustics of the signal to infer the intended productions of the speaker. The model splits up speech variability into meaningful category variance and perceptual noise variance. The ratio of these two variances, which I call Tau, directly correlates with the degree of categorical effects for a given phoneme or continuum. By fitting the model to behavioral data from different phonemes, I show how a single parametric quantitative variation can lead to the different degrees of categorical effects seen in perception experiments with different phonemes. In L2 perception, L1 categories have been shown to exert an effect on how L2 sounds are identified and how well the listener is able to discriminate them. Various models have been developed to relate the state of L1 categories with both the initial and eventual ability to process the L2. These models largely lacked a formalized metric to measure perceptual distance, a means of making a-priori predictions of behavior for a new contrast, and a way of describing non-discrete gradient effects. In the second part of my dissertation, I apply the same computational model that I used to unify L1 categorical effects to examining L2 perception. I show that we can use the model to make the same type of predictions as other SLA models, but also provide a quantitative framework while formalizing all measures of similarity and bias. Further, I show how using this model to consider L2 learners at

  15. Speech monitoring and phonologically-mediated eye gaze in language perception and production: a comparison using printed word eye-tracking

    PubMed Central

    Gauvin, Hanna S.; Hartsuiker, Robert J.; Huettig, Falk

    2013-01-01

    The Perceptual Loop Theory of speech monitoring assumes that speakers routinely inspect their inner speech. In contrast, Huettig and Hartsuiker (2010) observed that listening to one's own speech during language production drives eye-movements to phonologically related printed words with a similar time-course as listening to someone else's speech does in speech perception experiments. This suggests that speakers use their speech perception system to listen to their own overt speech, but not to their inner speech. However, a direct comparison between production and perception with the same stimuli and participants is lacking so far. The current printed word eye-tracking experiment therefore used a within-subjects design, combining production and perception. Displays showed four words, of which one, the target, either had to be named or was presented auditorily. Accompanying words were phonologically related, semantically related, or unrelated to the target. There were small increases in looks to phonological competitors with a similar time-course in both production and perception. Phonological effects in perception however lasted longer and had a much larger magnitude. We conjecture that this difference is related to a difference in predictability of one's own and someone else's speech, which in turn has consequences for lexical competition in other-perception and possibly suppression of activation in self-perception. PMID:24339809

  16. Promising Practices in E-Supervision: Exploring Graduate Speech-Language Pathology Interns’ Perceptions

    PubMed Central

    Carlin, Charles H.; Milam, Jennifer L.; Carlin, Emily L.; Owen, Ashley

    2012-01-01

    E-supervision has a potential role in addressing speech-language personnel shortages in rural and difficult to staff school districts. The purposes of this article are twofold: to determine how e-supervision might support graduate speech-language pathologist (SLP) interns placed in rural, remote, and difficult to staff public school districts; and, to investigate interns’ perceptions of in-person supervision compared to e-supervision. The study used a mixed methodology approach and collected data from surveys, supervision documents and records, and interviews. The results showed the use of e-supervision allowed graduate SLP interns to be adequately supervised across a variety of clients and professional activities in a manner that was similar to in-person supervision. Further, e-supervision was perceived as a more convenient and less stressful supervision format when compared to in-person supervision. Other findings are discussed and implications and limitations provided. PMID:25945201

  17. Speech perception and reading: two parallel modes of understanding language and implications for acquiring literacy naturally.

    PubMed

    Massaro, Dominic W

    2012-01-01

    I review 2 seminal research reports published in this journal during its second decade more than a century ago. Given psychology's subdisciplines, they would not normally be reviewed together because one involves reading and the other speech perception. The small amount of interaction between these domains might have limited research and theoretical progress. In fact, the 2 early research reports revealed common processes involved in these 2 forms of language processing. Their illustration of the role of Wundt's apperceptive process in reading and speech perception anticipated descriptions of contemporary theories of pattern recognition, such as the fuzzy logical model of perception. Based on the commonalities between reading and listening, one can question why they have been viewed so differently. It is commonly believed that learning to read requires formal instruction and schooling, whereas spoken language is acquired from birth onward through natural interactions with people who talk. Most researchers and educators believe that spoken language is acquired naturally from birth onward and even prenatally. Learning to read, on the other hand, is not possible until the child has acquired spoken language, reaches school age, and receives formal instruction. If an appropriate form of written text is made available early in a child's life, however, the current hypothesis is that reading will also be learned inductively and emerge naturally, with no significant negative consequences. If this proposal is true, it should soon be possible to create an interactive system, Technology Assisted Reading Acquisition, to allow children to acquire literacy naturally. PMID:22953690

  18. The early maximum likelihood estimation model of audiovisual integration in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Tobias S

    2015-05-01

    Speech perception is facilitated by seeing the articulatory mouth movements of the talker. This is due to perceptual audiovisual integration, which also causes the McGurk-MacDonald illusion, and for which a comprehensive computational account is still lacking. Decades of research have largely focused on the fuzzy logical model of perception (FLMP), which provides excellent fits to experimental observations but also has been criticized for being too flexible, post hoc and difficult to interpret. The current study introduces the early maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) model of audiovisual integration to speech perception along with three model variations. In early MLE, integration is based on a continuous internal representation before categorization, which can make the model more parsimonious by imposing constraints that reflect experimental designs. The study also shows that cross-validation can evaluate models of audiovisual integration based on typical data sets taking both goodness-of-fit and model flexibility into account. All models were tested on a published data set previously used for testing the FLMP. Cross-validation favored the early MLE while more conventional error measures favored more complex models. This difference between conventional error measures and cross-validation was found to be indicative of over-fitting in more complex models such as the FLMP. PMID:25994715

  19. Effects of digital noise reduction on speech perception for children with hearing loss

    PubMed Central

    Stelmachowicz, Patricia; Lewis, Dawna; Hoover, Brenda; Nishi, Kanae; McCreery, Ryan; Woods, William

    2010-01-01

    Objective While numerous studies have investigated the effects of single-microphone digital noise reduction algorithms for adults with hearing loss, similar studies have not been conducted with young hearing-impaired children. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of a commonly-used digital noise reduction scheme (spectral subtraction) in children with mild-moderately severe sensorineural hearing losses. It was hypothesized that the process of spectral subtraction may alter or degrade speech signals in some way. Such degradation may have little influence on the perception of speech by hearing-impaired adults who are likely to use contextual information under such circumstances. For young children who are still developing various language skills, however, signal degradation may have a more detrimental effect on the perception of speech. Design Sixteen children (eight 5–7 year olds and eight 8–10 year olds) with mild-moderately severe hearing loss participated in this study. All participants wore binaural behind-the-ear hearing aids where noise reduction processing was performed independently in 16 bands with center frequencies spaced 500 Hz apart up to 7500 Hz. Test stimuli were nonsense syllables, words, and sentences in a background of noise. For all stimuli, data were obtained with noise reduction on and off. Results In general, performance improved as a function of SNR for all three speech materials. The main effect for stimulus type was significant and post hoc comparisons of stimulus type indicated that speech recognition was higher for sentences than for both nonsense syllables and words, but no significant differences were observed between nonsense syllables and words. The main effect for noise reduction and the two-way interaction between noise reduction and stimulus type were not significant. Significant age group effects were observed, but the two-way interaction between NR and age group was not significant. Conclusions Consistent with

  20. Decoding speech perception by native and non-native speakers using single-trial electrophysiological data.

    PubMed

    Brandmeyer, Alex; Farquhar, Jason D R; McQueen, James M; Desain, Peter W M

    2013-01-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are systems that use real-time analysis of neuroimaging data to determine the mental state of their user for purposes such as providing neurofeedback. Here, we investigate the feasibility of a BCI based on speech perception. Multivariate pattern classification methods were applied to single-trial EEG data collected during speech perception by native and non-native speakers. Two principal questions were asked: 1) Can differences in the perceived categories of pairs of phonemes be decoded at the single-trial level? 2) Can these same categorical differences be decoded across participants, within or between native-language groups? Results indicated that classification performance progressively increased with respect to the categorical status (within, boundary or across) of the stimulus contrast, and was also influenced by the native language of individual participants. Classifier performance showed strong relationships with traditional event-related potential measures and behavioral responses. The results of the cross-participant analysis indicated an overall increase in average classifier performance when trained on data from all participants (native and non-native). A second cross-participant classifier trained only on data from native speakers led to an overall improvement in performance for native speakers, but a reduction in performance for non-native speakers. We also found that the native language of a given participant could be decoded on the basis of EEG data with accuracy above 80%. These results indicate that electrophysiological responses underlying speech perception can be decoded at the single-trial level, and that decoding performance systematically reflects graded changes in the responses related to the phonological status of the stimuli. This approach could be used in extensions of the BCI paradigm to support perceptual learning during second language acquisition. PMID:23874567

  1. Decoding Speech Perception by Native and Non-Native Speakers Using Single-Trial Electrophysiological Data

    PubMed Central

    Brandmeyer, Alex; Farquhar, Jason D. R.; McQueen, James M.; Desain, Peter W. M.

    2013-01-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are systems that use real-time analysis of neuroimaging data to determine the mental state of their user for purposes such as providing neurofeedback. Here, we investigate the feasibility of a BCI based on speech perception. Multivariate pattern classification methods were applied to single-trial EEG data collected during speech perception by native and non-native speakers. Two principal questions were asked: 1) Can differences in the perceived categories of pairs of phonemes be decoded at the single-trial level? 2) Can these same categorical differences be decoded across participants, within or between native-language groups? Results indicated that classification performance progressively increased with respect to the categorical status (within, boundary or across) of the stimulus contrast, and was also influenced by the native language of individual participants. Classifier performance showed strong relationships with traditional event-related potential measures and behavioral responses. The results of the cross-participant analysis indicated an overall increase in average classifier performance when trained on data from all participants (native and non-native). A second cross-participant classifier trained only on data from native speakers led to an overall improvement in performance for native speakers, but a reduction in performance for non-native speakers. We also found that the native language of a given participant could be decoded on the basis of EEG data with accuracy above 80%. These results indicate that electrophysiological responses underlying speech perception can be decoded at the single-trial level, and that decoding performance systematically reflects graded changes in the responses related to the phonological status of the stimuli. This approach could be used in extensions of the BCI paradigm to support perceptual learning during second language acquisition. PMID:23874567

  2. The effect of crossover frequency on aided speech perception in the presence of environmental sounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Donald Edward, Jr.

    2002-01-01

    Since its introduction several years ago, multichannel signal processing has become a nearly ubiquitous component of programmable and digital hearing aids. Rapid development of sophisticated multichannel circuits has proceeded well ahead of sound clinical techniques to implement this new technology. Splitting the incoming acoustic signal into as few as two independent high and low frequency bandpass filters (channels) can provide significant perceptual benefits for some hearing aid wearers but no empirically derived relationship has ever been found between a given set of bandpass filter settings and improved speech perception in noise. More specifically, adjustments to the crossover frequency at which the bandpass filters intersect, has never conclusively been shown to improve speech perception in noise. This might have been because the area of crossover frequency settings in and of itself has never received a great deal of attention. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether speech perception is significantly affected by changing the crossover frequency of a two-channel hearing aid across different sound environments. Those environmental sounds included: the steady state low frequency engine of a jet in flight, the slowly modulating wideband energy of ocean waves breaking on a beach and the high frequency transient bursts of rain hitting a tin roof. Nine participants were given the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) and the Four Alternative Auditory Features (FAAF) test in the presence of each environmental sound. They were all tested wearing pairs of two-channel digital hearing aids with the crossover frequency set each of four ways: wideband, 800 Hz, 1600 Hz or 3200 Hz. Statistically significant group differences were found for both the 1600 Hz and 3200 Hz settings over the wideband condition on the HINT in the rain. Comparison of the HINT scores for each of the nine participants indicated that the 1600 Hz setting was superior to all others in both

  3. Deficits in audiovisual speech perception in normal aging emerge at the level of whole-word recognition

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Ryan A.; Nelms, Caitlin; Baum, Sarah H.; Zurkovsky, Lilia; Barense, Morgan D.; Newhouse, Paul A.; Wallace, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next two decades, a dramatic shift in the demographics of society will take place, with a rapid growth in the population of older adults. One of the most common complaints with healthy aging is a decreased ability to successfully perceive speech, particularly in noisy environments. In such noisy environments, the presence of visual speech cues (i.e., lip movements) provide striking benefits for speech perception and comprehension, but previous research suggests that older adults gain less from such audiovisual integration than their younger peers. To determine at what processing level these behavioral differences arise in healthy-aging populations, we administered a speech-in-noise task to younger and older adults. We compared the perceptual benefits of having speech information available in both the auditory and visual modalities and examined both phoneme and whole-word recognition across varying levels of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For whole-word recognition, older relative to younger adults showed greater multisensory gains at intermediate SNRs, but reduced benefit at low SNRs. By contrast, at the phoneme level both younger and older adults showed approximately equivalent increases in multisensory gain as SNR decreased. Collectively, the results provide important insights into both the similarities and differences in how older and younger adults integrate auditory and visual speech cues in noisy environments, and help explain some of the conflicting findings in previous studies of multisensory speech perception in healthy aging. These novel findings suggest that audiovisual processing is intact at more elementary levels of speech perception in healthy aging populations, and that deficits begin to emerge only at the more complex, word-recognition level of speech signals. PMID:25282337

  4. Age-Related Differences in Speech Rate Perception Do Not Necessarily Entail Age-Related Differences in Speech Rate Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heffner, Christopher C.; Newman, Rochelle S.; Dilley, Laura C.; Idsardi, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: A new literature has suggested that speech rate can influence the parsing of words quite strongly in speech. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences between younger adults and older adults in the use of context speech rate in word segmentation, given that older adults perceive timing information differently from younger…

  5. Cortical asymmetries in speech perception: what’s wrong, what’s right, and what’s left?

    PubMed Central

    McGettigan, Carolyn; Scott, Sophie K.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 30 years hemispheric asymmetries in speech perception have been construed within a domain general framework, where preferential processing of speech is due to left lateralized, non-linguistic acoustic sensitivities. A prominent version of this argument holds that the left temporal lobe selectively processes rapid/temporal information in sound. Acoustically, this is a poor characterization of speech and there has been little empirical support for a left-hemisphere selectivity for these cues. In sharp contrast, the right temporal lobe is demonstrably sensitive to specific acoustic properties. We suggest that acoustic accounts of speech sensitivities need to be informed by the nature of the speech signal, and that a simple domain general/specific dichotomy may be incorrect. PMID:22521208

  6. The Effect of Combined Sensory and Semantic Components on Audio–Visual Speech Perception in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Maguinness, Corrina; Setti, Annalisa; Burke, Kate E.; Kenny, Rose Anne; Newell, Fiona N.

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies have found that perception in older people benefits from multisensory over unisensory information. As normal speech recognition is affected by both the auditory input and the visual lip movements of the speaker, we investigated the efficiency of audio and visual integration in an older population by manipulating the relative reliability of the auditory and visual information in speech. We also investigated the role of the semantic context of the sentence to assess whether audio–visual integration is affected by top-down semantic processing. We presented participants with audio–visual sentences in which the visual component was either blurred or not blurred. We found that there was a greater cost in recall performance for semantically meaningless speech in the audio–visual ‘blur’ compared to audio–visual ‘no blur’ condition and this effect was specific to the older group. Our findings have implications for understanding how aging affects efficient multisensory integration for the perception of speech and suggests that multisensory inputs may benefit speech perception in older adults when the semantic content of the speech is unpredictable. PMID:22207848

  7. Speech perception and production by sequential bilingual children: a longitudinal study of voice onset time acquisition.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Kathleen M; Mahon, Merle; Rosen, Stuart; Evans, Bronwen G

    2014-01-01

    The majority of bilingual speech research has focused on simultaneous bilinguals. Yet, in immigrant communities, children are often initially exposed to their family language (L1), before becoming gradually immersed in the host country's language (L2). This is typically referred to as sequential bilingualism. Using a longitudinal design, this study explored the perception and production of the English voicing contrast in 55 children (40 Sylheti-English sequential bilinguals and 15 English monolinguals). Children were tested twice: when they were in nursery (52-month-olds) and 1 year later. Sequential bilinguals' perception and production of English plosives were initially driven by their experience with their L1, but after starting school, changed to match that of their monolingual peers. PMID:25123987

  8. Speech Perception and Production by Sequential Bilingual Children: A Longitudinal Study of Voice Onset Time Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Kathleen M; Mahon, Merle; Rosen, Stuart; Evans, Bronwen G

    2014-01-01

    The majority of bilingual speech research has focused on simultaneous bilinguals. Yet, in immigrant communities, children are often initially exposed to their family language (L1), before becoming gradually immersed in the host country's language (L2). This is typically referred to as sequential bilingualism. Using a longitudinal design, this study explored the perception and production of the English voicing contrast in 55 children (40 Sylheti-English sequential bilinguals and 15 English monolinguals). Children were tested twice: when they were in nursery (52-month-olds) and 1 year later. Sequential bilinguals' perception and production of English plosives were initially driven by their experience with their L1, but after starting school, changed to match that of their monolingual peers. PMID:25123987

  9. Do gender differences in audio-visual benefit and visual influence in audio-visual speech perception emerge with age?

    PubMed Central

    Alm, Magnus; Behne, Dawn

    2015-01-01

    Gender and age have been found to affect adults’ audio-visual (AV) speech perception. However, research on adult aging focuses on adults over 60 years, who have an increasing likelihood for cognitive and sensory decline, which may confound positive effects of age-related AV-experience and its interaction with gender. Observed age and gender differences in AV speech perception may also depend on measurement sensitivity and AV task difficulty. Consequently both AV benefit and visual influence were used to measure visual contribution for gender-balanced groups of young (20–30 years) and middle-aged adults (50–60 years) with task difficulty varied using AV syllables from different talkers in alternative auditory backgrounds. Females had better speech-reading performance than males. Whereas no gender differences in AV benefit or visual influence were observed for young adults, visually influenced responses were significantly greater for middle-aged females than middle-aged males. That speech-reading performance did not influence AV benefit may be explained by visual speech extraction and AV integration constituting independent abilities. Contrastingly, the gender difference in visually influenced responses in middle adulthood may reflect an experience-related shift in females’ general AV perceptual strategy. Although young females’ speech-reading proficiency may not readily contribute to greater visual influence, between young and middle-adulthood recurrent confirmation of the contribution of visual cues induced by speech-reading proficiency may gradually shift females AV perceptual strategy toward more visually dominated responses. PMID:26236274

  10. Electrophysiological Evidence for a Multisensory Speech-Specific Mode of Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stekelenburg, Jeroen J.; Vroomen, Jean

    2012-01-01

    We investigated whether the interpretation of auditory stimuli as speech or non-speech affects audiovisual (AV) speech integration at the neural level. Perceptually ambiguous sine-wave replicas (SWS) of natural speech were presented to listeners who were either in "speech mode" or "non-speech mode". At the behavioral level, incongruent lipread…

  11. Mapping a lateralization gradient within the ventral stream for auditory speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Specht, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    Recent models on speech perception propose a dual-stream processing network, with a dorsal stream, extending from the posterior temporal lobe of the left hemisphere through inferior parietal areas into the left inferior frontal gyrus, and a ventral stream that is assumed to originate in the primary auditory cortex in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and to extend toward the anterior part of the temporal lobe, where it may connect to the ventral part of the inferior frontal gyrus. This article describes and reviews the results from a series of complementary functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that aimed to trace the hierarchical processing network for speech comprehension within the left and right hemisphere with a particular focus on the temporal lobe and the ventral stream. As hypothesized, the results demonstrate a bilateral involvement of the temporal lobes in the processing of speech signals. However, an increasing leftward asymmetry was detected from auditory–phonetic to lexico-semantic processing and along the posterior–anterior axis, thus forming a “lateralization” gradient. This increasing leftward lateralization was particularly evident for the left superior temporal sulcus and more anterior parts of the temporal lobe. PMID:24106470

  12. The effects of hearing protectors on speech communication and the perception of warning signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suter, Alice H.

    1989-06-01

    Because hearing protectors attenuate the noise and signal by equal amounts within a given frequency range, reducing both to a level where there is less likelihood of distortion, they often provide improved listening conditions. The crossover level from disadvantage to advantage usually occurs between 80 and 90 dB. However, hearing protectors may adversely affect speech recognition under a variety of conditions. For hearing-impaired listeners, whose average hearing levels at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz exceed 30 dB, certain speech sounds will fall below the level of audibility. Visual cues may decrease the disadvantage imposed by hearing protectors. However, the Occlusion Effect, which decreases vocal output when the talker wears protection, adversely affects the listener's speech recognition. The poorest performance occurs when both talkers and listeners wear protectors. Hearing protectors affect warning signal perception in a similar manner. Again the crossover level seems to be between 80 and 90 dB, and there is greater degradation for individuals with impaired hearing. Earmuffs appear to pose greater problems than plugs, and this is especially true of difficulties in signal localization. Earplugs produce mainly front-back localization errors, while earmuffs produce left-right localization errors as well. Earmuffs also drastically impede localization in the vertical plane.

  13. Compensation for coarticulation: Disentangling auditory and gestural theories of perception of coarticulatory effects in speech

    PubMed Central

    Viswanathan, Navin; Magnuson, James S.; Fowler, Carol A.

    2013-01-01

    According to one approach to speech perception, listeners perceive speech by applying general pattern matching mechanisms to the acoustic signal (e.g., Diehl, Lotto & Holt, 2004). An alternative is that listeners perceive the phonetic gestures that structured the acoustic signal (e.g., Fowler, 1986). The two accounts have offered different explanations for the phenomenon of compensation for coarticulation (CfC). An example of CfC is that if a speaker produces a gesture with a front place of articulation, it may be pulled slightly backwards if it follows a back place of articulation, and listeners’ category boundaries shift (compensate) accordingly. The gestural account appeals to direct attunement to coarticulation to explain CfC, while the auditory account explains it by spectral contrast. In previous studies, spectral contrast and gestural consequences of coarticulation have been correlated, such that both accounts made identical predictions. We identify a liquid context in Tamil that disentangles contrast and coarticulation, such that the two accounts make different predictions. In a standard CfC task in Experiment 1, gestural coarticulation rather than spectral contrast determined the direction of CfC. Experiments 2, 3 and 4 demonstrated that tone analogues of the speech precursors failed to produce the same effects observed in Experiment 1, suggesting that simple spectral contrast cannot account for the findings of Experiment 1. PMID:20695714

  14. The influence of phonemic awareness development on acoustic cue weighting strategies in children's speech perception.

    PubMed

    Mayo, Catherine; Scobbie, James M; Hewlett, Nigel; Waters, Daphne

    2003-10-01

    In speech perception, children give particular patterns of weight to different acoustic cues (their cue weighting). These patterns appear to change with increased linguistic experience. Previous speech perception research has found a positive correlation between more analytical cue weighting strategies and the ability to consciously think about and manipulate segment-sized units (phonemic awareness). That research did not, however, aim to address whether the relation is in any way causal or, if so, then in which direction possible causality might move. Causality in this relation could move in 1 of 2 ways: Either phonemic awareness development could impact on cue weighting strategies or changes in cue weighting could allow for the later development of phonemic awareness. The aim of this study was to follow the development of these 2 processes longitudinally to determine which of the above 2 possibilities was more likely. Five-year-old children were tested 3 times in 7 months on their cue weighting strategies for a /so/-/[symbol in text]o/ contrast, in which the 2 cues manipulated were the frequency of fricative spectrum and the frequency of vowel-onset formant transitions. The children were also tested at the same time on their phoneme segmentation and phoneme blending skills. Results showed that phonemic awareness skills tended to improve before cue weighting changed and that early phonemic awareness ability predicted later cue weighting strategies. These results suggest that the development of metaphonemic awareness may play some role in changes in cue weighting. PMID:14575351

  15. Auditory Perception, Suprasegmental Speech Processing, and Vocabulary Development in Chinese Preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hsiao-Lan S; Chen, I-Chen; Chiang, Chun-Han; Lai, Ying-Hui; Tsao, Yu

    2016-10-01

    The current study examined the associations between basic auditory perception, speech prosodic processing, and vocabulary development in Chinese kindergartners, specifically, whether early basic auditory perception may be related to linguistic prosodic processing in Chinese Mandarin vocabulary acquisition. A series of language, auditory, and linguistic prosodic tests were given to 100 preschool children who had not yet learned how to read Chinese characters. The results suggested that lexical tone sensitivity and intonation production were significantly correlated with children's general vocabulary abilities. In particular, tone awareness was associated with comprehensive language development, whereas intonation production was associated with both comprehensive and expressive language development. Regression analyses revealed that tone sensitivity accounted for 36% of the unique variance in vocabulary development, whereas intonation production accounted for 6% of the variance in vocabulary development. Moreover, auditory frequency discrimination was significantly correlated with lexical tone sensitivity, syllable duration discrimination, and intonation production in Mandarin Chinese. Also it provided significant contributions to tone sensitivity and intonation production. Auditory frequency discrimination may indirectly affect early vocabulary development through Chinese speech prosody. PMID:27519239

  16. Neural sensitivity to syllable frequency and mutual information in speech perception and production.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Deschamps, Isabelle; Baroni, Marco; Hasson, Uri

    2016-08-01

    Many factors affect our ability to decode the speech signal, including its quality, the complexity of the elements that compose it, as well as their frequency of occurrence and co-occurrence in a language. Syllable frequency effects have been described in the behavioral literature, including facilitatory effects during speech production and inhibitory effects during word recognition, but the neural mechanisms underlying these effects remain largely unknown. The objective of this study was to examine, using functional neuroimaging, the neurobiological correlates of three different distributional statistics in simple 2-syllable nonwords: the frequency of the first and second syllables, and the mutual information between the syllables. We examined these statistics during nonword perception and production using a powerful single-trial analytical approach. We found that repetition accuracy was higher for nonwords in which the frequency of the first syllable was high. In addition, brain responses to distributional statistics were widespread and almost exclusively cortical. Importantly, brain activity was modulated in a distinct manner for each statistic, with the strongest facilitatory effects associated with the frequency of the first syllable and mutual information. These findings show that distributional statistics modulate nonword perception and production. We discuss the common and unique impact of each distributional statistic on brain activity, as well as task differences. PMID:27184201

  17. Reducing Channel Interaction Through Cochlear Implant Programming May Improve Speech Perception: Current Focusing and Channel Deactivation.

    PubMed

    Bierer, Julie A; Litvak, Leonid

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception among cochlear implant (CI) listeners is highly variable. High degrees of channel interaction are associated with poorer speech understanding. Two methods for reducing channel interaction, focusing electrical fields, and deactivating subsets of channels were assessed by the change in vowel and consonant identification scores with different program settings. The main hypotheses were that (a) focused stimulation will improve phoneme recognition and (b) speech perception will improve when channels with high thresholds are deactivated. To select high-threshold channels for deactivation, subjects' threshold profiles were processed to enhance the peaks and troughs, and then an exclusion or inclusion criterion based on the mean and standard deviation was used. Low-threshold channels were selected manually and matched in number and apex-to-base distribution. Nine ears in eight adult CI listeners with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices were tested with six experimental programs. Two, all-channel programs, (a) 14-channel partial tripolar (pTP) and (b) 14-channel monopolar (MP), and four variable-channel programs, derived from these two base programs, (c) pTP with high- and (d) low-threshold channels deactivated, and (e) MP with high- and (f) low-threshold channels deactivated, were created. Across subjects, performance was similar with pTP and MP programs. However, poorer performing subjects (scoring < 62% correct on vowel identification) tended to perform better with the all-channel pTP than with the MP program (1 > 2). These same subjects showed slightly more benefit with the reduced channel MP programs (5 and 6). Subjective ratings were consistent with performance. These finding suggest that reducing channel interaction may benefit poorer performing CI listeners. PMID:27317668

  18. Reducing Channel Interaction Through Cochlear Implant Programming May Improve Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Litvak, Leonid

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception among cochlear implant (CI) listeners is highly variable. High degrees of channel interaction are associated with poorer speech understanding. Two methods for reducing channel interaction, focusing electrical fields, and deactivating subsets of channels were assessed by the change in vowel and consonant identification scores with different program settings. The main hypotheses were that (a) focused stimulation will improve phoneme recognition and (b) speech perception will improve when channels with high thresholds are deactivated. To select high-threshold channels for deactivation, subjects’ threshold profiles were processed to enhance the peaks and troughs, and then an exclusion or inclusion criterion based on the mean and standard deviation was used. Low-threshold channels were selected manually and matched in number and apex-to-base distribution. Nine ears in eight adult CI listeners with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices were tested with six experimental programs. Two, all-channel programs, (a) 14-channel partial tripolar (pTP) and (b) 14-channel monopolar (MP), and four variable-channel programs, derived from these two base programs, (c) pTP with high- and (d) low-threshold channels deactivated, and (e) MP with high- and (f) low-threshold channels deactivated, were created. Across subjects, performance was similar with pTP and MP programs. However, poorer performing subjects (scoring < 62% correct on vowel identification) tended to perform better with the all-channel pTP than with the MP program (1 > 2). These same subjects showed slightly more benefit with the reduced channel MP programs (5 and 6). Subjective ratings were consistent with performance. These finding suggest that reducing channel interaction may benefit poorer performing CI listeners. PMID:27317668

  19. 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

  20. Mexican Immigrant Mothers' Perceptions of Their Children's Communication Disabilities, Emergent Literacy Development, and Speech-Language Therapy Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kummerer, Sharon E.; Lopez-Reyna, Norma A.; Hughes, Marie Tejero

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This qualitative study explored mothers' perceptions of their children's communication disabilities, emergent literacy development, and speech-language therapy programs. Method: Participants were 14 Mexican immigrant mothers and their children (age 17-47 months) who were receiving center-based services from an early childhood intervention…

  1. Individual Differences in Language Ability Are Related to Variation in Word Recognition, Not Speech Perception: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMurray, Bob; Munson, Cheyenne; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The authors examined speech perception deficits associated with individual differences in language ability, contrasting auditory, phonological, or lexical accounts by asking whether lexical competition is differentially sensitive to fine-grained acoustic variation. Method: Adolescents with a range of language abilities (N = 74, including…

  2. The Effect of Frequency Transposition on Speech Perception in Adolescents and Young Adults with Profound Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gou, J.; Smith, J.; Valero, J.; Rubio, I.

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports on a clinical trial evaluating outcomes of a frequency-lowering technique for adolescents and young adults with severe to profound hearing impairment. Outcomes were defined by changes in aided thresholds, speech perception, and acceptance. The participants comprised seven young people aged between 13 and 25 years. They were…

  3. Comparison of Word-, Sentence-, and Phoneme-Based Training Strategies in Improving the Perception of Spectrally Distorted Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stacey, Paula C.; Summerfield, A. Quentin

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of 3 self-administered strategies for auditory training that might improve speech perception by adult users of cochlear implants. The strategies are based, respectively, on discriminating isolated words, words in sentences, and phonemes in nonsense syllables. Method: Participants were 18 normal-hearing adults…

  4. Impact of Second-Language Experience in Infancy: Brain Measures of First- and Second-Language Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conboy, Barbara T.; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2011-01-01

    Language experience "narrows" speech perception by the end of infants' first year, reducing discrimination of non-native phoneme contrasts while improving native-contrast discrimination. Previous research showed that declines in non-native discrimination were reversed by second-language experience provided at 9-10 months, but it is not known…

  5. Basic to Applied Research: The Benefits of Audio-Visual Speech Perception Research in Teaching Foreign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdener, Dogu

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, second language (L2) instruction has emphasised auditory-based instruction methods. However, this approach is restrictive in the sense that speech perception by humans is not just an auditory phenomenon but a multimodal one, and specifically, a visual one as well. In the past decade, experimental studies have shown that the…

  6. Thinking outside the (Voice) Box: A Case Study of Students' Perceptions of the Relevance of Anatomy to Speech Pathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weir, Kristy A.

    2008-01-01

    Speech pathology students readily identify the importance of a sound understanding of anatomical structures central to their intended profession. In contrast, they often do not recognize the relevance of a broader understanding of structure and function. This study aimed to explore students' perceptions of the relevance of anatomy to speech…

  7. Auditory Sensitivity, Speech Perception, L1 Chinese, and L2 English Reading Abilities in Hong Kong Chinese Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Juan; McBride-Chang, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    A 4-stage developmental model, in which auditory sensitivity is fully mediated by speech perception at both the segmental and suprasegmental levels, which are further related to word reading through their associations with phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, verbal short-term memory and morphological awareness, was tested with…

  8. The effect of different open plan and enclosed classroom acoustic conditions on speech perception in Kindergarten children.

    PubMed

    Mealings, Kiri T; Demuth, Katherine; Buchholz, Jörg M; Dillon, Harvey

    2015-10-01

    Open plan classrooms, where several classes are in the same room, have recently re-emerged in Australian primary schools. This paper explores how the acoustics of four Kindergarten classrooms [an enclosed classroom (25 children), double classroom (44 children), fully open plan triple classroom (91 children), and a semi-open plan K-6 "21st century learning space" (205 children)] affect speech perception. Twenty-two to 23 5-6-year-old children in each classroom participated in an online four-picture choice speech perception test while adjacent classes engaged in quiet versus noisy activities. The noise levels recorded during the test were higher the larger the classroom, except in the noisy condition for the K-6 classroom, possibly due to acoustic treatments. Linear mixed effects models revealed children's performance accuracy and speed decreased as noise level increased. Additionally, children's speech perception abilities decreased the further away they were seated from the loudspeaker in noise levels above 50 dBA. These results suggest that fully open plan classrooms are not appropriate learning environments for critical listening activities with young children due to their high intrusive noise levels which negatively affect speech perception. If open plan classrooms are desired, they need to be acoustically designed to be appropriate for critical listening activities. PMID:26520328

  9. The Neurobiology of Speech Perception and Production-Can Functional Imaging Tell Us Anything We Did Not Already Know?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Sophie K.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the neurobiological basis for human speech production and perception has benefited from insights from psychology, neuropsychology and neurology. In this overview, I outline some of the ways that functional imaging has added to this knowledge and argue that, as a neuroanatomical tool, functional imaging has led to some…

  10. Auditory, Visual, and Auditory-Visual Speech Perception by Individuals with Cochlear Implants versus Individuals with Hearing Aids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Most, Tova; Rothem, Hilla; Luntz, Michal

    2009-01-01

    The researchers evaluated the contribution of cochlear implants (CIs) to speech perception by a sample of prelingually deaf individuals implanted after age 8 years. This group was compared with a group with profound hearing impairment (HA-P), and with a group with severe hearing impairment (HA-S), both of which used hearing aids. Words and…

  11. Perception of speech rhythm in second language: the case of rhythmically similar L1 and L2.

    PubMed

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm. PMID:25859228

  12. Perception of speech rhythm in second language: the case of rhythmically similar L1 and L2

    PubMed Central

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm. PMID:25859228

  13. Plasticity in speech production and perception: A study of accent change in young adults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Bronwen G.; Iverson, Paul

    2005-04-01

    This study investigated plasticity in speech production and perception among university students, as individuals change their accent from regional to educated norms. Subjects were tested before beginning university, 3 months later and on completion of their first year of study. At each stage they were recorded reading a set of test words and a short passage. They also completed two perceptual tasks; they found best exemplar locations for vowels embedded in carrier sentences and identified words in noise. The results demonstrated that subjects changed their spoken accent after attending university. The changes were linked to sociolinguistic factors; subjects who were highly motivated to fit in with their university community changed their accent more. There was some evidence for a link between production and perception; between-subject differences in production and perception were correlated. However, this relationship was weaker for within-subject changes in accent over time. The results suggest that there were limitations in the ability of these subjects to acquire new phonological rules.

  14. Functional Overlap between Regions Involved in Speech Perception and in Monitoring One's Own Voice during Speech Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zheng, Zane Z.; Munhall, Kevin G.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.

    2010-01-01

    The fluency and the reliability of speech production suggest a mechanism that links motor commands and sensory feedback. Here, we examined the neural organization supporting such links by using fMRI to identify regions in which activity during speech production is modulated according to whether auditory feedback matches the predicted outcome or…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. READING YOUR OWN LIPS: COMMON CODING THEORY AND VISUAL SPEECH PERCEPTION

    PubMed Central

    Tye-Murray, Nancy; Spehar, Brent P.; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra; Sommers, Mitchell S.

    2012-01-01

    Common coding theory posits: 1) perceiving an action activates the same representations of motor plans that are activated by actually performing that action; 2) because of individual differences in the way actions are performed, observing recordings of one’s own previous behavior activates motor plans to an even greater degree than observing someone else’s behavior. We hypothesized that if observing oneself activates motor plans to a greater degree than observing others, and these activated plans contribute to perception, then people should be able to lipread silent video clips of their own previous utterances more accurately than they can lipread video clips of other talkers. As predicted, two groups of participants were able to lipread video clips of themselves recorded more than two weeks earlier significantly more accurately than video clips of others. These results suggest that visual input activates speech motor activity that links to word representations in the mental lexicon. PMID:23132604

  18. Phonological processing in speech perception: What do sonority differences tell us?

    PubMed

    Deschamps, Isabelle; Baum, Shari R; Gracco, Vincent L

    2015-10-01

    Previous research has associated the inferior frontal and posterior temporal brain regions with a number of phonological processes. In order to identify how these specific brain regions contribute to phonological processing, we manipulated subsyllabic phonological complexity and stimulus modality during speech perception using fMRI. Subjects passively attended to visual or auditory pseudowords. Similar to previous studies, a bilateral network of cortical regions was recruited during the presentation of visual and auditory stimuli. Moreover, pseudowords recruited a similar network of regions as words and letters. Few regions in the whole-brain results revealed neural processing differences associated with phonological complexity independent of modality of presentation. In an ROI analysis, the only region sensitive to phonological complexity was the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFGpo), with the complexity effect only present for print. In sum, the sensitivity of phonological brain areas depends on the modality of stimulus presentation and task demands. PMID:26186232

  19. Required attention for synthesized speech perception for three levels of linguistic redundancy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, C. A.; Hart, S. G.

    1977-01-01

    The study evaluates the attention required for synthesized speech perception with reference to three levels of linguistic redundancy. Twelve commercial airline pilots were individually tested for 16 cockpit warning messages eight of which consisted of two monosyllabic key words and eight of which consisted of two polysyllabic key words. Three levels of linguistic redundancy were identified: monosyllabic words, polysyllabic words, and sentences. The experiment contained a message familiarization phase and a message recognition phase. It was found that: (1) when the messages are part of a previously learned and recently heard set, and the subject is familiar with the phrasing, the attention needed to recognize the message is not a function of the level of linguistic redundancy, and (2) there is a quantitative and qualitative difference between recognition and comprehension processes; only in the case of active comprehension does additional redundancy reduce attention requirements.

  20. Speech perception abilities of children with cochlear implants, tactile aids, or hearing aids.

    PubMed

    Osberger, M J; Robbins, A M; Miyamoto, R T; Berry, S W; Myres, W A; Kessler, K S; Pope, M L

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment was first, to compare the performance of three matched groups of experimental subjects who used either a single-channel cochlear implant, a multichannel cochlear implant, or a two-channel vibrotactile aid on a battery of speech perception measures, and second, to compare the performance of subjects with residual hearing who used hearing aids to that of the three groups of experimental subjects. The results revealed that the subjects using hearing aids achieved the highest scores on all measures. The performance of the group of multichannel implant users was significantly higher than that of the single-channel implant users on tests involving discrimination of speech features, categorization of stress patterns, closed-set identification of familiar words, and identification of common phrases with and without visual cues. The performance of the subjects using 3M/House and Tactaid II devices was similar on all tests except those requiring integration of auditory or tactile cues and visual cues, on which the 3M/House device users achieved significantly higher scores than did the Tactaid II device users. PMID:2069171

  1. Aging of the medial olivocochlear reflex and associations with speech perception.

    PubMed

    Abdala, Carolina; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Ahmadi, Mahnaz; Luo, Ping

    2014-02-01

    The medial olivocochlear reflex (MOCR) modulates cochlear amplifier gain and is thought to facilitate the detection of signals in noise. High-resolution distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were recorded in teens, young, middle-aged, and elderly adults at moderate levels using primary tones swept from 0.5 to 4 kHz with and without a contralateral acoustic stimulus (CAS) to elicit medial efferent activation. Aging effects on magnitude and phase of the 2f1-f2 DPOAE and on its components were examined, as was the link between speech-in-noise performance and MOCR strength. Results revealed a mild aging effect on the MOCR through middle age for frequencies below 1.5 kHz. Additionally, positive correlations were observed between strength of the MOCR and performance on select measures of speech perception parsed into features. The elderly group showed unexpected results including relatively large effects of CAS on DPOAE, and CAS-induced increases in DPOAE fine structure as well as increases in the amplitude and phase accumulation of DPOAE reflection components. Contamination of MOCR estimates by middle ear muscle contractions cannot be ruled out in the oldest subjects. The findings reiterate that DPOAE components should be unmixed when measuring medial efferent effects to better consider and understand these potential confounds. PMID:25234884

  2. Comparing spatial tuning curves, spectral ripple resolution, and speech perception in cochlear implant users

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Elizabeth S.; Nelson, David A.; Kreft, Heather; Nelson, Peggy B.; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Spectral ripple discrimination thresholds were measured in 15 cochlear-implant users with broadband (350–5600 Hz) and octave-band noise stimuli. The results were compared with spatial tuning curve (STC) bandwidths previously obtained from the same subjects. Spatial tuning curve bandwidths did not correlate significantly with broadband spectral ripple discrimination thresholds but did correlate significantly with ripple discrimination thresholds when the rippled noise was confined to an octave-wide passband, centered on the STC’s probe electrode frequency allocation. Ripple discrimination thresholds were also measured for octave-band stimuli in four contiguous octaves, with center frequencies from 500 Hz to 4000 Hz. Substantial variations in thresholds with center frequency were found in individuals, but no general trends of increasing or decreasing resolution from apex to base were observed in the pooled data. Neither ripple nor STC measures correlated consistently with speech measures in noise and quiet in the sample of subjects in this study. Overall, the results suggest that spectral ripple discrimination measures provide a reasonable measure of spectral resolution that correlates well with more direct, but more time-consuming, measures of spectral resolution, but that such measures do not always provide a clear and robust predictor of performance in speech perception tasks. PMID:21786905

  3. An Assessment of Behavioral Dynamic Information Processing Measures in Audiovisual Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Altieri, Nicholas; Townsend, James T.

    2011-01-01

    Research has shown that visual speech perception can assist accuracy in identification of spoken words. However, little is known about the dynamics of the processing mechanisms involved in audiovisual integration. In particular, architecture and capacity, measured using response time methodologies, have not been investigated. An issue related to architecture concerns whether the auditory and visual sources of the speech signal are integrated “early” or “late.” We propose that “early” integration most naturally corresponds to coactive processing whereas “late” integration corresponds to separate decisions parallel processing. We implemented the double factorial paradigm in two studies. First, we carried out a pilot study using a two-alternative forced-choice discrimination task to assess architecture, decision rule, and provide a preliminary assessment of capacity (integration efficiency). Next, Experiment 1 was designed to specifically assess audiovisual integration efficiency in an ecologically valid way by including lower auditory S/N ratios and a larger response set size. Results from the pilot study support a separate decisions parallel, late integration model. Results from both studies showed that capacity was severely limited for high auditory signal-to-noise ratios. However, Experiment 1 demonstrated that capacity improved as the auditory signal became more degraded. This evidence strongly suggests that integration efficiency is vitally affected by the S/N ratio. PMID:21980314

  4. Integration of facial and newly learned visual cues in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Massaro, Dom; Cohen, Michael M; Meyer, Heidi; Stribling, Tracy; Sterling, Cass; Vanderhyden, Sam

    2011-01-01

    We are developing technology to translate acoustic characteristics of speech into visual cues that can be used to supplement speechreading when hearing is limited. Research and theory have established that perceivers are influenced by multiple sources of sensory and contextual information in spoken language processing. Previous research has also shown that additional sources of information can be learned and used to supplement those that are normally available but have been degraded by sensory impairment or difficult environments. We tested whether people can combine or integrate information from the face and information from newly learned cues in an optimal manner. Subjects first learned the visual cues and then were tested under three conditions.Words were presented with just the face, just the visual cues, or both together. Performance was much better with both cues than with either one alone. Similar to the description of previous results with audible and visible speech, the present results were well described by the Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception (Massaro, 1998), which predicts optimal or maximally efficient integration. PMID:21977695

  5. Neural Correlates of Interindividual Differences in Children’s Audiovisual Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Nath, Audrey R.; Fava, Eswen E.; Beauchamp, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Children use information from both the auditory and visual modalities to aid in understanding speech. A dramatic illustration of this multisensory integration is the McGurk effect, an illusion in which an auditory syllable is perceived differently when it is paired with an incongruent mouth movement. However, there are significant interindividual differences in McGurk perception: some children never perceive the illusion, while others always do. Because converging evidence suggests that the posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) is a critical site for multisensory integration, we hypothesized that activity within the STS would predict susceptibility to the McGurk effect. To test this idea, we used blood-oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) in seventeen children aged 6 to 12 years to measure brain responses to three audiovisual stimulus categories: McGurk incongruent, non-McGurk incongruent and congruent syllables. Two separate analysis approaches, one using independent functional localizers and another using whole-brain voxel-based regression, showed differences in the left STS between perceivers and non-perceivers. The STS of McGurk perceivers responded significantly more than non-perceivers to McGurk syllables, but not to other stimuli, and perceivers’ hemodynamic responses in the STS were significantly prolonged. In addition to the STS, weaker differences between perceivers and non-perceivers were observed in the FFA and extrastriate visual cortex. These results suggest that the STS is an important source of interindividual variability in children’s audiovisual speech perception. PMID:21957257

  6. Effects of language experience and stimulus context on the neural organization and categorical perception of speech.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Lee, Chia-Cheng

    2015-10-15

    Categorical perception (CP) represents a fundamental process in converting continuous speech acoustics into invariant percepts. Using scalp-recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we investigated how tone-language experience and stimulus context influence the CP for lexical tones-pitch patterns used by a majority of the world's languages to signal word meaning. Stimuli were vowel pairs overlaid with a high-level tone (T1) followed by a pitch continuum spanning between dipping (T3) and rising (T2) contours of the Mandarin tonal space. To vary context, T1 either preceded or followed the critical T2/T3 continuum. Behaviorally, native Chinese showed stronger CP as evident by their steeper, more dichotomous psychometric functions and faster identification of linguistic pitch patterns than native English-speaking controls. Stimulus context produced shifts in both groups' categorical boundary but was more exaggerated in native listeners. Analysis of source activity extracted from primary auditory cortex revealed overall stronger neural encoding of tone in Chinese compared to English, indicating experience-dependent plasticity in cortical pitch processing. More critically, "neurometric" functions derived from multidimensional scaling and clustering of source ERPs established: (i) early auditory cortical activity could accurately predict listeners' psychometric speech identification and contextual shifts in the perceptual boundary; (ii) neurometric profiles were organized more categorically in native speakers. Our data show that tone-language experience refines early auditory cortical brain representations so as to supply more faithful templates to neural mechanisms subserving lexical pitch categorization. We infer that contextual influence on the CP for tones is determined by language experience and the frequency of pitch patterns as they occur in listeners' native lexicon. PMID:26146197

  7. Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, Dean; D'Souza, Hana; Johnson, Mark H; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette

    2016-08-01

    Typically-developing (TD) infants can construct unified cross-modal percepts, such as a speaking face, by integrating auditory-visual (AV) information. This skill is a key building block upon which higher-level skills, such as word learning, are built. Because word learning is seriously delayed in most children with neurodevelopmental disorders, we assessed the hypothesis that this delay partly results from a deficit in integrating AV speech cues. AV speech integration has rarely been investigated in neurodevelopmental disorders, and never previously in infants. We probed for the McGurk effect, which occurs when the auditory component of one sound (/ba/) is paired with the visual component of another sound (/ga/), leading to the perception of an illusory third sound (/da/ or /tha/). We measured AV integration in 95 infants/toddlers with Down, fragile X, or Williams syndrome, whom we matched on Chronological and Mental Age to 25 TD infants. We also assessed a more basic AV perceptual ability: sensitivity to matching vs. mismatching AV speech stimuli. Infants with Williams syndrome failed to demonstrate a McGurk effect, indicating poor AV speech integration. Moreover, while the TD children discriminated between matching and mismatching AV stimuli, none of the other groups did, hinting at a basic deficit or delay in AV speech processing, which is likely to constrain subsequent language development. PMID:27498221

  8. Speech Perception in Tones and Noise via Cochlear Implants Reveals Influence of Spectral Resolution on Temporal Processing

    PubMed Central

    Kreft, Heather A.

    2014-01-01

    Under normal conditions, human speech is remarkably robust to degradation by noise and other distortions. However, people with hearing loss, including those with cochlear implants, often experience great difficulty in understanding speech in noisy environments. Recent work with normal-hearing listeners has shown that the amplitude fluctuations inherent in noise contribute strongly to the masking of speech. In contrast, this study shows that speech perception via a cochlear implant is unaffected by the inherent temporal fluctuations of noise. This qualitative difference between acoustic and electric auditory perception does not seem to be due to differences in underlying temporal acuity but can instead be explained by the poorer spectral resolution of cochlear implants, relative to the normally functioning ear, which leads to an effective smoothing of the inherent temporal-envelope fluctuations of noise. The outcome suggests an unexpected trade-off between the detrimental effects of poorer spectral resolution and the beneficial effects of a smoother noise temporal envelope. This trade-off provides an explanation for the long-standing puzzle of why strong correlations between speech understanding and spectral resolution have remained elusive. The results also provide a potential explanation for why cochlear-implant users and hearing-impaired listeners exhibit reduced or absent masking release when large and relatively slow temporal fluctuations are introduced in noise maskers. The multitone maskers used here may provide an effective new diagnostic tool for assessing functional hearing loss and reduced spectral resolution. PMID:25315376

  9. Perception of the Multisensory Coherence of Fluent Audiovisual Speech in Infancy: Its Emergence & the Role of Experience

    PubMed Central

    Lewkowicz, David J.; Minar, Nicholas J.; Tift, Amy H.; Brandon, Melissa

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the developmental emergence of the ability to perceive the multisensory coherence of native and non-native audiovisual fluent speech, we tested 4-, 8–10, and 12–14 month-old English-learning infants. Infants first viewed two identical female faces articulating two different monologues in silence and then in the presence of an audible monologue that matched the visible articulations of one of the faces. Neither the 4-month-old nor the 8–10 month-old infants exhibited audio-visual matching in that neither group exhibited greater looking at the matching monologue. In contrast, the 12–14 month-old infants exhibited matching and, consistent with the emergence of perceptual expertise for the native language, they perceived the multisensory coherence of native-language monologues earlier in the test trials than of non-native language monologues. Moreover, the matching of native audible and visible speech streams observed in the 12–14 month olds did not depend on audio-visual synchrony whereas the matching of non-native audible and visible speech streams did depend on synchrony. Overall, the current findings indicate that the perception of the multisensory coherence of fluent audiovisual speech emerges late in infancy, that audio-visual synchrony cues are more important in the perception of the multisensory coherence of non-native than native audiovisual speech, and that the emergence of this skill most likely is affected by perceptual narrowing. PMID:25462038

  10. Discrimination of Static and Dynamic Spectral Patterns by Children and Young Adults in Relationship to Speech Perception in Noise

    PubMed Central

    Rayes, Hanin; Sheft, Stanley; Shafiro, Valeriy

    2014-01-01

    Past work has shown relationship between the ability to discriminate spectral patterns and measures of speech intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of both children and young adults to discriminate static and dynamic spectral patterns, comparing performance between the two groups and evaluating within-group results in terms of relationship to speech-in-noise perception. Data were collected from normal-hearing children (age range: 5.4-12.8 years) and young adults (mean age: 22.8 years) on two spectral discrimination tasks and speech-in-noise perception. The first discrimination task, involving static spectral profiles, measured the ability to detect a change in the phase of a low-density sinusoidal spectral ripple of wideband noise. Using dynamic spectral patterns, the second task determined the signal-to-noise ratio needed to discriminate the temporal pattern of frequency fluctuation imposed by stochastic low-rate frequency modulation (FM). Children performed significantly poorer than young adults on both discrimination tasks. For children, a significant correlation between speech-in-noise perception and spectral-pattern discrimination was obtained only with the dynamic patterns of the FM condition, with partial correlation suggesting that factors related to the children’s age mediated the relationship. PMID:25568764

  11. Neural networks for learning and prediction with applications to remote sensing and speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gjaja, Marin N.

    1997-11-01

    Neural networks for supervised and unsupervised learning are developed and applied to problems in remote sensing, continuous map learning, and speech perception. Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) models are real-time neural networks for category learning, pattern recognition, and prediction. Unsupervised fuzzy ART networks synthesize fuzzy logic and neural networks, and supervised ARTMAP networks incorporate ART modules for prediction and classification. New ART and ARTMAP methods resulting from analyses of data structure, parameter specification, and category selection are developed. Architectural modifications providing flexibility for a variety of applications are also introduced and explored. A new methodology for automatic mapping from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and terrain data, based on fuzzy ARTMAP, is developed. System capabilities are tested on a challenging remote sensing problem, prediction of vegetation classes in the Cleveland National Forest from spectral and terrain features. After training at the pixel level, performance is tested at the stand level, using sites not seen during training. Results are compared to those of maximum likelihood classifiers, back propagation neural networks, and K-nearest neighbor algorithms. Best performance is obtained using a hybrid system based on a convex combination of fuzzy ARTMAP and maximum likelihood predictions. This work forms the foundation for additional studies exploring fuzzy ARTMAP's capability to estimate class mixture composition for non-homogeneous sites. Exploratory simulations apply ARTMAP to the problem of learning continuous multidimensional mappings. A novel system architecture retains basic ARTMAP properties of incremental and fast learning in an on-line setting while adding components to solve this class of problems. The perceptual magnet effect is a language-specific phenomenon arising early in infant speech development that is characterized by a warping of speech sound perception. An

  12. Auditory stream segregation using pitch cues by cochlear implant users with implications for speech perception in noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Robert Stephen

    Auditory stream segregation involves the ability of a listener to perceptually segregate different sounds into different perceptual streams. The different acoustical properties of these sounds that lead to stream segregation have been well-studied in both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired individuals, but little research has been performed to date in cochlear-implant users. One motivation for examining auditory streaming in cochlear-implant subjects is that such research may lead to advances in the performance of cochlear implants in common everyday situations. For example, the study of auditory stream segregation may help in understanding why cochlear-implant users have such difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, which requires listeners to perceptually segregate target speech from other competing sounds. The research in this study focuses on auditory streaming using pitch cues, since the accurate perception of pitch is known to be important for understanding speech in noise. First, the pure-tone streaming ability of cochlear-implant subjects using their everyday speech processing strategies is measured. A wide range of performance on pure-tone streaming is observed, with significant correlations between streaming ability and speech perception in noise, consistent with the idea that the ability to segregate sounds based on pitch is important to the understanding of speech in competing backgrounds. Second, the abilities of normal-hearing and cochlear-implant listeners to use place and rate pitch cues for streaming are compared. In general, cochlear-implant users demonstrate a lesser ability to use place pitch and a similar ability to use rate pitch cues for streaming compared to normal-hearing listeners. Third, the results of the streaming experiments are used as guidance in designing a set of cochlear-implant simulations which examine the influence of pitch cues for speech perception in a competing talker background. Through these experiments, it

  13. Parents and Speech Therapist Perception of Parental Involvement in Kailila Therapy Center, Jakarta, Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jane, Griselda; Tunjungsari, Harini

    2015-01-01

    Parental involvement in a speech therapy has not been prioritized in most therapy centers in Indonesia. One of the therapy centers that has recognized the importance of parental involvement is Kailila Speech Therapy Center. In Kailila speech therapy center, parental involvement in children's speech therapy is an obligation that has been…

  14. Context-dependent impact of presuppositions on early magnetic brain responses during speech perception.

    PubMed

    Hertrich, Ingo; Kirsten, Mareike; Tiemann, Sonja; Beck, Sigrid; Wühle, Anja; Ackermann, Hermann; Rolke, Bettina

    2015-10-01

    Discourse structure enables us to generate expectations based upon linguistic material that has already been introduced. The present magnetoencephalography (MEG) study addresses auditory perception of test sentences in which discourse coherence was manipulated by using presuppositions (PSP) that either correspond or fail to correspond to items in preceding context sentences with respect to uniqueness and existence. Context violations yielded delayed auditory M50 and enhanced auditory M200 cross-correlation responses to syllable onsets within an analysis window of 1.5s following the PSP trigger words. Furthermore, discourse incoherence yielded suppression of spectral power within an expanded alpha band ranging from 6 to 16Hz. This effect showed a bimodal temporal distribution, being significant in an early time window of 0.0-0.5s following the PSP trigger and a late interval of 2.0-2.5s. These findings indicate anticipatory top-down mechanisms interacting with various aspects of bottom-up processing during speech perception. PMID:26185045

  15. Perception of emotional valences and activity levels from vowel segments of continuous speech.

    PubMed

    Waaramaa, Teija; Laukkanen, Anne-Maria; Airas, Matti; Alku, Paavo

    2010-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the role of voice source and formant frequencies in the perception of emotional valence and psychophysiological activity level from short vowel samples (approximately 150 milliseconds). Nine professional actors (five males and four females) read a prose passage simulating joy, tenderness, sadness, anger, and a neutral emotional state. The stress carrying vowel [a:] was extracted from continuous speech during the Finnish word [ta:k:ahan] and analyzed for duration, fundamental frequency (F0), equivalent sound level (L(eq)), alpha ratio, and formant frequencies F1-F4. Alpha ratio was calculated by subtracting the L(eq) (dB) in the range 50 Hz-1 kHz from the L(eq) in the range 1-5 kHz. The samples were inverse filtered by Iterative Adaptive Inverse Filtering and the estimates of the glottal flow obtained were parameterized with the normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ = f(AC)/(d(peak)T)). Fifty listeners (mean age 28.5 years) identified the emotional valences from the randomized samples. Multinomial Logistic Regression Analysis was used to study the interrelations of the parameters for perception. It appeared to be possible to identify valences from vowel samples of short duration ( approximately 150 milliseconds). NAQ tended to differentiate between the valences and activity levels perceived in both genders. Voice source may not only reflect variations of F0 and L(eq), but may also have an independent role in expression, reflecting phonation types. To some extent, formant frequencies appeared to be related to valence perception but no clear patterns could be identified. Coding of valence tends to be a complicated multiparameter phenomenon with wide individual variation. PMID:19111438

  16. Effects of irrelevant speech and traffic noise on speech perception and cognitive performance in elementary school children.

    PubMed

    Klatte, Maria; Meis, Markus; Sukowski, Helga; Schick, August

    2007-01-01

    The effects of background noise of moderate intensity on short-term storage and processing of verbal information were analyzed in 6 to 8 year old children. In line with adult studies on "irrelevant sound effect" (ISE), serial recall of visually presented digits was severely disrupted by background speech that the children did not understand. Train noises of equal Intensity however, had no effect. Similar results were demonstrated with tasks requiring storage and processing of heard information. Memory for nonwords, execution of oral instructions and categorizing speech sounds were significantly disrupted by irrelevant speech. The affected functions play a fundamental role in the acquisition of spoken and written language. Implications concerning current models of the ISE and the acoustic conditions in schools and kindergardens are discussed. PMID:18025757

  17. Speech perception with a single-channel cochlear implant: a comparison with a single-channel tactile device.

    PubMed

    Carney, A E; Kienle, M; Miyamoto, R T

    1990-06-01

    Suprasegmental and segmental speech perception tasks were administered to 8 patients with single-channel cochlear implants. Suprasegmental tasks included the recognition of syllable number, syllabic stress, and intonation. Segmental tasks included the recognition of vowels and consonants in three modalities: visual only, implant only, and visual + implant. Results were compared to those obtained from artificially deafened adults using a single-channel vibrotactile device. The patterns of responses for both suprasegmental and segmental tasks were highly similar for both groups of subjects, despite differences between the characteristics of the subject samples. These results suggest that single-channel sensory devices, whether they be cochlear implants or vibrotactile aids, produce similar patterns of speech perception errors, even when differences are observed in overall performance level. PMID:2141660

  18. Perception of Emotion in Conversational Speech by Younger and Older Listeners

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Juliane; Janse, Esther; Scharenborg, Odette

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether age and/or differences in hearing sensitivity influence the perception of the emotion dimensions arousal (calm vs. aroused) and valence (positive vs. negative attitude) in conversational speech. To that end, this study specifically focused on the relationship between participants’ ratings of short affective utterances and the utterances’ acoustic parameters (pitch, intensity, and articulation rate) known to be associated with the emotion dimensions arousal and valence. Stimuli consisted of short utterances taken from a corpus of conversational speech. In two rating tasks, younger and older adults either rated arousal or valence using a 5-point scale. Mean intensity was found to be the main cue participants used in the arousal task (i.e., higher mean intensity cueing higher levels of arousal) while mean F0 was the main cue in the valence task (i.e., higher mean F0 being interpreted as more negative). Even though there were no overall age group differences in arousal or valence ratings, compared to younger adults, older adults responded less strongly to mean intensity differences cueing arousal and responded more strongly to differences in mean F0 cueing valence. Individual hearing sensitivity among the older adults did not modify the use of mean intensity as an arousal cue. However, individual hearing sensitivity generally affected valence ratings and modified the use of mean F0. We conclude that age differences in the interpretation of mean F0 as a cue for valence are likely due to age-related hearing loss, whereas age differences in rating arousal do not seem to be driven by hearing sensitivity differences between age groups (as measured by pure-tone audiometry). PMID:27303340

  19. Perception of Emotion in Conversational Speech by Younger and Older Listeners.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Juliane; Janse, Esther; Scharenborg, Odette

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether age and/or differences in hearing sensitivity influence the perception of the emotion dimensions arousal (calm vs. aroused) and valence (positive vs. negative attitude) in conversational speech. To that end, this study specifically focused on the relationship between participants' ratings of short affective utterances and the utterances' acoustic parameters (pitch, intensity, and articulation rate) known to be associated with the emotion dimensions arousal and valence. Stimuli consisted of short utterances taken from a corpus of conversational speech. In two rating tasks, younger and older adults either rated arousal or valence using a 5-point scale. Mean intensity was found to be the main cue participants used in the arousal task (i.e., higher mean intensity cueing higher levels of arousal) while mean F 0 was the main cue in the valence task (i.e., higher mean F 0 being interpreted as more negative). Even though there were no overall age group differences in arousal or valence ratings, compared to younger adults, older adults responded less strongly to mean intensity differences cueing arousal and responded more strongly to differences in mean F 0 cueing valence. Individual hearing sensitivity among the older adults did not modify the use of mean intensity as an arousal cue. However, individual hearing sensitivity generally affected valence ratings and modified the use of mean F 0. We conclude that age differences in the interpretation of mean F 0 as a cue for valence are likely due to age-related hearing loss, whereas age differences in rating arousal do not seem to be driven by hearing sensitivity differences between age groups (as measured by pure-tone audiometry). PMID:27303340

  20. Effects of Age and Hearing Loss on the Relationship between Discrimination of Stochastic Frequency Modulation and Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Sheft, Stanley; Shafiro, Valeriy; Lorenzi, Christian; McMullen, Rachel; Farrell, Caitlin

    2012-01-01

    Objective The frequency modulation (FM) of speech can convey linguistic information and also enhance speech-stream coherence and segmentation. Using a clinically oriented approach, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of age and hearing loss on the ability to discriminate between stochastic patterns of low-rate FM and determine whether difficulties in speech perception experienced by older listeners relate to a deficit in this ability. Design Data were collected from 18 normal-hearing young adults, and 18 participants who were at least 60 years old, nine normal-hearing and nine with a mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Using stochastic frequency modulators derived from 5-Hz lowpass noise applied to a 1-kHz carrier, discrimination thresholds were measured in terms of frequency excursion (ΔF) both in quiet and with a speech-babble masker present, stimulus duration, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNRFM) in the presence of a speech-babble masker. Speech perception ability was evaluated using Quick Speech-in-Noise (QuickSIN) sentences in four-talker babble. Results Results showed a significant effect of age, but not of hearing loss among the older listeners, for FM discrimination conditions with masking present (ΔF and SNRFM). The effect of age was not significant for the FM measures based on stimulus duration. ΔF and SNRFM were also the two conditions for which performance was significantly correlated with listener age when controlling for effect of hearing loss as measured by pure-tone average. With respect to speech-in-noise ability, results from the SNRFM condition were significantly correlated with QuickSIN performance. Conclusions Results indicate that aging is associated with reduced ability to discriminate moderate-duration patterns of low-rate stochastic FM. Furthermore, the relationship between QuickSIN performance and the SNRFM thresholds suggests that the difficulty experienced by older listeners with speech

  1. ERP correlates of auditory goal-directed behavior of younger and older adults in a dynamic speech perception task.

    PubMed

    Getzmann, Stephan; Falkenstein, Michael; Wascher, Edmund

    2015-02-01

    The ability to understand speech under adverse listening conditions deteriorates with age. In addition to genuine hearing deficits, age-related declines in attentional and inhibitory control are assumed to contribute to these difficulties. Here, the impact of task-irrelevant distractors on speech perception was studied in 28 younger and 24 older participants in a simulated "cocktail party" scenario. In a two-alternative forced-choice word discrimination task, the participants responded to a rapid succession of short speech stimuli ("on" and "off") that was presented at a frequent standard location or at a rare deviant location in silence or with a concurrent distractor speaker. Behavioral responses and event-related potentials (mismatch negativity MMN, P3a, and reorienting negativity RON) were analyzed to study the interplay of distraction, orientation, and refocusing in the presence of changes in target location. While shifts in target location decreased performance of both age groups, this effect was more pronounced in the older group. Especially in the distractor condition, the electrophysiological measures indicated a delayed attention capture and a delayed re-focussing of attention toward the task-relevant stimulus feature in the older group, relative to the young group. In sum, the results suggest that a delay in the attention switching mechanism contribute to the age-related difficulties in speech perception in dynamic listening situations with multiple speakers. PMID:25447300

  2. Developmental dyslexia and discrimination in speech perception: a dynamic model study.

    PubMed

    Been, Pieter H; Zwarts, Frans

    2003-09-01

    At the behavioral level one of the primary disturbances involved in congenital dyslexia concerns phonological processing. At the neuroarchitectural level autopsies have revealed ectopies, e.g., a reduced number of neurons in the upper layers of the cortex and an increased number in the lower ones. In dynamic models of interacting neuronal populations the behavioral level can be related to the neurophysiological level. In this study an attempt is made to do so at the cortical level. The first focus of this model study are the results of a Finnish experiment assessing geminate stop perception in quasi speech stimuli by 6 month old infants using a head turning paradigm and evoked potentials. The second focus of this study are the results of a Dutch experiment assessing discrimination of transients in speech stimuli, by adult dyslexics and controls and 2 month old infants. There appears to be a difference in the phonemic perceptual boundaries of children at genetic risk for dyslexia and control children as revealed in the Finnish study. Assuming a lowered neuronal density in the 'dyslexic' model, reflecting ectopies, it may be postulated that less neuronal surface is available for synaptic connections resulting in a lowered synaptic density and thus a lowered amount of available neurotransmitter. A lowered synaptic density also implies a reduced amount of membrane surface available for neurotransmitter metabolism. By assuming both, a reduced upper bound of neurotransmitter and a reduced metabolic transmitter rate in the dynamic model, the Finnish experimental results can be approximated closely. This applies both to data from behavioral head turning and that of the evoked potential study. In the Dutch study adult dyslexics show poor performance in discriminating transients in the speech signal compared to the controls. The same stimuli were used in a a study comparing infants from dyslexic families and controls. Using the same transmitter parameters as in modeling the

  3. Assessment of speech perception in children with cochlear implants and tactile aids: what should the future hold?

    PubMed

    Carney, A E

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to propose a rationale for the future development of speech perception evaluation materials for children using either cochlear implants or vibrotactile aids as sensory prosthetic devices. It is suggested that future evaluation tools extend beyond the assessment of device efficacy. In particular, they should address issues of normal perceptual development in children, as well as the results of intervention with children using these sensory prosthetic devices. PMID:2069182

  4. The sound of your lips: electrophysiological cross-modal interactions during hand-to-face and face-to-face speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Treille, Avril; Vilain, Coriandre; Sato, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Recent magneto-encephalographic and electro-encephalographic studies provide evidence for cross-modal integration during audio-visual and audio-haptic speech perception, with speech gestures viewed or felt from manual tactile contact with the speaker’s face. Given the temporal precedence of the haptic and visual signals on the acoustic signal in these studies, the observed modulation of N1/P2 auditory evoked responses during bimodal compared to unimodal speech perception suggest that relevant and predictive visual and haptic cues may facilitate auditory speech processing. To further investigate this hypothesis, auditory evoked potentials were here compared during auditory-only, audio-visual and audio-haptic speech perception in live dyadic interactions between a listener and a speaker. In line with previous studies, auditory evoked potentials were attenuated and speeded up during both audio-haptic and audio-visual compared to auditory speech perception. Importantly, the observed latency and amplitude reduction did not significantly depend on the degree of visual and haptic recognition of the speech targets. Altogether, these results further demonstrate cross-modal interactions between the auditory, visual and haptic speech signals. Although they do not contradict the hypothesis that visual and haptic sensory inputs convey predictive information with respect to the incoming auditory speech input, these results suggest that, at least in live conversational interactions, systematic conclusions on sensory predictability in bimodal speech integration have to be taken with caution, with the extraction of predictive cues likely depending on the variability of the speech stimuli. PMID:24860533

  5. Speech motor brain regions are differentially recruited during perception of native and foreign-accented phonemes for first and second language listeners

    PubMed Central

    Callan, Daniel; Callan, Akiko; Jones, Jeffery A.

    2014-01-01

    Brain imaging studies indicate that speech motor areas are recruited for auditory speech perception, especially when intelligibility is low due to environmental noise or when speech is accented. The purpose of the present study was to determine the relative contribution of brain regions to the processing of speech containing phonetic categories from one's own language, speech with accented samples of one's native phonetic categories, and speech with unfamiliar phonetic categories. To that end, native English and Japanese speakers identified the speech sounds /r/ and /l/ that were produced by native English speakers (unaccented) and Japanese speakers (foreign-accented) while functional magnetic resonance imaging measured their brain activity. For native English speakers, the Japanese accented speech was more difficult to categorize than the unaccented English speech. In contrast, Japanese speakers have difficulty distinguishing between /r/ and /l/, so both the Japanese accented and English unaccented speech were difficult to categorize. Brain regions involved with listening to foreign-accented productions of a first language included primarily the right cerebellum, left ventral inferior premotor cortex PMvi, and Broca's area. Brain regions most involved with listening to a second-language phonetic contrast (foreign-accented and unaccented productions) also included the left PMvi and the right cerebellum. Additionally, increased activity was observed in the right PMvi, the left and right ventral superior premotor cortex PMvs, and the left cerebellum. These results support a role for speech motor regions during the perception of foreign-accented native speech and for perception of difficult second-language phonetic contrasts. PMID:25232302

  6. Using auditory-visual speech to probe the basis of noise-impaired consonant-vowel perception in dyslexia and auditory neuropathy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Joshua; Mann, Virginia

    2005-08-01

    Both dyslexics and auditory neuropathy (AN) subjects show inferior consonant-vowel (CV) perception in noise, relative to controls. To better understand these impairments, natural acoustic speech stimuli that were masked in speech-shaped noise at various intensities were presented to dyslexic, AN, and control subjects either in isolation or accompanied by visual articulatory cues. AN subjects were expected to benefit from the pairing of visual articulatory cues and auditory CV stimuli, provided that their speech perception impairment reflects a relatively peripheral auditory disorder. Assuming that dyslexia reflects a general impairment of speech processing rather than a disorder of audition, dyslexics were not expected to similarly benefit from an introduction of visual articulatory cues. The results revealed an increased effect of noise masking on the perception of isolated acoustic stimuli by both dyslexic and AN subjects. More importantly, dyslexics showed less effective use of visual articulatory cues in identifying masked speech stimuli and lower visual baseline performance relative to AN subjects and controls. Last, a significant positive correlation was found between reading ability and the ameliorating effect of visual articulatory cues on speech perception in noise. These results suggest that some reading impairments may stem from a central deficit of speech processing.

  7. Perception drives production across sensory modalities: A network for sensorimotor integration of visual speech.

    PubMed

    Venezia, Jonathan H; Fillmore, Paul; Matchin, William; Isenberg, A Lisette; Hickok, Gregory; Fridriksson, Julius

    2016-02-01

    Sensory information is critical for movement control, both for defining the targets of actions and providing feedback during planning or ongoing movements. This holds for speech motor control as well, where both auditory and somatosensory information have been shown to play a key role. Recent clinical research demonstrates that individuals with severe speech production deficits can show a dramatic improvement in fluency during online mimicking of an audiovisual speech signal suggesting the existence of a visuomotor pathway for speech motor control. Here we used fMRI in healthy individuals to identify this new visuomotor circuit for speech production. Participants were asked to perceive and covertly rehearse nonsense syllable sequences presented auditorily, visually, or audiovisually. The motor act of rehearsal, which is prima facie the same whether or not it is cued with a visible talker, produced different patterns of sensorimotor activation when cued by visual or audiovisual speech (relative to auditory speech). In particular, a network of brain regions including the left posterior middle temporal gyrus and several frontoparietal sensorimotor areas activated more strongly during rehearsal cued by a visible talker versus rehearsal cued by auditory speech alone. Some of these brain regions responded exclusively to rehearsal cued by visual or audiovisual speech. This result has significant implications for models of speech motor control, for the treatment of speech output disorders, and for models of the role of speech gesture imitation in development. PMID:26608242

  8. The effect of speaking rate on perception of syllables in second-language speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tajima, Keiichi; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko

    2005-04-01

    Past studies on second-language (L2) speech perception have suggested that L2 learners have difficulty exploiting contextual information when perceiving L2 utterances, and that they exhibit greater difficulty than native listeners when faced with variability in temporal context. The present study investigated the extent to which native Japanese listeners, who are known to have difficulties perceiving English syllables, are influenced by changes in speaking rate when asked to count syllables in spoken English words. The stimuli consisted of a set of English words and nonwords varying in syllable structure spoken at three rates by a native English speaker. The stimuli produced at the three rates were presented to native Japanese listeners in a random order. Results indicated that listeners' identification accuracy did not vary as a function of speaking rate, although it decreased significantly as the syllable structure of the stimuli became more complex. Moreover, even though speaking rate varied from trial to trial, Japanese listeners' performance did not decline compared to a condition in which the speaking rate was fixed. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings will be discussed. [Work supported by JSPS and NICT.

  9. Lexical influences on speech perception: A Granger causality analysis of MEG and EEG source estimates

    PubMed Central

    Gow, David W.; Segawa, Jennifer A.; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Lin, Fa-Hsuan

    2008-01-01

    Behavioural and functional imaging studies have demonstrated that lexical knowledge influences the categorization of perceptually ambiguous speech sounds. However, methodological and inferential constraints have so far been unable to resolve the question of whether this interaction takes the form of direct top-down influences on perceptual processing, or feedforward convergence during a decision process. We examined top-down lexical influences on the categorization of segments in a /s/−/∫/ continuum presented in different lexical contexts to produce a robust Ganong effect. Using integrated MEG/EEG and MRI data we found that, within a network identified by 40Hz gamma phase locking, activation in the supramarginal gyrus associated with wordform representation influences phonetic processing in the posterior superior temporal gyrus during a period of time associated with lexical processing. This result provides direct evidence that lexical processes influence lower level phonetic perception, and demonstrates the potential value of combining Granger causality analyses and high spatiotemporal resolution multimodal imaging data to explore the functional architecture of cognition. PMID:18703146

  10. Change in Speech Perception and Auditory Evoked Potentials over Time after Unilateral Cochlear Implantation in Postlingually Deaf Adults.

    PubMed

    Purdy, Suzanne C; Kelly, Andrea S

    2016-02-01

    Speech perception varies widely across cochlear implant (CI) users and typically improves over time after implantation. There is also some evidence for improved auditory evoked potentials (shorter latencies, larger amplitudes) after implantation but few longitudinal studies have examined the relationship between behavioral and evoked potential measures after implantation in postlingually deaf adults. The relationship between speech perception and auditory evoked potentials was investigated in newly implanted cochlear implant users from the day of implant activation to 9 months postimplantation, on five occasions, in 10 adults age 27 to 57 years who had been bilaterally profoundly deaf for 1 to 30 years prior to receiving a unilateral CI24 cochlear implant. Changes over time in middle latency response (MLR), mismatch negativity, and obligatory cortical auditory evoked potentials and word and sentence speech perception scores were examined. Speech perception improved significantly over the 9-month period. MLRs varied and showed no consistent change over time. Three participants aged in their 50s had absent MLRs. The pattern of change in N1 amplitudes over the five visits varied across participants. P2 area increased significantly for 1,000- and 4,000-Hz tones but not for 250 Hz. The greatest change in P2 area occurred after 6 months of implant experience. Although there was a trend for mismatch negativity peak latency to reduce and width to increase after 3 months of implant experience, there was considerable variability and these changes were not significant. Only 60% of participants had a detectable mismatch initially; this increased to 100% at 9 months. The continued change in P2 area over the period evaluated, with a trend for greater change for right hemisphere recordings, is consistent with the pattern of incremental change in speech perception scores over time. MLR, N1, and mismatch negativity changes were inconsistent and hence P2 may be a more robust measure

  11. Atypical audio-visual speech perception and McGurk effects in children with specific language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Leybaert, Jacqueline; Macchi, Lucie; Huyse, Aurélie; Champoux, François; Bayard, Clémence; Colin, Cécile; Berthommier, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    Audiovisual speech perception of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with typical language development (TLD) was compared in two experiments using /aCa/ syllables presented in the context of a masking release paradigm. Children had to repeat syllables presented in auditory alone, visual alone (speechreading), audiovisual congruent and incongruent (McGurk) conditions. Stimuli were masked by either stationary (ST) or amplitude modulated (AM) noise. Although children with SLI were less accurate in auditory and audiovisual speech perception, they showed similar auditory masking release effect than children with TLD. Children with SLI also had less correct responses in speechreading than children with TLD, indicating impairment in phonemic processing of visual speech information. In response to McGurk stimuli, children with TLD showed more fusions in AM noise than in ST noise, a consequence of the auditory masking release effect and of the influence of visual information. Children with SLI did not show this effect systematically, suggesting they were less influenced by visual speech. However, when the visual cues were easily identified, the profile of responses to McGurk stimuli was similar in both groups, suggesting that children with SLI do not suffer from an impairment of audiovisual integration. An analysis of percent of information transmitted revealed a deficit in the children with SLI, particularly for the place of articulation feature. Taken together, the data support the hypothesis of an intact peripheral processing of auditory speech information, coupled with a supra modal deficit of phonemic categorization in children with SLI. Clinical implications are discussed. PMID:24904454

  12. Mapping the Developmental Trajectory and Correlates of Enhanced Pitch Perception on Speech Processing in Adults with ASD.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Jennifer L; Hannent, Ian; Heaton, Pamela F

    2016-05-01

    Whilst enhanced perception has been widely reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), relatively little is known about the developmental trajectory and impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD. This paper presents data on perception of complex tones and speech pitch in adult participants with high-functioning ASD and typical development, and compares these with pre-existing data using the same paradigm with groups of children and adolescents with and without ASD. As perceptual processing abnormalities are likely to influence behavioural performance, regression analyses were carried out on the adult data set. The findings revealed markedly different pitch discrimination trajectories and language correlates across diagnostic groups. While pitch discrimination increased with age and correlated with receptive vocabulary in groups without ASD, it was enhanced in childhood and stable across development in ASD. Pitch discrimination scores did not correlate with receptive vocabulary scores in the ASD group and for adults with ASD superior pitch perception was associated with sensory atypicalities and diagnostic measures of symptom severity. We conclude that the development of pitch discrimination, and its associated mechanisms markedly distinguish those with and without ASD. PMID:25106823

  13. Autonomic Nervous System Responses During Perception of Masked Speech may Reflect Constructs other than Subjective Listening Effort.

    PubMed

    Francis, Alexander L; MacPherson, Megan K; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Alvar, Ann M

    2016-01-01

    Typically, understanding speech seems effortless and automatic. However, a variety of factors may, independently or interactively, make listening more effortful. Physiological measures may help to distinguish between the application of different cognitive mechanisms whose operation is perceived as effortful. In the present study, physiological and behavioral measures associated with task demand were collected along with behavioral measures of performance while participants listened to and repeated sentences. The goal was to measure psychophysiological reactivity associated with three degraded listening conditions, each of which differed in terms of the source of the difficulty (distortion, energetic masking, and informational masking), and therefore were expected to engage different cognitive mechanisms. These conditions were chosen to be matched for overall performance (keywords correct), and were compared to listening to unmasked speech produced by a natural voice. The three degraded conditions were: (1) Unmasked speech produced by a computer speech synthesizer, (2) Speech produced by a natural voice and masked byspeech-shaped noise and (3) Speech produced by a natural voice and masked by two-talker babble. Masked conditions were both presented at a -8 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), a level shown in previous research to result in comparable levels of performance for these stimuli and maskers. Performance was measured in terms of proportion of key words identified correctly, and task demand or effort was quantified subjectively by self-report. Measures of psychophysiological reactivity included electrodermal (skin conductance) response frequency and amplitude, blood pulse amplitude and pulse rate. Results suggest that the two masked conditions evoked stronger psychophysiological reactivity than did the two unmasked conditions even when behavioral measures of listening performance and listeners' subjective perception of task demand were comparable across the three

  14. The contribution of visual information to the perception of speech in noise with and without informative temporal fine structure.

    PubMed

    Stacey, Paula C; Kitterick, Pádraig T; Morris, Saffron D; Sumner, Christian J

    2016-06-01

    Understanding what is said in demanding listening situations is assisted greatly by looking at the face of a talker. Previous studies have observed that normal-hearing listeners can benefit from this visual information when a talker's voice is presented in background noise. These benefits have also been observed in quiet listening conditions in cochlear-implant users, whose device does not convey the informative temporal fine structure cues in speech, and when normal-hearing individuals listen to speech processed to remove these informative temporal fine structure cues. The current study (1) characterised the benefits of visual information when listening in background noise; and (2) used sine-wave vocoding to compare the size of the visual benefit when speech is presented with or without informative temporal fine structure. The accuracy with which normal-hearing individuals reported words in spoken sentences was assessed across three experiments. The availability of visual information and informative temporal fine structure cues was varied within and across the experiments. The results showed that visual benefit was observed using open- and closed-set tests of speech perception. The size of the benefit increased when informative temporal fine structure cues were removed. This finding suggests that visual information may play an important role in the ability of cochlear-implant users to understand speech in many everyday situations. Models of audio-visual integration were able to account for the additional benefit of visual information when speech was degraded and suggested that auditory and visual information was being integrated in a similar way in all conditions. The modelling results were consistent with the notion that audio-visual benefit is derived from the optimal combination of auditory and visual sensory cues. PMID:27085797

  15. Autonomic Nervous System Responses During Perception of Masked Speech may Reflect Constructs other than Subjective Listening Effort

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Alexander L.; MacPherson, Megan K.; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Alvar, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Typically, understanding speech seems effortless and automatic. However, a variety of factors may, independently or interactively, make listening more effortful. Physiological measures may help to distinguish between the application of different cognitive mechanisms whose operation is perceived as effortful. In the present study, physiological and behavioral measures associated with task demand were collected along with behavioral measures of performance while participants listened to and repeated sentences. The goal was to measure psychophysiological reactivity associated with three degraded listening conditions, each of which differed in terms of the source of the difficulty (distortion, energetic masking, and informational masking), and therefore were expected to engage different cognitive mechanisms. These conditions were chosen to be matched for overall performance (keywords correct), and were compared to listening to unmasked speech produced by a natural voice. The three degraded conditions were: (1) Unmasked speech produced by a computer speech synthesizer, (2) Speech produced by a natural voice and masked byspeech-shaped noise and (3) Speech produced by a natural voice and masked by two-talker babble. Masked conditions were both presented at a -8 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), a level shown in previous research to result in comparable levels of performance for these stimuli and maskers. Performance was measured in terms of proportion of key words identified correctly, and task demand or effort was quantified subjectively by self-report. Measures of psychophysiological reactivity included electrodermal (skin conductance) response frequency and amplitude, blood pulse amplitude and pulse rate. Results suggest that the two masked conditions evoked stronger psychophysiological reactivity than did the two unmasked conditions even when behavioral measures of listening performance and listeners’ subjective perception of task demand were comparable across the

  16. Speech perception with interaction-compensated simultaneous stimulation and long pulse durations in cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Schatzer, Reinhold; Koroleva, Inna; Griessner, Andreas; Levin, Sergey; Kusovkov, Vladislav; Yanov, Yuri; Zierhofer, Clemens

    2015-04-01

    Early multi-channel designs in the history of cochlear implant development were based on a vocoder-type processing of frequency channels and presented bands of compressed analog stimulus waveforms simultaneously on multiple tonotopically arranged electrodes. The realization that the direct summation of electrical fields as a result of simultaneous electrode stimulation exacerbates interactions among the stimulation channels and limits cochlear implant outcome led to the breakthrough in the development of cochlear implants, the continuous interleaved (CIS) sampling coding strategy. By interleaving stimulation pulses across electrodes, CIS activates only a single electrode at each point in time, preventing a direct summation of electrical fields and hence the primary component of channel interactions. In this paper we show that a previously presented approach of simultaneous stimulation with channel interaction compensation (CIC) may also ameliorate the deleterious effects of simultaneous channel interaction on speech perception. In an acute study conducted in eleven experienced MED-EL implant users, configurations involving simultaneous stimulation with CIC and doubled pulse phase durations have been investigated. As pairs of electrodes were activated simultaneously and pulse durations were doubled, carrier rates remained the same. Comparison conditions involved both CIS and fine structure (FS) strategies, either with strictly sequential or paired-simultaneous stimulation. Results showed no statistical difference in the perception of sentences in noise and monosyllables for sequential and paired-simultaneous stimulation with doubled phase durations. This suggests that CIC can largely compensate for the effects of simultaneous channel interaction, for both CIS and FS coding strategies. A simultaneous stimulation paradigm has a number of potential advantages over a traditional sequential interleaved design. The flexibility gained when dropping the requirement of

  17. Audibility, speech perception and processing of temporal cues in ribbon synaptic disorders due to OTOF mutations.

    PubMed

    Santarelli, Rosamaria; del Castillo, Ignacio; Cama, Elona; Scimemi, Pietro; Starr, Arnold

    2015-12-01

    Mutations in the OTOF gene encoding otoferlin result in a disrupted function of the ribbon synapses with impairment of the multivesicular glutamate release. Most affected subjects present with congenital hearing loss and abnormal auditory brainstem potentials associated with preserved cochlear hair cell activities (otoacoustic emissions, cochlear microphonics [CMs]). Transtympanic electrocochleography (ECochG) has recently been proposed for defining the details of potentials arising in both the cochlea and auditory nerve in this disorder, and with a view to shedding light on the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying auditory dysfunction. We review the audiological and electrophysiological findings in children with congenital profound deafness carrying two mutant alleles of the OTOF gene. We show that cochlear microphonic (CM) amplitude and summating potential (SP) amplitude and latency are normal, consistently with a preserved outer and inner hair cell function. In the majority of OTOF children, the SP component is followed by a markedly prolonged low-amplitude negative potential replacing the compound action potential (CAP) recorded in normally-hearing children. This potential is identified at intensities as low as 90 dB below the behavioral threshold. In some ears, a synchronized CAP is superimposed on the prolonged responses at high intensity. Stimulation at high rates reduces the amplitude and duration of the prolonged potentials, consistently with their neural generation. In some children, however, the ECochG response only consists of the SP, with no prolonged potential. Cochlear implants restore hearing sensitivity, speech perception and neural CAP by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve fibers. These findings indicate that an impaired multivesicular glutamate release in OTOF-related disorders leads to abnormal auditory nerve fiber activation and a consequent impairment of spike generation. The magnitude of these effects seems to vary, ranging from

  18. [A study on digitally processed sounds designed to improve speech sound perception].

    PubMed

    Arai, M

    1994-08-01

    This study was performed to improve the speech sound perception of patients with sensorineural deafness by using digitally processed sounds. The fourteen CV sounds (/pa, ta, ka, ba, da, ga, ha, sa, za, ma, na, ra, ja, wa/) were selected in this study, and the consonant burst and/or voice onset time (VOT) of these sounds were doubled and/or amplified by digital processing and stored in DAT. These processed sounds and the original unprocessed sound were presented to patients and with moderate sensorineural deafness. The following results were obtained from patients who had made a mistake in discriminating the original sounds. 1. The correct answer rate for /ta/ and /sa/ was improved by amplification of the consonant burst or VOT, and for /ka/, amplification and/or repetition improved the corredt answer rate. Amplification of the consonant burst, or of the consonant burst with VOT, was especially effective for unvoiced explosive sounds (/pa, ta, ka/). 2. In voiced sounds, for /za/ and /ra/ the correct answer rate was improved by repetition or elongation of the consonant burst or transition part, and for /ga/, /ma/, and /na/ the rate was improved by amplification. 3. Semivowels (/wa, ja/) and glottal sounds (/ha/) were seldom misunderstood, and required no processing. Digital filtering processing was performed on monosyllables with the "s" sound (/sa, su, se, so/), and these filtered sounds were presented to the patients and a comparison was made with the original sounds. As a result, it was revealed that the correct answer rate could be improved by filtering, although the pass band was changed slightly by the succeeding vowel. This improvement was more apparent in the presence of environmental noise than under quiet conditions. PMID:7931805

  19. Revisiting Neil Armstrongs Moon-Landing Quote: Implications for Speech Perception, Function Word Reduction, and Acoustic Ambiguity.

    PubMed

    Baese-Berk, Melissa M; Dilley, Laura C; Schmidt, Stephanie; Morrill, Tuuli H; Pitt, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Neil Armstrong insisted that his quote upon landing on the moon was misheard, and that he had said one small step for a man, instead of one small step for man. What he said is unclear in part because function words like a can be reduced and spectrally indistinguishable from the preceding context. Therefore, their presence can be ambiguous, and they may disappear perceptually depending on the rate of surrounding speech. Two experiments are presented examining production and perception of reduced tokens of for and for a in spontaneous speech. Experiment 1 investigates the distributions of several acoustic features of for and for a. The results suggest that the distributions of for and for a overlap substantially, both in terms of temporal and spectral characteristics. Experiment 2 examines perception of these same tokens when the context speaking rate differs. The perceptibility of the function word a varies as a function of this context speaking rate. These results demonstrate that substantial ambiguity exists in the original quote from Armstrong, and that this ambiguity may be understood through context speaking rate. PMID:27603209

  20. A Case Study of Parental Perceptions of Literacy Skill Development for Severe Speech Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweat, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Students exhibiting speech deficits may not have the appropriate skills or support structures necessary to obtain adequate or acceptable literacy development as mixed results from past research have indicated that some students with speech impairments have the capacity to gain appropriate literacy skills. The purpose of the qualitative holistic…

  1. Speech Perception with Music Maskers by Cochlear Implant Users and Normal-Hearing Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eskridge, Elizabeth N.; Galvin, John J., III; Aronoff, Justin M.; Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to investigate how the spectral and temporal properties in background music may interfere with cochlear implant (CI) and normal-hearing listeners' (NH) speech understanding. Method: Speech-recognition thresholds (SRTs) were adaptively measured in 11 CI and 9 NH subjects. CI subjects were tested while using their…

  2. Contributions of Oral and Extraoral Facial Movement to Visual and Audiovisual Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Sharon M.; Jordan, Timothy R.

    2005-01-01

    Seeing a talker's face influences auditory speech recognition, but the visible input essential for this influence has yet to be established. Using a new seamless editing technique, the authors examined effects of restricting visible movement to oral or extraoral areas of a talking face. In Experiment 1, visual speech identification and visual…

  3. Speech-in-Noise Perception in High-Functioning Individuals with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alcantara, Jose I.; Weisblatt, Emma J. L.; Moore, Brian C. J.; Bolton, Patrick F.

    2004-01-01

    Background: High-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) or Asperger's syndrome (AS) commonly report difficulties understanding speech in situations where there is background speech or noise. The objective of this study was threefold: (1) to verify the validity of these reports; (2) to quantify the difficulties experienced; and (3) to propose…

  4. Perceptions of Speech and Language Therapy Amongst UK School and College Students: Implications for Recruitment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenwood, Nan; Wright, Jannet A.; Bithell, Christine

    2006-01-01

    Background: Communication disorders affect both sexes and people from all ethnic groups, but members of minority ethnic groups and males in the UK are underrepresented in the speech and language therapy profession. Research in the area of recruitment is limited, but a possible explanation is poor awareness and understanding of speech and language…

  5. Perception of Synthetic and Natural Speech by Adults with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papadopoulos, Konstantinos; Koutsoklenis, Athanasios; Katemidou, Evangelia; Okalidou, Areti

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the intelligibility and comprehensibility of natural speech in comparison to synthetic speech. The results demonstrate the type of errors; the relationship between intelligibility and comprehensibility; and the correlation between intelligibility and comprehensibility and key factors, such as the frequency of use of…

  6. The Effect of Hearing Loss on the Perception of Infant- and Adult-Directed Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Susie; von Hapsburg, Deborah; Hay, Jessica S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Infant-directed speech (IDS) facilitates language learning in infants with normal hearing, compared to adult-directed speech (ADS). It is well established that infants with normal hearing prefer to listen to IDS over ADS. The purpose of this study was to determine whether infants with hearing impairment (HI), like their NH peers, show a…

  7. Inequality across Consonantal Contrasts in Speech Perception: Evidence from Mismatch Negativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornell, Sonia A.; Lahiri, Aditi; Eulitz, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    The precise structure of speech sound representations is still a matter of debate. In the present neurobiological study, we compared predictions about differential sensitivity to speech contrasts between models that assume full specification of all phonological information in the mental lexicon with those assuming sparse representations (only…

  8. Articulatory Mediation of Speech Perception: A Causal Analysis of Multi-Modal Imaging Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gow, David W., Jr.; Segawa, Jennifer A.

    2009-01-01

    The inherent confound between the organization of articulation and the acoustic-phonetic structure of the speech signal makes it exceptionally difficult to evaluate the competing claims of motor and acoustic-phonetic accounts of how listeners recognize coarticulated speech. Here we use Granger causation analysis of high spatiotemporal resolution…

  9. Word Segmentation and Phonological Learning in Cross-Language Perception of Fluent Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Tuuli Morrill

    2011-01-01

    Listeners segment words from the continuous speech stream in their native language by using rhythmic structure, phrasal structure, and phonotactics (e.g. Christophe et al, 2003: McQueen, 1998). One challenging aspect of second language acquisition is the extraction of words from fluent speech, possibly because learners apply a native language…

  10. Speech Recognition Software for Language Learning: Toward an Evaluation of Validity and Student Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cordier, Deborah

    2009-01-01

    A renewed focus on foreign language (FL) learning and speech for communication has resulted in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) software developed with Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). ASR features for FL pronunciation (Lafford, 2004) are functional components of CALL designs used for FL teaching and learning. The ASR features…

  11. Speech Perception Engages a General Timer: Evidence from a Divided Attention Word Identification Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casini, Laurence; Burle, Boris; Nguyen, Noel

    2009-01-01

    Time is essential to speech. The duration of speech segments plays a critical role in the perceptual identification of these segments, and therefore in that of spoken words. Here, using a French word identification task, we show that vowels are perceived as shorter when attention is divided between two tasks, as compared to a single task control…

  12. Increased activity in frontal motor cortex compensates impaired speech perception in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Du, Yi; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; Grady, Cheryl L.; Alain, Claude

    2016-01-01

    Understanding speech in noisy environments is challenging, especially for seniors. Although evidence suggests that older adults increasingly recruit prefrontal cortices to offset reduced periphery and central auditory processing, the brain mechanisms underlying such compensation remain elusive. Here we show that relative to young adults, older adults show higher activation of frontal speech motor areas as measured by functional MRI during a syllable identification task at varying signal-to-noise ratios. This increased activity correlates with improved speech discrimination performance in older adults. Multivoxel pattern classification reveals that despite an overall phoneme dedifferentiation, older adults show greater specificity of phoneme representations in frontal articulatory regions than auditory regions. Moreover, older adults with stronger frontal activity have higher phoneme specificity in frontal and auditory regions. Thus, preserved phoneme specificity and upregulation of activity in speech motor regions provide a means of compensation in older adults for decoding impoverished speech representations in adverse listening conditions. PMID:27483187

  13. Speech perception performance in experienced cochlear-implant patients receiving the SPEAK processing strategy in the Nucleus Spectra-22 cochlear implant.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, A J; Parkinson, W S; Tyler, R S; Lowder, M W; Gantz, B J

    1998-10-01

    Sixteen experienced cochlear implant patients with a wide range of speech-perception abilities received the SPEAK processing strategy in the Nucleus Spectra-22 cochlear implant. Speech perception was assessed in quiet and in noise with SPEAK and with the patients' previous strategies (for most, Multipeak) at the study onset, as well as after using SPEAK for 6 months. Comparisons were made within and across the two test sessions to elucidate possible learning effects. Patients were also asked to rate the strategies on seven speech recognition and sound quality scales. After 6 months' experience with SPEAK, patients showed significantly improved mean performance on a range of speech recognition measures in quiet and noise. When mean subjective ratings were compared over time there were no significant differences noted between strategies. However, many individuals rated the SPEAK strategy better for two or more of the seven subjective measures. Ratings for "appreciation of music" and "quality of my own voice" in particular were generally higher for SPEAK. Improvements were realized by patients with a wide range of speech perception abilities, including those with little or no open-set speech recognition. PMID:9771630

  14. Lexical influences on competing speech perception in younger, middle-aged, and older adults.

    PubMed

    Helfer, Karen S; Jesse, Alexandra

    2015-07-01

    The influence of lexical characteristics of words in to-be-attended and to-be-ignored speech streams was examined in a competing speech task. Older, middle-aged, and younger adults heard pairs of low-cloze probability sentences in which the frequency or neighborhood density of words was manipulated in either the target speech stream or the masking speech stream. All participants also completed a battery of cognitive measures. As expected, for all groups, target words that occur frequently or that are from sparse lexical neighborhoods were easier to recognize than words that are infrequent or from dense neighborhoods. Compared to other groups, these neighborhood density effects were largest for older adults; the frequency effect was largest for middle-aged adults. Lexical characteristics of words in the to-be-ignored speech stream also affected recognition of to-be-attended words, but only when overall performance was relatively good (that is, when younger participants listened to the speech streams at a more advantageous signal-to-noise ratio). For these listeners, to-be-ignored masker words from sparse neighborhoods interfered with recognition of target speech more than masker words from dense neighborhoods. Amount of hearing loss and cognitive abilities relating to attentional control modulated overall performance as well as the strength of lexical influences. PMID:26233036

  15. EEG classification in a single-trial basis for vowel speech perception using multivariate empirical mode decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jongin; Lee, Suh-Kyung; Lee, Boreom

    2014-06-01

    Objective. The objective of this study is to find components that might be related to phoneme representation in the brain and to discriminate EEG responses for each speech sound on a trial basis. Approach. We used multivariate empirical mode decomposition (MEMD) and common spatial pattern for feature extraction. We chose three vowel stimuli, /a/, /i/ and /u/, based on previous findings, such that the brain can detect change in formant frequency (F2) of vowels. EEG activity was recorded from seven native Korean speakers at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology. We applied MEMD over EEG channels to extract speech-related brain signal sources, and looked for the intrinsic mode functions which were dominant in the alpha bands. After the MEMD procedure, we applied the common spatial pattern algorithm for enhancing the classification performance, and used linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as a classifier. Main results. The brain responses to the three vowels could be classified as one of the learned phonemes on a single-trial basis with our approach. Significance. The results of our study show that brain responses to vowels can be classified for single trials using MEMD and LDA. This approach may not only become a useful tool for the brain-computer interface but it could also be used for discriminating the neural correlates of categorical speech perception.

  16. Impact of second-language experience in infancy: brain measures of first- and second-language speech perception.

    PubMed

    Conboy, Barbara T; Kuhl, Patricia K

    2011-03-01

    Language experience 'narrows' speech perception by the end of infants' first year, reducing discrimination of non-native phoneme contrasts while improving native-contrast discrimination. Previous research showed that declines in non-native discrimination were reversed by second-language experience provided at 9-10 months, but it is not known whether second-language experience affects first-language speech sound processing. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we examined learning-related changes in brain activity to Spanish and English phoneme contrasts in monolingual English-learning infants pre- and post-exposure to Spanish from 9.5-10.5 months of age. Infants showed a significant discriminatory ERP response to the Spanish contrast at 11 months (post-exposure), but not at 9 months (pre-exposure). The English contrast elicited an earlier discriminatory response at 11 months than at 9 months, suggesting improvement in native-language processing. The results show that infants rapidly encode new phonetic information, and that improvement in native speech processing can occur during second-language learning in infancy. PMID:21499512

  17. Music training improves speech-in-noise perception: Longitudinal evidence from a community-based music program.

    PubMed

    Slater, Jessica; Skoe, Erika; Strait, Dana L; O'Connell, Samantha; Thompson, Elaine; Kraus, Nina

    2015-09-15

    Music training may strengthen auditory skills that help children not only in musical performance but in everyday communication. Comparisons of musicians and non-musicians across the lifespan have provided some evidence for a "musician advantage" in understanding speech in noise, although reports have been mixed. Controlled longitudinal studies are essential to disentangle effects of training from pre-existing differences, and to determine how much music training is necessary to confer benefits. We followed a cohort of elementary school children for 2 years, assessing their ability to perceive speech in noise before and after musical training. After the initial assessment, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group began music training right away and completed 2 years of training, while the second group waited a year and then received 1 year of music training. Outcomes provide the first longitudinal evidence that speech-in-noise perception improves after 2 years of group music training. The children were enrolled in an established and successful community-based music program and followed the standard curriculum, therefore these findings provide an important link between laboratory-based research and real-world assessment of the impact of music training on everyday communication skills. PMID:26005127

  18. A Psychophysical Imaging Method Evidencing Auditory Cue Extraction during Speech Perception: A Group Analysis of Auditory Classification Images

    PubMed Central

    Varnet, Léo; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Serniclaes, Willy; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Although there is a large consensus regarding the involvement of specific acoustic cues in speech perception, the precise mechanisms underlying the transformation from continuous acoustical properties into discrete perceptual units remains undetermined. This gap in knowledge is partially due to the lack of a turnkey solution for isolating critical speech cues from natural stimuli. In this paper, we describe a psychoacoustic imaging method known as the Auditory Classification Image technique that allows experimenters to estimate the relative importance of time-frequency regions in categorizing natural speech utterances in noise. Importantly, this technique enables the testing of hypotheses on the listening strategies of participants at the group level. We exemplify this approach by identifying the acoustic cues involved in da/ga categorization with two phonetic contexts, Al- or Ar-. The application of Auditory Classification Images to our group of 16 participants revealed significant critical regions on the second and third formant onsets, as predicted by the literature, as well as an unexpected temporal cue on the first formant. Finally, through a cluster-based nonparametric test, we demonstrate that this method is sufficiently sensitive to detect fine modifications of the classification strategies between different utterances of the same phoneme. PMID:25781470

  19. A simulation framework for auditory discrimination experiments: Revealing the importance of across-frequency processing in speech perception.

    PubMed

    Schädler, Marc René; Warzybok, Anna; Ewert, Stephan D; Kollmeier, Birger

    2016-05-01

    A framework for simulating auditory discrimination experiments, based on an approach from Schädler, Warzybok, Hochmuth, and Kollmeier [(2015). Int. J. Audiol. 54, 100-107] which was originally designed to predict speech recognition thresholds, is extended to also predict psychoacoustic thresholds. The proposed framework is used to assess the suitability of different auditory-inspired feature sets for a range of auditory discrimination experiments that included psychoacoustic as well as speech recognition experiments in noise. The considered experiments were 2 kHz tone-in-broadband-noise simultaneous masking depending on the tone length, spectral masking with simultaneously presented tone signals and narrow-band noise maskers, and German Matrix sentence test reception threshold in stationary and modulated noise. The employed feature sets included spectro-temporal Gabor filter bank features, Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, logarithmically scaled Mel-spectrograms, and the internal representation of the Perception Model from Dau, Kollmeier, and Kohlrausch [(1997). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 102(5), 2892-2905]. The proposed framework was successfully employed to simulate all experiments with a common parameter set and obtain objective thresholds with less assumptions compared to traditional modeling approaches. Depending on the feature set, the simulated reference-free thresholds were found to agree with-and hence to predict-empirical data from the literature. Across-frequency processing was found to be crucial to accurately model the lower speech reception threshold in modulated noise conditions than in stationary noise conditions. PMID:27250164

  20. A psychophysical imaging method evidencing auditory cue extraction during speech perception: a group analysis of auditory classification images.

    PubMed

    Varnet, Léo; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Serniclaes, Willy; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Although there is a large consensus regarding the involvement of specific acoustic cues in speech perception, the precise mechanisms underlying the transformation from continuous acoustical properties into discrete perceptual units remains undetermined. This gap in knowledge is partially due to the lack of a turnkey solution for isolating critical speech cues from natural stimuli. In this paper, we describe a psychoacoustic imaging method known as the Auditory Classification Image technique that allows experimenters to estimate the relative importance of time-frequency regions in categorizing natural speech utterances in noise. Importantly, this technique enables the testing of hypotheses on the listening strategies of participants at the group level. We exemplify this approach by identifying the acoustic cues involved in da/ga categorization with two phonetic contexts, Al- or Ar-. The application of Auditory Classification Images to our group of 16 participants revealed significant critical regions on the second and third formant onsets, as predicted by the literature, as well as an unexpected temporal cue on the first formant. Finally, through a cluster-based nonparametric test, we demonstrate that this method is sufficiently sensitive to detect fine modifications of the classification strategies between different utterances of the same phoneme. PMID:25781470

  1. On the perception of speech in primary school classrooms: ranking of noise interference and of age influence.

    PubMed

    Prodi, Nicola; Visentin, Chiara; Feletti, Alice

    2013-01-01

    It is well documented that the interference of noise in the classroom puts younger pupils at a disadvantage for speech perception tasks. Nevertheless, the dependence of this phenomenon on the type of noise, and the way it is realized for each class by a specific combination of intelligibility and effort have not been fully investigated. Following on a previous laboratory study on "listening efficiency," which stems from a combination of accuracy and latency measures, this work tackles the problems above to better understand the basic mechanisms governing the speech perception performance of pupils in noisy classrooms. Listening tests were conducted in real classrooms for a relevant number of students, and tests in quiet were also developed. The statistical analysis is based on stochastic ordering and is able to clarify the behavior of the classes and the different impacts of noises on performance. It is found that the joint babble and activity noise has the worst effect on performance whereas tapping and external traffic noises are less disruptive. PMID:23297900

  2. Foreign Subtitles Help but Native-Language Subtitles Harm Foreign Speech Perception

    PubMed Central

    Mitterer, Holger; McQueen, James M.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding foreign speech is difficult, in part because of unusual mappings between sounds and words. It is known that listeners in their native language can use lexical knowledge (about how words ought to sound) to learn how to interpret unusual speech-sounds. We therefore investigated whether subtitles, which provide lexical information, support perceptual learning about foreign speech. Dutch participants, unfamiliar with Scottish and Australian regional accents of English, watched Scottish or Australian English videos with Dutch, English or no subtitles, and then repeated audio fragments of both accents. Repetition of novel fragments was worse after Dutch-subtitle exposure but better after English-subtitle exposure. Native-language subtitles appear to create lexical interference, but foreign-language subtitles assist speech learning by indicating which words (and hence sounds) are being spoken. PMID:19918371

  3. Bimodal bilingualism as multisensory training?: Evidence for improved audiovisual speech perception after sign language exposure.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-15

    The aim of the present study was to characterize effects of learning a sign language on the processing of a spoken language. Specifically, audiovisual phoneme comprehension was assessed before and after 13 weeks of sign language exposure. L2 ASL learners performed this task in the fMRI scanner. Results indicated that L2 American Sign Language (ASL) learners' behavioral classification of the speech sounds improved with time compared to hearing nonsigners. Results indicated increased activation in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) after sign language exposure, which suggests concomitant increased phonological processing of speech. A multiple regression analysis indicated that learner's rating on co-sign speech use and lipreading ability was correlated with SMG activation. This pattern of results indicates that the increased use of mouthing and possibly lipreading during sign language acquisition may concurrently improve audiovisual speech processing in budding hearing bimodal bilinguals. PMID:26740404

  4. Foreign subtitles help but native-language subtitles harm foreign speech perception.

    PubMed

    Mitterer, Holger; McQueen, James M

    2009-01-01

    Understanding foreign speech is difficult, in part because of unusual mappings between sounds and words. It is known that listeners in their native language can use lexical knowledge (about how words ought to sound) to learn how to interpret unusual speech-sounds. We therefore investigated whether subtitles, which provide lexical information, support perceptual learning about foreign speech. Dutch participants, unfamiliar with Scottish and Australian regional accents of English, watched Scottish or Australian English videos with Dutch, English or no subtitles, and then repeated audio fragments of both accents. Repetition of novel fragments was worse after Dutch-subtitle exposure but better after English-subtitle exposure. Native-language subtitles appear to create lexical interference, but foreign-language subtitles assist speech learning by indicating which words (and hence sounds) are being spoken. PMID:19918371

  5. The effect of phonetic production training with visual feedback on the perception and production of foreign speech sounds.

    PubMed

    Kartushina, Natalia; Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Frauenfelder, Ulrich Hans; Golestani, Narly

    2015-08-01

    Second-language learners often experience major difficulties in producing non-native speech sounds. This paper introduces a training method that uses a real-time analysis of the acoustic properties of vowels produced by non-native speakers to provide them with immediate, trial-by-trial visual feedback about their articulation alongside that of the same vowels produced by native speakers. The Mahalanobis acoustic distance between non-native productions and target native acoustic spaces was used to assess L2 production accuracy. The experiment shows that 1 h of training per vowel improves the production of four non-native Danish vowels: the learners' productions were closer to the corresponding Danish target vowels after training. The production performance of a control group remained unchanged. Comparisons of pre- and post-training vowel discrimination performance in the experimental group showed improvements in perception. Correlational analyses of training-related changes in production and perception revealed no relationship. These results suggest, first, that this training method is effective in improving non-native vowel production. Second, training purely on production improves perception. Finally, it appears that improvements in production and perception do not systematically progress at equal rates within individuals. PMID:26328698

  6. The perception of speech modulation cues in lexical tones is guided by early language-specific experience

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera, Laurianne; Tsao, Feng-Ming; Liu, Huei-Mei; Li, Lu-Yang; Hu, You-Hsin; Lorenzi, Christian; Bertoncini, Josiane

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies showed that infants reorganize their perception of speech sounds according to their native language categories during their first year of life. Still, information is lacking about the contribution of basic auditory mechanisms to this process. This study aimed to evaluate when native language experience starts to noticeably affect the perceptual processing of basic acoustic cues [i.e., frequency-modulation (FM) and amplitude-modulation information] known to be crucial for speech perception in adults. The discrimination of a lexical-tone contrast (rising versus low) was assessed in 6- and 10-month-old infants learning either French or Mandarin using a visual habituation paradigm. The lexical tones were presented in two conditions designed to either keep intact or to severely degrade the FM and fine spectral cues needed to accurately perceive voice-pitch trajectory. A third condition was designed to assess the discrimination of the same voice-pitch trajectories using click trains containing only the FM cues related to the fundamental-frequency (F0) in French- and Mandarin-learning 10-month-old infants. Results showed that the younger infants of both language groups and the Mandarin-learning 10-month-olds discriminated the intact lexical-tone contrast while French-learning 10-month-olds failed. However, only the French 10-month-olds discriminated degraded lexical tones when FM, and thus voice-pitch cues were reduced. Moreover, Mandarin-learning 10-month-olds were found to discriminate the pitch trajectories as presented in click trains better than French infants. Altogether, these results reveal that the perceptual reorganization occurring during the first year of life for lexical tones is coupled with changes in the auditory ability to use speech modulation cues. PMID:26379605

  7. The perception of speech modulation cues in lexical tones is guided by early language-specific experience.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Laurianne; Tsao, Feng-Ming; Liu, Huei-Mei; Li, Lu-Yang; Hu, You-Hsin; Lorenzi, Christian; Bertoncini, Josiane

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies showed that infants reorganize their perception of speech sounds according to their native language categories during their first year of life. Still, information is lacking about the contribution of basic auditory mechanisms to this process. This study aimed to evaluate when native language experience starts to noticeably affect the perceptual processing of basic acoustic cues [i.e., frequency-modulation (FM) and amplitude-modulation information] known to be crucial for speech perception in adults. The discrimination of a lexical-tone contrast (rising versus low) was assessed in 6- and 10-month-old infants learning either French or Mandarin using a visual habituation paradigm. The lexical tones were presented in two conditions designed to either keep intact or to severely degrade the FM and fine spectral cues needed to accurately perceive voice-pitch trajectory. A third condition was designed to assess the discrimination of the same voice-pitch trajectories using click trains containing only the FM cues related to the fundamental-frequency (F0) in French- and Mandarin-learning 10-month-old infants. Results showed that the younger infants of both language groups and the Mandarin-learning 10-month-olds discriminated the intact lexical-tone contrast while French-learning 10-month-olds failed. However, only the French 10-month-olds discriminated degraded lexical tones when FM, and thus voice-pitch cues were reduced. Moreover, Mandarin-learning 10-month-olds were found to discriminate the pitch trajectories as presented in click trains better than French infants. Altogether, these results reveal that the perceptual reorganization occurring during the first year of life for lexical tones is coupled with changes in the auditory ability to use speech modulation cues. PMID:26379605

  8. Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Reveals Auditory and Frontal Cortical Regions Involved with Speech Perception and Loudness Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Berding, Georg; Wilke, Florian; Rode, Thilo; Haense, Cathleen; Joseph, Gert; Meyer, Geerd J; Mamach, Martin; Lenarz, Minoo; Geworski, Lilli; Bengel, Frank M; Lenarz, Thomas; Lim, Hubert H

    2015-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the treatment of hearing loss with auditory implants. However, there are still many implanted patients that experience hearing deficiencies, such as limited speech understanding or vanishing perception with continuous stimulation (i.e., abnormal loudness adaptation). The present study aims to identify specific patterns of cerebral cortex activity involved with such deficiencies. We performed O-15-water positron emission tomography (PET) in patients implanted with electrodes within the cochlea, brainstem, or midbrain to investigate the pattern of cortical activation in response to speech or continuous multi-tone stimuli directly inputted into the implant processor that then delivered electrical patterns through those electrodes. Statistical parametric mapping was performed on a single subject basis. Better speech understanding was correlated with a larger extent of bilateral auditory cortex activation. In contrast to speech, the continuous multi-tone stimulus elicited mainly unilateral auditory cortical activity in which greater loudness adaptation corresponded to weaker activation and even deactivation. Interestingly, greater loudness adaptation was correlated with stronger activity within the ventral prefrontal cortex, which could be up-regulated to suppress the irrelevant or aberrant signals into the auditory cortex. The ability to detect these specific cortical patterns and differences across patients and stimuli demonstrates the potential for using PET to diagnose auditory function or dysfunction in implant patients, which in turn could guide the development of appropriate stimulation strategies for improving hearing rehabilitation. Beyond hearing restoration, our study also reveals a potential role of the frontal cortex in suppressing irrelevant or aberrant activity within the auditory cortex, and thus may be relevant for understanding and treating tinnitus. PMID:26046763

  9. Temporal Fine-Structure Coding and Lateralized Speech Perception in Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Listeners.

    PubMed

    Lőcsei, Gusztáv; Pedersen, Julie H; Laugesen, Søren; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten; MacDonald, Ewen N

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between speech perception performance in spatially complex, lateralized listening scenarios and temporal fine-structure (TFS) coding at low frequencies. Young normal-hearing (NH) and two groups of elderly hearing-impaired (HI) listeners with mild or moderate hearing loss above 1.5 kHz participated in the study. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were estimated in the presence of either speech-shaped noise, two-, four-, or eight-talker babble played reversed, or a nonreversed two-talker masker. Target audibility was ensured by applying individualized linear gains to the stimuli, which were presented over headphones. The target and masker streams were lateralized to the same or to opposite sides of the head by introducing 0.7-ms interaural time differences between the ears. TFS coding was assessed by measuring frequency discrimination thresholds and interaural phase difference thresholds at 250 Hz. NH listeners had clearly better SRTs than the HI listeners. However, when maskers were spatially separated from the target, the amount of SRT benefit due to binaural unmasking differed only slightly between the groups. Neither the frequency discrimination threshold nor the interaural phase difference threshold tasks showed a correlation with the SRTs or with the amount of masking release due to binaural unmasking, respectively. The results suggest that, although HI listeners with normal hearing thresholds below 1.5 kHz experienced difficulties with speech understanding in spatially complex environments, these limitations were unrelated to TFS coding abilities and were only weakly associated with a reduction in binaural-unmasking benefit for spatially separated competing sources. PMID:27601071

  10. Speech Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Several articles addressing topics in speech research are presented. The topics include: exploring the functional significance of physiological tremor: A biospectroscopic approach; differences between experienced and inexperienced listeners to deaf speech; a language-oriented view of reading and its disabilities; Phonetic factors in letter detection; categorical perception; Short-term recall by deaf signers of American sign language; a common basis for auditory sensory storage in perception and immediate memory; phonological awareness and verbal short-term memory; initiation versus execution time during manual and oral counting by stutterers; trading relations in the perception of speech by five-year-old children; the role of the strap muscles in pitch lowering; phonetic validation of distinctive features; consonants and syllable boundaires; and vowel information in postvocalic frictions.

  11. An fMRI study investigating effects of conceptually related sentences on the perception of degraded speech.

    PubMed

    Guediche, Sara; Reilly, Megan; Santiago, Carolina; Laurent, Patryk; Blumstein, Sheila E

    2016-06-01

    Prior research has shown that the perception of degraded speech is influenced by within sentence meaning and recruits one or more components of a frontal-temporal-parietal network. The goal of the current study is to examine whether the overall conceptual meaning of a sentence, made up of one set of words, influences the perception of a second acoustically degraded sentence, made up of a different set of words. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we presented an acoustically clear sentence followed by an acoustically degraded sentence and manipulated the semantic relationship between them: Related in meaning (but consisting of different content words), Unrelated in meaning, or Same. Results showed that listeners' word recognition accuracy for the acoustically degraded sentences was significantly higher when the target sentence was preceded by a conceptually related compared to a conceptually unrelated sentence. Sensitivity to conceptual relationships was associated with enhanced activity in middle and inferior frontal, temporal, and parietal areas. In addition, the left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG), left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG), and left middle temporal gyrus (LMTG) showed activity that correlated with individual performance on the Related condition. The superior temporal gyrus (STG) showed increased activation in the Same condition suggesting that it is sensitive to perceptual similarity rather than the integration of meaning between the sentence pairs. A fronto-temporo-parietal network appears to consolidate information sources across multiple levels of language (acoustic, lexical, syntactic, semantic) to build, and ultimately integrate conceptual information across sentences and facilitate the perception of a degraded speech signal. However, the nature of the sources of information that are available differentially recruit specific regions and modulate their activity within this network. Implications of these findings for the functional

  12. The Effect of Short-Term Auditory Training on Speech in Noise Perception and Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials in Adults with Cochlear Implants.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Nathan; Purdy, Suzanne C; Sharma, Mridula; Giles, Ellen; Narne, Vijay

    2016-02-01

    This study investigated whether a short intensive psychophysical auditory training program is associated with speech perception benefits and changes in cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) in adult cochlear implant (CI) users. Ten adult implant recipients trained approximately 7 hours on psychophysical tasks (Gap-in-Noise Detection, Frequency Discrimination, Spectral Rippled Noise [SRN], Iterated Rippled Noise, Temporal Modulation). Speech performance was assessed before and after training using Lexical Neighborhood Test (LNT) words in quiet and in eight-speaker babble. CAEPs evoked by a natural speech stimulus /baba/ with varying syllable stress were assessed pre- and post-training, in quiet and in noise. SRN psychophysical thresholds showed a significant improvement (78% on average) over the training period, but performance on other psychophysical tasks did not change. LNT scores in noise improved significantly post-training by 11% on average compared with three pretraining baseline measures. N1P2 amplitude changed post-training for /baba/ in quiet (p = 0.005, visit 3 pretraining versus visit 4 post-training). CAEP changes did not correlate with behavioral measures. CI recipients' clinical records indicated a plateau in speech perception performance prior to participation in the study. A short period of intensive psychophysical training produced small but significant gains in speech perception in noise and spectral discrimination ability. There remain questions about the most appropriate type of training and the duration or dosage of training that provides the most robust outcomes for adults with CIs. PMID:27587925

  13. Speech perception of sine-wave signals by children with cochlear implants

    PubMed Central

    Nittrouer, Susan; Kuess, Jamie; Lowenstein, Joanna H.

    2015-01-01

    Children need to discover linguistically meaningful structures in the acoustic speech signal. Being attentive to recurring, time-varying formant patterns helps in that process. However, that kind of acoustic structure may not be available to children with cochlear implants (CIs), thus hindering development. The major goal of this study was to examine whether children with CIs are as sensitive to time-varying formant structure as children with normal hearing (NH) by asking them to recognize sine-wave speech. The same materials were presented as speech in noise, as well, to evaluate whether any group differences might simply reflect general perceptual deficits on the part of children with CIs. Vocabulary knowledge, phonemic awareness, and “top-down” language effects were all also assessed. Finally, treatment factors were examined as possible predictors of outcomes. Results showed that children with CIs were as accurate as children with NH at recognizing sine-wave speech, but poorer at recognizing speech in noise. Phonemic awareness was related to that recognition. Top-down effects were similar across groups. Having had a period of bimodal stimulation near the time of receiving a first CI facilitated these effects. Results suggest that children with CIs have access to the important time-varying structure of vocal-tract formants. PMID:25994709

  14. Speech perception of sine-wave signals by children with cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Nittrouer, Susan; Kuess, Jamie; Lowenstein, Joanna H

    2015-05-01

    Children need to discover linguistically meaningful structures in the acoustic speech signal. Being attentive to recurring, time-varying formant patterns helps in that process. However, that kind of acoustic structure may not be available to children with cochlear implants (CIs), thus hindering development. The major goal of this study was to examine whether children with CIs are as sensitive to time-varying formant structure as children with normal hearing (NH) by asking them to recognize sine-wave speech. The same materials were presented as speech in noise, as well, to evaluate whether any group differences might simply reflect general perceptual deficits on the part of children with CIs. Vocabulary knowledge, phonemic awareness, and "top-down" language effects were all also assessed. Finally, treatment factors were examined as possible predictors of outcomes. Results showed that children with CIs were as accurate as children with NH at recognizing sine-wave speech, but poorer at recognizing speech in noise. Phonemic awareness was related to that recognition. Top-down effects were similar across groups. Having had a period of bimodal stimulation near the time of receiving a first CI facilitated these effects. Results suggest that children with CIs have access to the important time-varying structure of vocal-tract formants. PMID:25994709

  15. Tone classification of syllable-segmented Thai speech based on multilayer perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satravaha, Nuttavudh; Klinkhachorn, Powsiri; Lass, Norman

    2002-05-01

    Thai is a monosyllabic tonal language that uses tone to convey lexical information about the meaning of a syllable. Thus to completely recognize a spoken Thai syllable, a speech recognition system not only has to recognize a base syllable but also must correctly identify a tone. Hence, tone classification of Thai speech is an essential part of a Thai speech recognition system. Thai has five distinctive tones (``mid,'' ``low,'' ``falling,'' ``high,'' and ``rising'') and each tone is represented by a single fundamental frequency (F0) pattern. However, several factors, including tonal coarticulation, stress, intonation, and speaker variability, affect the F0 pattern of a syllable in continuous Thai speech. In this study, an efficient method for tone classification of syllable-segmented Thai speech, which incorporates the effects of tonal coarticulation, stress, and intonation, as well as a method to perform automatic syllable segmentation, were developed. Acoustic parameters were used as the main discriminating parameters. The F0 contour of a segmented syllable was normalized by using a z-score transformation before being presented to a tone classifier. The proposed system was evaluated on 920 test utterances spoken by 8 speakers. A recognition rate of 91.36% was achieved by the proposed system.

  16. An assessment of computer model techniques to predict quantitative and qualitative measures of speech perception in university classrooms for varying room sizes and noise levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyeong-Seok

    The objective of this dissertation was to assess the use of computer modeling techniques to predict quantitative and qualitative measures of speech perception in classrooms under realistic conditions of background noise and reverberation. Secondary objectives included (1) finding relationships among acoustical measurements made in actual classrooms and in the computer models of the actual rooms as a prediction tool of 15 acoustic parameters at the design stage of projects and (2) finding relationships among speech perception scores and 15 acoustic parameters to determine the best predictors of speech perception in actual classroom conditions. Fifteen types of acoustical measurements were made in three actual classrooms with reverberation times of 0.5, 1.3, and 5.1 seconds. Speech perception tests using a Modified Rhyme Test list were also given to 22 subject in each room with five noise conditions of signal-to-noise ratios of 31, 24, 15, 0, -10. Computer models of the rooms were constructed using a commercially available computer model software program. The 15 acoustical measurements were made at 6 or 9 locations in the model rooms. Impulse responses obtained in the computer models of the rooms were convolved with the anechoically recorded speech tests used in the full size rooms to produce a compact disk with the MRT lists with the acoustical response of the computer model rooms. Speech perception tests using this as source material were given to the subjects over loudspeaker in an acoustic test booth. The results of the study showed correlations (R2) of between acoustical measures made in the full size classrooms and the computer models of the classrooms of 0.92 to 0.99 with standard errors of 0.033 to 7.311. Comparisons between speech perception scores tested in the rooms and acoustical measurements made in the rooms and in the computer models of the classrooms showed that the measures have similar prediction accuracy with other studies in the literatures. The

  17. An On-Line Imitative Test of Speech-Pattern Contrast Perception (OlimSpac): Developmental Effects in Normally Hearing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boothroyd, Arthur; Eisenberg, Laurie S.; Martinez, Amy S.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The goal was to assess the effects of maturation and phonological development on performance, by normally hearing children, on an imitative test of auditory capacity (On-Line Imitative Test of Speech-Pattern Contrast Perception [OlimSpac]; Boothroyd, Eisenberg, & Martinez, 2006; Eisenberg, Martinez, & Boothroyd, 2003, 2007). Method:…

  18. Effective Connectivity Hierarchically Links Temporoparietal and Frontal Areas of the Auditory Dorsal Stream with the Motor Cortex Lip Area during Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murakami, Takenobu; Restle, Julia; Ziemann, Ulf

    2012-01-01

    A left-hemispheric cortico-cortical network involving areas of the temporoparietal junction (Tpj) and the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG) is thought to support sensorimotor integration of speech perception into articulatory motor activation, but how this network links with the lip area of the primary motor cortex (M1) during speech…

  19. The Acquisitional Value of Recasts in Instructed Second Language Speech Learning: Teaching the Perception and Production of English /?/ to Adult Japanese Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Kazuya

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the impact of recasts together with form-focused instruction (FFI) on the development of second language speech perception and production of English /?/ by Japanese learners. Forty-five learners were randomly assigned to three groups--FFI recasts, FFI only, and Control--and exposed to four hours of communicatively…

  20. Auditory Processing, Speech Perception and Phonological Ability in Pre-School Children at High-Risk for Dyslexia: A Longitudinal Study of the Auditory Temporal Processing Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boets, Bart; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid; Ghesquiere, Pol

    2007-01-01

    This study investigates whether the core bottleneck of literacy-impairment should be situated at the phonological level or at a more basic sensory level, as postulated by supporters of the auditory temporal processing theory. Phonological ability, speech perception and low-level auditory processing were assessed in a group of 5-year-old pre-school…

  1. Speech Perception and Phonological Short-Term Memory Capacity in Language Impairment: Preliminary Evidence from Adolescents with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loucas, Tom; Riches, Nick Greatorex; Charman, Tony; Pickles, Andrew; Simonoff, Emily; Chandler, Susie; Baird, Gillian

    2010-01-01

    Background: The cognitive bases of language impairment in specific language impairment (SLI) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were investigated in a novel non-word comparison task which manipulated phonological short-term memory (PSTM) and speech perception, both implicated in poor non-word repetition. Aims: This study aimed to investigate the…

  2. The Influence of Visual and Auditory Information on the Perception of Speech and Non-Speech Oral Movements in Patients with Left Hemisphere Lesions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmid, Gabriele; Thielmann, Anke; Ziegler, Wolfram

    2009-01-01

    Patients with lesions of the left hemisphere often suffer from oral-facial apraxia, apraxia of speech, and aphasia. In these patients, visual features often play a critical role in speech and language therapy, when pictured lip shapes or the therapist's visible mouth movements are used to facilitate speech production and articulation. This demands…

  3. Effects of electrode configuration and place of stimulation on speech perception with cochlear prostheses.

    PubMed

    Pfingst, B E; Franck, K H; Xu, L; Bauer, E M; Zwolan, T A

    2001-06-01

    Recent research and clinical experience with cochlear implants suggest that subjects' speech recognition with monopolar or broad bipolar stimulation might be equal to or better than that obtained with narrow bipolar stimulation or other spatially restricted electrode configurations. Furthermore, subjects often prefer the monopolar configurations. The mechanisms underlying these effects are not clear. Two hypotheses are (a) that broader configurations excite more neurons resulting in a more detailed and robust neural representation of the signal and (b) that broader configurations achieve a better spatial distribution of the excited neurons. In this study we compared the effects of electrode configuration and the effects of longitudinal placement and spacing of the active electrodes on speech recognition in human subjects. We used experimental processor maps consisting of 11 active electrodes in a 22-electrode scala tympani array. Narrow bipolar (BP), wide bipolar (BP + 6), and monopolar (MP2) configurations were tested with various locations of active electrodes. We tested basal, centered, and apical locations (with adjacent active electrodes) and spatially distributed locations (with every other electrode active) with electrode configuration held constant. Ten postlingually deafened adult human subjects with Nucleus prostheses were tested using the SPEAK processing strategy. The effects of electrode configuration and longitudinal place of stimulation on recognition of CNC phonemes and words in quiet and CUNY sentences in noise (+10 dB S/N) were similar. Both independent variables had large effects on speech recognition and there were interactions between these variables. These results suggest that the effects of electrode configuration on speech recognition might be due, in part, to differences among the various configurations in the spatial location of stimulation. Correlations of subjective judgments of sound quality with speech-recognition ability were moderate

  4. Top-Down Modulation on the Perception and Categorization of Identical Pitch Contours in Speech and Music.

    PubMed

    Weidema, Joey L; Roncaglia-Denissen, M P; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    Whether pitch in language and music is governed by domain-specific or domain-general cognitive mechanisms is contentiously debated. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether mechanisms governing pitch contour perception operate differently when pitch information is interpreted as either speech or music. By modulating listening mode, this study aspired to demonstrate that pitch contour perception relies on domain-specific cognitive mechanisms, which are regulated by top-down influences from language and music. Three groups of participants (Mandarin speakers, Dutch speaking non-musicians, and Dutch musicians) were exposed to identical pitch contours, and tested on their ability to identify these contours in a language and musical context. Stimuli consisted of disyllabic words spoken in Mandarin, and melodic tonal analogs, embedded in a linguistic and melodic carrier phrase, respectively. Participants classified identical pitch contours as significantly different depending on listening mode. Top-down influences from language appeared to alter the perception of pitch contour in speakers of Mandarin. This was not the case for non-musician speakers of Dutch. Moreover, this effect was lacking in Dutch speaking musicians. The classification patterns of pitch contours in language and music seem to suggest that domain-specific categorization is modulated by top-down influences from language and music. PMID:27313552

  5. Top–Down Modulation on the Perception and Categorization of Identical Pitch Contours in Speech and Music

    PubMed Central

    Weidema, Joey L.; Roncaglia-Denissen, M. P.; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    Whether pitch in language and music is governed by domain-specific or domain-general cognitive mechanisms is contentiously debated. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether mechanisms governing pitch contour perception operate differently when pitch information is interpreted as either speech or music. By modulating listening mode, this study aspired to demonstrate that pitch contour perception relies on domain-specific cognitive mechanisms, which are regulated by top–down influences from language and music. Three groups of participants (Mandarin speakers, Dutch speaking non-musicians, and Dutch musicians) were exposed to identical pitch contours, and tested on their ability to identify these contours in a language and musical context. Stimuli consisted of disyllabic words spoken in Mandarin, and melodic tonal analogs, embedded in a linguistic and melodic carrier phrase, respectively. Participants classified identical pitch contours as significantly different depending on listening mode. Top–down influences from language appeared to alter the perception of pitch contour in speakers of Mandarin. This was not the case for non-musician speakers of Dutch. Moreover, this effect was lacking in Dutch speaking musicians. The classification patterns of pitch contours in language and music seem to suggest that domain-specific categorization is modulated by top–down influences from language and music. PMID:27313552

  6. Listening with an Accent: Speech Perception in a Second Language by Late Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leikin, Mark; Ibrahim, Raphiq; Eviatar, Zohar; Sapir, Shimon

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine functioning of late bilinguals in their second language. Specifically, we asked how native and non-native Hebrew speaking listeners perceive accented and native-accented Hebrew speech. To achieve this goal we used the gating paradigm to explore the ability of healthy late fluent bilinguals (Russian and…

  7. Audio-Visual Speech Perception Off the Top of the Head

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun

    2006-01-01

    The study examined whether people can extract speech related information from the talker's upper face that was presented using either normally textured videos (Experiments 1 and 3) or videos showing only the outlined of the head (Experiments 2 and 4). Experiments 1 and 2 used within- and cross-modal matching tasks. In the within-modal task,…

  8. Stimulus and listener factors affecting age-related changes in competing speech perception.

    PubMed

    Helfer, Karen S; Freyman, Richard L

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine associations among hearing thresholds, cognitive ability, and speech understanding in adverse listening conditions within and between groups of younger, middle-aged, and older adults. Participants repeated back sentences played in the presence of several types of maskers (syntactically similar and syntactically different competing speech from one or two other talkers, and steady-state speech-shaped noise). They also completed tests of auditory short-term/working memory, processing speed, and inhibitory ability. Results showed that group differences in accuracy of word identification and in error patterns differed depending upon the number of masking voices; specifically, older and middle-aged individuals had particular difficulty, relative to younger subjects, in the presence of a single competing message. However, the effect of syntactic similarity was consistent across subject groups. Hearing loss, short-term memory, processing speed, and inhibitory ability were each related to some aspects of performance by the middle-aged and older participants. Notably, substantial age-related changes in speech recognition were apparent within the group of middle-aged listeners. PMID:25096109

  9. The Effect of Temporal Gap Identification on Speech Perception by Users of Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sagi, Elad; Kaiser, Adam R.; Meyer, Ted A.; Svirsky, Mario A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the ability of listeners using cochlear implants (CIs) and listeners with normal hearing (NH) to identify silent gaps of different duration and the relation of this ability to speech understanding in CI users. Method: Sixteen NH adults and 11 postlingually deafened adults with CIs identified synthetic vowel-like…

  10. Brief Report: Arrested Development of Audiovisual Speech Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, Ryan A.; Siemann, Justin K.; Woynaroski, Tiffany G.; Schneider, Brittany C.; Eberly, Haley E.; Camarata, Stephen M.; Wallace, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    Atypical communicative abilities are a core marker of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A number of studies have shown that, in addition to auditory comprehension differences, individuals with autism frequently show atypical responses to audiovisual speech, suggesting a multisensory contribution to these communicative differences from their…

  11. Parents' and Professionals' Perceptions of Quality of Life in Children with Speech and Language Difficulty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markham, Chris; Dean, Taraneh

    2006-01-01

    The true impact of speech and language difficulties (SaLD) on children's lives and the effectiveness of intervention is unknown. Within other fields of paediatric healthcare, clinicians and policy-makers are increasingly emphasizing the utility of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) studies and measures. SaLT has a variety of measures to assess…

  12. Perception and Confusion of Speech Sounds by Adults with a Cochlear Implant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodvik, Arne K.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this pilot study was to identify the most common speech sound confusions of 5 Norwegian cochlear implanted post-lingually deafened adults. We played recorded nonwords, aCa, iCi and bVb, to our informants, asked them to repeat what they heard, recorded their repetitions and transcribed these phonetically. We arranged the collected data…

  13. The Impact of Strong Assimilation on the Perception of Connected Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaskell, M. Gareth; Snoeren, Natalie D.

    2008-01-01

    Models of compensation for phonological variation in spoken word recognition differ in their ability to accommodate complete assimilatory alternations (such as run assimilating fully to rum in the context of a quick run picks you up). Two experiments addressed whether such complete changes can be observed in casual speech, and if so, whether they…

  14. Impact of Aberrant Acoustic Properties on the Perception of Sound Quality in Electrolarynx Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meltzner, Geoffrey S.; Hillman, Robert E.

    2005-01-01

    A large percentage of patients who have undergone laryngectomy to treat advanced laryngeal cancer rely on an electrolarynx (EL) to communicate verbally. Although serviceable, EL speech is plagued by shortcomings in both sound quality and intelligibility. This study sought to better quantify the relative contributions of previously identified…

  15. Attention to Facial Regions in Segmental and Prosodic Visual Speech Perception Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lansing, Charissa R.; McConkie, George W.

    1999-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that visual information related to segmental versus prosodic aspects of speech is distributed differently on the face of the talker. Results indicate that information in the upper part of the talker's face is more critical for intonation pattern decisions than for decisions about word segments…

  16. Perception of Foreign Accent Syndrome Speech and Its Relation to Segmental Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dankovicova, Jana; Hunt, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is an acquired neurogenic disorder characterized by altered speech that sounds foreign-accented. This study presents a British subject perceived to speak with an Italian (or Greek) accent after a brainstem (pontine) stroke. Native English listeners rated the strength of foreign accent and impairment they perceived in…

  17. Familiarity Breeds Support: Speech-Language Pathologists' Perceptions of Bullying of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blood, Gordon W.; Blood, Ingrid M.; Coniglio, Amy D.; Finke, Erinn H.; Boyle, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are primary targets for bullies and victimization. Research shows school personnel may be uneducated about bullying and ways to intervene. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in schools often work with children with ASD and may have victims of bullying on their caseloads. These victims may feel most…

  18. Compensation for Complete Assimilation in Speech Perception: The Case of Korean Labial-to-Velar Assimilation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitterer, Holger; Kim, Sahyang; Cho, Taehong

    2013-01-01

    In connected speech, phonological assimilation to neighboring words can lead to pronunciation variants (e.g., "garden bench" [arrow right] "garde'm' bench"). A large body of literature suggests that listeners use the phonetic context to reconstruct the intended word for assimilation types that often lead to incomplete assimilations (e.g., a…

  19. The Effect of Talker and Intonation Variability on Speech Perception in Noise in Children with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hazan, Valerie; Messaoud-Galusi, Souhila; Rosen, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors aimed to determine whether children with dyslexia (hereafter referred to as "DYS children") are more affected than children with average reading ability (hereafter referred to as "AR children") by talker and intonation variability when perceiving speech in noise. Method: Thirty-four DYS and 25 AR children were…

  20. Speech Perception and Production by Sequential Bilingual Children: A Longitudinal Study of Voice Onset Time Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarthy, Kathleen M.; Mahon, Merle; Rosen, Stuart; Evans, Bronwen G.

    2014-01-01

    The majority of bilingual speech research has focused on simultaneous bilinguals. Yet, in immigrant communities, children are often initially exposed to their family language (L1), before becoming gradually immersed in the host country's language (L2). This is typically referred to as sequential bilingualism. Using a longitudinal design, this…

  1. Preparation and Perceptions of Speech-Language Pathologists Working with Children with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Compton, Mary V.; Tucker, Denise A.; Flynn, Perry F.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the level of preparedness of North Carolina speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who serve school-aged children with cochlear implants (CIs). A survey distributed to 190 school-based SLPs in North Carolina revealed that 79% of the participants felt they had little to no confidence in managing CI technology or in providing…

  2. Perceptions of Staff on Embedding Speech and Language Therapy within a Youth Offending Team

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryan, Karen; Gregory, Juliette

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to ascertain the views of staff and managers within a youth offending team on their experiences of working with a speech and language therapist (SLT). The model of therapy provision was similar to the whole-systems approach used in schools. The impact of the service on language outcomes is reported elsewhere…

  3. Liberated Learning: Analysis of University Students' Perceptions and Experiences with Continuous Automated Speech Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryba, Ken; McIvor, Tom; Shakir, Maha; Paez, Di

    2006-01-01

    This study examined continuous automated speech recognition in the university lecture theatre. The participants were both native speakers of English (L1) and English as a second language students (L2) enrolled in an information systems course (Total N=160). After an initial training period, an L2 lecturer in information systems delivered three…

  4. Perception of Speech Modulation Cues by 6-Month-Old Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cabrera, Laurianne; Bertoncini, Josiane; Lorenzi, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The capacity of 6-month-old infants to discriminate a voicing contrast (/aba/--/apa/) on the basis of "amplitude modulation (AM) cues" and "frequency modulation (FM) cues" was evaluated. Method: Several vocoded speech conditions were designed to either degrade FM cues in 4 or 32 bands or degrade AM in 32 bands. Infants…

  5. Universal and language-specific sublexical cues in speech perception: a novel electroencephalography-lesion approach.

    PubMed

    Obrig, Hellmuth; Mentzel, Julia; Rossi, Sonja

    2016-06-01

    SEE CAPPA DOI101093/BRAIN/AWW090 FOR A SCIENTIFIC COMMENTARY ON THIS ARTICLE  : The phonological structure of speech supports the highly automatic mapping of sound to meaning. While it is uncontroversial that phonotactic knowledge acts upon lexical access, it is unclear at what stage these combinatorial rules, governing phonological well-formedness in a given language, shape speech comprehension. Moreover few studies have investigated the neuronal network affording this important step in speech comprehension. Therefore we asked 70 participants-half of whom suffered from a chronic left hemispheric lesion-to listen to 252 different monosyllabic pseudowords. The material models universal preferences of phonotactic well-formedness by including naturally spoken pseudowords and digitally reversed exemplars. The latter partially violate phonological structure of all human speech and are rich in universally dispreferred phoneme sequences while preserving basic auditory parameters. Language-specific constraints were modelled in that half of the naturally spoken pseudowords complied with the phonotactics of the native language of the monolingual participants (German) while the other half did not. To ensure universal well-formedness and naturalness, the latter stimuli comply with Slovak phonotactics and all stimuli were produced by an early bilingual speaker. To maximally attenuate lexico-semantic influences, transparent pseudowords were avoided and participants had to detect immediate repetitions, a task orthogonal to the contrasts of interest. The results show that phonological 'well-formedness' modulates implicit processing of speech at different levels: universally dispreferred phonological structure elicits early, medium and late latency differences in the evoked potential. On the contrary, the language-specific phonotactic contrast selectively modulates a medium latency component of the event-related potentials around 400 ms. Using a novel event-related potential

  6. Speech Perception by 6- to 8-Month-Olds in the Presence of Distracting Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polka, Linda; Rvachew, Susan; Molnar, Monika

    2008-01-01

    The role of selective attention in infant phonetic perception was examined using a distraction masker paradigm. We compared perception of /bu/ versus /gu/ in 6- to 8-month-olds using a visual fixation procedure. Infants were habituated to multiple natural productions of 1 syllable type and then presented 4 test trials (old-new-old-new). Perception…

  7. Perception of Filtered Speech by Children with Developmental Dyslexia and Children with Specific Language Impairments.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Usha; Cumming, Ruth; Chait, Maria; Huss, Martina; Mead, Natasha; Wilson, Angela M; Barnes, Lisa; Fosker, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Here we use two filtered speech tasks to investigate children's processing of slow (<4 Hz) versus faster (∼33 Hz) temporal modulations in speech. We compare groups of children with either developmental dyslexia (Experiment 1) or speech and language impairments (SLIs, Experiment 2) to groups of typically-developing (TD) children age-matched to each disorder group. Ten nursery rhymes were filtered so that their modulation frequencies were either low-pass filtered (<4 Hz) or band-pass filtered (22 - 40 Hz). Recognition of the filtered nursery rhymes was tested in a picture recognition multiple choice paradigm. Children with dyslexia aged 10 years showed equivalent recognition overall to TD controls for both the low-pass and band-pass filtered stimuli, but showed significantly impaired acoustic learning during the experiment from low-pass filtered targets. Children with oral SLIs aged 9 years showed significantly poorer recognition of band pass filtered targets compared to their TD controls, and showed comparable acoustic learning effects to TD children during the experiment. The SLI samples were also divided into children with and without phonological difficulties. The children with both SLI and phonological difficulties were impaired in recognizing both kinds of filtered speech. These data are suggestive of impaired temporal sampling of the speech signal at different modulation rates by children with different kinds of developmental language disorder. Both SLI and dyslexic samples showed impaired discrimination of amplitude rise times. Implications of these findings for a temporal sampling framework for understanding developmental language disorders are discussed. PMID:27303348

  8. Perception of Filtered Speech by Children with Developmental Dyslexia and Children with Specific Language Impairments

    PubMed Central

    Goswami, Usha; Cumming, Ruth; Chait, Maria; Huss, Martina; Mead, Natasha; Wilson, Angela M.; Barnes, Lisa; Fosker, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Here we use two filtered speech tasks to investigate children’s processing of slow (<4 Hz) versus faster (∼33 Hz) temporal modulations in speech. We compare groups of children with either developmental dyslexia (Experiment 1) or speech and language impairments (SLIs, Experiment 2) to groups of typically-developing (TD) children age-matched to each disorder group. Ten nursery rhymes were filtered so that their modulation frequencies were either low-pass filtered (<4 Hz) or band-pass filtered (22 – 40 Hz). Recognition of the filtered nursery rhymes was tested in a picture recognition multiple choice paradigm. Children with dyslexia aged 10 years showed equivalent recognition overall to TD controls for both the low-pass and band-pass filtered stimuli, but showed significantly impaired acoustic learning during the experiment from low-pass filtered targets. Children with oral SLIs aged 9 years showed significantly poorer recognition of band pass filtered targets compared to their TD controls, and showed comparable acoustic learning effects to TD children during the experiment. The SLI samples were also divided into children with and without phonological difficulties. The children with both SLI and phonological difficulties were impaired in recognizing both kinds of filtered speech. These data are suggestive of impaired temporal sampling of the speech signal at different modulation rates by children with different kinds of developmental language disorder. Both SLI and dyslexic samples showed impaired discrimination of amplitude rise times. Implications of these findings for a temporal sampling framework for understanding developmental language disorders are discussed. PMID:27303348

  9. Individual differences in the perception of melodic contours and pitch-accent timing in speech: Support for domain-generality of pitch processing.

    PubMed

    Morrill, Tuuli H; McAuley, J Devin; Dilley, Laura C; Hambrick, David Z

    2015-08-01

    Do the same mechanisms underlie processing of music and language? Recent investigations of this question have yielded inconsistent results. Likely factors contributing to discrepant findings are use of small samples and failure to control for individual differences in cognitive ability. We investigated the relationship between music and speech prosody processing, while controlling for cognitive ability. Participants (n = 179) completed a battery of cognitive ability tests, the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) to assess music perception, and a prosody test of pitch peak timing discrimination (early, as in insight vs. late, incite). Structural equation modeling revealed that only music perception was a significant predictor of prosody test performance. Music perception accounted for 34.5% of variance on prosody test performance; cognitive abilities and music training added only about 8%. These results indicate musical pitch and temporal processing are highly predictive of pitch discrimination in speech processing, even after controlling for other possible predictors of this aspect of language processing. PMID:26214165

  10. Early recognition of speech

    PubMed Central

    Remez, Robert E; Thomas, Emily F

    2013-01-01

    Classic research on the perception of speech sought to identify minimal acoustic correlates of each consonant and vowel. In explaining perception, this view designated momentary components of an acoustic spectrum as cues to the recognition of elementary phonemes. This conceptualization of speech perception is untenable given the findings of phonetic sensitivity to modulation independent of the acoustic and auditory form of the carrier. The empirical key is provided by studies of the perceptual organization of speech, a low-level integrative function that finds and follows the sensory effects of speech amid concurrent events. These projects have shown that the perceptual organization of speech is keyed to modulation; fast; unlearned; nonsymbolic; indifferent to short-term auditory properties; and organization requires attention. The ineluctably multisensory nature of speech perception also imposes conditions that distinguish language among cognitive systems. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:213–223. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1213 PMID:23926454

  11. Comparison of bimodal and bilateral cochlear implant users on speech recognition with competing talker, music perception, affective prosody discrimination and talker identification

    PubMed Central

    Cullington, Helen E; Zeng, Fan-Gang

    2010-01-01

    Objectives Despite excellent performance in speech recognition in quiet, most cochlear implant users have great difficulty with speech recognition in noise, music perception, identifying tone of voice, and discriminating different talkers. This may be partly due to the pitch coding in cochlear implant speech processing. Most current speech processing strategies use only the envelope information; the temporal fine structure is discarded. One way to improve electric pitch perception is to utilize residual acoustic hearing via a hearing aid on the non-implanted ear (bimodal hearing). This study aimed to test the hypothesis that bimodal users would perform better than bilateral cochlear implant users on tasks requiring good pitch perception. Design Four pitch-related tasks were used: Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentences spoken by a male talker with a competing female, male, or child talker. Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia. This is a music test with six subtests examining pitch, rhythm and timing perception, and musical memory. Aprosodia Battery. This has five subtests evaluating aspects of affective prosody and recognition of sarcasm. Talker identification using vowels spoken by ten different talkers (three male, three female, two boys, and two girls). Bilateral cochlear implant users were chosen as the comparison group. Thirteen bimodal and thirteen bilateral adult cochlear implant users were recruited; all had good speech perception in quiet. Results There were no significant differences between the mean scores of the bimodal and bilateral groups on any of the tests, although the bimodal group did perform better than the bilateral group on almost all tests. Performance on the different pitch-related tasks was not correlated, meaning that if a subject performed one task well they would not necessarily perform well on another. The correlation between the bimodal users' hearing threshold levels in the aided ear and their performance on these tasks was weak

  12. The perception of rhythm and word boundaries in noise-masked speech.

    PubMed

    Smith, M R; Cutler, A; Butterfield, S; Nimmo-Smith, I

    1989-12-01

    The present experiment tested the suggestion that human listeners may exploit durational information in speech to parse continuous utterances into words. Listeners were presented with six-syllable unpredictable utterances under noise-masking, and were required to judge between alternative word strings as to which best matched the rhythm of the masked utterances. For each utterance there were four alternative strings: (a) an exact rhythmic and word boundary match, (b) a rhythmic mismatch, and (c) two utterances with the same rhythm as the masked utterance, but different word boundary locations. Listeners were clearly able to perceive the rhythm of the masked utterances: The rhythmic mismatch was chosen significantly less often than any other alternative. Within the three rhythmically matched alternatives, the exact match was chosen significantly more often than either word boundary mismatch. Thus, listeners both perceived speech rhythm and used durational cues effectively to locate the position of word boundaries. PMID:2601320

  13. Advanced Beamformers for Cochlear Implant Users: Acute Measurement of Speech Perception in Challenging Listening Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Buechner, Andreas; Dyballa, Karl-Heinz; Hehrmann, Phillipp; Fredelake, Stefan; Lenarz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate the performance of monaural and binaural beamforming technology with an additional noise reduction algorithm, in cochlear implant recipients. Method This experimental study was conducted as a single subject repeated measures design within a large German cochlear implant centre. Twelve experienced users of an Advanced Bionics HiRes90K or CII implant with a Harmony speech processor were enrolled. The cochlear implant processor of each subject was connected to one of two bilaterally placed state-of-the-art hearing aids (Phonak Ambra) providing three alternative directional processing options: an omnidirectional setting, an adaptive monaural beamformer, and a binaural beamformer. A further noise reduction algorithm (ClearVoice) was applied to the signal on the cochlear implant processor itself. The speech signal was presented from 0° and speech shaped noise presented from loudspeakers placed at ±70°, ±135° and 180°. The Oldenburg sentence test was used to determine the signal-to-noise ratio at which subjects scored 50% correct. Results Both the adaptive and binaural beamformer were significantly better than the omnidirectional condition (5.3 dB±1.2 dB and 7.1 dB±1.6 dB (p<0.001) respectively). The best score was achieved with the binaural beamformer in combination with the ClearVoice noise reduction algorithm, with a significant improvement in SRT of 7.9 dB±2.4 dB (p<0.001) over the omnidirectional alone condition. Conclusions The study showed that the binaural beamformer implemented in the Phonak Ambra hearing aid could be used in conjunction with a Harmony speech processor to produce substantial average improvements in SRT of 7.1 dB. The monaural, adaptive beamformer provided an averaged SRT improvement of 5.3 dB. PMID:24755864

  14. Development of a topic-related sentence corpus for speech perception research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfer, Karen S.; Freyman, Richard L.

    2001-05-01

    A large sentence corpus has been developed for use in speech recognition research. Sentences (n=881, three scoring words per sentence) were developed under 23 topics. In the first phase of development subjects rated each individual scoring word for relatedness to its given topic on a Likert scale. Next, two groups of young, normal-hearing listeners (n=16/group) listened and responded to the recordings of the sentences (spoken by a female talker) presented with one of two types of maskers: steady-state noise (S:N=-13 dB) or two other females speaking random sentences (S:N=-8 dB). Each subject responded to half of the sentences with topic supplied and half with no topic supplied. Data analyses focused on addressing two questions: whether supplementation of topic would be more important in the presence of the speech masker versus the noise masker, and how the degree of relatedness of each key word to the topic influenced the effect of topic on recognition. The data showed little difference in how beneficial the topic was for speech versus noise maskers. Moreover, there was a complex relationship between effect of topic, type of masker, and position of the word in the sentence. [Work supported by NIDCD DC01625.

  15. Speech perception at positive signal-to-noise ratios using adaptive adjustment of time compression.

    PubMed

    Schlueter, Anne; Brand, Thomas; Lemke, Ulrike; Nitzschner, Stefan; Kollmeier, Birger; Holube, Inga

    2015-11-01

    Positive signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) characterize listening situations most relevant for hearing-impaired listeners in daily life and should therefore be considered when evaluating hearing aid algorithms. For this, a speech-in-noise test was developed and evaluated, in which the background noise is presented at fixed positive SNRs and the speech rate (i.e., the time compression of the speech material) is adaptively adjusted. In total, 29 younger and 12 older normal-hearing, as well as 24 older hearing-impaired listeners took part in repeated measurements. Younger normal-hearing and older hearing-impaired listeners conducted one of two adaptive methods which differed in adaptive procedure and step size. Analysis of the measurements with regard to list length and estimation strategy for thresholds resulted in a practical method measuring the time compression for 50% recognition. This method uses time-compression adjustment and step sizes according to Versfeld and Dreschler [(2002). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 111, 401-408], with sentence scoring, lists of 30 sentences, and a maximum likelihood method for threshold estimation. Evaluation of the procedure showed that older participants obtained higher test-retest reliability compared to younger participants. Depending on the group of listeners, one or two lists are required for training prior to data collection. PMID:26627804

  16. Neural substrates of figurative language during natural speech perception: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Nagels, Arne; Kauschke, Christina; Schrauf, Judith; Whitney, Carin; Straube, Benjamin; Kircher, Tilo

    2013-01-01

    Many figurative expressions are fully conventionalized in everyday speech. Regarding the neural basis of figurative language processing, research has predominantly focused on metaphoric expressions in minimal semantic context. It remains unclear in how far metaphoric expressions during continuous text comprehension activate similar neural networks as isolated metaphors. We therefore investigated the processing of similes (figurative language, e.g., "He smokes like a chimney!") occurring in a short story. Sixteen healthy, male, native German speakers listened to similes that came about naturally in a short story, while blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). For the event-related analysis, similes were contrasted with non-figurative control sentences (CS). The stimuli differed with respect to figurativeness, while they were matched for frequency of words, number of syllables, plausibility, and comprehensibility. Similes contrasted with CS resulted in enhanced BOLD responses in the left inferior (IFG) and adjacent middle frontal gyrus. Concrete CS as compared to similes activated the bilateral middle temporal gyri as well as the right precuneus and the left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG). Activation of the left IFG for similes in a short story is consistent with results on single sentence metaphor processing. The findings strengthen the importance of the left inferior frontal region in the processing of abstract figurative speech during continuous, ecologically-valid speech comprehension; the processing of concrete semantic contents goes along with a down-regulation of bilateral temporal regions. PMID:24065897

  17. A dynamic auditory-cognitive system supports speech-in-noise perception in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; White-Schwoch, Travis; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Understanding speech in noise is one of the most complex activities encountered in everyday life, relying on peripheral hearing, central auditory processing, and cognition. These abilities decline with age, and so older adults are often frustrated by a reduced ability to communicate effectively in noisy environments. Many studies have examined these factors independently; in the last decade, however, the idea of the auditory-cognitive system has emerged, recognizing the need to consider the processing of complex sounds in the context of dynamic neural circuits. Here, we use structural equation modeling to evaluate interacting contributions of peripheral hearing, central processing, cognitive ability, and life experiences to understanding speech in noise. We recruited 120 older adults (ages 55 to 79) and evaluated their peripheral hearing status, cognitive skills, and central processing. We also collected demographic measures of life experiences, such as physical activity, intellectual engagement, and musical training. In our model, central processing and cognitive function predicted a significant proportion of variance in the ability to understand speech in noise. To a lesser extent, life experience predicted hearing-in-noise ability through modulation of brainstem function. Peripheral hearing levels did not significantly contribute to the model. Previous musical experience modulated the relative contributions of cognitive ability and lifestyle factors to hearing in noise. Our models demonstrate the complex interactions required to hear in noise and the importance of targeting cognitive function, lifestyle, and central auditory processing in the management of individuals who are having difficulty hearing in noise. PMID:23541911

  18. Benefits to Speech Perception in Noise From the Binaural Integration of Electric and Acoustic Signals in Simulated Unilateral Deafness

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ning; Morris, Saffron; Kitterick, Pádraig Thomas

    2016-01-01

    similar level of monaural performance (50%), binaural integration advantages were found regardless of whether a mismatch was simulated or not. When the CI-simulation ear supported a superior level of monaural performance (71%), evidence of binaural integration was absent when a mismatch was simulated using both the Realistic and the Ideal processing strategies. This absence of integration could not be accounted for by ceiling effects or by changes in SNR. Conclusions: If generalizable to unilaterally deaf CI users, the results of the current simulation study would suggest that benefits to speech perception in noise can be obtained by integrating information from an implanted ear and an NH ear. A mismatch in the delivery of spectral information between the ears due to a misalignment in the mapping of frequency to place may disrupt binaural integration in situations where both ears cannot support a similar level of monaural speech understanding. Previous studies that have measured the speech perception of unilaterally deaf individuals after CI but with nonindividualized frequency-to-electrode allocations may therefore have underestimated the potential benefits of providing binaural hearing. However, it remains unclear whether the size and nature of the potential incremental benefits from individualized allocations are sufficient to justify the time and resources required to derive them based on cochlear imaging or pitch-matching tasks. PMID:27116049

  19. The Effects of Direct and Indirect Speech Acts on Native English and ESL Speakers' Perception of Teacher Written Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Wendy; Hansen Bricker, Rachel

    2010-01-01

    This study explores how second language (L2) learners perceive indirect (hedging or indirect speech acts) and direct written teacher feedback. Though research suggests that indirect speech acts may be more difficult to interpret than direct speech acts ([Champagne, 2001] and [Holtgraves, 1999]), using indirect speech acts is often encouraged in…

  20. Perception of synthesized voice quality in connected speech by Cantonese speakers.

    PubMed

    Yiu, Edwin M L; Murdoch, Bruce; Hird, Kathryn; Lau, Polly

    2002-09-01

    Perceptual voice analysis is a subjective process. However, despite reports of varying degrees of intrajudge and interjudge reliability, it is widely used in clinical voice evaluation. One of the ways to improve the reliability of this procedure is to provide judges with signals as external standards so that comparison can be made in relation to these "anchor" signals. The present study used a Klatt speech synthesizer to create a set of speech signals with varying degree of three different voice qualities based on a Cantonese sentence. The primary objective of the study was to determine whether different abnormal voice qualities could be synthesized using the "built-in" synthesis parameters using a perceptual study. The second objective was to determine the relationship between acoustic characteristics of the synthesized signals and perceptual judgment. Twenty Cantonese-speaking speech pathologists with at least three years of clinical experience in perceptual voice evaluation were asked to undertake two tasks. The first was to decide whether the voice quality of the synthesized signals was normal or not. The second was to decide whether the abnormal signals should be described as rough, breathy, or vocal fry. The results showed that signals generated with a small degree of aspiration noise were perceived as breathiness while signals with a small degree of flutter or double pulsing were perceived as roughness. When the flutter or double pulsing increased further, tremor and vocal fry, rather than roughness, were perceived. Furthermore, the amount of aspiration noise, flutter, or double pulsing required for male voice stimuli was different from that required for the female voice stimuli with a similar level of perceptual breathiness and roughness. These findings showed that changes in perceived vocal quality could be achieved by systematic modifications of synthesis parameters. This opens up the possibility of using synthesized voice signals as external standards or