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  1. Speech Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, Thomas

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

  2. Improving Alaryngeal Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, John M.; Dwyer, Patricia E.

    1990-01-01

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

  3. Improving Alaryngeal Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, John M.; Dwyer, Patricia E.

    1990-01-01

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

  4. Speech intelligibility in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Ryherd, Erica E; Moeller, Michael; Hsu, Timothy

    2013-07-01

    Effective communication between staff members is key to patient safety in hospitals. A variety of patient care activities including admittance, evaluation, and treatment rely on oral communication. Surprisingly, published information on speech intelligibility in hospitals is extremely limited. In this study, speech intelligibility measurements and occupant evaluations were conducted in 20 units of five different U.S. hospitals. A variety of unit types and locations were studied. Results show that overall, no unit had "good" intelligibility based on the speech intelligibility index (SII > 0.75) and several locations found to have "poor" intelligibility (SII < 0.45). Further, occupied spaces were found to have 10%-15% lower SII than unoccupied spaces on average. Additionally, staff perception of communication problems at nurse stations was significantly correlated with SII ratings. In a targeted second phase, a unit treated with sound absorption had higher SII ratings for a larger percentage of time as compared to an identical untreated unit. Taken as a whole, the study provides an extensive baseline evaluation of speech intelligibility across a variety of hospitals and unit types, offers some evidence of the positive impact of absorption on intelligibility, and identifies areas for future research.

  5. Expectations and speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Babel, Molly; Russell, Jamie

    2015-05-01

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

  6. The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.

    PubMed

    Bent, Tessa; Bradlow, Ann R

    2003-09-01

    This study investigated how native language background influences the intelligibility of speech by non-native talkers for non-native listeners from either the same or a different native language background as the talker. Native talkers of Chinese (n = 2), Korean (n = 2), and English (n = 1) were recorded reading simple English sentences. Native listeners of English (n = 21), Chinese (n = 21), Korean (n = 10), and a mixed group from various native language backgrounds (n = 12) then performed a sentence recognition task with the recordings from the five talkers. Results showed that for native English listeners, the native English talker was most intelligible. However, for non-native listeners, speech from a relatively high proficiency non-native talker from the same native language background was as intelligible as speech from a native talker, giving rise to the "matched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit." Furthermore, this interlanguage intelligibility benefit extended to the situation where the non-native talker and listeners came from different language backgrounds, giving rise to the "mismatched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit." These findings shed light on the nature of the talker-listener interaction during speech communication.

  7. The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bent, Tessa; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2003-09-01

    This study investigated how native language background influences the intelligibility of speech by non-native talkers for non-native listeners from either the same or a different native language background as the talker. Native talkers of Chinese (n=2), Korean (n=2), and English (n=1) were recorded reading simple English sentences. Native listeners of English (n=21), Chinese (n=21), Korean (n=10), and a mixed group from various native language backgrounds (n=12) then performed a sentence recognition task with the recordings from the five talkers. Results showed that for native English listeners, the native English talker was most intelligible. However, for non-native listeners, speech from a relatively high proficiency non-native talker from the same native language background was as intelligible as speech from a native talker, giving rise to the ``matched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.'' Furthermore, this interlanguage intelligibility benefit extended to the situation where the non-native talker and listeners came from different language backgrounds, giving rise to the ``mismatched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.'' These findings shed light on the nature of the talker-listener interaction during speech communication.

  8. Coherence and the speech intelligibility index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kates, James M.; Arehart, Kathryn H.

    2005-04-01

    The speech intelligibility index (SII) (ANSI S3.5-1997) provides a means for estimating speech intelligibility under conditions of additive stationary noise or bandwidth reduction. The SII concept for estimating intelligibility is extended in this paper to include broadband peak-clipping and center-clipping distortion, with the coherence between the input and output signals used to estimate the noise and distortion effects. The speech intelligibility predictions using the new procedure are compared with intelligibility scores obtained from normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects for conditions of additive noise and peak-clipping and center-clipping distortion. The most effective procedure divides the speech signal into low-, mid-, and high-level regions, computes the coherence SII separately for the signal segments in each region, and then estimates intelligibility from a weighted combination of the three coherence SII values. .

  9. Coherence and the speech intelligibility index.

    PubMed

    Kates, James M; Arehart, Kathryn H

    2005-04-01

    The speech intelligibility index (SII) (ANSI S3.5-1997) provides a means for estimating speech intelligibility under conditions of additive stationary noise or bandwidth reduction. The SII concept for estimating intelligibility is extended in this paper to include broadband peak-clipping and center-clipping distortion, with the coherence between the input and output signals used to estimate the noise and distortion effects. The speech intelligibility predictions using the new procedure are compared with intelligibility scores obtained from normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects for conditions of additive noise and peak-clipping and center-clipping distortion. The most effective procedure divides the speech signal into low-, mid-, and high-level regions, computes the coherence SII separately for the signal segments in each region, and then estimates intelligibility from a weighted combination of the three coherence SII values.

  10. Intelligibility of clear speech: effect of instruction.

    PubMed

    Lam, Jennifer; Tjaden, Kris

    2013-10-01

    The authors investigated how clear speech instructions influence sentence intelligibility. Twelve speakers produced sentences in habitual, clear, hearing impaired, and overenunciate conditions. Stimuli were amplitude normalized and mixed with multitalker babble for orthographic transcription by 40 listeners. The main analysis investigated percentage-correct intelligibility scores as a function of the 4 conditions and speaker sex. Additional analyses included listener response variability, individual speaker trends, and an alternate intelligibility measure: proportion of content words correct. Relative to the habitual condition, the overenunciate condition was associated with the greatest intelligibility benefit, followed by the hearing impaired and clear conditions. Ten speakers followed this trend. The results indicated different patterns of clear speech benefit for male and female speakers. Greater listener variability was observed for speakers with inherently low habitual intelligibility compared to speakers with inherently high habitual intelligibility. Stable proportions of content words were observed across conditions. Clear speech instructions affected the magnitude of the intelligibility benefit. The instruction to overenunciate may be most effective in clear speech training programs. The findings may help explain the range of clear speech intelligibility benefit previously reported. Listener variability analyses suggested the importance of obtaining multiple listener judgments of intelligibility, especially for speakers with inherently low habitual intelligibility.

  11. Intelligibility of Clear Speech: Effect of Instruction

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Jennifer; Tjaden, Kris

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The authors investigated how clear speech instructions influence sentence intelligibility. Method Twelve speakers produced sentences in habitual, clear, hearing impaired, and overenunciate conditions. Stimuli were amplitude normalized and mixed with multitalker babble for orthographic transcription by 40 listeners. The main analysis investigated percentage-correct intelligibility scores as a function of the 4 conditions and speaker sex. Additional analyses included listener response variability, individual speaker trends, and an alternate intelligibility measure: proportion of content words correct. Results Relative to the habitual condition, the overenunciate condition was associated with the greatest intelligibility benefit, followed by the hearing impaired and clear conditions. Ten speakers followed this trend. The results indicated different patterns of clear speech benefit for male and female speakers. Greater listener variability was observed for speakers with inherently low habitual intelligibility compared to speakers with inherently high habitual intelligibility. Stable proportions of content words were observed across conditions. Conclusions Clear speech instructions affected the magnitude of the intelligibility benefit. The instruction to overenunciate may be most effective in clear speech training programs. The findings may help explain the range of clear speech intelligibility benefit previously reported. Listener variability analyses suggested the importance of obtaining multiple listener judgments of intelligibility, especially for speakers with inherently low habitual intelligibility. PMID:23798509

  12. Predicting the intelligibility of vocoded speech

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Gender difference in speech intelligibility using speech intelligibility tests and acoustic analyses

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to compare men with women in terms of speech intelligibility, to investigate the validity of objective acoustic parameters related with speech intelligibility, and to try to set up the standard data for the future study in various field in prosthodontics. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty men and women were served as subjects in the present study. After recording of sample sounds, speech intelligibility tests by three speech pathologists and acoustic analyses were performed. Comparison of the speech intelligibility test scores and acoustic parameters such as fundamental frequency, fundamental frequency range, formant frequency, formant ranges, vowel working space area, and vowel dispersion were done between men and women. In addition, the correlations between the speech intelligibility values and acoustic variables were analyzed. RESULTS Women showed significantly higher speech intelligibility scores than men and there were significant difference between men and women in most of acoustic parameters used in the present study. However, the correlations between the speech intelligibility scores and acoustic parameters were low. CONCLUSION Speech intelligibility test and acoustic parameters used in the present study were effective in differentiating male voice from female voice and their values might be used in the future studies related patients involved with maxillofacial prosthodontics. However, further studies are needed on the correlation between speech intelligibility tests and objective acoustic parameters. PMID:21165272

  14. Gender difference in speech intelligibility using speech intelligibility tests and acoustic analyses.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Ho-Beom

    2010-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare men with women in terms of speech intelligibility, to investigate the validity of objective acoustic parameters related with speech intelligibility, and to try to set up the standard data for the future study in various field in prosthodontics. Twenty men and women were served as subjects in the present study. After recording of sample sounds, speech intelligibility tests by three speech pathologists and acoustic analyses were performed. Comparison of the speech intelligibility test scores and acoustic parameters such as fundamental frequency, fundamental frequency range, formant frequency, formant ranges, vowel working space area, and vowel dispersion were done between men and women. In addition, the correlations between the speech intelligibility values and acoustic variables were analyzed. Women showed significantly higher speech intelligibility scores than men and there were significant difference between men and women in most of acoustic parameters used in the present study. However, the correlations between the speech intelligibility scores and acoustic parameters were low. Speech intelligibility test and acoustic parameters used in the present study were effective in differentiating male voice from female voice and their values might be used in the future studies related patients involved with maxillofacial prosthodontics. However, further studies are needed on the correlation between speech intelligibility tests and objective acoustic parameters.

  15. Relationship between speech motor control and speech intelligibility in children with speech sound disorders.

    PubMed

    Namasivayam, Aravind Kumar; Pukonen, Margit; Goshulak, Debra; Yu, Vickie Y; Kadis, Darren S; Kroll, Robert; Pang, Elizabeth W; De Nil, Luc F

    2013-01-01

    The current study was undertaken to investigate the impact of speech motor issues on the speech intelligibility of children with moderate to severe speech sound disorders (SSD) within the context of the PROMPT intervention approach. The word-level Children's Speech Intelligibility Measure (CSIM), the sentence-level Beginner's Intelligibility Test (BIT) and tests of speech motor control and articulation proficiency were administered to 12 children (3:11 to 6:7 years) before and after PROMPT therapy. PROMPT treatment was provided for 45 min twice a week for 8 weeks. Twenty-four naïve adult listeners aged 22-46 years judged the intelligibility of the words and sentences. For CSIM, each time a recorded word was played to the listeners they were asked to look at a list of 12 words (multiple-choice format) and circle the word while for BIT sentences, the listeners were asked to write down everything they heard. Words correctly circled (CSIM) or transcribed (BIT) were averaged across three naïve judges to calculate percentage speech intelligibility. Speech intelligibility at both the word and sentence level was significantly correlated with speech motor control, but not articulatory proficiency. Further, the severity of speech motor planning and sequencing issues may potentially be a limiting factor in connected speech intelligibility and highlights the need to target these issues early and directly in treatment. The reader will be able to: (1) outline the advantages and disadvantages of using word- and sentence-level speech intelligibility tests; (2) describe the impact of speech motor control and articulatory proficiency on speech intelligibility; and (3) describe how speech motor control and speech intelligibility data may provide critical information to aid treatment planning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Speech Intelligibility in Severe Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. Speech Intelligibility in Severe Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Modelling speech intelligibility in adverse conditions.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten

    2013-01-01

    Jørgensen and Dau (J Acoust Soc Am 130:1475-1487, 2011) proposed the speech-based envelope power spectrum model (sEPSM) in an attempt to overcome the limitations of the classical speech transmission index (STI) and speech intelligibility index (SII) in conditions with nonlinearly processed speech. Instead of considering the reduction of the temporal modulation energy as the intelligibility metric, as assumed in the STI, the sEPSM applies the signal-to-noise ratio in the envelope domain (SNRenv). This metric was shown to be the key for predicting the intelligibility of reverberant speech as well as noisy speech processed by spectral subtraction. The key role of the SNRenv metric is further supported here by the ability of a short-term version of the sEPSM to predict speech masking release for different speech materials and modulated interferers. However, the sEPSM cannot account for speech subjected to phase jitter, a condition in which the spectral structure of the intelligibility of speech signal is strongly affected, while the broadband temporal envelope is kept largely intact. In contrast, the effects of this distortion can be predicted -successfully by the spectro-temporal modulation index (STMI) (Elhilali et al., Speech Commun 41:331-348, 2003), which assumes an explicit analysis of the spectral "ripple" structure of the speech signal. However, since the STMI applies the same decision metric as the STI, it fails to account for spectral subtraction. The results from this study suggest that the SNRenv might reflect a powerful decision metric, while some explicit across-frequency analysis seems crucial in some conditions. How such across-frequency analysis is "realized" in the auditory system remains unresolved.

  19. Intelligibility and Acceptability Testing for Speech Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-05-22

    speakers, 3 males and 3 females ; iistening crews include at least 12 listeners. There are 21 rating scales, 10 signal quality scales, 8 background quality ...34Preliminaries to Speech Analysis: the Distinctive Features and their Correlates ," Tech Rep. No. 13 Acoustics Laboratory, MIT. Kang, G.S. and L.J...highly reliable measures of speech intelligibility, and subjective acceptability tests can be used to evaluate voice quality . These tests are often

  20. Speech intelligibility metrics in small unoccupied classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, Matthew E.; Carney, Melinda J.; Cheenne, Dominique J.

    2005-04-01

    Nine small volume classrooms in schools located in the Chicago suburbs were tested to quantify speech intelligibility at various seat locations. Several popular intelligibility metrics were investigated, including Speech Transmission Index (STI), %Alcons, Signal to Noise Ratios (SNR), and 80 ms Useful/Detrimental Ratios (U80). Incorrect STI values were experienced in high noise environments, while the U80s and the SNRs were found to be the most accurate methodologies. Test results are evaluated against the guidelines of ANSI S12.60-2002, and match the data from previous research.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Intelligibility of Clear Speech: Effect of Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Jennifer; Tjaden, Kris

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The authors investigated how clear speech instructions influence sentence intelligibility. Method: Twelve speakers produced sentences in habitual, clear, hearing impaired, and overenunciate conditions. Stimuli were amplitude normalized and mixed with multitalker babble for orthographic transcription by 40 listeners. The main analysis…

  4. Intelligibility of Clear Speech: Effect of Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Jennifer; Tjaden, Kris

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The authors investigated how clear speech instructions influence sentence intelligibility. Method: Twelve speakers produced sentences in habitual, clear, hearing impaired, and overenunciate conditions. Stimuli were amplitude normalized and mixed with multitalker babble for orthographic transcription by 40 listeners. The main analysis…

  5. Prior listening in rooms improves speech intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Brandewie, Eugene; Zahorik, Pavel

    2010-01-01

    Although results from previous studies have demonstrated that the acoustic effects of a single reflection are perceptually suppressed after repeated exposure to a particular configuration of source and reflection, the extent to which this dynamic echo suppression might generalize to speech understanding in room environments with multiple reflections and reverberation is largely unknown. Here speech intelligibility was measured using the coordinate response measure corpus both with and without prior listening exposure to a reverberant room environment, which was simulated using virtual auditory space techniques. Prior room listening exposure was manipulated by presenting either a two-sentence carrier phrase that preceded the target speech, or no carrier phrase within the room environment. Results from 14 listeners indicate that with prior room exposure, masked speech reception thresholds were on average 2.7 dB lower than thresholds without exposure, an improvement in intelligibility of over 18 percentage points on average. This effect, which is shown to be absent in anechoic space and greatly reduced under monaural listening conditions, demonstrates that prior binaural exposure to reverberant rooms can improve speech intelligibility, perhaps due to a process of perceptual adaptation to the acoustics of the listening room. PMID:20649224

  6. Improving the speech intelligibility in classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Choi Ling Coriolanus

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

  7. Development of the Cantonese speech intelligibility index.

    PubMed

    Wong, Lena L N; Ho, Amy H S; Chua, Elizabeth W W; Soli, Sigfrid D

    2007-04-01

    A Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) for the sentences in the Cantonese version of the Hearing In Noise Test (CHINT) was derived using conventional procedures described previously in studies such as Studebaker and Sherbecoe [J. Speech Hear. Res. 34, 427-438 (1991)]. Two studies were conducted to determine the signal-to-noise ratios and high- and low-pass filtering conditions that should be used and to measure speech intelligibility in these conditions. Normal hearing subjects listened to the sentences presented in speech-spectrum shaped noise. Compared to other English speech assessment materials such as the English Hearing In Noise Test [Nilsson et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 1085-1099 (1994)], the frequency importance function of the CHINT suggests that low-frequency information is more important for Cantonese speech understanding. The difference in ,frequency importance weight in Chinese, compared to English, was attributed to the redundancy of test material, tonal nature of the Cantonese language, or a combination of these factors.

  8. Vowel Contrast and Speech Intelligibility in Dysarthria

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heejin; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark; Perlman, Adrienne

    2011-01-01

    Background/Aims This study examined the spectral characteristics of American English vowels in dysarthria associated with cerebral palsy (CP), and investigated the relationship between a speaker's overall speech intelligibility and vowel contrast. Methods The data were collected from 12 American English native speakers (9 speakers with a diagnosis of CP and 3 controls). Primary measures were F1 and F2 frequencies of 3 corner vowels /i, a, u/ and 3 noncorner vowels /I, ε, . Six acoustic variables were derived from the formant measures, and were regressed against intelligibility: corner vowel space, noncorner vowel space, mean distance between vowels, F1 and F2 variability, and overlap degree among vowels. Results First, the effect of vowel was significant for both F1 and F2 measures for all speakers, but post hoc analysis revealed a reduced distinction at lower intelligibility. Second, regression functions relating intelligibility and acoustic variables were significant for overlap degree among vowels, F1 variability, corner vowel space and mean distance between vowels. Overlap degree among vowels accounted for the greatest amount of variance in intelligibility scores. Conclusion A speaker's overall intelligibility in dysarthric speech is better represented by the overlap degree among vowels than by the vowel space. PMID:20938200

  9. Vowel contrast and speech intelligibility in dysarthria.

    PubMed

    Kim, Heejin; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark; Perlman, Adrienne

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the spectral characteristics of American English vowels in dysarthria associated with cerebral palsy (CP), and investigated the relationship between a speaker's overall speech intelligibility and vowel contrast. The data were collected from 12 American English native speakers (9 speakers with a diagnosis of CP and 3 controls). Primary measures were F(1) and F(2) frequencies of 3 corner vowels /i, a, u/ and 3 noncorner vowels /I, 3, */. Six acoustic variables were derived from the formant measures, and were regressed against intelligibility: corner vowel space, noncorner vowel space, mean distance between vowels, F(1) and F(2) variability, and overlap degree among vowels. First, the effect of vowel was significant for both F(1) and F(2) measures for all speakers, but post hoc analysis revealed a reduced distinction at lower intelligibility. Second, regression functions relating intelligibility and acoustic variables were significant for overlap degree among vowels, F(1) variability, corner vowel space and mean distance between vowels. Overlap degree among vowels accounted for the greatest amount of variance in intelligibility scores. A speaker's overall intelligibility in dysarthric speech is better represented by the overlap degree among vowels than by the vowel space. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. The Speech Spectrum and its Relationship to Intelligibility of Speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Englert, Sue Ellen

    The present experiment was designed to investigate and understand the causes of failures of the Articulation Index as a predictive tool. An electroacoustic system was used in which: (1) The frequency response was optimally flattened at the listener's ear. (2) An ear-insert earphone was designed to give close electroacoustic control. (3) An infinite-impulse-response digital filter was used to filter the speech signal from a pre-recorded nonsense syllable test. (4) Four formant regions were filtered in fourteen different ways. It was found that the results agreed with past experiments in that: (1) The Articulation Index fails as a predictive tool when using band-pass filters. (2) Low frequencies seem to mask higher frequencies causing a decrease in intelligibility. It was concluded that: (1) It is inappropriate to relate the total fraction of the speech spectrum to a specific intelligibility score since the fraction remaining after filtering may be in the low-, mid-, or high-frequency range. (2) The relationship between intelligibility and the total area under the spectral curve is not monotonic. (3) The fourth formant region (2925Hz to 4200Hz) enhanced intelligibility when included with other formant regions. Methods for relating spectral regions and intelligibility were discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Speech Intelligibility and Hearing Protector Selection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-08-29

    items. Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8/98) REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188 The public...reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching...selecting hearing protection based on speech intelligibility. MIL-STD-1472G (11Jan2012) Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard Human Engineering

  15. The cortical dynamics of intelligible speech.

    PubMed

    Leff, Alexander P; Schofield, Thomas M; Stephan, Klass E; Crinion, Jennifer T; Friston, Karl J; Price, Cathy J

    2008-12-03

    An important and unresolved question is how the human brain processes speech for meaning after initial analyses in early auditory cortical regions. A variety of left-hemispheric areas have been identified that clearly support semantic processing, although a systematic analysis of directed interactions among these areas is lacking. We applied dynamic causal modeling of functional magnetic resonance imaging responses and Bayesian model selection to investigate, for the first time, experimentally induced changes in coupling among three key multimodal regions that were activated by intelligible speech: the posterior and anterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS and aSTS, respectively) and pars orbitalis (POrb) of the inferior frontal gyrus. We tested 216 different dynamic causal models and found that the best model was a "forward" system that was driven by auditory inputs into the pSTS, with forward connections from the pSTS to both the aSTS and the POrb that increased considerably in strength (by 76 and 150%, respectively) when subjects listened to intelligible speech. Task-related, directional effects can now be incorporated into models of speech comprehension.

  16. Reasons why current speech-enhancement algorithms do not improve speech intelligibility and suggested solutions.

    PubMed

    Loizou, Philipos C; Kim, Gibak

    2011-01-01

    Existing speech enhancement algorithms can improve speech quality but not speech intelligibility, and the reasons for that are unclear. In the present paper, we present a theoretical framework that can be used to analyze potential factors that can influence the intelligibility of processed speech. More specifically, this framework focuses on the fine-grain analysis of the distortions introduced by speech enhancement algorithms. It is hypothesized that if these distortions are properly controlled, then large gains in intelligibility can be achieved. To test this hypothesis, intelligibility tests are conducted with human listeners in which we present processed speech with controlled speech distortions. The aim of these tests is to assess the perceptual effect of the various distortions that can be introduced by speech enhancement algorithms on speech intelligibility. Results with three different enhancement algorithms indicated that certain distortions are more detrimental to speech intelligibility degradation than others. When these distortions were properly controlled, however, large gains in intelligibility were obtained by human listeners, even by spectral-subtractive algorithms which are known to degrade speech quality and intelligibility.

  17. Subjective Judgments of Clarity and Intelligibility for Filtered Stimuli with Equivalent Speech Intelligibility Index Predictions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenberg, Laurie S.; Dirks, Donald D.; Takayanagi, Sumiko; Martinez, Amy Schaefer

    1998-01-01

    A study investigated subjective judgments of clarity and intelligibility in 20 listeners in conditions in which speech was equated for predicted intelligibility but varied in bandwidth. Listeners produced clarity and intelligibility ratings for the same speech material and experimental conditions that were highly related but differed in magnitude.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Intelligibility of laryngectomees' substitute speech: automatic speech recognition and subjective rating.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Maria; Haderlein, Tino; Nöth, Elmar; Lohscheller, Jörg; Eysholdt, Ulrich; Rosanowski, Frank

    2006-02-01

    Substitute speech after laryngectomy is characterized by restricted aero-acoustic properties in comparison with laryngeal speech and has therefore lower intelligibility. Until now, an objective means to determine and quantify the intelligibility has not existed, although the intelligibility can serve as a global outcome parameter of voice restoration after laryngectomy. An automatic speech recognition system was applied on recordings of a standard text read by 18 German male laryngectomees with tracheoesophageal substitute speech. The system was trained with normal laryngeal speakers and not adapted to severely disturbed voices. Substitute speech was compared to laryngeal speech of a control group. Subjective evaluation of intelligibility was performed by a panel of five experts and compared to automatic speech evaluation. Substitute speech showed lower syllables/s and lower word accuracy than laryngeal speech. Automatic speech recognition for substitute speech yielded word accuracy between 10.0 and 50% (28.7+/-12.1%) with sufficient discrimination. It complied with experts' subjective evaluations of intelligibility. The multi-rater kappa of the experts alone did not differ from the multi-rater kappa of experts and the recognizer. Automatic speech recognition serves as a good means to objectify and quantify global speech outcome of laryngectomees. For clinical use, the speech recognition system will be adapted to disturbed voices and can also be applied in other languages.

  1. Assessment of intelligibility using children's spontaneous speech: methodological aspects.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Intelligibility is a speaker's ability to convey a message to a listener. Including an assessment of intelligibility is essential in both research and clinical work relating to individuals with communication disorders due to speech impairment. Assessment of the intelligibility of spontaneous speech can be used as an overall indicator of the severity of a speech disorder. There is a lack of methods for measuring intelligibility on the basis of spontaneous speech. To investigate the validity and reliability of a method where listeners transcribe understandable words and an intelligibility score is calculated on the basis of the percentage of syllables perceived as understood. Spontaneous speech from ten children with speech-sound disorders (mean age = 6.0 years) and ten children with typical speech and language development (mean age = 5.9 years) was recorded and presented to 20 listeners. Results were compared between the two groups and correlation with percentage of consonants correct (PCC) was examined. The intelligibility scores obtained correlated with PCC in single words and differed significantly between the two groups, indicating high validity. Inter-judge reliability, analysed using intra-class correlation (ICC), was excellent in terms of the average measure for several listeners. The results suggest that this method can be recommended for assessing intelligibility, especially if the mean across several listeners is used. It could also be used in clinical settings when evaluating intelligibility over time, provided that the same listener makes the assessments. © 2013 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. Implementing speech supplementation strategies: effects on intelligibility and speech rate of individuals with chronic severe dysarthria.

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

    A growing body of experimental research suggests that speech supplementation strategies can markedly increase speech intelligibility for individuals with dysarthria (D. Beukelman & K. Yorkston, 1977; E. Crow & P. Enderby, 1989; L. Hunter, T. Pring, & S. Martin, 1991; K. C. Hustad & D. R. Beukelman, 2001). However, studies in which speech supplementation strategies were actually implemented by speakers with dysarthria are limited, leaving their clinical efficacy unknown. The present study compared intelligibility and speech rate differences following speaker implementation of 3 strategies (topic, alphabet, and combined topic and alphabet supplementation) and a habitual (noncued) speech control condition for 5 speakers with severe dysarthria. Results revealed that combined cues and alphabet cues yielded significantly higher intelligibility scores and slower speech rates than topic cues and noncued speech. Overall, topic cues and noncued speech did not differ from one another with regard to intelligibility or speech rate. Combined cues and alphabet cues did not differ from one another with regard to intelligibility; however, speech rate was significantly different between the 2 strategies. Individual differences among speakers were generally consistent with group findings. Results were somewhat different from previous research in which strategies were experimentally superimposed on the habitual speech signal. However, findings provide evidence that alphabet cues and combined cues can have an important effect on intelligibility for speakers with severe dysarthria.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Coherence and the Speech Intelligibility Index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kates, James; Arehart, Kathryn

    2004-05-01

    Noise and distortion reduce the sound quality in hearing aids, but there is no established procedure for calculating sound quality in these devices. This presentation introduces a new intelligibility and sound-quality calculation procedure based on the Speech Intelligibility Index [ANSI S3.5-1997]. The SII involves measuring the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in separate frequency bands, modifying the estimated noise levels to include auditory masking, and computing a weighted sum across frequency of the modified SNR values. In the new procedure, the estimated signal and noise levels are replaced with estimates based on the coherence between the input and output signals of the system under test. Coherence is unaffected by linear transformations of the input signal, but is reduced by nonlinear effects such as additive noise and distortion; the SII calculation is therefore modified to include nonlinear distortion as well as additive noise. For additive noise, the coherence calculation gives SII scores identical to those computed using the standard procedure. Experiments with normal-hearing listeners using additive noise, peak-clipping distortion, and center-clipping distortion are then used to relate the computed coherence SII scores with the subjects' intelligibility and quality ratings. [Work supported by GN ReSound (JMK) and the Whitaker Foundation (KHA).

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

    PubMed

    Larm, Petra; Hongisto, Valtteri

    2006-02-01

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

  10. Predicting speech intelligibility with a multiple speech subsystems approach in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Speech acoustic characteristics of children with cerebral palsy (CP) were examined with a multiple speech subsystems approach; speech intelligibility was evaluated using a prediction model in which acoustic measures were selected to represent three speech subsystems. Nine acoustic variables reflecting different subsystems, and speech intelligibility, were measured in 22 children with CP. These children included 13 with a clinical diagnosis of dysarthria (speech motor impairment [SMI] group) and 9 judged to be free of dysarthria (no SMI [NSMI] group). Data from children with CP were compared to data from age-matched typically developing children. Multiple acoustic variables reflecting the articulatory subsystem were different in the SMI group, compared to the NSMI and typically developing groups. A significant speech intelligibility prediction model was obtained with all variables entered into the model (adjusted R2 = .801). The articulatory subsystem showed the most substantial independent contribution (58%) to speech intelligibility. Incremental R2 analyses revealed that any single variable explained less than 9% of speech intelligibility variability. Children in the SMI group had articulatory subsystem problems as indexed by acoustic measures. As in the adult literature, the articulatory subsystem makes the primary contribution to speech intelligibility variance in dysarthria, with minimal or no contribution from other systems.

  11. Optimizing acoustical conditions for speech intelligibility in classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wonyoung

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Recognition memory in noise for speech of varying intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Rachael C; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Smiljanic, Rajka

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the extent to which noise impacts normal-hearing young adults' speech processing of sentences that vary in intelligibility. Intelligibility and recognition memory in noise were examined for conversational and clear speech sentences recorded in quiet (quiet speech, QS) and in response to the environmental noise (noise-adapted speech, NAS). Results showed that (1) increased intelligibility through conversational-to-clear speech modifications led to improved recognition memory and (2) NAS presented a more naturalistic speech adaptation to noise compared to QS, leading to more accurate word recognition and enhanced sentence recognition memory. These results demonstrate that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech enhance speech-in-noise processing beyond word recognition. Effortful speech processing in challenging listening environments can thus be improved by speaking style adaptations on the part of the talker. In addition to enhanced intelligibility, a substantial improvement in recognition memory can be achieved through speaker adaptations to the environment and to the listener when in adverse conditions.

  14. Speech Intelligibility Advantages using an Acoustic Beamformer Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Mode of communication and classroom placement impact on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Tobey, Emily A; Rekart, Deborah; Buckley, Kristi; Geers, Ann E

    2004-05-01

    To examine the impact of classroom placement and mode of communication on speech intelligibility scores in children aged 8 to 9 years using multichannel cochlear implants. Classroom placement (special education, partial mainstream, and full mainstream) and mode of communication (total communication and auditory-oral) reported via parental rating scales before and 4 times after implantation were the independent variables. Speech intelligibility scores obtained at 8 to 9 years of age were the dependent variables. The study included 131 congenitally deafened children between the ages of 8 and 9 years who received a multichannel cochlear implant before the age of 5 years. Higher speech intelligibility scores at 8 to 9 years of age were significantly associated with enrollment in auditory-oral programs rather than enrollment in total communication programs, regardless of when the mode of communication was used (before or after implantation). Speech intelligibility at 8 to 9 years of age was not significantly influenced by classroom placement before implantation, regardless of mode of communication. After implantation, however, there were significant associations between classroom placement and speech intelligibility scores at 8 to 9 years of age. Higher speech intelligibility scores at 8 to 9 years of age were associated with classroom exposure to normal-hearing peers in full or partial mainstream placements than in self-contained, special education placements. Higher speech intelligibility scores in 8- to 9-year-old congenitally deafened cochlear implant recipients were associated with educational settings that emphasize oral communication development. Educational environments that incorporate exposure to normal-hearing peers were also associated with higher speech intelligibility scores at 8 to 9 years of age.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, John B.; Cramer, H. Leslie

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

  19. Speech Intelligibility of Two Voice Output Communication Aids.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kannenberg, Patricia; And Others

    1988-01-01

    The intelligibility of two voice-output communication aids ("Personal Communicator" and "SpeechPAC'") was evaluated by presenting synthesized words and sentences to 20 listeners. Analysis of listener transcriptions revealed significantly higher intelligibility scores for the "Personal Communicator" compared to the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Intelligibility of Conversational Speech Produced by Children with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flipsen, Peter, Jr.; Colvard, Lana G.

    2006-01-01

    The intelligibility of conversational speech produced by six children fitted with cochlear implants before age 3 years was measured longitudinally. Samples were obtained every 3 months during periods of 12-21 months. Intelligibility was measured using both an utterance-by-utterance approach and an approach to the sample as a whole. Statistically…

  3. Intelligibility as a Linear Combination of Dimensions in Dysarthric Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Bodt, Marc S.; Huici, Maria E. Hernandez-Diaz; Van De Heyning, Paul H.

    2002-01-01

    Speech samples of 79 dysarthric patients were judged for voice quality, articulation, nasality, and prosody as well as overall intelligibility. Application of a multiple regression model found that intelligibility can be expressed as a linear combination of weighted perceptual dimensions with articulation as the strongest contributor to…

  4. Acceptable noise level with Danish, Swedish, and non-semantic speech materials.

    PubMed

    Brännström, K Jonas; Lantz, Johannes; Nielsen, Lars Holme; Olsen, Steen Østergaard

    2012-03-01

    Acceptable noise level (ANL) has been established as a method to quantify the acceptance of background noise while listening to speech presented at the most comfortable level. The aim of the present study was to generate Danish, Swedish, and a non-semantic version of the ANL test and investigate normal-hearing Danish and Swedish subjects' performance on these tests. ANL was measured using Danish and Swedish running speech with two different noises: Speech-weighted amplitude-modulated noise, and multitalker speech babble. ANL was also measured using the non-semantic international speech test signal (ISTS) as speech signal together with the speech-weighted amplitude-modulated noise. The latter condition was identical in both populations. Forty Danish and 40 Swedish normal-hearing subjects. In both populations ANL results were similar to previously reported results from American studies. Generally, significant differences were seen between test conditions using different types of noise within ears in each population. Significant differences were seen for ANL across populations, also when the non-semantic ISTS was used as speech signal. The present findings indicate that there are extrinsic factors, such as instructions, affecting the ANL results.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The effect of stapedectomy on speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    Middelweerd, M J; Feenstra, L; van der Baan, S; Plomp, R

    1989-09-01

    Speech intelligibility in noise was tested pre- and postoperatively after 27 stapedectomy cases and 10 cases of reexploration after previous stapes surgery. We did not find a postoperative threshold shift (signal-to-noise ratio) for the intelligibility of sentences presented in noise. This finding corresponds well with the absence of postoperative high-frequency sensorineural loss in these patients. Using two types of prostheses we found a significant amelioration of speech intelligibility in quiet for the Schuknecht minihole prosthesis as compared to the House wire loop.

  7. Effect of classroom acoustics on the speech intelligibility of students.

    PubMed

    Rabelo, Alessandra Terra Vasconcelos; Santos, Juliana Nunes; Oliveira, Rafaella Cristina; Magalhães, Max de Castro

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the acoustic parameters of classrooms and the relationship among equivalent sound pressure level (Leq), reverberation time (T₃₀), the Speech Transmission Index (STI), and the performance of students in speech intelligibility testing. A cross-sectional descriptive study, which analyzed the acoustic performance of 18 classrooms in 9 public schools in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, was conducted. The following acoustic parameters were measured: Leq, T₃₀, and the STI. In the schools evaluated, a speech intelligibility test was performed on 273 students, 45.4% of whom were boys, with an average age of 9.4 years. The results of the speech intelligibility test were compared to the values of the acoustic parameters with the help of Student's t-test. The Leq, T₃₀, and STI tests were conducted in empty and furnished classrooms. Children showed better results in speech intelligibility tests conducted in classrooms with less noise, a lower T₃₀, and greater STI values. The majority of classrooms did not meet the recommended regulatory standards for good acoustic performance. Acoustic parameters have a direct effect on the speech intelligibility of students. Noise contributes to a decrease in their understanding of information presented orally, which can lead to negative consequences in their education and their social integration as future professionals.

  8. Callsign Acquisition Test (CAT): speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    Rao, Mohan D; Letowski, Tomasz

    2006-04-01

    The study was designed to assess the effects of noise on the intelligibility of speech elements used in the Callsign Acquisition Test (CAT), developed by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The CAT consists of 126 test items, or callsigns, each of which is made up of a two-syllable word selected from the 18-item military alphabet (Alpha-Zulu) followed by a one-syllable number (all numbers from 1 to 8, excluding 7). The CAT items were mixed with one of three different types of background noises (pink noise, white noise, and multitalker babble) and presented to 18 listeners. Speech-to-noise ratio for all three noises and the overall level of pink noise were varied in two separate experiments to determine how these variables affected speech intelligibility of the CAT items pronounced by a male talker. Test results demonstrate speech-to-noise ratio has a significant effect on speech intelligibility of the CAT items under all conditions. Pink noise generated the lowest speech intelligibility scores followed by multitalker babble and then white noise. A change in the overall level of pink noise had only small effect on CAT intelligibility.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Evaluation of speech intelligibility in short-reverberant sound fields.

    PubMed

    Shimokura, Ryota; Matsui, Toshie; Takaki, Yuya; Nishimura, Tadashi; Yamanaka, Toshiaki; Hosoi, Hiroshi

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in speech intelligibility in short-reverberant sound fields using deteriorated monosyllables. Generated using digital signal processing, deteriorated monosyllables can lack the redundancy of words, and thus may emphasize differences in sound fields in terms of speech clarity. Ten participants without any hearing disorders identified 100 monosyllables convolved with eight impulse responses measured in different short-reverberant sound fields (speech transmission index >0.6 and reverberation time <1s), and we compared speech recognition scores between normal and deteriorated monosyllables. Deterioration was produced using low-pass filtering (cut off frequency=1600Hz). Speech recognition scores associated with the deteriorated monosyllables were lower than those for the normal monosyllables. In addition, scores were more varied among the different sound fields, although this result was not significant according to an analysis of variance. In contrast, the variation among sound fields was significant for the normal monosyllables. When comparing the intelligibility scores to the acoustic parameters calculated from eight impulse responses, the speech recognition scores were the highest when the reverberant/direct sound energy ratio (R/D) was balanced. Although our deterioration procedure obscured differences in intelligibility score among the different sound fields, we have established that the R/D is a useful parameter for evaluating speech intelligibility in short-reverberant sound fields. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The use of automatic speech recognition showing the influence of nasality on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Mayr, S; Burkhardt, K; Schuster, M; Rogler, K; Maier, A; Iro, H

    2010-11-01

    Altered nasality influences speech intelligibility. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) has proved suitable for quantifying speech intelligibility in patients with different degrees of nasal emissions. We investigated the influence of hyponasality on the results of speech recognition before and after nasal surgery using ASR. Speech recordings, nasal peak inspiratory flow and self-perception measurements were carried out in 20 German-speaking patients (8 women, 12 men; aged 38 ± 22 years) who underwent surgery for various nasal and sinus pathologies. The degree of speech intelligibility was quantified as the percentage of correctly recognized words of a standardized word chain by ASR (word recognition rate; WR). WR was measured 1 day before (t1), 1 day after with nasal packings (t2), and 3 months after (t3) surgery; nasal peak flow on t1 and t3. WR was calculated with program for the automatic evaluation of all kinds of speech disorders (PEAKS). WR as a parameter of speech intelligibility was significantly decreased immediately after surgery (t1 vs. t2 p < 0.01) but increased 3 months after surgery (t2 vs. t3 p < 0.01). WR showed no association with age or gender. There was no significant difference between WR at t1 and t3, despite a post-operative increase in nasal peak inspiratory flow measurements. The results show that ASR is capable of quantifying the influence of hyponasality on speech; nasal obstruction leads to significantly reduced WR and nasal peak flow cannot replace evaluation of nasality.

  14. Correlation of subjective and objective measures of speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:27630552

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Automated Intelligibility Assessment of Pathological Speech Using Phonological Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    It is commonly acknowledged that word or phoneme intelligibility is an important criterion in the assessment of the communication efficiency of a pathological speaker. People have therefore put a lot of effort in the design of perceptual intelligibility rating tests. These tests usually have the drawback that they employ unnatural speech material (e.g., nonsense words) and that they cannot fully exclude errors due to listener bias. Therefore, there is a growing interest in the application of objective automatic speech recognition technology to automate the intelligibility assessment. Current research is headed towards the design of automated methods which can be shown to produce ratings that correspond well with those emerging from a well-designed and well-performed perceptual test. In this paper, a novel methodology that is built on previous work (Middag et al., 2008) is presented. It utilizes phonological features, automatic speech alignment based on acoustic models that were trained on normal speech, context-dependent speaker feature extraction, and intelligibility prediction based on a small model that can be trained on pathological speech samples. The experimental evaluation of the new system reveals that the root mean squared error of the discrepancies between perceived and computed intelligibilities can be as low as 8 on a scale of 0 to 100.

  19. Motivation as a predictor of speech intelligibility after total laryngectomy.

    PubMed

    Singer, Susanne; Meyer, Alexandra; Fuchs, Michael; Schock, Juliane; Pabst, Friedemann; Vogel, Hans-Joachim; Oeken, Jens; Sandner, Annett; Koscielny, Sven; Hormes, Karl; Breitenstein, Kerstin; Dietz, Andreas

    2013-06-01

    It has often been argued that if patients' success with speech rehabilitation after laryngectomy is limited, it is the result of lacking motivation on their part. This project investigated the role of motivation in speech rehabilitation. In a multicenter prospective cohort study, 141 laryngectomees were interviewed at the beginning of rehabilitation and 1 year after laryngectomy. Speech intelligibility was measured with a standardized test, and patients self-assessed their own motivation shortly after the surgery. Logistic regression, adjusted for several theory-based confounding factors, was used to assess the impact of motivation on speech intelligibility. Speech intelligibility 1 year after laryngectomy was not significantly associated with the level of motivation at the beginning of rehabilitation (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-2.3; p = .43) after adjusting for the effect of potential confounders (implantation of a voice prosthesis, patient's cognitive abilities, frustration tolerance, physical functioning, and type of rehabilitation). Motivation is not a strong predictor of speech intelligibility 1 year after laryngectomy. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Speech Intelligibility for Target and Masker with Different Spectra.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The speech intelligibility index (SII) calculation is based on the assumption that the effective range of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regarding speech intelligibility is [- 15 dB; +15 dB]. In a specific frequency band, speech intelligibility would remain constant by varying the SNRs above + 15 dB or below - 15 dB. These assumptions were tested in four experiments measuring speech reception thresholds (SRTs) with a speech target and speech-spectrum noise, while attenuating target or noise above or below 1400 Hz, with different levels of attenuation in order to test different SNRs in the two bands. SRT varied linearly with attenuation at low-attenuation levels and an asymptote was reached for high-attenuation levels. However, this asymptote was reached (intelligibility was not influenced by further attenuation) for different attenuation levels across experiments. The - 15-dB SII limit was confirmed for high-pass filtered targets, whereas for low-pass filtered targets, intelligibility was further impaired by decreasing the SNR below - 15 dB (until - 37 dB) in the high-frequency band. For high-pass and low-pass filtered noises, speech intelligibility kept improving when increasing the SNR in the rejected band beyond + 15 dB (up to 43 dB). Before reaching the asymptote, a 10-dB increase of SNR obtained by filtering the noise resulted in a larger decrease of SRT than a corresponding 10-dB decrease of SNR obtained by filtering the target (the slopes SRT/attenuation were different depending on which source was filtered). These results question the use of the SNR range and the importance function adopted by the SII when considering sharply filtered signals.

  1. Segmental differences in the visual contribution to speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Kuniko

    2004-05-01

    It is well known that the presence of visual cues increases the intelligibility of a speech signal (Sumby and Pollack, 1954). Although much is known about segmental differences in visual-only perception, little is known about the contribution of visual cues to auditory-visual perception for individual segments. The purpose of this study was to examine (1) whether segments differ in their visual contribution to speech intelligibility, and (2) whether the contribution of visual cues is always to increase speech intelligibility. One talker produced triples of real words containing 15 different English consonants. Forced-choice word-identification experiments were carried out with these recordings under auditory-visual (AV) and auditory-only (A) conditions with varying S/N ratios, and identification accuracy for the 15 consonants was compared for A versus AV conditions. As expected, there were significant differences in the visual contribution for the different consonants, with visual cues greatly improving speech intelligibility for most segments. Among them, labio-dentals and interdentals show the largest improvement. Although individual perceivers differed in their performance, the results also suggest that for some consonants, the presence of visual cues can reduce intelligibility. In particular, the intelligibility of [r] decreased significantly in the AV condition, being perceived as [w] in most cases.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goddard, Helen M.

    2002-11-01

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

  3. Respiratory dynamics and speech intelligibility in speakers with generalized dystonia.

    PubMed

    LaBlance, G R; Rutherford, D R

    1991-04-01

    This study investigated aspects of respiratory function, during quiet breathing and monologue, in six adult dystonic subjects and compared the findings to a control group of four neurologically intact adults. Additionally, breathing dynamics were compared with speech intelligibility. Respiratory inductive plethysmography was used to assess breathing rate, periodicity of the breathing pattern, and inspiratory lung volume. Ear oximetry was used to assess arterial blood oxygen saturation. Speech intelligibility was rated by a panel of five judges. Breathing patterns differed between groups; the dystonic subjects showed a faster breathing rate, less rhythmic breathing pattern, decreased lung volume, and apnealike periods accompanied by a decrease in arterial blood oxygen saturation. These differences were observed during quiet breathing and monologue. Decreased speech intelligibility was strongly related to differences in breathing dynamics.

  4. Influence of auditory fatigue on masked speech intelligibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  5. Using the Speech Transmission Index to predict the intelligibility of non-native speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

    The calibration of the Speech Transmission Index (STI) is based on native speech, presented to native listeners. This means that the STI predicts speech intelligibility under the implicit assumption of fully native communication. In order to assess effects of both non-native production and non-native perception of speech, the intelligibility of short sentences was measured in various non-native scenarios, as a function of speech-to-noise ratio. Since each speech-to-noise ratio is associated with a unique STI value, this establishes the relation between sentence intelligibility and STI. The difference between native and non-native intelligibility as a function of STI was used to calculate a correction function for the STI for each separate non-native scenario. This correction function was applied to the STI ranges corresponding to certain intelligibility categories (bad-excellent). Depending on the proficiency of non-native talkers and listeners, the category boundaries were found to differ from the standard (native) boundaries by STI values up to 0.30 (on the standard 0-1 scale). The corrections needed for non-native listeners are greater than for non-native talkers with a similar level of proficiency. For some categories of non-native communicators, the qualification excellent requires an STI higher than 1.00, and therefore cannot be reached.

  6. The intelligibility of Lombard speech for non-native listeners.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Martin; Lecumberri, Maria Luisa García

    2012-08-01

    Speech produced in the presence of noise--Lombard speech--is more intelligible in noise than speech produced in quiet, but the origin of this advantage is poorly understood. Some of the benefit appears to arise from auditory factors such as energetic masking release, but a role for linguistic enhancements similar to those exhibited in clear speech is possible. The current study examined the effect of Lombard speech in noise and in quiet for Spanish learners of English. Non-native listeners showed a substantial benefit of Lombard speech in noise, although not quite as large as that displayed by native listeners tested on the same task in an earlier study [Lu and Cooke (2008), J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 124, 3261-3275]. The difference between the two groups is unlikely to be due to energetic masking. However, Lombard speech was less intelligible in quiet for non-native listeners than normal speech. The relatively small difference in Lombard benefit in noise for native and non-native listeners, along with the absence of Lombard benefit in quiet, suggests that any contribution of linguistic enhancements in the Lombard benefit for natives is small.

  7. Speech Intelligibility and Childhood Verbal Apraxia in Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumin, Libby

    2006-01-01

    Many children with Down syndrome have difficulty with speech intelligibility. The present study used a parent survey to learn more about a specific factor that affects speech intelligibility, i.e. childhood verbal apraxia. One of the factors that affects speech intelligibility for children with Down syndrome is difficulty with voluntarily…

  8. Correlation of SPINE Test Scores to Judges' Ratings of Speech Intelligibility in Hearing-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Colleen; And Others

    1986-01-01

    The SPINE test (SPeech INtelligibility Evaluation), designed to measure speech intelligibility of severely to profoundly hearing-impaired children was administered to 30 hearing-impaired children (12-16 years old) to examine its validity. Results suggested that the SPINE test is a valid measure of speech intelligibility with hearing-impaired…

  9. Speech Intelligibility and Childhood Verbal Apraxia in Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumin, Libby

    2006-01-01

    Many children with Down syndrome have difficulty with speech intelligibility. The present study used a parent survey to learn more about a specific factor that affects speech intelligibility, i.e. childhood verbal apraxia. One of the factors that affects speech intelligibility for children with Down syndrome is difficulty with voluntarily…

  10. Adaptive bandwidth measurements of importance functions for speech intelligibility prediction.

    PubMed

    Whitmal, Nathaniel A; DeRoy, Kristina

    2011-12-01

    The Articulation Index (AI) and Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) predict intelligibility scores from measurements of speech and hearing parameters. One component in the prediction is the "importance function," a weighting function that characterizes contributions of particular spectral regions of speech to speech intelligibility. Previous work with SII predictions for hearing-impaired subjects suggests that prediction accuracy might improve if importance functions for individual subjects were available. Unfortunately, previous importance function measurements have required extensive intelligibility testing with groups of subjects, using speech processed by various fixed-bandwidth low-pass and high-pass filters. A more efficient approach appropriate to individual subjects is desired. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of measuring importance functions for individual subjects with adaptive-bandwidth filters. In two experiments, ten subjects with normal-hearing listened to vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) nonsense words processed by low-pass and high-pass filters whose bandwidths were varied adaptively to produce specified performance levels in accordance with the transformed up-down rules of Levitt [(1971). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 467-477]. Local linear psychometric functions were fit to resulting data and used to generate an importance function for VCV words. Results indicate that the adaptive method is reliable and efficient, and produces importance function data consistent with that of the corresponding AI/SII importance function.

  11. Adaptive bandwidth measurements of importance functions for speech intelligibility prediction

    PubMed Central

    Whitmal, Nathaniel A.; DeRoy, Kristina

    2011-01-01

    The Articulation Index (AI) and Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) predict intelligibility scores from measurements of speech and hearing parameters. One component in the prediction is the “importance function,” a weighting function that characterizes contributions of particular spectral regions of speech to speech intelligibility. Previous work with SII predictions for hearing-impaired subjects suggests that prediction accuracy might improve if importance functions for individual subjects were available. Unfortunately, previous importance function measurements have required extensive intelligibility testing with groups of subjects, using speech processed by various fixed-bandwidth low-pass and high-pass filters. A more efficient approach appropriate to individual subjects is desired. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of measuring importance functions for individual subjects with adaptive-bandwidth filters. In two experiments, ten subjects with normal-hearing listened to vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) nonsense words processed by low-pass and high-pass filters whose bandwidths were varied adaptively to produce specified performance levels in accordance with the transformed up-down rules of Levitt [(1971). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 467–477]. Local linear psychometric functions were fit to resulting data and used to generate an importance function for VCV words. Results indicate that the adaptive method is reliable and efficient, and produces importance function data consistent with that of the corresponding AI/SII importance function. PMID:22225057

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silber, Ronnie F.

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

  13. The intelligibility of speech in elementary school classrooms.

    PubMed

    Bradley, J S; Sato, H

    2008-04-01

    This is the second of two papers describing the results of acoustical measurements and speech intelligibility tests in elementary school classrooms. The intelligibility tests were performed in 41 classrooms in 12 different schools evenly divided among grades 1, 3, and 6 students (nominally 6, 8, and 11 year olds). Speech intelligibility tests were carried out on classes of students seated at their own desks in their regular classrooms. Mean intelligibility scores were significantly related to signal-to-noise ratios and to the grade of the students. While the results are different than those from some previous laboratory studies that included less realistic conditions, they agree with previous in-classroom experiments. The results indicate that +15 dB signal-to-noise ratio is not adequate for the youngest children. By combining the speech intelligibility test results with measurements of speech and noise levels during actual teaching situations, estimates of the fraction of students experiencing near-ideal acoustical conditions were made. The results are used as a basis for estimating ideal acoustical criteria for elementary school classrooms.

  14. Binaural intelligibility prediction based on the speech transmission index.

    PubMed

    van Wijngaarden, Sander J; Drullman, Rob

    2008-06-01

    Although the speech transmission index (STI) is a well-accepted and standardized method for objective prediction of speech intelligibility in a wide range of environments and applications, it is essentially a monaural model. Advantages of binaural hearing in speech intelligibility are disregarded. In specific conditions, this leads to considerable mismatches between subjective intelligibility and the STI. A binaural version of the STI was developed based on interaural cross correlograms, which shows a considerably improved correspondence with subjective intelligibility in dichotic listening conditions. The new binaural STI is designed to be a relatively simple model, which adds only few parameters to the original standardized STI and changes none of the existing model parameters. For monaural conditions, the outcome is identical to the standardized STI. The new model was validated on a set of 39 dichotic listening conditions, featuring anechoic, classroom, listening room, and strongly echoic environments. For these 39 conditions, speech intelligibility [consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) word score] and binaural STI were measured. On the basis of these conditions, the relation between binaural STI and CVC word scores closely matches the STI reference curve (standardized relation between STI and CVC word score) for monaural listening. A better-ear STI appears to perform quite well in relation to the binaural STI model; the monaural STI performs poorly in these cases.

  15. The Effects of Auditory Contrast Tuning upon Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Prediction of binaural speech intelligibility against noise in rooms.

    PubMed

    Lavandier, Mathieu; Culling, John F

    2010-01-01

    In the presence of competing speech or noise, reverberation degrades speech intelligibility not only by its direct effect on the target but also by affecting the interferer. Two experiments were designed to validate a method for predicting the loss of intelligibility associated with this latter effect. Speech reception thresholds were measured under headphones, using spatially separated target sentences and speech-shaped noise interferers simulated in virtual rooms. To investigate the effect of reverberation on the interferer unambiguously, the target was always anechoic. The interferer was placed in rooms with different sizes and absorptions, and at different distances and azimuths from the listener. The interaural coherence of the interferer did not fully predict the effect of reverberation. The azimuth separation of the sources and the coloration introduced by the room also had to be taken into account. The binaural effects were modeled by computing the binaural masking level differences in the studied configurations, the monaural effects were predicted from the excitation pattern of the noises, and speech intelligibility index weightings were applied to both. These parameters were all calculated from the room impulse responses convolved with noise. A 0.95-0.97 correlation was obtained between the speech reception thresholds and their predicted value.

  17. Energy redistribution speech intelligibility enhancement, vocalic and transitional cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, John G.; Skowronski, Mark D.

    2002-11-01

    Two novel speech enhancement algorithms are presented that automatically increase intelligibility in noisy environments while maintaining the signal power and naturalness of the original speech. These energy redistribution (ER) algorithms move signal energy to targeted regions of relatively high information content that are crucial for intelligibility. The boosted regions are originally of low energy and therefore usually the first segments lost with the addition of environmental noise. The ER voiced/unvoiced (ERVU) method transfers energy from voiced speech to regions of unvoiced speech, while the ER spectral transition (ERST) method moves energy from spectrally stationary regions to spectrally transitional regions. Hand-held cell phones and public address systems are expected to be the dominant applications for these techniques. Standard noise reduction methods such as spectral subtraction are assumed to have already been applied to the voice signal before broadcast. Using human listening tests, it was found that both algorithms boost the intelligibility of speech in noisy environments by nearly 7% over the original unprocessed signals, without degrading naturalness or increasing signal power. Furthermore, both algorithms allow for controlling the trade-off between boost gain and speech naturalness.

  18. Respirator Speech Intelligibility Testing with an Experienced Speaker

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-01

    having three sounds in a consonant- vowel -consonant sequence. The MRT requires listeners to correctly identify single-syllable words spoken by a...intelligibility of commercial chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) air-purifying respirators (APRs). The speaker’s sound output level...enunciation, accent, and pronunciation may adversely affect sound conveyance and speech intelligibility during respirator wear. It was postulated that an

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

    PubMed

    Peng, Jianxin; Yan, Nanjie; Wang, Dan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Payton, Karen L; Shrestha, Mona

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Payton, Karen L.; Shrestha, Mona

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Measurement of Intelligibility in Disordered Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klein, Edward S.; Flint, Cari B.

    2006-01-01

    PURPOSE: To determine empirically which of three frequently observed rules in children with phonological disorders contributes most to difficulties in speaker intelligibility. METHOD: To evaluate the relative effects on intelligibility of deletion of final consonants (DFC), stopping of fricatives and affricates (SFA), and fronting of velars (FV),…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaBlance, Gary R.; Rutherford, David R.

    1991-01-01

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

  5. Speech intelligibility measure for vocal control of an automaton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naranjo, Michel; Tsirigotis, Georgios

    1998-07-01

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

  6. Speech intelligibility in complex acoustic environments in young children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2003-04-01

    While the auditory system undergoes tremendous maturation during the first few years of life, it has become clear that in complex scenarios when multiple sounds occur and when echoes are present, children's performance is significantly worse than their adult counterparts. The ability of children (3-7 years of age) to understand speech in a simulated multi-talker environment and to benefit from spatial separation of the target and competing sounds was investigated. In these studies, competing sources vary in number, location, and content (speech, modulated or unmodulated speech-shaped noise and time-reversed speech). The acoustic spaces were also varied in size and amount of reverberation. Finally, children with chronic otitis media who received binaural training were tested pre- and post-training on a subset of conditions. Results indicated the following. (1) Children experienced significantly more masking than adults, even in the simplest conditions tested. (2) When the target and competing sounds were spatially separated speech intelligibility improved, but the amount varied with age, type of competing sound, and number of competitors. (3) In a large reverberant classroom there was no benefit of spatial separation. (4) Binaural training improved speech intelligibility performance in children with otitis media. Future work includes similar studies in children with unilateral and bilateral cochlear implants. [Work supported by NIDCD, DRF, and NOHR.

  7. Speech Rate Effects upon Intelligibility and Acceptability of Tartaric Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagenais, Paul A.; Brown, Gidget R.; Moore, Robert E.

    2006-01-01

    Sentences recorded by four speakers with dysarthria and two control speakers were presented to listeners at three different rates: habitual, a 30% slower rate and a 30% higher rate. Rate changes were made by digitally manipulating the habitual sentences. Thirty young normal adult listeners rated the sentences for intelligibility (per cent correct…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, Yi-Fang

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

  9. On Detectable and Meaningful Speech-Intelligibility Benefits.

    PubMed

    Whitmer, William M; McShefferty, David; Akeroyd, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    The most important parameter that affects the ability to hear and understand speech in the presence of background noise is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Despite decades of research in speech intelligibility, it is not currently known how much improvement in SNR is needed to provide a meaningful benefit to someone. We propose that the underlying psychophysical basis to a meaningful benefit should be the just noticeable difference (JND) for SNR. The SNR JND was measured in a series of experiments using both adaptive and fixed-level procedures across participants of varying hearing ability. The results showed an average SNR JND of approximately 3 dB for sentences in same-spectrum noise. The role of the stimulus and link to intelligibility was examined by measuring speech-intelligibility psychometric functions and comparing the intelligibility JND estimated from those functions with measured SNR JNDs. Several experiments were then conducted to establish a just meaningful difference (JMD) for SNR. SNR changes that could induce intervention-seeking behaviour for an individual were measured with subjective scaling and report, using the same stimuli as the SNR JND experiment as pre- and post-benefit examples. The results across different rating and willingness-to-change tasks showed that the mean ratings increased near linearly with a change in SNR, but a change of at least 6 dB was necessary to reliably motivate participants to seek intervention. The magnitude of the JNDs and JMDs for speech-intelligibility benefits measured here suggest a gap between what is achievable and what is meaningful.

  10. Acoustic richness modulates the neural networks supporting intelligible speech processing.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yune-Sang; Min, Nam Eun; Wingfield, Arthur; Grossman, Murray; Peelle, Jonathan E

    2016-03-01

    The information contained in a sensory signal plays a critical role in determining what neural processes are engaged. Here we used interleaved silent steady-state (ISSS) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore how human listeners cope with different degrees of acoustic richness during auditory sentence comprehension. Twenty-six healthy young adults underwent scanning while hearing sentences that varied in acoustic richness (high vs. low spectral detail) and syntactic complexity (subject-relative vs. object-relative center-embedded clause structures). We manipulated acoustic richness by presenting the stimuli as unprocessed full-spectrum speech, or noise-vocoded with 24 channels. Importantly, although the vocoded sentences were spectrally impoverished, all sentences were highly intelligible. These manipulations allowed us to test how intelligible speech processing was affected by orthogonal linguistic and acoustic demands. Acoustically rich speech showed stronger activation than acoustically less-detailed speech in a bilateral temporoparietal network with more pronounced activity in the right hemisphere. By contrast, listening to sentences with greater syntactic complexity resulted in increased activation of a left-lateralized network including left posterior lateral temporal cortex, left inferior frontal gyrus, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Significant interactions between acoustic richness and syntactic complexity occurred in left supramarginal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, and right inferior frontal gyrus, indicating that the regions recruited for syntactic challenge differed as a function of acoustic properties of the speech. Our findings suggest that the neural systems involved in speech perception are finely tuned to the type of information available, and that reducing the richness of the acoustic signal dramatically alters the brain's response to spoken language, even when intelligibility is high.

  11. Matrix sentence intelligibility prediction using an automatic speech recognition system.

    PubMed

    Schädler, Marc René; Warzybok, Anna; Hochmuth, Sabine; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    The feasibility of predicting the outcome of the German matrix sentence test for different types of stationary background noise using an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system was studied. Speech reception thresholds (SRT) of 50% intelligibility were predicted in seven noise conditions. The ASR system used Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients as a front-end and employed whole-word Hidden Markov models on the back-end side. The ASR system was trained and tested with noisy matrix sentences on a broad range of signal-to-noise ratios. The ASR-based predictions were compared to data from the literature ( Hochmuth et al, 2015 ) obtained with 10 native German listeners with normal hearing and predictions of the speech intelligibility index (SII). The ASR-based predictions showed a high and significant correlation (R² = 0.95, p < 0.001) with the empirical data across different noise conditions, outperforming the SII-based predictions which showed no correlation with the empirical data (R² = 0.00, p = 0.987). The SRTs for the German matrix test for listeners with normal hearing in different stationary noise conditions could well be predicted based on the acoustical properties of the speech and noise signals. Minimum assumptions were made about human speech processing already incorporated in a reference-free ordinary ASR system.

  12. Speech enhancement based on neural networks improves speech intelligibility in noise for cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Goehring, Tobias; Bolner, Federico; Monaghan, Jessica J M; van Dijk, Bas; Zarowski, Andrzej; Bleeck, Stefan

    2017-02-01

    Speech understanding in noisy environments is still one of the major challenges for cochlear implant (CI) users in everyday life. We evaluated a speech enhancement algorithm based on neural networks (NNSE) for improving speech intelligibility in noise for CI users. The algorithm decomposes the noisy speech signal into time-frequency units, extracts a set of auditory-inspired features and feeds them to the neural network to produce an estimation of which frequency channels contain more perceptually important information (higher signal-to-noise ratio, SNR). This estimate is used to attenuate noise-dominated and retain speech-dominated CI channels for electrical stimulation, as in traditional n-of-m CI coding strategies. The proposed algorithm was evaluated by measuring the speech-in-noise performance of 14 CI users using three types of background noise. Two NNSE algorithms were compared: a speaker-dependent algorithm, that was trained on the target speaker used for testing, and a speaker-independent algorithm, that was trained on different speakers. Significant improvements in the intelligibility of speech in stationary and fluctuating noises were found relative to the unprocessed condition for the speaker-dependent algorithm in all noise types and for the speaker-independent algorithm in 2 out of 3 noise types. The NNSE algorithms used noise-specific neural networks that generalized to novel segments of the same noise type and worked over a range of SNRs. The proposed algorithm has the potential to improve the intelligibility of speech in noise for CI users while meeting the requirements of low computational complexity and processing delay for application in CI devices.

  13. Familiarization Effects on Word Intelligibility in Dysarthric Speech

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heejin; Nanney, Suzanne

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims This study investigated the effects of familiarization on naïve listeners’ ability to perceive dysarthric speech produced by speakers with cerebral palsy and evaluated the degree of intelligibility improvement, both short- and long-term, as a function of (1) familiarization paradigms and (2) the number of familiarization phases. Methods A total of 120 listeners (30 listeners/speaker) were recruited to complete word transcription tasks over a 6-week period. Listeners were assigned to one of the following familiarization paradigms: passive familiarization with audio signal only vs. active familiarization with both audio and orthography vs. no explicit familiarization. Intelligibility scores were measured as the percentage of words correctly transcribed. Results The active familiarization paradigm that provided listeners with both audio and orthography resulted in higher intelligibility scores compared to the passive familiarization and no explicit familiarization conditions. The degree of intelligibility improvement as a function of passive familiarization varied depending on speakers. Last, the advantage of active familiarization was also found as a long-term effect. Conclusion Findings provide evidence for the benefits of familiarization in enhancing intelligibility of dysarthric speech and support the efficacy of familiarization paradigms as an intervention technique in the management of dysarthria. PMID:25676630

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

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jianfen; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2010-01-01

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

  15. An alternative to the computational Speech Intelligibility Index estimates: direct measurement of rectangular passband intelligibilities.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    The need for determining the relative intelligibility of passbands spanning the speech spectrum has been addressed by publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). When the Articulation Index (AI) standard (ANSI, S3.5, 1969, R1986) was developed, available filters confounded passband and slope contributions. The AI procedure and its updated successor, the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) standard (ANSI, S3.5, 1997, R2007), cancel slope contributions by using intelligibility scores for partially masked highpass and lowpass speech to calculate passband importance values; these values can be converted to passband intelligibility predictions using transfer functions. However, by using very high-order digital filtering, it is now possible to eliminate contributions from filter skirts and produce rectangular passbands. Employing the same commercial recording and the same one-octave passbands published in the SII standard (Table B.3), the present study compares Rectangular Passband Intelligibility (RPI) with SII estimates of intelligibility. The directly measured RPI differs from the computational SII predictions. Advantages resulting from direct measurement are discussed.

  16. Speech intelligibility benefits of hearing AIDS at various input levels.

    PubMed

    Kuk, Francis; Lau, Chi-Chuen; Korhonen, Petri; Crose, Bryan

    2015-03-01

    Although the benefits of hearing aids are generally recognized for soft- and conversational-level sounds, most studies have reported negative benefits (i.e., poorer aided than unaided performance) at high noise inputs. Advances in digital signal processing such as compression, noise reduction, and directional microphone could improve speech perception at high input levels. This could alter our view on the efficacy of hearing aids in loud, noisy situations. The current study compared the aided versus the unaided speech intelligibility performance of hearing-impaired (HI) listeners at various input levels (from 50-100 dB SPL) and signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs; quiet, +6, +3, and -3 dB) in order to document the benefits of modern hearing aids. In addition, subjective preference between aided and unaided sounds (speech and music) at various input levels was also compared. The experiment used a factorial repeated-measures design. A total of 10 HI adults with symmetrical moderate to severe hearing losses served as test participants. In addition, speech intelligibility scores of five normal-hearing (NH) listeners were also measured for comparison. Speech perception was studied at 50 and 65 dB SPL input levels in quiet and also in noise at levels of 65, 85, and 100 dB SPL with SNRs of +6, +3, and -3 dB. This was done for all participants (HI and NH). In addition, the HI participants compared subjective preference between the aided and unaided presentations of speech and music stimuli at 50, 65, 85, and 100 dB SPL in quiet. The data were analyzed with repeated-measures analysis of variance. The results showed a decrease in aided benefits as input levels increased. However, even at the two highest input levels (i.e., 85 and 100 dB SPL), aided speech scores were still higher than the unaided speech scores. Furthermore, NH listeners and HI listeners in the aided condition showed stable speech-in-noise performance between 65 and 100 dB SPL input levels, except that the absolute

  17. Speech Intelligibility of Native and Non-Native Speech

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-08-01

    vowels , especially those that intelligibility tests (for instance those depending on do not occur in American English . typing out nonsense words by second...and 2 diphthongs (/ey!, /au/). Of this set of 100 Mfnl 90 vowels , three are not normally found in American 80 7 fp English : /y:/, /o:1 and /ey/. The 8...false-positive 30 scores are observed for the vowels /o:1 and /oey/, two of 20 10the vowels that do not occur in regular American 0 English . /my/ /cc

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Extended speech intelligibility index for the prediction of the speech reception threshold in fluctuating noise.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S; Versfeld, Niek J; Dreschler, Wouter A

    2006-12-01

    The extension to the speech intelligibility index (SII; ANSI S3.5-1997 (1997)) proposed by Rhebergen and Versfeld [Rhebergen, K.S., and Versfeld, N.J. (2005). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117(4), 2181-2192] is able to predict for normal-hearing listeners the speech intelligibility in both stationary and fluctuating noise maskers with reasonable accuracy. The extended SII model was validated with speech reception threshold (SRT) data from the literature. However, further validation is required and the present paper describes SRT experiments with nonstationary noise conditions that are critical to the extended model. From these data, it can be concluded that the extended SII model is able to predict the SRTs for the majority of conditions, but that predictions are better when the extended SII model includes a function to account for forward masking.

  1. Speech Intelligibility with a Bone Vibrator

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    sciences cognitives BP 73, 91223 Brétigny sur Orge, France lpellieux@imassa.fr ABSTRACT The FELIN project (Foot soldier with Integrated Equipment...must be made to reach levels allowing for intelligibility in noisy environments (notably for use in armoured vehicles). INTRODUCTION Project FELIN ...contact with the skin . Mechanical vibrations are transmitted through the skin , towards skull bones. Parts of the vibrations are channeled through

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Amee P.; Vavva, Zoi

    2005-04-01

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

  3. Effects of Instantaneous Multiband Dynamic Compression on Speech Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzke, Tobias; Hohmann, Volker

    2005-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Speech intelligibility in the community mosques of Dhaka City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najmul Imam, Sheikh Muhammad

    2002-11-01

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

  7. Subjective and objective speech intelligibility investigations in primary school classrooms.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, Arianna; Bottalico, Pasquale; Barbato, Giulio

    2012-01-01

    This work concerns speech intelligibility tests and measurements in three primary schools in Italy, one of which was conducted before and after an acoustical treatment. Speech intelligibility scores (IS) with different reverberation times (RT) and types of noise were obtained using diagnostic rhyme tests on 983 pupils from grades 2-5 (nominally 7-10 year olds), and these scores were then correlated with the Speech Transmission Index (STI). The grade 2 pupils understood fewer words in the lower STI range than the pupils in the higher grades, whereas an IS of ~97% was achieved by all the grades with a STI of 0.9. In the presence of traffic noise, which resulted the most interfering noise, a decrease in RT from 1.6 to 0.4 s determined an IS increase on equal A-weighted speech-to-noise level difference, S/N(A), which varied from 13% to 6%, over the S/N(A) range of -15 to +6 dB, respectively. In the case of babble noise, whose source was located in the middle of the classroom, the same decrease in reverberation time leads to a negligible variation in IS over a similar S/N(A) range.

  8. Søren Buus' contribution to speech intelligibility prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müsch, Hannes; Florentine, Mary

    2005-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  10. The effect of compression and attention allocation on speech intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Sangsook; Carrell, Thomas

    2003-10-01

    Research investigating the effects of amplitude compression on speech intelligibility for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss has demonstrated contradictory results [Souza and Turner (1999)]. Because percent-correct measures may not be the best indicator of compression effectiveness, a speech intelligibility and motor coordination task was developed to provide data that may more thoroughly explain the perception of compressed speech signals. In the present study, a pursuit rotor task [Dlhopolsky (2000)] was employed along with word identification task to measure the amount of attention required to perceive compressed and non-compressed words in noise. Monosyllabic words were mixed with speech-shaped noise at a fixed signal-to-noise ratio and compressed using a wide dynamic range compression scheme. Participants with normal hearing identified each word with or without a simultaneous pursuit-rotor task. Also, participants completed the pursuit-rotor task without simultaneous word presentation. It was expected that the performance on the additional motor task would reflect effect of the compression better than simple word-accuracy measures. Results were complex. For example, in some conditions an irrelevant task actually improved performance on a simultaneous listening task. This suggests there might be an optimal level of attention required for recognition of monosyllabic words.

  11. Evidence against the mismatched interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Stibbard, Richard M; Lee, Jeong-In

    2006-07-01

    In a follow-up study to that of Bent and Bradlow (2003), carrier sentences containing familiar keywords were read aloud by five talkers (Korean high proficiency; Korean low proficiency; Saudi Arabian high proficiency; Saudi Arabian low proficiency; native English). The intelligibility of these keywords to 50 listeners in four first language groups (Korean, n = 10; Saudi Arabian, n = 10; native English, n = 10; other mixed first languages, n = 20) was measured in a word recognition test. In each case, the non-native listeners found the non-native low-proficiency talkers who did not share the same first language as the listeners the least intelligible, at statistically significant levels, while not finding the low-proficiency talker who shared their own first language similarly unintelligible. These findings indicate a mismatched interlanguage speech intelligibility detriment for low-proficiency non-native speakers and a potential intelligibility problem between mismatched first language low-proficiency speakers unfamiliar with each others' accents in English. There was no strong evidence to support either an intelligibility benefit for the high-proficiency non-native talkers to the listeners from a different first language background or to indicate that the native talkers were more intelligible than the high-proficiency non-native talkers to any of the listeners.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kates, James M.; Arehart, Kathryn H.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kates, James M; Arehart, Kathryn H

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Cortical Alpha Oscillations Predict Speech Intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Dimitrijevic, Andrew; Smith, Michael L; Kadis, Darren S; Moore, David R

    2017-01-01

    Understanding speech in noise (SiN) is a complex task involving sensory encoding and cognitive resources including working memory and attention. Previous work has shown that brain oscillations, particularly alpha rhythms (8-12 Hz) play important roles in sensory processes involving working memory and attention. However, no previous study has examined brain oscillations during performance of a continuous speech perception test. The aim of this study was to measure cortical alpha during attentive listening in a commonly used SiN task (digits-in-noise, DiN) to better understand the neural processes associated with "top-down" cognitive processing in adverse listening environments. We recruited 14 normal hearing (NH) young adults. DiN speech reception threshold (SRT) was measured in an initial behavioral experiment. EEG activity was then collected: (i) while performing the DiN near SRT; and (ii) while attending to a silent, close-caption video during presentation of identical digit stimuli that the participant was instructed to ignore. Three main results were obtained: (1) during attentive ("active") listening to the DiN, a number of distinct neural oscillations were observed (mainly alpha with some beta; 15-30 Hz). No oscillations were observed during attention to the video ("passive" listening); (2) overall, alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) of central/parietal sources were observed during active listening when data were grand averaged across all participants. In some participants, a smaller magnitude alpha event-related desynchronization (ERD), originating in temporal regions, was observed; and (3) when individual EEG trials were sorted according to correct and incorrect digit identification, the temporal alpha ERD was consistently greater on correctly identified trials. No such consistency was observed with the central/parietal alpha ERS. These data demonstrate that changes in alpha activity are specific to listening conditions. To our knowledge, this is the

  15. Cortical Alpha Oscillations Predict Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Dimitrijevic, Andrew; Smith, Michael L.; Kadis, Darren S.; Moore, David R.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding speech in noise (SiN) is a complex task involving sensory encoding and cognitive resources including working memory and attention. Previous work has shown that brain oscillations, particularly alpha rhythms (8–12 Hz) play important roles in sensory processes involving working memory and attention. However, no previous study has examined brain oscillations during performance of a continuous speech perception test. The aim of this study was to measure cortical alpha during attentive listening in a commonly used SiN task (digits-in-noise, DiN) to better understand the neural processes associated with “top-down” cognitive processing in adverse listening environments. We recruited 14 normal hearing (NH) young adults. DiN speech reception threshold (SRT) was measured in an initial behavioral experiment. EEG activity was then collected: (i) while performing the DiN near SRT; and (ii) while attending to a silent, close-caption video during presentation of identical digit stimuli that the participant was instructed to ignore. Three main results were obtained: (1) during attentive (“active”) listening to the DiN, a number of distinct neural oscillations were observed (mainly alpha with some beta; 15–30 Hz). No oscillations were observed during attention to the video (“passive” listening); (2) overall, alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) of central/parietal sources were observed during active listening when data were grand averaged across all participants. In some participants, a smaller magnitude alpha event-related desynchronization (ERD), originating in temporal regions, was observed; and (3) when individual EEG trials were sorted according to correct and incorrect digit identification, the temporal alpha ERD was consistently greater on correctly identified trials. No such consistency was observed with the central/parietal alpha ERS. These data demonstrate that changes in alpha activity are specific to listening conditions. To our

  16. Enhancement of speech intelligibility in reverberant rooms: role of amplitude envelope and temporal fine structure.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Nirmal Kumar; Zahorik, Pavel

    2014-06-01

    The temporal envelope and fine structure of speech make distinct contributions to the perception of speech in normal-hearing listeners, and are differentially affected by room reverberation. Previous work has demonstrated enhanced speech intelligibility in reverberant rooms when prior exposure to the room was provided. Here, the relative contributions of envelope and fine structure cues to this intelligibility enhancement were tested using an open-set speech corpus and virtual auditory space techniques to independently manipulate the speech cues within a simulated room. Intelligibility enhancement was observed only when the envelope was reverberant, indicating that the enhancement is envelope-based.

  17. Application of a short-time version of the Equalization-Cancellation model to speech intelligibility experiments with speech maskers.

    PubMed

    Wan, Rui; Durlach, Nathaniel I; Colburn, H Steven

    2014-08-01

    A short-time-processing version of the Equalization-Cancellation (EC) model of binaural processing is described and applied to speech intelligibility tasks in the presence of multiple maskers, including multiple speech maskers. This short-time EC model, called the STEC model, extends the model described by Wan et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 128, 3678-3690 (2010)] to allow the EC model's equalization parameters τ and α to be adjusted as a function of time, resulting in improved masker cancellation when the dominant masker location varies in time. Using the Speech Intelligibility Index, the STEC model is applied to speech intelligibility with maskers that vary in number, type, and spatial arrangements. Most notably, when maskers are located on opposite sides of the target, this STEC model predicts improved thresholds when the maskers are modulated independently with speech-envelope modulators; this includes the most relevant case of independent speech maskers. The STEC model describes the spatial dependence of the speech reception threshold with speech maskers better than the steady-state model. Predictions are also improved for independently speech-modulated noise maskers but are poorer for reversed-speech maskers. In general, short-term processing is useful, but much remains to be done in the complex task of understanding speech in speech maskers.

  18. Direct measurement of single and multiple passband intelligibilities: Comparison with estimates based upon the Speech Intelligibility Index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

    The intelligibility of individual bands spanning the speech spectrum is of interest for theoretical and practical reasons, and has been the subject of considerable experimental investigation. Direct measurement of passband intelligibility can be confounded with contributions from filter slopes, but by employing sufficiently high orders of FIR filtering, the present study has removed all slope contributions and measured directly intelligibilities of 1-octave and 1/3-octave passbands. Stimuli employed were based upon the same commercial recording of monosyllabic words and the same frequency bands used for the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) [American National Standards Institute, S3.5, 1997]. SII employs an indirect procedure for estimating intelligibility: lists of band ``importance'' values are derived from intelligibility scores for high-pass and low-pass speech having incrementally varied cutoff frequencies. These importance values are correlated with intelligibility, and were transformed into intelligibility estimates using the published transfer function. Directly measured intelligibilities differ for some, but not all, SII-based intelligibility estimates for bands heard singly and in combination. Direct determination of intelligibilities of individual and multiple passbands is suggested as a simple and accurate alternative to the methods based upon SII and other indirect procedures for estimating the intelligibility of frequency-limited speech. [Work supported by NIH.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aniansson, G.; Björkman, M.

    1983-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  3. Speech intelligibility of deaf speakers and distinctive feature usage.

    PubMed

    Mencke, E O; Ochsner, G J; Testut, E W

    1984-01-01

    Speech samples (41 CNC monosyllables) of 22 deaf children were analyzed using two distinctive-feature systems, one acoustic and one physiologic. Moderate to high correlations between intelligibility scores by listener judges vs correct feature usage were obtained for positive as well as negative features of both systems. Further, higher correlations between percent-correct feature usage scores vs listener intelligibility scores were observed for phonemes in the initial vs final position-in-work regardless of listener-judge experience, feature system, or presentation mode. These findings suggest that either acoustic or physiologic feature analysis can be employed in describing the articulation of deaf talkers. In general, either of these feature systems also predicts with fair to good accuracy the intelligibility of deaf speakers as judged by either experienced or inexperienced listeners. In view of the appreciably higher correlations obtained between feature use and intelligibility scores in initial compared to final position-in-word, however, caution should be exercised with either of the feature systems studied in predicting the intelligibility of a deaf speaker's final phoneme.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Jean C.; Braida, Louis D.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Impact of clear, loud, and slow speech on scaled intelligibility and speech severity in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Tjaden, Kris; Sussman, Joan E; Wilding, Gregory E

    2014-06-01

    The perceptual consequences of rate reduction, increased vocal intensity, and clear speech were studied in speakers with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and healthy controls. Seventy-eight speakers read sentences in habitual, clear, loud, and slow conditions. Sentences were equated for peak amplitude and mixed with multitalker babble for presentation to listeners. Using a computerized visual analog scale, listeners judged intelligibility or speech severity as operationally defined in Sussman and Tjaden (2012). Loud and clear but not slow conditions improved intelligibility relative to the habitual condition. With the exception of the loud condition for the PD group, speech severity did not improve above habitual and was reduced relative to habitual in some instances. Intelligibility and speech severity were strongly related, but relationships for disordered speakers were weaker in clear and slow conditions versus habitual. Both clear and loud speech show promise for improving intelligibility and maintaining or improving speech severity in multitalker babble for speakers with mild dysarthria secondary to MS or PD, at least as these perceptual constructs were defined and measured in this study. Although scaled intelligibility and speech severity overlap, the metrics further appear to have some separate value in documenting treatment-related speech changes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Speech recognition for multiple bands: Implications for the Speech Intelligibility Index.

    PubMed

    Humes, Larry E; Kidd, Gary R

    2016-09-01

    The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) assumes additivity of the importance of acoustically independent bands of speech. To further evaluate this assumption, open-set speech recognition was measured for words and sentences, in quiet and in noise, when the speech stimuli were presented to the listener in selected frequency bands. The filter passbands were constructed from various combinations of 20 bands having equivalent (0.05) importance in the SII framework. This permitted the construction of a variety of equal-SII band patterns that were then evaluated by nine different groups of young adults with normal hearing. For monosyllabic words, a similar dependence on band pattern was observed for SII values of 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 in both quiet and noise conditions. Specifically, band patterns concentrated toward the lower and upper frequency range tended to yield significantly lower scores than those more evenly sampling a broader frequency range. For all stimuli and test conditions, equal SII values did not yield equal performance. Because the spectral distortions of speech evaluated here may not commonly occur in everyday listening conditions, this finding does not necessarily represent a serious deficit for the application of the SII. These findings, however, challenge the band-independence assumption of the theory underlying the SII.

  14. Prior exposure to a reverberant listening environment improves speech intelligibility in adult cochlear implant listeners.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Nirmal Kumar; Tobey, Emily A; Loizou, Philipos C

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study is to investigate whether prior exposure to reverberant listening environment improves speech intelligibility of adult cochlear implant (CI) users. Six adult CI users participated in this study. Speech intelligibility was measured in five different simulated reverberant listening environments with two different speech corpuses. Within each listening environment, prior exposure was varied by either having the same environment across all trials (blocked presentation) or having different environment from trial to trial (unblocked). Speech intelligibility decreased as reverberation time increased. Although substantial individual variability was observed, all CI listeners showed an increase in the blocked presentation condition as compared to the unblocked presentation condition for both speech corpuses. Prior listening exposure to a reverberant listening environment improves speech intelligibility in adult CI listeners. Further research is required to understand the underlying mechanism of adaptation to listening environment.

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

    PubMed

    Schepker, Henning; Rennies, Jan; Doclo, Simon

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ertmer, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Background Newborn hearing screening, early intervention programs, and advancements in cochlear implant and hearing aid technology have greatly increased opportunities for children with hearing loss to become intelligible talkers. Optimizing speech intelligibility requires that progress be monitored closely. Although direct assessment of intelligibility has been a cumbersome undertaking in the past, advancements in digital recording technology and expanded strategies for recruiting listener-judges can make this tool much more practical in contemporary school and clinical settings. Purpose The main purposes of this tutorial are to present a rationale for assessing children’s connected speech intelligibility, to review important uses for intelligibility scores, and to describe time-efficient ways to estimate how well children’s connected speech can be understood. This information is offered to encourage routine assessment of connected speech intelligibility in pre-school and school-age children with hearing loss. PMID:20601533

  17. Assessing speech intelligibility in children with hearing loss: toward revitalizing a valuable clinical tool.

    PubMed

    Ertmer, David J

    2011-01-01

    Newborn hearing screening, early intervention programs, and advancements in cochlear implant and hearing aid technology have greatly increased opportunities for children with hearing loss to become intelligible talkers. Optimizing speech intelligibility requires that progress be monitored closely. Although direct assessment of intelligibility has been a cumbersome undertaking, advancements in digital recording technology and expanded strategies for recruiting listener-judges can make this tool much more practical in contemporary school and clinical settings. The main purposes of this tutorial are to present a rationale for assessing children's connected speech intelligibility, review important uses for intelligibility scores, and describe time-efficient ways to estimate how well children's connected speech can be understood. This information is offered to encourage routine assessment of connected speech intelligibility in preschool and school-age children with hearing loss.

  18. Predicting speech intelligibility based on a correlation metric in the envelope power spectrum domain.

    PubMed

    Relaño-Iborra, Helia; May, Tobias; Zaar, Johannes; Scheidiger, Christoph; Dau, Torsten

    2016-10-01

    A speech intelligibility prediction model is proposed that combines the auditory processing front end of the multi-resolution speech-based envelope power spectrum model [mr-sEPSM; Jørgensen, Ewert, and Dau (2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134(1), 436-446] with a correlation back end inspired by the short-time objective intelligibility measure [STOI; Taal, Hendriks, Heusdens, and Jensen (2011). IEEE Trans. Audio Speech Lang.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Megan M.; Gotzke, Carrie L.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Automatic intelligibility assessment of pathologic speech over the telephone.

    PubMed

    Haderlein, Tino; Nöth, Elmar; Batliner, Anton; Eysholdt, Ulrich; Rosanowski, Frank

    2011-12-01

    Objective assessment of intelligibility on the telephone is desirable for voice and speech assessment and rehabilitation. A total of 82 patients after partial laryngectomy read a standardized text which was synchronously recorded by a headset and via telephone. Five experienced raters assessed intelligibility perceptually on a five-point scale. Objective evaluation was performed by support vector regression on the word accuracy (WA) and word correctness (WR) of a speech recognition system, and a set of prosodic features. WA and WR alone exhibited correlations to human evaluation between |r| = 0.57 and |r| = 0.75. The correlation was r = 0.79 for headset and r = 0.86 for telephone recordings when prosodic features and WR were combined. The best feature subset was optimal for both signal qualities. It consists of WR, the average duration of the silent pauses before a word, the standard deviation of the fundamental frequency on the entire sample, the standard deviation of jitter, and the ratio of the durations of the voiced sections and the entire recording.

  1. Speech Intelligibility in Persian Hearing Impaired Children with Cochlear Implants and Hearing Aids.

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Mohammad; Emadi, Maryam; Zamani, Peyman; Farahani, Farhad; Lotfi, Gohar

    2017-04-01

    The aim of present study is to evaluate and compare speech intelligibility in hearing impaired children with cochlear implants (CI) and hearing aid (HA) users and children with normal hearing (NH). The sample consisted of 45 Persian-speaking children aged 3 to 5-years-old. They were divided into three groups, and each group had 15, children, children with CI and children using hearing aids in Hamadan. Participants was evaluated by the test of speech intelligibility level. Results of ANOVA on speech intelligibility test showed that NH children had significantly better reading performance than hearing impaired children with CI and HA. Post-hoc analysis, using Scheffe test, indicated that the mean score of speech intelligibility of normal children was higher than the HA and CI groups; but the difference was not significant between mean of speech intelligibility in children with hearing loss that use cochlear implant and those using HA. It is clear that even with remarkabkle advances in HA technology, many hearing impaired children continue to find speech production a challenging problem. Given that speech intelligibility is a key element in proper communication and social interaction, consequently, educational and rehabilitation programs are essential to improve speech intelligibility of children with hearing loss.

  2. Speech intelligibility enhancement after maxillary denture treatment and its impact on quality of life.

    PubMed

    Knipfer, Christian; Riemann, Max; Bocklet, Tobias; Noeth, Elmar; Schuster, Maria; Sokol, Biljana; Eitner, Stephan; Nkenke, Emeka; Stelzle, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Tooth loss and its prosthetic rehabilitation significantly affect speech intelligibility. However, little is known about the influence of speech deficiencies on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate whether speech intelligibility enhancement through prosthetic rehabilitation significantly influences OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures. Speech intelligibility by means of an automatic speech recognition system (ASR) was prospectively evaluated and compared with subjectively assessed Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) scores. Speech was recorded in 28 edentulous patients 1 week prior to the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures and 6 months thereafter. Speech intelligibility was computed based on the word accuracy (WA) by means of an ASR and compared with a matched control group. One week before and 6 months after rehabilitation, patients assessed themselves for OHRQoL. Speech intelligibility improved significantly after 6 months. Subjects reported a significantly higher OHRQoL after maxillary rehabilitation with complete dentures. No significant correlation was found between the OHIP sum score or its subscales to the WA. Speech intelligibility enhancement achieved through the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures might not be in the forefront of the patients' perception of their quality of life. For the improvement of OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures, food intake and mastication as well as freedom from pain play a more prominent role.

  3. A metric for predicting binaural speech intelligibility in stationary noise and competing speech maskers.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Cooke, Martin; Fazenda, Bruno M; Cox, Trevor J

    2016-09-01

    One criterion in the design of binaural sound scenes in audio production is the extent to which the intended speech message is correctly understood. Object-based audio broadcasting systems have permitted sound editors to gain more access to the metadata (e.g., intensity and location) of each sound source, providing better control over speech intelligibility. The current study describes and evaluates a binaural distortion-weighted glimpse proportion metric-BiDWGP-which is motivated by better-ear glimpsing and binaural masking level differences. BiDWGP predicts intelligibility from two alternative input forms: either binaural recordings or monophonic recordings from each sound source along with their locations. Two listening experiments were performed with stationary noise and competing speech, one in the presence of a single masker, the other with multiple maskers, for a variety of spatial configurations. Overall, BiDWGP with both input forms predicts listener keyword scores with correlations of 0.95 and 0.91 for single- and multi-masker conditions, respectively. When considering masker type separately, correlations rise to 0.95 and above for both types of maskers. Predictions using the two input forms are very similar, suggesting that BiDWGP can be applied to the design of sound scenes where only individual sound sources and their locations are available.

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

    PubMed

    Pennig, Sibylle; Quehl, Julia; Wittkowski, Martin

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Garadat, Soha N.; Litovsky, Ruth Y.

    2009-01-01

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

  6. The contribution of durational and spectral changes to the Lombard speech intelligibility benefit.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Martin; Mayo, Catherine; Villegas, Julián

    2014-02-01

    Speech produced in the presence of noise (Lombard speech) is typically more intelligible than speech produced in quiet (plain speech) when presented at the same signal-to-noise ratio, but the factors responsible for the Lombard intelligibility benefit remain poorly understood. Previous studies have demonstrated a clear effect of spectral differences between the two speech styles and a lack of effect of fundamental frequency differences. The current study investigates a possible role for durational differences alongside spectral changes. Listeners identified keywords in sentences manipulated to possess either durational or spectral characteristics of plain or Lombard speech. Durational modifications were produced using linear or nonlinear time warping, while spectral changes were applied at the global utterance level or to individual time frames. Modifications were made to both plain and Lombard speech. No beneficial effects of durational increases were observed in any condition. Lombard sentences spoken at a speech rate substantially slower than their plain counterparts also failed to reveal a durational benefit. Spectral changes to plain speech resulted in large intelligibility gains, although not to the level of Lombard speech. These outcomes suggest that the durational increases seen in Lombard speech have little or no role in the Lombard intelligibility benefit.

  7. [The Freiburg speech intelligibility test : A pillar of speech audiometry in German-speaking countries].

    PubMed

    Hoth, S

    2016-08-01

    The Freiburg speech intelligibility test according to DIN 45621 was introduced around 60 years ago. For decades, and still today, the Freiburg test has been a standard whose relevance extends far beyond pure audiometry. It is used primarily to determine the speech perception threshold (based on two-digit numbers) and the ability to discriminate speech at suprathreshold presentation levels (based on monosyllabic nouns). Moreover, it is a measure of the degree of disability, the requirement for and success of technical hearing aids (auxiliaries directives), and the compensation for disability and handicap (Königstein recommendation). In differential audiological diagnostics, the Freiburg test contributes to the distinction between low- and high-frequency hearing loss, as well as to identification of conductive, sensory, neural, and central disorders. Currently, the phonemic and perceptual balance of the monosyllabic test lists is subject to critical discussions. Obvious deficiencies exist for testing speech recognition in noise. In this respect, alternatives such as sentence or rhyme tests in closed-answer inventories are discussed.

  8. Impact of SNR and Gain-Function Over- and Under-estimation on Speech Intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C

    2012-02-01

    Most noise reduction algorithms rely on obtaining reliable estimates of the SNR of each frequency bin. For that reason, much work has been done in analyzing the behavior and performance of SNR estimation algorithms in the context of improving speech quality and reducing speech distortions (e.g., musical noise). Comparatively little work has been reported, however, regarding the analysis and investigation of the effect of errors in SNR estimation on speech intelligibility. It is not known, for instance, whether it is the errors in SNR overestimation, errors in SNR underestimation, or both that are harmful to speech intelligibility. Errors in SNR estimation produce concomitant errors in the computation of the gain (suppression) function, and the impact of gain estimation errors on speech intelligibility is unclear. The present study assesses the effect of SNR estimation errors on gain function estimation via sensitivity analysis. Intelligibility listening studies were conducted to validate the sensitivity analysis. Results indicated that speech intelligibility is severely compromised when SNR and gain over-estimation errors are introduced in spectral components with negative SNR. A theoretical upper bound on the gain function is derived that can be used to constrain the values of the gain function so as to ensure that SNR overestimation errors are minimized. Speech enhancement algorithms that can limit the values of the gain function to fall within this upper bound can improve speech intelligibility.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-04-01

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

  10. Correlations between word intelligibility under reverberation and speech auditory brainstem responses in elderly listeners.

    PubMed

    Fujihira, H; Shiraishi, K

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between speech auditory brainstem responses (speech ABRs) and word intelligibility under reverberation in elderly adults. Word intelligibility for words under four reverberation times (RTs) of 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5s, and speech ABRs to the speech syllable/da/ were obtained from 30 elderly listeners. Root mean square (RMS) amplitudes and discrete Fourier transform (DFT) amplitudes were calculated for ADD and SUB responses in the speech ABRs. No significant correlations were found between the word intelligibility scores under reverberation and the ADD response components. However, in the SUB responses we found that the DFT amplitudes associated with H4-SUB, H5-SUB, H8-SUB, H9-SUB and H10-SUB significantly correlated with the word intelligibility scores for words under reverberation. With Bonferroni correction, the DFT amplitudes for H5-SUB and the intelligibility scores for words with the RT of 0.5s and 1.5s were significant. Word intelligibility under reverberation in elderly listeners is related to their ability to encode the temporal fine structure of speech. The results expand knowledge about subcortical responses of elderly listeners in daily-life listening situations. The SUB responses of speech ABR could be useful as an objective indicator to predict word intelligibility under reverberation. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Intelligibility and clarity of clear and conversational speech by children with implants and hearing aids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, Arlene E.; Nie, Yingjiu; Main, Jennifer; Carney, Edward; Higgins, Maureen B.

    2005-09-01

    Studies of clear versus conversational speech have shown perceptual and acoustic differences. The basic premise is that the speaker understands the direction to speak more clearly, and translates the direction to speech motor acts. Children with hearing losses receive intervention during which they are instructed to use their best speech. The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) whether hearing-impaired children's intelligibility changed with directions to use better speech, and (2) whether these children's speech was judged to be clearer when they had intended to produce clear speech. There were two groups of speakers: 14 deaf children with cochlear implants and 7 hard-of-hearing children with hearing aids. Each produced ten short sentences using typical speech, better speech, and best speech. All sentences were presented to a total of 189 adult listeners with normal hearing who wrote down what they heard. Hard-of-hearing children had average speech intelligibility of 98% those with implants averaged 66%. Both groups had very small increases across conditions. All sentences in three speech conditions were presented in a paired-comparison task to ten additional listeners. Results of clarity judgments will be discussed in relation to the relatively small changes in speech intelligibility. [Research supported by NIH.

  14. Evaluation and analysis of whispered speech for cochlear implant users: Gender identification and intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Hazrati, Oldooz; Ali, Hussnain; Hansen, John H L; Tobey, Emily

    2015-07-01

    This study investigates the degree to which whispered speech impacts speech perception and gender identification in cochlear implant (CI) users. Listening experiments with six CI subjects under neutral and whispered speech conditions using sentences from the UT-Vocal Effort II corpus (recordings from male and female speakers) were conducted. Results indicated a significant effect of whispering on gender identification and speech intelligibility scores. In addition, no significant effect of talker gender on the speech/gender identification scores was observed. Results also suggested that exposure to longer speech stimuli, and consequently more temporal cues, would not improve gender identification performance in CI subjects.

  15. The intelligibility of tracheoesophageal speech, with an emphasis on the voiced-voiceless distinction.

    PubMed

    Jongmans, P; Hilgers, F J M; Pols, L C W; van As-Brooks, C J

    2006-01-01

    Total laryngectomy has far-reaching effects on vocal tract anatomy and physiology. The preferred method for restoring postlaryngectomy oral communication is prosthetic tracheoesophageal (TE) speech, which like laryngeal speech is pulmonary driven. TE speech quality is better than esophageal or electrolarynx speech quality, but still very deviant from laryngeal speech. For a better understanding of neoglottis physiology and for improving rehabilitation results, study of TE speech intelligibility remains important. Methods used were perceptual evaluation, acoustic analyses, and digital high-speed imaging. First results show large variations between speakers and especially difficulty in producing voiced-voiceless distinction. This paper discusses first results of our experiment.

  16. Connected speech intelligibility of children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing.

    PubMed

    Chin, Steven B; Tsai, Patrick L; Gao, Sujuan

    2003-11-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the connected speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants with that of children who have normal hearing. Previous research has shown that speech intelligibility improves from before cochlear implantation to after implantation and that the speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants compares favorably with that of children who use conventional hearing aids. However, no research has yet addressed the question of how the speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants compares to that of children with normal hearing. In the current study, archival data on connected speech intelligibility from 51 children with cochlear implants were compared with newly collected data from 47 children with normal hearing. Results showed that for children with cochlear implants, greater intelligibility was associated with both increased chronological age and increased duration of cochlear implant use. Consistent with previous studies, children with normal hearing achieved adult-like or near-adult-like intelligibility around the age of 4 years, but a similar peak in intelligibility was not observed for the children who used cochlear implants. On the whole, children with cochlear implants were significantly less intelligible than children with normal hearing, when controlling both for chronological age and for length of auditory experience. These results have implications for the socialization and education of children with cochlear implants, particularly with respect to on-time placement in mainstream educational environments with age peers.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samardzic, Nikolina

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapp, Peter

    2002-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  1. Speech Intelligibility and Psychosocial Functioning in Deaf Children and Teens with Cochlear Implants.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Valerie; Pisoni, David B; Kronenberger, William G; Castellanos, Irina

    2017-07-01

    Deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) are at risk for psychosocial adjustment problems, possibly due to delayed speech-language skills. This study investigated associations between a core component of spoken-language ability-speech intelligibility-and the psychosocial development of prelingually deaf CI users. Audio-transcription measures of speech intelligibility and parent reports of psychosocial behaviors were obtained for two age groups (preschool, school-age/teen). CI users in both age groups scored more poorly than typically hearing peers on speech intelligibility and several psychosocial scales. Among preschool CI users, five scales were correlated with speech intelligibility: functional communication, attention problems, atypicality, withdrawal, and adaptability. These scales and four additional scales were correlated with speech intelligibility among school-age/teen CI users: leadership, activities of daily living, anxiety, and depression. Results suggest that speech intelligibility may be an important contributing factor underlying several domains of psychosocial functioning in children and teens with CIs, particularly involving socialization, communication, and emotional adjustment. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. The concept of signal-to-noise ratio in the modulation domain and speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Dubbelboer, Finn; Houtgast, Tammo

    2008-12-01

    A new concept is proposed that relates to intelligibility of speech in noise. The concept combines traditional estimations of signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) with elements from the modulation transfer function model, which results in the definition of the signal-to-noise ratio in the modulation domain: the (SN)(mod). It is argued that this (SN)(mod), quantifying the strength of speech modulations relative to a floor of spurious modulations arising from the speech-noise interaction, is the key factor in relation to speech intelligibility. It is shown that, by using a specific test signal, the strength of these spurious modulations can be measured, allowing an estimation of the (SN)(mod) for various conditions of additive noise, noise suppression, and amplitude compression. By relating these results to intelligibility data for these same conditions, the relevance of the (SN)(mod) as the key factor underlying speech intelligibility is clearly illustrated. For instance, it is shown that the commonly observed limited effect of noise suppression on speech intelligibility is correctly "predicted" by the (SN)(mod), whereas traditional measures such as the speech transmission index, considering only the changes in the speech modulations, fall short in this respect. It is argued that (SN)(mod) may provide a relevant tool in the design of successful noise-suppression systems.

  3. Speech intelligibility in deaf children after long-term cochlear implant use.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cochran, P.S.

    1986-01-01

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

  6. Application of an extended equalization-cancellation model to speech intelligibility with spatially distributed maskers.

    PubMed

    Wan, Rui; Durlach, Nathaniel I; Colburn, H Steven

    2010-12-01

    An extended version of the equalization-cancellation (EC) model of binaural processing is described and applied to speech intelligibility tasks in the presence of multiple maskers. The model incorporates time-varying jitters, both in time and amplitude, and implements the equalization and cancellation operations in each frequency band independently. The model is consistent with the original EC model in predicting tone-detection performance for a large set of configurations. When the model is applied to speech, the speech intelligibility index is used to predict speech intelligibility performance in a variety of conditions. Specific conditions addressed include different types of maskers, different numbers of maskers, and different spatial locations of maskers. Model predictions are compared with empirical measurements reported by Hawley et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115, 833-843 (2004)] and by Marrone et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 124, 1146-1158 (2008)]. The model succeeds in predicting speech intelligibility performance when maskers are speech-shaped noise or broadband-modulated speech-shaped noise but fails when the maskers are speech or reversed speech.

  7. Auralization study of optimum reverberation for speech intelligibility for normal and hearing-impaired listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wonyoung; Hodgson, Murray; Ezaki, Maki

    2005-04-01

    Reverberation and signal-to-noise level difference are two major factors affecting speech intelligibility. They interact in rooms. Past work has accounted for noise using a constant received background-noise level. Noise is actually generated by sources, and varies, and affects speech intelligibility differently, throughout the classroom, depending on where the sources are located. Here, a speech-babble noise source located at different positions in the room was considered. The relative output levels of the speech and noise sources, resulting in different signal-to-noise level differences, were controlled, along with the reverberation. The binaural impulse response of a virtual idealized classroom model was convolved with the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT) source and babble-noise signals in order to find the optimal configuration for speech intelligibility. Speech-intelligibility tests were performed with normal and hard-of-hearing subjects in each of 16 conditions which were combinations of reverberation time, signal-to-noise level difference, and speech- and noise-source locations. For both normal and hearing-impaired subjects, when the speech source was closer to the listener than the noise source, the optimal RT was zero. When the noise source was closer to the listener than the speech source, the optimal RT was generally non-zero. This agrees with theoretical results.

  8. Relationships between Speech Intelligibility and Word Articulation Scores in Children with Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Ertmer, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose This investigation sought to determine whether scores from a commonly used word-based articulation test are closely associated with speech intelligibility in children with hearing loss. If the scores are closely related, articulation testing results might be used to estimate intelligibility. If not, the importance of direct assessment of intelligibility would be reinforced. Methods Forty-four children with hearing losses produced words from the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation-2 and sets of 10 short sentences. Correlation analyses were conducted between scores for seven word-based predictor variables and percent-intelligible scores derived from listener judgments of stimulus sentences. Results Six of seven predictor variables were significantly correlated with percent-intelligible scores. However, regression analysis revealed that no single predictor variable or multi- variable model accounted for more than 25% of the variability in intelligibility scores. Implications The findings confirm the importance of assessing connected speech intelligibility directly. PMID:20220022

  9. [Effect of the rate of speech flow on speech intelligibility in normal and hearing-impaired subjects].

    PubMed

    Hosoi, H; Murata, K; Ohta, F; Imaizumi, S

    1992-04-01

    The relationship between the rate of speech flow and speech intelligibility was investigated in normal and hearing-impaired subjects. It is usually observed that a slowly and clearly delivered speech is easier for hearing-impaired patients to understand. The purpose of paper is to analyze this phenomenon clinically and to present useful data for developing new hearing aids. Four or 5 syllabic words lists were prepared for this experiment and speech stimuli were chosen from these lists. The subjects consisted of 15 normal subjects and 79 hearing-impaired patients (57 with inner ear hearing loss and 22 with retrocochlear hearing loss). Hearing tests were performed using a tape recorder with various speech control systems in a soundproof room. Speech samples were presented at three speaking rates, that is, a conversational speech rate, a rate one and a half times as fast as the conversational speech rate and a rate twice as fast as that rate. The results obtained in the normal subjects confirmed that the faster the speaking rate was, the more the word intelligibility was reduced. According to the results in the hearing-impaired subjects, both the correlation coefficient and regression parameter between the word intelligibility in this experiment and speech discrimination scores measured by 57S-monosyllabic lists were low at the conversational speaking rate, but the higher the speaking rate was, the closer the relation between the both factors was. It was estimated by analyzing the data of inner ear hearing loss and retrocochler hearing loss separately that the subjects with retrocochler hearing loss had more difficulty in speech-mediated communication than the subjects with inner ear hearing loss.

  10. The potential of onset enhancement for increased speech intelligibility in auditory prostheses.

    PubMed

    Koning, Raphael; Wouters, Jan

    2012-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that transient parts of a speech signal contribute most to speech intelligibility in normal-hearing listeners. In this study, the influence of enhancing the onsets of the envelope of the speech signal on speech intelligibility in noisy conditions using an eight channel cochlear implant vocoder simulation was investigated. The enhanced envelope (EE) strategy emphasizes the onsets of the speech envelope by deriving an additional peak signal at the onsets in each frequency band. A sentence recognition task in stationary speech shaped noise showed a significant speech reception threshold (SRT) improvement of 2.5 dB for the EE in comparison to the reference continuous interleaved sampling strategy and of 1.7 dB when an ideal Wiener filter was used for the onset extraction on the noisy signal. In a competitive talker condition, a significant SRT improvement of 2.6 dB was measured. A benefit was obtained in all experiments with the peak signal derived from the clean speech. Although the EE strategy is not effective in many real-life situations, the results suggest that there is potential for speech intelligibility improvement when an enhancement of the onsets of the speech envelope is included in the signal processing of auditory prostheses.

  11. Exploring the roles of spectral detail and intonation contour in speech intelligibility: an FMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kyong, Jeong S; Scott, Sophie K; Rosen, Stuart; Howe, Timothy B; Agnew, Zarinah K; McGettigan, Carolyn

    2014-08-01

    The melodic contour of speech forms an important perceptual aspect of tonal and nontonal languages and an important limiting factor on the intelligibility of speech heard through a cochlear implant. Previous work exploring the neural correlates of speech comprehension identified a left-dominant pathway in the temporal lobes supporting the extraction of an intelligible linguistic message, whereas the right anterior temporal lobe showed an overall preference for signals clearly conveying dynamic pitch information [Johnsrude, I. S., Penhune, V. B., & Zatorre, R. J. Functional specificity in the right human auditory cortex for perceiving pitch direction. Brain, 123, 155-163, 2000; Scott, S. K., Blank, C. C., Rosen, S., & Wise, R. J. Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe. Brain, 123, 2400-2406, 2000]. The current study combined modulations of overall intelligibility (through vocoding and spectral inversion) with a manipulation of pitch contour (normal vs. falling) to investigate the processing of spoken sentences in functional MRI. Our overall findings replicate and extend those of Scott et al. [Scott, S. K., Blank, C. C., Rosen, S., & Wise, R. J. Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe. Brain, 123, 2400-2406, 2000], where greater sentence intelligibility was predominately associated with increased activity in the left STS, and the greatest response to normal sentence melody was found in right superior temporal gyrus. These data suggest a spatial distinction between brain areas associated with intelligibility and those involved in the processing of dynamic pitch information in speech. By including a set of complexity-matched unintelligible conditions created by spectral inversion, this is additionally the first study reporting a fully factorial exploration of spectrotemporal complexity and spectral inversion as they relate to the neural processing of speech intelligibility. Perhaps

  12. Speech Understanding in Noise in the Bison Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) Mobile Command Post (MCP)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    Speech Understanding in Noise in the Bison Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence ( Bison C3I) Mobile Command Post...2010-169 December 2010 Speech Understanding in Noise in the Bison Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence ( Bison ...loudspeakers or a headset used in the Bison Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence ( Bison C3I) mobile command post (MCP). The messages were

  13. Comparison of speech intelligibility measures for an electronic amplifying earmuff and an identical passive attenuation device.

    PubMed

    Byrne, David C; Palmer, Catherine V

    2012-01-09

    The purpose of this study was to identify any differences between speech intelligibility measures obtained with MineEars electronic earmuffs (ProEars, Westcliffe, CO, USA) and the Bilsom model 847 (Sperian Hearing Protection, San Diego, CA, USA), which is a conventional passive-attenuation earmuff. These two devices are closely related, since the MineEars device consisted of a Bilsom 847 earmuff with the addition of electronic amplification circuits. Intelligibility scores were obtained by conducting listening tests with 15 normal-hearing human subject volunteers wearing the earmuffs. The primary research objective was to determine whether speech understanding differs between the passive earmuffs and the electronic earmuffs (with the volume control set at three different positions) in a background of 90 dB(A) continuous noise. As expected, results showed that speech intelligibility increased with higher speech-to-noise ratios; however, the electronic earmuff with the volume control set at full-on performed worse than when it was set to off or the lowest on setting. This finding suggests that the maximum volume control setting for these electronic earmuffs may not provide any benefits in terms of increased speech intelligibility in the background noise condition that was tested. Other volume control settings would need to be evaluated for their ability to produce higher speech intelligibility scores. Additionally, since an extensive electro-acoustic evaluation of the electronic earmuff was not performed as a part of this study, the exact cause of the reduced intelligibility scores at full volume remains unknown.

  14. School cafeteria noise-The impact of room acoustics and speech intelligibility on children's voice levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridger, Joseph F.

    2002-05-01

    The impact of room acoustics and speech intelligibility conditions of different school cafeterias on the voice levels of children is examined. Methods of evaluating cafeteria designs and predicting noise levels are discussed. Children are shown to modify their voice levels with changes in speech intelligibility like adults. Reverberation and signal to noise ratio are the important acoustical factors affecting speech intelligibility. Children have much more difficulty than adults in conditions where noise and reverberation are present. To evaluate the relationship of voice level and speech intelligibility, a database of real sound levels and room acoustics data was generated from measurements and data recorded during visits to a variety of existing cafeterias under different occupancy conditions. The effects of speech intelligibility and room acoustics on childrens voice levels are demonstrated. A new method is presented for predicting speech intelligibility conditions and resulting noise levels for the design of new cafeterias and renovation of existing facilities. Measurements are provided for an existing school cafeteria before and after new room acoustics treatments were added. This will be helpful for acousticians, architects, school systems, regulatory agencies, and Parent Teacher Associations to create less noisy cafeteria environments.

  15. A detailed study on the effects of noise on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Dubbelboer, Finn; Houtgast, Tammo

    2007-11-01

    A wavelet representation of speech was used to display the instantaneous amplitude and phase within 14 octave frequency bands, representing the envelope and the carrier within each band. Adding stationary noise alters the wavelet pattern, which can be understood as a combination of three simultaneously occurring subeffects: two effects on the wavelet levels (one systematic and one stochastic) and one effect on the wavelet phases. Specific types of signal processing were applied to speech, which allowed each effect to be either included or excluded. The impact of each effect (and of combinations) on speech intelligibility was measured with CVC's. It appeared that the systematic level effect (i.e., the increase of each speech wavelet intensity with the mean noise intensity) has the most degrading effect on speech intelligibility, which is in accordance with measures such as the modulation transfer function and the speech transmission index. However, also the introduction of stochastic level fluctuations and disturbance of the carrier phase seriously contribute to reduced intelligibility in noise. It is argued that these stochastic effects are responsible for the limited success of spectral subtraction as a means to improve speech intelligibility. Results can provide clues for effective noise suppression with respect to intelligibility.

  16. Synthesized speech intelligibility among native speakers and non-native speakers of English.

    PubMed

    Alamsaputra, Diane Mayasari; Kohnert, Kathryn J; Munson, Benjamin; Reichle, Joe

    2006-12-01

    Using synthesized and digitized speech in electronic communication devices may greatly benefit individuals who cannot produce intelligible speech. However, multiple investigations have demonstrated that synthesized speech is not always sufficiently intelligible for its listeners. Listening to synthesized speech may be particularly problematic for listeners for whom English is a second language. We compared native and non-native English-speaking adults' listening accuracy for English sentences in natural voice and synthesized voice conditions. Results indicated a disproportionate disadvantage for the non-native English-speaking group when listening to synthesized speech compared to their native English-speaking age peers. There was, however, significant variability in performance within the non-native English group, and this was strongly related to independent measures of English language skill. Specifically, a large portion of the variance in performance on the synthesized speech task was predicted by participants' receptive vocabulary scores.

  17. Methods of improving speech intelligibility for listeners with hearing resolution deficit.

    PubMed

    Kupryjanow, Adam; Czyzewski, Andrzej

    2012-09-25

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

  18. Production Variability and Single Word Intelligibility in Aphasia and Apraxia of Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haley, Katarina L.; Martin, Gwenyth

    2011-01-01

    This study was designed to estimate test-retest reliability of orthographic speech intelligibility testing in speakers with aphasia and AOS and to examine its relationship to the consistency of speaker and listener responses. Monosyllabic single word speech samples were recorded from 13 speakers with coexisting aphasia and AOS. These words were…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Hidden Hearing Loss and Computational Models of the Auditory Pathway: Predicting Speech Intelligibility Decline

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-11-28

    Title: Hidden Hearing Loss and Computational Models of the Auditory Pathway: Predicting Speech Intelligibility Decline Christopher J. Smalt...clinical hearing thresholds is difficulty in understanding speech in noise. Recent animal studies have shown that noise exposure causes selective loss ...to utilize computational models of the auditory periphery and auditory cortex to study the effect of low spontaneous rate ANF loss on the cortical

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Joan E.; Tjaden, Kris

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neel, Amy T.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neel, Amy T.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Joan E.; Tjaden, Kris

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Relationships between Speech Intelligibility and Word Articulation Scores in Children with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This investigation sought to determine whether scores from a commonly used word-based articulation test are closely associated with speech intelligibility in children with hearing loss. If the scores are closely related, articulation testing results might be used to estimate intelligibility. If not, the importance of direct assessment of…

  7. Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language Learners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Murray J.; Derwing, Tracey M.

    1995-01-01

    Examines the interrelationships among accentedness, perceived comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second-language (L2) learners. The findings suggest that although strength of foreign accent is correlated with perceived comprehensibility and intelligibility, a strong foreign accent does not necessarily reduce the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Speech Intelligibility in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients: Gains during Year Three

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2007-01-01

    This investigation sought to answer two questions: (1) Do children who receive cochlear implants (CIs) by 3;0 (years; months) improve speech intelligibility significantly during their third year of cochlear implant use? (2) How do the intelligibility scores of young CI recipients compare to those reported in the literature for children who receive…

  10. The Effect of Context on the Intelligibility of Hearing and Deaf Children's Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarr, Nancy S.

    1981-01-01

    Examines the effect of redundancy of information on the intelligibility of hearing and deaf children's speech. Based on intelligibility scores obtained for a set of words presented both in context and in isolation, suggests that the children do not use the same production strategies to assist listeners. (Author/MES)

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Relationships between Speech Intelligibility and Word Articulation Scores in Children with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ertmer, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This investigation sought to determine whether scores from a commonly used word-based articulation test are closely associated with speech intelligibility in children with hearing loss. If the scores are closely related, articulation testing results might be used to estimate intelligibility. If not, the importance of direct assessment of…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Speech intelligibility and childhood verbal apraxia in children with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kumin, Libby

    2006-07-01

    Many children with Down syndrome have difficulty with speech intelligibility. The present study used a parent survey to learn more about a specific factor that affects speech intelligibility, i.e. childhood verbal apraxia. One of the factors that affects speech intelligibility for children with Down syndrome is difficulty with voluntarily programming, combining, organising, and sequencing the movements necessary for speech. Historically, this difficulty, childhood verbal apraxia, has not been identified or treated in children with Down syndrome but recent research has documented that symptoms of childhood verbal apraxia can be found in children with Down syndrome. The survey examined whether and to what extent childhood verbal apraxia is currently being identified and treated in children with Down syndrome. The survey then asked parents to identify certain speech characteristics that occur always, frequently, sometimes or never in their child's everyday speech. There were 1620 surveys received. Survey results indicated that approximately 15% of the parents responding to the survey had been told that their child has childhood verbal apraxia. Examination of the everyday speech characteristics identified by the parents indicated that many more children are showing clinical symptoms of childhood verbal apraxia although they have not been given that diagnosis. The most common characteristics displayed by the subjects included decreased intelligibility with increased length of utterance, inconsistency of speech errors, difficulty sequencing oral movements and sounds, and a pattern of receptive language superior to expressive language. The survey also examined the impact of childhood verbal apraxia on speech intelligibility. Results indicated that children with Down syndrome who have clinical symptoms of childhood verbal apraxia have more difficulty with speech intelligibility, i.e. there was a significant correlation between childhood verbal apraxia and parental

  17. Effects of early and late reflections on intelligibility of reverberated speech by cochlear implant listeners.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yi; Kokkinakis, Kostas

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the overall impact of early and late reflections on the intelligibility of reverberated speech by cochlear implant listeners. Two specific reverberation times were assessed. For each reverberation time, sentences were presented in three different conditions wherein the target signal was filtered through the early, late or entire part of the acoustic impulse response. Results obtained with seven cochlear implant listeners indicated that while early reflections neither enhanced nor reduced overall speech perception performance, late reflections severely reduced speech intelligibility in both reverberant conditions tested.

  18. Effects of early and late reflections on intelligibility of reverberated speech by cochlear implant listeners

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yi; Kokkinakis, Kostas

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the overall impact of early and late reflections on the intelligibility of reverberated speech by cochlear implant listeners. Two specific reverberation times were assessed. For each reverberation time, sentences were presented in three different conditions wherein the target signal was filtered through the early, late or entire part of the acoustic impulse response. Results obtained with seven cochlear implant listeners indicated that while early reflections neither enhanced nor reduced overall speech perception performance, late reflections severely reduced speech intelligibility in both reverberant conditions tested. PMID:24437852

  19. Effects of room acoustics on the intelligibility of speech in classrooms for young children.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Bradley, J S

    2009-02-01

    This paper reports new measurements of the intelligibility of speech in conditions representative of elementary school classrooms. The speech test material was binaurally recorded in simulated classroom conditions and played back to subjects over headphones. Subjects included grade 1, 3, and 6 students (6, 8, and 11 year olds) as well as adults. Recognizing that reverberation time is not a complete descriptor of room acoustics conditions, simulated conditions included realistic early-to-late arriving sound ratios as well as varied reverberation time. For conditions of constant signal-to-noise ratio, intelligibility scores increased with decreasing reverberation time. However, for conditions including realistic increases in speech level with varied reverberation time for constant noise level, intelligibility scores were near maximum for a range of reverberation times. Young children's intelligibility scores benefited from added early reflections of speech sounds similar to adult listeners. The effect of varied reverberation time on the intelligibility of speech for young children was much less than the effect of varied signal-to-noise ratio. The results can be used to help to determine ideal conditions for speech communication in classrooms for younger listeners.

  20. Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Sophie K.; Blank, C. Catrin; Rosen, Stuart; Wise, Richard J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Summary It has been proposed that the identification of sounds, including species-specific vocalizations, by primates depends on anterior projections from the primary auditory cortex, an auditory pathway analogous to the ventral route proposed for the visual identification of objects. We have identified a similar route in the human for understanding intelligible speech. Using PET imaging to identify separable neural subsystems within the human auditory cortex, we used a variety of speech and speech-like stimuli with equivalent acoustic complexity but varying intelligibility. We have demonstrated that the left superior temporal sulcus responds to the presence of phonetic information, but its anterior part only responds if the stimulus is also intelligible. This novel observation demonstrates a left anterior temporal pathway for speech comprehension. PMID:11099443

  1. Speech intelligibility, speaking rate, and vowel formant characteristics in Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implant.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Hsiu-Feng; Yang, Cheng-Chieh; Chi, Lin-Yang; Weismer, Gary; Wang, Yu-Tsai

    2012-04-01

    The effects of the use of cochlear implant (CI) on speech intelligibility, speaking rate, and vowel formant characteristics and the relationships between speech intelligibility, speaking rate, and vowel formant characteristics for children are clinically important. The purposes of this study were to report on the comparisons for speaking rate and vowel space area, and their relationship with speech intelligibility, between 24 Mandarin-speaking children with CI and 24 age-sex-education level matched normal hearing (NH) controls. Participants were audio recorded as they read a designed Mandarin intelligibility test, repeated prolongation of each of the three point vowels /i/, /a/, and /u/ five times, and repeated each of three sentences carrying one point vowel five times. Compared to the NH group, the CI group exhibited: (1) mild-to-moderate speech intelligibility impairment; (2) significantly reduced speaking rate mainly due to significantly longer inter-word pauses and larger pause proportion; and (3) significantly less vowel reduction in the horizontal dimension in sustained vowel phonation. The limitations of speech intelligibility development in children after cochlear implantation were related to atypical patterns and to a smaller degree in vowel reduction and slower speaking rate resulting from less efficient articulatory movement transition.

  2. Familiarization Effects on Consonant Intelligibility in Dysarthric Speech

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heejin

    2016-01-01

    Background/Aims This study investigates the effects of familiarization on naïve listeners’ ability to identify consonants in dysarthric speech. Methods A total of 120 listeners (30 listeners/speaker) participated in experiments over a 6-week period. Listeners were randomly assigned to one of the three familiarization conditions: a passive condition in which listeners heard audio recordings of words, an active condition in which listeners heard audio recordings of words while viewing the written material of words, and a control condition in which listeners had no exposure to the audio signal prior to identification tasks. Results Familiarization improved naïve listeners’ ability to identify consonants produced by a speaker with dysarthria. The active familiarization method exhibited an advantage over the other conditions, in terms of the magnitude and rapidness of improvement. One-month delayed test scores were higher than pre-familiarization scores, but the advantage of active familiarization was not present for all speakers. Conclusion This study supports familiarization benefits in enhancing consonant intelligibility in dysarthria and suggests that perceptual learning mechanisms be harnessed for developing effective listener-oriented intervention techniques in the management of dysarthria. Current findings call for further research on a familiarization protocol that can subserve segmental learning with maximum efficacy. PMID:26906426

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

  4. Speech intelligibility enhancement through maxillary dental rehabilitation with telescopic prostheses and complete dentures: a prospective study using automatic, computer-based speech analysis.

    PubMed

    Knipfer, Christian; Bocklet, Tobias; Noeth, Elmar; Schuster, Maria; Sokol, Biljana; Eitner, Stephan; Nkenke, Emeka; Stelzle, Florian

    2012-01-01

    A completely edentulous or partially edentulous maxilla involving missing anterior teeth may impact speech production and lead to reduced speech intelligibility. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the effect of a dental prosthetic rehabilitation on speech intelligibility in patients with a toothless or interrupted maxillary arch by means of an automatic, standardized speech recognition system. The speech intelligibility of 45 patients with complete tooth loss or a loss including missing anterior teeth in the maxilla was evaluated by means of a polyphone-based automatic speech recognition system that assessed the percentage of correctly recognized words (word accuracy). To replace inadequate maxillary removable dentures, 20 patients from the overall sample had been rehabilitated with complete dentures and 25 patients with telescopic prostheses. Speech recordings were made in four recording sessions (with and without existing prostheses and then at 1 week and 6 months after placement of newly fabricated prostheses). Significantly higher speech intelligibility was observed in both patient groups compared to the original results without the dentures inserted. After 6 months of adaptation, both groups had reached a level of speech quality that was comparable to the healthy control group. However, patients receiving new telescopic prostheses showed significantly higher levels of speech intelligibility compared to those receiving new complete dentures. Within 6 months, speech intelligibility did not significantly improve from the level found 1 week after insertion of new prostheses for both groups. Patients benefit from the fabrication of new dentures in terms of speech intelligibility, regardless of the type of prosthesis. However, telescopic crown prostheses yield significantly better speech quality compared to complete dentures.

  5. The effect of rate control on the intelligibility and naturalness of dysarthric speech.

    PubMed

    Yorkston, K M; Hammen, V L; Beukelman, D R; Traynor, C D

    1990-08-01

    Speaking rates of individuals with severe ataxic dysarthria (n = 4) and severe hypokinetic dysarthria (n = 4) were reduced to 60% and 80% of habitual rates using four different pacing strategies (Additive Metered, Additive Rhythmic, Cued Metered, and Cued Rhythmic). Effects of rate control on sentence and phoneme intelligibility and speech naturalness were examined. Sentence intelligibility improved for both groups, with metered pacing conditions associated with the largest improvement in scores. Similar improvements as speaking rates were reduced were not seen for the phoneme intelligibility task; however, one must recognize that sentence and phoneme intelligibility tasks are different. Slowing the rate of dysarthric speakers did not have as marked an impact on speech naturalness as it did for normal speakers whose naturalness decreased at slowed rates. Metered rate control strategies were associated with the lowest ratings of naturalness for all subject groups. A potential explanation for the discrepancies between the findings for sentence and phoneme intelligibility is offered.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Modeling speech intelligibility in quiet and noise in listeners with normal and impaired hearing.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S; Lyzenga, Johannes; Dreschler, Wouter A; Festen, Joost M

    2010-03-01

    The speech intelligibility index (SII) is an often used calculation method for estimating the proportion of audible speech in noise. For speech reception thresholds (SRTs), measured in normally hearing listeners using various types of stationary noise, this model predicts a fairly constant speech proportion of about 0.33, necessary for Dutch sentence intelligibility. However, when the SII model is applied for SRTs in quiet, the estimated speech proportions are often higher, and show a larger inter-subject variability, than found for speech in noise near normal speech levels [65 dB sound pressure level (SPL)]. The present model attempts to alleviate this problem by including cochlear compression. It is based on a loudness model for normally hearing and hearing-impaired listeners of Moore and Glasberg [(2004). Hear. Res. 188, 70-88]. It estimates internal excitation levels for speech and noise and then calculates the proportion of speech above noise and threshold using similar spectral weighting as used in the SII. The present model and the standard SII were used to predict SII values in quiet and in stationary noise for normally hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. The present model predicted SIIs for three listener types (normal hearing, noise-induced, and age-induced hearing loss) with markedly less variability than the standard SII.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whaley, Patricia; And Others

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

  10. Signal-to-noise ratio adaptive post-filtering method for intelligibility enhancement of telephone speech.

    PubMed

    Jokinen, Emma; Yrttiaho, Santeri; Pulakka, Hannu; Vainio, Martti; Alku, Paavo

    2012-12-01

    Post-filtering can be utilized to improve the quality and intelligibility of telephone speech. Previous studies have shown that energy reallocation with a high-pass type filter works effectively in improving the intelligibility of speech in difficult noise conditions. The present study introduces a signal-to-noise ratio adaptive post-filtering method that utilizes energy reallocation to transfer energy from the first formant to higher frequencies. The proposed method adapts to the level of the background noise so that, in favorable noise conditions, the post-filter has a flat frequency response and the effect of the post-filtering is increased as the level of the ambient noise increases. The performance of the proposed method is compared with a similar post-filtering algorithm and unprocessed speech in subjective listening tests which evaluate both intelligibility and listener preference. The results indicate that both of the post-filtering methods maintain the quality of speech in negligible noise conditions and are able to provide intelligibility improvement over unprocessed speech in adverse noise conditions. Furthermore, the proposed post-filtering algorithm performs better than the other post-filtering method under evaluation in moderate to difficult noise conditions, where intelligibility improvement is mostly required.

  11. Effects of age and hearing loss on the intelligibility of interrupted speech.

    PubMed

    Shafiro, Valeriy; Sheft, Stanley; Risley, Robert; Gygi, Brian

    2015-02-01

    How age and hearing loss affect the perception of interrupted speech may vary based on both the physical properties of preserved or obliterated speech fragments and individual listener characteristics. To investigate perceptual processes and interruption parameters influencing intelligibility across interruption rates, participants of different age and hearing status heard sentences interrupted by silence at either a single primary rate (0.5-8 Hz; 25%, 50%, 75% duty cycle) or at an additional concurrent secondary rate (24 Hz; 50% duty cycle). Although age and hearing loss significantly affected intelligibility, the ability to integrate sub-phonemic speech fragments produced by the fast secondary rate was similar in all listener groups. Age and hearing loss interacted with rate with smallest group differences observed at the lowest and highest interruption rates of 0.5 and 24 Hz. Furthermore, intelligibility of dual-rate gated sentences was higher than single-rate gated sentences with the same proportion of retained speech. Correlations of intelligibility of interrupted speech to pure-tone thresholds, age, or measures of working memory and auditory spectro-temporal pattern discrimination were generally low-to-moderate and mostly nonsignificant. These findings demonstrate rate-dependent effects of age and hearing loss on the perception of interrupted speech, suggesting complex interactions of perceptual processes across different time scales.

  12. Effect of nasal speaking valve on speech intelligibility under velopharyngeal incompetence: a questionnaire survey.

    PubMed

    Mikamo, S; Kodama, N; Pan, Q; Maeda, N; Minagi, S

    2015-02-01

    Velopharyngeal incompetence is known as a contributing factor to speech disorders. Suwaki et al. reported that nasal speaking valve (NSV) could improve dysarthria by regulating nasal emission utilising one-way valve. However, disease or condition which would be susceptible to treatment by NSV has not been clarified yet. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of NSV by questionnaire survey using ready-made NSV. Subjects were recruited through the internet bulletin, and NSV survey set was sent to the applicant. Sixty-six participants, who agreed to participate in this study, used NSV and mailed back the questionnaire which included self-evaluation and third-party evaluation of speech intelligibility. Statistical analysis revealed that the use of NSV resulted in significant speech intelligibility improvement in both self-evaluation and third-party evaluation (P < 0·01). Regarding the type of underlying disease of dysarthria, significant effect of NSV on self-evaluation of speech intelligibility could be observed in cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease (P < 0·01) and that on third-party evaluation in neurodegenerative disease (P < 0·01). Eighty-six percent of subjects showed improvement of speech intelligibility by shutting up nostrils by fingers, and the significant effect of NSV on both self-evaluation and third-party evaluation of speech intelligibility was observed (P < 0·001). From the results of this study, it was suggested that NSV would be effective in cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease, as well as in subjects whose speech intelligibility was improved by closing nostrils.

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

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Nirmal; Zahorik, Pavel

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded

    2012-01-01

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

  15. On the role of theta-driven syllabic parsing in decoding speech: intelligibility of speech with a manipulated modulation spectrum.

    PubMed

    Ghitza, Oded

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rennies, Jan; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  18. Talker differences in clear and conversational speech: vowel intelligibility for older adults with hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2012-06-01

    To establish the range of talker variability for vowel intelligibility in clear versus conversational speech for older adults with hearing loss and to determine whether talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for older adults with hearing loss. Clear and conversational vowels in /bVd/ context produced by 41 talkers were presented in noise for identification by 40 older (ages 65-87 years) adults with sloping sensorineural hearing loss. Vowel intelligibility within each speaking style and the size of the clear speech benefit varied widely among talkers. The clear speech benefit was equivalent to that enjoyed by young listeners with normal hearing in an earlier study. Most talkers who had produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for the older listeners with hearing loss in the present study. However, effects of talker gender differed between listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss. The clear speech vowel intelligibility benefit generated for listeners with hearing loss varied considerably among talkers. Most talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for normal-hearing listeners also produced a benefit for listeners with hearing loss.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To establish the range of talker variability for vowel intelligibility in clear versus conversational speech for older adults with hearing loss and to determine whether talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for young normal-hearing listeners also do so for older adults with hearing loss. Method Clear and conversational vowels in /bVd/ context produced by 41 talkers were presented in noise for identification by 40 older adults with sloping sensorineural hearing loss. Results Vowel intelligibility within each speaking style and the size of the clear speech benefit varied widely among talkers. The clear speech benefit was equivalent to that enjoyed by young normal-hearing listeners in an earlier study. Most talkers who had produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for the current older listeners with hearing loss. However, effects of talker gender differed between listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss. Conclusion The clear speech vowel intelligibility benefit generated for listeners with hearing loss varies considerably among talkers. Most talkers who produce a clear speech benefit for normal-hearing listeners also produce a benefit for listeners with hearing loss. PMID:22223894

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments with one- and two-microphone hearing aids.

    PubMed

    Wouters, J; Litière, L; van Wieringen, A

    1999-01-01

    In this study speech intelligibility in background noise was evaluated with 10 binaural hearing-aid users for hearing aids with one omnidirectional microphone and a hearing aid with a two-microphone configuration (enabling an omnidirectional as well as a directional mode). Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measurements were carried out for three different types of background noise (speech-weighted noise, traffic noise and restaurant noise) and two kinds of speech material (bisyllabic word lists and sentences). The average SNR improvement of the directional microphone configuration relative to the omnidirectional one was 3.4 dB for noise presented from 90 degrees azimuth. This improvement was independent of the specific type of noise and speech material, indicating that one speech-in-noise condition may yield enough relevant information in the evaluation of directional microphones and speech understanding in noise.

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

    PubMed

    Weiss, Michael W; Bidelman, Gavin M

    2015-01-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Grange, Jacques A; Culling, John F

    2016-02-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katongo, Emily Mwamba; Ndhlovu, Daniel

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Minimum Bandwidth Required for Intelligibility as a Tool for Studying Speech-Processing Impairment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noordhoek, Ingrid M.; Houtgast, Tammo; Festen, Joost M.

    In an adaptive listening test, the bandwidth of speech in complementary notched noise was varied. The bandwidth (center frequency 1 kHz) required for 50% speech intelligibility is called Speech Reception Bandwidth Threshold (SRBT). The SRBT was measured for 10 normal-hearing and 30 hearing-impaired listeners. The average SRBT of the normal-hearing listeners is 1.4 octave. The performance of seven hearing-impaired listeners is considered normal, whereas 23 hearing-impaired listeners have a wider-than-normal SRBT. The SRBT of a hearing-impaired listener may be wider than normal, due to inaudibility of a part of the speech band, or to an impairment in the processing of speech. The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) is used to separate these effects. The SII may be regarded as the proportion of the total speech information that is available to the listener. Each individual SRBT is converted to an SII value. For the normal-hearing listeners, the SII is about 0.3. For 21 hearing-impaired listeners, the SII is higher. This points to a speech-processing impairment in the 1-kHz frequency region. The deviation of an individual SII value from 0.3 can be used to "quantify" the degree of processing impairment.

  8. Application of artifical intelligence principles to the analysis of "crazy" speech.

    PubMed

    Garfield, D A; Rapp, C

    1994-04-01

    Artificial intelligence computer simulation methods can be used to investigate psychotic or "crazy" speech. Here, symbolic reasoning algorithms establish semantic networks that schematize speech. These semantic networks consist of two main structures: case frames and object taxonomies. Node-based reasoning rules apply to object taxonomies and pathway-based reasoning rules apply to case frames. Normal listeners may recognize speech as "crazy talk" based on violations of node- and pathway-based reasoning rules. In this article, three separate segments of schizophrenic speech illustrate violations of these rules. This artificial intelligence approach is compared and contrasted with other neurolinguistic approaches and is discussed as a conceptual link between neurobiological and psychodynamic understandings of psychopathology.

  9. Connexin 26 (GJB2) gene-related deafness and speech intelligibility after cochlear implantation.

    PubMed

    Sinnathuray, Arasa Raj; Toner, Joseph G; Clarke-Lyttle, Joanne; Geddis, Andrea; Patterson, Christopher C; Hughes, Anne E

    2004-11-01

    Speech intelligibility in children after cochlear implantation may depend on their deafness cause, including connexin 26 (GJB2) gene-related deafness. There is significant variability in the degree of intelligibility, or clarity, of children's speech after cochlear implantation. GJB2 gene-related deafness may be a factor, as preliminary data suggest that pathologic changes do not affect the spiral ganglion cells, which are the neural elements stimulated by the implant, thus favoring better results. In an observational retrospective cohort study of pediatric cochlear implantees, 38 patients with nonsyndromic deafness of unknown cause and 1 with keratitisichthyosis-deafness syndrome underwent GJB2 mutation analysis using polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct sequencing. The primary outcome measure assessed was Speech Intelligibility Rating score from postoperative Year 1 (n = 39) to Year 5 (n = 17). Educational setting was considered as a secondary outcome measure. Statistical analysis was double-blinded, with patients and assessors of outcome unaware of GJB2 status. Fourteen patients had GJB2-related deafness and 25 had GJB2-unrelated deafness. Comparisons at Year 3 (n = 31) revealed intelligible speech achieved by 9 of 11 with GJB2-related deafness, compared with only 6 of 20 with GJB2-unrelated deafness (p = 0.017). Ordinal logistic regression analysis on Speech Intelligibility Rating scores found statistically significantly better scores in children with GJB2-related deafness (p < 0.05) both before and after adjustment for confounding variables. A larger proportion with GJB2-related deafness also attended mainstream school (p = 0.01). In pediatric cochlear implantees, GJB2-related deafness is a predictor of good speech intelligibility.

  10. Speech onset enhancement improves intelligibility in adverse listening conditions for cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Koning, Raphael; Wouters, Jan

    2016-12-01

    Speech perception by cochlear implant (CI) users can be very good in quiet but their speech intelligibility (SI) performance decreases in noisy environments. Because recent studies have shown that transient parts of the speech envelope are most important for SI in normal-hearing (NH) listeners, the enhanced envelope (EE) strategy was developed to emphasize onset cues of the speech envelope in the CI signal processing chain. The influence of enhancement of the onsets of the speech envelope on SI was investigated with CI users for speech in stationary speech-shaped noise (SSN) and with an interfering talker. All CI users showed an immediate benefit when a priori knowledge was used for the onset enhancement. A SI improvement was obtained at signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) below 6 dB, corresponding to a speech reception threshold (SRT) improvement of 2.1 dB. Furthermore, stop consonant reception was improved with the EE strategy in quiet and in SSN at 6 dB SNR. For speech in speech, the SRT improvements were 2.1 dB and 1 dB when the onsets of the target speaker with a priori knowledge of the signal components or of the mixture of the target and the interfering speaker were enhanced, respectively. The latter demonstrates that a small benefit can be obtained without a priori knowledge.

  11. Interaction between children with cerebral palsy and their mothers: the effects of speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Pennington, L; McConachie, H

    2001-01-01

    Children with cerebral palsy and severe speech disorders have been described as passive communicators, whose conversation partners control and dominate interaction. This paper studies the effects of speech intelligibility on interaction between mothers and their children with cerebral palsy to examine if similar patterns of child passivity and adult domination are also observed in dyads in which children are physically dependent but naturally intelligible to their parents. Two groups, each of 20 children who had four-limb cerebral palsy and who differed in their speech intelligibility, participated in the study. Children in Group 1 (whose interaction has been previously reported) were unintelligible to their parents out of context. Children in Group 2 had speech that was understood without situational cues. Children and their mothers were videotaped playing with a set of toys that had been shown to elicit from non-disabled children a full range of the conversational moves and speech acts targeted in the study. Videotaped interaction was transcribed and coded at three levels to show conversation structure, the pragmatic functions expressed and the method of communication used. Percentage distribution of coding categories was compared across groups using coda. Results showed that verbally intelligible children initiated more conversations and used their communication for a wider range of functions than did non-speaking children, for whom more restricted patterns of conversation were noted. Unexpectedly, few differences were observed between the two groups of mothers, who initiated and closed most exchanges. Implications for intervention are discussed.

  12. A multi-resolution envelope-power based model for speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Søren; Ewert, Stephan D; Dau, Torsten

    2013-07-01

    The speech-based envelope power spectrum model (sEPSM) presented by Jørgensen and Dau [(2011). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 130, 1475-1487] estimates the envelope power signal-to-noise ratio (SNRenv) after modulation-frequency selective processing. Changes in this metric were shown to account well for changes of speech intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners in conditions with additive stationary noise, reverberation, and nonlinear processing with spectral subtraction. In the latter condition, the standardized speech transmission index [(2003). IEC 60268-16] fails. However, the sEPSM is limited to conditions with stationary interferers, due to the long-term integration of the envelope power, and cannot account for increased intelligibility typically obtained with fluctuating maskers. Here, a multi-resolution version of the sEPSM is presented where the SNRenv is estimated in temporal segments with a modulation-filter dependent duration. The multi-resolution sEPSM is demonstrated to account for intelligibility obtained in conditions with stationary and fluctuating interferers, and noisy speech distorted by reverberation or spectral subtraction. The results support the hypothesis that the SNRenv is a powerful objective metric for speech intelligibility prediction.

  13. Auditory inspired machine learning techniques can improve speech intelligibility and quality for hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Jessica J M; Goehring, Tobias; Yang, Xin; Bolner, Federico; Wang, Shangqiguo; Wright, Matthew C M; Bleeck, Stefan

    2017-03-01

    Machine-learning based approaches to speech enhancement have recently shown great promise for improving speech intelligibility for hearing-impaired listeners. Here, the performance of three machine-learning algorithms and one classical algorithm, Wiener filtering, was compared. Two algorithms based on neural networks were examined, one using a previously reported feature set and one using a feature set derived from an auditory model. The third machine-learning approach was a dictionary-based sparse-coding algorithm. Speech intelligibility and quality scores were obtained for participants with mild-to-moderate hearing impairments listening to sentences in speech-shaped noise and multi-talker babble following processing with the algorithms. Intelligibility and quality scores were significantly improved by each of the three machine-learning approaches, but not by the classical approach. The largest improvements for both speech intelligibility and quality were found by implementing a neural network using the feature set based on auditory modeling. Furthermore, neural network based techniques appeared more promising than dictionary-based, sparse coding in terms of performance and ease of implementation.

  14. When noise vocoding can improve the intelligibility of sub-critical band speech.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-15

    This study examined the redundancy of spectral and temporal information in everyday sentences, which were reduced to 16 rectangular spectral bands having center frequencies ranging from 250 to 8000 Hz, spaced at 1/3 octave intervals. High-order filtering eliminated contributions from transition bands, and the widths of the resulting effectively rectangular speech bands were varied from 4% down to 0.5%. Intelligibility of these sub-critical bandwidth stimuli ranged from nearly perfect in the 4% bandwidth conditions, down to nearly zero in the 0.5% bandwidth conditions. However, a large intelligibility increase was obtained under the narrower filtering conditions when the speech bands were used to vocode broader noise bands that approximated critical bandwidths (ERBn) at the 16 center frequencies. For example, the 0.5%-and 1%-bandwidth speech stimuli were only about 1% and 20% intelligible, respectively, whereas scores of about 26% and 60%, respectively, were obtained for the ERBn-wide noise bands modulated by the speech bands. These large intelligibility increases occurred despite elimination of spectral fine structure and the addition of stochastic fluctuations to the speech-envelope cues. Results from additional experiments indicate that optimal temporal processing requires that envelope cues stimulate a majority of the fibers comprising an ERBn.

  15. The Effect of Noise on Relationships Between Speech Intelligibility and Self-Reported Communication Measures in Tracheoesophageal Speakers.

    PubMed

    Eadie, Tanya L; Otero, Devon Sawin; Bolt, Susan; Kapsner-Smith, Mara; Sullivan, Jessica R

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine how sentence intelligibility relates to self-reported communication in tracheoesophageal speakers when speech intelligibility is measured in quiet and noise. Twenty-four tracheoesophageal speakers who were at least 1 year postlaryngectomy provided audio recordings of 5 sentences from the Sentence Intelligibility Test. Speakers also completed self-reported measures of communication-the Voice Handicap Index-10 and the Communicative Participation Item Bank short form. Speech recordings were presented to 2 groups of inexperienced listeners who heard sentences in quiet or noise. Listeners transcribed the sentences to yield speech intelligibility scores. Very weak relationships were found between intelligibility in quiet and measures of voice handicap and communicative participation. Slightly stronger, but still weak and nonsignificant, relationships were observed between measures of intelligibility in noise and both self-reported measures. However, 12 speakers who were more than 65% intelligible in noise showed strong and statistically significant relationships with both self-reported measures (R2 = .76-.79). Speech intelligibility in quiet is a weak predictor of self-reported communication measures in tracheoesophageal speakers. Speech intelligibility in noise may be a better metric of self-reported communicative function for speakers who demonstrate higher speech intelligibility in noise.

  16. The Effect of Noise on Relationships Between Speech Intelligibility and Self-Reported Communication Measures in Tracheoesophageal Speakers

    PubMed Central

    Otero, Devon Sawin; Bolt, Susan; Kapsner-Smith, Mara; Sullivan, Jessica R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine how sentence intelligibility relates to self-reported communication in tracheoesophageal speakers when speech intelligibility is measured in quiet and noise. Method Twenty-four tracheoesophageal speakers who were at least 1 year postlaryngectomy provided audio recordings of 5 sentences from the Sentence Intelligibility Test. Speakers also completed self-reported measures of communication—the Voice Handicap Index-10 and the Communicative Participation Item Bank short form. Speech recordings were presented to 2 groups of inexperienced listeners who heard sentences in quiet or noise. Listeners transcribed the sentences to yield speech intelligibility scores. Results Very weak relationships were found between intelligibility in quiet and measures of voice handicap and communicative participation. Slightly stronger, but still weak and nonsignificant, relationships were observed between measures of intelligibility in noise and both self-reported measures. However, 12 speakers who were more than 65% intelligible in noise showed strong and statistically significant relationships with both self-reported measures (R 2 = .76–.79). Conclusions Speech intelligibility in quiet is a weak predictor of self-reported communication measures in tracheoesophageal speakers. Speech intelligibility in noise may be a better metric of self-reported communicative function for speakers who demonstrate higher speech intelligibility in noise. PMID:27379754

  17. Perception of interrupted speech: Cross-rate variation in the intelligibility of gated and concatenated sentences

    PubMed Central

    Shafiro, Valeriy; Sheft, Stanley; Risley, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Temporal constraints on the perception of variable-size speech fragments produced by interruption rates between 0.5 and 16 Hz were investigated by contrasting the intelligibility of gated sentences with and without silent intervals. Concatenation of consecutive speech fragments produced a significant decrease in intelligibility at 2 and 4 Hz, while having little effect at lower and higher rates. Consistent with previous studies, these findings indicate that (1) syllable-sized intervals associated with intermediate-rate interruptions are more susceptible to temporal distortions than the longer word-size or shorter phoneme-size intervals and (2) suggest qualitative differences in underlying perceptual processes at different rates. PMID:21877768

  18. The intelligibility of speech presented over the telephones of the Mk 4 flying helmet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cogger, M. K.

    1980-03-01

    The intelligibility of speech presented over the earphones of the Mk 4 flying helmet was assessed using the procedure laid down in the Type Test Schedule. Results obtained using three phonetically balanced word lists presented to six subjects on two occasions indicate that speech intelligibility reaches 80 percent, the criterion of acceptability laid down in the schedule. Frequency response curves for the transducer earpiece assemblies of the helmet are given. The total harmonic distortion of the equipment used to present the spoken word lists is shown.

  19. A Cross-Language Study of Acoustic Predictors of Speech Intelligibility in Individuals With Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yunjung; Choi, Yaelin

    2017-09-18

    The present study aimed to compare acoustic models of speech intelligibility in individuals with the same disease (Parkinson's disease [PD]) and presumably similar underlying neuropathologies but with different native languages (American English [AE] and Korean). A total of 48 speakers from the 4 speaker groups (AE speakers with PD, Korean speakers with PD, healthy English speakers, and healthy Korean speakers) were asked to read a paragraph in their native languages. Four acoustic variables were analyzed: acoustic vowel space, voice onset time contrast scores, normalized pairwise variability index, and articulation rate. Speech intelligibility scores were obtained from scaled estimates of sentences extracted from the paragraph. The findings indicated that the multiple regression models of speech intelligibility were different in Korean and AE, even with the same set of predictor variables and with speakers matched on speech intelligibility across languages. Analysis of the descriptive data for the acoustic variables showed the expected compression of the vowel space in speakers with PD in both languages, lower normalized pairwise variability index scores in Korean compared with AE, and no differences within or across language in articulation rate. The results indicate that the basis of an intelligibility deficit in dysarthria is likely to depend on the native language of the speaker and listener. Additional research is required to explore other potential predictor variables, as well as additional language comparisons to pursue cross-linguistic considerations in classification and diagnosis of dysarthria types.

  20. Sound System Engineering & Optimization: The effects of multiple arrivals on the intelligibility of reinforced speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Timothy James

    The effects of multiple arrivals on the intelligibility of speech produced by live-sound reinforcement systems are examined. The intent is to determine if correlations exist between the manipulation of sound system optimization parameters and the subjective attribute speech intelligibility. Given the number, and wide range, of variables involved, this exploratory research project attempts to narrow the focus of further studies. Investigated variables are delay time between signals arriving from multiple elements of a loudspeaker array, array type and geometry and the two-way interactions of speech-to-noise ratio and array geometry with delay time. Intelligibility scores were obtained through subjective evaluation of binaural recordings, reproduced via headphone, using the Modified Rhyme Test. These word-score results are compared with objective measurements of Speech Transmission Index (STI). Results indicate that both variables, delay time and array geometry, have significant effects on intelligibility. Additionally, it is seen that all three of the possible two-way interactions have significant effects. Results further reveal that the STI measurement method overestimates the decrease in intelligibility due to short delay times between multiple arrivals.

  1. Speech intelligibility and protective effectiveness of selected active noise reduction and conventional communications headsets.

    PubMed

    Gower, D W; Casali, J G

    1994-06-01

    An experiment was conducted to compare both speech intelligibility and noise attenuation of a conventional passive headset (David Clark H10-76) and an electronic Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headset (Bose Aviation) operated with and without its ANR feature. Modified Rhyme Tests were conducted in pink and tank noise, and with and without bilateral phase reversal between earphones. The Bose ANR unit required a significantly higher speech-to-noise (S/N) ratio in both noise environments than the two passive headset systems to maintain equal intelligibility, in part because of its stronger noise reduction and higher required signal level. Articulation Index calculations corroborated the empirical result that the David Clark afforded comparable intelligibility to the Bose ANR device. Bilateral phase reversal proved to be of no benefit, and pink noise proved to be the harsher environment for speech intelligibility. On a speech intelligibility basis alone, the results do not justify the additional cost of the ANR headset; however, when severe noise exposure is at issue, a properly functioning ANR unit may afford more protection than a similar passive headset without electronics, especially in low-frequency noise spectra.

  2. The effect of intensive speech rate and intonation therapy on intelligibility in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Martens, Heidi; Van Nuffelen, Gwen; Dekens, Tomas; Hernández-Díaz Huici, Maria; Kairuz Hernández-Díaz, Hector Arturo; De Letter, Miet; De Bodt, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Most studies on treatment of prosody in individuals with dysarthria due to Parkinson's disease are based on intensive treatment of loudness. The present study investigates the effect of intensive treatment of speech rate and intonation on the intelligibility of individuals with dysarthria due to Parkinson's disease. A one group pretest-posttest design was used to compare intelligibility, speech rate, and intonation before and after treatment. Participants included eleven Dutch-speaking individuals with predominantly moderate dysarthria due to Parkinson's disease, who received five one-hour treatment sessions per week during three weeks. Treatment focused on lowering speech rate and magnifying the phrase final intonation contrast between statements and questions. Intelligibility was perceptually assessed using a standardized sentence intelligibility test. Speech rate was automatically assessed during the sentence intelligibility test as well as during a passage reading task and a storytelling task. Intonation was perceptually assessed using a sentence reading task and a sentence repetition task, and also acoustically analyzed in terms of maximum fundamental frequency. After treatment, there was a significant improvement of sentence intelligibility (effect size .83), a significant increase of pause frequency during the passage reading task, a significant improvement of correct listener identification of statements and questions, and a significant increase of the maximum fundamental frequency in the final syllable of questions during both intonation tasks. The findings suggest that participants were more intelligible and more able to manipulate pause frequency and statement-question intonation after treatment. However, the relationship between the change in intelligibility on the one hand and the changes in speech rate and intonation on the other hand is not yet fully understood. Results are nuanced in the light of the operated research design. The reader will be able

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    The present study investigates the most important factors that limit the intelligibility of the cochlear implant (CI) processed speech in noisy environments. The electrical stimulation sequences provided in CIs are affected by the noise in the following three manners. First of all, the natural gaps in the speech are filled, which distorts the low-frequency ON/OFF modulations of the speech signal. Secondly, speech envelopes are distorted to include modulations of both speech and noise. Lastly, the N-of-M type of speech coding strategies may select the noise dominated channels instead of the dominant speech channels at low signal-to-noise ratio's (SNRs). Different stimulation sequences are tested with CI subjects to study how these three noise effects individually limit the intelligibility of the CI processed speech. Tests are also conducted with normal hearing (NH) subjects using vocoded speech to identify any significant differences in the noise reduction requirements and speech distortion limitations between the two subject groups. Results indicate that compared to NH subjects CI subjects can tolerate significantly lower levels of steady state speech shaped noise in the speech gaps but at the same time can tolerate comparable levels of distortions in the speech segments. Furthermore, modulations in the stimulus current level have no effect on speech intelligibility as long as the channel selection remains ideal. Finally, wrong maxima selection together with the introduction of noise in the speech gaps significantly degrades the intelligibility. At low SNRs wrong maxima selection introduces interruptions in the speech and makes it difficult to fuse noisy and interrupted speech signals into a coherent speech stream. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Phonological accuracy and intelligibility in connected speech of boys with fragile X syndrome or Down syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

    To compare the phonological accuracy and speech intelligibility of boys with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD), fragile X syndrome only (FXS-O), Down syndrome (DS), and typically developing (TD) boys. Participants were 32 boys with FXS-O (3-14 years), 31 with FXS-ASD (5-15 years), 34 with DS (4-16 years), and 45 TD boys of similar nonverbal mental age. We used connected speech samples to compute measures of phonological accuracy, phonological process occurrence, and intelligibility. The boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, did not differ from TD boys on phonological accuracy and phonological process occurrence but produced fewer intelligible words than did TD boys. The boys with DS scored lower on measures of phonological accuracy and occurrence of phonological processes than all other groups and used fewer intelligible words than did TD boys. The boys with FXS and the boys with DS did not differ on measures of intelligibility. Boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, exhibited phonological characteristics similar to those of younger TD children but were less intelligible in connected speech. Boys with DS showed greater delays in all phonological measures than the boys with FXS and the TD boys.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prendergast, Garreth; Green, Gary G. R.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prendergast, Garreth; Green, Gary G. R.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Impact of Clear, Loud, and Slow Speech on Scaled Intelligibility and Speech Severity in Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Tjaden, Kris; Sussman, Joan E.; Wilding, Gregory E.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The perceptual consequences of rate reduction, increased vocal intensity, and clear speech were studied in speakers with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and healthy controls. Method Seventy-eight speakers read sentences in habitual, clear, loud, and slow conditions. Sentences were equated for peak amplitude and mixed with multitalker babble for presentation to listeners. Using a computerized visual analog scale, listeners judged intelligibility or speech severity as operationally defined in Sussman and Tjaden (2012). Results Loud and clear but not slow conditions improved intelligibility relative to the habitual condition. With the exception of the loud condition for the PD group, speech severity did not improve above habitual and was reduced relative to habitual in some instances. Intelligibility and speech severity were strongly related, but relationships for disordered speakers were weaker in clear and slow conditions versus habitual. Conclusions Both clear and loud speech show promise for improving intelligibility and maintaining or improving speech severity in multitalker babble for speakers with mild dysarthria secondary to MS or PD, at least as these perceptual constructs were defined and measured in this study. Although scaled intelligibility and speech severity overlap, the metrics further appear to have some separate value in documenting treatment-related speech changes. PMID:24687042

  10. Speech intelligibility while wearing full-facepiece air-purifying respirators.

    PubMed

    Coyne, Karen M; Barker, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Intelligible speech communication while wearing air-purifying respirators is critical for law enforcement officers, particularly when they are communicating with each other or the public. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requires a 70% overall performance rating to pass speech intelligibility certification for commercial chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear air-purifying respirators. However, the speech intelligibility of certified respirators is not reported and the impact on operational performance is unknown. The objective of this effort was to assess the speech intelligibility of 12 certified air-purifying respirators and to predict their impact on operational performance. The NIOSH respirator certification standard testing procedures were followed. Regression equations were fit to data from studies that examined the impact of degraded speech intelligibility on operational performance of simple and complex missions. The impact of the tested respirators on operational performance was estimated from these equations. Performance ratings observed for each respirator were: MSA Millennium (90%), 3M FR-M40 (88%), MSA Ultra Elite (87%), Scott M110 (86%), North 5400 (85%), Scott M120 (85%), Avon C50 (84%), Avon FM12 (84%), Survivair Optifit (81%), Drager CDR 4500 (81%), Peltor-AOSafety M-TAC (79%), and 3M FR-7800B (78%). The Millennium and FR-M40 had statistically significantly higher scores than the FR-7800B. The Millennium also scored significantly higher than the M-TAC. All of the tested respirators were predicted to have little impact on simple and complex mission performance times and on simple mission success rate. However, the regression equations showed that 75% of missions that require complex communications would be completed while wearing the Millennium, FR-M40, or Ultra Elite but that only 60% would be completed successfully while wearing the FR-7800B. These results suggest that some certified respirators may have

  11. Intelligibility and acoustic characteristics of clear and conversational speech in telugu (a South Indian dravidian language).

    PubMed

    Durisala, Naresh; Prakash, S G R; Nambi, Arivudai; Batra, Ridhima

    2011-04-01

    The overall goal of this study is to examine the intelligibility differences of clear and conversational speech and also to objectively analyze the acoustic properties contributing to these differences. Seventeen post-lingual stable sensory-neural hearing impaired listeners with an age range of 17-40 years were recruited for the study. Forty Telugu sentences spoken by a female Telugu speaker in both clear and conversational speech styles were used as stimuli for the subjects. Results revealed that mean scores of clear speech were higher (mean = 84.5) when compared to conversational speech (mean = 61.4) with an advantage of 23.1% points. Acoustic properties revealed greater fundamental frequency (f0) and intensity, longer duration, higher consonant-vowel ratio (CVR) and greater temporal energy in clear speech.

  12. Transient and sustained cortical activity elicited by connected speech of varying intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Tiitinen, Hannu; Miettinen, Ismo; Alku, Paavo; May, Patrick J C

    2012-12-31

    The robustness of speech perception in the face of acoustic variation is founded on the ability of the auditory system to integrate the acoustic features of speech and to segregate them from background noise. This auditory scene analysis process is facilitated by top-down mechanisms, such as recognition memory for speech content. However, the cortical processes underlying these facilitatory mechanisms remain unclear. The present magnetoencephalography (MEG) study examined how the activity of auditory cortical areas is modulated by acoustic degradation and intelligibility of connected speech. The experimental design allowed for the comparison of cortical activity patterns elicited by acoustically identical stimuli which were perceived as either intelligible or unintelligible. In the experiment, a set of sentences was presented to the subject in distorted, undistorted, and again in distorted form. The intervening exposure to undistorted versions of sentences rendered the initially unintelligible, distorted sentences intelligible, as evidenced by an increase from 30% to 80% in the proportion of sentences reported as intelligible. These perceptual changes were reflected in the activity of the auditory cortex, with the auditory N1m response (~100 ms) being more prominent for the distorted stimuli than for the intact ones. In the time range of auditory P2m response (>200 ms), auditory cortex as well as regions anterior and posterior to this area generated a stronger response to sentences which were intelligible than unintelligible. During the sustained field (>300 ms), stronger activity was elicited by degraded stimuli in auditory cortex and by intelligible sentences in areas posterior to auditory cortex. The current findings suggest that the auditory system comprises bottom-up and top-down processes which are reflected in transient and sustained brain activity. It appears that analysis of acoustic features occurs during the first 100 ms, and sensitivity to speech

  13. Transient and sustained cortical activity elicited by connected speech of varying intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The robustness of speech perception in the face of acoustic variation is founded on the ability of the auditory system to integrate the acoustic features of speech and to segregate them from background noise. This auditory scene analysis process is facilitated by top-down mechanisms, such as recognition memory for speech content. However, the cortical processes underlying these facilitatory mechanisms remain unclear. The present magnetoencephalography (MEG) study examined how the activity of auditory cortical areas is modulated by acoustic degradation and intelligibility of connected speech. The experimental design allowed for the comparison of cortical activity patterns elicited by acoustically identical stimuli which were perceived as either intelligible or unintelligible. Results In the experiment, a set of sentences was presented to the subject in distorted, undistorted, and again in distorted form. The intervening exposure to undistorted versions of sentences rendered the initially unintelligible, distorted sentences intelligible, as evidenced by an increase from 30% to 80% in the proportion of sentences reported as intelligible. These perceptual changes were reflected in the activity of the auditory cortex, with the auditory N1m response (~100 ms) being more prominent for the distorted stimuli than for the intact ones. In the time range of auditory P2m response (>200 ms), auditory cortex as well as regions anterior and posterior to this area generated a stronger response to sentences which were intelligible than unintelligible. During the sustained field (>300 ms), stronger activity was elicited by degraded stimuli in auditory cortex and by intelligible sentences in areas posterior to auditory cortex. Conclusions The current findings suggest that the auditory system comprises bottom-up and top-down processes which are reflected in transient and sustained brain activity. It appears that analysis of acoustic features occurs during the first 100 ms

  14. Predicting speech intelligibility based on the signal-to-noise envelope power ratio after modulation-frequency selective processing.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten

    2011-09-01

    A model for predicting the intelligibility of processed noisy speech is proposed. The speech-based envelope power spectrum model has a similar structure as the model of Ewert and Dau [(2000). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181-1196], developed to account for modulation detection and masking data. The model estimates the speech-to-noise envelope power ratio, SNR(env), at the output of a modulation filterbank and relates this metric to speech intelligibility using the concept of an ideal observer. Predictions were compared to data on the intelligibility of speech presented in stationary speech-shaped noise. The model was further tested in conditions with noisy speech subjected to reverberation and spectral subtraction. Good agreement between predictions and data was found in all cases. For spectral subtraction, an analysis of the model's internal representation of the stimuli revealed that the predicted decrease of intelligibility was caused by the estimated noise envelope power exceeding that of the speech. The classical concept of the speech transmission index fails in this condition. The results strongly suggest that the signal-to-noise ratio at the output of a modulation frequency selective process provides a key measure of speech intelligibility.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versfeld, Niek J.; Dreschler, Wouter A.

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Ongoing slow oscillatory phase modulates speech intelligibility in cooperation with motor cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Onojima, Takayuki; Kitajo, Keiichi; Mizuhara, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    Neural oscillation is attracting attention as an underlying mechanism for speech recognition. Speech intelligibility is enhanced by the synchronization of speech rhythms and slow neural oscillation, which is typically observed as human scalp electroencephalography (EEG). In addition to the effect of neural oscillation, it has been proposed that speech recognition is enhanced by the identification of a speaker's motor signals, which are used for speech production. To verify the relationship between the effect of neural oscillation and motor cortical activity, we measured scalp EEG, and simultaneous EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a speech recognition task in which participants were required to recognize spoken words embedded in noise sound. We proposed an index to quantitatively evaluate the EEG phase effect on behavioral performance. The results showed that the delta and theta EEG phase before speech inputs modulated the participant's response time when conducting speech recognition tasks. The simultaneous EEG-fMRI experiment showed that slow EEG activity was correlated with motor cortical activity. These results suggested that the effect of the slow oscillatory phase was associated with the activity of the motor cortex during speech recognition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rhody, H.; Biles, J.

    1990-12-01

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

  19. Speech intelligibility after gingivectomy of excess palatal tissue.

    PubMed

    Balasundaram, Aruna; Vinayagavel, Mythreyi; Bandi, Dhathri Priya

    2014-07-01

    To appreciate any enhancement in speech following gingivectomy of enlarged anterior palatal gingiva. Periodontal literature has documented various conditions, pathophysiology, and treatment modalities of gingival enlargement. Relationship between gingival maladies and speech alteration has received scant attention. This case report describes on altered speech pattern enhancement secondary to the gingivectomy procedure. A systemically healthy 24-year- female patient reported with bilateral anterior gingival enlargement who was provisionally diagnosed as "gingival abscess with inflammatory enlargement" in relation to palatal aspect of the right maxillary canine to left maxillary canine. Bilateral gingivectomy procedure was performed by external bevel incision in relation to anterior palatal gingiva and a large wedge of epithelium and connective tissue was removed. Patient and her close acquaintances noticed a great improvement in her pronunciation and enunciation of sounds like "t", "d", "n", "l", "th", following removal of excess gingival palatal tissue and was also appreciated with visual analog scale score. Exploration of linguistic research documented the significance of tongue-palate contact during speech. Any excess gingival tissue in palatal region brings about disruption in speech by altering tongue-palate contact. Periodontal surgery like gingivectomy may improve disrupted phonetics. Excess gingival palatal tissue impedes on tongue-palate contact and interferes speech. Pronunciation of consonants like "t", "d", "n", "l", "th", are altered with anterior enlarged palatal gingiva. Excision of the enlarged palatal tissue results in improvement of speech.

  20. Long-term Outcome of Speech Intelligibility in Maxillary Dental Rehabilitation with Full Dentures: A Prospective Study Using Automatic Speech Quantification.

    PubMed

    Stelzle, Florian; Riemann, Max; Klein, Alfred; Oetter, Nicolai; Rohde, Maximilian; Maier, Andreas; Eitner, Stephan; Neukam, Friedrich Wilhelm; Knipfer, Christian

    Complete maxillary edentulism and prosthetic rehabilitation with removable full dentures are known to affect speech intelligibility. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the long-term effect of time on speech intelligibility in patients being rehabilitated with newly fabricated full maxillary dentures. Speech was recorded in a group of 14 patients (male = 9, female = 5; mean age ± standard deviation [SD] = 66.14 ± 7.03 years) five times within a mean period of 4 years (mean ± SD: 47.50 ± 18.16 months; minimum/maximum: 24/68 months) and in a control group of 40 persons with healthy dentition (male = 30, female = 10; mean age ± SD = 59 ± 12 years). All 14 participants had their inadequate removable full maxillary dentures replaced with newly fabricated dentures. Speech intelligibility was measured by means of a polyphone-based speech recognition system that automatically computed the percentage of accurately spoken words (word accuracy [WA]) at five different points in time: 1 week prior to prosthetic maxillary rehabilitation (both with and without inadequate dentures in situ) and at 1 week, 6 months, and a mean of 48 months after the insertion of newly fabricated full maxillary dentures. Speech intelligibility of the patients significantly improved after 6 months of adaptation to the new removable full maxillary dentures (WA = 66.93% ± 9.21%) compared to inadequate dentures in situ (WA = 60.12% ± 10.48%). After this period, no further significant change in speech intelligibility was observed. After 1 week of adaptation, speech intelligibility of the rehabilitated patients aligned with that of the control group (WA = 69.79% ± 10.60%) and remained at this level during the examination period of 48 months. The provision of new removable full maxillary dentures can improve speech intelligibility to the level of a healthy control group on a long-term basis.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metz, Dale Evan; And Others

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Effects of listeners' working memory and noise on speech intelligibility in dysarthria.

    PubMed

    Lee, Youngmee; Sung, Jee Eu; Sim, Hyunsub

    2014-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of listeners' working memory (WM), types of noise and signal to noise ratios (SNRs) on speech intelligibility in dysarthria. Speech intelligibility was judged by using a word transcription task. A three-way mixed design (2 × 3 × 2) was used with the WM group (high/low group) as a between-subject factor and the types of noise (multi-talker babble/environmental noise) and SNRs (0, +10 and +20 dB) as within-subject factors. The dependent measure was the percentage of correctly transcribed words. The results revealed that the high WM group performed significantly better than the low WM group and listeners performed significantly better at higher levels of SNRs on the speech intelligibility test. The findings of this study suggested that listeners' cognitive abilities and SNRs should be considered as important factors when evaluating speech intelligibility in dysarthria.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Peter J.; Schlauch, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Peter J.; Schlauch, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speake, Jane; Stackhouse, Joy; Pascoe, Michelle

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metz, Dale Evan; And Others

    1992-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Karin; Bornman, Juan; Alant, Erna

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Karin; Bornman, Juan; Alant, Erna

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xin; Fowler, Carol A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Xie, Xin; Fowler, Carol A

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Minimal pair distinctions and intelligibility in preschool children with and without speech sound disorders.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Megan M; Gotzke, Carrie L

    2011-10-01

    Listeners' identification of young children's productions of minimally contrastive words and predictive relationships between accurately identified words and intelligibility scores obtained from a 100-word spontaneous speech sample were determined for 36 children with typically developing speech (TDS) and 36 children with speech sound disorders (SSD) of unknown origin in three age groups (3+, 4+ and 5+ years). Each child's productions of 78-word stimuli were recorded and presented to unfamiliar adults for forced-choice identification. Results of a two-way MANOVA (two groups by three ages) indicated that the TDS group had significantly higher (p < 0.001) percent consonant items correct (PCIC) and percent syllable shape items correct. Stepwise regression analyses revealed significant predictors of intelligibility scores to be PCIC (adjusted R(2) = 0.10, p = 0.04) for the TDS group and PCIC and percent vowel items correct (adjusted R(2) = 0.63, p < 0.001) for the SSD group.

  14. A Cognitive-Perceptual Approach to Conceptualizing Speech Intelligibility Deficits and Remediation Practice in Hypokinetic Dysarthria

    PubMed Central

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.; Caviness, John N.; Utianski, Rene L.

    2011-01-01

    Hypokinetic dysarthria is a common manifestation of Parkinson's disease, which negatively influences quality of life. Behavioral techniques that aim to improve speech intelligibility constitute the bulk of intervention strategies for this population, as the dysarthria does not often respond vigorously to medical interventions. Although several case and group studies generally support the efficacy of behavioral treatment, much work remains to establish a rigorous evidence base. This absence of definitive research leaves both the speech-language pathologist and referring physician with the task of determining the feasibility and nature of therapy for intelligibility remediation in PD. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel framework for medical practitioners in which to conceptualize and justify potential targets for speech remediation. The most commonly targeted deficits (e.g., speaking rate and vocal loudness) can be supported by this approach, as well as underutilized and novel treatment targets that aim at the listener's perceptual skills. PMID:21918728

  15. Optimization of frequency lowering algorithms for getting the highest speech intelligibility improvement by hearing loss simulation.

    PubMed

    Arıöz, Umut; Günel, Banu

    2015-06-01

    High frequency hearing loss is a growing problem for both children and adults. To overcome this impairment, different frequency lowering methods (FLMs) were tried from 1930s, however no satisfaction was provided up to now. In this study, for getting higher speech intelligibility, eight combinations of FLMs which were designed originally were tried with simulated sounds onto normal hearing subjects. These improvements were calculated by the difference with standard hearing aid method, amplification. High frequency hearing loss was simulated with the combined suprathreshold effects. An offline study was carried out for each subject for determining the significant methods used in modified rhyme test (MRT) (Subjective measure for intelligibility). Significant methods were determined according to their speech intelligibility index (SII) (Objective measure for intelligibility). All different cases were tried under four noisy environments and a noise free environment. Twelve hearing impaired subjects were simulated by hearing loss simulation (HLS). MRT was developed for Turkish language as a first time. As the results of improvements, total 71 cases were statistically significant for twelve subjects. Eighty-three percent success of FLMs was achieved against amplification for being an alternative method of amplification in noisy environments. For four subjects, all significant methods gave higher improvements than amplification. As conclusion, specific method recommendations for different noisy environments were done for each subject for getting more speech intelligibility.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Intelligibility and Clarity of Reverberant Speech: Effects of Wide Dynamic Range Compression Release Time and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Pamela E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of varying wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) release time on intelligibility and clarity of reverberant speech. The study also considered the role of individual working memory. Method Thirty older listeners with mild to moderately-severe sloping sensorineural hearing loss participated. Individuals were divided into high and low working memory groups on the basis of the results of a reading span test. Participants listened binaurally to sentence stimuli simulated at a range of reverberation conditions and WDRC release times using a high compression ratio. Outcome measures included objective intelligibility and subjective clarity ratings. Results Speech intelligibility and clarity ratings both decreased as a function of reverberation. The low working memory group demonstrated a greater decrease in intelligibility with increasing amounts of reverberation than the high working memory group. Both groups, regardless of working memory, had higher speech intelligibility and clarity ratings with longer WDRC release times. WDRC release time had a larger effect on speech intelligibility under more reverberant conditions. Conclusions Reverberation significantly affects speech intelligibility, particularly for individuals with lower working memory. In addition, longer release times in hearing aids may improve listener speech intelligibility and clarity in reverberant environments. PMID:27997667

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

    PubMed

    Trimmer, Christopher G; Cuddy, Lola L

    2008-12-01

    Is music training associated with greater sensitivity to emotional prosody in speech? University undergraduates (n = 100) were asked to identify the emotion conveyed in both semantically neutral utterances and melodic analogues that preserved the fundamental frequency contour and intensity pattern of the utterances. Utterances were expressed in four basic emotional tones (anger, fear, joy, sadness) and in a neutral condition. Participants also completed an extended questionnaire about music education and activities, and a battery of tests to assess emotional intelligence, musical perception and memory, and fluid intelligence. Emotional intelligence, not music training or music perception abilities, successfully predicted identification of intended emotion in speech and melodic analogues. The ability to recognize cues of emotion accurately and efficiently across domains may reflect the operation of a cross-modal processor that does not rely on gains of perceptual sensitivity such as those related to music training. 2008 APA, all rights reserved

  19. Development of the Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) test for hearing aid comparisons.

    PubMed

    Cox, R M; McDaniel, D M

    1989-06-01

    The Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) Test has been developed for use in clinical comparisons of hearing aid conditions. After listening to a short passage of connected speech, subjects generate a rating proportional to its intelligibility using an equal-appearing interval scale from 0 to 10. Before test passages are presented, the signal-to-babble ratio (SBR) is adjusted to a level that elicits intelligibility ratings of 7-8 for a "setup" passage. Then, with SBR held constant, three or more test passages are rated and the results averaged for each aided condition. This paper describes the generation of recorded test materials and their investigation using normally hearing listeners. Based on these data, a critical difference of about 2 scale intervals is recommended. A future paper will deal with results for hearing-impaired subjects.

  20. Direct tongue neurotization: the effect on speech intelligibility in patients with Möbius syndrome.

    PubMed

    Terzis, Julia K; Karypidis, Dimitrios

    2010-01-01

    Möbius syndrome is a disorder characterized by developmental impairment of cranial nerve VII, VI, often XII, and other cranial nerves. Facial reanimation in such patients restores the ability of some motion and of limited emotional expression. In one-fourth of these patients, hypoglossal involvement results in severe speech impairment due to tongue atrophy and lack of voluntary mobility. Bilabial incompetence due to facial paralysis further deteriorates speech capability. Direct tongue neurotization has been used by the senior author (J.K.T) to improve tongue function and speech intelligibility in patients with Möbius syndrome. This study presents the senior author's experience with the technique as a component of multistage facial reanimation procedures. Data collection was performed by retrospective review on six patients with Möbius syndrome who underwent direct tongue neurotization. In addition, each patient was videotaped for 30 minutes preoperatively and postoperatively according to a standardized protocol. Four independent investigators scored speech intelligibility in each patient using a standardized grading system. The results showed considerable improvement in speech intelligibility and articulation. Higher improvement was noted in patients with partial bilateral hypoglossal involvement than in patients with complete unilateral involvement of the hypoglossal nerve, as well as in younger ages. No difference was noted between sexes. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study presenting the effect of direct tongue neurotization on speech intelligibility in patients with Möbius syndrome. Tongue neurotization has therefore an important role in restoring the ability of these patients to communicate and obtain the potential to develop normal social skills.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Intelligibility of normal speech I: Global and fine-grained acoustic-phonetic talker characteristics1,2

    PubMed Central

    Bradlow, Ann R.; Torretta, Gina M.; Pisoni, David B.

    2011-01-01

    This study used a multi-talker database containing intelligibility scores for 2000 sentences (20 talkers, 100 sentences), to identify talker-related correlates of speech intelligibility. We first investigated “global” talker characteristics (e.g., gender, F0 and speaking rate). Findings showed female talkers to be more intelligible as a group than male talkers. Additionally, we found a tendency for F0 range to correlate positively with higher speech intelligibility scores. However, F0 mean and speaking rate did not correlate with intelligibility. We then examined several fine-grained acoustic-phonetic talker-characteristics as correlates of overall intelligibility. We found that talkers with larger vowel spaces were generally more intelligible than talkers with reduced spaces. In investigating two cases of consistent listener errors (segment deletion and syllable affiliation), we found that these perceptual errors could be traced directly to detailed timing characteristics in the speech signal. Results suggest that a substantial portion of variability in normal speech intelligibility is traceable to specific acoustic-phonetic characteristics of the talker. Knowledge about these factors may be valuable for improving speech synthesis and recognition strategies, and for special populations (e.g., the hearing-impaired and second-language learners) who are particularly sensitive to intelligibility differences among talkers. PMID:21461127

  4. Measurements of speech intelligibility in common rooms for older adults as a first step towards acoustical guidelines.

    PubMed

    Reinten, Jikke; van Hout, Nicole; Hak, Constant; Kort, Helianthe

    2015-01-01

    Adapting the built environment to the needs of nursing- or care-home residents has become common practice. Even though hearing loss due to ageing is a normal occurring biological process, little research has been performed on the effects of room acoustic parameters on the speech intelligibility for older adults. This article presents the results of room acoustic measurements in common rooms for older adults and the effect on speech intelligibility. Perceived speech intelligibility amongst the users of the rooms was also investigated. The results have led to ongoing research at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and Eindhoven University of Technology, aimed at the development of acoustical guidelines for elderly care facilities.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Halcyon M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Halcyon M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Fei

    2011-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2005-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hazrati, Oldooz; Loizou, Philipos C

    2012-06-01

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

  10. Effects of transient noise reduction algorithms on speech intelligibility and ratings of hearing aid users.

    PubMed

    DiGiovanni, Jeffrey J; Davlin, Erin A; Nagaraj, Naveen K

    2011-12-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the functional utility of transient noise reduction (TNR) algorithms available in hearing aids via speech intelligibility and user preferences. Two pairs of hearing aids, 1 pair each from Siemens and Unitron, were programmed for 17 hearing impaired individuals after a hearing evaluation. Intelligibility was measured for each participant for sentences presented in quiet, with 2 types of transient noise, multitalker babble, and in a combination of each type of transient noise and multitalker babble. Each condition was tested with TNR activated and TNR deactivated in a counterbalanced, single-blinded format. Subjective ratings of overall speech understanding, comfort, and sound quality were obtained for each condition. A significant improvement in speech intelligibility was measured with the TNR activated when speech was presented in multitalker babble, in the presence of chair clang transient noises, and when combining these noises. Activation of the TNR algorithm did not result in significant improvements for any of the subjective ratings. While improvements were limited to certain conditions, specifically those with the chair clang transient and/or multitalker babble, TNR appears to offer an incremental step in improving the listening experience for hearing aid users.

  11. Analyses of speech intelligibility in patients after glossectomy and reconstruction with fasciocutaneous/myocutaneous flaps.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Y; Shirota, T; Yamashita, Y; Ohno, K

    2009-04-01

    This study analyzed the results of speech intelligibility tests in patients with tongue cancer who had undergone resection with the aim of making surgical recommendations for flap design and inset, to improve speech function. A total of 126 patients, enrolled from 13 Japanese institutions, were classified into 3 groups according to the resected site: lateral, anterior, and combined. The lateral group was further divided into 3 subgroups and the anterior group into 2 subgroups according to the size of resection. The speech intelligibility score was analyzed based on articulatory site and mode: 5 articulatory sites (linguodentoalveolar, linguopalatal, linguovelar, and their intermediates); and 7 articulatory modes (plosives, fricatives, affricatives, grids, nasals, vowels and semivowels). Low speech intelligibility scores were recorded at sites where flaps contribute directly to the pronunciation in the lateral and combined groups and at the anterior part of the reconstructed tongue in the anterior group. Plosives and glides displayed low values in general. A radial forearm flap had higher function in the lateral group than other flaps. The type of flap had no effect in the anterior and combined groups. Surgical techniques and flap selection to improve functional status in each type of resection are discussed.

  12. Speech based transmission index for all: An intelligibility metric for variable hearing ability.

    PubMed

    Mechergui, Nader; Djaziri-Larbi, Sonia; Jaïdane, Mériem

    2017-03-01

    A method to measure the speech intelligibility in public address systems for normal hearing and hearing impaired persons is presented. The proposed metric is an extension of the speech based Speech Transmission Index to account for accurate perceptual masking and variable hearing ability: The sound excitation pattern generated at the ear is accurately computed using an auditory filter model, and its shapes depend on frequency, sound level, and hearing impairment. This extension yields a better prediction of the intensity of auditory masking which is used to rectify the modulation transfer function and thus to objectively assess the speech intelligibility experienced by hearing impaired as well as by normal hearing persons in public spaces. The proposed metric was developed within the framework of the European Active and Assisted Living research program, and was labeled "SB-STI for All." Extensive subjective in-Lab and in vivo tests have been conducted and the proposed metric proved to have a good correlation with subjective intelligibility scores.

  13. Comparing Binaural Pre-processing Strategies II: Speech Intelligibility of Bilateral Cochlear Implant Users.

    PubMed

    Baumgärtel, Regina M; Hu, Hongmei; Krawczyk-Becker, Martin; Marquardt, Daniel; Herzke, Tobias; Coleman, Graham; Adiloğlu, Kamil; Bomke, Katrin; Plotz, Karsten; Gerkmann, Timo; Doclo, Simon; Kollmeier, Birger; Hohmann, Volker; Dietz, Mathias

    2015-12-30

    Several binaural audio signal enhancement algorithms were evaluated with respect to their potential to improve speech intelligibility in noise for users of bilateral cochlear implants (CIs). 50% speech reception thresholds (SRT50) were assessed using an adaptive procedure in three distinct, realistic noise scenarios. All scenarios were highly nonstationary, complex, and included a significant amount of reverberation. Other aspects, such as the perfectly frontal target position, were idealized laboratory settings, allowing the algorithms to perform better than in corresponding real-world conditions. Eight bilaterally implanted CI users, wearing devices from three manufacturers, participated in the study. In all noise conditions, a substantial improvement in SRT50 compared to the unprocessed signal was observed for most of the algorithms tested, with the largest improvements generally provided by binaural minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) beamforming algorithms. The largest overall improvement in speech intelligibility was achieved by an adaptive binaural MVDR in a spatially separated, single competing talker noise scenario. A no-pre-processing condition and adaptive differential microphones without a binaural link served as the two baseline conditions. SRT50 improvements provided by the binaural MVDR beamformers surpassed the performance of the adaptive differential microphones in most cases. Speech intelligibility improvements predicted by instrumental measures were shown to account for some but not all aspects of the perceptually obtained SRT50 improvements measured in bilaterally implanted CI users.

  14. Cortical characterization of the perception of intelligible and unintelligible speech measured via high-density electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Utianski, Rene L; Caviness, John N; Liss, Julie M

    2015-01-01

    High-density electroencephalography was used to evaluate cortical activity during speech comprehension via a sentence verification task. Twenty-four participants assigned true or false to sentences produced with 3 noise-vocoded channel levels (1--unintelligible, 6--decipherable, 16--intelligible), during simultaneous EEG recording. Participant data were sorted into higher- (HP) and lower-performing (LP) groups. The identification of a late-event related potential for LP listeners in the intelligible condition and in all listeners when challenged with a 6-Ch signal supports the notion that this induced potential may be related to either processing degraded speech, or degraded processing of intelligible speech. Different cortical locations are identified as neural generators responsible for this activity; HP listeners are engaging motor aspects of their language system, utilizing an acoustic-phonetic based strategy to help resolve the sentence, while LP listeners do not. This study presents evidence for neurophysiological indices associated with more or less successful speech comprehension performance across listening conditions.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hazrati, Oldooz; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wójcicki, Kamil K.; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  18. Factors affecting predicted speech intelligibility with cochlear implants in an auditory model for electrical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Fredelake, Stefan; Hohmann, Volker

    2012-05-01

    A model of the auditory response to stimulation with cochlear implants (CIs) was used to predict speech intelligibility in electric hearing. The model consists of an auditory nerve cell population that generates delta pulses as action potentials in response to temporal and spatial excitation with a simulated CI signal processing strategy. The auditory nerve cells are modeled with a leaky integrate-and-fire model with membrane noise. Refractory behavior is introduced by raising the threshold potential with an exponentially decreasing function. Furthermore, the action potentials are delayed to account for latency and jitter. The action potentials are further processed by a central model stage, which includes spatial and temporal integration, resulting in an internal representation of the sound presented. Multiplicative noise is included in the internal representations to limit resolution. Internal representations of complete word sets for a sentence intelligibility test were computed and classified using a Dynamic-Time-Warping classifier to quantify information content and to estimate speech intelligibility. The number of auditory nerve cells, the spatial spread of the electrodes' electric field, and the internal noise intensity were found to have a major impact on the modeled speech intelligibility, whereas the influence of refractory behavior, membrane noise, and latency and jitter was minor. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. A Binaural Grouping Model for Predicting Speech Intelligibility in Multitalker Environments

    PubMed Central

    Colburn, H. Steven

    2016-01-01

    Spatially separating speech maskers from target speech often leads to a large intelligibility improvement. Modeling this phenomenon has long been of interest to binaural-hearing researchers for uncovering brain mechanisms and for improving signal-processing algorithms in hearing-assistive devices. Much of the previous binaural modeling work focused on the unmasking enabled by binaural cues at the periphery, and little quantitative modeling has been directed toward the grouping or source-separation benefits of binaural processing. In this article, we propose a binaural model that focuses on grouping, specifically on the selection of time-frequency units that are dominated by signals from the direction of the target. The proposed model uses Equalization-Cancellation (EC) processing with a binary decision rule to estimate a time-frequency binary mask. EC processing is carried out to cancel the target signal and the energy change between the EC input and output is used as a feature that reflects target dominance in each time-frequency unit. The processing in the proposed model requires little computational resources and is straightforward to implement. In combination with the Coherence-based Speech Intelligibility Index, the model is applied to predict the speech intelligibility data measured by Marrone et al. The predicted speech reception threshold matches the pattern of the measured data well, even though the predicted intelligibility improvements relative to the colocated condition are larger than some of the measured data, which may reflect the lack of internal noise in this initial version of the model. PMID:27698261

  1. A Binaural Grouping Model for Predicting Speech Intelligibility in Multitalker Environments.

    PubMed

    Mi, Jing; Colburn, H Steven

    2016-10-03

    Spatially separating speech maskers from target speech often leads to a large intelligibility improvement. Modeling this phenomenon has long been of interest to binaural-hearing researchers for uncovering brain mechanisms and for improving signal-processing algorithms in hearing-assistive devices. Much of the previous binaural modeling work focused on the unmasking enabled by binaural cues at the periphery, and little quantitative modeling has been directed toward the grouping or source-separation benefits of binaural processing. In this article, we propose a binaural model that focuses on grouping, specifically on the selection of time-frequency units that are dominated by signals from the direction of the target. The proposed model uses Equalization-Cancellation (EC) processing with a binary decision rule to estimate a time-frequency binary mask. EC processing is carried out to cancel the target signal and the energy change between the EC input and output is used as a feature that reflects target dominance in each time-frequency unit. The processing in the proposed model requires little computational resources and is straightforward to implement. In combination with the Coherence-based Speech Intelligibility Index, the model is applied to predict the speech intelligibility data measured by Marrone et al. The predicted speech reception threshold matches the pattern of the measured data well, even though the predicted intelligibility improvements relative to the colocated condition are larger than some of the measured data, which may reflect the lack of internal noise in this initial version of the model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Relationship between kinematics, F2 slope and speech intelligibility in dysarthria due to cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Rong, Panying; Loucks, Torrey; Kim, Heejin; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark

    2012-09-01

    A multimodal approach combining acoustics, intelligibility ratings, articulography and surface electromyography was used to examine the characteristics of dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (CP). CV syllables were studied by obtaining the slope of F2 transition during the diphthong, tongue-jaw kinematics during the release of the onset consonant, and the related submental muscle activities and relating these measures to speech intelligibility. The results show that larger reductions of F2 slope are correlated with lower intelligibility in CP-related dysarthria. Among the three speakers with CP, the speaker with the lowest F2 slope and intelligibility showed smallest tongue release movement and largest jaw opening movement. The other two speakers with CP were comparable in the amplitude and velocity of tongue movements, but one speaker had abnormally prolonged jaw movement. The tongue-jaw coordination pattern found in the speakers with CP could be either compensatory or subject to an incompletely developed oromotor control system.

  5. Test of Spanish sentences to measure speech intelligibility in noise conditions.

    PubMed

    Cervera, Teresa; González-Alvarez, Julio

    2011-06-01

    This article describes the development of a test for measuring the intelligibility of speech in noise for the Spanish language, similar to the test developed by Kalikow, Stevens, and Elliot (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 5, 1337-1360, 1977) for the English language. The test consists of six forms, each comprising 25 high-predictability (HP) sentences and 25 low-predictability (LP) sentences. The sentences were used in a perceptual task to assess their intelligibility in babble noise across three different signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions in a sample of 474 normal-hearing listeners. The results showed that the listeners obtained higher scores of intelligibility for HP sentences than for LP sentences, and the scores were lower for the higher SNRs, as was expected. The final six forms were equivalent in intelligibility and phonetic content.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Intelligibility Evaluation of Pathological Speech through Multigranularity Feature Extraction and Optimization.

    PubMed

    Fang, Chunying; Li, Haifeng; Ma, Lin; Zhang, Mancai

    2017-01-01

    Pathological speech usually refers to speech distortion resulting from illness or other biological insults. The assessment of pathological speech plays an important role in assisting the experts, while automatic evaluation of speech intelligibility is difficult because it is usually nonstationary and mutational. In this paper, we carry out an independent innovation of feature extraction and reduction, and we describe a multigranularity combined feature scheme which is optimized by the hierarchical visual method. A novel method of generating feature set based on S-transform and chaotic analysis is proposed. There are BAFS (430, basic acoustics feature), local spectral characteristics MSCC (84, Mel S-transform cepstrum coefficients), and chaotic features (12). Finally, radar chart and F-score are proposed to optimize the features by the hierarchical visual fusion. The feature set could be optimized from 526 to 96 dimensions based on NKI-CCRT corpus and 104 dimensions based on SVD corpus. The experimental results denote that new features by support vector machine (SVM) have the best performance, with a recognition rate of 84.4% on NKI-CCRT corpus and 78.7% on SVD corpus. The proposed method is thus approved to be effective and reliable for pathological speech intelligibility evaluation.

  8. Intelligibility of speech in noise at high presentation levels: effects of hearing loss and frequency region.

    PubMed

    Summers, Van; Cord, Mary T

    2007-08-01

    These experiments examined how high presentation levels influence speech recognition for high- and low-frequency stimuli in noise. Normally hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners were tested. In Experiment 1, high- and low-frequency bandwidths yielding 70%-correct word recognition in quiet were determined at levels associated with broadband speech at 75 dB SPL. In Experiment 2, broadband and band-limited sentences (based on passbands measured in Experiment 1) were presented at this level in speech-shaped noise filtered to the same frequency bandwidths as targets. Noise levels were adjusted to produce approximately 30%-correct word recognition. Frequency bandwidths and signal-to-noise ratios supporting criterion performance in Experiment 2 were tested at 75, 87.5, and 100 dB SPL in Experiment 3. Performance tended to decrease as levels increased. For NH listeners, this "rollover" effect was greater for high-frequency and broadband materials than for low-frequency stimuli. For HI listeners, the 75- to 87.5-dB increase improved signal audibility for high-frequency stimuli and rollover was not observed. However, the 87.5- to 100-dB increase produced qualitatively similar results for both groups: scores decreased most for high-frequency stimuli and least for low-frequency materials. Predictions of speech intelligibility by quantitative methods such as the Speech Intelligibility Index may be improved if rollover effects are modeled as frequency dependent.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  10. Intelligibility Evaluation of Pathological Speech through Multigranularity Feature Extraction and Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lin; Zhang, Mancai

    2017-01-01

    Pathological speech usually refers to speech distortion resulting from illness or other biological insults. The assessment of pathological speech plays an important role in assisting the experts, while automatic evaluation of speech intelligibility is difficult because it is usually nonstationary and mutational. In this paper, we carry out an independent innovation of feature extraction and reduction, and we describe a multigranularity combined feature scheme which is optimized by the hierarchical visual method. A novel method of generating feature set based on S-transform and chaotic analysis is proposed. There are BAFS (430, basic acoustics feature), local spectral characteristics MSCC (84, Mel S-transform cepstrum coefficients), and chaotic features (12). Finally, radar chart and F-score are proposed to optimize the features by the hierarchical visual fusion. The feature set could be optimized from 526 to 96 dimensions based on NKI-CCRT corpus and 104 dimensions based on SVD corpus. The experimental results denote that new features by support vector machine (SVM) have the best performance, with a recognition rate of 84.4% on NKI-CCRT corpus and 78.7% on SVD corpus. The proposed method is thus approved to be effective and reliable for pathological speech intelligibility evaluation. PMID:28194222

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Factors Affecting Acoustics and Speech Intelligibility in the Operating Room: Size Matters

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Christopher L.; Horn, Danielle Bodzin; Dudaryk, Roman

    2017-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Noise in health care settings has increased since 1960 and represents a significant source of dissatisfaction among staff and patients and risk to patient safety. Operating rooms (ORs) in which effective communication is crucial are particularly noisy. Speech intelligibility is impacted by noise, room architecture, and acoustics. For example, sound reverberation time (RT60) increases with room size, which can negatively impact intelligibility, while room objects are hypothesized to have the opposite effect. We explored these relationships by investigating room construction and acoustics of the surgical suites at our institution. METHODS: We studied our ORs during times of nonuse. Room dimensions were measured to calculate room volumes (VR). Room content was assessed by estimating size and assigning items into 5 volume categories to arrive at an adjusted room content volume (VC) metric. Psychoacoustic analyses were performed by playing sweep tones from a speaker and recording the impulse responses (ie, resulting sound fields) from 3 locations in each room. The recordings were used to calculate 6 psychoacoustic indices of intelligibility. Multiple linear regression was performed using VR and VC as predictor variables and each intelligibility index as an outcome variable. RESULTS: A total of 40 ORs were studied. The surgical suites were characterized by a large degree of construction and surface finish heterogeneity and varied in size from 71.2 to 196.4 m3 (average VR = 131.1 [34.2] m3). An insignificant correlation was observed between VR and VC (Pearson correlation = 0.223, P = .166). Multiple linear regression model fits and β coefficients for VR were highly significant for each of the intelligibility indices and were best for RT60 (R2 = 0.666, F(2, 37) = 39.9, P < .0001). For Dmax (maximum distance where there is <15% loss of consonant articulation), both VR and VC β coefficients were significant. For RT60 and Dmax, after controlling for VC

  13. Factors Affecting Acoustics and Speech Intelligibility in the Operating Room: Size Matters.

    PubMed

    McNeer, Richard R; Bennett, Christopher L; Horn, Danielle Bodzin; Dudaryk, Roman

    2017-06-01

    Noise in health care settings has increased since 1960 and represents a significant source of dissatisfaction among staff and patients and risk to patient safety. Operating rooms (ORs) in which effective communication is crucial are particularly noisy. Speech intelligibility is impacted by noise, room architecture, and acoustics. For example, sound reverberation time (RT60) increases with room size, which can negatively impact intelligibility, while room objects are hypothesized to have the opposite effect. We explored these relationships by investigating room construction and acoustics of the surgical suites at our institution. We studied our ORs during times of nonuse. Room dimensions were measured to calculate room volumes (VR). Room content was assessed by estimating size and assigning items into 5 volume categories to arrive at an adjusted room content volume (VC) metric. Psychoacoustic analyses were performed by playing sweep tones from a speaker and recording the impulse responses (ie, resulting sound fields) from 3 locations in each room. The recordings were used to calculate 6 psychoacoustic indices of intelligibility. Multiple linear regression was performed using VR and VC as predictor variables and each intelligibility index as an outcome variable. A total of 40 ORs were studied. The surgical suites were characterized by a large degree of construction and surface finish heterogeneity and varied in size from 71.2 to 196.4 m (average VR = 131.1 [34.2] m). An insignificant correlation was observed between VR and VC (Pearson correlation = 0.223, P = .166). Multiple linear regression model fits and β coefficients for VR were highly significant for each of the intelligibility indices and were best for RT60 (R = 0.666, F(2, 37) = 39.9, P < .0001). For Dmax (maximum distance where there is <15% loss of consonant articulation), both VR and VC β coefficients were significant. For RT60 and Dmax, after controlling for VC, partial correlations were 0.825 (P

  14. Rapid tuning shifts in human auditory cortex enhance speech intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Holdgraf, Christopher R.; de Heer, Wendy; Pasley, Brian; Rieger, Jochem; Crone, Nathan; Lin, Jack J.; Knight, Robert T.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2016-01-01

    Experience shapes our perception of the world on a moment-to-moment basis. This robust perceptual effect of experience parallels a change in the neural representation of stimulus features, though the nature of this representation and its plasticity are not well-understood. Spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF) mapping describes the neural response to acoustic features, and has been used to study contextual effects on auditory receptive fields in animal models. We performed a STRF plasticity analysis on electrophysiological data from recordings obtained directly from the human auditory cortex. Here, we report rapid, automatic plasticity of the spectrotemporal response of recorded neural ensembles, driven by previous experience with acoustic and linguistic information, and with a neurophysiological effect in the sub-second range. This plasticity reflects increased sensitivity to spectrotemporal features, enhancing the extraction of more speech-like features from a degraded stimulus and providing the physiological basis for the observed ‘perceptual enhancement' in understanding speech. PMID:27996965

  15. Rapid tuning shifts in human auditory cortex enhance speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Holdgraf, Christopher R; de Heer, Wendy; Pasley, Brian; Rieger, Jochem; Crone, Nathan; Lin, Jack J; Knight, Robert T; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2016-12-20

    Experience shapes our perception of the world on a moment-to-moment basis. This robust perceptual effect of experience parallels a change in the neural representation of stimulus features, though the nature of this representation and its plasticity are not well-understood. Spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF) mapping describes the neural response to acoustic features, and has been used to study contextual effects on auditory receptive fields in animal models. We performed a STRF plasticity analysis on electrophysiological data from recordings obtained directly from the human auditory cortex. Here, we report rapid, automatic plasticity of the spectrotemporal response of recorded neural ensembles, driven by previous experience with acoustic and linguistic information, and with a neurophysiological effect in the sub-second range. This plasticity reflects increased sensitivity to spectrotemporal features, enhancing the extraction of more speech-like features from a degraded stimulus and providing the physiological basis for the observed 'perceptual enhancement' in understanding speech.

  16. Listener judges and the speech intelligibility of deaf children.

    PubMed

    Mencke, E O; Ochsner, G J; Testut, E W

    1983-05-01

    Two listener groups, one experienced and the other inexperienced in listening to deaf speakers, were asked to recognize speech sounds in word contexts presented in two modes: auditory only and auditory-visual. In contrast to previous studies, the experienced and inexperienced listener groups performed similarly. The one exception occurred for speech sounds in the final position presented auditory visually where the experienced listeners' performance surpassed that of inexperienced listeners. For both groups, performance in correct phoneme identification was better in the auditory-visual mode of presentation. Furthermore, and interaction between the position-in-word and the mode of stimulus presentation was present in both groups. In the auditory-only task, listeners correctly identified more target phonemes when they were initial rather than final position in a word. With supplemental visual information, listener performance increased our phonemes in both positions within a word, although the increase was greater for final position phonemes.

  17. Cued Speech Transliteration: Effects of Accuracy and Lag Time on Message Intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Krause, Jean C; Lopez, Katherine A

    2017-10-01

    This paper is the second in a series concerned with the level of access afforded to students who use educational interpreters. The first paper (Krause & Tessler, 2016) focused on factors affecting accuracy of messages produced by Cued Speech (CS) transliterators (expression). In this study, factors affecting intelligibility (reception by deaf consumers) of those messages is explored. Results for eight highly skilled receivers of CS showed that (a) overall intelligibility (72%) was higher than average accuracy (61%), (b) accuracy had a large positive effect on intelligibility, accounting for 26% of the variance, and (c) the likelihood that an utterance reached 70% intelligibility as a function of accuracy was sigmoidal, decreasing sharply for accuracy values below 65%. While no direct effect of lag time on intelligibility could be detected, intelligibility was most likely to exceed 70% for utterances produced with lag times between 0.6 and 1.8 s. Differences between CS transliterators suggested sources of transliterator variability (e.g. speechreadability, facial expression, non-manual markers, cueing rate) that are also likely to affect intelligibility and thus warrant further investigation. Such research, along with investigations of other communication options (e.g. American Sign Language, signed English systems, etc.) are important for ensuring accessibility to all students who use educational interpreters. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Intelligibility of stops and fricatives in tracheoesophageal speech.

    PubMed

    Searl, J P; Carpenter, M A; Banta, C L

    2001-01-01

    Listener accuracy in identifying voiced and voiceless stops and fricatives in tracheoesophageal (TE) and laryngeal speech were compared. Sixteen TE and ten laryngeal speakers produced ten phonemes embedded in a nonsense word in a carrier phrase. Four experienced listeners phonetically transcribed the experimental phonemes. As expected, perceptual error rates were higher for the TE samples for all comparisons completed. The dominant error for laryngeal samples was a misperception of manner of production. The dominant error for TE samples was a perception of voiced for voiceless phonemes. Such voicing misperceptions occurred more frequently for fricatives than stops. Previous studies have implicated the vibratory characteristics of the pharyngoesophageal (PE) segment for the voicing errors in TE speech. However, PE features would not fully explain why stops were less affected than fricatives and why the expected error was reversed for two TE phonemes (perceptions of voiceless for voiced consonants). (1) As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to identify the most common listener misperceptions of tracheoesophageal speech. (2) As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to discuss possible reasons for the predominant error that occurs.

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

    PubMed

    Kawase, Saya; Hannah, Beverly; Wang, Yue

    2014-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Acoustic predictors of intelligibility for segmentally interrupted speech: temporal envelope, voicing, and duration.

    PubMed

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2013-10-01

    Temporal interruption limits the perception of speech to isolated temporal glimpses. An analysis was conducted to determine the acoustic parameter that best predicts speech recognition from temporal fragments that preserve different types of speech information-namely, consonants and vowels. Young listeners with normal hearing previously completed word and sentence recognition tasks that required them to repeat word and sentence material that was temporally interrupted. Interruptions were designed to replace various portions of consonants or vowels with low-level noise. Acoustic analysis of preserved consonant and vowel segments was conducted to investigate the role of the preserved temporal envelope, voicing, and speech duration in predicting performance. Results demonstrate that the temporal envelope, predominantly from vowels, is most important for sentence recognition and largely predicts results across consonant and vowel conditions. In contrast, for isolated words the proportion of speech preserved was the best predictor of performance regardless of whether glimpses were from consonants or vowels. These findings suggest consideration of the vowel temporal envelope in speech transmission and amplification technologies for improving the intelligibility of temporally interrupted sentences.

  3. Audiovisual asynchrony detection and speech intelligibility in noise with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing impairment.

    PubMed

    Başkent, Deniz; Bazo, Danny

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this study is to explore the sensitivity to intermodal asynchrony in audiovisual speech with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. Based on previous studies, two opposing expectations were an increase in sensitivity, as hearing-impaired listeners heavily rely on lipreading in daily life, and a reduction in sensitivity, as hearing-impaired listeners tend to be elderly and advanced age could potentially impair audiovisual integration. Adults with normal (N = 11, ages between 23 and 50 yrs) and impaired hearing (N = 11, ages between 54 and 81 yrs, the pure-tone average between 42 and 67 dB HL) participated in two experiments. In the first experiment, the synchrony judgments were recorded for varying intermodal time differences in audiovisual sentence recordings. In the second experiment, the intelligibility of audiovisual and audio-only speech was measured in speech-shaped noise, and correlations were explored between the synchrony window and intelligibility scores for individual listeners. Similar to previous studies, a sensitivity window on the order of a few hundred milliseconds was observed with all listeners. The average window shapes did not differ between normal-hearing and hearing-impaired groups; however, there was large individual variability. Individual windows were quantified by Gaussian curve fitting. Point of subjective simultaneity, a measure of window peak shift from the actual synchrony point, and full-width at half-maximum, a measure of window duration, were not correlated with participant's age or the degree of hearing loss. Points of subjective simultaneity were also not correlated with speech intelligibility scores. A moderate negative correlation that was significant at most conditions was observed between the full-width at half-maximum values and intelligibility scores. Contrary to either expectation per se, there was no indication of an effect of hearing impairment or age on the sensitivity to intermodal asynchrony in

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. The impact of art therapy on the intelligibility of speech in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Pachalska, M; Frańczuk, B; Macqueen, B D; Jastrzebowska, G; Perzanowski, Z; Neldon, K

    2001-01-01

    Background. Children with cerebral palsy (CP) frequently have dysarthria, which reduces the intelligibility of their speech and can seriously impede their psycho-social adjustment. Traditional "bottom-up" rehabilitation oriented directly on the articulatory apparatus is not always successful in helping these children to speak intelligibly. The authors have developed a program of art therapy with elements of logopedic therapy to model and stimulate perception and expression, including linguistic performance, which has proven in clinical to be a helpful "top-down" approach to helping these children to speak more early.
    Material and methods. Out of the population of CP children treated in the Cracow Rehabilitation Center's Art Therapy Workshop in the period 1994-2001, we identified 14 children, 9 boys and 5 girls, average age 15,3, who showed severe dysarthria at admission without other language or cognitive disturbances. Our retrospective study was based on recorder results from the Auditory Dysarthria Scale and standard neuropsychological tests for fluency of speech, administered routinely once each month during the 4-month art therapy program.
    Results. All the children in the study group showed some degree of improvement after art therapy in all tested parameters. On the Auditory Dysarthria Scale, the largest improvements were noted in overall intelligibility (p < 0,0001); less improvement, though still statistically significant (p < 0,001) took place in respect to volume, tempo, and control of pauses. The least improvement was noted in the pronunciation of vowels and consonants (the most purely motor of the measured parameters). All the children also exhibited significant improvement in fluency of speech.
    Conclusions. Art therapy with elements of logopedic therapy improves the ability of children with cerebral palsy to engage in purposeful behavior, including speech and language functions, especially intelligibility.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Patient-Specific Model-Based Investigation of Speech Intelligibility and Movement during Deep Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Åström, Mattias; Tripoliti, Elina; Hariz, Marwan I.; Zrinzo, Ludvic U.; Martinez-Torres, Irene; Limousin, Patricia; Wårdell, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Background/Aims Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is widely used to treat motor symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the anatomical aspects of the electric field in relation to effects on speech and movement during DBS in the subthalamic nucleus. Methods Patient-specific finite element models of DBS were developed for simulation of the electric field in 10 patients. In each patient, speech intelligibility and movement were assessed during 2 electrical settings, i.e. 4 V (high) and 2 V (low). The electric field was simulated for each electrical setting. Results Movement was improved in all patients for both high and low electrical settings. In general, high-amplitude stimulation was more consistent in improving the motor scores than low-amplitude stimulation. In 6 cases, speech intelligibility was impaired during high-amplitude electrical settings. Stimulation of part of the fasciculus cerebellothalamicus from electrodes positioned medial and/or posterior to the center of the subthalamic nucleus was recognized as a possible cause of the stimulation-induced dysarthria. Conclusion Special attention to stimulation-induced speech impairments should be taken in cases when active electrodes are positioned medial and/or posterior to the center of the subthalamic nucleus. PMID:20460952

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogura, Y.

    1984-12-01

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

  12. Effect of enhancement of spectral changes on speech intelligibility and clarity preferences for the hearing impaired.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Baer, Thomas; Moore, Brian C J

    2012-04-01

    Most information in speech is carried in spectral changes over time, rather than in static spectral shape per se. A form of signal processing aimed at enhancing spectral changes over time was developed and evaluated using hearing-impaired listeners. The signal processing was based on the overlap-add method, and the degree and type of enhancement could be manipulated via four parameters. Two experiments were conducted to assess speech intelligibility and clarity preferences. Three sets of parameter values (one corresponding to a control condition), two types of masker (steady speech-spectrum noise and two-talker speech) and two signal-to-masker ratios (SMRs) were used for each masker type. Generally, the effects of the processing were small, although intelligibility was improved by about 8 percentage points relative to the control condition for one set of parameter values using the steady noise masker at -6 dB SMR. The processed signals were not preferred over those for the control condition, except for the steady noise masker at -6 dB SMR. Further work is needed to determine whether tailoring the processing to the characteristics of the individual hearing-impaired listener is beneficial.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. The speech intelligibility benefit of a unilateral wireless system for hearing impaired adults

    PubMed Central

    Whitmer, William M.; Brennan-Jones, Christopher G.; Akeroyd, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    Objective This study measured the effects of two previously untested practical considerations - venting and transmission delays - on speech intelligibility in a simulated unilateral wireless system, where a target signal in background noise was transmitted wirelessly to the hearing-impaired (HI) listener. Design Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) relative to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were measured by varying the surrounding babble noise level. The target signal was presented at 0° azimuth in the soundfield and unilaterally via an insert earphone, using open and closed fittings with simulated-wireless delays ranging between 0-160 ms. SRTs were also measured unaided and with participants’ current hearing aid(s). Study sample Thirty-three mild-to-moderate sensorineural HI adults participated in the experiment. Results For an open fitting, the results showed a 5-dB SNR benefit in SRT compared to unaided performance at shorter delays. For a closed fitting, the majority of participants could accurately recognize speech below −20 dB SNR across delays. Conclusions These results highlight the efficacy of wireless systems with HI adults. Speech-intelligibility benefits are affected by transmission delays only when the delay is greater than 40 ms and the coupling is vented. PMID:21929375

  15. Patient-specific model-based investigation of speech intelligibility and movement during deep brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Aström, Mattias; Tripoliti, Elina; Hariz, Marwan I; Zrinzo, Ludvic U; Martinez-Torres, Irene; Limousin, Patricia; Wårdell, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is widely used to treat motor symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the anatomical aspects of the electric field in relation to effects on speech and movement during DBS in the subthalamic nucleus. Patient-specific finite element models of DBS were developed for simulation of the electric field in 10 patients. In each patient, speech intelligibility and movement were assessed during 2 electrical settings, i.e. 4 V (high) and 2 V (low). The electric field was simulated for each electrical setting. Movement was improved in all patients for both high and low electrical settings. In general, high-amplitude stimulation was more consistent in improving the motor scores than low-amplitude stimulation. In 6 cases, speech intelligibility was impaired during high-amplitude electrical settings. Stimulation of part of the fasciculus cerebellothalamicus from electrodes positioned medial and/or posterior to the center of the subthalamic nucleus was recognized as a possible cause of the stimulation-induced dysarthria. Special attention to stimulation-induced speech impairments should be taken in cases when active electrodes are positioned medial and/or posterior to the center of the subthalamic nucleus. 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Effects of phase manipulation on speech intelligibility through communication headsets.

    PubMed

    Townsend, T H; Olsen, C C

    1979-04-01

    A masking level difference (MLD) paradigm was established by rewiring the earphones of a communications headset out-of-phase. Essentially no release from masking could be measured, however, on a crew of listeners in the cabin of light aircraft. The experiment was replicated in the laboratory so that the exact phase of the aircraft noise masker could be controlled. The substantial MLD obtained in this environment led to the conclusion that the noise reaching the ear in the cockpit was of random phase, which almost eliminates the MLD. Therefore, rewiring headsets out-of-phase provides no advantage in intelligibility.

  17. Perceptual adaptation and intelligibility of multiple talkers for two types of degraded speech

    PubMed Central

    Bent, Tessa; Buchwald, Adam; Pisoni, David B.

    2009-01-01

    Talker intelligibility and perceptual adaptation under cochlear implant (CI)-simulation and speech in multi-talker babble were compared. The stimuli consisted of 100 sentences produced by 20 native English talkers. The sentences were processed to simulate listening with an eight-channel CI or were mixed with multi-talker babble. Stimuli were presented to 400 listeners in a sentence transcription task (200 listeners in each condition). Perceptual adaptation was measured for each talker by comparing intelligibility in the first 20 sentences of the experiment to intelligibility in the last 20 sentences. Perceptual adaptation patterns were also compared across the two degradation conditions by comparing performance in blocks of ten sentences. The most intelligible talkers under CI-simulation also tended to be the most intelligible talkers in multi-talker babble. Furthermore, listeners demonstrated a greater degree of perceptual adaptation in the CI-simulation condition compared to the multi-talker babble condition although the extent of adaptation varied widely across talkers. Listeners reached asymptote later in the experiment in the CI-simulation condition compared with the multi-talker babble condition. Overall, these two forms of degradation did not differ in their effect on talker intelligibility, although they did result in differences in the amount and time-course of perceptual adaptation. PMID:19894843

  18. Near-field speech intelligibility in chemical-biological warfare masks.

    PubMed

    Bishop, J; Bahr, R H; Gelfer, M P

    1999-08-01

    It is common knowledge among field personnel that poor speech intelligibility can occur when chemical-biological warfare (CBW) masks are worn: indeed, many users resort to hand signals for person-to-person communicative purposes. This study was conducted in an effort to generate basic information about the problem; its focus was on the assessment of, and comparisons among, the communicative efficiency of seven different CBW units. Near-field word intelligibility was assessed by use of rhyming minimal contrast tests; user and acoustic restrictions were studied by means of diadochokinetic tests and system frequency response. The near-field word intelligibility of six American-designed masks varied somewhat, but overall it was reasonably good; however, a Russian unit did not perform well. Second, three of the U.S. masks were found to produce less physiological restraint than the others, and the Soviet mask produced the greatest physiological restraint. Finally, a few of the CBW masks also exhibited very low levels of acoustic distortion. Accordingly, it was concluded that two of the several configurations studied exhibited superior features. Other factors being equal, they can be recommended for field use and as a basis for the development of future generations of CBW masks. However, it also should be noted that although these devices provided reasonably good speech intelligibility when the listener was close to the talker, they do not appear to do so even at minimal distances.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayser, J. A.

    1981-12-01

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

  20. Intelligence in early adulthood and mortality from natural and unnatural causes in middle-aged Danish men.

    PubMed

    Meincke, Rikke Hodal; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Avlund, Kirsten; Rosthøj, Susanne; Sørensen, Holger Jelling; Osler, Merete

    2014-02-01

    High intelligence early in life has consistently been associated with decreased mortality, but the mechanisms are still not fully understood. In this cohort study, we examined the association between intelligence in early adulthood and later mortality from natural and unnatural causes taking birth weight, parental socioeconomic position, participants' own education and body mass index into account. 13 536 Danish men born in 1953 and 1959-1961 with data from birth certificates and intelligence test scores from conscription were followed until 2009. Information on vital status was obtained from the Civil Registration System. Mortality risks were analysed by the multiple Cox proportional hazards model. The risk of mortality from natural as well as unnatural causes was more than twice as high among men in the lowest scoring intelligence tertile (HRnatural deaths=2.24; 1.90-2.65 and HRunnatural deaths=2.67; 2.03-3.53). Adjusting for all covariates attenuated the estimates, but the association remained (HRnatural deaths=1.82; 1.48-2.25 and HRunnatural deaths=2.30; 1.63-3.25). In men, intelligence in early adulthood was inversely associated with midlife mortality from natural and unnatural causes. The associations remained after adjustments for a range of covariates.

  1. 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

  2. A Speech Intelligibility Index-based approach to predict the speech reception threshold for sentences in fluctuating noise for normal-hearing listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S.; Versfeld, Niek J.

    2005-04-01

    The SII model in its present form (ANSI S3.5-1997, American National Standards Institute, New York) can accurately describe intelligibility for speech in stationary noise but fails to do so for nonstationary noise maskers. Here, an extension to the SII model is proposed with the aim to predict the speech intelligibility in both stationary and fluctuating noise. The basic principle of the present approach is that both speech and noise signal are partitioned into small time frames. Within each time frame the conventional SII is determined, yielding the speech information available to the listener at that time frame. Next, the SII values of these time frames are averaged, resulting in the SII for that particular condition. Using speech reception threshold (SRT) data from the literature, the extension to the present SII model can give a good account for SRTs in stationary noise, fluctuating speech noise, interrupted noise, and multiple-talker noise. The predictions for sinusoidally intensity modulated (SIM) noise and real speech or speech-like maskers are better than with the original SII model, but are still not accurate. For the latter type of maskers, informational masking may play a role. .

  3. A Speech Intelligibility Index-based approach to predict the speech reception threshold for sentences in fluctuating noise for normal-hearing listeners.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S; Versfeld, Niek J

    2005-04-01

    The SII model in its present form (ANSI S3.5-1997, American National Standards Institute, New York) can accurately describe intelligibility for speech in stationary noise but fails to do so for nonstationary noise maskers. Here, an extension to the SII model is proposed with the aim to predict the speech intelligibility in both stationary and fluctuating noise. The basic principle of the present approach is that both speech and noise signal are partitioned into small time frames. Within each time frame the conventional SII is determined, yielding the speech information available to the listener at that time frame. Next, the SII values of these time frames are averaged, resulting in the SII for that particular condition. Using speech reception threshold (SRT) data from the literature, the extension to the present SII model can give a good account for SRTs in stationary noise, fluctuating speech noise, interrupted noise, and multiple-talker noise. The predictions for sinusoidally intensity modulated (SIM) noise and real speech or speech-like maskers are better than with the original SII model, but are still not accurate. For the latter type of maskers, informational masking may play a role.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Vowels in clear and conversational speech: Talker differences in acoustic characteristics and intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargus Ferguson, Sarah; Kewley-Port, Diane

    2002-05-01

    Several studies have shown that when a talker is instructed to speak as though talking to a hearing-impaired person, the resulting ``clear'' speech is significantly more intelligible than typical conversational speech. Recent work in this lab suggests that talkers vary in how much their intelligibility improves when they are instructed to speak clearly. The few studies examining acoustic characteristics of clear and conversational speech suggest that these differing clear speech effects result from different acoustic strategies on the part of individual talkers. However, only two studies to date have directly examined differences among talkers producing clear versus conversational speech, and neither included acoustic analysis. In this project, clear and conversational speech was recorded from 41 male and female talkers aged 18-45 years. A listening experiment demonstrated that for normal-hearing listeners in noise, vowel intelligibility varied widely among the 41 talkers for both speaking styles, as did the magnitude of the speaking style effect. Acoustic analyses using stimuli from a subgroup of talkers shown to have a range of speaking style effects will be used to assess specific acoustic correlates of vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech. [Work supported by NIHDCD-02229.

  6. APEX/SPIN: a free test platform to measure speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Francart, Tom; Hofmann, Michael; Vanthornhout, Jonas; Van Deun, Lieselot; van Wieringen, Astrid; Wouters, Jan

    2017-02-01

    Measuring speech intelligibility in quiet and noise is important in clinical practice and research. An easy-to-use free software platform for conducting speech tests is presented, called APEX/SPIN. The APEX/SPIN platform allows the use of any speech material in combination with any noise. A graphical user interface provides control over a large range of parameters, such as number of loudspeakers, signal-to-noise ratio and parameters of the procedure. An easy-to-use graphical interface is provided for calibration and storage of calibration values. To validate the platform, perception of words in quiet and sentences in noise were measured both with APEX/SPIN and with an audiometer and CD player, which is a conventional setup in current clinical practice. Five normal-hearing listeners participated in the experimental evaluation. Speech perception results were similar for the APEX/SPIN platform and conventional procedures. APEX/SPIN is a freely available and open source platform that allows the administration of all kinds of custom speech perception tests and procedures.

  7. Intelligibility as a clinical outcome measure following intervention with children with phonologically based speech-sound disorders.

    PubMed

    Lousada, M; Jesus, Luis M T; Hall, A; Joffe, V

    2014-01-01

    The effectiveness of two treatment approaches (phonological therapy and articulation therapy) for treatment of 14 children, aged 4;0-6;7 years, with phonologically based speech-sound disorder (SSD) has been previously analysed with severity outcome measures (percentage of consonants correct score, percentage occurrence of phonological processes and phonetic inventory). Considering that the ultimate goal of intervention for children with phonologically based SSD is to improve intelligibility, it is curious that intervention studies focusing on children's phonology do not routinely use intelligibility as an outcome measure. It is therefore important that the impact of interventions on speech intelligibility is explored. This paper investigates the effectiveness of the two treatment approaches (phonological therapy and articulation therapy) using intelligibility measures, both in single words and in continuous speech, as the primary outcome. Fourteen children with phonologically based SSD participated in the intervention. The children were randomly assigned to phonological therapy or articulation therapy (seven children in each group). Two assessment methods were used for measuring intelligibility: a word identification task (for single words) and a rating scale (for continuous speech). Twenty-one unfamiliar adults listened and judged the children's intelligibility. Reliability analyses showed overall high agreement between listeners across both methods. Significant improvements were noted in intelligibility in both single words (paired t(6)=4.409, p=0.005) and continuous speech (asymptotic Z=2.371, p=0.018) for the group receiving phonology therapy pre- to post-treatment, but no differences in intelligibility were found for those receiving the articulation therapy pre- to post-treatment, either for single words (paired t(6)=1.763, p=0.128) or continuous speech (asymptotic Z=1.442, p=0.149). Intelligibility measures were sensitive enough to show changes in the

  8. Segmental intelligibility of four currently used text-to-speech synthesis methods.

    PubMed

    Venkatagiri, Horabail S

    2003-04-01

    The study investigated the segmental intelligibility of four currently available text-to-speech (TTS) products under 0-dB and 5-dB signal-to-noise ratios. The products were IBM ViaVoice version 5.1, which uses formant coding, Festival version 1.4.2, a diphone-based LPC TTS product, AT&T Next-Gen, a half-phone-based TTS product that uses harmonic-plus-noise method for synthesis, and FlexVoice2, a hybrid TTS product that combines concatenative and formant coding techniques. Overall, concatenative techniques were more intelligible than formant or hybrid techniques, with formant coding slightly better at modeling vowels and concatenative techniques marginally better at synthesizing consonants. No TTS product was better at resisting noise interference than others, although all were more intelligible at 5 dB than at 0-dB SNR. The better TTS products in this study were, on the average, 22% less intelligible and had about 3 times more phoneme errors than human voice under comparable listening conditions. The hybrid TTS technology of FlexVoice had the lowest intelligibility and highest error rates. There were discernible patterns of errors for stops, fricatives, and nasals. Unrestricted TTS output--e-mail messages, news reports, and so on--under high noise conditions prevalent in automobiles, airports, etc. will likely challenge the listeners.

  9. Northeast Artificial Intelligence Consortium Annual Report 1987. Volume 6. Artificial Intelligence Applications to Speech Recognition

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-03-01

    Waibel (1981), in addition to connected word recognition by Myers et al. (1981), Ney (1984), and Watari (1986). An unknown utterance and a reference...Techniques in Isolated Word Speech Recognition Systems", Research paper, Carnegie-Mellon University, CMU-CS-81-125, June 1981. Watari , M. "New DP

  10. An SII-based approach to predict the speech intelligibility in fluctuating noise for normal-hearing listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S.; Versfeld, Niek J.

    2004-05-01

    The speech intelligibility index (SII) is frequently used to predict the speech intelligibility for speech in a given interfering noise. However, the SII model only has been validated for speech in stationary noise. Since the SII departs from speech and noise spectra, it does not take into account any fluctuations in the masking noise. Hence, the model will yield similar SII values, regardless of the degree of fluctuation. In contrast, from the literature it is clear that normal-hearing listeners can benefit from the fluctuations in the noise. The present paper describes an SII-based approach to model speech reception thresholds (SRTs) for speech in both stationary and fluctuating noise. The basic principle of this approach is that both speech and noise signals are partitioned into small time frames. Within each time frame, the conventional SII is determined, yielding the speech information available to the listener at that time frame. Next, the SII values of these time frames are averaged, resulting in the SII for that particular condition. With the aid of SRT data from the literature, it will be shown that this approach can give a good account for most existing data.

  11. Integrating the acoustics of running speech into the pure tone audiogram: a step from audibility to intelligibility and disability.

    PubMed

    Corthals, Paul

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to construct a simple method for visualizing and quantifying the audibility of speech on the audiogram and to predict speech intelligibility. The proposed method involves a series of indices on the audiogram form reflecting the sound pressure level distribution of running speech. The indices that coincide with a patient's pure tone thresholds reflect speech audibility and give evidence of residual functional hearing capacity. Two validation studies were conducted among sensorineurally hearing-impaired participants (n = 56 and n = 37, respectively) to investigate the relation with speech recognition ability and hearing disability. The potential of the new audibility indices as predictors for speech reception thresholds is comparable to the predictive potential of the ANSI 1968 articulation index and the ANSI 1997 speech intelligibility index. The sum of indices or a weighted combination can explain considerable proportions of variance in speech reception results for sentences in quiet free field conditions. The proportions of variance that can be explained in questionnaire results on hearing disability are less, presumably because the threshold indices almost exclusively reflect message audibility and much less the psychosocial consequences of hearing deficits. The outcomes underpin the validity of the new audibility indexing system, even though the proposed method may be better suited for predicting relative performance across a set of conditions than for predicting absolute speech recognition performance. (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

  12. Cochlea-scaled entropy, not consonants, vowels, or time, best predicts speech intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Stilp, Christian E.; Kluender, Keith R.

    2010-01-01

    Speech sounds are traditionally divided into consonants and vowels. When only vowels or only consonants are replaced by noise, listeners are more accurate understanding sentences in which consonants are replaced but vowels remain. From such data, vowels have been suggested to be more important for understanding sentences; however, such conclusions are mitigated by the fact that replaced consonant segments were roughly one-third shorter than vowels. We report two experiments that demonstrate listener performance to be better predicted by simple psychoacoustic measures of cochlea-scaled spectral change across time. First, listeners identified sentences in which portions of consonants (C), vowels (V), CV transitions, or VC transitions were replaced by noise. Relative intelligibility was not well accounted for on the basis of Cs, Vs, or their transitions. In a second experiment, distinctions between Cs and Vs were abandoned. Instead, portions of sentences were replaced on the basis of cochlea-scaled spectral entropy (CSE). Sentence segments having relatively high, medium, or low entropy were replaced with noise. Intelligibility decreased linearly as the amount of replaced CSE increased. Duration of signal replaced and proportion of consonants/vowels replaced fail to account for listener data. CSE corresponds closely with the linguistic construct of sonority (or vowel-likeness) that is useful for describing phonological systematicity, especially syllable composition. Results challenge traditional distinctions between consonants and vowels. Speech intelligibility is better predicted by nonlinguistic sensory measures of uncertainty (potential information) than by orthodox physical acoustic measures or linguistic constructs. PMID:20566842

  13. Environment-specific noise suppression for improved speech intelligibility by cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yi; Loizou, Philipos C

    2010-06-01

    Attempts to develop noise-suppression algorithms that can significantly improve speech intelligibility in noise by cochlear implant (CI) users have met with limited success. This is partly because algorithms were sought that would work equally well in all listening situations. Accomplishing this has been quite challenging given the variability in the temporal/spectral characteristics of real-world maskers. A different approach is taken in the present study focused on the development of environment-specific noise suppression algorithms. The proposed algorithm selects a subset of the envelope amplitudes for stimulation based on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of each channel. Binary classifiers, trained using data collected from a particular noisy environment, are first used to classify the mixture envelopes of each channel as either target-dominated (SNR>or=0 dB) or masker-dominated (SNR<0 dB). Only target-dominated channels are subsequently selected for stimulation. Results with CI listeners indicated substantial improvements (by nearly 44 percentage points at 5 dB SNR) in intelligibility with the proposed algorithm when tested with sentences embedded in three real-world maskers. The present study demonstrated that the environment-specific approach to noise reduction has the potential to restore speech intelligibility in noise to a level near to that attained in quiet.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  15. Effect of the number of presentations on listener transcriptions and reliability in the assessment of speech intelligibility in children.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    The assessment of intelligibility is an essential part of establishing the severity of a speech disorder. The intelligibility of a speaker is affected by a number of different variables relating, inter alia, to the speech material, the listener and the listener task. To explore the impact of the number of presentations of the utterances on assessments of intelligibility based on orthographic transcription of spontaneous speech, specifically the impact on intelligibility scores, reliability and intra-listener variability. Speech from 12 children (aged 4:6-8:3 years; mean = 5:10 years) with percentage consonants correct (PCC) scores ranging from 49 to 81 was listened to by 18 students on the speech-language pathology (SLP) programme and by two recent graduates from that programme. Three conditions were examined during the transcription phase: (1) listening to each utterance once; (2) listening to each utterance a second time; and (3) listening to all utterances from a given child a third time after having heard all of its utterances twice. Statistically significant differences between intelligibility scores were found across the three conditions, i.e. the intelligibility score increased with the number of presentations while inter-judge reliability was unchanged. The results differed markedly across listeners, but each individual listener's results were very consistent across conditions. Information about the number of times an utterance is presented to the listener is important and should therefore always be included in reports of research involving intelligibility assessment. There is a need for further research and discussion on listener abilities and strategies. © 2015 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  16. AFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN SPEECH AND RELATED QUANTITATIVE PROBLEMS.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    VOICE COMMUNICATIONS, PSYCHOACOUSTICS), (*PSYCHOACOUSTICS, SPEECH ), (* SPEECH , INTELLIGIBILITY), (*INTELLIGIBILITY, MEASUREMENT), SPEECH ...TRANSMISSION, ACOUSTIC PROPERTIES, AUDITORY PERCEPTION, DISTORTION, PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS, PERCEPTION(PSYCHOLOGY), SPEECH REPRESENTATION, MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS, TABLES(DATA)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousefian Jazi, Nima

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  20. Predictive processing increases intelligibility of acoustically distorted speech: Behavioral and neural correlates.

    PubMed

    Hakonen, Maria; May, Patrick J C; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Jokinen, Emma; Sams, Mikko; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2017-09-01

    We examined which brain areas are involved in the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech using an experimental paradigm where the same distorted sentence can be perceived at different levels of intelligibility. This change in intelligibility occurs via a single intervening presentation of the intact version of the sentence, and the effect lasts at least on the order of minutes. Since the acoustic structure of the distorted stimulus is kept fixed and only intelligibility is varied, this allows one to study brain activity related to speech comprehension specifically. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment, a stimulus set contained a block of six distorted sentences. This was followed by the intact counterparts of the sentences, after which the sentences were presented in distorted form again. A total of 18 such sets were presented to 20 human subjects. The blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-responses elicited by the distorted sentences which came after the disambiguating, intact sentences were contrasted with the responses to the sentences presented before disambiguation. This revealed increased activity in the bilateral frontal pole, the dorsal anterior cingulate/paracingulate cortex, and the right frontal operculum. Decreased BOLD responses were observed in the posterior insula, Heschl's gyrus, and the posterior superior temporal sulcus. The brain areas that showed BOLD-enhancement for increased sentence comprehension have been associated with executive functions and with the mapping of incoming sensory information to representations stored in episodic memory. Thus, the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech may be associated with the engagement of memory-related subsystems. Further, activity in the primary auditory cortex was modulated by prior experience, possibly in a predictive coding framework. Our results suggest that memory biases the perception of ambiguous sensory information toward interpretations that have the

  1. Hybridizing Conversational and Clear Speech to Investigate the Source of Increased Intelligibility in Speakers With Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tjaden, Kris; Kain, Alexander; Lam, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Purpose A speech analysis-resynthesis paradigm was used to investigate segmental and suprasegmental acoustic variables explaining intelligibility variation for 2 speakers with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Method Sentences were read in conversational and clear styles. Acoustic characteristics from clear sentences were extracted and applied to conversational sentences, yielding 6 hybridized versions of sentences in which segment durations, short-term spectrum, energy characteristics, or fundamental frequency characteristics for clear productions were applied individually or in combination to conversational productions. Listeners (N = 20) judged intelligibility in transcription and scaling tasks. Results Intelligibility increases above conversation were more robust for transcription, but the pattern of intelligibility improvement was similar across tasks. For 1 speaker, hybridization involving only clear energy characteristics yielded an 8.7% improvement in transcription intelligibility above conversation. For the other speaker, hybridization involving clear spectrum yielded an 18% intelligibility improvement, whereas hybridization involving both clear spectrum and duration yielded a 13.4% improvement. Conclusions Not all production changes accompanying clear speech explain its improved intelligibility. Suprasegmental adjustments contributed to intelligibility improvements when segmental adjustments, as inferred from vowel space area, were not robust. Hybridization can be used to identify acoustic variables explaining intelligibility variation in mild dysarthria secondary to PD. PMID:24686409

  2. Audio-visual speech intelligibility benefits with bilateral cochlear implants when talker location varies.

    PubMed

    van Hoesel, Richard J M

    2015-04-01

    One of the key benefits of using cochlear implants (CIs) in both ears rather than just one is improved localization. It is likely that in complex listening scenes, improved localization allows bilateral CI users to orient toward talkers to improve signal-to-noise ratios and gain access to visual cues, but to date, that conjecture has not been tested. To obtain an objective measure of that benefit, seven bilateral CI users were assessed for both auditory-only and audio-visual speech intelligibility in noise using a novel dynamic spatial audio-visual test paradigm. For each trial conducted in spatially distributed noise, first, an auditory-only cueing phrase that was spoken by one of four talkers was selected and presented from one of four locations. Shortly afterward, a target sentence was presented that was either audio-visual or, in another test configuration, audio-only and was spoken by the same talker and from the same location as the cueing phrase. During the target presentation, visual distractors were added at other spatial locations. Results showed that in terms of speech reception thresholds (SRTs), the average improvement for bilateral listening over the better performing ear alone was 9 dB for the audio-visual mode, and 3 dB for audition-alone. Comparison of bilateral performance for audio-visual and audition-alone showed that inclusion of visual cues led to an average SRT improvement of 5 dB. For unilateral device use, no such benefit arose, presumably due to the greatly reduced ability to localize the target talker to acquire visual information. The bilateral CI speech intelligibility advantage over the better ear in the present study is much larger than that previously reported for static talker locations and indicates greater everyday speech benefits and improved cost-benefit than estimated to date.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C

    2012-05-01

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

  5. Association between objective measurement of the speech intelligibility of young people with dysarthria and listener ratings of ease of understanding.

    PubMed

    Landa, Sophie; Pennington, Lindsay; Miller, Nick; Robson, Sheila; Thompson, Vicki; Steen, Nick

    2014-08-01

    This study aimed to investigate the association between listeners' ratings of how much effort it took to understand the speech of young people with cerebral palsy and the percentage of words listeners actually understood. Thirty-one young people with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (16 males, 15 females; mean age = 11 years, SD = 3) were audio recorded repeating single words and producing speech. Objective measures of intelligibility were calculated for multiple familiar and unfamiliar listeners using a forced choice paradigm for single words and verbatim orthographic transcriptions for connected speech. Listeners rated how much effort it took to understand speech in each condition using a 5-point ordinal ease of listening (EOL) scale. Agreement on EOL within rater groups was high (ICC > 0.71). An effect of listener was observed for familiar listeners, but not for unfamiliar listeners. EOL agreement between familiar and unfamiliar listeners was weak-moderate (ICC = 0.46). EOL predicted the percentage of speech actually understood by familiar and unfamiliar listeners (r > 0.56, p < 0.001 for all predictions). Strongest associations between EOL and intelligibility were observed for speakers with mild and profound impairments. The findings of this study demonstrate that listeners can judge how well they have understood dysarthric speech. EOL is associated with listener familiarity, speech task and speech impairment severity. EOL is appropriate for use in clinical practice as a measure of communication activity.

  6. The Effect of Uni- and Bilateral Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation on Speech in Patients With Essential Tremor: Acoustics and Intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Becker, Johannes; Barbe, Michael T; Hartinger, Mariam; Dembek, Till A; Pochmann, Jil; Wirths, Jochen; Allert, Niels; Mücke, Doris; Hermes, Anne; Meister, Ingo G; Visser-Vandewalle, Veerle; Grice, Martine; Timmermann, Lars

    2017-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) is performed to suppress medically-resistant essential tremor (ET). However, stimulation induced dysarthria (SID) is a common side effect, limiting the extent to which tremor can be suppressed. To date, the exact pathogenesis of SID in VIM-DBS treated ET patients is unknown. We investigate the effect of inactivated, uni- and bilateral VIM-DBS on speech production in patients with ET. We employ acoustic measures, tempo, and intelligibility ratings and patient's self-estimated speech to quantify SID, with a focus on comparing bilateral to unilateral stimulation effects and the effect of electrode position on speech. Sixteen German ET patients participated in this study. Each patient was acoustically recorded with DBS-off, unilateral-right-hemispheric-DBS-on, unilateral-left-hemispheric-DBS-on, and bilateral-DBS-on during an oral diadochokinesis task and a read German standard text. To capture the extent of speech impairment, we measured syllable duration and intensity ratio during the DDK task. Naïve listeners rated speech tempo and speech intelligibility of the read text on a 5-point-scale. Patients had to rate their "ability to speak". We found an effect of bilateral compared to unilateral and inactivated stimulation on syllable durations and intensity ratio, as well as on external intelligibility ratings and patients' VAS scores. Additionally, VAS scores are associated with more laterally located active contacts. For speech ratings, we found an effect of syllable duration such that tempo and intelligibility was rated worse for speakers exhibiting greater syllable durations. Our data confirms that SID is more pronounced under bilateral compared to unilateral stimulation. Laterally located electrodes are associated with more severe SID according to patient's self-ratings. We can confirm the relation between diadochokinetic rate and SID in that listener's tempo and intelligibility ratings can be

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Prediction of speech intelligibility in spatial noise and reverberation for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Beutelmann, Rainer; Brand, Thomas

    2006-07-01

    Binaural speech intelligibility of individual listeners under realistic conditions was predicted using a model consisting of a gammatone filter bank, an independent equalization-cancellation (EC) process in each frequency band, a gammatone resynthesis, and the speech intelligibility index (SII). Hearing loss was simulated by adding uncorrelated masking noises (according to the pure-tone audiogram) to the ear channels. Speech intelligibility measurements were carried out with 8 normal-hearing and 15 hearing-impaired listeners, collecting speech reception threshold (SRT) data for three different room acoustic conditions (anechoic, office room, cafeteria hall) and eight directions of a single noise source (speech in front). Artificial EC processing errors derived from binaural masking level difference data using pure tones were incorporated into the model. Except for an adjustment of the SII-to-intelligibility mapping function, no model parameter was fitted to the SRT data of this study. The overall correlation coefficient between predicted and observed SRTs was 0.95. The dependence of the SRT of an individual listener on the noise direction and on room acoustics was predicted with a median correlation coefficient of 0.91. The effect of individual hearing impairment was predicted with a median correlation coefficient of 0.95. However, for mild hearing losses the release from masking was overestimated.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jeffrey W.; Simpson, Carol A.

    1990-01-01

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

  10. The impact of reverberant self-masking and overlap-masking effects on speech intelligibility by cochlear implant listeners (L)

    PubMed Central

    Kokkinakis, Kostas; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the relative impact of reverberant self-masking and overlap-masking effects on speech intelligibility by cochlear implant listeners. Sentences were presented in two conditions wherein reverberant consonant segments were replaced with clean consonants, and in another condition wherein reverberant vowel segments were replaced with clean vowels. The underlying assumption is that self-masking effects would dominate in the first condition, whereas overlap-masking effects would dominate in the second condition. Results indicated that the degradation of speech intelligibility in reverberant conditions is caused primarily by self-masking effects that give rise to flattened formant transitions. PMID:21895052

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-13

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

  12. Prediction of the intelligibility for speech in real-life background noises for subjects with normal hearing.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, Koenraad S; Versfeld, Niek J; Dreschler, Wouter A

    2008-04-01

    The speech reception threshold (SRT) traditionally is measured in stationary noise that has the long-term average speech spectrum of the target speech. However, in real life the instantaneous spectrum of the background noise is likely to be different from the stationary long-term average speech spectrum noise. To gain more insight into the effect of real-life background noises on speech intelligibility, the SRT of listeners with normal hearing was measured in a set of noises that varied in both the spectral and the temporal domain. This article investigates the ability of the extended speech intelligibility index (ESII), proposed by Rhebergen et al. to account for SRTs in these real-life background noises. SRTs in noise were measured in 12 subjects with normal hearing. Interfering noises consisted of a variety of real-life noises, selected from a database, and chosen on the basis of their spectrotemporal differences. Measured SRTs were converted to ESII values and compared. Ideally, at threshold, ESII values should be the same, because the ESII represents the amount of speech information available to the listener. SRTs ranged from -6 dB SNR (in stationary noise) to -21 dB SNR (in machine gun noise). Conversion to ESII values resulted in an average value of 0.34, with a standard deviation of 0.06. SRT predictions with the ESII model were better than those obtained with the conventional SII (ANSI 53.5-1997) model. In case of interfering speech, the ESII model predictions were poorer, because additional, nonenergetic (informational) masking is thought to occur. For the present set of masking noises, being representative for a variety of real-life noises, the ESII model of Rhebergen et al. is able to predict the SRTs of subjects with normal hearing with reasonable accuracy. It may be concluded that the ESII model can provide valuable predictions for the speech intelligibility in some everyday situations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-02

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

  14. Speech intelligibility differences across sound classes with in-the-ear and free-field microphones in quiet.

    PubMed

    Estis, Julie M; Parisi, Julie A; Moore, Robert E; Brungart, Douglas S

    2011-06-01

    Speech intelligibility performance with an in-the-ear microphone embedded in a custom-molded deep-insertion earplug was compared with results obtained using a free-field microphone. Intelligibility differences between microphones were further analyzed to assess whether reduced intelligibility was specific to certain sound classes. 36 participants completed the Modified Rhyme Test using recordings made with each microphone. While speech intelligibility for both microphones was highly accurate, intelligibility with the free-field microphone was significantly better than with the in-the-ear microphone. There were significant effects of place and manner of sound production. Significant differences in recognition among specific phonemes were also revealed. Implications included modifying the in-the-ear microphone to transmit more high frequency energy. Use of the in-the-ear microphone was limited by significant loss of high-frequency energy of the speech signal which resulted in reduced intelligibility for some sounds; however, the in-the-ear microphone is a promising technology for effective communication in military environments.

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

    PubMed

    Dillier, Norbert; Lai, Wai Kong

    2015-06-11

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

  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. Behavioral and fMRI evidence that cognitive ability modulates the effect of semantic context on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Zekveld, Adriana A; Rudner, Mary; Johnsrude, Ingrid S; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2012-08-01

    Text cues facilitate the perception of spoken sentences to which they are semantically related (Zekveld, Rudner, et al., 2011). In this study, semantically related and unrelated cues preceding sentences evoked more activation in middle temporal gyrus (MTG) and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) than nonword cues, regardless of acoustic quality (speech in noise or speech in quiet). Larger verbal working memory (WM) capacity (reading span) was associated with greater intelligibility benefit obtained from related cues, with less speech-related activation in the left superior temporal gyrus and left anterior IFG, and with more activation in right medial frontal cortex for related versus unrelated cues. Better ability to comprehend masked text was associated with greater ability to disregard unrelated cues, and with more activation in left angular gyrus (AG). We conclude that individual differences in cognitive abilities are related to activation in a speech-sensitive network including left MTG, IFG and AG during cued speech perception.

  18. An Italian matrix sentence test for the evaluation of speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    Puglisi, Giuseppina Emma; Warzybok, Anna; Hochmuth, Sabine; Visentin, Chiara; Astolfi, Arianna; Prodi, Nicola; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    Development of an Italian matrix sentence test for the assessment of speech intelligibility in noise. The development of the test included the selection, recording, optimization with level adjustment, and evaluation of speech material. The training effect was assessed adaptively during the evaluation measurements with six lists of 20 sentences, using open- and closed-set response formats. Reference data were established for normal-hearing listeners with adaptive measurements. Equivalence of the test lists was investigated using the open-set response format at three signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). A total of 55 normal-hearing Italian mother-tongue listeners. The evaluation measurements at fixed SNRs resulted in a mean speech reception threshold (SRT) of -7.3 ± 0.2 dB SNR and slope of 13.3 ± 1.2 %/dB. The major training effect of 1.5 dB was observed for the first two consecutive measurements. Mean SRTs of -6.7 ± 0.7 dB SNR and -7.4 ± 0.7 dB SNR were found from the third to the sixth adaptive measurement for open- and closed-set test response formats, respectively. A good agreement has been found between the SRTs and slope and those of other matrix tests. Since sentences are difficult to memorize, the Italian matrix test is suitable for repeated measurements.

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

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Waldo; Rode, Thilo; Büchner, Andreas

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  1. Intelligibility and Clarity of Reverberant Speech: Effects of Wide Dynamic Range Compression Release Time and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhart, Paul N.; Souza, Pamela E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of varying wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) release time on intelligibility and clarity of reverberant speech. The study also considered the role of individual working memory. Method: Thirty older listeners with mild to moderately-severe sloping sensorineural hearing loss…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuendorf, Jill A.

    2010-01-01

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

  3. The Benefits of Bimodal Aiding on Extended Dimensions of Speech Perception: Intelligibility, Listening Effort, and Sound Quality.

    PubMed

    Devocht, Elke M J; Janssen, A Miranda L; Chalupper, Josef; Stokroos, Robert J; George, Erwin L J

    2017-01-01

    The benefits of combining a cochlear implant (CI) and a hearing aid (HA) in opposite ears on speech perception were examined in 15 adult unilateral CI recipients who regularly use a contralateral HA. A within-subjects design was carried out to assess speech intelligibility testing, listening effort ratings, and a sound quality questionnaire for the conditions CI alone, CIHA together, and HA alone when applicable. The primary outcome of bimodal benefit, defined as the difference between CIHA and CI, was statistically significant for speech intelligibility in quiet as well as for intelligibility in noise across tested spatial conditions. A reduction in effort on top of intelligibility at the highest tested signal-to-noise ratio was found. Moreover, the bimodal listening situation was rated to sound more voluminous, less tinny, and less unpleasant than CI alone. Listening effort and sound quality emerged as feasible and relevant measures to demonstrate bimodal benefit across a clinically representative range of bimodal users. These extended dimensions of speech perception can shed more light on the array of benefits provided by complementing a CI with a contralateral HA.

  4. The Benefits of Bimodal Aiding on Extended Dimensions of Speech Perception: Intelligibility, Listening Effort, and Sound Quality

    PubMed Central

    Chalupper, Josef

    2017-01-01

    The benefits of combining a cochlear implant (CI) and a hearing aid (HA) in opposite ears on speech perception were examined in 15 adult unilateral CI recipients who regularly use a contralateral HA. A within-subjects design was carried out to assess speech intelligibility testing, listening effort ratings, and a sound quality questionnaire for the conditions CI alone, CIHA together, and HA alone when applicable. The primary outcome of bimodal benefit, defined as the difference between CIHA and CI, was statistically significant for speech intelligibility in quiet as well as for intelligibility in noise across tested spatial conditions. A reduction in effort on top of intelligibility at the highest tested signal-to-noise ratio was found. Moreover, the bimodal listening situation was rated to sound more voluminous, less tinny, and less unpleasant than CI alone. Listening effort and sound quality emerged as feasible and relevant measures to demonstrate bimodal benefit across a clinically representative range of bimodal users. These extended dimensions of speech perception can shed more light on the array of benefits provided by complementing a CI with a contralateral HA. PMID:28874096

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tjaden, Kris; Kain, Alexander; Lam, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Effects of Training on Naive Listeners' Judgments of the Speech Intelligibility of Children with Severe-to-Profound Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Lee W.; Beltyukova, Svetlana A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the effects of feedback training, familiarization training, and no training on naive listeners' word identification (WI) and magnitude estimation scaling (MES) judgments of the speech intelligibility of children with severe-to-profound hearing impairments. Method: Depending on the training group, listeners received a…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tjaden, Kris; Kain, Alexander; Lam, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Intelligibility and Clarity of Reverberant Speech: Effects of Wide Dynamic Range Compression Release Time and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhart, Paul N.; Souza, Pamela E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of varying wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) release time on intelligibility and clarity of reverberant speech. The study also considered the role of individual working memory. Method: Thirty older listeners with mild to moderately-severe sloping sensorineural hearing loss…

  10. The effect of amplitude compression, time constants, and number of channels on speech intelligibility in noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houben, Rolph; Smoorenburg, Guido F.

    2004-05-01

    The influence of several compression parameters on speech intelligibility in speech-shaped noise was systematically investigated. Experimental conditions include all combinations of compression ratio (CR=1/2, 2/2, 2/3, 3/3 for low/high frequencies), attack and release times (Ta/Tr=4/4, 4/40, 40/40, 4/400, and 40/400 ms), and number of channels (1, 2, and 6). Twenty subjects with moderate sensorineural hearing loss took part in the experiment. The best average speech reception threshold occurred with two-channel compression at a compression ratio of 2/3 and Ta/Tr=40/40 ms. It was 0.7 dB better than linear amplification. The standard deviation between subjects was 1.7 dB. With six-channel compression the best results (0.4 dB better than linear amplification) were obtained at larger time constants (Ta/Tr=40/400 ms) and CR=2/2 and 2/3. The best result with single-channel compression was equal to linear amplification and occurred for the longest time constant (Ta/Tr=40/400 ms) and CR=2/2. In fluctuating noise the best speech reception threshold was found with single-channel compression at CR=2/2 and Ta/Tr=4/400 ms. It was 0.9 dB better than linear amplification; the standard deviation was 2.3 dB. The results suggest that finding the optimal condition for an individual is tedious.

  11. Impact of tongue reduction on overall speech intelligibility, articulation and oromyofunctional behavior in 4 children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

    PubMed

    Van Lierde, K; Galiwango, G; Hodges, A; Bettens, K; Luyten, A; Vermeersch, H

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of partial glossectomy (using the keyhole technique) on speech intelligibility, articulation, resonance and oromyofunctional behavior. A partial glossectomy was performed in 4 children with Beckwith- Wiedemann syndrome between the ages of 0.5 and 3.1 years. An ENT assessment, a phonetic inventory, a phonemic and phonological analysis and a consensus perceptual evaluation of speech intelligibility, resonance and oromyofunctional behavior were performed. It was not possible in this study to separate the effects of the surgery from the typical developmental progress of speech sound mastery. Improved speech intelligibility, a more complete phonetic inventory, an increase in phonological skills, normal resonance and increased motor-oriented oral behavior were found in the postsurgical condition. The presence of phonetic distortions, lip incompetence and interdental tongue position were still present in the postsurgical condition. Speech therapy should be focused on correct phonetic placement and a motor-oriented approach to increase lip competence, and on functional tongue exercises and tongue lifting during the production of alveolars. Detailed analyses in a larger number of subjects with and without Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome may help further illustrate the long-term impact of partial glossectomy. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    PubMed

    Van Esch, T E M; Dreschler, W A

    2015-12-08

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

  13. Intelligibility in speech maskers with a binaural cochlear implant sound coding strategy inspired by the contralateral medial olivocochlear reflex.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Poveda, Enrique A; Eustaquio-Martín, Almudena; Stohl, Joshua S; Wolford, Robert D; Schatzer, Reinhold; Gorospe, José M; Ruiz, Santiago Santa Cruz; Benito, Fernando; Wilson, Blake S

    2017-05-01

    We have recently proposed a binaural cochlear implant (CI) sound processing strategy inspired by the contralateral medial olivocochlear reflex (the MOC strategy) and shown that it improves intelligibility in steady-state noise (Lopez-Poveda et al., 2016, Ear Hear 37:e138-e148). The aim here was to evaluate possible speech-reception benefits of the MOC strategy for speech maskers, a more natural type of interferer. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured in six bilateral and two single-sided deaf CI users with the MOC strategy and with a standard (STD) strategy. SRTs were measured in unilateral and bilateral listening conditions, and for target and masker stimuli located at azimuthal angles of (0°, 0°), (-15°, +15°), and (-90°, +90°). Mean SRTs were 2-5 dB better with the MOC than with the STD strategy for spatially separated target and masker sources. For bilateral CI users, the MOC strategy (1) facilitated the intelligibility of speech in competition with spatially separated speech maskers in both unilateral and bilateral listening conditions; and (2) led to an overall improvement in spatial release from masking in the two listening conditions. Insofar as speech is a more natural type of interferer than steady-state noise, the present results suggest that the MOC strategy holds potential for promising outcomes for CI users. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Predictions of Speech Chimaera Intelligibility Using Auditory Nerve Mean-Rate and Spike-Timing Neural Cues.

    PubMed

    Wirtzfeld, Michael R; Ibrahim, Rasha A; Bruce, Ian C

    2017-07-26

    Perceptual studies of speech intelligibility have shown that slow variations of acoustic envelope (ENV) in a small set of frequency bands provides adequate information for good perceptual performance in quiet, whereas acoustic temporal fine-structure (TFS) cues play a supporting role in background noise. However, the implications for neural coding are prone to misinterpretation because the mean-rate neural representation can contain recovered ENV cues from cochlear filtering of TFS. We investigated ENV recovery and spike-time TFS coding using objective measures of simulated mean-rate and spike-timing neural representations of chimaeric speech, in which either the ENV or the TFS is replaced by another signal. We (a) evaluated the levels of mean-rate and spike-timing neural information for two categories of chimaeric speech, one retaining ENV cues and the other TFS; (b) examined the level of recovered ENV from cochlear filtering of TFS speech; (c) examined and quantified the contribution to recovered ENV from spike-timing cues using a lateral inhibition network (LIN); and (d) constructed linear regression models with objective measures of mean-rate and spike-timing neural cues and subjective phoneme perception scores from normal-hearing listeners. The mean-rate neural cues from the original ENV and recovered ENV partially accounted for perceptual score variability, with additional variability explained by the recovered ENV from the LIN-processed TFS speech. The best model predictions of chimaeric speech intelligibility were found when both the mean-rate and spike-timing neural cues were included, providing further evidence that spike-time coding of TFS cues is important for intelligibility when the speech envelope is degraded.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Weisz, Nathan

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Quantifying the effect of compression hearing aid release time on speech acoustics and intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Jenstad, Lorienne M; Souza, Pamela E

    2005-06-01

    Compression hearing aids have the inherent, and often adjustable, feature of release time from compression. Research to date does not provide a consensus on how to choose or set release time. The current study had 2 purposes: (a) a comprehensive evaluation of the acoustic effects of release time for a single-channel compression system in quiet and (b) an evaluation of the relation between the acoustic changes and speech recognition. The release times under study were 12, 100, and 800 ms. All of the stimuli were VC syllables from the Nonsense Syllable Task spoken by a female talker. The stimuli were processed through a hearing aid simulator at 3 input levels. Two acoustic measures were made on individual syllables: the envelope-difference index and CV ratio. These measurements allowed for quantification of the short-term amplitude characteristics of the speech signal and the changes to these amplitude characteristics caused by compression. The acoustic analyses revealed statistically significant effects among the 3 release times. The size of the effect was dependent on characteristics of the phoneme. Twelve listeners with moderate sensorineural hearing loss were tested for their speech recognition for the same stimuli. Although release time for this single-channel, 3:1 compression ratio system did not directly predict overall intelligibility for these nonsense syllables in quiet, the acoustic measurements reflecting the changes due to release time were significant predictors of phoneme recognition. Increased temporal-envelope distortion was predictive of reduced recognition for some individual phonemes, which is consistent with previous research on the importance of relative amplitude as a cue to syllable recognition for some phonemes.

  19. Gain-induced speech distortions and the absence of intelligibility benefit with existing noise-reduction algorithms.

    PubMed

    Kim, Gibak; Loizou, Philipos C

    2011-09-01

    Most noise-reduction algorithms used in hearing aids apply a gain to the noisy envelopes to reduce noise interference. The present study assesses the impact of two types of speech distortion introduced by noise-suppressive gain functions: amplification distortion occurring when the amplitude of the target signal is over-estimated, and attenuation distortion occurring when the target amplitude is under-estimated. Sentences corrupted by steady noise and competing talker were processed through a noise-reduction algorithm and synthesized to contain either amplification distortion, attenuation distortion or both. The attenuation distortion was found to have a minimal effect on speech intelligibility. In fact, substantial improvements (>80 percentage points) in intelligibility, relative to noise-corrupted speech, were obtained when the processed sentences contained only attenuation distortion. When the amplification distortion was limited to be smaller than 6 dB, performance was nearly unaffected in the steady-noise conditions, but was severely degraded in the competing-talker conditions. Overall, the present data suggest that one reason that existing algorithms do not improve speech intelligibility is because they allow amplification distortions in excess of 6 dB. These distortions are shown in this study to be always associated with masker-dominated envelopes and should thus be eliminated. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyan; van Heuven, Vincent J

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    van Heuven, Vincent J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Akeroyd, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Variations in the slope of the psychometric functions for speech intelligibility: a systematic survey.

    PubMed

    MacPherson, Alexandra; Akeroyd, Michael A

    2014-06-06

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

  6. A physiologically-inspired model reproducing the speech intelligibility benefit in cochlear implant listeners with residual acoustic hearing.

    PubMed

    Zamaninezhad, Ladan; Hohmann, Volker; Büchner, Andreas; Schädler, Marc René; Jürgens, Tim

    2017-02-01

    This study introduces a speech intelligibility model for cochlear implant users with ipsilateral preserved acoustic hearing that aims at simulating the observed speech-in-noise intelligibility benefit when receiving simultaneous electric and acoustic stimulation (EA-benefit). The model simulates the auditory nerve spiking in response to electric and/or acoustic stimulation. The temporally and spatially integrated spiking patterns were used as the final internal representation of noisy speech. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in stationary noise were predicted for a sentence test using an automatic speech recognition framework. The model was employed to systematically investigate the effect of three physiologically relevant model factors on simulated SRTs: (1) the spatial spread of the electric field which co-varies with the number of electrically stimulated auditory nerves, (2) the "internal" noise simulating the deprivation of auditory system, and (3) the upper bound frequency limit of acoustic hearing. The model results show that the simulated SRTs increase monotonically with increasing spatial spread for fixed internal noise, and also increase with increasing the internal noise strength for a fixed spatial spread. The predicted EA-benefit does not follow such a systematic trend and depends on the specific combination of the model parameters. Beyond 300 Hz, the upper bound limit for preserved acoustic hearing is less influential on speech intelligibility of EA-listeners in stationary noise. The proposed model-predicted EA-benefits are within the range of EA-benefits shown by 18 out of 21 actual cochlear implant listeners with preserved acoustic hearing.

  7. Speech communications in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  8. Speech communications in noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-07-01

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

  9. Speech communications in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  10. Is Intelligence in Early Adulthood Associated With Midlife Physical Performance Among Danish Males?

    PubMed

    Meincke, Rikke Hodal; Osler, Merete; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Hansen, Åse Marie

    2016-04-01

    Insights into the causes of variances in physical performance are important to prevent mobility limitations in old age. We examined associations between intelligence in early adulthood and midlife physical performance. Data from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank were analyzed using linear regression. In total, 2,848 male cohort members had intelligence scores from conscription and physical performance measures from midlife. In adjusted models, a 1 SD increase in intelligence resulted in 1.10 more chair-rises (p < .001), a 1.03 cm higher jump (p < .001), a 3.69% smaller balance area (p < .001), a 0.71 kg increase in handgrip strength (p < .001), and a 5.03 N increase in back force (p < .001). Results for flexibility and abdominal force were not significant. Public health interventions should focus on addressing people with different cognitive abilities and bear in mind that prevention of mobility limitations might need to start early in life. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Effect of Concave Sound Reflecting Surfaces on Speech Intelligibility and Articulation Index.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khaiyat, Sami Abdulrahman

    Three different methods are used to assess speech intelligibility in spaces with and without concave sound reflecting surfaces: calculated articulation index (AI), measured rapid speech transmission index (RASTI), and modified rhyme tests (MRT) with occupants. Factors such as the room size, size of curvature, the speaker's position, and the background noise level are considered in the two on -site testing methods. The MRT results show unexpectedly significant deviation from results obtained through the other methods such that they are de-emphasized in all discussions. Results from rooms without curvatures show no significant differences between the AI and RASTI values; whereas, these differences are significant when rooms with curvatures are considered. A modification factor to be subtracted from calculated AI values to account for erosional effects of the curved surfaces is developed according to further analysis of the differences between the AI and RASTI values. The magnitude of the modification factors depends on all the above factors as well as the location of the listeners within the room. There are no clear indications of any dead spots, however, the sound foci from both the 2ft. and 8ft. curvatures have caused certain group locations to have smaller modification factors than that of all other locations. The magnitude of the developed modification factors ranges between 0.01, for the 16ft. curvature in the small rooms, to 0.17, for the 8ft. curvature in the large room with NC-45 and the speaker's position is on the center. This range is of almost the same magnitude as that of the erosional corrections to calculated AI due to elevated reverberation time. This range is also of almost same magnitude as that of improvement in calculated AI due to presence of visual cues.

  15. Speech intelligibility assessment of protective facemasks and air-purifying respirators.

    PubMed

    Palmiero, Andrew J; Symons, Daniel; Morgan, Judge W; Shaffer, Ronald E

    2016-12-01

    Speech Intelligibility (SI) is the perceived quality of sound transmission. In healthcare settings, the ability to communicate clearly with coworkers, patients, etc., is crucial to quality patient care and safety. The objectives of this study were to: (1) assess the suitability of the Speech Transmission Index (STI) methods for testing reusable and disposable facial and respiratory personal protective equipment (protective facemasks [PF], N95 filtering facepiece respirators [N95 FFR], and elastomeric half-mask air-purifying respirators [EAPR]) commonly worn by healthcare workers; (2) quantify STI levels of these devices; and (3) contribute to the scientific body of knowledge in the area of SI. SI was assessed using the STI under two experimental conditions: (1) a modified version of the National Fire Protection Association 1981 Supplementary Voice Communications System Performance Test at a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of -15 (66 dBA) and (2) STI measurements utilizing a range of modified pink noise levels (52.5 dBA (-2 SNR) - 72.5 dBA (+7 SNR)) in 5.0 dBA increments. The PF models (Kimberly Clark 49214 and 3 M 1818) had the least effect on SI interference, typically deviating from the STI baseline (no-mask condition) by 3% and 4% STI, respectively. The N95FFR (3 M 1870, 3 M 1860) had more effect on SI interference, typically differing from baseline by 13% and 17%, respectively, for models tested. The EAPR models (Scott Xcel and North 5500) had the most significant impact on SI, differing from baseline by 42% for models tested. This data offers insight into the performance of these apparatus with respect to STI and may serve as a reference point for future respirator design considerations, standards development, testing and certification activities.

  16. SPEECH INTELLIGIBILITY ASSESSMENT OF PROTECTIVE FACEMASKS AND AIR-PURIFYING RESPIRATORS

    PubMed Central

    Palmiero, Andrew J.; Symons, Daniel; Morgan, Judge W.; Shaffer, Ronald E.

    2016-01-01

    Speech Intelligibility (SI) is the perceived quality of sound transmission. In healthcare settings, the ability to communicate clearly with coworkers, patients, etc. is crucial to quality patient care and safety. The objectives of this study were to 1) assess the suitability of the Speech Transmission Index (STI) methods for testing reusable and disposable facial and respiratory personal protective equipment (protective facemasks [PF], N95 filtering facepiece respirators [N95 FFR], and elastomeric half-mask air-purifying respirators [EAPR]) commonly worn by healthcare workers, 2) quantify STI levels of these devices, and 3) contribute to the scientific body of knowledge in the area of SI. SI was assessed using the STI under two experimental conditions: 1) a modified version of the National Fire Protection Association 1981 Supplementary Voice Communications System Performance Test at a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of −15 (66 dBA) and 2) STI measurements utilizing a range of modified pink noise levels (52.5 dBA (−2 SNR) − 72.5 dBA (+7 SNR)) in 5.0 dBA increments. The PF models (Kimberly Clark 49214 and 3M 1818) had the least effect on SI interference, typically deviating from the STI baseline (no-mask condition) by 3% and 4% STI, respectively. The N95FFR (3M 1870, 3M 1860) had more effect on SI interference, typically differing from baseline by 13% and 17%, respectively for models tested. The EAPR models (Scott Xcel and North 5500) had the most significant impact on SI, differing from baseline by 42% for models tested. This data offers insight into the performance of these apparatus with respect to STI and may serve as a reference point for future respirator design considerations, standards development, testing and certification activities. PMID:27362358

  17. Premorbid intelligence and educational level in bipolar and unipolar disorders: a Danish draft board study.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Holger Jelling; Sæbye, Ditte; Urfer-Parnas, Annick; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Parnas, Josef

    2012-02-01

    Registry-based studies have found no or weak associations between premorbid intelligence and the broad entity of affective spectrum disorder, but none of the studies compared bipolar/unipolar subgroups. IQ and educational level were assessed at the draft board, and hospital diagnoses were followed up to the ages 43-54 years for 294 individuals hospitalized with bipolar disorder and 1434 with unipolar or depressive disorder. Controls comprised 20,531 individuals without psychiatric registration. Mean IQs of 98.32 and 96.71 were observed for patients with bipolar and depressive disorder respectively. For both patient groups a unimodal, slightly negatively skewed distribution was observed. The difference between the two patient samples was not statistically significant (p=0.10), but both obtained lower mean scores than the controls (p<0.0001 for unipolar and p=0.057 for bipolar patients). The means of the index of educational level were 5.22 and 4.82 for bipolar and unipolar patients (p=0.0006). The mean educational level was similar to the controls in bipolar disorder (p=0.15), while it was significantly lower compared to the controls in the unipolar group (p=0.0005). When possible prodromal patients were excluded, essentially the same results were observed. The study was based on clinical hospital admission diagnoses. Clinicians should be aware of the relatively high intelligence and educational level in patients with bipolar disorder compared with patients with unipolar disorder. However, we were unable to confirm distinct subgroups of bipolar disorder with high and low premorbid intelligence and educational level. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving quality and intelligibility of speech using single microphone for the broadband fMRI noise at low SNR.

    PubMed

    Vahanesa, Chetan; Reddy, Chandan K A; Panahi, Issa M S

    2016-08-01

    Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is used in many diagnostic procedures for neurological related disorders. Strong broadband acoustic noise generated during fMRI scan interferes with the speech communication between the physician and the patient. In this paper, we propose a single microphone Speech Enhancement (SE) technique which is based on the supervised machine learning technique and a statistical model based SE technique. The proposed algorithm is robust and computationally efficient and has capability to run in real-time. Objective and Subjective evaluations show that the proposed SE method outperforms the existing state-of-the-art algorithms in terms of quality and intelligibility of the recovered speech at low Signal to Noise Ratios (SNRs).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  20. Development of equally intelligible Telugu sentence-lists to test speech recognition in noise.

    PubMed

    Tanniru, Kishore; Narne, Vijaya Kumar; Jain, Chandni; Konadath, Sreeraj; Singh, Niraj Kumar; Sreenivas, K J Ramadevi; K, Anusha

    2017-09-01

    To develop sentence lists in the Telugu language for the assessment of speech recognition threshold (SRT) in the presence of background noise through identification of the mean signal-to-noise ratio required to attain a 50% sentence recognition score (SRTn). This study was conducted in three phases. The first phase involved the selection and recording of Telugu sentences. In the second phase, 20 lists, each consisting of 10 sentences with equal intelligibility, were formulated using a numerical optimisation procedure. In the third phase, the SRTn of the developed lists was estimated using adaptive procedures on individuals with normal hearing. A total of 68 native Telugu speakers with normal hearing participated in the study. Of these, 18 (including the speakers) performed on various subjective measures in first phase, 20 performed on sentence/word recognition in noise for second phase and 30 participated in the list equivalency procedures in third phase. In all, 15 lists of comparable difficulty were formulated as test material. The mean SRTn across these lists corresponded to -2.74 (SD = 0.21). The developed sentence lists provided a valid and reliable tool to measure SRTn in Telugu native speakers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Kleefstra syndrome (KS) is a rare neurogenetic disorder most commonly caused by deletion in the 9q34.3 chromosomal region and is associated with intellectual disabilities, severe speech delay, and motor planning deficits. To our knowledge, this is the first patient (PQ, a 6-year-old female) with a 9q34.3 deletion who has near normal intelligence, and developmental dyspraxia with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). At 6, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Intelligence testing (WPPSI-III) revealed a Verbal IQ of 81 and Performance IQ of 79. The Beery Buktenica Test of Visual Motor Integration, 5th Edition (VMI) indicated severe visual motor deficits: VMI = 51; Visual Perception = 48; Motor Coordination < 45. On the Receptive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test-R (ROWPVT-R), she had standard scores of 96 and 99 in contrast to an Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary-R (EOWPVT-R) standard scores of 73 and 82, revealing a discrepancy in vocabulary domains on both evaluations. Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) on PQ's first evaluation reveals a significant difference between auditory comprehension and expressive communication with standard scores of 78 and 57, respectively, further supporting the presence of CAS. This patient's near normal intelligence expands the phenotypic profile as well as the prognosis associated with KS. The identification of CAS in this patient provides a novel explanation for the previously reported speech delay and expressive language disorder. Further research is warranted on the impact of CAS on intelligence and behavioral outcome in KS. Therapeutic and prognostic implications are discussed. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Application of the online hearing screening test "Earcheck": Speech intelligibility in noise in teenagers and young adults.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Marya Sheikh; Leensen, Monique C J; Dreschler, Wouter A

    2016-01-01

    The objective was to describe the speech intelligibility in noise test results among Dutch teenagers and young adults aged 12-24 years, using a national online speech reception threshold (SRT) test, the Earcheck. A secondary objective was to assess the effect of age and gender on speech intelligibility in noise. Cross-sectional SRT data were collected over a 5-year period (2010-2014), from participants of Earcheck. Regression analyses were performed, with SRT as the dependent variable, and age and gender as explaining variables. To cross-validate the model, data from 12- to 24-year olds from the same test distributed by a hearing aid dispenser (Hoorscan) were used. In total, 96,803 valid test results were analyzed. The mean SRT score was -18.3 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) (standard deviation (SD) = 3.7). Twenty-five percent of the scores was rated as insufficient or poor. SRT performance significantly improved with increasing age for teenagers aged 12-18 years by 0.49 dB SNR per age-year. A smaller age-effect (0.09 dB SNR per age-year) was found for young adults aged 19-24 years. Small differences between male and female users were found. Earcheck generated large quantities of national SRT data. The data implied that a substantial number of users of Earcheck may have some difficulty in understanding speech in noise. Furthermore, the results of this study showed an effect of gender and age on SRT performance, suggesting an ongoing maturation of speech-in-noise performance into late adolescence. This suggests the use of age-dependent reference values, but for this purpose, more research is required.

  3. Application of the Online Hearing Screening Test “Earcheck”: Speech Intelligibility in Noise in Teenagers and Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Rashid, Marya Sheikh; Leensen, Monique C.J.; Dreschler, Wouter A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The objective was to describe the speech intelligibility in noise test results among Dutch teenagers and young adults aged 12–24 years, using a national online speech reception threshold (SRT) test, the Earcheck. A secondary objective was to assess the effect of age and gender on speech intelligibility in noise. Design: Cross-sectional SRT data were collected over a 5-year period (2010–2014), from participants of Earcheck. Regression analyses were performed, with SRT as the dependent variable, and age and gender as explaining variables. To cross-validate the model, data from 12- to 24-year olds from the same test distributed by a hearing aid dispenser (Hoorscan) were used. Results: In total, 96,803 valid test results were analyzed. The mean SRT score was −18.3 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) (standard deviation (SD) = 3.7). Twenty-five percent of the scores was rated as insufficient or poor. SRT performance significantly improved with increasing age for teenagers aged 12–18 years by 0.49 dB SNR per age-year. A smaller age-effect (0.09 dB SNR per age-year) was found for young adults aged 19–24 years. Small differences between male and female users were found. Conclusion: Earcheck generated large quantities of national SRT data. The data implied that a substantial number of users of Earcheck may have some difficulty in understanding speech in noise. Furthermore, the results of this study showed an effect of gender and age on SRT performance, suggesting an ongoing maturation of speech-in-noise performance into late adolescence. This suggests the use of age-dependent reference values, but for this purpose, more research is required. PMID:27991462

  4. Construct-related validity of the TOCS measures: comparison of intelligibility and speaking rate scores in children with and without speech disorders.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Megan M; Gotzke, Carrie L

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated construct-related validity of the Test of Children's Speech (TOCS). Intelligibility scores obtained using open-set word identification tasks (orthographic transcription) for the TOCS word and sentence tests and rate scores for the TOCS sentence test (words per minute or WPM and intelligible words per minute or IWPM) were compared for a group of 15 adults (18-30 years of age) with normal speech production and three groups of children: 48 3-6 year-olds with typical speech development and neurological histories (TDS), 48 3-6 year-olds with a speech sound disorder of unknown origin and no identified neurological impairment (SSD-UNK), and 22 3-10 year-olds with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (DYS). As expected, mean intelligibility scores and rates increased with age in the TDS group. However, word test intelligibility, WPM and IWPM scores for the 6 year-olds in the TDS group were significantly lower than those for the adults. The DYS group had significantly lower word and sentence test intelligibility and WPM and IWPM scores than the TDS and SSD-UNK groups. Compared to the TDS group, the SSD-UNK group also had significantly lower intelligibility scores for the word and sentence tests, and significantly lower IWPM, but not WPM scores on the sentence test. The results support the construct-related validity of TOCS as a tool for obtaining intelligibility and rate scores that are sensitive to group differences in 3-6 year-old children, with and without speech sound disorders, and to 3+ year-old children with speech disorders, with and without dysarthria. Readers will describe the word and sentence intelligibility and speaking rate performance of children with typically developing speech at age levels of 3, 4, 5 and 6 years, as measured by the Test of Children's Speech, and how these compare with adult speakers and two groups of children with speech disorders. They will also recognize what measures on this test differentiate children with speech sound

  5. Speech intelligibility benefits of frequency-lowering algorithms in adult hearing aid users: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Andrea; Bond, Alicia; Loeliger, Michelle; Clarke, Sandy

    2017-09-18

    This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of two frequency-lowering schemes, non-linear frequency compression and frequency transposition, at improving speech intelligibility for adult hearing-impaired populations. A systematic search of 10 electronic databases was carried out using pre-defined inclusion criteria. Accepted articles were then critically appraised using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Critical Appraisal Tool. Outcome results were further synthesised where possible using random effects meta-analysis to provide overall combined estimates of the treatment differences along with 95% confidence intervals. A total of 20 articles were accepted for final review. Overall, study quality was of moderate strength. Meta-analysis found a statistically significant benefit in favour of frequency-lowering for consonant recognition testing in quiet across 145 participants with both algorithms providing comparable gains. Equivalent results were found between frequency-lowering and conventional processing on all other speech measures. Based on the available data, frequency-lowering does seem to provide some improvement in an individual's speech intelligibility dependant on the stimulus type, although the benefits were modest. This improvement was not seen across all measures, however those who do not benefit from the technology will also not be harmed by trialling it.

  6. An Experimental Determination of the Intelligibility of Two Different Speech Synthesizers in Noise.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-01

    synthetic vowels . The prosodic features of speech provide acoustic cues which A extend over greater than phonetic length. These are intonation, A...there is still a need to specify the acoustic properties of the transitions between phonemes or the resulting speech has robot like qualities and very...evaluating synthetic speech. Vowels and the attribute of voicing in general show performance approaching that of natural speech (Clark, 1983 and

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The Danish draft board's intelligence test, Børge Priens Prøve: psychometric properties and research applications through 50 years.

    PubMed

    Teasdale, Thomas W

    2009-12-01

    For over 50 years the Danish draft board has used the same test, Børge Priens Prøve (BPP) for cognitive abilities, involving four paper-and-pencil subtests, to assess suitability for conscription. The potential availability of test scores has been an invaluable resource for research into factors relating to intelligence. In this article the circumstances of the original development of the test are briefly presented, followed by a description of the four subtests and the conditions of testing, scoring and result registration. Over forty studies are identified, including some unpublished, which have explored the psychometric properties of the BPP and have shown the relationships between intelligence as measured by the BPP and a wide range of biological, social and health-related factors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Auditory and auditory-visual intelligibility of speech in fluctuating maskers for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Joshua G W; Grant, Ken W

    2009-05-01

    Speech intelligibility for audio-alone and audiovisual (AV) sentences was estimated as a function of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for a female target talker presented in a stationary noise, an interfering male talker, or a speech-modulated noise background, for eight hearing-impaired (HI) and five normal-hearing (NH) listeners. At the 50% keywords-correct performance level, HI listeners showed 7-12 dB less fluctuating-masker benefit (FMB) than NH listeners, consistent with previous results. Both groups showed significantly more FMB under AV than audio-alone conditions. When compared at the same stationary-noise SNR, FMB differences between listener groups and modalities were substantially smaller, suggesting that most of the FMB differences at the 50% performance level may reflect a SNR dependence of the FMB. Still, 1-5 dB of the FMB difference between listener groups remained, indicating a possible role for reduced audibility, limited spectral or temporal resolution, or an inability to use auditory source-segregation cues, in directly limiting the ability to listen in the dips of a fluctuating masker. A modified version of the extended speech-intelligibility index that predicts a larger FMB at less favorable SNRs accounted for most of the FMB differences between listener groups and modalities. Overall, these data suggest that HI listeners retain more of an ability to listen in the dips of a fluctuating masker than previously thought. Instead, the fluctuating-masker difficulties exhibited by HI listeners may derive from the reduced FMB associated with the more favorable SNRs they require to identify a reasonable proportion of the target speech.

  15. The Galker test of speech reception in noise; associations with background variables, middle ear status, hearing, and language in Danish preschool children.

    PubMed

    Lauritsen, Maj-Britt Glenn; Söderström, Margareta; Kreiner, Svend; Dørup, Jens; Lous, Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    We tested "the Galker test", a speech reception in noise test developed for primary care for Danish preschool children, to explore if the children's ability to hear and understand speech was associated with gender, age, middle ear status, and the level of background noise. The Galker test is a 35-item audio-visual, computerized word discrimination test in background noise. Included were 370 normally developed children attending day care center. The children were examined with the Galker test, tympanometry, audiometry, and the Reynell test of verbal comprehension. Parents and daycare teachers completed questionnaires on the children's ability to hear and understand speech. As most of the variables were not assessed using interval scales, non-parametric statistics (Goodman-Kruskal's gamma) were used for analyzing associations with the Galker test score. For comparisons, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. Interrelations were adjusted for using a non-parametric graphic model. In unadjusted analyses, the Galker test was associated with gender, age group, language development (Reynell revised scale), audiometry, and tympanometry. The Galker score was also associated with the parents' and day care teachers' reports on the children's vocabulary, sentence construction, and pronunciation. Type B tympanograms were associated with a mean hearing 5-6dB below that of than type A, C1, or C2. In the graphic analysis, Galker scores were closely and significantly related to Reynell test scores (Gamma (G)=0.35), the children's age group (G=0.33), and the day care teachers' assessment of the children's vocabulary (G=0.26). The Galker test of speech reception in noise appears promising as an easy and quick tool for evaluating preschool children's understanding of spoken words in noise, and it correlated well with the day care teachers' reports and less with the parents' reports. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Passive Attenuating Communication Earphone (PACE): Noise Attenuation and Speech Intelligibility Performance When Worn in Conjunction with the HGU-56/P and HGU-55/P Flight Helmets

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-16

    AFRL-RH-WP-TR-2013-0124 Passive Attenuating Communication Earphone (PACE): Noise Attenuation and Speech Intelligibility...COVERED (From - To) June 2013 – September 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Passive Attenuating Communication Earphone (PACE): Noise Attenuation and Speech...Warrior Edge designed the Passive Attenuating Communication Earphone (PACE) System that can be integrated with both the HGU-56/P and HGU-55/P

  17. The Effect of Three Variables on Synthetic Speech Intelligibility in Noisy Environments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-03-01

    this study: the analog formant frequency synthesis technique. A second definition of "synthetic" speech is related to basic data sampling theory...Analog formant frequency synthesis is a typical synthetic speech methodology, used here as an illustration of the technique. The waveform encoding and...reconstruction technique (discussed above) is similar to a "photograph" of speech. Analog formant frequency synthesis is more like an artist’s

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Speech perception, production and intelligibility in French-speaking children with profound hearing loss and early cochlear implantation after congenital cytomegalovirus infection.

    PubMed

    Laccourreye, L; Ettienne, V; Prang, I; Couloigner, V; Garabedian, E-N; Loundon, N

    2015-12-01

    To analyze speech in children with profound hearing loss following congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection with cochlear implantation (CI) before the age of 3 years. In a cohort of 15 children with profound hearing loss, speech perception, production and intelligibility were assessed before and 3 years after CI; variables impacting results were explored. Post-CI, median word recognition was 74% on closed-list and 48% on open-list testing; 80% of children acquired speech production; and 60% were intelligible for all listeners or listeners attentive to lip-reading and/or aware of the child's hearing loss. Univariate analysis identified 3 variables (mean post-CI hearing threshold, bilateral vestibular areflexia, and brain abnormality on MRI) with significant negative impact on the development of speech perception, production and intelligibility. CI showed positive impact on hearing and speech in children with post-cCMV profound hearing loss. Our study demonstrated the key role of maximizing post-CI hearing gain. A few children had insufficient progress, especially in case of bilateral vestibular areflexia and/or brain abnormality on MRI. This led us to suggest that balance rehabilitation and speech therapy should be intensified in such cases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Active hearing protectors: Prospects for improving speech intelligibility while maintaining noise reduction and audibility of warning alarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brammer, Anthony J.; Peterson, Donald R.; Cherniack, Martin G.; Gullapalli, Subhash

    2005-04-01

    Users of hearing protection devices (HPDs), including the communication headsets and helmets commonly worn by aircraft air and ground crews, emergency responders, military personnel, and persons in industry working in hostile environments, have long complained that HPDs interfere with their ability to communicate and to hear warning alarms. There thus appears to be a need for additional specialized HPDs designed specifically for these situations. The technology of active noise control together with signal processing applied to the communication channel of the HPD may provide a potential solution. The combination could improve noise reduction at low frequencies and enhance the intelligibility of speech reproduced by the communication channel, while maintaining the overall noise reduction within occupational exposure requirements, and assisting the perception of external warning alarms. A strategy for achieving these goals using an active circumaural earmuff equipped with sub-band processing will be described, in which parallel controllers optimize the speech signal-to-noise ratio in bands that contribute most to intelligibility. The perception of a tonal alarm is assisted by binaural feed through to the earphones, within the constraints imposed by occupational exposure limits, and by sub-band processing to reduce the upward spread of masking.

  2. Cognitive Processing Speed, Working Memory, and the Intelligibility of Hearing Aid-Processed Speech in Persons with Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Yumba, Wycliffe Kabaywe

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that successful listening with advanced signal processing in digital hearing aids is associated with individual cognitive capacity, particularly working memory capacity (WMC). This study aimed to examine the relationship between cognitive abilities (cognitive processing speed and WMC) and individual listeners’ responses to digital signal processing settings in adverse listening conditions. A total of 194 native Swedish speakers (83 women and 111 men), aged 33–80 years (mean = 60.75 years, SD = 8.89), with bilateral, symmetrical mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss who had completed a lexical decision speed test (measuring cognitive processing speed) and semantic word-pair span test (SWPST, capturing WMC) participated in this study. The Hagerman test (capturing speech recognition in noise) was conducted using an experimental hearing aid with three digital signal processing settings: (1) linear amplification without noise reduction (NoP), (2) linear amplification with noise reduction (NR), and (3) non-linear amplification without NR (“fast-acting compression”). The results showed that cognitive processing speed was a better predictor of speech intelligibility in noise, regardless of the types of signal processing algorithms used. That is, there was a stronger association between cognitive processing speed and NR outcomes and fast-acting compression outcomes (in steady state noise). We observed a weaker relationship between working memory and NR, but WMC did not relate to fast-acting compression. WMC was a relatively weaker predictor of speech intelligibility in noise. These findings might have been different if the participants had been provided with training and or allowed to acclimatize to binary masking noise reduction or fast-acting compression. PMID:28861009

  3. Cognitive Processing Speed, Working Memory, and the Intelligibility of Hearing Aid-Processed Speech in Persons with Hearing Impairment.

    PubMed

    Yumba, Wycliffe Kabaywe

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that successful listening with advanced signal processing in digital hearing aids is associated with individual cognitive capacity, particularly working memory capacity (WMC). This study aimed to examine the relationship between cognitive abilities (cognitive processing speed and WMC) and individual listeners' responses to digital signal processing settings in adverse listening conditions. A total of 194 native Swedish speakers (83 women and 111 men), aged 33-80 years (mean = 60.75 years, SD = 8.89), with bilateral, symmetrical mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss who had completed a lexical decision speed test (measuring cognitive processing speed) and semantic word-pair span test (SWPST, capturing WMC) participated in this study. The Hagerman test (capturing speech recognition in noise) was conducted using an experimental hearing aid with three digital signal processing settings: (1) linear amplification without noise reduction (NoP), (2) linear amplification with noise reduction (NR), and (3) non-linear amplification without NR ("fast-acting compression"). The results showed that cognitive processing speed was a better predictor of speech intelligibility in noise, regardless of the types of signal processing algorithms used. That is, there was a stronger association between cognitive processing speed and NR outcomes and fast-acting compression outcomes (in steady state noise). We observed a weaker relationship between working memory and NR, but WMC did not relate to fast-acting compression. WMC was a relatively weaker predictor of speech intelligibility in noise. These findings might have been different if the participants had been provided with training and or allowed to acclimatize to binary masking noise reduction or fast-acting compression.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-08-01

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

  5. Speech intelligibility in reverberation with ideal binary masking: effects of early reflections and signal-to-noise ratio threshold.

    PubMed

    Roman, Nicoleta; Woodruff, John

    2013-03-01

    Ideal binary masking is a signal processing technique that separates a desired signal from a mixture by retaining only the time-frequency units where the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) exceeds a predetermined threshold. In reverberant conditions there are multiple possible definitions of the ideal binary mask in that one may choose to treat the target early reflections as either desired signal or noise. The ideal binary mask may therefore be parameterized by the reflection boundary, a predetermined division point between early and late reflections. Another important parameter is the local SNR threshold used in labeling the time-frequency units as either target or background. Two experiments were designed to assess the impact of these two parameters on speech intelligibility with ideal binary masking for normal-hearing listeners in reverberant conditions. Experiment 1 shows that in order to achieve intelligibility improvements only the early reflections should be preserved by the binary mask. Moreover, it shows that the effective SNR should be accounted for when deciding the local threshold optimal range. Experiment 2 shows that with long reverberation times, intelligibility improvements are only obtained when the reflection boundary is 100 ms or less. Also, the experiment suggests that binary masking can be used for dereverberation.

  6. Intelligibility Performance of the LPC-10 and APC/SQ Speech Algorithms in a Fading Environment.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-02-26

    Conditions ----------------------------- 26 3 INTELLIGIBILITY TEST RESULTS --------------------- 29 3.1 Overview ------------------------------------ 29 3.2...ideal conditions , this study needed to use a new approach to more characteristically describe the algorithms’ performance in a fading environment. As...evaluating the performance in fading environments. 3. Conducting a series of intelligibility tests in a variety of noise and fading conditions . For LPC-10

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

    PubMed Central

    Johannesen, Peter T.; Pérez-González, Patricia; Kalluri, Sridhar; Blanco, José L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloiber, Diana True; Ertmer, David J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Effects of different electrical parameter settings on the intelligibility of speech in patients with Parkinson's disease treated with subthalamic deep brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Törnqvist, Anna Lena; Schalén, Lucyna; Rehncrona, Stig

    2005-04-01

    We evaluated the effects of different electrical parameter settings on the intelligibility of speech in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) bilaterally treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Ten patients treated with DBS for 15 +/- 5 months (mean, SD) with significant (P < 0.01) symptom reduction (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale III) were included. In the medication off condition, video laryngostroboscopy was performed and then, in random order, 11 DBS parameter settings were tested. Amplitude was increased and decreased by 25%, frequency was varied in the range 70 to 185 pps, and each of the contacts was tested separately as a cathode. The patients read a standard running text and five nonsense sentences per setting. A listener panel transcribed the nonsense sentences as perceived and valued the quality of speech on a visual analogue scale. With the patients' normally used settings, there was no significant (P = 0.058) group difference between DBS OFF and ON, but in four patients the intelligibility deteriorated with DBS ON. The higher frequencies or increased amplitude caused significant (P < 0.02) impairments of intelligibility, whereas changing the polarity between the separate contacts did not. The settings of amplitude and frequency have a major influence on the intelligibility of speech, emphasizing the importance of meticulous parameter adjustments when programming DBS to minimize side effects related to speech.

  12. Conversational and clear speech intelligibility of ∕bVd∕ syllables produced by native and non-native English speakers1

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloiber, Diana True; Ertmer, David J.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Speech Intelligibility, Loneliness, and Sense of Coherence among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children in Individual Inclusion and Group Inclusion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Most, Tova

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the sense of coherence and loneliness of 19 children aged 12-14 years with severe to profound hearing loss. These feelings and their interrelations with speech intelligibility (SI) were examined in 2 settings: in special classes within regular schools (group inclusion) or individuals integrated into regular classes (individual…

  15. Simulating the dual-peak excitation pattern produced by bipolar stimulation of a cochlear implant: effects on speech intelligibility.

    PubMed

    Mesnildrey, Quentin; Macherey, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Several electrophysiological and psychophysical studies have shown that the spatial excitation pattern produced by bipolar stimulation of a cochlear implant (CI) can have a dual-peak shape. The perceptual effects of this dual-peak shape were investigated using noise-vocoded CI simulations in which synthesis filters were designed to simulate the spread of neural activity produced by various electrode configurations, as predicted by a simple cochlear model. Experiments 1 and 2 tested speech recognition in the presence of a concurrent speech masker for various sets of single-peak and dual-peak synthesis filters and different numbers of channels. Similarly as results obtained in real CIs, both monopolar (MP, single-peak) and bipolar (BP + 1, dual-peak) simulations showed a plateau of performance above 8 channels. The benefit of increasing the number of channels was also lower for BP + 1 than for MP. This shows that channel interactions in BP + 1 become especially deleterious for speech intelligibility when a simulated electrode acts both as an active and as a return electrode for different channels because envelope information from two different analysis bands are being conveyed to the same spectral location. Experiment 3 shows that these channel interactions are even stronger in wide BP configuration (BP + 5), likely because the interfering speech envelopes are less correlated than in narrow BP + 1. Although the exact effects of dual- or multi-peak excitation in real CIs remain to be determined, this series of experiments suggest that multipolar stimulation strategies, such as bipolar or tripolar, should be controlled to avoid neural excitation in the vicinity of the return electrodes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of speaking style on speech intelligibility for Mandarin-speaking cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongxin; Zhang, Guoping; Kang, Hou-yong; Liu, Sha; Han, Deming; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2011-06-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) users' speech understanding may be influenced by different speaking styles. In this study, speech recognition was measured in Mandarin-speaking CI and normal-hearing (NH) subjects for sentences produced according to four styles: slow, normal, fast, and whispered. CI subjects were tested using their clinical processors; NH subjects were tested while listening to a four-channel CI simulation. Performance gradually worsened with increasing speaking rate and was much poorer with whispered speech. CI performance was generally similar to NH performance with the four-channel simulation. Results suggest that some speaking styles, especially whispering, may negatively affect Mandarin-speaking CI users' speech understanding. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

  17. Effects of reverberation and masking on speech intelligibility in cochlear implant simulations.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Sarah F; Whitmal, Nathaniel A; Freyman, Richard L

    2006-03-01

    Two experiments investigated the impact of reverberation and masking on speech understanding using cochlear implant (CI) simulations. Experiment 1 tested sentence recognition in quiet. Stimuli were processed with reverberation simulation (T=0.425, 0.266, 0.152, and 0.0 s) and then either processed with vocoding (6, 12, or 24 channels) or were subjected to no further processing. Reverberation alone had only a small impact on perception when as few as 12 channels of information were available. However, when the processing was limited to 6 channels, perception was extremely vulnerable to the effects of reverberation. In experiment 2, subjects listened to reverberated sentences, through 6- and 12-channel processors, in the presence of either speech-spectrum noise (SSN) or two-talker babble (TTB) at various target-to-masker ratios. The combined impact of reverberation and masking was profound, although there was no interaction between the two effects. This differs from results obtained in subjects listening to unprocessed speech where interactions between reverberation and masking have been shown to exist. A speech transmission index (STI) analysis indicated a reasonably good prediction of speech recognition performance. Unlike previous investigations, the SSN and TTB maskers produced equivalent results, raising questions about the role of informational masking in CI processed speech.

  18. Impact of fixed implant prosthetics using the 'all-on-four' treatment concept on speech intelligibility, articulation and oromyofunctional behaviour.

    PubMed

    Van Lierde, K M; Browaeys, H; Corthals, P; Matthys, C; Mussche, P; Van Kerckhove, E; De Bruyn, H

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this case control study is to determine the impact of screw-retained fixed cross-arch prostheses, supported by four osseointegrated implants, on articulation and oromyofunctional behaviour. Objective (acoustic analysis) and subjective assessment techniques were used to determine the overall intelligibility, phonetic characteristics and oromyofunctional behaviour at an average period of 7.3 months after placement of the fixed implant prosthesis in 15 patients and 9 age-matched controls with intact dentition and without prosthetic appliances. Overall satisfaction with the prosthesis was 87%, but 53% of the subjects mentioned an impact on speech. 87% of the subjects presented with one or more distortions of the consonants. The most common distortions were distortions of the sound /s/ (sigmatismus simplex, 40% and sigmatismus stridens, 33%), simplex /z/ (27%), insufficient frication of /f/ (20%), /[symbol in text]/ (20%), addental production of /d/ (20%), /t/ (20%) or /s/ sound (13%) and devoiced /d/ (7%). In the control group, no articulation disorders were noted. Oromyofunctional behaviour in both groups was normal. To what extent motor-oriented speech therapy (with focus on tongue function) immediately after periodontal treatment (after wound healing) would decrease the persistent phonetic distortions is a subject for further research.

  19. Effect of Energy Equalization on the Intelligibility of Speech in Fluctuating Background Interference for Listeners With Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    D’Aquila, Laura A.; Desloge, Joseph G.; Braida, Louis D.

    2017-01-01

    The masking release (MR; i.e., better speech recognition in fluctuating compared with continuous noise backgrounds) that is evident for listeners with normal hearing (NH) is generally reduced or absent for listeners with sensorineural hearing impairment (HI). In this study, a real-time signal-processing technique was developed to improve MR in listeners with HI and offer insight into the mechanisms influencing the size of MR. This technique compares short-term and long-term estimates of energy, increases the level of short-term segments whose energy is below the average energy, and normalizes the overall energy of the processed signal to be equivalent to that of the original long-term estimate. This signal-processing algorithm was used to create two types of energy-equalized (EEQ) signals: EEQ1, which operated on the wideband speech plus noise signal, and EEQ4, which operated independently on each of four bands with equal logarithmic width. Consonant identification was tested in backgrounds of continuous and various types of fluctuating speech-shaped Gaussian noise including those with both regularly and irregularly spaced temporal fluctuations. Listeners with HI achieved similar scores for EEQ and the original (unprocessed) stimuli in continuous-noise backgrounds, while superior performance was obtained for the EEQ signals in fluctuating background noises that had regular temporal gaps but not for those with irregularly spaced fluctuations. Thus, in noise backgrounds with regularly spaced temporal fluctuations, the energy-normalized signals led to larger values of MR and higher intelligibility than obtained with unprocessed signals. PMID:28602128

  20. Can children substitute for adult listeners in judging the intelligibility of the speech of children who are deaf or hard of hearing?

    PubMed

    Kloiber, Diana True; Ertmer, David J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kloiber, Diana True

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Direct Magnitude Estimates of Speech Intelligibility in Dysarthria: Effects of a Chosen Standard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weismer, Gary; Laures, Jacqueline S.

    2002-01-01

    This study applied four direct magnitude estimation (DME) standards to the evaluation of speech from four individuals with dysarthria and three neurologically normal speakers. It found a fixed set of sentence-level utterances was scaled differently depending on the specific standard used. Results are discussed in terms of possible standardization…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Cross-language differences in the brain network subserving intelligible speech.

    PubMed

    Ge, Jianqiao; Peng, Gang; Lyu, Bingjiang; Wang, Yi; Zhuo, Yan; Niu, Zhendong; Tan, Li Hai; Leff, Alexander P; Gao, Jia-Hong

    2015-03-10

    How is language processed in the brain by native speakers of different languages? Is there one brain system for all languages or are different languages subserved by different brain systems? The first view emphasizes commonality, whereas the second emphasizes specificity. We investigated the cortical dynamics involved in processing two very diverse languages: a tonal language (Chinese) and a nontonal language (English). We used functional MRI and dynamic causal modeling analysis to compute and compare brain network models exhaustively with all possible connections among nodes of language regions in temporal and frontal cortex and found that the information flow from the posterior to anterior portions of the temporal cortex was commonly shared by Chinese and English speakers during speech comprehension, whereas the inferior frontal gyrus received neural signals from the left posterior portion of the temporal cortex in English speakers and from the bilateral anterior portion of the temporal cortex in Chinese speakers. Our results revealed that, although speech processing is largely carried out in the common left hemisphere classical language areas (Broca's and Wernicke's areas) and anterior temporal cortex, speech comprehension across different language groups depends on how these brain regions interact with each other. Moreover, the right anterior temporal cortex, which is crucial for tone processing, is equally important as its left homolog, the left anterior temporal cortex, in modulating the cortical dynamics in tone language comprehension. The current study pinpoints the importance of the bilateral anterior temporal cortex in language comprehension that is downplayed or even ignored by popular contemporary models of speech comprehension.

  5. Prosodic Interference and Intelligibility in the Speech of Puerto Rico Bilinguals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nash, R.

    1969-01-01

    In this paper the author examines two kinds of phonological interference observable in the speech of Puerto Rican bilinguals--phonemic and prosodic, and argues that because the