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  1. Speech Intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, Thomas

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

  2. Improving Alaryngeal Speech Intelligibility.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christensen, John M.; Dwyer, Patricia E.

    1990-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. PMID:25994710

  6. Intelligibility of Speech Produced during Simultaneous Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated the overall intelligibility of speech produced during simultaneous communication (SC). Four hearing, experienced sign language users were recorded under SC and speech alone (SA) conditions speaking Boothroyd's (1985) forced-choice phonetic contrast material designed for measurement of speech intelligibility. Twelve…

  7. 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. PMID:15898663

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Intelligibility of the Speech of Deaf Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amcoff, Sven

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

  12. 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

  13. The Modulation Transfer Function for Speech Intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Taffeta M.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21909285

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefaniw, Abigail; Shimizu, Yasushi; Smith, Dana

    2002-11-01

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

  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. PMID:16001246

  1. 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 "SpeechPAC" and higher scores for…

  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. PMID:18345835

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Larm, Petra; Hongisto, Valtteri

    2006-02-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Segmental intelligibility of synthetic speech produced by rule.

    PubMed

    Logan, J S; Greene, B G; Pisoni, D B

    1989-08-01

    This paper reports the results of an investigation that employed the modified rhyme test (MRT) to measure the segmental intelligibility of synthetic speech generated automatically by rule. Synthetic speech produced by ten text-to-speech systems was studied and compared to natural speech. A variation of the standard MRT was also used to study the effects of response set size on perceptual confusions. Results indicated that the segmental intelligibility scores formed a continuum. Several systems displayed very high levels of performance that were close to or equal to scores obtained with natural speech; other systems displayed substantially worse performance compared to natural speech. The overall performance of the best system, DECtalk--Paul, was equivalent to the data obtained with natural speech for consonants in syllable-initial position. The findings from this study are discussed in terms of the use of a set of standardized procedures for measuring intelligibility of synthetic speech under controlled laboratory conditions. Recent work investigating the perception of synthetic speech under more severe conditions in which greater demands are made on the listener's processing resources is also considered. The wide range of intelligibility scores obtained in the present study demonstrates important differences in perception and suggests that not all synthetic speech is perceptually equivalent to the listener. PMID:2527884

  8. 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

  9. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Der-Chang; Chiu, Jung-Hui

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

  11. 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.…

  12. 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…

  13. Perception of synthetic speech produced automatically by rule: Intelligibility of eight text-to-speech systems.

    PubMed

    Greene, Beth G; Logan, John S; Pisoni, David B

    1986-03-01

    We present the results of studies designed to measure the segmental intelligibility of eight text-to-speech systems and a natural speech control, using the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT). Results indicated that the voices tested could be grouped into four categories: natural speech, high-quality synthetic speech, moderate-quality synthetic speech, and low-quality synthetic speech. The overall performance of the best synthesis system, DECtalk-Paul, was equivalent to natural speech only in terms of performance on initial consonants. The findings are discussed in terms of recent work investigating the perception of synthetic speech under more severe conditions. Suggestions for future research on improving the quality of synthetic speech are also considered. PMID:23225916

  14. Speech Production Intelligibility of Early Implanted Pediatric Cochlear Implant Users

    PubMed Central

    Habib, Mirette G.; Waltzman, Susan B.; Tajudeen, Bobby; Svirsky, Mario A.

    2010-01-01

    Objectives To investigate the influence of age, and age at implantation, on speech production intelligibility in prelingually deaf pediatric cochlear implant recipients. Methods Forty prelingually, profoundly deaf children who received cochlear implants between 8 and 40 months of age. Their age at testing ranged between 2.5 – 18 years. Children were recorded repeating the ten sentences in the Beginner’s Intelligibility Test. These recordings were played back to normal-hearing listeners who were unfamiliar with deaf speech and who were instructed to write down what they heard. They also rated each subject for the intelligibility of their speech production on a 5-point rating scale. The main outcome measures were the percentage of target words correctly transcribed, and the intelligibility ratings, in both cases averaged across three normal-hearing listeners. Results The data showed a strong effect of age at testing, with older children being more intelligible. This effect was particularly pronounced for children implanted in the first 24 months of life, all of whom had speech production intelligibility scores of 80% or higher when they were tested at age 5.5 years or older. This was true for only five out of nine children implanted at age 25 to 36 months. Conclusions Profoundly deaf children who receive cochlear implants in the first two years of life produce highly intelligible speech before age 6. This is also true for most, but not all children implanted in their third year. PMID:20472308

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

    PubMed

    Schoenmaker, Esther; van de Par, Steven

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Segmental intelligibility and speech interference thresholds of high-quality synthetic speech in presence of noise.

    PubMed

    Koul, R K; Allen, G D

    1993-08-01

    Technological advancement in the area of synthetic speech has made it increasingly difficult to distinguish quality of speech based solely on intelligibility scores obtained in benign laboratory conditions. Intelligibility scores obtained for natural speech and a high-quality text-to-speech system (DECtalk) are not substantially different. This study examined the perceived intelligibility and speech interference thresholds of DECtalk male and female voices and compared them with data obtained for natural speech. Results revealed that decreasing signal-to-noise levels had more deleterious effects on the perception of DECtalk male and female voices than on the perception of natural speech. Analysis of pattern of phoneme errors revealed that similar general patterns of errors tended to occur in DECtalk and in natural speech. The speech interference test did not demonstrate any significant difference between the DECtalk male and female voices. These results were supported by the absence of a significant difference between DECtalk male and female voices during intelligibility testing at different signal-to-noise ratios. PMID:8377491

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Objective Estimation of Word Intelligibility for Noise-Reduced Speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Takeshi; Kumakura, Masakazu; Kitawaki, Nobuhiko

    It is essential to ensure a satisfactory QoS (Quality of Service) when offering a speech communication system with a noise reduction algorithm. In this paper, we propose a new obejective test methodology for noise-reduced speech that estimates word intelligibility by using a distortion measure. Experimental results confirmed that the proposed methodology gives an accurate estimate with independence of noise reduction algorithms and noise types.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Roman, Nicoleta; Woodruff, John

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Intelligibility of digital speech masked by noise: Normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Charles W.; Stephenson, Mark S.; McKinley, Richard L.; Fisher, Vernie G.; Jacobs, Michael J.

    1990-06-01

    The intelligibility in noise of normal and digital speech (ADPCM, CVSD, LPC-10 vocoders) was measured for normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners. The digitally coded speech was generally less intelligible than normal speech; however, the highest quality digital system provided speech that was similar in intelligibility to normal speech. The speech from some digital systems was more vulnerable to noise masking than from others. Hearing impaired persons with no prior experience listening to digital speech required more time to attain maximum listening performance than normal hearing listeners. The rank ordering of intelligibility of the three types of digital speech was the same for the hearing impaired as for the normal hearing listeners. Persons with moderate hearing loss will have greater difficulty than normal hearing listeners in understanding digital speech in noise. Personnel with hearing impairment using digital speech systems in operational noise environment may be contributing to voice communication problems attributed only to the digital speech.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Speech intelligibility and spatial release from masking in young children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litovsky, Ruth Y.

    2005-05-01

    Children between the ages of 4 and 7 and adults were tested in free field on speech intelligibility using a four-alternative forced choice paradigm with spondees. Target speech was presented from front (0°) speech or modulated speech-shaped-noise competitors were either in front or on the right (90°). Speech reception thresholds were measured adaptively using a three-down/one-up algorithm. The primary difference between children and adults was seen in elevated thresholds in children in quiet and in all masked conditions. For both age groups, masking was greater with the speech-noise versus speech competitor and with two versus one competitor(s). Masking was also greater when the competitors were located in front compared with the right. The amount of masking did not differ across the two age groups. Spatial release from masking was similar in the two age groups, except for in the one-speech condition, when it was greater in children than adults. These findings suggest that, similar to adults, young children are able to utilize spatial and/or head shadow cues to segregate sounds in noisy environments. The potential utility of the measures used here for studying hearing-impaired children is also discussed. .

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    2001-05-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musselman, Carol Reich

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schepker, Henning; Rennies, Jan; Doclo, Simon

    2015-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Pennig, Sibylle; Quehl, Julia; Wittkowski, Martin

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Neural correlates of intelligibility in speech investigated with noise vocoded speech--a positron emission tomography study.

    PubMed

    Scott, Sophie K; Rosen, Stuart; Lang, Harriet; Wise, Richard J S

    2006-08-01

    Functional imaging studies of speech perception in the human brain have identified a key role for auditory association areas in the temporal lobes (bilateral superior temporal gyri and sulci) in the perceptual processing of the speech signal. This is extended to suggest some functional specialization within this bilateral system, with a particular role for the left anterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) in processing intelligible speech. In the current study, noise-vocoded speech was used to vary the intelligibility of speech parametrically. This replicated the finding of a selective response to intelligibility in speech in the left anterior superior temporal sulcus, in contrast to the posterior superior temporal sulcus, which showed a response profile insensitive to the degree of intelligibility. These results are related to theories of functional organization in the human auditory system, which have indicated that there are separate processing streams, with different functional roles, running anterior and posterior to primary auditory cortex. Specifically, it is suggested that an anterior stream processing intelligibility can be distinguished from a posterior stream associated with transient representations, important in spoken repetition and working memory. PMID:16938993

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. A longitudinal group study of speech development in Danish children born with and without cleft lip and palate.

    PubMed

    Hutters, B; Bau, A; Brøndsted, K

    2001-01-01

    The present study focuses on contoid vocalization by Danish 1-year-old unrepaired toddlers born with cleft lip and palate, and how they differ from their non-cleft peers. Furthermore, we focus on how the same children master Danish consonants at 3 years of age compared with their non-cleft peers in terms of their ability to produce consonants in accordance with adult target. Also, with the 3 year olds, we look at cleft speech characteristics as well as developmental speech characteristics found in both groups of children. Based on phonetic transcription, it was found that Danish unoperated cleft palate children at 1 year of age produced few types of contoids and preferably contoids that did not require closure of the velopharyngeal port in their prespeech. In addition, the data suggest that consonants produced by cleft children who are treated with one-stage surgery after speech onset, at 3 years of age differ from speech produced by non-cleft children, not only as regards cleft speech characteristics, but also as regards developmental speech characteristics.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Jeffery B.

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. In-flight speech intelligibility evaluation of a service member with sensorineural hearing loss: case report.

    PubMed

    Casto, Kristen L; Cho, Timothy H

    2012-09-01

    This case report describes the in-flight speech intelligibility evaluation of an aircraft crewmember with pure tone audiometric thresholds that exceed the U.S. Army's flight standards. Results of in-flight speech intelligibility testing highlight the inability to predict functional auditory abilities from pure tone audiometry and underscore the importance of conducting validated functional hearing evaluations to determine aviation fitness-for-duty. PMID:23025145

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chin, Steven B; Kuhns, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Diminished speech intelligibility associated with certain types of respirators worn by healthcare workers.

    PubMed

    Radonovich, Lewis J; Yanke, Robert; Cheng, Jing; Bender, Bradley

    2010-01-01

    This study sought to determine the level of communication interference associated with commonly used disposable and reusable respirators and surgical masks worn by healthcare workers. Speech intelligibility was assessed using the modified rhyme test in an intensive care unit environment. Respirators decreased speech intelligibility by a range of 1% to 17%, although not all were statistically significant. Differences in speech intelligibility associated with surgical masks and disposable filtering facepiece respirators (without exhalation valves) were not statistically significant compared with controls. Wearing half-face elastomeric respirators with voice augmentation equipment was associated with higher speech intelligibility than models without this equipment (OR = 2.81). Hearing clarity while wearing a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) was 79% compared with 90% with no PAPR (OR = 0.40). While some respirators appear to have little or no effect on speech intelligibility, interference with speech intelligibility associated with certain types of respirators commonly worn by U.S. healthcare workers may be substantial. PMID:19904661

  10. Effects of Noise and Filtering on the Intelligibility of Speech Produced during Simultaneous Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of noise and filtering on the intelligibility of speech produced during simultaneous communication (SC). Four normal hearing, experienced sign language users were recorded under SC and speech alone (SA) conditions speaking Boothroyd's forced-choice phonetic contrast material designed for measurement of speech…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. A Comparison of Speech Synthesis Intelligibility with Listeners from Three Age Groups.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirenda, Pat; Beukelman, David R.

    1987-01-01

    The study evaluated the intelligibility of three different types of speech synthesizers (Echo II+, Votrax Personal Speech System, and DECtalk) with children at two different age groups and adults. Results are reported in terms of their educational application with communication disordered persons. (Author/DB)

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munlin, Joyce C.

    1990-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargus Ferguson, Sarah

    2004-10-01

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

  1. An evaluation of objective measures for intelligibility prediction of time-frequency weighted noisy speech.

    PubMed

    Taal, Cees H; Hendriks, Richard C; Heusdens, Richard; Jensen, Jesper

    2011-11-01

    Existing objective speech-intelligibility measures are suitable for several types of degradation, however, it turns out that they are less appropriate in cases where noisy speech is processed by a time-frequency weighting. To this end, an extensive evaluation is presented of objective measure for intelligibility prediction of noisy speech processed with a technique called ideal time frequency (TF) segregation. In total 17 measures are evaluated, including four advanced speech-intelligibility measures (CSII, CSTI, NSEC, DAU), the advanced speech-quality measure (PESQ), and several frame-based measures (e.g., SSNR). Furthermore, several additional measures are proposed. The study comprised a total number of 168 different TF-weightings, including unprocessed noisy speech. Out of all measures, the proposed frame-based measure MCC gave the best results (ρ = 0.93). An additional experiment shows that the good performing measures in this study also show high correlation with the intelligibility of single-channel noise reduced speech. PMID:22087929

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

    PubMed

    Scott, S K; Blank, C C; Rosen, S; Wise, R J

    2000-12-01

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. Large-scale training to increase speech intelligibility for hearing-impaired listeners in novel noises.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jitong; Wang, Yuxuan; Yoho, Sarah E; Wang, DeLiang; Healy, Eric W

    2016-05-01

    Supervised speech segregation has been recently shown to improve human speech intelligibility in noise, when trained and tested on similar noises. However, a major challenge involves the ability to generalize to entirely novel noises. Such generalization would enable hearing aid and cochlear implant users to improve speech intelligibility in unknown noisy environments. This challenge is addressed in the current study through large-scale training. Specifically, a deep neural network (DNN) was trained on 10 000 noises to estimate the ideal ratio mask, and then employed to separate sentences from completely new noises (cafeteria and babble) at several signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Although the DNN was trained at the fixed SNR of - 2 dB, testing using hearing-impaired listeners demonstrated that speech intelligibility increased substantially following speech segregation using the novel noises and unmatched SNR conditions of 0 dB and 5 dB. Sentence intelligibility benefit was also observed for normal-hearing listeners in most noisy conditions. The results indicate that DNN-based supervised speech segregation with large-scale training is a very promising approach for generalization to new acoustic environments. PMID:27250154

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. A preliminary investigation into the intelligibility of Microspeech-2, a speech synthesiser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irving, A. M.; Hogg, R. W.

    1981-11-01

    The intelligibility of the Microspeech-2 speech synthesizer was assessed using an adapted form of the Modified Rhyme Test on four experimental groups. Familiarity with the system and prior knowledge of the 25 test words result in high intelligibility scores, while no prior knowledge of the system or test words result in considerably lower intelligibility scores. Of the two other groups, those with prior knowledge of the test words but no experience of the system find Microspeech more intelligible than those with limited experience but no prior knowledge of the test words.

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

    PubMed

    Grange, Jacques A; Culling, John F

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Effect of audio bandwidth and bit error rate on PCM, ADPCM and LPC speech coding algorithm intelligibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinley, Richard L.; Moore, Thomas J.

    1987-02-01

    The effects of audio bandwidth and bit error rate on speech intelligibility of voice coders in noise are described and quantified. Three different speech coding techniques were investigated, pulse code modulation (PCM), adaptive differential pulse code modulation (ADPCM), and linear predictive coding (LPC). Speech intelligibility was measured in realistic acoustic noise environs by a panel of 10 subjects performing the Modified Rhyme Test. Summary data is presented along with planned future research in optimization of audio bandwidth vs bit error rate tradeoff for best speech intelligibility.

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

    PubMed

    Biberger, Thomas; Ewert, Stephan D

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Objective measures of perceptual quality for predicting speech intelligibility in sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Chiaramello, E; Moriconi, S; Tognola, G

    2015-08-01

    An objective method to predict speech intelligibility in sensorineural hearing loss of different types and increasing degrees of severity is proposed and validated with experimental data. The novel approach is based on the combined use of acoustic simulations of impaired perception and objective measures of perceptual speech quality (PESQ). Acoustic simulations were obtained after degradation of the original, non distorted, speech waveforms by spectral smearing, expansive nonlinearity, and level scaling. PESQ was used to measure perceptual quality of the acoustic simulations obtained by varying the degree of the simulated hearing loss. A logistic function was applied to transform PESQ scores into predicted intelligibility scores. A set of CV and VC syllables in /a/, /u/, and /i/ contexts was used as reference test material. The method was validated with subjective measures of intelligibility of the degraded speech obtained in a group of 10 normal hearing subjects. Overall, prediction of experimental speech intelligibility through the transformed PESQ measures was good (R(2)=0.7; RMSE=0.08) revealing that the proposed approach could be a valuable aid in real clinical applications. PMID:26737556

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chi-Nin

    2003-10-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Speech intelligibility after gingivectomy of excess palatal tissue

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25191084

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xin; Fowler, Carol A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Differences among sighted individuals and individuals with visual impairments in word intelligibility presented via synthetic and natural speech.

    PubMed

    Papadopoulos, Konstantinos; Katemidou, Evangelia; Koutsoklenis, Athanasios; Mouratidou, Eirini

    2010-12-01

    This study investigated word intelligibility among sighted individuals and individuals with visual impairments for both natural and synthetic speech. Both groups of participants performed significantly better when identifying words presented via natural speech. The results also demonstrated that individuals with visual impairments were more successful than their sighted peers in understanding words presented via synthetic speech, with experience being the most critical factor in identifying words for the participants with visual impairments. Finally, the findings show the correlation between intelligibility and key factors such as age and the overall use of text-to-speech systems. PMID:20969513

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nakajima, T; Ando, Y

    1991-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rosen, Stuart; Zhang, Yue; Speers, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kawase, Saya; Hannah, Beverly; Wang, Yue

    2014-09-01

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

  12. 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),…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. 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. PMID:22501075

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Smiljanić, Rajka; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayser, J. A.

    1981-12-01

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

  2. The effect of compression and attention allocation on speech intelligibility. II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Sangsook; Carrell, Thomas

    2001-05-01

    Previous investigations of the effects of amplitude compression on measures of speech intelligibility have shown inconsistent results. Recently, a novel paradigm was used to investigate the possibility of more consistent findings with a measure of speech perception that is not based entirely on intelligibility (Choi and Carrell, 2003). That study exploited a dual-task paradigm using a pursuit rotor online visual-motor tracking task (Dlhopolsky, 2000) along with a word repetition task. Intensity-compressed words caused reduced performance on the tracking task as compared to uncompressed words when subjects engaged in a simultaneous word repetition task. This suggested an increased cognitive load when listeners processed compressed words. A stronger result might be obtained if a single resource (linguistic) is required rather than two (linguistic and visual-motor) resources. In the present experiment a visual lexical decision task and an auditory word repetition task were used. The visual stimuli for the lexical decision task were blurred and presented in a noise background. The compressed and uncompressed words for repetition were placed in speech-shaped noise. Participants with normal hearing and vision conducted word repetition and lexical decision tasks both independently and simultaneously. The pattern of results is discussed and compared to the previous study.

  3. Segmental intelligibility of four currently used text-to-speech synthesis methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 FlexVoice™2, 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.

  4. 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. PMID:12703720

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of slow-acting wide dynamic range compression on measures of intelligibility and ratings of speech quality in simulated-loss listeners.

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

    The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the extent to which 4-channel, slow-acting wide dynamic range amplitude compression (WDRC) can counteract the perceptual effects of reduced auditory dynamic range and (b) to examine the relation between objective measures of speech intelligibility and categorical ratings of speech quality for sentences processed with slow-acting WDRC. Multiband expansion was used to simulate the effects of elevated thresholds and loudness recruitment in normal hearing listeners. While some previous studies have shown that WDRC can improve both speech intelligibility and quality, others have found no benefit. The current experiment shows that moderate amounts of compression can provide a small but significant improvement in speech intelligibility, relative to linear amplification, for simulated-loss listeners with small dynamic ranges (i.e., flat, moderate hearing loss). This benefit was found for speech at conversational levels, both in quiet and in a background of babble. Simulated-loss listeners with large dynamic ranges (i.e., sloping, mild-to-moderate hearing loss) did not show any improvement. Comparison of speech intelligibility scores and subjective ratings of intelligibility showed that listeners with simulated hearing loss could accurately judge the overall intelligibility of speech. However, in all listeners, ratings of pleasantness decreased as the compression ratio increased. These findings suggest that subjective measures of speech quality should be used in conjunction with either objective or subjective measures of speech intelligibility to ensure that participant-selected hearing aid parameters optimize both comfort and intelligibility.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousefian Jazi, Nima

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  11. Effects of high-frequency emphasis and compression time constants on speech intelligibility in noise.

    PubMed

    van Toor, Thijs; Verschuure, Hans

    2002-10-01

    The objectives of the study were to evaluate the effect of different settings with regard to speech intelligibility in noise both objectively and subjectively and thus determine a favoured setting of compression time parameters, pre-set program (high-frequency emphasis) or combination for each individual user in a prospective study. Another objective was to evaluate the relationship between patient characteristics (e.g. slope of hearing loss) and favoured settings. In total, 38 subjects divided over five audiological centres were fitted with the Philips Spaceline D71-40 BTE digital hearing aid. Subjects were asked to compare three predefined compression algorithms with different time constants, slow (indicated by the manufacturer as AVC), intermediate (NORMAL) and fast (SYLLABIC) over two 4-week periods using the intermediate setting in both comparisons and randomizing over the fast and slow conditions. A randomization determined whether a subject started with the comfort-oriented pre-set program (AUTO) or the speech intelligibility-oriented setting with high-frequency emphasis (SPIN). In a third 4-week period, the pre-sets AUTO and SPIN were compared using the setting of the compression time constants that gave the best results during the first two periods. Comparisons were made using a standard speech-in-noise test with three types of noise: continuous speaker noise, modulated ICRA-4 noise, and car noise. The patients were also asked to fill in a Dutch translation and adaptation of the APHAB questionnaire to indicate their impression of performance. The results indicate that no compression algorithm, pre-set or combination is favoured overall. The largest improvement in speech-in-noise scores was found with syllabic compression. The advantageous effect of high-frequency emphasis after optimization of compression timing is small. The APHAB showed that users tend to prefer the SPIN setting. We found no relationship between favoured compression or pre-set and the

  12. 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

  13. Articulation patterns and speech intelligibility of 54 Vietnamese children with unoperated oral clefts: clinical observations and impressions.

    PubMed

    Landis, P; Thi-Thu-Cuc, P

    1975-04-01

    Evaluations of the articulation patterns and speech intelligibility of 54 Vietnamese children with unrepaired oral clefts indicate a relationship between the type of oral cleft and the proficiency of speech skills attained. The results of the study suggest that consideration of the type of oral cleft and the specific kinds of articulation errors exhibited by the patient may be of value in planning the surgical habilitation of older children and adults with unrepaired clefts of the lip and palate.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. On the possible role of brain rhythms in speech perception: intelligibility of time-compressed speech with periodic and aperiodic insertions of silence.

    PubMed

    Ghitza, Oded; Greenberg, Steven

    2009-01-01

    This study was motivated by the prospective role played by brain rhythms in speech perception. The intelligibility - in terms of word error rate - of natural-sounding, synthetically generated sentences was measured using a paradigm that alters speech-energy rhythm over a range of frequencies. The material comprised 96 semantically unpredictable sentences, each approximately 2 s long (6-8 words per sentence), generated by a high-quality text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis engine. The TTS waveform was time-compressed by a factor of 3, creating a signal with a syllable rhythm three times faster than the original, and whose intelligibility is poor (<50% words correct). A waveform with an artificial rhythm was produced by automatically segmenting the time-compressed waveform into consecutive 40-ms fragments, each followed by a silent interval. The parameters varied were the length of the silent interval (0-160 ms) and whether the lengths of silence were equal ('periodic') or not ('aperiodic'). The performance curve (word error rate as a function of mean duration of silence) was U-shaped. The lowest word error rate (i.e., highest intelligibility) occurred when the silence was 80 ms long and inserted periodically. This is also the condition for which word error rate increased when the silence was inserted aperiodically. These data are consistent with a model (TEMPO) in which low-frequency brain rhythms affect the ability to decode the speech signal. In TEMPO, optimum intelligibility is achieved when the syllable rhythm is within the range of the high theta-frequency brain rhythms (6-12 Hz), comparable to the rate at which segments and syllables are articulated in conversational speech. PMID:19390234

  1. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuendorf, Jill A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tjaden, Kris; Kain, Alexander; Lam, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  6. A model that predicts the binaural advantage to speech intelligibility from the mixed target and interferer signals.

    PubMed

    Cosentino, Stefano; Marquardt, Torsten; McAlpine, David; Culling, John F; Falk, Tiago H

    2014-02-01

    A model is presented that predicts the binaural advantage to speech intelligibility by analyzing the right and left recordings at the two ears containing mixed target and interferer signals. This auditory-inspired model implements an equalization-cancellation stage to predict the binaural unmasking (BU) component, in conjunction with a modulation-frequency estimation block to estimate the "better ear" effect (BE) component of the binaural advantage. The model's performance was compared to experimental data obtained under anechoic and reverberant conditions using a single speech-shaped noise interferer paradigm. The internal BU and BE components were compared to those of the speech intelligibility model recently proposed by Lavandier et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 131, 218-231 (2012)], which requires separate inputs for target and interferer. The data indicate that the proposed model provides comparably good predictions from a mixed-signals input under both anechoic and reverberant conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Van Esch, T E M; Dreschler, W A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Van Esch, T. E. M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Van Esch, T E M; Dreschler, W A

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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. .

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

    PubMed

    Haneishi, E

    2001-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Speech communications in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyan; van Heuven, Vincent J

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ichiba, N; Takigawa, H

    1992-11-01

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

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-08-01

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

  10. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. Speech intelligibility of children with unilateral cleft lip and palate (Dutch cleft) following a one-stage Wardill-Kilner palatoplasty, as judged by their parents.

    PubMed

    Van Lierde, K M; Luyten, A; Van Borsel, J; Baudonck, N; Debusschere, T; Vermeersch, H; Bonte, K

    2010-07-01

    This study determined the intelligibility (words, sentences and story telling) of 43 children (mean age 4.9 years) with unilateral cleft lip and palate who received a Wardill-Kilner palatoplasty, as judged by their parents and determined the influence of age and gender. A comparison with normative data for intelligibility of 163 Dutch speaking children was made. Each child and the parents completed The Dutch intelligibility test. Measures reported include group mean intelligibility percentages for words, sentences and story telling for children aged 2.5-5.0 and 5.0-7.6 years. A significant correlation between age of the children and intelligibility was measured. No significant gender-related differences were found. An interesting finding is the absence of significant difference in intelligibility percentage between the children with cleft palate and the normative data for story telling. The reported intelligibility percentages provide important prognostic reference information for surgeons who perform palatoplasty and speech pathologists who assess the speech production of children with cleft palate.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabrielsson, Alf; And Others

    1988-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Cross-language differences in the brain network subserving intelligible speech

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Jianqiao; Peng, Gang; Lyu, Bingjiang; Wang, Yi; Zhuo, Yan; Niu, Zhendong; Tan, Li Hai; Leff, Alexander P.; Gao, Jia-Hong

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25713366

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffer, Mona R.; Perlis, Susan M.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Relationship between Kinematics, F2 Slope and Speech Intelligibility in Dysarthria Due to Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

    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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galatas, Georgios

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zahorik, Pavel; Brandewie, Eugene J

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Speech, Speech!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComb, Gordon

    1982-01-01

    Discussion focuses on the nature of computer-generated speech and voice synthesis today. State-of-the-art devices for home computers are called text-to-speech (TTS) systems. Details about the operation and use of TTS synthesizers are provided, and the time saving in programing over previous methods is emphasized. (MP)

  7. Assessment of the Speech Intelligibility Performance of Post Lingual Cochlear Implant Users at Different Signal-to-Noise Ratios Using the Turkish Matrix Test

    PubMed Central

    Polat, Zahra; Bulut, Erdoğan; Ataş, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    Background: Spoken word recognition and speech perception tests in quiet are being used as a routine in assessment of the benefit which children and adult cochlear implant users receive from their devices. Cochlear implant users generally demonstrate high level performances in these test materials as they are able to achieve high level speech perception ability in quiet situations. Although these test materials provide valuable information regarding Cochlear Implant (CI) users’ performances in optimal listening conditions, they do not give realistic information regarding performances in adverse listening conditions, which is the case in the everyday environment. Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the speech intelligibility performance of post lingual CI users in the presence of noise at different signal-to-noise ratio with the Matrix Test developed for Turkish language. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: The thirty post lingual implant user adult subjects, who had been using implants for a minimum of one year, were evaluated with Turkish Matrix test. Subjects’ speech intelligibility was measured using the adaptive and non-adaptive Matrix Test in quiet and noisy environments. Results: The results of the study show a correlation between Pure Tone Average (PTA) values of the subjects and Matrix test Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) values in the quiet. Hence, it is possible to asses PTA values of CI users using the Matrix Test also. However, no correlations were found between Matrix SRT values in the quiet and Matrix SRT values in noise. Similarly, the correlation between PTA values and intelligibility scores in noise was also not significant. Therefore, it may not be possible to assess the intelligibility performance of CI users using test batteries performed in quiet conditions. Conclusion: The Matrix Test can be used to assess the benefit of CI users from their systems in everyday life, since it is possible to perform intelligibility test with

  8. Speech research directions

    SciTech Connect

    Atal, B.S.; Rabiner, L.R.

    1986-09-01

    This paper presents an overview of the current activities in speech research. The authors discuss the state of the art in speech coding, text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition, and speaker recognition. In the speech coding area, current algorithms perform well at bit rates down to 9.6 kb/s, and the research is directed at bringing the rate for high-quality speech coding down to 2.4 kb/s. In text-to-speech synthesis, what we currently are able to produce is very intelligible but not yet completely natural. Current research aims at providing higher quality and intelligibility to the synthetic speech that these systems produce. Finally, today's systems for speech and speaker recognition provide excellent performance on limited tasks; i.e., limited vocabulary, modest syntax, small talker populations, constrained inputs, etc.

  9. Distributed processing for speech understanding

    SciTech Connect

    Bronson, E.C.; Siegel, L.

    1983-01-01

    Continuous speech understanding is a highly complex artificial intelligence task requiring extensive computation. This complexity precludes real-time speech understanding on a conventional serial computer. Distributed processing technique can be applied to the speech understanding task to improve processing speed. In the paper, the speech understanding task and several speech understanding systems are described. Parallel processing techniques are presented and a distributed processing architecture for speech understanding is outlined. 35 references.

  10. Acoustic correlates of vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech for young normal-hearing and elderly hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sarah Hargus; Quené, Hugo

    2014-06-01

    The present investigation carried out acoustic analyses of vowels in clear and conversational speech produced by 41 talkers. Mixed-effects models were then deployed to examine relationships among acoustic and perceptual data for these vowels. Acoustic data include vowel duration, steady-state formant frequencies, and two measures of dynamic formant movement. Perceptual data consist of vowel intelligibility in noise for young normal-hearing and elderly hearing-impaired listeners, as reported by Ferguson in 2004 and 2012 [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 2365-2373 (2004); J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 55, 779-790 (2012)], respectively. Significant clear speech effects were observed for all acoustic metrics, although not all measures changed for all vowels and considerable talker variability was observed. Mixed-effects analyses revealed that the contribution of duration and steady-state formant information to vowel intelligibility differed for the two listener groups. This outcome is consistent with earlier research suggesting that hearing loss, and possibly aging, alters the way acoustic cues are used for identifying vowels.

  11. Effects of Within-Talker Variability on Speech Intelligibility in Mandarin-Speaking Adult and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Patients

    PubMed Central

    Su, Qiaotong; Galvin, John J.; Zhang, Guoping; Li, Yongxin

    2016-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) speech performance is typically evaluated using well-enunciated speech produced at a normal rate by a single talker. CI users often have greater difficulty with variations in speech production encountered in everyday listening. Within a single talker, speaking rate, amplitude, duration, and voice pitch information may be quite variable, depending on the production context. The coarse spectral resolution afforded by the CI limits perception of voice pitch, which is an important cue for speech prosody and for tonal languages such as Mandarin Chinese. In this study, sentence recognition from the Mandarin speech perception database was measured in adult and pediatric Mandarin-speaking CI listeners for a variety of speaking styles: voiced speech produced at slow, normal, and fast speaking rates; whispered speech; voiced emotional speech; and voiced shouted speech. Recognition of Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test sentences was also measured. Results showed that performance was significantly poorer with whispered speech relative to the other speaking styles and that performance was significantly better with slow speech than with fast or emotional speech. Results also showed that adult and pediatric performance was significantly poorer with Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test than with Mandarin speech perception sentences at the normal rate. The results suggest that adult and pediatric Mandarin-speaking CI patients are highly susceptible to whispered speech, due to the lack of lexically important voice pitch cues and perhaps other qualities associated with whispered speech. The results also suggest that test materials may contribute to differences in performance observed between adult and pediatric CI users. PMID:27363714

  12. Effects of Within-Talker Variability on Speech Intelligibility in Mandarin-Speaking Adult and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Patients.

    PubMed

    Su, Qiaotong; Galvin, John J; Zhang, Guoping; Li, Yongxin; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2016-01-01

    Cochlear implant (CI) speech performance is typically evaluated using well-enunciated speech produced at a normal rate by a single talker. CI users often have greater difficulty with variations in speech production encountered in everyday listening. Within a single talker, speaking rate, amplitude, duration, and voice pitch information may be quite variable, depending on the production context. The coarse spectral resolution afforded by the CI limits perception of voice pitch, which is an important cue for speech prosody and for tonal languages such as Mandarin Chinese. In this study, sentence recognition from the Mandarin speech perception database was measured in adult and pediatric Mandarin-speaking CI listeners for a variety of speaking styles: voiced speech produced at slow, normal, and fast speaking rates; whispered speech; voiced emotional speech; and voiced shouted speech. Recognition of Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test sentences was also measured. Results showed that performance was significantly poorer with whispered speech relative to the other speaking styles and that performance was significantly better with slow speech than with fast or emotional speech. Results also showed that adult and pediatric performance was significantly poorer with Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test than with Mandarin speech perception sentences at the normal rate. The results suggest that adult and pediatric Mandarin-speaking CI patients are highly susceptible to whispered speech, due to the lack of lexically important voice pitch cues and perhaps other qualities associated with whispered speech. The results also suggest that test materials may contribute to differences in performance observed between adult and pediatric CI users. PMID:27363714

  13. Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Sternberg, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    Intelligence is the ability to learn from experience and to adapt to, shape, and select environments. Intelligence as measured by (raw scores on) conventional standardized tests varies across the lifespan, and also across generations. Intelligence can be understood in part in terms of the biology of the brain—especially with regard to the functioning in the prefrontal cortex—and also correlates with brain size, at least within humans. Studies of the effects of genes and environment suggest that the heritability coefficient (ratio of genetic to phenotypic variation) is between .4 and .8, although heritability varies as a function of socioeconomic status and other factors. Racial differences in measured intelligence have been observed, but race is a socially constructed rather than biological variable, so such differences are difficult to interpret. PMID:22577301

  14. Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Robert J

    2012-03-01

    Intelligence is the ability to learn from experience and to adapt to, shape, and select environments. Intelligence as measured by (raw scores on) conventional standardized tests varies across the lifespan, and also across generations. Intelligence can be understood in part in terms of the biology of the brain-especially with regard to the functioning in the prefrontal cortex-and also correlates with brain size, at least within humans. Studies of the effects of genes and environment suggest that the heritability coefficient (ratio of genetic to phenotypic variation) is between .4 and .8, although heritability varies as a function of socioeconomic status and other factors. Racial differences in measured intelligence have been observed, but race is a socially constructed rather than biological variable, so such differences are difficult to interpret.

  15. Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Robert J

    2012-03-01

    Intelligence is the ability to learn from experience and to adapt to, shape, and select environments. Intelligence as measured by (raw scores on) conventional standardized tests varies across the lifespan, and also across generations. Intelligence can be understood in part in terms of the biology of the brain-especially with regard to the functioning in the prefrontal cortex-and also correlates with brain size, at least within humans. Studies of the effects of genes and environment suggest that the heritability coefficient (ratio of genetic to phenotypic variation) is between .4 and .8, although heritability varies as a function of socioeconomic status and other factors. Racial differences in measured intelligence have been observed, but race is a socially constructed rather than biological variable, so such differences are difficult to interpret. PMID:22577301

  16. Speech intelligibility and recall of first and second language words heard at different signal-to-noise ratios.

    PubMed

    Hygge, Staffan; Kjellberg, Anders; Nöstl, Anatole

    2015-01-01

    Free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and English were assessed in two signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions (+3 and +12 dB), with and without half of the heard words being repeated back orally directly after presentation [shadowing, speech intelligibility (SI)]. A total of 24 word lists with 12 words each were presented in English and in Swedish to Swedish speaking college students. Pre-experimental measures of working memory capacity (operation span, OSPAN) were taken. A basic hypothesis was that the recall of the words would be impaired when the encoding of the words required more processing resources, thereby depleting working memory resources. This would be the case when the SNR was low or when the language was English. A low SNR was also expected to impair SI, but we wanted to compare the sizes of the SNR-effects on SI and recall. A low score on working memory capacity was expected to further add to the negative effects of SNR and language on both SI and recall. The results indicated that SNR had strong effects on both SI and recall, but also that the effect size was larger for recall than for SI. Language had a main effect on recall, but not on SI. The shadowing procedure had different effects on recall of the early and late parts of the word lists. Working memory capacity was unimportant for the effect on SI and recall. Thus, recall appear to be a more sensitive indicator than SI for the acoustics of learning, which has implications for building codes and recommendations concerning classrooms and other workplaces, where both hearing and learning is important. PMID:26441765

  17. Artificial intelligence

    SciTech Connect

    Firschein, O.

    1984-01-01

    This book presents papers on artificial intelligence. Topics considered include knowledge engineering, expert systems, applications of artificial intelligence to scientific reasoning, planning and problem solving, error recovery in robots through failure reason analysis, programming languages, natural language, speech recognition, map-guided interpretation of remotely-sensed imagery, and image understanding architectures.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    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…

  19. Speech coding

    SciTech Connect

    Ravishankar, C., Hughes Network Systems, Germantown, MD

    1998-05-08

    coding techniques are equally applicable to any voice signal whether or not it carries any intelligible information, as the term speech implies. Other terms that are commonly used are speech compression and voice compression since the fundamental idea behind speech coding is to reduce (compress) the transmission rate (or equivalently the bandwidth) And/or reduce storage requirements In this document the terms speech and voice shall be used interchangeably.

  20. Effects of the fitting parameters of a two-channel compression system on the intelligibility of speech in quiet and in noise.

    PubMed

    Moore, B C; Lynch, C; Stone, M A

    1992-12-01

    These experiments were carried out to assess how accurately the gains and compression ratios in a two-channel compression system needed to be set. We used as a research tool a laboratory version of a two-channel full-dynamic-range compression system. The system was initially adjusted to suit each hearing-impaired subject according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Then, further adjustments were made to ensure that speech stimuli were both audible and comfortable over a wide range of sound levels. Finally, the settings of the gains and compression ratios were systematically varied from the adjusted values and the effects of this on the intelligibility of speech in quiet and in noise (12-talker babble, levels of 65 and 75 dB SPL) were measured. The results indicated that speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in quiet were significantly adversely affected by decreases in low-level gain. However, SRTs in noise were relatively unaffected by changes in low-level gain. An exception occurred at the higher noise level used, where increases in the low-level gains (with corresponding increases in compression ratios) had a significant adverse effect on the SRTs. It is concluded that, provided excessive low-level gains (associated with high compression ratios) are avoided, the main criteria for fitting such a system should be listening comfort (i.e. achieving an acceptable tonal balance, and avoiding uncomfortably loud sounds) and an appropriate value of the threshold for detecting speech in quiet (which should be a little below 50 dB SPL).

  1. Intelligibility as a Clinical Outcome Measure Following Intervention with Children with Phonologically Based Speech-Sound Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lousada, M.; Jesus, Luis M. T.; Hall, A.; Joffe, V.

    2014-01-01

    Background: 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…

  2. Infant Perception of Atypical Speech Signals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vouloumanos, Athena; Gelfand, Hanna M.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Speech intelligibility improvements with hearing aids using bilateral and binaural adaptive multichannel Wiener filtering based noise reduction.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Bram; Moonen, Marc; Wouters, Jan

    2012-06-01

    This paper evaluates noise reduction techniques in bilateral and binaural hearing aids. Adaptive implementations (on a real-time test platform) of the bilateral and binaural speech distortion weighted multichannel Wiener filter (SDW-MWF) and a competing bilateral fixed beamformer are evaluated. As the SDW-MWF relies on a voice activity detector (VAD), a realistic binaural VAD is also included. The test subjects (both normal hearing subjects and hearing aid users) are tested by an adaptive speech reception threshold (SRT) test in different spatial scenarios, including a realistic cafeteria scenario with nonstationary noise. The main conclusions are: (a) The binaural SDW-MWF can further improve the SRT (up to 2 dB) over the improvements achieved by bilateral algorithms, although a significant difference is only achievable if the binaural SDW-MWF uses a perfect VAD. However, in the cafeteria scenario only the binaural SDW-MWF achieves a significant SRT improvement (2.6 dB with perfect VAD, 2.2 dB with real VAD), for the group of hearing aid users. (b) There is no significant degradation when using a real VAD at the input signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) levels where the hearing aid users reach their SRT. (c) The bilateral SDW-MWF achieves no SRT improvements compared to the bilateral fixed beamformer.

  4. SILENT SPEECH DURING SILENT READING.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MCGUIGAN, FRANK J.

    EFFORTS WERE MADE IN THIS STUDY TO (1) RELATE THE AMOUNT OF SILENT SPEECH DURING SILENT READING TO LEVEL OF READING PROFICIENCY, INTELLIGENCE, AGE, AND GRADE PLACEMENT OF SUBJECTS, AND (2) DETERMINE WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF SILENT SPEECH DURING SILENT READING IS AFFECTED BY THE LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY OF PROSE READ AND BY THE READING OF A FOREIGN…

  5. Audiovisual Asynchrony Detection in Human Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maier, Joost X.; Di Luca, Massimiliano; Noppeney, Uta

    2011-01-01

    Combining information from the visual and auditory senses can greatly enhance intelligibility of natural speech. Integration of audiovisual speech signals is robust even when temporal offsets are present between the component signals. In the present study, we characterized the temporal integration window for speech and nonspeech stimuli with…

  6. Audiovisual Speech Integration and Lipreading in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Elizabeth G.; Bennetto, Loisa

    2007-01-01

    Background: During speech perception, the ability to integrate auditory and visual information causes speech to sound louder and be more intelligible, and leads to quicker processing. This integration is important in early language development, and also continues to affect speech comprehension throughout the lifespan. Previous research shows that…

  7. Cognitive Functions in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nijland, Lian; Terband, Hayo; Maassen, Ben

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is diagnosed on the basis of specific speech characteristics, in the absence of problems in hearing, intelligence, and language comprehension. This does not preclude the possibility that children with this speech disorder might demonstrate additional problems. Method: Cognitive functions were investigated…

  8. Acoustics of Clear Speech: Effect of Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Jennifer; Tjaden, Kris; Wilding, Greg

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated how different instructions for eliciting clear speech affected selected acoustic measures of speech. Method: Twelve speakers were audio-recorded reading 18 different sentences from the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (Yorkston & Beukelman, 1984). Sentences were produced in habitual, clear,…

  9. Speech Perception in Individuals with Auditory Neuropathy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeng, Fan-Gang; Liu, Sheng

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bracken, Bruce A.; McCallum, R. Steve

    This kit presents all components of the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT), a newly developed instrument designed to measure the general intelligence and cognitive abilities of children and adolescents (ages 5 through 17) who may be disadvantaged by traditional verbal and language-loaded measures such as children with speech, language,…

  11. The Effectiveness of Clear Speech as a Masker

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calandruccio, Lauren; Van Engen, Kristin; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: It is established that speaking clearly is an effective means of enhancing intelligibility. Because any signal-processing scheme modeled after known acoustic-phonetic features of clear speech will likely affect both target and competing speech, it is important to understand how speech recognition is affected when a competing speech signal…

  12. Speech & Language Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Better Speech for Children with Down Syndrome Blueberry Shoes Productions. (2005) Try Reading Again: How to ... Did You Say? A Guide to Speech Intelligibility. Blueberry Shoes Productions. (2006) Resources New & Expectant Parents Where ...

  13. Overview of speech technology of the 80's

    SciTech Connect

    Crook, S.B.

    1981-01-01

    The author describes the technology innovations necessary to accommodate the market need which is the driving force toward greater perceived computer intelligence. The author discusses aspects of both speech synthesis and speech recognition.

  14. Determining the threshold for usable speech within co-channel speech with the SPHINX automated speech recognition system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, William T.; Yantorno, Robert E.

    2004-10-01

    Much research has been and is continuing to be done in the area of separating the original utterances of two speakers from co-channel speech. This is very important in the area of automated speech recognition (ASR), where the current state of technology is not nearly as accurate as human listeners when the speech is co-channel. It is desired to determine what types of speech (voiced, unvoiced, and silence) and at what target to interference ratio (TIR) two speakers can speak at the same time and not reduce speech intelligibility of the target speaker (referred to as usable speech). Knowing which segments of co-channel speech are usable in ASR can be used to improve the reconstruction of single speaker speech. Tests were performed using the SPHINX ASR software and the TIDIGITS database. It was found that interfering voiced speech with a TIR of 6 dB or greater (on a per frame basis) did not significantly reduce the intelligibility of the target speaker in co-channel speech. It was further found that interfering unvoiced speech with a TIR of 18 dB or greater (on a per frame basis) did not significantly reduce the intelligibility of the target speaker in co-channel speech.

  15. Alternative Speech Communication System for Persons with Severe Speech Disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selouani, Sid-Ahmed; Sidi Yakoub, Mohammed; O'Shaughnessy, Douglas

    2009-12-01

    Assistive speech-enabled systems are proposed to help both French and English speaking persons with various speech disorders. The proposed assistive systems use automatic speech recognition (ASR) and speech synthesis in order to enhance the quality of communication. These systems aim at improving the intelligibility of pathologic speech making it as natural as possible and close to the original voice of the speaker. The resynthesized utterances use new basic units, a new concatenating algorithm and a grafting technique to correct the poorly pronounced phonemes. The ASR responses are uttered by the new speech synthesis system in order to convey an intelligible message to listeners. Experiments involving four American speakers with severe dysarthria and two Acadian French speakers with sound substitution disorders (SSDs) are carried out to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed methods. An improvement of the Perceptual Evaluation of the Speech Quality (PESQ) value of 5% and more than 20% is achieved by the speech synthesis systems that deal with SSD and dysarthria, respectively.

  16. Single Word and Sentence Intelligibility in Children with Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khwaileh, Fadwa A.; Flipsen, Peter, Jr.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the intelligibility of speech produced by 17 children (aged 4-11 years) with cochlear implants. Stimulus items included sentences from the Beginners' Intelligibility Test (BIT) and words from the Children Speech Intelligibility Measure (CSIM). Naive listeners responded by writing sentences heard or with two types of responses…

  17. Speech Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutoit, Thierry; Bozkurt, Baris

    Text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis is the art of designing talking machines. It is often seen by engineers as an easy task, compared to speech recognition.1 It is true, indeed, that it is easier to create a bad, first trial text-to-speech (TTS) system than to design a rudimentary speech recognizer.

  18. Infant perception of atypical speech signals.

    PubMed

    Vouloumanos, Athena; Gelfand, Hanna M

    2013-05-01

    The ability to decode atypical and degraded speech signals as intelligible is a hallmark of speech perception. Human adults can perceive sounds as speech even when they are generated by a variety of nonhuman sources including computers and parrots. We examined how infants perceive the speech-like vocalizations of a parrot. Further, we examined how visual context influences infant speech perception. Nine-month-olds heard speech and nonspeech sounds produced by either a human or a parrot, concurrently with 1 of 2 visual displays: a static checkerboard or a static image of a human face. Using an infant-controlled looking task, we examined infants' preferences for speech and nonspeech sounds. Infants listened equally to parrot speech and nonspeech when paired with a checkerboard. However, in the presence of faces, infants listened longer to parrot speech than to nonspeech sounds, such that their preference for parrot speech was similar to their preference for human speech sounds. These data are consistent with the possibility that infants treat parrot speech similarly to human speech relative to nonspeech vocalizations but only in some visual contexts. Like adults, infants may perceive a range of signals as speech.

  19. Introducing artificial intelligence

    SciTech Connect

    Simons, G.L.

    1985-01-01

    This book is an introduction to the field of artificial intelligence. The volume sets Al in a broad context of historical attitudes, imaginative insights, and ideas about intelligence in general. The author offers a wide-ranging survey of Al concerns, including cognition, knowledge engineering, problem inference, speech understanding, and perception. He also discusses expert systems, LISP, smart robots, and other Al products, and provides a listing of all major Al systems.

  20. Prosodic Features and Speech Naturalness in Individuals with Dysarthria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klopfenstein, Marie I.

    2012-01-01

    Despite the importance of speech naturalness to treatment outcomes, little research has been done on what constitutes speech naturalness and how to best maximize naturalness in relationship to other treatment goals like intelligibility. In addition, previous literature alludes to the relationship between prosodic aspects of speech and speech…

  1. Perception of Synthetic and Natural Speech by Adults with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papadopoulos, Konstantinos; Koutsoklenis, Athanasios; Katemidou, Evangelia; Okalidou, Areti

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the intelligibility and comprehensibility of natural speech in comparison to synthetic speech. The results demonstrate the type of errors; the relationship between intelligibility and comprehensibility; and the correlation between intelligibility and comprehensibility and key factors, such as the frequency of use of…

  2. Production and perception of clear speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradlow, Ann R.

    2003-04-01

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

  3. Speech Development

    MedlinePlus

    ... W View More… Donate Donor Spotlight Fundraising Ideas Vehicle Donation Volunteer Efforts Speech Development skip to submenu ... Lip and Palate . Bzoch (1997). Cleft Palate Speech Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach . Shprintzen, Bardach (1995). Cleft Palate: ...

  4. Speech Problems

    MedlinePlus

    ... a person's ability to speak clearly. Some Common Speech Disorders Stuttering is a problem that interferes with fluent ... is a language disorder, while stuttering is a speech disorder. A person who stutters has trouble getting out ...

  5. Investigation of the optimum acoustical conditions for speech using auralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wonyoung; Hodgson, Murray

    2001-05-01

    Speech intelligibility is mainly affected by reverberation and by signal-to-noise level difference, the difference between the speech-signal and background-noise levels at a receiver. An important question for the design of rooms for speech (e.g., classrooms) is, what are the optimal values of these factors? This question has been studied experimentally and theoretically. Experimental studies found zero optimal reverberation time, but theoretical predictions found nonzero reverberation times. These contradictory results are partly caused by the different ways of accounting for background noise. Background noise sources and their locations inside the room are the most detrimental factors in speech intelligibility. However, noise levels also interact with reverberation in rooms. In this project, two major room-acoustical factors for speech intelligibility were controlled using speech and noise sources of known relative output levels located in a virtual room with known reverberation. Speech intelligibility test signals were played in the virtual room and auralized for listeners. The Modified Rhyme Test (MRT) and babble noise were used to measure subjective speech intelligibility quality. Optimal reverberation times, and the optimal values of other speech intelligibility metrics, for normal-hearing people and for hard-of-hearing people, were identified and compared.

  6. Speech Motor Learning in Profoundly Deaf Adults

    PubMed Central

    Nasir, Sazzad M.; Ostry, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Speech production, like other sensorimotor behaviors, relies on multiple sensory inputs — audition, proprioceptive inputs from muscle spindles, and cutaneous inputs from mechanoreceptors in the skin and soft tissues of the vocal tract. However, the capacity for intelligible speech by deaf speakers suggests that somatosensory input on its own may contribute to speech motor control and perhaps even to speech learning. We assessed speech motor learning in cochlear implant recipients who were tested with their implants turned off. A robotic device was used to alter somatosensory feedback by displacing the jaw during speech. We found that with training implant subjects progressively adapted to the mechanical perturbation. Moreover, the corrections we observed were for movement deviations that were exceedingly small, on the order of millimetres, indicating that speakers have precise somatosensory expectations. Speech motor learning is significantly dependent on somatosensory input. PMID:18794839

  7. The design of a device for hearer and feeler differentiation, part A. [speech modulated hearing device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creecy, R.

    1974-01-01

    A speech modulated white noise device is reported that gives the rhythmic characteristics of a speech signal for intelligible reception by deaf persons. The signal is composed of random amplitudes and frequencies as modulated by the speech envelope characteristics of rhythm and stress. Time intensity parameters of speech are conveyed through the vibro-tactile sensation stimuli.

  8. Working Papers in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Volume XII.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    City Univ. of New York, Flushing. Queens Coll. Dept. of Communication Arts and Sciences.

    Seven papers report on speech language pathology and audiology studies performed by graduate students. The first paper reports on intelligibility of two popular synthetic speech systems used in communication aids for the speech impaired, the Votrax Personal Speech System and the Echo II synthesizer. The second paper reports facilitation of tense…

  9. Intensive Speech and Language Therapy for Older Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systems Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennington, Lindsay; Miller, Nick; Robson, Sheila; Steen, Nick

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To investigate whether speech therapy using a speech systems approach to controlling breath support, phonation, and speech rate can increase the speech intelligibility of children with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (CP). Method: Sixteen children with dysarthria and CP participated in a modified time series design. Group characteristics were…

  10. [Improving speech comprehension using a new cochlear implant speech processor].

    PubMed

    Müller-Deile, J; Kortmann, T; Hoppe, U; Hessel, H; Morsnowski, A

    2009-06-01

    The aim of this multicenter clinical field study was to assess the benefits of the new Freedom 24 sound processor for cochlear implant (CI) users implanted with the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant system. The study included 48 postlingually profoundly deaf experienced CI users who demonstrated speech comprehension performance with their current speech processor on the Oldenburg sentence test (OLSA) in quiet conditions of at least 80% correct scores and who were able to perform adaptive speech threshold testing using the OLSA in noisy conditions. Following baseline measures of speech comprehension performance with their current speech processor, subjects were upgraded to the Freedom 24 speech processor. After a take-home trial period of at least 2 weeks, subject performance was evaluated by measuring the speech reception threshold with the Freiburg multisyllabic word test and speech intelligibility with the Freiburg monosyllabic word test at 50 dB and 70 dB in the sound field. The results demonstrated highly significant benefits for speech comprehension with the new speech processor. Significant benefits for speech comprehension were also demonstrated with the new speech processor when tested in competing background noise.In contrast, use of the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) did not prove to be a suitably sensitive assessment tool for comparative subjective self-assessment of hearing benefits with each processor. Use of the preprocessing algorithm known as adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) in the Freedom 24 led to additional improvements over the standard upgrade map for speech comprehension in quiet and showed equivalent performance in noise. Through use of the preprocessing beam-forming algorithm BEAM, subjects demonstrated a highly significant improved signal-to-noise ratio for speech comprehension thresholds (i.e., signal-to-noise ratio for 50% speech comprehension scores) when tested with an adaptive procedure using the Oldenburg

  11. Got EQ?: Increasing Cultural and Clinical Competence through Emotional Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Shari A.

    2007-01-01

    Cultural intelligence has been described across three parameters of human behavior: cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence (EQ), and physical intelligence. Each contributes a unique and important perspective to the ability of speech-language pathologists and audiologists to provide benefits to their clients regardless of cultural…

  12. Between-Word Simplification Patterns in the Continuous Speech of Children with Speech Sound Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klein, Harriet B.; Liu-Shea, May

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to identify and describe between-word simplification patterns in the continuous speech of children with speech sound disorders. It was hypothesized that word combinations would reveal phonological changes that were unobserved with single words, possibly accounting for discrepancies between the intelligibility of…

  13. Effects of Speaking Task on Intelligibility in Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tjaden, Kris; Wilding, Greg

    2011-01-01

    Intelligibility tests for dysarthria typically provide an estimate of overall severity for speech materials elicited through imitation or read from a printed script. The extent to which these types of tasks and procedures reflect intelligibility for extemporaneous speech is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to compare…

  14. Breath-Group Intelligibility in Dysarthria: Characteristics and Underlying Correlates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yunusova, Yana; Weismer, Gary; Kent, Ray D.; Rusche, Nicole M.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to determine whether within-speaker fluctuations in speech intelligibility occurred among speakers with dysarthria who produced a reading passage, and, if they did, whether selected linguistic and acoustic variables predicted the variations in speech intelligibility. Method: Participants with dysarthria included a…

  15. Speech levels in meeting rooms and the probability of speech privacy problems.

    PubMed

    Bradley, J S; Gover, B N

    2010-02-01

    Speech levels were measured in a large number of meetings and meeting rooms to better understand their influence on the speech privacy of closed meeting rooms. The effects of room size and number of occupants on average speech levels, for meetings with and without sound amplification, were investigated. The characteristics of the statistical variations of speech levels were determined in terms of speech levels measured over 10 s intervals at locations inside, but near the periphery of the meeting rooms. A procedure for predicting the probability of speech being audible or intelligible at points outside meeting rooms is proposed. It is based on the statistics of meeting room speech levels, in combination with the sound insulation characteristics of the room and the ambient noise levels at locations outside the room. PMID:20136204

  16. Auditory free classification of nonnative speech.

    PubMed

    Atagi, Eriko; Bent, Tessa

    2013-11-01

    Through experience with speech variability, listeners build categories of indexical speech characteristics including categories for talker, gender, and dialect. The auditory free classification task-a task in which listeners freely group talkers based on audio samples-has been a useful tool for examining listeners' representations of some of these characteristics including regional dialects and different languages. The free classification task was employed in the current study to examine the perceptual representation of nonnative speech. The category structure and salient perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech were investigated from two perspectives: general similarity and perceived native language background. Talker intelligibility and whether native talkers were included were manipulated to test stimulus set effects. Results showed that degree of accent was a highly salient feature of nonnative speech for classification based on general similarity and on perceived native language background. This salience, however, was attenuated when listeners were listening to highly intelligible stimuli and attending to the talkers' native language backgrounds. These results suggest that the context in which nonnative speech stimuli are presented-such as the listeners' attention to the talkers' native language and the variability of stimulus intelligibility-can influence listeners' perceptual organization of nonnative speech.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smiljanić, Rajka; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2005-09-01

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

  18. Perceptual evaluation of motor speech following treatment for childhood cerebellar tumour.

    PubMed

    Cornwell, Petrea L; Murdoch, Bruce E; Ward, Elizabeth C; Kellie, Stewart

    2003-12-01

    The speech characteristics, oromotor function and speech intelligibility of a group of children treated for cerebellar tumour (CT) was investigated perceptually. Assessment of these areas was performed on 11 children treated for CT with dysarthric speech as well as 21 non-neurologically impaired controls matched for age and sex to obtain a comprehensive perceptual profile of their speech and oromotor mechanism. Contributing to the perception of dysarthria were a number of deviant speech dimensions including imprecision of consonants, hoarseness and decreased pitch variation, as well as a reduction in overall speech intelligibility for both sentences and connected speech. Oromotor assessment revealed deficits in lip, tongue and laryngeal function, particularly relating to deficits in timing and coordination of movements. The most salient features of the dysarthria seen in children treated for CT were the mild nature of the speech disorder and clustering of speech deficits in the prosodic, phonatory and articulatory aspects of speech production. PMID:14977025

  19. Speech disorders - children

    MedlinePlus

    ... of speech disorders may disappear on their own. Speech therapy may help with more severe symptoms or speech ... the disorder. Speech can often be improved with speech therapy. Early treatment is likely to have better results.

  20. Symbolic Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Podgor, Ellen S.

    1976-01-01

    The concept of symbolic speech emanates from the 1967 case of United States v. O'Brien. These discussions of flag desecration, grooming and dress codes, nude entertainment, buttons and badges, and musical expression show that the courts place symbolic speech in different strata from verbal communication. (LBH)

  1. Speech Aids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Designed to assist deaf and hearing impaired-persons in achieving better speech, Resnick Worldwide Inc.'s device provides a visual means of cuing the deaf as a speech-improvement measure. This is done by electronically processing the subjects' sounds and comparing them with optimum values which are displayed for comparison.

  2. Speech misperception: speaking and seeing interfere differently with hearing.

    PubMed

    Mochida, Takemi; Kimura, Toshitaka; Hiroya, Sadao; Kitagawa, Norimichi; Gomi, Hiroaki; Kondo, Tadahisa

    2013-01-01

    Speech perception is thought to be linked to speech motor production. This linkage is considered to mediate multimodal aspects of speech perception, such as audio-visual and audio-tactile integration. However, direct coupling between articulatory movement and auditory perception has been little studied. The present study reveals a clear dissociation between the effects of a listener's own speech action and the effects of viewing another's speech movements on the perception of auditory phonemes. We assessed the intelligibility of the syllables [pa], [ta], and [ka] when listeners silently and simultaneously articulated syllables that were congruent/incongruent with the syllables they heard. The intelligibility was compared with a condition where the listeners simultaneously watched another's mouth producing congruent/incongruent syllables, but did not articulate. The intelligibility of [ta] and [ka] were degraded by articulating [ka] and [ta] respectively, which are associated with the same primary articulator (tongue) as the heard syllables. But they were not affected by articulating [pa], which is associated with a different primary articulator (lips) from the heard syllables. In contrast, the intelligibility of [ta] and [ka] was degraded by watching the production of [pa]. These results indicate that the articulatory-induced distortion of speech perception occurs in an articulator-specific manner while visually induced distortion does not. The articulator-specific nature of the auditory-motor interaction in speech perception suggests that speech motor processing directly contributes to our ability to hear speech. PMID:23844227

  3. Towards A Clinical Tool For Automatic Intelligibility Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Berisha, Visar; Utianski, Rene; Liss, Julie

    2014-01-01

    An important, yet under-explored, problem in speech processing is the automatic assessment of intelligibility for pathological speech. In practice, intelligibility assessment is often done through subjective tests administered by speech pathologists; however research has shown that these tests are inconsistent, costly, and exhibit poor reliability. Although some automatic methods for intelligibility assessment for telecommunications exist, research specific to pathological speech has been limited. Here, we propose an algorithm that captures important multi-scale perceptual cues shown to correlate well with intelligibility. Nonlinear classifiers are trained at each time scale and a final intelligibility decision is made using ensemble learning methods from machine learning. Preliminary results indicate a marked improvement in intelligibility assessment over published baseline results. PMID:25004985

  4. Measures to Evaluate the Effects of DBS on Speech Production

    PubMed Central

    Weismer, Gary; Yunusova, Yana; Bunton, Kate

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and evaluate measures of speech production that could be used to document effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on speech performance, especially in persons with Parkinson disease (PD). A small set of evaluative criteria for these measures is presented first, followed by consideration of several speech physiology and speech acoustic measures that have been studied frequently and reported on in the literature on normal speech production, and speech production affected by neuromotor disorders (dysarthria). Each measure is reviewed and evaluated against the evaluative criteria. Embedded within this review and evaluation is a presentation of new data relating speech motions to speech intelligibility measures in speakers with PD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and control speakers (CS). These data are used to support the conclusion that at the present time the slope of second formant transitions (F2 slope), an acoustic measure, is well suited to make inferences to speech motion and to predict speech intelligibility. The use of other measures should not be ruled out, however, and we encourage further development of evaluative criteria for speech measures designed to probe the effects of DBS or any treatment with potential effects on speech production and communication skills. PMID:24932066

  5. Using on-line altered auditory feedback treating Parkinsonian speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Emily; Verhagen, Leo; de Vries, Meinou H.

    2005-09-01

    Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease tend to have dysarthric speech that is hesitant, accelerated, and repetitive, and that is often resistant to behavior speech therapy. In this pilot study, the speech disturbances were treated using on-line altered feedbacks (AF) provided by SpeechEasy (SE), an in-the-ear device registered with the FDA for use in humans to treat chronic stuttering. Eight PD patients participated in the study. All had moderate to severe speech disturbances. In addition, two patients had moderate recurring stuttering at the onset of PD after long remission since adolescence, two had bilateral STN DBS, and two bilateral pallidal DBS. An effective combination of delayed auditory feedback and frequency-altered feedback was selected for each subject and provided via SE worn in one ear. All subjects produced speech samples (structured-monologue and reading) under three conditions: baseline, with SE without, and with feedbacks. The speech samples were randomly presented and rated for speech intelligibility goodness using UPDRS-III item 18 and the speaking rate. The results indicted that SpeechEasy is well tolerated and AF can improve speech intelligibility in spontaneous speech. Further investigational use of this device for treating speech disorders in PD is warranted [Work partially supported by Janus Dev. Group, Inc.].

  6. An integrated approach to improving noisy speech perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  7. Accuracy of Repetition of Digitized and Synthesized Speech for Young Children in Background Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drager, Kathryn D. R.; Clark-Serpentine, Elizabeth A.; Johnson, Kate E.; Roeser, Jennifer L.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The present study investigated the intelligibility of digitized and synthesized speech output in background noise for children 3-5 years old. The purpose of the study was to determine whether there was a difference in the intelligibility (ability to repeat) of 3 types of speech output (digitized, DECTalk synthesized, and MacinTalk…

  8. Robust cortical encoding of slow temporal modulations of speech.

    PubMed

    Ding, Nai; Simon, Jonathan Z

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the neural representation of speech in complex listening environments. Subjects listened to a narrated story, masked by either another speech stream or by stationary noise. Neural recordings were made using magnetoencephalography (MEG), which can measure cortical activity synchronized to the temporal envelope of speech. When two speech streams are presented simultaneously, cortical activity is predominantly synchronized to the speech stream the listener attends to, even if the unattended, competing-speech stream is more intense (up to 8 dB). When speech is presented together with spectrally matched stationary noise, cortical activity remains precisely synchronized to the temporal envelope of speech until the noise is 9 dB more intense. Critically, the precision of the neural synchronization to speech predicts subjectively rated speech intelligibility in noise. Further analysis reveals that it is longer-latency (∼100 ms) neural responses, but not shorter-latency (∼50 ms) neural responses, that show selectivity to the attended speech and invariance to background noise. This indicates a processing transition, from encoding the acoustic scene to encoding the behaviorally important auditory object, in auditory cortex. In sum, it is demonstrated that neural synchronization to the speech envelope is robust to acoustic interference, whether speech or noise, and therefore provides a strong candidate for the neural basis of acoustic-background invariant speech recognition. PMID:23716243

  9. Across-formant integration and speech intelligibility: Effects of acoustic source properties in the presence and absence of a contralateral interferer.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    The role of source properties in across-formant integration was explored using three-formant (F1+F2+F3) analogues of natural sentences (targets). In experiment 1, F1+F3 were harmonic analogues (H1+H3) generated using a monotonous buzz source and second-order resonators; in experiment 2, F1+F3 were tonal analogues (T1+T3). F2 could take either form (H2 or T2). Target formants were always presented monaurally; the receiving ear was assigned randomly on each trial. In some conditions, only the target was present; in others, a competitor for F2 (F2C) was presented contralaterally. Buzz-excited or tonal competitors were created using the time-reversed frequency and amplitude contours of F2. Listeners must reject F2C to optimize keyword recognition. Whether or not a competitor was present, there was no effect of source mismatch between F1+F3 and F2. The impact of adding F2C was modest when it was tonal but large when it was harmonic, irrespective of whether F2C matched F1+F3. This pattern was maintained when harmonic and tonal counterparts were loudness-matched (experiment 3). Source type and competition, rather than acoustic similarity, governed the phonetic contribution of a formant. Contrary to earlier research using dichotic targets, requiring across-ear integration to optimize intelligibility, H2C was an equally effective informational masker for H2 as for T2. PMID:27586751

  10. The Amount of English Use: Effects on L2 Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vo, Son Ca; Vo, Yen Thi Hoang; Vo, Quyen Thanh

    2014-01-01

    The amount of second language (L2) use has significant influence on native speakers' comprehension of L2 learners' speech. Nonetheless, few empirical studies examine how differences in the amount of language use affect the intelligibility and comprehensibility of nonnative speakers' reading and spontaneous speech. This study aims to…

  11. Linkage of Speech Sound Disorder to Reading Disability Loci

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Shelley D.; Pennington, Bruce F.; Boada, Richard; Shriberg, Lawrence D.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Speech sound disorder (SSD) is a common childhood disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate errors in speech production that greatly reduce intelligibility. SSD has been found to be associated with later reading disability (RD), and there is also evidence for both a cognitive and etiological overlap between the two…

  12. Speech Enhancement based on Compressive Sensing Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulong, Amart; Gunawan, Teddy S.; Khalifa, Othman O.; Chebil, Jalel

    2013-12-01

    There are various methods, in performance of speech enhancement, have been proposed over the years. The accurate method for the speech enhancement design mainly focuses on quality and intelligibility. The method proposed with high performance level. A novel speech enhancement by using compressive sensing (CS) is a new paradigm of acquiring signals, fundamentally different from uniform rate digitization followed by compression, often used for transmission or storage. Using CS can reduce the number of degrees of freedom of a sparse/compressible signal by permitting only certain configurations of the large and zero/small coefficients, and structured sparsity models. Therefore, CS is significantly provides a way of reconstructing a compressed version of the speech in the original signal by taking only a small amount of linear and non-adaptive measurement. The performance of overall algorithms will be evaluated based on the speech quality by optimise using informal listening test and Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality (PESQ). Experimental results show that the CS algorithm perform very well in a wide range of speech test and being significantly given good performance for speech enhancement method with better noise suppression ability over conventional approaches without obvious degradation of speech quality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. The Hypothesis of Apraxia of Speech in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shriberg, Lawrence D.; Paul, Rhea; Black, Lois M.; van Santen, Jan P.

    2011-01-01

    In a sample of 46 children aged 4-7 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and intelligible speech, there was no statistical support for the hypothesis of concomitant Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Perceptual and acoustic measures of participants' speech, prosody, and voice were compared with data from 40 typically-developing children, 13…

  15. Automatic Speech Recognition from Neural Signals: A Focused Review

    PubMed Central

    Herff, Christian; Schultz, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Speech interfaces have become widely accepted and are nowadays integrated in various real-life applications and devices. They have become a part of our daily life. However, speech interfaces presume the ability to produce intelligible speech, which might be impossible due to either loud environments, bothering bystanders or incapabilities to produce speech (i.e., patients suffering from locked-in syndrome). For these reasons it would be highly desirable to not speak but to simply envision oneself to say words or sentences. Interfaces based on imagined speech would enable fast and natural communication without the need for audible speech and would give a voice to otherwise mute people. This focused review analyzes the potential of different brain imaging techniques to recognize speech from neural signals by applying Automatic Speech Recognition technology. We argue that modalities based on metabolic processes, such as functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, are less suited for Automatic Speech Recognition from neural signals due to low temporal resolution but are very useful for the investigation of the underlying neural mechanisms involved in speech processes. In contrast, electrophysiologic activity is fast enough to capture speech processes and is therefor better suited for ASR. Our experimental results indicate the potential of these signals for speech recognition from neural data with a focus on invasively measured brain activity (electrocorticography). As a first example of Automatic Speech Recognition techniques used from neural signals, we discuss the Brain-to-text system. PMID:27729844

  16. Development of The Viking Speech Scale to classify the speech of children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Pennington, Lindsay; Virella, Daniel; Mjøen, Tone; da Graça Andrada, Maria; Murray, Janice; Colver, Allan; Himmelmann, Kate; Rackauskaite, Gija; Greitane, Andra; Prasauskiene, Audrone; Andersen, Guro; de la Cruz, Javier

    2013-10-01

    Surveillance registers monitor the prevalence of cerebral palsy and the severity of resulting impairments across time and place. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy can affect children's speech production and limit their intelligibility. We describe the development of a scale to classify children's speech performance for use in cerebral palsy surveillance registers, and its reliability across raters and across time. Speech and language therapists, other healthcare professionals and parents classified the speech of 139 children with cerebral palsy (85 boys, 54 girls; mean age 6.03 years, SD 1.09) from observation and previous knowledge of the children. Another group of health professionals rated children's speech from information in their medical notes. With the exception of parents, raters reclassified children's speech at least four weeks after their initial classification. Raters were asked to rate how easy the scale was to use and how well the scale described the child's speech production using Likert scales. Inter-rater reliability was moderate to substantial (k>.58 for all comparisons). Test-retest reliability was substantial to almost perfect for all groups (k>.68). Over 74% of raters found the scale easy or very easy to use; 66% of parents and over 70% of health care professionals judged the scale to describe children's speech well or very well. We conclude that the Viking Speech Scale is a reliable tool to describe the speech performance of children with cerebral palsy, which can be applied through direct observation of children or through case note review.

  17. Free Speech Yearbook: 1972.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tedford, Thomas L., Ed.

    This book is a collection of essays on free speech issues and attitudes, compiled by the Commission on Freedom of Speech of the Speech Communication Association. Four articles focus on freedom of speech in classroom situations as follows: a philosophic view of teaching free speech, effects of a course on free speech on student attitudes,…

  18. Speech Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Several articles addressing topics in speech research are presented. The topics include: exploring the functional significance of physiological tremor: A biospectroscopic approach; differences between experienced and inexperienced listeners to deaf speech; a language-oriented view of reading and its disabilities; Phonetic factors in letter detection; categorical perception; Short-term recall by deaf signers of American sign language; a common basis for auditory sensory storage in perception and immediate memory; phonological awareness and verbal short-term memory; initiation versus execution time during manual and oral counting by stutterers; trading relations in the perception of speech by five-year-old children; the role of the strap muscles in pitch lowering; phonetic validation of distinctive features; consonants and syllable boundaires; and vowel information in postvocalic frictions.

  19. Revisiting speech interference in classrooms.

    PubMed

    Picard, M; Bradley, J S

    2001-01-01

    A review of the effects of ambient noise and reverberation on speech intelligibility in classrooms has been completed because of the long-standing lack of agreement on preferred acoustical criteria for unconstrained speech accessibility and communication in educational facilities. An overwhelming body of evidence has been collected to suggest that noise levels in particular are usually far in excess of any reasonable prescription for optimal conditions for understanding speech in classrooms. Quite surprisingly, poor classroom acoustics seem to be the prevailing condition for both normally-hearing and hearing-impaired students with reported A-weighted ambient noise levels 4-37 dB above values currently agreed upon to provide optimal understanding. Revision of currently proposed room acoustic performance criteria to ensure speech accessibility for all students indicates the need for a guideline weighted for age and one for more vulnerable groups. For teens (12-year-olds and older) and young adults having normal speech processing in noise, ambient noise levels not exceeding 40 dBA are suggested as acceptable, and reverberation times of about 0.5 s are concluded to be optimum. Younger students, having normal speech processing in noise for their age, would require noise levels ranging from 39 dBA for 10-11-year-olds to only 28.5 dBA for 6-7-year-olds. By contrast, groups suspected of delayed speech processing in noise may require levels as low as only 21.5 dBA at age 6-7. As one would expect, these more vulnerable students would include the hearing-impaired in the course of language development and non-native listeners. PMID:11688542

  20. Artificial intelligence: Principles and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Yazdami, M.

    1985-01-01

    The book covers the principles of AI, the main areas of application, as well as considering some of the social implications. The applications chapters have a common format structured as follows: definition of the topic; approach with conventional computing techniques; why 'intelligence' would provide a better approach; and how AI techniques would be used and the limitations. The contents discussed are: Principles of artificial intelligence; AI programming environments; LISP, list processing and pattern-making; AI programming with POP-11; Computer processing of natural language; Speech synthesis and recognition; Computer vision; Artificial intelligence and robotics; The anatomy of expert systems - Forsyth; Machine learning; Memory models of man and machine; Artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology; Breaking out of the chinese room; Social implications of artificial intelligence; and Index.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ghitza, Oded

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Speech reception thresholds in various interference conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Suzanne P.; Colburn, H. Steven

    2001-05-01

    Speech intelligibility is integral to human verbal communication; however, our understanding of the effects of competing noise, room reverberation, and frequency range restriction is incomplete. Using virtual stimuli, the dependence of intelligibility threshold levels on the extent of room reverberation, the relative locations of speech target and masking noise, and the available frequency content of the speech and the masking noise is explored. Speech-shaped masking noise and target sentences have three spectral conditions: wideband, high pass above 2-kHz, and low pass below 2-kHz. The 2-kHz cutoff was chosen to approximately bisect the range of frequencies most important in speech, and the high pass noise condition simulates high-frequency hearing loss. Reverberation conditions include a pseudo-anechoic case, a moderately reverberant ``classroom'' case, and a very reverberant ``bathroom'' case. Both binaural and monaural intelligibility are measured. Preliminary results show that source separation decreases thresholds, reverberation increases thresholds, and low frequency noise reverberates more in the rooms, contributing to increasing thresholds along with the effects of the upward spread of masking. The energetic effects of reverberation are explored. [Work supported by NIH DC00100.

  3. Enhancement of Electrolaryngeal Speech by Adaptive Filtering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espy-Wilson, Carol Y.; Chari, Venkatesh R.; MacAuslan, Joel M.; Huang, Caroline B.; Walsh, Michael J.

    1998-01-01

    A study tested the quality and intelligibility, as judged by several listeners, of four users' electrolaryngeal speech, with and without filtering to compensate for perceptually objectionable acoustic characteristics. Results indicated that an adaptive filtering technique produced a noticeable improvement in the quality of the Transcutaneous…

  4. Speech Recognition for A Digital Video Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witbrock, Michael J.; Hauptmann, Alexander G.

    1998-01-01

    Production of the meta-data supporting the Informedia Digital Video Library interface is automated using techniques derived from artificial intelligence research. Speech recognition and natural-language processing, information retrieval, and image analysis are applied to produce an interface that helps users locate information and navigate more…

  5. Speech Production in Hearing-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Toni

    1980-01-01

    Investigations in recent years have indicated that only about 20% of the speech output of the deaf is understood by the "person on the street." This lack of intelligibility has been associated with some frequently occurring segmental and suprasegmental errors. Journal Availability: Elsevier North Holland, Inc., 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY…

  6. Gaze Patterns and Audiovisual Speech Enhancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yi, Astrid; Wong, Willy; Eizenman, Moshe

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors sought to quantify the relationships between speech intelligibility (perception) and gaze patterns under different auditory-visual conditions. Method: Eleven subjects listened to low-context sentences spoken by a single talker while viewing the face of one or more talkers on a computer display. Subjects either…

  7. The Acquisition of Verbal Communication Skills by Severely Hearing-Impaired Children through the Modified Cued Speech-Phonetic Alphabet Method.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duffy, John K.

    The paper describes the potential of cued speech to provide verbal language and intelligible speech to severely hearing impaired students. The approach, which combines auditory-visual-oral and manual cues, is designed as a visual supplement to normal speech. The paper traces the development of cued speech and discusses modifications made to the R.…

  8. Speech Clarity Index (Ψ): A Distance-Based Speech Quality Indicator and Recognition Rate Prediction for Dysarthric Speakers with Cerebral Palsy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayasith, Prakasith; Theeramunkong, Thanaruk

    It is a tedious and subjective task to measure severity of a dysarthria by manually evaluating his/her speech using available standard assessment methods based on human perception. This paper presents an automated approach to assess speech quality of a dysarthric speaker with cerebral palsy. With the consideration of two complementary factors, speech consistency and speech distinction, a speech quality indicator called speech clarity index (Ψ) is proposed as a measure of the speaker's ability to produce consistent speech signal for a certain word and distinguished speech signal for different words. As an application, it can be used to assess speech quality and forecast speech recognition rate of speech made by an individual dysarthric speaker before actual exhaustive implementation of an automatic speech recognition system for the speaker. The effectiveness of Ψ as a speech recognition rate predictor is evaluated by rank-order inconsistency, correlation coefficient, and root-mean-square of difference. The evaluations had been done by comparing its predicted recognition rates with ones predicted by the standard methods called the articulatory and intelligibility tests based on the two recognition systems (HMM and ANN). The results show that Ψ is a promising indicator for predicting recognition rate of dysarthric speech. All experiments had been done on speech corpus composed of speech data from eight normal speakers and eight dysarthric speakers.

  9. Prediction and constraint in audiovisual speech perception

    PubMed Central

    Peelle, Jonathan E.; Sommers, Mitchell S.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Intelligibility of 4-Year-Old Children with and without Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hustad, Katherine C.; Schueler, Brynn; Schultz, Laurel; DuHadway, Caitlin

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The authors examined speech intelligibility in typically developing (TD) children and 3 groups of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who were classified into speech/language profile groups following Hustad, Gorton, and Lee (2010). Questions addressed differences in transcription intelligibility scores among groups, the effects of utterance…

  11. Intelligibility of 4 year old children with and without cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Hustad, Katherine C.; Schueler, Brynn; Schultz, Laurel; DuHadway, Caitlin

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We examined speech intelligibility in typically developing (TD) children and three groups of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who were classified into speech / language profile groups following Hustad et al. (2010). Questions addressed differences in transcription intelligibility scores among groups, the effects of utterance length on intelligibility, the relationship between ordinal ratings of intelligibility and orthographic transcription intelligibility scores, and the difference between parent and naïve listener ordinal ratings. Method Speech samples varying in length from 1–7 words were elicited from 23 children with CP (mean age 54.3 months) and 20 typically developing children (mean age 55.1 months). 215 naïve listeners made orthographic transcriptions and ordinal ratings of intelligibility. Parent ordinal ratings of intelligibility were obtained from a previous study (Hustad et al., 2010). Results Intelligibility varied with speech / language profile group and utterance length, with different patterns observed by profile group. Ratings of intelligibility by parents and naïve listeners did not differ and were both highly correlated with transcription intelligibility scores. Conclusions Intelligibility was reduced for all groups of children with CP relative to TD children, suggesting the importance of speech-language intervention and the need for research investigating variables associated with changes in intelligibility in children. PMID:22232403

  12. Children with Comorbid Speech Sound Disorder and Specific Language Impairment Are at Increased Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGrath, Lauren M.; Hutaff-Lee, Christa; Scott, Ashley; Boada, Richard; Shriberg, Lawrence D.; Pennington, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    This study focuses on the comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and speech sound disorder (SSD). SSD is a developmental disorder characterized by speech production errors that impact intelligibility. Previous research addressing this comorbidity has typically used heterogeneous groups of speech-language…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Optimal speech level for speech transmission in a noisy environment for young adults and aged persons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hayato; Ota, Ryo; Morimoto, Masayuki; Sato, Hiroshi

    2005-04-01

    Assessing sound environment of classrooms for the aged is a very important issue, because classrooms can be used by the aged for their lifelong learning, especially in the aged society. Hence hearing loss due to aging is a considerable factor for classrooms. In this study, the optimal speech level in noisy fields for both young adults and aged persons was investigated. Listening difficulty ratings and word intelligibility scores for familiar words were used to evaluate speech transmission performance. The results of the tests demonstrated that the optimal speech level for moderate background noise (i.e., less than around 60 dBA) was fairly constant. Meanwhile, the optimal speech level depended on the speech-to-noise ratio when the background noise level exceeded around 60 dBA. The minimum required speech level to minimize difficulty ratings for the aged was higher than that for the young. However, the minimum difficulty ratings for both the young and the aged were given in the range of speech level of 70 to 80 dBA of speech level.

  15. Intelligent Intelligence Testing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pedrini, Bonnie; Pedrini, D. T.

    Intelligence tests should be used to help persons; they should not be used to penalize persons. Furthermore, our focus should be on treatment; it should not be on labeling. IQ testers often stigmatize young children and poor persons (children, adolescents, adults). Large groups of Black Americans, Spanish Americans, and Indian Americans are…

  16. Some applications of the Speech Transmission Index (STI) in auditoria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1982-02-01

    The use of an objective method of measuring speech intelligibility in auditoria is illustrated. The applications involve the mapping of iso-intelligibility contours for tracing areas with poor intelligibility, and also for assessing the gain of a public address system. The method, based on the modulation transfer function (MTF), presents valuable diagnostic information about the effect of reverberation, noise, echoes and of public address systems on intelligibility. The measuring time is about 3 minutes for the MTFs of the octave bands 500 Hz and 2000 Hz.

  17. Neural Oscillations Carry Speech Rhythm through to Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Peelle, Jonathan E.; Davis, Matthew H.

    2012-01-01

    A key feature of speech is the quasi-regular rhythmic information contained in its slow amplitude modulations. In this article we review the information conveyed by speech rhythm, and the role of ongoing brain oscillations in listeners’ processing of this content. Our starting point is the fact that speech is inherently temporal, and that rhythmic information conveyed by the amplitude envelope contains important markers for place and manner of articulation, segmental information, and speech rate. Behavioral studies demonstrate that amplitude envelope information is relied upon by listeners and plays a key role in speech intelligibility. Extending behavioral findings, data from neuroimaging – particularly electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) – point to phase locking by ongoing cortical oscillations to low-frequency information (~4–8 Hz) in the speech envelope. This phase modulation effectively encodes a prediction of when important events (such as stressed syllables) are likely to occur, and acts to increase sensitivity to these relevant acoustic cues. We suggest a framework through which such neural entrainment to speech rhythm can explain effects of speech rate on word and segment perception (i.e., that the perception of phonemes and words in connected speech is influenced by preceding speech rate). Neuroanatomically, acoustic amplitude modulations are processed largely bilaterally in auditory cortex, with intelligible speech resulting in differential recruitment of left-hemisphere regions. Notable among these is lateral anterior temporal cortex, which we propose functions in a domain-general fashion to support ongoing memory and integration of meaningful input. Together, the reviewed evidence suggests that low-frequency oscillations in the acoustic speech signal form the foundation of a rhythmic hierarchy supporting spoken language, mirrored by phase-locked oscillations in the human brain. PMID:22973251

  18. Measures for assessing architectural speech security (privacy) of closed offices and meeting rooms.

    PubMed

    Gover, Bradford N; Bradley, John S

    2004-12-01

    Objective measures were investigated as predictors of the speech security of closed offices and rooms. A new signal-to-noise type measure is shown to be a superior indicator for security than existing measures such as the Articulation Index, the Speech Intelligibility Index, the ratio of the loudness of speech to that of noise, and the A-weighted level difference of speech and noise. This new measure is a weighted sum of clipped one-third-octave-band signal-to-noise ratios; various weightings and clipping levels are explored. Listening tests had 19 subjects rate the audibility and intelligibility of 500 English sentences, filtered to simulate transmission through various wall constructions, and presented along with background noise. The results of the tests indicate that the new measure is highly correlated with sentence intelligibility scores and also with three security thresholds: the threshold of intelligibility (below which speech is unintelligible), the threshold of cadence (below which the cadence of speech is inaudible), and the threshold of audibility (below which speech is inaudible). The ratio of the loudness of speech to that of noise, and simple A-weighted level differences are both shown to be well correlated with these latter two thresholds (cadence and audibility), but not well correlated with intelligibility. PMID:15658699

  19. Speech recognition and understanding

    SciTech Connect

    Vintsyuk, T.K.

    1983-05-01

    This article discusses the automatic processing of speech signals with the aim of finding a sequence of works (speech recognition) or a concept (speech understanding) being transmitted by the speech signal. The goal of the research is to develop an automatic typewriter that will automatically edit and type text under voice control. A dynamic programming method is proposed in which all possible class signals are stored, after which the presented signal is compared to all the stored signals during the recognition phase. Topics considered include element-by-element recognition of words of speech, learning speech recognition, phoneme-by-phoneme speech recognition, the recognition of connected speech, understanding connected speech, and prospects for designing speech recognition and understanding systems. An application of the composition dynamic programming method for the solution of basic problems in the recognition and understanding of speech is presented.

  20. Artificial intelligence: Principles and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Yazdani, M.

    1986-01-01

    Following the Japanese announcement that they intend to devise, make, and market, in the 1990s, computers incorporating a level of intelligence, a vast amount of energy and expense has been diverted at the field of Artificial Intelligence. Workers for the past 25 years in this discipline have tried to reproduce human behavior on computers and this book presents their achievements and the problems. Subjects include: computer vision, speech processing, robotics, natural language processing expert systems and machine learning. The book also attempts to show the general principles behind the various applications and finally attempts to show their implications for other human endeavors such as philosophy, psychology, and the development of modern society.

  1. Danish auroral science history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauning, P.

    2011-01-01

    Danish auroral science history begins with the early auroral observations made by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe during the years from 1582 to 1601 preceding the Maunder minimum in solar activity. Included are also the brilliant observations made by another astronomer, Ole Rømer, from Copenhagen in 1707, as well as the early auroral observations made from Greenland by missionaries during the 18th and 19th centuries. The relations between auroras and geomagnetic variations were analysed by H. C. Ørsted, who also played a vital role in the development of Danish meteorology that came to include comprehensive auroral observations from Denmark, Iceland and Greenland as well as auroral and geomagnetic research. The very important auroral investigations made by Sophus Tromholt are outlined. His analysis from 1880 of auroral observations from Greenland prepared for the significant contributions from the Danish Meteorological Institute, DMI, (founded in 1872) to the first International Polar Year 1882/83, where an expedition headed by Adam Paulsen was sent to Greenland to conduct auroral and geomagnetic observations. Paulsen's analyses of the collected data gave many important results but also raised many new questions that gave rise to auroral expeditions to Iceland in 1899 to 1900 and to Finland in 1900 to 1901. Among the results from these expeditions were 26 unique paintings of the auroras made by the artist painter, Harald Moltke. The expedition to Finland was headed by Dan la Cour, who later as director of the DMI came to be in charge of the comprehensive international geomagnetic and auroral observations made during the Second International Polar Year in 1932/33. Finally, the article describes the important investigations made by Knud Lassen during, among others, the International Geophysical Year 1957/58 and during the International Quiet Sun Year (IQSY) in 1964/65. With his leadership the auroral and geomagnetic research at DMI reached a high international

  2. Speech and oral motor profile after childhood hemispherectomy.

    PubMed

    Liégeois, Frédérique; Morgan, Angela T; Stewart, Lorna H; Helen Cross, J; Vogel, Adam P; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh

    2010-08-01

    Hemispherectomy (disconnection or removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere) is a rare surgical procedure used for the relief of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. After hemispherectomy, contralateral hemiplegia persists whereas gross expressive and receptive language functions can be remarkably spared. Motor speech deficits have rarely been examined systematically, thus limiting the accuracy of postoperative prognosis. We describe the speech profiles of hemispherectomized participants characterizing their intelligibility, articulation, phonological speech errors, dysarthric features, and execution and sequencing of orofacial speech and non-speech movements. Thirteen participants who had undergone hemispherectomy (six left, seven right; nine with congenital, four with acquired hemiplegia; operated between four months and 13 years) were investigated. Results showed that all participants were intelligible but showed a mild dysarthric profile characterized by neuromuscular asymmetry and reduced quality and coordination of movements, features that are characteristic of adult-onset unilateral upper motor neuron dysarthria, flaccid-ataxic variant. In addition, one left and four right hemispherectomy cases presented with impaired production of speech and non-speech sequences. No participant showed evidence of verbal or oral dyspraxia. It is concluded that mild dysarthria is persistent after left or right hemispherectomy, irrespective of age at onset of hemiplegia. These results indicate incomplete functional re-organization for the control of fine speech motor movements throughout childhood, and provide no evidence of hemispheric differences. PMID:20096448

  3. Speech and oral motor profile after childhood hemispherectomy.

    PubMed

    Liégeois, Frédérique; Morgan, Angela T; Stewart, Lorna H; Helen Cross, J; Vogel, Adam P; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh

    2010-08-01

    Hemispherectomy (disconnection or removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere) is a rare surgical procedure used for the relief of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. After hemispherectomy, contralateral hemiplegia persists whereas gross expressive and receptive language functions can be remarkably spared. Motor speech deficits have rarely been examined systematically, thus limiting the accuracy of postoperative prognosis. We describe the speech profiles of hemispherectomized participants characterizing their intelligibility, articulation, phonological speech errors, dysarthric features, and execution and sequencing of orofacial speech and non-speech movements. Thirteen participants who had undergone hemispherectomy (six left, seven right; nine with congenital, four with acquired hemiplegia; operated between four months and 13 years) were investigated. Results showed that all participants were intelligible but showed a mild dysarthric profile characterized by neuromuscular asymmetry and reduced quality and coordination of movements, features that are characteristic of adult-onset unilateral upper motor neuron dysarthria, flaccid-ataxic variant. In addition, one left and four right hemispherectomy cases presented with impaired production of speech and non-speech sequences. No participant showed evidence of verbal or oral dyspraxia. It is concluded that mild dysarthria is persistent after left or right hemispherectomy, irrespective of age at onset of hemiplegia. These results indicate incomplete functional re-organization for the control of fine speech motor movements throughout childhood, and provide no evidence of hemispheric differences.

  4. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waltz, David L.

    1982-01-01

    Describes kinds of results achieved by computer programs in artificial intelligence. Topics discussed include heuristic searches, artificial intelligence/psychology, planning program, backward chaining, learning (focusing on Winograd's blocks to explore learning strategies), concept learning, constraint propagation, language understanding…

  5. VOT in speech-disordered individuals: History, theory, data, reminiscence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weismer, Gary

    2001-05-01

    Forty years ago Lisker and Abramson published their landmark paper on VOT; the speech-research world has never been the same. The concept of VOT as a measure relevant to phonology, speech physiology, and speech perception made it a prime choice for scientists who saw an opportunity to exploit the techniques and analytic frameworks of ``speech science'' in the study of speech disorders. Modifications of VOT in speech disorders have been used to draw specific inferences concerning phonological representations, glottal-supraglottal timing, and speech intelligibility. This presentation will provide a review of work on VOT in speech disorders, including (among others) stuttering, hearing impairment, and neurogenic disorders. An attempt will be made to collect published data in summary graphic form, and to discuss their implications. Emphasis will be placed on how VOT has been used to inform theories of disordered speech production. I will close with some personal comments about the influence (unbeknowest to them) these two outstanding scientists had on me in the 1970s, when under the spell of their work I first became aware that the world of speech research did not start and end with moving parts.

  6. One-hand control of a speech synthesizer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheyne, Harold A.; Beaudoin, Robert E.; von Wiegand, Thomas E.; Stevens, Kenneth N.; Zurek, Patrick M.

    2001-05-01

    The long-term objective of this research is the development of a one-hand-controlled speech synthesizer, to give laryngectomees and other speech-impaired persons a means of producing higher-quality speech with less effort than currently available methods such as an electrolarynx or a text-to-speech system. To demonstrate the feasibility of a one-hand-controlled speech synthesizer, a system was constructed using a hand-held device similar to a pen connected to an articulated arm for measuring six degrees of freedom (three Cartesian and three rotational dimensions) as the user interface to an HLsyn-based speech synthesizer. Through this interface, the user controls parameters for the first three formants, pitch, subglottal pressure, and glottal area. Parameter control was introduced progressively in that order to four participants who underwent training to produce synthesized speech composed of a subset of English phonemes: vowels, semivowels, diphthongs, /h/, and the glottal stop. The complexity of the synthesized speech targets also grew from monosyllabic utterances to short phrases over the training. After training, a separate group of four listeners compared the naturalness and intelligibility of the synthesized speech to the same utterances produced by the participants with a text-to-speech system. [Work supported by NIDCD Grant Number R43 DC006134-01.

  7. Dramatic effects of speech task on motor and linguistic planning in severely dysfluent parkinsonian speech

    PubMed Central

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana; Cameron, Krista; Sidtis, John J.

    2015-01-01

    In motor speech disorders, dysarthric features impacting intelligibility, articulation, fluency, and voice emerge more saliently in conversation than in repetition, reading, or singing. A role of the basal ganglia in these task discrepancies has been identified. Further, more recent studies of naturalistic speech in basal ganglia dysfunction have revealed that formulaic language is more impaired than novel language. This descriptive study extends these observations to a case of severely dysfluent dysarthria due to a parkinsonian syndrome. Dysfluencies were quantified and compared for conversation, two forms of repetition, reading, recited speech, and singing. Other measures examined phonetic inventories, word forms, and formulaic language. Phonetic, syllabic, and lexical dysfluencies were more abundant in conversation than in other task conditions. Formulaic expressions in conversation were reduced compared to normal speakers. A proposed explanation supports the notion that the basal ganglia contribute to formulation of internal models for execution of speech. PMID:22774929

  8. Opportunities in Speech Pathology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Parley W.

    The importance of speech is discussed and speech pathology is described. Types of communication disorders considered are articulation disorders, aphasia, facial deformity, hearing loss, stuttering, delayed speech, voice disorders, and cerebral palsy; examples of five disorders are given. Speech pathology is investigated from these aspects: the…

  9. Careers in Speech Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speech Communication Association, New York, NY.

    Brief discussions in this pamphlet suggest educational and career opportunities in the following fields of speech communication: rhetoric, public address, and communication; theatre, drama, and oral interpretation; radio, television, and film; speech pathology and audiology; speech science, phonetics, and linguistics; and speech education.…

  10. Multi-time resolution analysis of speech: evidence from psychophysics.

    PubMed

    Chait, Maria; Greenberg, Steven; Arai, Takayuki; Simon, Jonathan Z; Poeppel, David

    2015-01-01

    How speech signals are analyzed and represented remains a foundational challenge both for cognitive science and neuroscience. A growing body of research, employing various behavioral and neurobiological experimental techniques, now points to the perceptual relevance of both phoneme-sized (10-40 Hz modulation frequency) and syllable-sized (2-10 Hz modulation frequency) units in speech processing. However, it is not clear how information associated with such different time scales interacts in a manner relevant for speech perception. We report behavioral experiments on speech intelligibility employing a stimulus that allows us to investigate how distinct temporal modulations in speech are treated separately and whether they are combined. We created sentences in which the slow (~4 Hz; Slow) and rapid (~33 Hz; Shigh) modulations-corresponding to ~250 and ~30 ms, the average duration of syllables and certain phonetic properties, respectively-were selectively extracted. Although Slow and Shigh have low intelligibility when presented separately, dichotic presentation of Shigh with Slow results in supra-additive performance, suggesting a synergistic relationship between low- and high-modulation frequencies. A second experiment desynchronized presentation of the Slow and Shigh signals. Desynchronizing signals relative to one another had no impact on intelligibility when delays were less than ~45 ms. Longer delays resulted in a steep intelligibility decline, providing further evidence of integration or binding of information within restricted temporal windows. Our data suggest that human speech perception uses multi-time resolution processing. Signals are concurrently analyzed on at least two separate time scales, the intermediate representations of these analyses are integrated, and the resulting bound percept has significant consequences for speech intelligibility-a view compatible with recent insights from neuroscience implicating multi-timescale auditory processing. PMID

  11. Competitive Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergeron, Pierrette; Hiller, Christine A.

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the evolution of competitive intelligence since 1994, including terminology and definitions and analytical techniques. Addresses the issue of ethics; explores how information technology supports the competitive intelligence process; and discusses education and training opportunities for competitive intelligence, including core competencies…

  12. Organisational Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yolles, Maurice

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Seeks to explore the notion of organisational intelligence as a simple extension of the notion of the idea of collective intelligence. Design/methodology/approach: Discusses organisational intelligence using previous research, which includes the Purpose, Properties and Practice model of Dealtry, and the Viable Systems model. Findings: The…

  13. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornburg, David D.

    1986-01-01

    Overview of the artificial intelligence (AI) field provides a definition; discusses past research and areas of future research; describes the design, functions, and capabilities of expert systems and the "Turing Test" for machine intelligence; and lists additional sources for information on artificial intelligence. Languages of AI are also briefly…

  14. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Information Technology Quarterly, 1985

    1985-01-01

    This issue of "Information Technology Quarterly" is devoted to the theme of "Artificial Intelligence." It contains two major articles: (1) Artificial Intelligence and Law" (D. Peter O'Neill and George D. Wood); (2) "Artificial Intelligence: A Long and Winding Road" (John J. Simon, Jr.). In addition, it contains two sidebars: (1) "Calculating and…

  15. Models of speech synthesis.

    PubMed

    Carlson, R

    1995-10-24

    The term "speech synthesis" has been used for diverse technical approaches. In this paper, some of the approaches used to generate synthetic speech in a text-to-speech system are reviewed, and some of the basic motivations for choosing one method over another are discussed. It is important to keep in mind, however, that speech synthesis models are needed not just for speech generation but to help us understand how speech is created, or even how articulation can explain language structure. General issues such as the synthesis of different voices, accents, and multiple languages are discussed as special challenges facing the speech synthesis community. PMID:7479805

  16. Models of speech synthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, R

    1995-01-01

    The term "speech synthesis" has been used for diverse technical approaches. In this paper, some of the approaches used to generate synthetic speech in a text-to-speech system are reviewed, and some of the basic motivations for choosing one method over another are discussed. It is important to keep in mind, however, that speech synthesis models are needed not just for speech generation but to help us understand how speech is created, or even how articulation can explain language structure. General issues such as the synthesis of different voices, accents, and multiple languages are discussed as special challenges facing the speech synthesis community. PMID:7479805

  17. Self-Reported Speech Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Vorstman, Jacob AS; Kon, Moshe; Mink van der Molen, Aebele B

    2014-01-01

    Background Speech problems are a common clinical feature of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. The objectives of this study were to inventory the speech history and current self-reported speech rating of adolescents and young adults, and examine the possible variables influencing the current speech ratings, including cleft palate, surgery, speech and language therapy, intelligence quotient, and age at assessment. Methods In this cross-sectional cohort study, 50 adolescents and young adults with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (ages, 12-26 years, 67% female) filled out questionnaires. A neuropsychologist administered an age-appropriate intelligence quotient test. The demographics, histories, and intelligence of patients with normal speech (speech rating=1) were compared to those of patients with different speech (speech rating>1). Results Of the 50 patients, a minority (26%) had a cleft palate, nearly half (46%) underwent a pharyngoplasty, and all (100%) had speech and language therapy. Poorer speech ratings were correlated with more years of speech and language therapy (Spearman's correlation= 0.418, P=0.004; 95% confidence interval, 0.145-0.632). Only 34% had normal speech ratings. The groups with normal and different speech were not significantly different with respect to the demographic variables; a history of cleft palate, surgery, or speech and language therapy; and the intelligence quotient. Conclusions All adolescents and young adults with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome had undergone speech and language therapy, and nearly half of them underwent pharyngoplasty. Only 34% attained normal speech ratings. Those with poorer speech ratings had speech and language therapy for more years. PMID:25276637

  18. Associations between speech features and phenotypic severity in Treacher Collins syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS, OMIM 154500) is a rare congenital disorder of craniofacial development. Characteristic hypoplastic malformations of the ears, zygomatic arch, mandible and pharynx have been described in detail. However, reports on the impact of these malformations on speech are few. Exploring speech features and investigating if speech function is related to phenotypic severity are essential for optimizing follow-up and treatment. Methods Articulation, nasal resonance, voice and intelligibility were examined in 19 individuals (5–74 years, median 34 years) divided into three groups comprising children 5–10 years (n = 4), adolescents 11–18 years (n = 4) and adults 29 years and older (n = 11). A speech composite score (0–6) was calculated to reflect the variability of speech deviations. TCS severity scores of phenotypic expression and total scores of Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S) measuring orofacial dysfunction were used in analyses of correlation with speech characteristics (speech composite scores). Results Children and adolescents presented with significantly higher speech composite scores (median 4, range 1–6) than adults (median 1, range 0–5). Nearly all children and adolescents (6/8) displayed speech deviations of articulation, nasal resonance and voice, while only three adults were identified with multiple speech aberrations. The variability of speech dysfunction in TCS was exhibited by individual combinations of speech deviations in 13/19 participants. The speech composite scores correlated with TCS severity scores and NOT-S total scores. Speech composite scores higher than 4 were associated with cleft palate. The percent of intelligible words in connected speech was significantly lower in children and adolescents (median 77%, range 31–99) than in adults (98%, range 93–100). Intelligibility of speech among the children was markedly inconsistent and clearly affecting the understandability

  19. Multichannel spatial auditory display for speech communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, D. R.; Erbe, T.; Wenzel, E. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA/Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by the use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four-letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30 degrees azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximum intelligibility improvement of about 6-7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 or 90 degrees azimuth positions.

  20. Acoustic assessment of speech privacy curtains in two nursing units

    PubMed Central

    Pope, Diana S.; Miller-Klein, Erik T.

    2016-01-01

    Hospitals have complex soundscapes that create challenges to patient care. Extraneous noise and high reverberation rates impair speech intelligibility, which leads to raised voices. In an unintended spiral, the increasing noise may result in diminished speech privacy, as people speak loudly to be heard over the din. The products available to improve hospital soundscapes include construction materials that absorb sound (acoustic ceiling tiles, carpet, wall insulation) and reduce reverberation rates. Enhanced privacy curtains are now available and offer potential for a relatively simple way to improve speech privacy and speech intelligibility by absorbing sound at the hospital patient's bedside. Acoustic assessments were performed over 2 days on two nursing units with a similar design in the same hospital. One unit was built with the 1970s’ standard hospital construction and the other was newly refurbished (2013) with sound-absorbing features. In addition, we determined the effect of an enhanced privacy curtain versus standard privacy curtains using acoustic measures of speech privacy and speech intelligibility indexes. Privacy curtains provided auditory protection for the patients. In general, that protection was increased by the use of enhanced privacy curtains. On an average, the enhanced curtain improved sound absorption from 20% to 30%; however, there was considerable variability, depending on the configuration of the rooms tested. Enhanced privacy curtains provide measureable improvement to the acoustics of patient rooms but cannot overcome larger acoustic design issues. To shorten reverberation time, additional absorption, and compact and more fragmented nursing unit floor plate shapes should be considered. PMID:26780959

  1. Acoustic assessment of speech privacy curtains in two nursing units.

    PubMed

    Pope, Diana S; Miller-Klein, Erik T

    2016-01-01

    Hospitals have complex soundscapes that create challenges to patient care. Extraneous noise and high reverberation rates impair speech intelligibility, which leads to raised voices. In an unintended spiral, the increasing noise may result in diminished speech privacy, as people speak loudly to be heard over the din. The products available to improve hospital soundscapes include construction materials that absorb sound (acoustic ceiling tiles, carpet, wall insulation) and reduce reverberation rates. Enhanced privacy curtains are now available and offer potential for a relatively simple way to improve speech privacy and speech intelligibility by absorbing sound at the hospital patient's bedside. Acoustic assessments were performed over 2 days on two nursing units with a similar design in the same hospital. One unit was built with the 1970s' standard hospital construction and the other was newly refurbished (2013) with sound-absorbing features. In addition, we determined the effect of an enhanced privacy curtain versus standard privacy curtains using acoustic measures of speech privacy and speech intelligibility indexes. Privacy curtains provided auditory protection for the patients. In general, that protection was increased by the use of enhanced privacy curtains. On an average, the enhanced curtain improved sound absorption from 20% to 30%; however, there was considerable variability, depending on the configuration of the rooms tested. Enhanced privacy curtains provide measureable improvement to the acoustics of patient rooms but cannot overcome larger acoustic design issues. To shorten reverberation time, additional absorption, and compact and more fragmented nursing unit floor plate shapes should be considered. PMID:26780959

  2. Acoustic assessment of speech privacy curtains in two nursing units.

    PubMed

    Pope, Diana S; Miller-Klein, Erik T

    2016-01-01

    Hospitals have complex soundscapes that create challenges to patient care. Extraneous noise and high reverberation rates impair speech intelligibility, which leads to raised voices. In an unintended spiral, the increasing noise may result in diminished speech privacy, as people speak loudly to be heard over the din. The products available to improve hospital soundscapes include construction materials that absorb sound (acoustic ceiling tiles, carpet, wall insulation) and reduce reverberation rates. Enhanced privacy curtains are now available and offer potential for a relatively simple way to improve speech privacy and speech intelligibility by absorbing sound at the hospital patient's bedside. Acoustic assessments were performed over 2 days on two nursing units with a similar design in the same hospital. One unit was built with the 1970s' standard hospital construction and the other was newly refurbished (2013) with sound-absorbing features. In addition, we determined the effect of an enhanced privacy curtain versus standard privacy curtains using acoustic measures of speech privacy and speech intelligibility indexes. Privacy curtains provided auditory protection for the patients. In general, that protection was increased by the use of enhanced privacy curtains. On an average, the enhanced curtain improved sound absorption from 20% to 30%; however, there was considerable variability, depending on the configuration of the rooms tested. Enhanced privacy curtains provide measureable improvement to the acoustics of patient rooms but cannot overcome larger acoustic design issues. To shorten reverberation time, additional absorption, and compact and more fragmented nursing unit floor plate shapes should be considered.

  3. The Relationship Between Apraxia of Speech and Oral Apraxia: Association or Dissociation?

    PubMed

    Whiteside, Sandra P; Dyson, Lucy; Cowell, Patricia E; Varley, Rosemary A

    2015-11-01

    Acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) is a motor speech disorder that affects the implementation of articulatory gestures and the fluency and intelligibility of speech. Oral apraxia (OA) is an impairment of nonspeech volitional movement. Although many speakers with AOS also display difficulties with volitional nonspeech oral movements, the relationship between the 2 conditions is unclear. This study explored the relationship between speech and volitional nonspeech oral movement impairment in a sample of 50 participants with AOS. We examined levels of association and dissociation between speech and OA using a battery of nonspeech oromotor, speech, and auditory/aphasia tasks. There was evidence of a moderate positive association between the 2 impairments across participants. However, individual profiles revealed patterns of dissociation between the 2 in a few cases, with evidence of double dissociation of speech and oral apraxic impairment. We discuss the implications of these relationships for models of oral motor and speech control.

  4. The Relationship Between Apraxia of Speech and Oral Apraxia: Association or Dissociation?

    PubMed

    Whiteside, Sandra P; Dyson, Lucy; Cowell, Patricia E; Varley, Rosemary A

    2015-11-01

    Acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) is a motor speech disorder that affects the implementation of articulatory gestures and the fluency and intelligibility of speech. Oral apraxia (OA) is an impairment of nonspeech volitional movement. Although many speakers with AOS also display difficulties with volitional nonspeech oral movements, the relationship between the 2 conditions is unclear. This study explored the relationship between speech and volitional nonspeech oral movement impairment in a sample of 50 participants with AOS. We examined levels of association and dissociation between speech and OA using a battery of nonspeech oromotor, speech, and auditory/aphasia tasks. There was evidence of a moderate positive association between the 2 impairments across participants. However, individual profiles revealed patterns of dissociation between the 2 in a few cases, with evidence of double dissociation of speech and oral apraxic impairment. We discuss the implications of these relationships for models of oral motor and speech control. PMID:26275812

  5. Comparing speech characteristics in spinocerebellar ataxias type 3 and type 6 with Friedreich ataxia.

    PubMed

    Brendel, Bettina; Synofzik, Matthis; Ackermann, Hermann; Lindig, Tobias; Schölderle, Theresa; Schöls, Ludger; Ziegler, Wolfram

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of dysarthria in spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) and their discriminative features still remain elusive. Here we aimed to compare dysarthria profiles of patients with (SCA3 and SCA6 vs. Friedreich ataxia (FRDA), focussing on three particularly vulnerable speech parameters (speaking rate, prosodic modulation, and intelligibility) in ataxic dysarthria as well as on a specific oral non-speech variable of ataxic impairment, i.e., the irregularity of oral motor diadochokinesis (DDK). 30 Patients with SCA3, SCA6, and FRDA, matched for group size (n = 10 each), disease severity, and disease duration produced various speech samples and DDK tasks. A discriminant analysis was used to differentiate speech and non-speech parameters between groups. Regularity of DDK was specifically impaired in SCA3, whereas impairments of speech parameters, i.e., rate and modulation were stronger affected in SCA6. Speech parameters are particularly vulnerable in SCA6, while non-speech oral motor features are notably impaired in SCA3.

  6. Phonetic Intelligibility Testing in Adults with Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bunton, Kate; Leddy, Mark; Miller, Jon

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to document speech intelligibility deficits for a group of five adult males with Down syndrome, and use listener based error profiles to identify phonetic dimensions underlying reduced intelligibility. Phonetic error profiles were constructed for each speaker using the Kent, Weismer, Kent, and Rosenbek (1989) word intelligibility test. The test was designed to allow for identification of reasons for the intelligibility deficit, quantitative analyses at varied levels, and sensitivity to potential speech deficits across populations. Listener generated profiles were calculated based on a multiple-choice task and a transcription task. The most disrupted phonetic features, across listening task, involved simplification of clusters in both the word initial and word final position, and contrasts involving tongue-posture, control, and timing (e.g., high-low vowel, front-back vowel, and place of articulation for stops and fricatives). Differences between speakers in the ranking of these phonetic features was found, however, the mean error proportion for the six most severely affected features correlated highly with the overall intelligibility score (0.88 based on multiple-choice task, .94 for the transcription task). The phonetic feature analyses are an index that may help clarify the suspected motor speech basis for the speech intelligibility deficits seen in adults with Down syndrome and may lead to improved speech management in these individuals. PMID:17692179

  7. DECtalk and VeriVox: intelligibility, likeability, and rate preference differences for four listener groups.

    PubMed

    Von Berg, Shelley; Panorska, Anna; Uken, Dennis; Qeadan, Fares

    2009-03-01

    The intelligibility, likeability, and speech presentation rates for two types of popular synthesized speech, DECtalk and VeriVox, were investigated across four age groups ranging from 6-85 years old. Results for all age groups revealed differences in intelligibility between synthesized adult and child voices, with intelligibility scores for child synthesized voices significantly below those for adult synthesized voices. The most popular synthesized voices were from the VeriVox family. Of interest is that preferred speech presentation rate, expressed as mean words per minute, increased as a function of age, with the oldest listeners preferring the fastest speech presentation rate. This is inconsistent with previous studies that have investigated rate preferences among older adults, and could reflect the different synthesized speech options employed in this study. Implications of these findings for the improvement of text-to-speech products and the practice of AAC are discussed, along with suggestions for further research. PMID:19280420

  8. Computer speech synthesis: its status and prospects.

    PubMed Central

    Liberman, M

    1995-01-01

    Computer speech synthesis has reached a high level of performance, with increasingly sophisticated models of linguistic structure, low error rates in text analysis, and high intelligibility in synthesis from phonemic input. Mass market applications are beginning to appear. However, the results are still not good enough for the ubiquitous application that such technology will eventually have. A number of alternative directions of current research aim at the ultimate goal of fully natural synthetic speech. One especially promising trend is the systematic optimization of large synthesis systems with respect to formal criteria of evaluation. Speech recognition has progressed rapidly in the past decade through such approaches, and it seems likely that their application in synthesis will produce similar improvements. PMID:7479804

  9. The Auditory-Brainstem Response to Continuous, Non-repetitive Speech Is Modulated by the Speech Envelope and Reflects Speech Processing

    PubMed Central

    Reichenbach, Chagit S.; Braiman, Chananel; Schiff, Nicholas D.; Hudspeth, A. J.; Reichenbach, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    The auditory-brainstem response (ABR) to short and simple acoustical signals is an important clinical tool used to diagnose the integrity of the brainstem. The ABR is also employed to investigate the auditory brainstem in a multitude of tasks related to hearing, such as processing speech or selectively focusing on one speaker in a noisy environment. Such research measures the response of the brainstem to short speech signals such as vowels or words. Because the voltage signal of the ABR has a tiny amplitude, several hundred to a thousand repetitions of the acoustic signal are needed to obtain a reliable response. The large number of repetitions poses a challenge to assessing cognitive functions due to neural adaptation. Here we show that continuous, non-repetitive speech, lasting several minutes, may be employed to measure the ABR. Because the speech is not repeated during the experiment, the precise temporal form of the ABR cannot be determined. We show, however, that important structural features of the ABR can nevertheless be inferred. In particular, the brainstem responds at the fundamental frequency of the speech signal, and this response is modulated by the envelope of the voiced parts of speech. We accordingly introduce a novel measure that assesses the ABR as modulated by the speech envelope, at the fundamental frequency of speech and at the characteristic latency of the response. This measure has a high signal-to-noise ratio and can hence be employed effectively to measure the ABR to continuous speech. We use this novel measure to show that the ABR is weaker to intelligible speech than to unintelligible, time-reversed speech. The methods presented here can be employed for further research on speech processing in the auditory brainstem and can lead to the development of future clinical diagnosis of brainstem function. PMID:27303286

  10. Requirements for the evaluation of computational speech segregation systems.

    PubMed

    May, Tobias; Dau, Torsten

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies on computational speech segregation reported improved speech intelligibility in noise when estimating and applying an ideal binary mask with supervised learning algorithms. However, an important requirement for such systems in technical applications is their robustness to acoustic conditions not considered during training. This study demonstrates that the spectro-temporal noise variations that occur during training and testing determine the achievable segregation performance. In particular, such variations strongly affect the identification of acoustical features in the system associated with perceptual attributes in speech segregation. The results could help establish a framework for a systematic evaluation of future segregation systems.

  11. Scrambling-based speech encryption via compressed sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Zhang, Xiongwei; Chen, Liang; Fan, Zhangjun; Wang, Yonggang

    2012-12-01

    Conventional speech scramblers have three disadvantages, including heavy communication overhead, signal features underexploitation, and low attack resistance. In this study, we propose a scrambling-based speech encryption scheme via compressed sensing (CS). Distinguished from conventional scramblers, the above problems are solved in a unified framework by utilizing the advantages of CS. The presented encryption idea is general and easily applies to speech communication systems. Compared with the state-of-the-art methods, the proposed scheme provides lower residual intelligibility and greater cryptanalytic efforts. Meanwhile, it ensures desirable channel usage and notable resistibility to hostile attack. Extensive experimental results also confirm the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  12. On Training Targets for Supervised Speech Separation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuxuan; Narayanan, Arun; Wang, DeLiang

    2014-01-01

    Formulation of speech separation as a supervised learning problem has shown considerable promise. In its simplest form, a supervised learning algorithm, typically a deep neural network, is trained to learn a mapping from noisy features to a time-frequency representation of the target of interest. Traditionally, the ideal binary mask (IBM) is used as the target because of its simplicity and large speech intelligibility gains. The supervised learning framework, however, is not restricted to the use of binary targets. In this study, we evaluate and compare separation results by using different training targets, including the IBM, the target binary mask, the ideal ratio mask (IRM), the short-time Fourier transform spectral magnitude and its corresponding mask (FFT-MASK), and the Gammatone frequency power spectrum. Our results in various test conditions reveal that the two ratio mask targets, the IRM and the FFT-MASK, outperform the other targets in terms of objective intelligibility and quality metrics. In addition, we find that masking based targets, in general, are significantly better than spectral envelope based targets. We also present comparisons with recent methods in non-negative matrix factorization and speech enhancement, which show clear performance advantages of supervised speech separation. PMID:25599083

  13. Teaching Music as an Aid for Speech Training of Hearing Impaired Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Jeanne

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews existing theories and programs for teaching music to hearing-impaired students. Recent empirical evidence indicates that an auditory-based music program can increase speech intelligibility through improvement of the suprasegmental aspects of speech. (Author/DB)

  14. Effects of Alphabet-Supplemented Speech on Brain Activity of Listeners: An fMRI Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fercho, Kelene; Baugh, Lee A.; Hanson, Elizabeth K.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this article was to examine the neural mechanisms associated with increases in speech intelligibility brought about through alphabet supplementation. Method: Neurotypical participants listened to dysarthric speech while watching an accompanying video of a hand pointing to the 1st letter spoken of each word on an alphabet…

  15. Acoustic Analysis of Clear Versus Conversational Speech in Individuals with Parkinson Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goberman, A.M.; Elmer, L.W.

    2005-01-01

    A number of studies have been devoted to the examination of clear versus conversational speech in non-impaired speakers. The purpose of these previous studies has been primarily to help increase speech intelligibility for the benefit of hearing-impaired listeners. The goal of the present study was to examine differences between conversational and…

  16. Seeing to Hear Better: Evidence for Early Audio-Visual Interactions in Speech Identification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Jean-Luc; Berthommier, Frederic; Savariaux, Christophe

    2004-01-01

    Lip reading is the ability to partially understand speech by looking at the speaker's lips. It improves the intelligibility of speech in noise when audio-visual perception is compared with audio-only perception. A recent set of experiments showed that seeing the speaker's lips also enhances "sensitivity" to acoustic information, decreasing the…

  17. Effects of Neurosurgical Management of Parkinson's Disease on Speech Characteristics and Oromotor Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, Anna; Theodoros, Deborah; Ward, Elizabeth; Hall, Bruce; Silburn, Peter

    2005-01-01

    The present study examined the effects of neurosurgical management of Parkinson's disease (PD), including the procedures of pallidotomy, thalamotomy, and deep-brain stimulation (DBS) on perceptual speech characteristics, speech intelligibility, and oromotor function in a group of 22 participants with PD. The surgical participant group was compared…

  18. Relationship between Speech, Oromotor, Language and Cognitive Abilities in Children with Down's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cleland, Joanne; Wood, Sara; Hardcastle, William; Wishart, Jennifer; Timmins, Claire

    2010-01-01

    Background: Children and young people with Down's syndrome present with deficits in expressive speech and language, accompanied by strengths in vocabulary comprehension compared with non-verbal mental age. Intelligibility is particularly low, but whether speech is delayed or disordered is a controversial topic. Most studies suggest a delay, but no…

  19. Visemic Processing in Audiovisual Discrimination of Natural Speech: A Simultaneous fMRI-EEG Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dubois, Cyril; Otzenberger, Helene; Gounot, Daniel; Sock, Rudolph; Metz-Lutz, Marie-Noelle

    2012-01-01

    In a noisy environment, visual perception of articulatory movements improves natural speech intelligibility. Parallel to phonemic processing based on auditory signal, visemic processing constitutes a counterpart based on "visemes", the distinctive visual units of speech. Aiming at investigating the neural substrates of visemic processing in a…

  20. Delayed Speech or Language Development

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Delayed Speech or Language Development KidsHealth > For Parents > Delayed Speech or Language ... your child is right on schedule. Normal Speech & Language Development It's important to discuss early speech and ...

  1. Multi-time resolution analysis of speech: evidence from psychophysics

    PubMed Central

    Chait, Maria; Greenberg, Steven; Arai, Takayuki; Simon, Jonathan Z.; Poeppel, David

    2015-01-01

    How speech signals are analyzed and represented remains a foundational challenge both for cognitive science and neuroscience. A growing body of research, employing various behavioral and neurobiological experimental techniques, now points to the perceptual relevance of both phoneme-sized (10–40 Hz modulation frequency) and syllable-sized (2–10 Hz modulation frequency) units in speech processing. However, it is not clear how information associated with such different time scales interacts in a manner relevant for speech perception. We report behavioral experiments on speech intelligibility employing a stimulus that allows us to investigate how distinct temporal modulations in speech are treated separately and whether they are combined. We created sentences in which the slow (~4 Hz; Slow) and rapid (~33 Hz; Shigh) modulations—corresponding to ~250 and ~30 ms, the average duration of syllables and certain phonetic properties, respectively—were selectively extracted. Although Slow and Shigh have low intelligibility when presented separately, dichotic presentation of Shigh with Slow results in supra-additive performance, suggesting a synergistic relationship between low- and high-modulation frequencies. A second experiment desynchronized presentation of the Slow and Shigh signals. Desynchronizing signals relative to one another had no impact on intelligibility when delays were less than ~45 ms. Longer delays resulted in a steep intelligibility decline, providing further evidence of integration or binding of information within restricted temporal windows. Our data suggest that human speech perception uses multi-time resolution processing. Signals are concurrently analyzed on at least two separate time scales, the intermediate representations of these analyses are integrated, and the resulting bound percept has significant consequences for speech intelligibility—a view compatible with recent insights from neuroscience implicating multi-timescale auditory

  2. The association between intelligence and lifespan is mostly genetic

    PubMed Central

    Arden, Rosalind; Deary, Ian J; Reynolds, Chandra A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Plassman, Brenda L; McGue, Matt; Christensen, Kaare; Visscher, Peter M

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several studies in the new field of cognitive epidemiology have shown that higher intelligence predicts longer lifespan. This positive correlation might arise from socioeconomic status influencing both intelligence and health; intelligence leading to better health behaviours; and/or some shared genetic factors influencing both intelligence and health. Distinguishing among these hypotheses is crucial for medicine and public health, but can only be accomplished by studying a genetically informative sample. Methods: We analysed data from three genetically informative samples containing information on intelligence and mortality: Sample 1, 377 pairs of male veterans from the NAS-NRC US World War II Twin Registry; Sample 2, 246 pairs of twins from the Swedish Twin Registry; and Sample 3, 784 pairs of twins from the Danish Twin Registry. The age at which intelligence was measured differed between the samples. We used three methods of genetic analysis to examine the relationship between intelligence and lifespan: we calculated the proportion of the more intelligent twins who outlived their co-twin; we regressed within-twin-pair lifespan differences on within-twin-pair intelligence differences; and we used the resulting regression coefficients to model the additive genetic covariance. We conducted a meta-analysis of the regression coefficients across the three samples. Results: The combined (and all three individual samples) showed a small positive phenotypic correlation between intelligence and lifespan. In the combined sample observed r = .12 (95% confidence interval .06 to .18). The additive genetic covariance model supported a genetic relationship between intelligence and lifespan. In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%; in the US study, 84%; in the Swedish study, 86%, and in the Danish study, 85%. Conclusions: The finding of common genetic effects between lifespan and intelligence has important implications for public

  3. Plant intelligence.

    PubMed

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2005-09-01

    Intelligent behavior is a complex adaptive phenomenon that has evolved to enable organisms to deal with variable environmental circumstances. Maximizing fitness requires skill in foraging for necessary resources (food) in competitive circumstances and is probably the activity in which intelligent behavior is most easily seen. Biologists suggest that intelligence encompasses the characteristics of detailed sensory perception, information processing, learning, memory, choice, optimisation of resource sequestration with minimal outlay, self-recognition, and foresight by predictive modeling. All these properties are concerned with a capacity for problem solving in recurrent and novel situations. Here I review the evidence that individual plant species exhibit all of these intelligent behavioral capabilities but do so through phenotypic plasticity, not movement. Furthermore it is in the competitive foraging for resources that most of these intelligent attributes have been detected. Plants should therefore be regarded as prototypical intelligent organisms, a concept that has considerable consequences for investigations of whole plant communication, computation and signal transduction.

  4. Effects of Listening Instructions and Severity of Cleft Palate Speech on Listeners. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shames, George H.; And Others

    Mothers of cleft and noncleft palate children (C- and non C-mothers) listened to a reading by a cleft palate child of a passage containing specified combinations of nasality and intelligibility. Groups were either uninstructed or instructed to listed to the content or the manner of speech; they assessed the nasality and intelligibility of the…

  5. Speech impairment (adult)

    MedlinePlus

    Language impairment; Impairment of speech; Inability to speak; Aphasia; Dysarthria; Slurred speech; Dysphonia voice disorders ... environment and keep external stimuli to a minimum. Speak in a normal tone of voice (this condition ...

  6. Informational masking of speech produced by speech-like sounds without linguistic content.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Li, Huahui; Li, Liang; Wu, Xihong; Moore, Brian C J

    2012-04-01

    This study investigated whether speech-like maskers without linguistic content produce informational masking of speech. The target stimuli were nonsense Chinese Mandarin sentences. In experiment I, the masker contained harmonics the fundamental frequency (F0) of which was sinusoidally modulated and the mean F0 of which was varied. The magnitude of informational masking was evaluated by measuring the change in intelligibility (releasing effect) produced by inducing a perceived spatial separation of the target speech and masker via the precedence effect. The releasing effect was small and was only clear when the target and masker had the same mean F0, suggesting that informational masking was small. Performance with the harmonic maskers was better than with a steady speech-shaped noise (SSN) masker. In experiments II and III, the maskers were speech-like synthesized signals, alternating between segments with harmonic structure and segments composed of SSN. Performance was much worse than for experiment I, and worse than when an SSN masker was used, suggesting that substantial informational masking occurred. The similarity of the F0 contours of the target and masker had little effect. The informational masking effect was not influenced by whether or not the noise-like segments of the masker were synchronous with the unvoiced segments of the target speech. PMID:22501069

  7. Objective voice and speech analysis of persons with chronic hoarseness by prosodic analysis of speech samples.

    PubMed

    Haderlein, Tino; Döllinger, Michael; Matoušek, Václav; Nöth, Elmar

    2016-10-01

    Automatic voice assessment is often performed using sustained vowels. In contrast, speech analysis of read-out texts can be applied to voice and speech assessment. Automatic speech recognition and prosodic analysis were used to find regression formulae between automatic and perceptual assessment of four voice and four speech criteria. The regression was trained with 21 men and 62 women (average age 49.2 years) and tested with another set of 24 men and 49 women (48.3 years), all suffering from chronic hoarseness. They read the text 'Der Nordwind und die Sonne' ('The North Wind and the Sun'). Five voice and speech therapists evaluated the data on 5-point Likert scales. Ten prosodic and recognition accuracy measures (features) were identified which describe all the examined criteria. Inter-rater correlation within the expert group was between r = 0.63 for the criterion 'match of breath and sense units' and r = 0.87 for the overall voice quality. Human-machine correlation was between r = 0.40 for the match of breath and sense units and r = 0.82 for intelligibility. The perceptual ratings of different criteria were highly correlated with each other. Likewise, the feature sets modeling the criteria were very similar. The automatic method is suitable for assessing chronic hoarseness in general and for subgroups of functional and organic dysphonia. In its current version, it is almost as reliable as a randomly picked rater from a group of voice and speech therapists.

  8. Acoustic properties of naturally produced clear speech at normal speaking rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, Jean C.; Braida, Louis D.

    2004-01-01

    Sentences spoken ``clearly'' are significantly more intelligible than those spoken ``conversationally'' for hearing-impaired listeners in a variety of backgrounds [Picheny et al., J. Speech Hear. Res. 28, 96-103 (1985); Uchanski et al., ibid. 39, 494-509 (1996); Payton et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 1581-1592 (1994)]. While producing clear speech, however, talkers often reduce their speaking rate significantly [Picheny et al., J. Speech Hear. Res. 29, 434-446 (1986); Uchanski et al., ibid. 39, 494-509 (1996)]. Yet speaking slowly is not solely responsible for the intelligibility benefit of clear speech (over conversational speech), since a recent study [Krause and Braida, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 112, 2165-2172 (2002)] showed that talkers can produce clear speech at normal rates with training. This finding suggests that clear speech has inherent acoustic properties, independent of rate, that contribute to improved intelligibility. Identifying these acoustic properties could lead to improved signal processing schemes for hearing aids. To gain insight into these acoustical properties, conversational and clear speech produced at normal speaking rates were analyzed at three levels of detail (global, phonological, and phonetic). Although results suggest that talkers may have employed different strategies to achieve clear speech at normal rates, two global-level properties were identified that appear likely to be linked to the improvements in intelligibility provided by clear/normal speech: increased energy in the 1000-3000-Hz range of long-term spectra and increased modulation depth of low frequency modulations of the intensity envelope. Other phonological and phonetic differences associated with clear/normal speech include changes in (1) frequency of stop burst releases, (2) VOT of word-initial voiceless stop consonants, and (3) short-term vowel spectra.

  9. SPEECH HANDICAPPED SCHOOL CHILDREN.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    JOHNSON, WENDELL; AND OTHERS

    THIS BOOK IS DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE BEING TRAINED TO WORK WITH SPEECH HANDICAPPED SCHOOL CHILDREN, EITHER AS SPEECH CORRECTIONISTS OR AS CLASSROOM TEACHERS. THE BOOK DEALS WITH FOUR MAJOR QUESTIONS--(1) WHAT KINDS OF SPEECH DISORDERS ARE FOUND AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN, (2) WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS,…

  10. Free Speech Yearbook 1978.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phifer, Gregg, Ed.

    The 17 articles in this collection deal with theoretical and practical freedom of speech issues. The topics include: freedom of speech in Marquette Park, Illinois; Nazis in Skokie, Illinois; freedom of expression in the Confederate States of America; Robert M. LaFollette's arguments for free speech and the rights of Congress; the United States…

  11. Talking Speech Input.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berliss-Vincent, Jane; Whitford, Gigi

    2002-01-01

    This article presents both the factors involved in successful speech input use and the potential barriers that may suggest that other access technologies could be more appropriate for a given individual. Speech input options that are available are reviewed and strategies for optimizing use of speech recognition technology are discussed. (Contains…

  12. Speech 7 through 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nederland Independent School District, TX.

    GRADES OR AGES: Grades 7 through 12. SUBJECT MATTER: Speech. ORGANIZATION AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: Following the foreward, philosophy and objectives, this guide presents a speech curriculum. The curriculum covers junior high and Speech I, II, III (senior high). Thirteen units of study are presented for junior high, each unit is divided into…

  13. Speech and Language Delay

    MedlinePlus

    MENU Return to Web version Speech and Language Delay Overview How do I know if my child has speech delay? Every child develops at his or her ... of the same age, the problem may be speech delay. Your doctor may think your child has ...

  14. The Limits of Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shea, Christopher

    1993-01-01

    Colleges and universities are finding it difficult to mold administrative policy concerning freedom of speech on campus. Even when speech or harassment codes mirror federal guidelines for antidiscrimination policy, controversy is common. Potential infringement on rights to free speech is the central issue. (MSE)

  15. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wash, Darrel Patrick

    1989-01-01

    Making a machine seem intelligent is not easy. As a consequence, demand has been rising for computer professionals skilled in artificial intelligence and is likely to continue to go up. These workers develop expert systems and solve the mysteries of machine vision, natural language processing, and neural networks. (Editor)

  16. Commercial applications of speech interface technology: an industry at the threshold.

    PubMed Central

    Oberteuffer, J A

    1995-01-01

    Speech interface technology, which includes automatic speech recognition, synthetic speech, and natural language processing, is beginning to have a significant impact on business and personal computer use. Today, powerful and inexpensive microprocessors and improved algorithms are driving commercial applications in computer command, consumer, data entry, speech-to-text, telephone, and voice verification. Robust speaker-independent recognition systems for command and navigation in personal computers are now available; telephone-based transaction and database inquiry systems using both speech synthesis and recognition are coming into use. Large-vocabulary speech interface systems for document creation and read-aloud proofing are expanding beyond niche markets. Today's applications represent a small preview of a rich future for speech interface technology that will eventually replace keyboards with microphones and loud-speakers to give easy accessibility to increasingly intelligent machines. PMID:7479717

  17. Bridging the Gap Between Speech and Language: Using Multimodal Treatment in a Child With Apraxia.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Cheryl D; Pitterle, Kathleen; Kurtz, Marie; Nakhla, Mark; Todorow, Carlyn

    2016-09-01

    Childhood apraxia of speech is a neurologic speech sound disorder in which children have difficulty constructing words and sounds due to poor motor planning and coordination of the articulators required for speech sound production. We report the case of a 3-year-old boy strongly suspected to have childhood apraxia of speech at 18 months of age who used multimodal communication to facilitate language development throughout his work with a speech language pathologist. In 18 months of an intensive structured program, he exhibited atypical rapid improvement, progressing from having no intelligible speech to achieving age-appropriate articulation. We suspect that early introduction of sign language by family proved to be a highly effective form of language development, that when coupled with intensive oro-motor and speech sound therapy, resulted in rapid resolution of symptoms.

  18. Bridging the Gap Between Speech and Language: Using Multimodal Treatment in a Child With Apraxia.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Cheryl D; Pitterle, Kathleen; Kurtz, Marie; Nakhla, Mark; Todorow, Carlyn

    2016-09-01

    Childhood apraxia of speech is a neurologic speech sound disorder in which children have difficulty constructing words and sounds due to poor motor planning and coordination of the articulators required for speech sound production. We report the case of a 3-year-old boy strongly suspected to have childhood apraxia of speech at 18 months of age who used multimodal communication to facilitate language development throughout his work with a speech language pathologist. In 18 months of an intensive structured program, he exhibited atypical rapid improvement, progressing from having no intelligible speech to achieving age-appropriate articulation. We suspect that early introduction of sign language by family proved to be a highly effective form of language development, that when coupled with intensive oro-motor and speech sound therapy, resulted in rapid resolution of symptoms. PMID:27492818

  19. Simultaneous natural speech and AAC interventions for children with childhood apraxia of speech: lessons from a speech-language pathologist focus group.

    PubMed

    Oommen, Elizabeth R; McCarthy, John W

    2015-03-01

    In childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), children exhibit varying levels of speech intelligibility depending on the nature of errors in articulation and prosody. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies are beneficial, and commonly adopted with children with CAS. This study focused on the decision-making process and strategies adopted by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) when simultaneously implementing interventions that focused on natural speech and AAC. Eight SLPs, with significant clinical experience in CAS and AAC interventions, participated in an online focus group. Thematic analysis revealed eight themes: key decision-making factors; treatment history and rationale; benefits; challenges; therapy strategies and activities; collaboration with team members; recommendations; and other comments. Results are discussed along with clinical implications and directions for future research.

  20. Speech recognition with dynamic range reduction: (1) deaf and normal subjects in laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Drysdale, A E; Gregory, R L

    1978-08-01

    Processing to reduce the dynamic range of speech should increase intelligibility and protect the impaired ear from overloading. There are theoretical and practical objections to using AGC devices to reduce dynamic range. These are overcome by using recently available signal processing employing high frequency carrier clipping. An increase in intelligibility of speech with this HFCC has been demonstrated, for normal subjects with simulated deafness, and for most partially hearing patients. Intelligibility is not improved for some patients; possibly due to their having learned to extract features which are lost. These patients may also benefit after training.

  1. Aided and Unaided Speech Supplementation Strategies: Effect of Alphabet Cues and Iconic Hand Gestures on Dysarthric Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hustad, Katherine C.; Garcia, Jane Mertz

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This study compared the influence of speaker-implemented iconic hand gestures and alphabet cues on speech intelligibility scores and strategy helpfulness ratings for 3 adults with cerebral palsy and dysarthria who differed from one another in their overall motor abilities. Method: A total of 144 listeners (48 per speaker) orthographically…

  2. An Intelligibility Assessment of Toddlers with Cleft Lip and Palate Who Received and Did Not Receive Presurgical Infant Orthopedic Treatment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Konst, Emmy M.; Weersink-Braks, Hanny; Rietveld, Toni; Peters, Herman

    2000-01-01

    The influence of presurgical infant orthopedic treatment (PIO) on speech intelligibility was evaluated with 10 toddlers who used PIO during the first year of life and 10 who did not. Treated children were rated as exhibiting greater intelligibility, however, transcription data indicated there were not group differences in actual intelligibility.…

  3. Disentangling syntax and intelligibility in auditory language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Friederici, Angela D; Kotz, Sonja A; Scott, Sophie K; Obleser, Jonas

    2010-03-01

    Studies of the neural basis of spoken language comprehension typically focus on aspects of auditory processing by varying signal intelligibility, or on higher-level aspects of language processing such as syntax. Most studies in either of these threads of language research report brain activation including peaks in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and/or the superior temporal sulcus (STS), but it is not clear why these areas are recruited in functionally different studies. The current fMRI study aims to disentangle the functional neuroanatomy of intelligibility and syntax in an orthogonal design. The data substantiate functional dissociations between STS and STG in the left and right hemispheres: first, manipulations of speech intelligibility yield bilateral mid-anterior STS peak activation, whereas syntactic phrase structure violations elicit strongly left-lateralized mid STG and posterior STS activation. Second, ROI analyses indicate all interactions of speech intelligibility and syntactic correctness to be located in the left frontal and temporal cortex, while the observed right-hemispheric activations reflect less specific responses to intelligibility and syntax. Our data demonstrate that the mid-to-anterior STS activation is associated with increasing speech intelligibility, while the mid-to-posterior STG/STS is more sensitive to syntactic information within the speech.

  4. Speech outcome following palatoplasty in primary school children: do lay peer observers agree with speech pathologists?

    PubMed

    Witt, P D; Berry, L A; Marsh, J L; Grames, L M; Pilgram, T K

    1996-11-01

    The aim of this study was twofold: (1) to test the ability of normal children to discriminate the speech of children with repaired cleft palate from the speech of unaffected peers and (2) to compare these naive assessments of speech acceptability with the sophisticated assessments of speech pathologists. The study group (subjects) was composed of 21 children of school age (aged 8 to 12 years) who had undergone palatoplasty at a single cleft center and 16 matched controls. The listening team (student raters) was composed of 20 children who were matched to the subjects for age, sex, and other variables. Randomized master audio-tape recordings of the children who had undergone palatoplasty were presented in blinded fashion and random order to student raters who were inexperienced in the evaluation of patients with speech dysfunction. The same sound recordings were evaluated by an experienced panel of extramural speech pathologists whose intrarater and interrater reliabilities were known; they were not direct care providers. Additionally, the master tape was presented in blinded fashion and random order to the velopharyngeal staff at the cleft center for intramural assessment. Comparison of these assessment methodologies forms the basis of this report. Naive raters were insensitive to speech differences in the control and cleft palate groups. Differences in the mean scores for the groups never approached statistical significance, and there was adequate power to discern a difference of 0.75 on a 7-point scale. Expert raters were sensitive to differences in resonance and intelligibility in the control and cleft palate groups but not to other aspects of speech. The expert raters recommended further evaluation of cleft palate patients more often than control patients. Speech pathologists discern differences that the laity does not. Consideration should be given to the utilization of untrained listeners to add real-life significance to clinical speech assessments. Peer

  5. The Binaural Masking-Level Difference of Mandarin Tone Detection and the Binaural Intelligibility-Level Difference of Mandarin Tone Recognition in the Presence of Speech-Spectrum Noise

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Cheng-Yu; Li, Pei-Chun; Chiang, Yuan-Chuan; Young, Shuenn-Tsong; Chu, Woei-Chyn

    2015-01-01

    Binaural hearing involves using information relating to the differences between the signals that arrive at the two ears, and it can make it easier to detect and recognize signals in a noisy environment. This phenomenon of binaural hearing is quantified in laboratory studies as the binaural masking-level difference (BMLD). Mandarin is one of the most commonly used languages, but there are no publication values of BMLD or BILD based on Mandarin tones. Therefore, this study investigated the BMLD and BILD of Mandarin tones. The BMLDs of Mandarin tone detection were measured based on the detection threshold differences for the four tones of the voiced vowels /i/ (i.e., /i1/, /i2/, /i3/, and /i4/) and /u/ (i.e., /u1/, /u2/, /u3/, and /u4/) in the presence of speech-spectrum noise when presented interaurally in phase (S0N0) and interaurally in antiphase (SπN0). The BILDs of Mandarin tone recognition in speech-spectrum noise were determined as the differences in the target-to-masker ratio (TMR) required for 50% correct tone recognitions between the S0N0 and SπN0 conditions. The detection thresholds for the four tones of /i/ and /u/ differed significantly (p<0.001) between the S0N0 and SπN0 conditions. The average detection thresholds of Mandarin tones were all lower in the SπN0 condition than in the S0N0 condition, and the BMLDs ranged from 7.3 to 11.5 dB. The TMR for 50% correct Mandarin tone recognitions differed significantly (p<0.001) between the S0N0 and SπN0 conditions, at –13.4 and –18.0 dB, respectively, with a mean BILD of 4.6 dB. The study showed that the thresholds of Mandarin tone detection and recognition in the presence of speech-spectrum noise are improved when phase inversion is applied to the target speech. The average BILDs of Mandarin tones are smaller than the average BMLDs of Mandarin tones. PMID:25835987

  6. Machine Translation from Speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, Richard; Olive, Joseph; McCary, John; Christianson, Caitlin

    This chapter describes approaches for translation from speech. Translation from speech presents two new issues. First, of course, we must recognize the speech in the source language. Although speech recognition has improved considerably over the last three decades, it is still far from being a solved problem. In the best of conditions, when the speech comes from high quality, carefully enunciated speech, on common topics (such as speech read by a trained news broadcaster), the word error rate is typically on the order of 5%. Humans can typically transcribe speech like this with less than 1% disagreement between annotators, so even this best number is still far worse than human performance. However, the task gets much harder when anything changes from this ideal condition. Some of the conditions that cause higher error rate are, if the topic is somewhat unusual, or the speakers are not reading so that their speech is more spontaneous, or if the speakers have an accent or are speaking a dialect, or if there is any acoustic degradation, such as noise or reverberation. In these cases, the word error can increase significantly to 20%, 30%, or higher. Accordingly, most of this chapter discusses techniques for improving speech recognition accuracy, while one section discusses techniques for integrating speech recognition with translation.

  7. Speech in spinocerebellar ataxia.

    PubMed

    Schalling, Ellika; Hartelius, Lena

    2013-12-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a heterogeneous group of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxias clinically characterized by progressive ataxia, dysarthria and a range of other concomitant neurological symptoms. Only a few studies include detailed characterization of speech symptoms in SCA. Speech symptoms in SCA resemble ataxic dysarthria but symptoms related to phonation may be more prominent. One study to date has shown an association between differences in speech and voice symptoms related to genotype. More studies of speech and voice phenotypes are motivated, to possibly aid in clinical diagnosis. In addition, instrumental speech analysis has been demonstrated to be a reliable measure that may be used to monitor disease progression or therapy outcomes in possible future pharmacological treatments. Intervention by speech and language pathologists should go beyond assessment. Clinical guidelines for management of speech, communication and swallowing need to be developed for individuals with progressive cerebellar ataxia.

  8. A Novel Method for Speech Acquisition and Enhancement by 94 GHz Millimeter-Wave Sensor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fuming; Li, Sheng; Li, Chuantao; Liu, Miao; Li, Zhao; Xue, Huijun; Jing, Xijing; Wang, Jianqi

    2015-12-31

    In order to improve the speech acquisition ability of a non-contact method, a 94 GHz millimeter wave (MMW) radar sensor was employed to detect speech signals. This novel non-contact speech acquisition method was shown to have high directional sensitivity, and to be immune to strong acoustical disturbance. However, MMW radar speech is often degraded by combined sources of noise, which mainly include harmonic, electrical circuit and channel noise. In this paper, an algorithm combining empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and mutual information entropy (MIE) was proposed for enhancing the perceptibility and intelligibility of radar speech. Firstly, the radar speech signal was adaptively decomposed into oscillatory components called intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) by EMD. Secondly, MIE was used to determine the number of reconstructive components, and then an adaptive threshold was employed to remove the noise from the radar speech. The experimental results show that human speech can be effectively acquired by a 94 GHz MMW radar sensor when the detection distance is 20 m. Moreover, the noise of the radar speech is greatly suppressed and the speech sounds become more pleasant to human listeners after being enhanced by the proposed algorithm, suggesting that this novel speech acquisition and enhancement method will provide a promising alternative for various applications associated with speech detection.

  9. A Novel Method for Speech Acquisition and Enhancement by 94 GHz Millimeter-Wave Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fuming; Li, Sheng; Li, Chuantao; Liu, Miao; Li, Zhao; Xue, Huijun; Jing, Xijing; Wang, Jianqi

    2015-01-01

    In order to improve the speech acquisition ability of a non-contact method, a 94 GHz millimeter wave (MMW) radar sensor was employed to detect speech signals. This novel non-contact speech acquisition method was shown to have high directional sensitivity, and to be immune to strong acoustical disturbance. However, MMW radar speech is often degraded by combined sources of noise, which mainly include harmonic, electrical circuit and channel noise. In this paper, an algorithm combining empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and mutual information entropy (MIE) was proposed for enhancing the perceptibility and intelligibility of radar speech. Firstly, the radar speech signal was adaptively decomposed into oscillatory components called intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) by EMD. Secondly, MIE was used to determine the number of reconstructive components, and then an adaptive threshold was employed to remove the noise from the radar speech. The experimental results show that human speech can be effectively acquired by a 94 GHz MMW radar sensor when the detection distance is 20 m. Moreover, the noise of the radar speech is greatly suppressed and the speech sounds become more pleasant to human listeners after being enhanced by the proposed algorithm, suggesting that this novel speech acquisition and enhancement method will provide a promising alternative for various applications associated with speech detection. PMID:26729126

  10. Signal Processing Methods for Removing the Effects of Whole Body Vibration upon Speech

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bitner, Rachel M.; Begault, Durand R.

    2014-01-01

    Humans may be exposed to whole-body vibration in environments where clear speech communications are crucial, particularly during the launch phases of space flight and in high-performance aircraft. Prior research has shown that high levels of vibration cause a decrease in speech intelligibility. However, the effects of whole-body vibration upon speech are not well understood, and no attempt has been made to restore speech distorted by whole-body vibration. In this paper, a model for speech under whole-body vibration is proposed and a method to remove its effect is described. The method described reduces the perceptual effects of vibration, yields higher ASR accuracy scores, and may significantly improve intelligibility. Possible applications include incorporation within communication systems to improve radio-communication systems in environments such a spaceflight, aviation, or off-road vehicle operations.

  11. Speech Outcome in Oral Cancer Patients – Pre- and Post-operative Evaluation: A Cross-sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Saravanan, Gomathi; Ranganathan, Venkatesan; Gandhi, Anitha; Jaya, V

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The tongue plays a major role in articulation. Speech outcome depends on the site of lesion, extent of resection, and flexibility of the remaining structures. The aim of this study is to evaluate the speech outcome measures such as sounds that are misarticulated and speech intelligibility and its connection to tumor site before and after surgery. Methodology: Totally, 24 (12 pre- and 12 post-operative patients) patients who had buccal and tongue cancer underwent speech intelligibility rating and articulation screening. Result: The results show that the speech outcome is worse in postoperative patients when compared to preoperative patients. The articulation errors produced by tongue cancer patients were more than the errors produced in buccal cancer patients. The type of reconstruction also affects the speech outcome. Conclusion: The perceptual analysis of oral cancer patients showed specific articulation issues and reduced intelligibility of speech in regards to site of lesion and type of reconstruction surgery. To reduce the speech errors, effective rehabilitation is recommended. A comprehensive speech evaluation and analysis of error patterns would help us in planning the rehabilitative measures of speech which is the most important factor in re-establishing interpersonal communication and well-being of the individual. PMID:27803574

  12. The influence of dialect upon the perception of dysarthic speech.

    PubMed

    Dagenais, Paul A; Stallworth, Jamequa A

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of dialect upon the perception of dysarthric speech. Speakers and listeners were self-identifying as either Caucasian American or African American. Three speakers were Caucasian American, three were African American. Four speakers had experienced a CVA and were dysarthric. Listeners were age matched and were equally divided for gender. Readers recorded 14 word sentences from the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech. Listeners provided ratings of intelligibility, comprehensibility, and acceptability. Own-race biases were found for all measures; however, significant findings were found for intelligibility and comprehensibility in that the Caucasian Americans provided significantly higher scores for Caucasian American speakers. Clinical implications are discussed.

  13. Speech Impairment in Down Syndrome: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Ray D.; Vorperian, Houri K.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose This review summarizes research on disorders of speech production in Down Syndrome (DS) for the purposes of informing clinical services and guiding future research. Method Review of the literature was based on searches using Medline, Google Scholar, Psychinfo, and HighWire Press, as well as consideration of reference lists in retrieved documents (including online sources). Search terms emphasized functions related to voice, articulation, phonology, prosody, fluency and intelligibility. Conclusions The following conclusions pertain to four major areas of review: (a) Voice. Although a number of studies have been reported on vocal abnormalities in DS, major questions remain about the nature and frequency of the phonatory disorder. Results of perceptual and acoustic studies have been mixed, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions or even to identify sensitive measures for future study. (b) Speech sounds. Articulatory and phonological studies show that speech patterns in DS are a combination of delayed development and errors not seen in typical development. Delayed (i.e., developmental) and disordered (i.e., nondevelopmental) patterns are evident by the age of about 3 years, although DS-related abnormalities possibly appear earlier, even in infant babbling. (c) Fluency and prosody. Stuttering and/or cluttering occur in DS at rates of 10 to 45%, compared to about 1% in the general population. Research also points to significant disturbances in prosody. (d) Intelligibility. Studies consistently show marked limitations in this area but it is only recently that research goes beyond simple rating scales. PMID:23275397

  14. A novel speech prosthesis for mandibular guidance therapy in hemimandibulectomy patient: A clinical report

    PubMed Central

    Adaki, Raghavendra; Shigli, Kamal; Hormuzdi, Dinshaw M.; Gali, Sivaranjani

    2016-01-01

    Treating diverse maxillofacial patients poses a challenge to the maxillofacial prosthodontist. Rehabilitation of hemimandibulectomy patients must aim at restoring mastication and other functions such as intelligible speech, swallowing, and esthetics. Prosthetic methods such as palatal ramp and mandibular guiding flange reposition the deviated mandible. Such prosthesis can also be used to restore speech in case of patients with debilitating speech following surgical resection. This clinical report gives detail of a hemimandibulectomy patient provided with an interim removable dental speech prosthesis with composite resin flange for mandibular guidance therapy. PMID:27041917

  15. Distributed Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLagan, Patricia A.

    2003-01-01

    Distributed intelligence occurs when people in an organization take responsibility for creating innovations, solving problems, and making decisions. Organizations that have it excel in their markets and the global environment. (Author/JOW)

  16. Native Speakers' Judgments of Second Language Danish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jorgensen, J. N.; Quist, P.

    2001-01-01

    Examines native speakers' reactions to the second language Danish of young Bilingual Turkish-Danish school students. Respondents were asked to evaluate the quality of the Danish of these students on the basis of tape recorded excerpts. Overall, respondents evaluated all speakers more negatively when they considered them to be nonnative Danes, but…

  17. Artificial intelligence, expert systems, computer vision, and natural language processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gevarter, W. B.

    1984-01-01

    An overview of artificial intelligence (AI), its core ingredients, and its applications is presented. The knowledge representation, logic, problem solving approaches, languages, and computers pertaining to AI are examined, and the state of the art in AI is reviewed. The use of AI in expert systems, computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and understanding, speech synthesis, problem solving, and planning is examined. Basic AI topics, including automation, search-oriented problem solving, knowledge representation, and computational logic, are discussed.

  18. A Systematic Review of Cross-Linguistic and Multilingual Speech and Language Outcomes for Children with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowe, Kathryn; McLeod, Sharynne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to systematically review the factors affecting the language, speech intelligibility, speech production, and lexical tone development of children with hearing loss who use spoken languages other than English. Relevant studies of children with hearing loss published between 2000 and 2011 were reviewed with reference to…

  19. Early recognition of speech

    PubMed Central

    Remez, Robert E; Thomas, Emily F

    2013-01-01

    Classic research on the perception of speech sought to identify minimal acoustic correlates of each consonant and vowel. In explaining perception, this view designated momentary components of an acoustic spectrum as cues to the recognition of elementary phonemes. This conceptualization of speech perception is untenable given the findings of phonetic sensitivity to modulation independent of the acoustic and auditory form of the carrier. The empirical key is provided by studies of the perceptual organization of speech, a low-level integrative function that finds and follows the sensory effects of speech amid concurrent events. These projects have shown that the perceptual organization of speech is keyed to modulation; fast; unlearned; nonsymbolic; indifferent to short-term auditory properties; and organization requires attention. The ineluctably multisensory nature of speech perception also imposes conditions that distinguish language among cognitive systems. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:213–223. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1213 PMID:23926454

  20. Listener Perception of Monopitch, Naturalness, and Intelligibility for Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anand, Supraja; Stepp, Cara E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Given the potential significance of speech naturalness to functional and social rehabilitation outcomes, the objective of this study was to examine the effect of listener perceptions of monopitch on speech naturalness and intelligibility in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Method: Two short utterances were extracted from…

  1. Measuring the Effects of Reverberation and Noise on Sentence Intelligibility for Hearing-Impaired Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Erwin L. J.; Goverts, S. Theo; Festen, Joost M.; Houtgast, Tammo

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The Speech Transmission Index (STI; Houtgast, Steeneken, & Plomp, 1980; Steeneken & Houtgast, 1980) is commonly used to quantify the adverse effects of reverberation and stationary noise on speech intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners. Duquesnoy and Plomp (1980) showed that the STI can be applied for presbycusic listeners, relating…

  2. Determining the energetic and informational components of speech-on-speech masking.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Gerald; Mason, Christine R; Swaminathan, Jayaganesh; Roverud, Elin; Clayton, Kameron K; Best, Virginia

    2016-07-01

    Identification of target speech was studied under masked conditions consisting of two or four independent speech maskers. In the reference conditions, the maskers were colocated with the target, the masker talkers were the same sex as the target, and the masker speech was intelligible. The comparison conditions, intended to provide release from masking, included different-sex target and masker talkers, time-reversal of the masker speech, and spatial separation of the maskers from the target. Significant release from masking was found for all comparison conditions. To determine whether these reductions in masking could be attributed to differences in energetic masking, ideal time-frequency segregation (ITFS) processing was applied so that the time-frequency units where the masker energy dominated the target energy were removed. The remaining target-dominated "glimpses" were reassembled as the stimulus. Speech reception thresholds measured using these resynthesized ITFS-processed stimuli were the same for the reference and comparison conditions supporting the conclusion that the amount of energetic masking across conditions was the same. These results indicated that the large release from masking found under all comparison conditions was due primarily to a reduction in informational masking. Furthermore, the large individual differences observed generally were correlated across the three masking release conditions.

  3. Speech Alarms Pilot Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandor, Aniko; Moses, Haifa

    2016-01-01

    Speech alarms have been used extensively in aviation and included in International Building Codes (IBC) and National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Life Safety Code. However, they have not been implemented on space vehicles. Previous studies conducted at NASA JSC showed that speech alarms lead to faster identification and higher accuracy. This research evaluated updated speech and tone alerts in a laboratory environment and in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) in a realistic setup.

  4. Call sign intelligibility improvement using a spatial auditory display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    1993-01-01

    A spatial auditory display was used to convolve speech stimuli, consisting of 130 different call signs used in the communications protocol of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, to different virtual auditory positions. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of the signal against diotic speech babble, with spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments. Non-individualized, minimum-phase approximations of head-related transfer functions were used. The results showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  5. Call sign intelligibility improvement using a spatial auditory display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begault, Durand R.

    1993-04-01

    A spatial auditory display was used to convolve speech stimuli, consisting of 130 different call signs used in the communications protocol of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, to different virtual auditory positions. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of the signal against diotic speech babble, with spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments. Non-individualized, minimum-phase approximations of head-related transfer functions were used. The results showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  6. Advances in speech processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ince, A. Nejat

    1992-10-01

    The field of speech processing is undergoing a rapid growth in terms of both performance and applications and this is fueled by the advances being made in the areas of microelectronics, computation, and algorithm design. The use of voice for civil and military communications is discussed considering advantages and disadvantages including the effects of environmental factors such as acoustic and electrical noise and interference and propagation. The structure of the existing NATO communications network and the evolving Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) concept are briefly reviewed to show how they meet the present and future requirements. The paper then deals with the fundamental subject of speech coding and compression. Recent advances in techniques and algorithms for speech coding now permit high quality voice reproduction at remarkably low bit rates. The subject of speech synthesis is next treated where the principle objective is to produce natural quality synthetic speech from unrestricted text input. Speech recognition where the ultimate objective is to produce a machine which would understand conversational speech with unrestricted vocabulary, from essentially any talker, is discussed. Algorithms for speech recognition can be characterized broadly as pattern recognition approaches and acoustic phonetic approaches. To date, the greatest degree of success in speech recognition has been obtained using pattern recognition paradigms. It is for this reason that the paper is concerned primarily with this technique.

  7. The impact of phonetic dissimilarity on the perception of foreign accented speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weil, Shawn A.

    2003-10-01

    Non-normative speech (i.e., synthetic speech, pathological speech, foreign accented speech) is more difficult to process for native listeners than is normative speech. Does perceptual dissimilarity affect only intelligibility, or are there other costs to processing? The current series of experiments investigates both the intelligibility and time course of foreign accented speech (FAS) perception. Native English listeners heard single English words spoken by both native English speakers and non-native speakers (Mandarin or Russian). Words were chosen based on the similarity between the phonetic inventories of the respective languages. Three experimental designs were used: a cross-modal matching task, a word repetition (shadowing) task, and two subjective ratings tasks which measured impressions of accentedness and effortfulness. The results replicate previous investigations that have found that FAS significantly lowers word intelligibility. Furthermore, in FAS as well as perceptual effort, in the word repetition task, correct responses are slower to accented words than to nonaccented words. An analysis indicates that both intelligibility and reaction time are, in part, functions of the similarity between the talker's utterance and the listener's representation of the word.

  8. Effects of speech clarity on recognition memory for spoken sentences.

    PubMed

    Van Engen, Kristin J; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Smiljanic, Rajka

    2012-01-01

    Extensive research shows that inter-talker variability (i.e., changing the talker) affects recognition memory for speech signals. However, relatively little is known about the consequences of intra-talker variability (i.e. changes in speaking style within a talker) on the encoding of speech signals in memory. It is well established that speakers can modulate the characteristics of their own speech and produce a listener-oriented, intelligibility-enhancing speaking style in response to communication demands (e.g., when speaking to listeners with hearing impairment or non-native speakers of the language). Here we conducted two experiments to examine the role of speaking style variation in spoken language processing. First, we examined the extent to which clear speech provided benefits in challenging listening environments (i.e. speech-in-noise). Second, we compared recognition memory for sentences produced in conversational and clear speaking styles. In both experiments, semantically normal and anomalous sentences were included to investigate the role of higher-level linguistic information in the processing of speaking style variability. The results show that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech lead to improved speech recognition in challenging listening conditions and, crucially, to a substantial enhancement in recognition memory for sentences. PMID:22970141

  9. Wavelet Speech Enhancement Based on Nonnegative Matrix Factorization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Syu-Siang; Chern, Alan; Tsao, Yu; Hung, Jeih-weih; Lu, Xugang; Lai, Ying-Hui; Su, Borching

    2016-08-01

    For most of the state-of-the-art speech enhancement techniques, a spectrogram is usually preferred than the respective time-domain raw data since it reveals more compact presentation together with conspicuous temporal information over a long time span. However, the short-time Fourier transform (STFT) that creates the spectrogram in general distorts the original signal and thereby limits the capability of the associated speech enhancement techniques. In this study, we propose a novel speech enhancement method that adopts the algorithms of discrete wavelet packet transform (DWPT) and nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) in order to conquer the aforementioned limitation. In brief, the DWPT is first applied to split a time-domain speech signal into a series of subband signals without introducing any distortion. Then we exploit NMF to highlight the speech component for each subband. Finally, the enhanced subband signals are joined together via the inverse DWPT to reconstruct a noise-reduced signal in time domain. We evaluate the proposed DWPT-NMF based speech enhancement method on the MHINT task. Experimental results show that this new method behaves very well in prompting speech quality and intelligibility and it outperforms the convnenitional STFT-NMF based method.

  10. The Cleft Care UK study. Part 4: perceptual speech outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Sell, D; Mildinhall, S; Albery, L; Wills, A K; Sandy, J R; Ness, A R

    2015-01-01

    Structured Abstract Objectives To describe the perceptual speech outcomes from the Cleft Care UK (CCUK) study and compare them to the 1998 Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) audit. Setting and sample population A cross-sectional study of 248 children born with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2007 who underwent speech assessment. Materials and methods Centre-based specialist speech and language therapists (SLT) took speech audio–video recordings according to nationally agreed guidelines. Two independent listeners undertook the perceptual analysis using the CAPS-A Audit tool. Intra- and inter-rater reliability were tested. Results For each speech parameter of intelligibility/distinctiveness, hypernasality, palatal/palatalization, backed to velar/uvular, glottal, weak and nasalized consonants, and nasal realizations, there was strong evidence that speech outcomes were better in the CCUK children compared to CSAG children. The parameters which did not show improvement were nasal emission, nasal turbulence, hyponasality and lateral/lateralization. Conclusion These results suggest that centralization of cleft care into high volume centres has resulted in improvements in UK speech outcomes in five-year-olds with unilateral cleft lip and palate. This may be associated with the development of a specialized workforce. Nevertheless, there still remains a group of children with significant difficulties at school entry. PMID:26567854

  11. Speech production in noise with and without hearing protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tufts, Jennifer B.; Frank, Tom

    2003-08-01

    People working in noisy environments often complain of difficulty communicating when they wear hearing protection. It was hypothesized that part of the workers' communication difficulties stem from changes in speech production that occur when hearing protectors are worn. To address this possibility, overall and one-third-octave-band SPL measurements were obtained for 16 men and 16 women as they produced connected speech while wearing foam, flange, or no earplugs (open ears) in quiet and in pink noise at 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 dB SPL. The attenuation and the occlusion effect produced by the earplugs were measured. The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) was also calculated for each condition. The talkers produced lower overall speech levels, speech-to-noise ratios, and SII values, and less high-frequency speech energy, when they wore earplugs compared with the open-ear condition. Small differences in the speech measures between the talkers wearing foam and flange earplugs were observed. Overall, the results of the study indicate that talkers wearing earplugs (and consequently their listeners) are at a disadvantage when communicating in noise.

  12. A phonetic investigation of single word versus connected speech production in children with persisting speech difficulties relating to cleft palate.

    PubMed

    Howard, Sara

    2013-03-01

    Objective : To investigate the phonetic and phonological parameters of speech production associated with cleft palate in single words and in sentence repetition in order to explore the impact of connected speech processes, prosody, and word juncture on word production across contexts. Participants : Two boys (aged 9 years 5 months and 11 years 0 months) with persisting speech impairments related to a history of unilateral cleft lip and palate formed the main focus of the study; three typical adult male speakers provided control data. Method : Audio, video, and electropalatographic recordings were made of the participants producing single words and repeating two sets of sentences. The data were transcribed and the electropalatographic recordings were analyzed to explore lingual-palatal contact patterns across the different speech conditions. Acoustic analysis was used to further inform the perceptual analysis and to make specific durational measurements. Results : The two boys' speech production differed across the speech conditions. Both boys showed typical and atypical phonetic features in their connected speech production. One boy, although often unintelligible, resembled the adult speakers more closely prosodically and in his specific connected speech behaviors at word boundaries. The second boy produced developmentally atypical phonetic adjustments at word boundaries that appeared to promote intelligibility at the expense of naturalness. Conclusion : For older children with persisting speech impairments, it is particularly important to examine specific features of connected speech production, including word juncture and prosody. Sentence repetition data provide useful information to this end, but further investigations encompassing detailed perceptual and instrumental analysis of real conversational data are warranted.

  13. A scheme for noise suppression and spectral enhancement of speech to alleviate speech reception problems from loss of frequency selectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyzenga, Johannes; Festen, Joost M.; Houtgast, Tammo

    2002-05-01

    Even after sufficient amplification, hearing-impaired listeners often experience problems in understanding speech under noisy conditions. This may be caused by suprathreshold deficits such as loss of compression and reduced frequency selectivity. In this project we investigate a scheme in which speech and noise are processed before presentation to try and alleviate intelligibility problems caused by reduced frequency selectivity. The scheme contains three strategies, one in which the peak-to-valley ratios of selected modulations in the speech spectrum are enlarged, a second in which the overall speech spectrum is modified, and a third in which noise is suppressed before the two enhancement steps. An overlap-and-add (OLA) algorithm is used in the implementation. The effect of the speech processing is evaluated by measuring speech-reception thresholds (SRT) for sentences in speech noise, estimating the signal-to-noise ratio at which listeners can correctly reproduce 50% of presented sentences. Hearing-impaired and normal-hearing listeners were used. To simulate the hearing impairment resulting from a loss of frequency selectivity, we spectrally smeared the stimuli presented to the normal-hearing listeners. We found that the preprocessing scheme achieved a modest improvement of nearly 2 dB in the SRT for normal-hearing listeners. Data for hearing-impaired listeners are presently being collected.

  14. [Free sorting task of speech disorders by expert and non-expert listeners].

    PubMed

    Woisard, V; Gaillard, P; Duez, D

    2012-01-01

    Understood the strategies underlying the perception of speech motor disorders (SMD) is useful for the management of people with this kind of disorders. Our hypothesis was that intelligibility of speech is a dramatic decision factor for the classification of speech production independently of the type of listeners. Two types of listeners: 15 experts (logopedists and phoniatricians), and 15 non experts (students in the field of heath care without any experience) participated at this study performing a free sorting task of 33 stimuli. The stimuli are a sentence readed by 13 control subjects and 20 subjects with a SMD of several kinds of etiologies. The methodology used for the analysis is the visualization of proximity trees by a sorting mathematical algorithm and the analysis of the free commentaries as a discourse. The results confirm that the degree of alteration of intelligibility is the main factor distributed in the sorts, but the reference to the "normality" is an other strong criteria and this notion is frequently associated with a description of the stimuli at a level of voice more than a level of speech. These results lead to a new hypothesis of a classification of perception of speech included a speech disorders, determined at an extremity by a comparison with a "prototype of normality" and at the other extremity by the characteristic of "intelligibility or understandibility" reinforcing some concepts of speech rehabilitation.

  15. The acoustics for speech of eight auditoriums in the city of Sao Paulo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bistafa, Sylvio R.

    2002-11-01

    Eight auditoriums with a proscenium type of stage, which usually operate as dramatic theaters in the city of Sao Paulo, were acoustically surveyed in terms of their adequacy to unassisted speech. Reverberation times, early decay times, and speech levels were measured in different positions, together with objective measures of speech intelligibility. The measurements revealed reverberation time values rather uniform throughout the rooms, whereas significant variations were found in the values of the other acoustical measures with position. The early decay time was found to be better correlated with the objective measures of speech intelligibility than the reverberation time. The results from the objective measurements of speech intelligibility revealed that the speech transmission index STI, and its simplified version RaSTI, are strongly correlated with the early-to-late sound ratio C50 (1 kHz). However, it was found that the criterion value of acceptability of the latter is more easily met than the former. The results from these measurements enable to understand how the characteristics of the architectural design determine the acoustical quality for speech. Measurements of ST1-Gade were made as an attempt to validate it as an objective measure of ''support'' for the actor. The preliminary diagnosing results with ray tracing simulations will also be presented.

  16. EEG oscillations entrain their phase to high-level features of speech sound.

    PubMed

    Zoefel, Benedikt; VanRullen, Rufin

    2016-01-01

    Phase entrainment of neural oscillations, the brain's adjustment to rhythmic stimulation, is a central component in recent theories of speech comprehension: the alignment between brain oscillations and speech sound improves speech intelligibility. However, phase entrainment to everyday speech sound could also be explained by oscillations passively following the low-level periodicities (e.g., in sound amplitude and spectral content) of auditory stimulation-and not by an adjustment to the speech rhythm per se. Recently, using novel speech/noise mixture stimuli, we have shown that behavioral performance can entrain to speech sound even when high-level features (including phonetic information) are not accompanied by fluctuations in sound amplitude and spectral content. In the present study, we report that neural phase entrainment might underlie our behavioral findings. We observed phase-locking between electroencephalogram (EEG) and speech sound in response not only to original (unprocessed) speech but also to our constructed "high-level" speech/noise mixture stimuli. Phase entrainment to original speech and speech/noise sound did not differ in the degree of entrainment, but rather in the actual phase difference between EEG signal and sound. Phase entrainment was not abolished when speech/noise stimuli were presented in reverse (which disrupts semantic processing), indicating that acoustic (rather than linguistic) high-level features play a major role in the observed neural entrainment. Our results provide further evidence for phase entrainment as a potential mechanism underlying speech processing and segmentation, and for the involvement of high-level processes in the adjustment to the rhythm of speech.

  17. Speech-Language Therapy (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Speech-Language Therapy KidsHealth > For Parents > Speech-Language Therapy Print ... with speech and/or language disorders. Speech Disorders, Language Disorders, and Feeding Disorders A speech disorder refers ...

  18. Nature and Nationhood: Danish Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnack, Karsten

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, I shall discuss Danish perspectives on nature, showing the interdependence of conceptions of "nature" and "nationhood" in the formations of a particular cultural community. Nature, thus construed, is never innocent of culture and cannot therefore simply be "restored" to some pristine, pre-lapsarian state. On the other hand,…

  19. Intelligence: Theories and Testing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papanastasiou, Elena C.

    This paper reviews what is known about intelligence and the use of intelligence tests. Environmental and hereditary factors that affect performance on intelligence tests are reviewed, along with various theories that have been proposed about the basis of intelligence. Intelligence tests do not test intelligence per se but make inferences about a…

  20. Communication, Listening, Cognitive and Speech Perception Skills in Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Melanie A.; Hall, Rebecca L.; Riley, Alison; Moore, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Parental reports of communication, listening, and behavior in children receiving a clinical diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI) or auditory processing disorder (APD) were compared with direct tests of intelligence, memory, language, phonology, literacy, and speech intelligibility. The primary aim was to identify whether there…

  1. Inconsistency of speech in children with childhood apraxia of speech, phonological disorders, and typical speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iuzzini, Jenya

    There is a lack of agreement on the features used to differentiate Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) from Phonological Disorders (PD). One criterion which has gained consensus is lexical inconsistency of speech (ASHA, 2007); however, no accepted measure of this feature has been defined. Although lexical assessment provides information about consistency of an item across repeated trials, it may not capture the magnitude of inconsistency within an item. In contrast, segmental analysis provides more extensive information about consistency of phoneme usage across multiple contexts and word-positions. The current research compared segmental and lexical inconsistency metrics in preschool-aged children with PD, CAS, and typical development (TD) to determine how inconsistency varies with age in typical and disordered speakers, and whether CAS and PD were differentiated equally well by both assessment levels. Whereas lexical and segmental analyses may be influenced by listener characteristics or speaker intelligibility, the acoustic signal is less vulnerable to these factors. In addition, the acoustic signal may reveal information which is not evident in the perceptual signal. A second focus of the current research was motivated by Blumstein et al.'s (1980) classic study on voice onset time (VOT) in adults with acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) which demonstrated a motor impairment underlying AOS. In the current study, VOT analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between age and group with the voicing distribution for bilabial and alveolar plosives. Findings revealed that 3-year-olds evidenced significantly higher inconsistency than 5-year-olds; segmental inconsistency approached 0% in 5-year-olds with TD, whereas it persisted in children with PD and CAS suggesting that for child in this age-range, inconsistency is a feature of speech disorder rather than typical development (Holm et al., 2007). Likewise, whereas segmental and lexical inconsistency were

  2. Functional correlates of the speech-in-noise perception impairment in dyslexia: an MRI study.

    PubMed

    Dole, Marjorie; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel

    2014-07-01

    Dyslexia is a language-based neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized as a persistent deficit in reading and spelling. These difficulties have been shown to result from an underlying impairment of the phonological component of language, possibly also affecting speech perception. Although there is little evidence for such a deficit under optimal, quiet listening conditions, speech perception difficulties in adults with dyslexia are often reported under more challenging conditions, such as when speech is masked by noise. Previous studies have shown that these difficulties are more pronounced when the background noise is speech and when little spatial information is available to facilitate differentiation between target and background sound sources. In this study, we investigated the neuroimaging correlates of speech-in-speech perception in typical readers and participants with dyslexia, focusing on the effects of different listening configurations. Fourteen adults with dyslexia and 14 matched typical readers performed a subjective intelligibility rating test with single words presented against concurrent speech during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning. Target words were always presented with a four-talker background in one of three listening configurations: Dichotic, Binaural or Monaural. The results showed that in the Monaural configuration, in which no spatial information was available and energetic masking was maximal, intelligibility was severely decreased in all participants, and this effect was particularly strong in participants with dyslexia. Functional imaging revealed that in this configuration, participants partially compensate for their poorer listening abilities by recruiting several areas in the cerebral networks engaged in speech perception. In the Binaural configuration, participants with dyslexia achieved the same performance level as typical readers, suggesting that they were able to use spatial information when available

  3. Free Speech Yearbook 1977.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phifer, Gregg, Ed.

    The eleven articles in this collection explore various aspects of freedom of speech. Topics include the lack of knowledge on the part of many judges regarding the complex act of communication; the legislatures and free speech in colonial Connecticut and Rhode Island; contributions of sixteenth century Anabaptist heretics to First Amendment…

  4. Illustrated Speech Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shearer, William M.

    Written for students in the fields of speech correction and audiology, the text deals with the following: structures involved in respiration; the skeleton and the processes of inhalation and exhalation; phonation and pitch, the larynx, and esophageal speech; muscles involved in articulation; muscles involved in resonance; and the anatomy of the…

  5. Chief Seattle's Speech Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krupat, Arnold

    2011-01-01

    Indian orators have been saying good-bye for more than three hundred years. John Eliot's "Dying Speeches of Several Indians" (1685), as David Murray notes, inaugurates a long textual history in which "Indians... are most useful dying," or, as in a number of speeches, bidding the world farewell as they embrace an undesired but apparently inevitable…

  6. Free Speech Yearbook 1981.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kane, Peter E., Ed.

    1982-01-01

    The nine articles in this collection deal with theoretical and practical freedom of speech issues. Topics discussed include the following: (1) freedom of expression in Thailand and India; (2) metaphors and analogues in several landmark free speech cases; (3) Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas's views of the First Amendment; (4) the San…

  7. Free Speech Yearbook 1980.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kane, Peter E., Ed.

    The 11 articles in this collection deal with theoretical and practical freedom of speech issues. The topics covered are (1) the United States Supreme Court and communication theory; (2) truth, knowledge, and a democratic respect for diversity; (3) denial of freedom of speech in Jock Yablonski's campaign for the presidency of the United Mine…

  8. Free Speech Yearbook: 1971.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tedford, Thomas L., Editor

    This publication of ten scholarly articles provides perspectives on problems and forces that inhibit freedom of speech. 1) "Freedom of Speech and Change in American Education" suggests that a more communicative society, and increasing academic freedoms, helps schools adapt to social change; 2) "Syllabus and Bibliography for 'Issues in Freedom of…

  9. Free Speech Yearbook 1976.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phifer, Gregg, Ed.

    The articles collected in this annual address several aspects of First Amendment Law. The following titles are included: "Freedom of Speech As an Academic Discipline" (Franklyn S. Haiman), "Free Speech and Foreign-Policy Decision Making" (Douglas N. Freeman), "The Supreme Court and the First Amendment: 1975-1976" (William A. Linsley), "'Arnett v.…

  10. Tracking Speech Sound Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    This article describes a procedure to aid in the clinical appraisal of child speech. The approach, based on the work by Dinnsen, Chin, Elbert, and Powell (1990; Some constraints on functionally disordered phonologies: Phonetic inventories and phonotactics. "Journal of Speech and Hearing Research", 33, 28-37), uses a railway idiom to track gains in…

  11. The Discipline of Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Loren

    1967-01-01

    In spite of the diversity of subjects subsumed under the generic term speech, all areas of this discipline are based on oral communication with its essential elements--voice, action, thought, and language. Speech may be viewed as a community of persons with a common tradition participating in a common dialog, described in part by the memberships…

  12. Free Speech. No. 38.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kane, Peter E., Ed.

    This issue of "Free Speech" contains the following articles: "Daniel Schoor Relieved of Reporting Duties" by Laurence Stern, "The Sellout at CBS" by Michael Harrington, "Defending Dan Schorr" by Tome Wicker, "Speech to the Washington Press Club, February 25, 1976" by Daniel Schorr, "Funds Voted For Schorr Inquiry" by Richard Lyons, "Erosion of the…

  13. Private Speech in Ballet

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Dale

    2006-01-01

    Authoritarian teaching practices in ballet inhibit the use of private speech. This paper highlights the critical importance of private speech in the cognitive development of young ballet students, within what is largely a non-verbal art form. It draws upon research by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and contemporary socioculturalists, to…

  14. Perception of dialect variation in noise: intelligibility and classification.

    PubMed

    Clopper, Cynthia G; Bradlow, Ann R

    2008-01-01

    Listeners can explicitly categorize unfamiliar talkers by regional dialect with above-chance performance under ideal listening conditions. However, the extent to which this important source of variation affects speech processing is largely unknown. In a series of four experiments, we examined the effects of dialect variation on speech intelligibility in noise and the effects of noise on perceptual dialect classification. Results revealed that, on the one hand, dialect-specific differences in speech intelligibility were more pronounced at harder signal-to-noise ratios, but were attenuated under more favorable listening conditions. Listener dialect did not interact with talker dialect; for all listeners, at a range of noise levels, the General American talkers were the most intelligible and the Mid-Atlantic talkers were the least intelligible. Dialect classification performance, on the other hand, was poor even with only moderate amounts of noise. These findings suggest that at moderate noise levels, listeners are able to adapt to dialect variation in the acoustic signal such that some cross-dialect intelligibility differences are neutralized, despite relatively poor explicit dialect classification performance. However, at more difficult noise levels, participants cannot effectively adapt to dialect variation in the acoustic signal and cross-dialect differences in intelligibility emerge for all listeners, regardless of their dialect.

  15. Voice intelligibility in satellite mobile communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wishna, S.

    1973-01-01

    An amplitude control technique is reported that equalizes low level phonemes in a satellite narrow band FM voice communication system over channels having low carrier to noise ratios. This method presents at the transmitter equal amplitude phonemes so that the low level phonemes, when they are transmitted over the noisey channel, are above the noise and contribute to output intelligibility. The amplitude control technique provides also for squelching of noise when speech is not being transmitted.

  16. Encyclopedia of artificial intelligence: 2 Vol. set

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    Drawing on the fields of computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and physiology, this one-volume encyclopedia brings together the core of knowledge on artificial intelligence. It provides an overview of how to program computers to emulate human behavior, offering a wide range of techniques for speech and visual generation, problem-solving and more. Over 250 entries are organized alphabetically, cross-referenced and indexed.

  17. Intelligent Buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, Michael R.; Armstrong, Peter R.; Kintner-Meyer, Michael CW; Pratt, Robert G.; Katipamula, Srinivas

    2001-01-01

    The topic of "intelligent buildings" (IBs) emerged in the early 1980s. Since, the term has been used to represent a variety of related, yet differing topics, each with a slightly different focus and purpose. Wiring and networking-infrastructure companies emphasize the cabling requirements for communication in intelligent buildings and the need to accommodate future needs for higher-speed broadband. Lucent (Lucent 2000) for example, defines an IB as "...one with a completely integrated wiring architecture. A single cabling system that handles all information traffic - voice, data, video, even the big building management systems."

  18. Artificial Intelligence

    SciTech Connect

    Shirai, Y.; Tsujii, Jun-ichi

    1985-01-01

    Based on the Japanese 5th Generation Computer Program, this volume provides coverage of the fundamental concepts and various techniques in the different applications of Artificial Intelligence. Also presented are the methods which can be used to put these concepts and techniques into practice. Explanations are presented of all the basic topics in the field, including the representation of problems; searching techniques; the control of problem solving; programming languages for Al, such as LISP, PLANNER, CONNIVER, and PROLOG; the representation and utilization of knowledge; and the approach to human intelligence.

  19. Intelligent Fasteners

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Under a Small Business Innovation Research contract from Marshall Space Flight Center, Ultrafast, Inc. developed the world's first, high-temperature resistant, "intelligent" fastener. NASA needed a critical-fastening appraisal and validation of spacecraft segments that are coupled together in space. The intelligent-bolt technology deletes the self-defeating procedure of having to untighten the fastener, and thus upset the joint, during inspection and maintenance. The Ultrafast solution yielded an innovation that is likely to revolutionize manufacturing assembly, particularly the automobile industry. Other areas of application range from aircraft, computers and fork-lifts to offshore platforms, buildings, and bridges.

  20. Automatic speech recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espy-Wilson, Carol

    2005-04-01

    Great strides have been made in the development of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology over the past thirty years. Most of this effort has been centered around the extension and improvement of Hidden Markov Model (HMM) approaches to ASR. Current commercially-available and industry systems based on HMMs can perform well for certain situational tasks that restrict variability such as phone dialing or limited voice commands. However, the holy grail of ASR systems is performance comparable to humans-in other words, the ability to automatically transcribe unrestricted conversational speech spoken by an infinite number of speakers under varying acoustic environments. This goal is far from being reached. Key to the success of ASR is effective modeling of variability in the speech signal. This tutorial will review the basics of ASR and the various ways in which our current knowledge of speech production, speech perception and prosody can be exploited to improve robustness at every level of the system.

  1. Physical and perceptual factors shape the neural mechanisms that integrate audiovisual signals in speech comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lee, HweeLing; Noppeney, Uta

    2011-08-01

    Face-to-face communication challenges the human brain to integrate information from auditory and visual senses with linguistic representations. Yet the role of bottom-up physical (spectrotemporal structure) input and top-down linguistic constraints in shaping the neural mechanisms specialized for integrating audiovisual speech signals are currently unknown. Participants were presented with speech and sinewave speech analogs in visual, auditory, and audiovisual modalities. Before the fMRI study, they were trained to perceive physically identical sinewave speech analogs as speech (SWS-S) or nonspeech (SWS-N). Comparing audiovisual integration (interactions) of speech, SWS-S, and SWS-N revealed a posterior-anterior processing gradient within the left superior temporal sulcus/gyrus (STS/STG): Bilateral posterior STS/STG integrated audiovisual inputs regardless of spectrotemporal structure or speech percept; in left mid-STS, the integration profile was primarily determined by the spectrotemporal structure of the signals; more anterior STS regions discarded spectrotemporal structure and integrated audiovisual signals constrained by stimulus intelligibility and the availability of linguistic representations. In addition to this "ventral" processing stream, a "dorsal" circuitry encompassing posterior STS/STG and left inferior frontal gyrus differentially integrated audiovisual speech and SWS signals. Indeed, dynamic causal modeling and Bayesian model comparison provided strong evidence for a parallel processing structure encompassing a ventral and a dorsal stream with speech intelligibility training enhancing the connectivity between posterior and anterior STS/STG. In conclusion, audiovisual speech comprehension emerges in an interactive process with the integration of auditory and visual signals being progressively constrained by stimulus intelligibility along the STS and spectrotemporal structure in a dorsal fronto-temporal circuitry.

  2. Perceptual restoration of degraded speech is preserved with advancing age.

    PubMed

    Saija, Jefta D; Akyürek, Elkan G; Andringa, Tjeerd C; Başkent, Deniz

    2014-02-01

    Cognitive skills, such as processing speed, memory functioning, and the ability to divide attention, are known to diminish with aging. The present study shows that, despite these changes, older adults can successfully compensate for degradations in speech perception. Critically, the older participants of this study were not pre-selected for high performance on cognitive tasks, but only screened for normal hearing. We measured the compensation for speech degradation using phonemic restoration, where intelligibility of degraded speech is enhanced using top-down repair mechanisms. Linguistic knowledge, Gestalt principles of perception, and expectations based on situational and linguistic context are used to effectively fill in the inaudible masked speech portions. A positive compensation effect was previously observed only with young normal hearing people, but not with older hearing-impaired populations, leaving the question whether the lack of compensation was due to aging or due to age-related hearing problems. Older participants in the present study showed poorer intelligibility of degraded speech than the younger group, as expected from previous reports of aging effects. However, in conditions that induce top-down restoration, a robust compensation was observed. Speech perception by the older group was enhanced, and the enhancement effect was similar to that observed with the younger group. This effect was even stronger with slowed-down speech, which gives more time for cognitive processing. Based on previous research, the likely explanations for these observations are that older adults can overcome age-related cognitive deterioration by relying on linguistic skills and vocabulary that they have accumulated over their lifetime. Alternatively, or simultaneously, they may use different cerebral activation patterns or exert more mental effort. This positive finding on top-down restoration skills by the older individuals suggests that new cognitive training methods

  3. Perceptual restoration of degraded speech is preserved with advancing age.

    PubMed

    Saija, Jefta D; Akyürek, Elkan G; Andringa, Tjeerd C; Başkent, Deniz

    2014-02-01

    Cognitive skills, such as processing speed, memory functioning, and the ability to divide attention, are known to diminish with aging. The present study shows that, despite these changes, older adults can successfully compensate for degradations in speech perception. Critically, the older participants of this study were not pre-selected for high performance on cognitive tasks, but only screened for normal hearing. We measured the compensation for speech degradation using phonemic restoration, where intelligibility of degraded speech is enhanced using top-down repair mechanisms. Linguistic knowledge, Gestalt principles of perception, and expectations based on situational and linguistic context are used to effectively fill in the inaudible masked speech portions. A positive compensation effect was previously observed only with young normal hearing people, but not with older hearing-impaired populations, leaving the question whether the lack of compensation was due to aging or due to age-related hearing problems. Older participants in the present study showed poorer intelligibility of degraded speech than the younger group, as expected from previous reports of aging effects. However, in conditions that induce top-down restoration, a robust compensation was observed. Speech perception by the older group was enhanced, and the enhancement effect was similar to that observed with the younger group. This effect was even stronger with slowed-down speech, which gives more time for cognitive processing. Based on previous research, the likely explanations for these observations are that older adults can overcome age-related cognitive deterioration by relying on linguistic skills and vocabulary that they have accumulated over their lifetime. Alternatively, or simultaneously, they may use different cerebral activation patterns or exert more mental effort. This positive finding on top-down restoration skills by the older individuals suggests that new cognitive training methods

  4. Plant intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Lipavská, Helena; Žárský, Viktor

    2009-01-01

    The concept of plant intelligence, as proposed by Anthony Trewavas, has raised considerable discussion. However, plant intelligence remains loosely defined; often it is either perceived as practically synonymous to Darwinian fitness, or reduced to a mere decorative metaphor. A more strict view can be taken, emphasizing necessary prerequisites such as memory and learning, which requires clarifying the definition of memory itself. To qualify as memories, traces of past events have to be not only stored, but also actively accessed. We propose a criterion for eliminating false candidates of possible plant intelligence phenomena in this stricter sense: an “intelligent” behavior must involve a component that can be approximated by a plausible algorithmic model involving recourse to stored information about past states of the individual or its environment. Re-evaluation of previously presented examples of plant intelligence shows that only some of them pass our test. “You were hurt?” Kumiko said, looking at the scar. Sally looked down. “Yeah.” “Why didn't you have it removed?” “Sometimes it's good to remember.” “Being hurt?” “Being stupid.”—(W. Gibson: Mona Lisa Overdrive) PMID:19816094

  5. Civic Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathews, David

    1985-01-01

    Social studies must educate students to be socially responsible, civically competent persons. In addition to encouraging civic literacy, civic values, and civic skill, teachers need to help students develop civic-mindedness. The objective of the NCSS' National Issues Forum in the Classroom Project is to develop students' civic intelligence. (RM)

  6. Intelligence Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monaghan, Peter

    2009-01-01

    To make an academic study of matters inherently secret and potentially explosive seems a tall task. But a growing number of scholars are drawn to understanding spycraft. The interdisciplinary field of intelligence studies is mushrooming, as scholars trained in history, international studies, and political science examine such subjects as the…

  7. SPEECH FRIGHT IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ITS RELATIONSHIP TO SPEECH ABILITY AND ITS POSSIBLE IMPLICATION FOR SPEECH READINESS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    SHAW, IRWIN

    THE RELATIONSHIP OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' SPEECH FRIGHT TO THEIR SPEECH ABILITY, SPEECH ATTITUDES, AND SPEECH READINESS WAS STUDIED. SURVEYS WERE CONDUCTED AND DESCRIPTIVE DATA WERE COLLECTED ON SPEECH FRIGHT LEVELS AND SPEECH ABILITY OF 1,166 STUDENTS IN SELECTED ELEMENTARY GRADES. ATTITUDES OF TEACHERS TOWARD SPEECH FRIGHT WERE ALSO…

  8. Audibility-based predictions of speech recognition for children and adults with normal hearing

    PubMed Central

    McCreery, Ryan W.; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between audibility and predictions of speech recognition for children and adults with normal hearing. The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) is used to quantify the audibility of speech signals and can be applied to transfer functions to predict speech recognition scores. Although the SII is used clinically with children, relatively few studies have evaluated SII predictions of children’s speech recognition directly. Children have required more audibility than adults to reach maximum levels of speech understanding in previous studies. Furthermore, children may require greater bandwidth than adults for optimal speech understanding, which could influence frequency-importance functions used to calculate the SII. Speech recognition was measured for 116 children and 19 adults with normal hearing. Stimulus bandwidth and background noise level were varied systematically in order to evaluate speech recognition as predicted by the SII and derive frequency-importance functions for children and adults. Results suggested that children required greater audibility to reach the same level of speech understanding as adults. However, differences in performance between adults and children did not vary across frequency bands. PMID:22225061

  9. Audibility-based predictions of speech recognition for children and adults with normal hearing.

    PubMed

    McCreery, Ryan W; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G

    2011-12-01

    This study investigated the relationship between audibility and predictions of speech recognition for children and adults with normal hearing. The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) is used to quantify the audibility of speech signals and can be applied to transfer functions to predict speech recognition scores. Although the SII is used clinically with children, relatively few studies have evaluated SII predictions of children's speech recognition directly. Children have required more audibility than adults to reach maximum levels of speech understanding in previous studies. Furthermore, children may require greater bandwidth than adults for optimal speech understanding, which could influence frequency-importance functions used to calculate the SII. Speech recognition was measured for 116 children and 19 adults with normal hearing. Stimulus bandwidth and background noise level were varied systematically in order to evaluate speech recognition as predicted by the SII and derive frequency-importance functions for children and adults. Results suggested that children required greater audibility to reach the same level of speech understanding as adults. However, differences in performance between adults and children did not vary across frequency bands.

  10. Speech Correction in the Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenson, Jon; Ogilvie, Mardel

    An introduction to the problems and therapeutic needs of school age children whose speech requires remedial attention, the text is intended for both the classroom teacher and the speech correctionist. General considerations include classification and incidence of speech defects, speech correction services, the teacher as a speaker, the mechanism…

  11. Sperry Univac speech communications technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Medress, Mark F.

    1977-01-01

    Technology and systems for effective verbal communication with computers were developed. A continuous speech recognition system for verbal input, a word spotting system to locate key words in conversational speech, prosodic tools to aid speech analysis, and a prerecorded voice response system for speech output are described.

  12. Voice and Speech after Laryngectomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stajner-Katusic, Smiljka; Horga, Damir; Musura, Maja; Globlek, Dubravka

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the investigation is to compare voice and speech quality in alaryngeal patients using esophageal speech (ESOP, eight subjects), electroacoustical speech aid (EACA, six subjects) and tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis (TEVP, three subjects). The subjects reading a short story were recorded in the sound-proof booth and the speech samples…

  13. Environmental Contamination of Normal Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harley, Trevor A.

    1990-01-01

    Environmentally contaminated speech errors (irrelevant words or phrases derived from the speaker's environment and erroneously incorporated into speech) are hypothesized to occur at a high level of speech processing, but with a relatively late insertion point. The data indicate that speech production processes are not independent of other…

  14. Speech privacy and annoyance considerations in the acoustic environment of passenger cars of high-speed trains.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jin Yong; Hong, Joo Young; Jang, Hyung Suk; Kim, Jae Hyeon

    2015-12-01

    It is necessary to consider not only annoyance of interior noises but also speech privacy to achieve acoustic comfort in a passenger car of a high-speed train because speech from other passengers can be annoying. This study aimed to explore an optimal acoustic environment to satisfy speech privacy and reduce annoyance in a passenger car. Two experiments were conducted using speech sources and compartment noise of a high speed train with varying speech-to-noise ratios (SNRA) and background noise levels (BNL). Speech intelligibility was tested in experiment I, and in experiment II, perceived speech privacy, annoyance, and acoustic comfort of combined sounds with speech and background noise were assessed. The results show that speech privacy and annoyance were significantly influenced by the SNRA. In particular, the acoustic comfort was evaluated as acceptable when the SNRA was less than -6 dB for both speech privacy and noise annoyance. In addition, annoyance increased significantly as the BNL exceeded 63 dBA, whereas the effect of the background-noise level on the speech privacy was not significant. These findings suggest that an optimal level of interior noise in a passenger car might exist between 59 and 63 dBA, taking normal speech levels into account.

  15. Aging and Spectro-Temporal Integration of Speech

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Heather L.; Buss, Emily

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of age on the spectro-temporal integration of speech. The hypothesis was that the integration of speech fragments distributed over frequency, time, and ear of presentation is reduced in older listeners—even for those with good audiometric hearing. Younger, middle-aged, and older listeners (10 per group) with good audiometric hearing participated. They were each tested under seven conditions that encompassed combinations of spectral, temporal, and binaural integration. Sentences were filtered into two bands centered at 500 Hz and 2500 Hz, with criterion bandwidth tailored for each participant. In some conditions, the speech bands were individually square wave interrupted at a rate of 10 Hz. Configurations of uninterrupted, synchronously interrupted, and asynchronously interrupted frequency bands were constructed that constituted speech fragments distributed across frequency, time, and ear of presentation. The over-arching finding was that, for most configurations, performance was not differentially affected by listener age. Although speech intelligibility varied across condition, there was no evidence of performance deficits in older listeners in any condition. This study indicates that age, per se, does not necessarily undermine the ability to integrate fragments of speech dispersed across frequency and time. PMID:27742880

  16. Portable Speech Synthesizer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leibfritz, Gilbert H.; Larson, Howard K.

    1987-01-01

    Compact speech synthesizer useful traveling companion to speech-handicapped. User simply enters statement on board, and synthesizer converts statement into spoken words. Battery-powered and housed in briefcase, easily carried on trips. Unit used on telephones and face-to-face communication. Synthesizer consists of micro-computer with memory-expansion module, speech-synthesizer circuit, batteries, recharger, dc-to-dc converter, and telephone amplifier. Components, commercially available, fit neatly in 17-by 13-by 5-in. briefcase. Weighs about 20 lb (9 kg) and operates and recharges from ac receptable.

  17. Danish North Sea crude assayed

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, A.K.

    1994-09-12

    Danish North Sea blend was assayed earlier this year. The light, sweet crude comprises crude oil from 10 fields. The crude is piped from offshore production facilities to the A/S Dansk Shell refinery at Fredericia, Denmark. Fig. 1 shows the boiling point curve for the crude, and Fig. 2 illustrates the metals content (vanadium, nickel, and iron), as a function of distillation temperature. The table lists properties of the crude and its fractions.

  18. Consistency of Sentence Intelligibility across Difficult Listening Situations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Healy, Eric W.; Montgomery, Allen A.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The extent to which a sentence retains its level of spoken intelligibility relative to other sentences in a list under a variety of difficult listening situations was examined. Method: The strength of this "sentence effect" was studied using the Central Institute for the Deaf Everyday Speech sentences and both generalizability analysis…

  19. Effects of Lexical Tone Contour on Mandarin Sentence Intelligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Fei; Wong, Lena L. N.; Hu, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the effects of lexical tone contour on the intelligibility of Mandarin sentences in quiet and in noise. Method: A text-to-speech synthesis engine was used to synthesize Mandarin sentences with each word carrying the original lexical tone, flat tone, or a tone randomly selected from the 4 Mandarin lexical tones. The…

  20. Predicting the intelligibility of vocoded and wideband Mandarin Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fei; Loizou, Philipos C.

    2011-01-01

    Due to the limited number of cochlear implantees speaking Mandarin Chinese, it is extremely difficult to evaluate new speech coding algorithms designed for tonal languages. Access to an intelligibility index that could reliably predict the intelligibility of vocoded (and non-vocoded) Mandarin Chinese is a viable solution to address this challenge. The speech-transmission index (STI) and coherence-based intelligibility measures, among others, have been examined extensively for predicting the intelligibility of English speech but have not been evaluated for vocoded or wideband (non-vocoded) Mandarin speech despite the perceptual differences between the two languages. The results indicated that the coherence-based measures seem to be influenced by the characteristics of the spoken language. The highest correlation (r= 0.91–0.97) was obtained in Mandarin Chinese with a weighted coherence measure that included primarily information from high-intensity voiced segments (e.g., vowels) containing F0 information, known to be important for lexical tone recognition. In contrast, in English, highest correlation was obtained with a coherence measure that included information from weak consonants and vowel∕consonant transitions. A band-importance function was proposed that captured information about the amplitude envelope contour. A higher modulation rate (100 Hz) was found necessary for the STI-based measures for maximum correlation (r = 0.94–0.96) with vocoded Mandarin and English recognition. PMID:21568429

  1. Multi-channel spatial auditory display for speech communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begault, Durand; Erbe, Tom

    1993-10-01

    A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA-Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA, against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 to 7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  2. Multi-channel spatial auditory display for speech communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand; Erbe, Tom

    1993-01-01

    A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA-Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA, against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30 deg azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 to 7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60 deg or 90 deg azimuth positions.

  3. The Role of High-Level Processes for Oscillatory Phase Entrainment to Speech Sound.

    PubMed

    Zoefel, Benedikt; VanRullen, Rufin

    2015-01-01

    Constantly bombarded with input, the brain has the need to filter out relevant information while ignoring the irrelevant rest. A powerful tool may be represented by neural oscillations which entrain their high-excitability phase to important input while their low-excitability phase attenuates irrelevant information. Indeed, the alignment between brain oscillations and speech improves intelligibility and helps dissociating speakers during a "cocktail party". Although well-investigated, the contribution of low- and high-level processes to phase entrainment to speech sound has only recently begun to be understood. Here, we review those findings, and concentrate on three main results: (1) Phase entrainment to speech sound is modulated by attention or predictions, likely supported by top-down signals and indicating higher-level processes involved in the brain's adjustment to speech. (2) As phase entrainment to speech can be observed without systematic fluctuations in sound amplitude or spectral content, it does not only reflect a passive steady-state "ringing" of the cochlea, but entails a higher-level process. (3) The role of intelligibility for phase entrainment is debated. Recent results suggest that intelligibility modulates the behavioral consequences of entrainment, rather than directly affecting the strength of entrainment in auditory regions. We conclude that phase entrainment to speech reflects a sophisticated mechanism: several high-level processes interact to optimally align neural oscillations with predicted events of high relevance, even when they are hidden in a continuous stream of background noise. PMID:26696863

  4. Taste and speech following surgical tongue reduction in children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

    PubMed

    Maas, Saskia M; Kadouch, Daniel J; Masselink, Anne-Claire C M; Van Der Horst, Chantal M A M

    2016-06-01

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth disorder in which macroglossia is one of the main signs. We investigated the long-term outcome of tongue surgery reduction (TRS) on taste and speech in patients with BWS who were more than 5 years of age and had undergone surgical anterior wedge resection of the tongue. A questionnaire was used to assess medical history and to determine some aspects of speech, taste, psychological well-being, and degree of satisfaction with regard to TRS and tongue mobility. Speech sound error pattern and degree of intelligibility were measured by a speech therapist, and taste was assessed using a validated test. The degree of both intelligibility and satisfaction with the surgery was high. There were some speech errors; especially the interdental 's', addental 't', and addental 'd' were more noticed. We conclude that anterior wedge resection is an effective technique to treat macroglossia in children with BWS, and that it has no long-term consequences for intelligibility and taste perception and only limited consequences for speech. PMID:27052941

  5. The Role of High-Level Processes for Oscillatory Phase Entrainment to Speech Sound

    PubMed Central

    Zoefel, Benedikt; VanRullen, Rufin

    2015-01-01

    Constantly bombarded with input, the brain has the need to filter out relevant information while ignoring the irrelevant rest. A powerful tool may be represented by neural oscillations which entrain their high-excitability phase to important input while their low-excitability phase attenuates irrelevant information. Indeed, the alignment between brain oscillations and speech improves intelligibility and helps dissociating speakers during a “cocktail party”. Although well-investigated, the contribution of low- and high-level processes to phase entrainment to speech sound has only recently begun to be understood. Here, we review those findings, and concentrate on three main results: (1) Phase entrainment to speech sound is modulated by attention or predictions, likely supported by top-down signals and indicating higher-level processes involved in the brain’s adjustment to speech. (2) As phase entrainment to speech can be observed without systematic fluctuations in sound amplitude or spectral content, it does not only reflect a passive steady-state “ringing” of the cochlea, but entails a higher-level process. (3) The role of intelligibility for phase entrainment is debated. Recent results suggest that intelligibility modulates the behavioral consequences of entrainment, rather than directly affecting the strength of entrainment in auditory regions. We conclude that phase entrainment to speech reflects a sophisticated mechanism: several high-level processes interact to optimally align neural oscillations with predicted events of high relevance, even when they are hidden in a continuous stream of background noise. PMID:26696863

  6. Perceptual effects of noise reduction by time-frequency masking of noisy speech.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    Time-frequency masking is a method for noise reduction that is based on the time-frequency representation of a speech in noise signal. Depending on the estimated signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), each time-frequency unit is either attenuated or not. A special type of a time-frequency mask is the ideal binary mask (IBM), which has access to the real SNR (ideal). The IBM either retains or removes each time-frequency unit (binary mask). The IBM provides large improvements in speech intelligibility and is a valuable tool for investigating how different factors influence intelligibility. This study extends the standard outcome measure (speech intelligibility) with additional perceptual measures relevant for noise reduction: listening effort, noise annoyance, speech naturalness, and overall preference. Four types of time-frequency masking were evaluated: the original IBM, a tempered version of the IBM (called ITM) which applies limited and non-binary attenuation, and non-ideal masking (also tempered) with two different types of noise-estimation algorithms. The results from ideal masking imply that there is a trade-off between intelligibility and sound quality, which depends on the attenuation strength. Additionally, the results for non-ideal masking suggest that subjective measures can show effects of noise reduction even if noise reduction does not lead to differences in intelligibility.

  7. Team B Intelligence Coups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Gordon R.

    2006-01-01

    The 2003 Iraq prewar intelligence failure was not simply a case of the U.S. intelligence community providing flawed data to policy-makers. It also involved subversion of the competitive intelligence analysis process, where unofficial intelligence boutiques "stovepiped" misleading intelligence assessments directly to policy-makers and undercut…

  8. Speech and Communication Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... or understand speech. Causes include Hearing disorders and deafness Voice problems, such as dysphonia or those caused ... language therapy can help. NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

  9. Artificial Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, David R; Palacios-González, César; Harris, John

    2016-04-01

    It seems natural to think that the same prudential and ethical reasons for mutual respect and tolerance that one has vis-à-vis other human persons would hold toward newly encountered paradigmatic but nonhuman biological persons. One also tends to think that they would have similar reasons for treating we humans as creatures that count morally in our own right. This line of thought transcends biological boundaries-namely, with regard to artificially (super)intelligent persons-but is this a safe assumption? The issue concerns ultimate moral significance: the significance possessed by human persons, persons from other planets, and hypothetical nonorganic persons in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). This article investigates why our possible relations to AI persons could be more complicated than they first might appear, given that they might possess a radically different nature to us, to the point that civilized or peaceful coexistence in a determinate geographical space could be impossible to achieve.

  10. Artificial Intelligence.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, David R; Palacios-González, César; Harris, John

    2016-04-01

    It seems natural to think that the same prudential and ethical reasons for mutual respect and tolerance that one has vis-à-vis other human persons would hold toward newly encountered paradigmatic but nonhuman biological persons. One also tends to think that they would have similar reasons for treating we humans as creatures that count morally in our own right. This line of thought transcends biological boundaries-namely, with regard to artificially (super)intelligent persons-but is this a safe assumption? The issue concerns ultimate moral significance: the significance possessed by human persons, persons from other planets, and hypothetical nonorganic persons in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). This article investigates why our possible relations to AI persons could be more complicated than they first might appear, given that they might possess a radically different nature to us, to the point that civilized or peaceful coexistence in a determinate geographical space could be impossible to achieve. PMID:26957450

  11. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  12. Research in speech communication.

    PubMed Central

    Flanagan, J

    1995-01-01

    Advances in digital speech processing are now supporting application and deployment of a variety of speech technologies for human/machine communication. In fact, new businesses are rapidly forming about these technologies. But these capabilities are of little use unless society can afford them. Happily, explosive advances in microelectronics over the past two decades have assured affordable access to this sophistication as well as to the underlying computing technology. The research challenges in speech processing remain in the traditionally identified areas of recognition, synthesis, and coding. These three areas have typically been addressed individually, often with significant isolation among the efforts. But they are all facets of the same fundamental issue--how to represent and quantify the information in the speech signal. This implies deeper understanding of the physics of speech production, the constraints that the conventions of language impose, and the mechanism for information processing in the auditory system. In ongoing research, therefore, we seek more accurate models of speech generation, better computational formulations of language, and realistic perceptual guides for speech processing--along with ways to coalesce the fundamental issues of recognition, synthesis, and coding. Successful solution will yield the long-sought dictation machine, high-quality synthesis from text, and the ultimate in low bit-rate transmission of speech. It will also open the door to language-translating telephony, where the synthetic foreign translation can be in the voice of the originating talker. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 5 Fig. 8 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 PMID:7479806

  13. Auditory speech preprocessors

    SciTech Connect

    Zweig, G.

    1989-01-01

    A nonlinear transmission line model of the cochlea (Zweig 1988) is proposed as the basis for a novel speech preprocessor. Sounds of different intensities, such as voiced and unvoiced speech, are preprocessed in radically different ways. The Q's of the preprocessor's nonlinear filters vary with input amplitude, higher Q's (longer integration times) corresponding to quieter sounds. Like the cochlea, the preprocessor acts as a ''subthreshold laser'' that traps and amplifies low level signals, thereby aiding in their detection and analysis. 17 refs.

  14. Computer-generated speech

    SciTech Connect

    Aimthikul, Y.

    1981-12-01

    This thesis reviews the essential aspects of speech synthesis and distinguishes between the two prevailing techniques: compressed digital speech and phonemic synthesis. It then presents the hardware details of the five speech modules evaluated. FORTRAN programs were written to facilitate message creation and retrieval with four of the modules driven by a PDP-11 minicomputer. The fifth module was driven directly by a computer terminal. The compressed digital speech modules (T.I. 990/306, T.S.I. Series 3D and N.S. Digitalker) each contain a limited vocabulary produced by the manufacturers while both the phonemic synthesizers made by Votrax permit an almost unlimited set of sounds and words. A text-to-phoneme rules program was adapted for the PDP-11 (running under the RSX-11M operating system) to drive the Votrax Speech Pac module. However, the Votrax Type'N Talk unit has its own built-in translator. Comparison of these modules revealed that the compressed digital speech modules were superior in pronouncing words on an individual basis but lacked the inflection capability that permitted the phonemic synthesizers to generate more coherent phrases. These findings were necessarily highly subjective and dependent on the specific words and phrases studied. In addition, the rapid introduction of new modules by manufacturers will necessitate new comparisons. However, the results of this research verified that all of the modules studied do possess reasonable quality of speech that is suitable for man-machine applications. Furthermore, the development tools are now in place to permit the addition of computer speech output in such applications.

  15. Exploring expressivity and emotion with artificial voice and speech technologies.

    PubMed

    Pauletto, Sandra; Balentine, Bruce; Pidcock, Chris; Jones, Kevin; Bottaci, Leonardo; Aretoulaki, Maria; Wells, Jez; Mundy, Darren P; Balentine, James

    2013-10-01

    Emotion in audio-voice signals, as synthesized by text-to-speech (TTS) technologies, was investigated to formulate a theory of expression for user interface design. Emotional parameters were specified with markup tags, and the resulting audio was further modulated with post-processing techniques. Software was then developed to link a selected TTS synthesizer with an automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine, producing a chatbot that could speak and listen. Using these two artificial voice subsystems, investigators explored both artistic and psychological implications of artificial speech emotion. Goals of the investigation were interdisciplinary, with interest in musical composition, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), commercial voice announcement applications, human-computer interaction (HCI), and artificial intelligence (AI). The work-in-progress points towards an emerging interdisciplinary ontology for artificial voices. As one study output, HCI tools are proposed for future collaboration.

  16. Exploring expressivity and emotion with artificial voice and speech technologies.

    PubMed

    Pauletto, Sandra; Balentine, Bruce; Pidcock, Chris; Jones, Kevin; Bottaci, Leonardo; Aretoulaki, Maria; Wells, Jez; Mundy, Darren P; Balentine, James

    2013-10-01

    Emotion in audio-voice signals, as synthesized by text-to-speech (TTS) technologies, was investigated to formulate a theory of expression for user interface design. Emotional parameters were specified with markup tags, and the resulting audio was further modulated with post-processing techniques. Software was then developed to link a selected TTS synthesizer with an automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine, producing a chatbot that could speak and listen. Using these two artificial voice subsystems, investigators explored both artistic and psychological implications of artificial speech emotion. Goals of the investigation were interdisciplinary, with interest in musical composition, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), commercial voice announcement applications, human-computer interaction (HCI), and artificial intelligence (AI). The work-in-progress points towards an emerging interdisciplinary ontology for artificial voices. As one study output, HCI tools are proposed for future collaboration. PMID:24024543

  17. Towards personalized speech synthesis for augmentative and alternative communication.

    PubMed

    Mills, Timothy; Bunnell, H Timothy; Patel, Rupal

    2014-09-01

    Text-to-speech options on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices are limited. Often, several individuals in a group setting use the same synthetic voice. This lack of customization may limit technology adoption and social integration. This paper describes our efforts to generate personalized synthesis for users with profoundly limited speech motor control. Existing voice banking and voice conversion techniques rely on recordings of clearly articulated speech from the target talker, which cannot be obtained from this population. Our VocaliD approach extracts prosodic properties from the target talker's source function and applies these features to a surrogate talker's database, generating a synthetic voice with the vocal identity of the target talker and the clarity of the surrogate talker. Promising intelligibility results suggest areas of further development for improved personalization. PMID:25025818

  18. Removal of noise from noise-degraded speech signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1989-06-01

    Techniques for the removal of noise from noise-degraded speech signals were reviewed and evaluation with special emphasis on live radio and telephone communications and the extraction of information from similar noisy recordings. The related area on the development of speech-enhancement devices for hearing-impaired people was reviewed. Evaluation techniques were reviewed to determine their suitability, particularly for the assessment of changes in the performance of workers who might use noise-reduction equipments on a daily basis in the applications cited above. The main conclusion was that noise-reduction methods may be useful in improving the performance of human operators who extract information from noisy speech material despite a lack of improvement found in using conventional closed-response intelligibility tests to assess those methods.

  19. Intelligent Tutor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    NASA also seeks to advance American education by employing the technology utilization process to develop a computerized, artificial intelligence-based Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) to help high school and college physics students. The tutoring system is designed for use with the lecture and laboratory portions of a typical physics instructional program. Its importance lies in its ability to observe continually as a student develops problem solutions and to intervene when appropriate with assistance specifically directed at the student's difficulty and tailored to his skill level and learning style. ITS originated as a project of the Johnson Space Center (JSC). It is being developed by JSC's Software Technology Branch in cooperation with Dr. R. Bowen Loftin at the University of Houston-Downtown. Program is jointly sponsored by NASA and ACOT (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow). Other organizations providing support include Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the National Research Council, Pennzoil Products Company and the George R. Brown Foundation. The Physics I class of Clear Creek High School, League City, Texas are providing the classroom environment for test and evaluation of the system. The ITS is a spinoff product developed earlier to integrate artificial intelligence into training/tutoring systems for NASA astronauts flight controllers and engineers.

  20. High-frequency energy in singing and speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monson, Brian Bruce

    While human speech and the human voice generate acoustical energy up to (and beyond) 20 kHz, the energy above approximately 5 kHz has been largely neglected. Evidence is accruing that this high-frequency energy contains perceptual information relevant to speech and voice, including percepts of quality, localization, and intelligibility. The present research was an initial step in the long-range goal of characterizing high-frequency energy in singing voice and speech, with particular regard for its perceptual role and its potential for modification during voice and speech production. In this study, a database of high-fidelity recordings of talkers was created and used for a broad acoustical analysis and general characterization of high-frequency energy, as well as specific characterization of phoneme category, voice and speech intensity level, and mode of production (speech versus singing) by high-frequency energy content. Directionality of radiation of high-frequency energy from the mouth was also examined. The recordings were used for perceptual experiments wherein listeners were asked to discriminate between speech and voice samples that differed only in high-frequency energy content. Listeners were also subjected to gender discrimination tasks, mode-of-production discrimination tasks, and transcription tasks with samples of speech and singing that contained only high-frequency content. The combination of these experiments has revealed that (1) human listeners are able to detect very subtle level changes in high-frequency energy, and (2) human listeners are able to extract significant perceptual information from high-frequency energy.