Ingvalson, Erin M; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Wong, Patrick C M; Liu, Hanjun
Working memory capacity has been linked to performance on many higher cognitive tasks, including the ability to perceive speech in noise. Current efforts to train working memory have demonstrated that working memory performance can be improved, suggesting that working memory training may lead to improved speech perception in noise. A further advantage of working memory training to improve speech perception in noise is that working memory training materials are often simple, such as letters or digits, making them easily translatable across languages. The current effort tested the hypothesis that working memory training would be associated with improved speech perception in noise and that materials would easily translate across languages. Native Mandarin Chinese and native English speakers completed ten days of reversed digit span training. Reading span and speech perception in noise both significantly improved following training, whereas untrained controls showed no gains. These data suggest that working memory training may be used to improve listeners' speech perception in noise and that the materials may be quickly adapted to a wide variety of listeners.
Başkent, Deniz; Gaudrain, Etienne
Evidence for transfer of musical training to better perception of speech in noise has been mixed. Unlike speech-in-noise, speech-on-speech perception utilizes many of the skills that musical training improves, such as better pitch perception and stream segregation, as well as use of higher-level
Srinivasan, Arthi G; Padilla, Monica; Shannon, Robert V; Landsberger, David M
Cochlear implant (CI) users typically have excellent speech recognition in quiet but struggle with understanding speech in noise. It is thought that broad current spread from stimulating electrodes causes adjacent electrodes to activate overlapping populations of neurons which results in interactions across adjacent channels. Current focusing has been studied as a way to reduce spread of excitation, and therefore, reduce channel interactions. In particular, partial tripolar stimulation has been shown to reduce spread of excitation relative to monopolar stimulation. However, the crucial question is whether this benefit translates to improvements in speech perception. In this study, we compared speech perception in noise with experimental monopolar and partial tripolar speech processing strategies. The two strategies were matched in terms of number of active electrodes, microphone, filterbanks, stimulation rate and loudness (although both strategies used a lower stimulation rate than typical clinical strategies). The results of this study showed a significant improvement in speech perception in noise with partial tripolar stimulation. All subjects benefited from the current focused speech processing strategy. There was a mean improvement in speech recognition threshold of 2.7 dB in a digits in noise task and a mean improvement of 3 dB in a sentences in noise task with partial tripolar stimulation relative to monopolar stimulation. Although the experimental monopolar strategy was worse than the clinical, presumably due to different microphones, frequency allocations and stimulation rates, the experimental partial-tripolar strategy, which had the same changes, showed no acute deficit relative to the clinical. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mantokoudis, Georgios; Dähler, Claudia; Dubach, Patrick; Kompis, Martin; Caversaccio, Marco D.; Senn, Pascal
Objective To analyze speech reading through Internet video calls by profoundly hearing-impaired individuals and cochlear implant (CI) users. Methods Speech reading skills of 14 deaf adults and 21 CI users were assessed using the Hochmair Schulz Moser (HSM) sentence test. We presented video simulations using different video resolutions (1280×720, 640×480, 320×240, 160×120 px), frame rates (30, 20, 10, 7, 5 frames per second (fps)), speech velocities (three different speakers), webcameras (Logitech Pro9000, C600 and C500) and image/sound delays (0–500 ms). All video simulations were presented with and without sound and in two screen sizes. Additionally, scores for live Skype™ video connection and live face-to-face communication were assessed. Results Higher frame rate (>7 fps), higher camera resolution (>640×480 px) and shorter picture/sound delay (<100 ms) were associated with increased speech perception scores. Scores were strongly dependent on the speaker but were not influenced by physical properties of the camera optics or the full screen mode. There is a significant median gain of +8.5%pts (p = 0.009) in speech perception for all 21 CI-users if visual cues are additionally shown. CI users with poor open set speech perception scores (n = 11) showed the greatest benefit under combined audio-visual presentation (median speech perception +11.8%pts, p = 0.032). Conclusion Webcameras have the potential to improve telecommunication of hearing-impaired individuals. PMID:23359119
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To analyze speech reading through Internet video calls by profoundly hearing-impaired individuals and cochlear implant (CI users. METHODS: Speech reading skills of 14 deaf adults and 21 CI users were assessed using the Hochmair Schulz Moser (HSM sentence test. We presented video simulations using different video resolutions (1280 × 720, 640 × 480, 320 × 240, 160 × 120 px, frame rates (30, 20, 10, 7, 5 frames per second (fps, speech velocities (three different speakers, webcameras (Logitech Pro9000, C600 and C500 and image/sound delays (0-500 ms. All video simulations were presented with and without sound and in two screen sizes. Additionally, scores for live Skype™ video connection and live face-to-face communication were assessed. RESULTS: Higher frame rate (>7 fps, higher camera resolution (>640 × 480 px and shorter picture/sound delay (<100 ms were associated with increased speech perception scores. Scores were strongly dependent on the speaker but were not influenced by physical properties of the camera optics or the full screen mode. There is a significant median gain of +8.5%pts (p = 0.009 in speech perception for all 21 CI-users if visual cues are additionally shown. CI users with poor open set speech perception scores (n = 11 showed the greatest benefit under combined audio-visual presentation (median speech perception +11.8%pts, p = 0.032. CONCLUSION: Webcameras have the potential to improve telecommunication of hearing-impaired individuals.
Cheng, Xiaoting; Liu, Yangwenyi; Shu, Yilai; Tao, Duo-Duo; Wang, Bing; Yuan, Yasheng; Galvin, John J; Fu, Qian-Jie; Chen, Bing
Due to limited spectral resolution, cochlear implants (CIs) do not convey pitch information very well. Pitch cues are important for perception of music and tonal language; it is possible that music training may improve performance in both listening tasks. In this study, we investigated music training outcomes in terms of perception of music, lexical tones, and sentences in 22 young (4.8 to 9.3 years old), prelingually deaf Mandarin-speaking CI users. Music perception was measured using a melodic contour identification (MCI) task. Speech perception was measured for lexical tones and sentences presented in quiet. Subjects received 8 weeks of MCI training using pitch ranges not used for testing. Music and speech perception were measured at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after training was begun; follow-up measures were made 4 weeks after training was stopped. Mean baseline performance was 33.2%, 76.9%, and 45.8% correct for MCI, lexical tone recognition, and sentence recognition, respectively. After 8 weeks of MCI training, mean performance significantly improved by 22.9, 14.4, and 14.5 percentage points for MCI, lexical tone recognition, and sentence recognition, respectively ( p music and speech performance. The results suggest that music training can significantly improve pediatric Mandarin-speaking CI users' music and speech perception.
Shahin, Antoine J
Does musical training affect our perception of speech? For example, does learning to play a musical instrument modify the neural circuitry for auditory processing in a way that improves one's ability to perceive speech more clearly in noisy environments? If so, can speech perception in individuals with hearing loss (HL), who struggle in noisy situations, benefit from musical training? While music and speech exhibit some specialization in neural processing, there is evidence suggesting that skills acquired through musical training for specific acoustical processes may transfer to, and thereby improve, speech perception. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the influence of musical training on speech processing and the extent of this influence remains a rich area to be explored. A prerequisite for such transfer is the facilitation of greater neurophysiological overlap between speech and music processing following musical training. This review first establishes a neurophysiological link between musical training and speech perception, and subsequently provides further hypotheses on the neurophysiological implications of musical training on speech perception in adverse acoustical environments and in individuals with HL.
Borrie, Stephanie A; Lansford, Kaitlin L; Barrett, Tyson S
The perception of rhythm cues plays an important role in recognizing spoken language, especially in adverse listening conditions. Indeed, this has been shown to hold true even when the rhythm cues themselves are dysrhythmic. This study investigates whether expertise in rhythm perception provides a processing advantage for perception (initial intelligibility) and learning (intelligibility improvement) of naturally dysrhythmic speech, dysarthria. Fifty young adults with typical hearing participated in 3 key tests, including a rhythm perception test, a receptive vocabulary test, and a speech perception and learning test, with standard pretest, familiarization, and posttest phases. Initial intelligibility scores were calculated as the proportion of correct pretest words, while intelligibility improvement scores were calculated by subtracting this proportion from the proportion of correct posttest words. Rhythm perception scores predicted intelligibility improvement scores but not initial intelligibility. On the other hand, receptive vocabulary scores predicted initial intelligibility scores but not intelligibility improvement. Expertise in rhythm perception appears to provide an advantage for processing dysrhythmic speech, but a familiarization experience is required for the advantage to be realized. Findings are discussed in relation to the role of rhythm in speech processing and shed light on processing models that consider the consequence of rhythm abnormalities in dysarthria.
Shahin, Antoine J.
Does musical training affect our perception of speech? For example, does learning to play a musical instrument modify the neural circuitry for auditory processing in a way that improves one’s ability to perceive speech more clearly in noisy environments? If so, can speech perception in individuals with hearing loss, who struggle in noisy situations, benefit from musical training? While music and speech exhibit some specialization in neural processing, there is evidence suggesting that skill...
Thompson, Elaine C.; Carr, Kali Woodruff; White-Schwoch, Travis; Otto-Meyer, Sebastian; Kraus, Nina
From bustling classrooms to unruly lunchrooms, school settings are noisy. To learn effectively in the unwelcome company of numerous distractions, children must clearly perceive speech in noise. In older children and adults, speech-in-noise perception is supported by sensory and cognitive processes, but the correlates underlying this critical listening skill in young children (3–5 year olds) remain undetermined. Employing a longitudinal design (two evaluations separated by ~12 months), we followed a cohort of 59 preschoolers, ages 3.0–4.9, assessing word-in-noise perception, cognitive abilities (intelligence, short-term memory, attention), and neural responses to speech. Results reveal changes in word-in-noise perception parallel changes in processing of the fundamental frequency (F0), an acoustic cue known for playing a role central to speaker identification and auditory scene analysis. Four unique developmental trajectories (speech-in-noise perception groups) confirm this relationship, in that improvements and declines in word-in-noise perception couple with enhancements and diminishments of F0 encoding, respectively. Improvements in word-in-noise perception also pair with gains in attention. Word-in-noise perception does not relate to strength of neural harmonic representation or short-term memory. These findings reinforce previously-reported roles of F0 and attention in hearing speech in noise in older children and adults, and extend this relationship to preschool children. PMID:27864051
Nie, Yingjiu; Galvin, John J; Morikawa, Michael; André, Victoria; Wheeler, Harley; Fu, Qian-Jie
This study examined music and speech perception in normal-hearing children with some or no musical training. Thirty children (mean age = 11.3 years), 15 with and 15 without formal music training participated in the study. Music perception was measured using a melodic contour identification (MCI) task; stimuli were a piano sample or sung speech with a fixed timbre (same word for each note) or a mixed timbre (different words for each note). Speech perception was measured in quiet and in steady noise using a matrix-styled sentence recognition task; stimuli were naturally intonated speech or sung speech with a fixed pitch (same note for each word) or a mixed pitch (different notes for each word). Significant musician advantages were observed for MCI and speech in noise but not for speech in quiet. MCI performance was significantly poorer with the mixed timbre stimuli. Speech performance in noise was significantly poorer with the fixed or mixed pitch stimuli than with spoken speech. Across all subjects, age at testing and MCI performance were significantly correlated with speech performance in noise. MCI and speech performance in quiet was significantly poorer for children than for adults from a related study using the same stimuli and tasks; speech performance in noise was significantly poorer for young than for older children. Long-term music training appeared to benefit melodic pitch perception and speech understanding in noise in these pediatric listeners.
Julie A. Bierer
Full Text Available Speech perception among cochlear implant (CI listeners is highly variable. High degrees of channel interaction are associated with poorer speech understanding. Two methods for reducing channel interaction, focusing electrical fields, and deactivating subsets of channels were assessed by the change in vowel and consonant identification scores with different program settings. The main hypotheses were that (a focused stimulation will improve phoneme recognition and (b speech perception will improve when channels with high thresholds are deactivated. To select high-threshold channels for deactivation, subjects’ threshold profiles were processed to enhance the peaks and troughs, and then an exclusion or inclusion criterion based on the mean and standard deviation was used. Low-threshold channels were selected manually and matched in number and apex-to-base distribution. Nine ears in eight adult CI listeners with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices were tested with six experimental programs. Two, all-channel programs, (a 14-channel partial tripolar (pTP and (b 14-channel monopolar (MP, and four variable-channel programs, derived from these two base programs, (c pTP with high- and (d low-threshold channels deactivated, and (e MP with high- and (f low-threshold channels deactivated, were created. Across subjects, performance was similar with pTP and MP programs. However, poorer performing subjects (scoring 2. These same subjects showed slightly more benefit with the reduced channel MP programs (5 and 6. Subjective ratings were consistent with performance. These finding suggest that reducing channel interaction may benefit poorer performing CI listeners.
Rosenblum, Lawrence D.
Speech perception is inherently multimodal. Visual speech (lip-reading) information is used by all perceivers and readily integrates with auditory speech. Imaging research suggests that the brain treats auditory and visual speech similarly. These findings have led some researchers to consider that speech perception works by extracting amodal information that takes the same form across modalities. From this perspective, speech integration is a property of the input information itself. Amodal s...
Asakawa, Kaori; Tanaka, Akihiro; Imai, Hisato
We investigated whether audiovisual synchrony perception for speech could change after observation of the audiovisual temporal mismatch. Previous studies have revealed that audiovisual synchrony perception is re-calibrated after exposure to a constant timing difference between auditory and visual signals in non-speech. In the present study, we examined whether this audiovisual temporal recalibration occurs at the perceptual level even for speech (monosyllables). In Experiment 1, participants performed an audiovisual simultaneity judgment task (i.e., a direct measurement of the audiovisual synchrony perception) in terms of the speech signal after observation of the speech stimuli which had a constant audiovisual lag. The results showed that the “simultaneous” responses (i.e., proportion of responses for which participants judged the auditory and visual stimuli to be synchronous) at least partly depended on exposure lag. In Experiment 2, we adopted the McGurk identification task (i.e., an indirect measurement of the audiovisual synchrony perception) to exclude the possibility that this modulation of synchrony perception was solely attributable to the response strategy using stimuli identical to those of Experiment 1. The characteristics of the McGurk effect reported by participants depended on exposure lag. Thus, it was shown that audiovisual synchrony perception for speech could be modulated following exposure to constant lag both in direct and indirect measurement. Our results suggest that temporal recalibration occurs not only in non-speech signals but also in monosyllabic speech at the perceptual level.
Bruderer, Alison G; Danielson, D Kyle; Kandhadai, Padmapriya; Werker, Janet F
The influence of speech production on speech perception is well established in adults. However, because adults have a long history of both perceiving and producing speech, the extent to which the perception-production linkage is due to experience is unknown. We addressed this issue by asking whether articulatory configurations can influence infants' speech perception performance. To eliminate influences from specific linguistic experience, we studied preverbal, 6-mo-old infants and tested the discrimination of a nonnative, and hence never-before-experienced, speech sound distinction. In three experimental studies, we used teething toys to control the position and movement of the tongue tip while the infants listened to the speech sounds. Using ultrasound imaging technology, we verified that the teething toys consistently and effectively constrained the movement and positioning of infants' tongues. With a looking-time procedure, we found that temporarily restraining infants' articulators impeded their discrimination of a nonnative consonant contrast but only when the relevant articulator was selectively restrained to prevent the movements associated with producing those sounds. Our results provide striking evidence that even before infants speak their first words and without specific listening experience, sensorimotor information from the articulators influences speech perception. These results transform theories of speech perception by suggesting that even at the initial stages of development, oral-motor movements influence speech sound discrimination. Moreover, an experimentally induced "impairment" in articulator movement can compromise speech perception performance, raising the question of whether long-term oral-motor impairments may impact perceptual development.
Lametti, Daniel R.; Rochet-Capellan, Amélie; Neufeld, Emily; Shiller, Douglas M.
Recent studies of human speech motor learning suggest that learning is accompanied by changes in auditory perception. But what drives the perceptual change? Is it a consequence of changes in the motor system? Or is it a result of sensory inflow during learning? Here, subjects participated in a speech motor-learning task involving adaptation to altered auditory feedback and they were subsequently tested for perceptual change. In two separate experiments, involving two different auditory perceptual continua, we show that changes in the speech motor system that accompany learning drive changes in auditory speech perception. Specifically, we obtained changes in speech perception when adaptation to altered auditory feedback led to speech production that fell into the phonetic range of the speech perceptual tests. However, a similar change in perception was not observed when the auditory feedback that subjects' received during learning fell into the phonetic range of the perceptual tests. This indicates that the central motor outflow associated with vocal sensorimotor adaptation drives changes to the perceptual classification of speech sounds. PMID:25080594
Greene, Beth G; Logan, John S; Pisoni, David B
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.
GREENE, BETH G.; LOGAN, JOHN S.; PISONI, DAVID B.
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
Eskelund, Kasper; Andersen, Tobias
Speech perception is audiovisual as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which watching incongruent articulatory mouth movements can change the phonetic auditory speech percept. This type of audiovisual integration may be specific to speech or be applied to all stimuli in general. To investigate...... of audiovisual integration specific to speech perception. However, the results of Tuomainen et al. might have been influenced by another effect. When observers were naïve, they had little motivation to look at the face. When informed, they knew that the face was relevant for the task and this could increase...... visual detection task. In our first experiment, observers presented with congruent and incongruent audiovisual sine-wave speech stimuli did only show a McGurk effect when informed of the speech nature of the stimulus. Performance on the secondary visual task was very good, thus supporting the finding...
Song, Judy H.; Skoe, Erika; Banai, Karen
We investigated training-related improvements in listening in noise and the biological mechanisms mediating these improvements. Training-related malleability was examined using a program that incorporates cognitively based listening exercises to improve speech-in-noise perception. Before and after training, auditory brainstem responses to a speech syllable were recorded in quiet and multitalker noise from adults who ranged in their speech-in-noise perceptual ability. Controls did not undergo training but were tested at intervals equivalent to the trained subjects. Trained subjects exhibited significant improvements in speech-in-noise perception that were retained 6 months later. Subcortical responses in noise demonstrated training-related enhancements in the encoding of pitch-related cues (the fundamental frequency and the second harmonic), particularly for the time-varying portion of the syllable that is most vulnerable to perceptual disruption (the formant transition region). Subjects with the largest strength of pitch encoding at pretest showed the greatest perceptual improvement. Controls exhibited neither neurophysiological nor perceptual changes. We provide the first demonstration that short-term training can improve the neural representation of cues important for speech-in-noise perception. These results implicate and delineate biological mechanisms contributing to learning success, and they provide a conceptual advance to our understanding of the kind of training experiences that can influence sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:21799207
Moulin-Frier, Clément; Arbib, Michael A
The motor theory of speech perception holds that we perceive the speech of another in terms of a motor representation of that speech. However, when we have learned to recognize a foreign accent, it seems plausible that recognition of a word rarely involves reconstruction of the speech gestures of the speaker rather than the listener. To better assess the motor theory and this observation, we proceed in three stages. Part 1 places the motor theory of speech perception in a larger framework based on our earlier models of the adaptive formation of mirror neurons for grasping, and for viewing extensions of that mirror system as part of a larger system for neuro-linguistic processing, augmented by the present consideration of recognizing speech in a novel accent. Part 2 then offers a novel computational model of how a listener comes to understand the speech of someone speaking the listener's native language with a foreign accent. The core tenet of the model is that the listener uses hypotheses about the word the speaker is currently uttering to update probabilities linking the sound produced by the speaker to phonemes in the native language repertoire of the listener. This, on average, improves the recognition of later words. This model is neutral regarding the nature of the representations it uses (motor vs. auditory). It serve as a reference point for the discussion in Part 3, which proposes a dual-stream neuro-linguistic architecture to revisits claims for and against the motor theory of speech perception and the relevance of mirror neurons, and extracts some implications for the reframing of the motor theory.
, in the light of the rich and complex Danish sound system. The first two studies report on native adults’ perception of Danish speech sounds in quiet and noise. The third study examined the development of language-specific perception in native Danish infants at 6, 9 and 12 months of age. The book points......Little is known about the perception of speech sounds by native Danish listeners. However, the Danish sound system differs in several interesting ways from the sound systems of other languages. For instance, Danish is characterized, among other features, by a rich vowel inventory and by different...... reductions of speech sounds evident in the pronunciation of the language. This book (originally a PhD thesis) consists of three studies based on the results of two experiments. The experiments were designed to provide knowledge of the perception of Danish speech sounds by Danish adults and infants...
Magalhães, Ana Tereza de Matos; Goffi-Gomez, Maria Valéria Schmidt; Hoshino, Ana Cristina; Tsuji, Robinson Koji; Bento, Ricardo Ferreira; Brito, Rubens
New technology in the Freedom® speech processor for cochlear implants was developed to improve how incoming acoustic sound is processed; this applies not only for new users, but also for previous generations of cochlear implants. To identify the contribution of this technology-- the Nucleus 22®--on speech perception tests in silence and in noise, and on audiometric thresholds. A cross-sectional cohort study was undertaken. Seventeen patients were selected. The last map based on the Spectra® was revised and optimized before starting the tests. Troubleshooting was used to identify malfunction. To identify the contribution of the Freedom® technology for the Nucleus22®, auditory thresholds and speech perception tests were performed in free field in sound-proof booths. Recorded monosyllables and sentences in silence and in noise (SNR = 0dB) were presented at 60 dBSPL. The nonparametric Wilcoxon test for paired data was used to compare groups. Freedom® applied for the Nucleus22® showed a statistically significant difference in all speech perception tests and audiometric thresholds. The Freedom® technology improved the performance of speech perception and audiometric thresholds of patients with Nucleus 22®.
Peelle, Jonathan E.; Sommers, Mitchell S.
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
Peelle, Jonathan E; Sommers, Mitchell S
During face-to-face conversational speech listeners must efficiently process a rapid and complex stream of multisensory information. Visual speech can serve as a critical complement to auditory information because it provides cues to both the timing of the incoming acoustic signal (the amplitude envelope, influencing attention and perceptual sensitivity) and its content (place and manner of articulation, constraining lexical selection). Here we review behavioral and neurophysiological evidence regarding listeners' use of visual speech information. Multisensory integration of audiovisual speech cues improves recognition accuracy, particularly for speech in noise. Even when speech is intelligible based solely on auditory information, adding visual information may reduce the cognitive demands placed on listeners through increasing the precision of prediction. Electrophysiological studies demonstrate that oscillatory cortical entrainment to speech in auditory cortex is enhanced when visual speech is present, increasing sensitivity to important acoustic cues. Neuroimaging studies also suggest increased activity in auditory cortex when congruent visual information is available, but additionally emphasize the involvement of heteromodal regions of posterior superior temporal sulcus as playing a role in integrative processing. We interpret these findings in a framework of temporally-focused lexical competition in which visual speech information affects auditory processing to increase sensitivity to acoustic information through an early integration mechanism, and a late integration stage that incorporates specific information about a speaker's articulators to constrain the number of possible candidates in a spoken utterance. Ultimately it is words compatible with both auditory and visual information that most strongly determine successful speech perception during everyday listening. Thus, audiovisual speech perception is accomplished through multiple stages of integration
Hearnshaw, Stephanie; Baker, Elise; Munro, Natalie
To investigate whether Australian-English speaking children with and without speech sound disorder (SSD) differ in their overall speech perception accuracy. Additionally, to investigate differences in the perception of specific phonemes and the association between speech perception and speech production skills. Twenty-five Australian-English speaking children aged 48-60 months participated in this study. The SSD group included 12 children and the typically developing (TD) group included 13 children. Children completed routine speech and language assessments in addition to an experimental Australian-English lexical and phonetic judgement task based on Rvachew's Speech Assessment and Interactive Learning System (SAILS) program (Rvachew, 2009). This task included eight words across four word-initial phonemes-/k, ɹ, ʃ, s/. Children with SSD showed significantly poorer perceptual accuracy on the lexical and phonetic judgement task compared with TD peers. The phonemes /ɹ/ and /s/ were most frequently perceived in error across both groups. Additionally, the phoneme /ɹ/ was most commonly produced in error. There was also a positive correlation between overall speech perception and speech production scores. Children with SSD perceived speech less accurately than their typically developing peers. The findings suggest that an Australian-English variation of a lexical and phonetic judgement task similar to the SAILS program is promising and worthy of a larger scale study. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stasenko, Alena; Bonn, Cory; Teghipco, Alex; Garcea, Frank E; Sweet, Catherine; Dombovy, Mary; McDonough, Joyce; Mahon, Bradford Z
The debate about the causal role of the motor system in speech perception has been reignited by demonstrations that motor processes are engaged during the processing of speech sounds. Here, we evaluate which aspects of auditory speech processing are affected, and which are not, in a stroke patient with dysfunction of the speech motor system. We found that the patient showed a normal phonemic categorical boundary when discriminating two non-words that differ by a minimal pair (e.g., ADA-AGA). However, using the same stimuli, the patient was unable to identify or label the non-word stimuli (using a button-press response). A control task showed that he could identify speech sounds by speaker gender, ruling out a general labelling impairment. These data suggest that while the motor system is not causally involved in perception of the speech signal, it may be used when other cues (e.g., meaning, context) are not available.
Full Text Available One view of speech perception is that acoustic signals are transformed into representations for pattern matching to determine linguistic structure. This process can be taken as a statistical pattern-matching problem, assuming realtively stable linguistic categories are characterized by neural representations related to auditory properties of speech that can be compared to speech input. This kind of pattern matching can be termed a passive process which implies rigidity of processingd with few demands on cognitive processing. An alternative view is that speech recognition, even in early stages, is an active process in which speech analysis is attentionally guided. Note that this does not mean consciously guided but that information-contingent changes in early auditory encoding can occur as a function of context and experience. Active processing assumes that attention, plasticity, and listening goals are important in considering how listeners cope with adverse circumstances that impair hearing by masking noise in the environment or hearing loss. Although theories of speech perception have begun to incorporate some active processing, they seldom treat early speech encoding as plastic and attentionally guided. Recent research has suggested that speech perception is the product of both feedforward and feedback interactions between a number of brain regions that include descending projections perhaps as far downstream as the cochlea. It is important to understand how the ambiguity of the speech signal and constraints of context dynamically determine cognitive resources recruited during perception including focused attention, learning, and working memory. Theories of speech perception need to go beyond the current corticocentric approach in order to account for the intrinsic dynamics of the auditory encoding of speech. In doing so, this may provide new insights into ways in which hearing disorders and loss may be treated either through augementation or
Chen, Junwen; McLean, Jordan E; Kemps, Eva
This study investigated the effects of combined audience feedback with video feedback plus cognitive preparation, and cognitive review (enabling deeper processing of feedback) on state anxiety and self-perceptions including perception of performance and perceived probability of negative evaluation in socially anxious individuals during a speech performance. One hundred and forty socially anxious students were randomly assigned to four conditions: Cognitive Preparation + Video Feedback + Audience Feedback + Cognitive Review (CP+VF+AF+CR), Cognitive Preparation + Video Feedback + Cognitive Review (CP+VF+CR), Cognitive Preparation + Video Feedback only (CP+VF), and Control. They were asked to deliver two impromptu speeches that were evaluated by confederates. Participants' levels of anxiety and self-perceptions pertaining to the speech task were assessed before and after feedback, and after the second speech. Compared to participants in the other conditions, participants in the CP+VF+AF+CR condition reported a significant decrease in their state anxiety and perceived probability of negative evaluation scores, and a significant increase in their positive perception of speech performance from before to after the feedback. These effects generalized to the second speech. Our results suggest that adding audience feedback to video feedback plus cognitive preparation and cognitive review may improve the effects of existing video feedback procedures in reducing anxiety symptoms and distorted self-representations in socially anxious individuals. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Carbonell, Kathy M.
One of the lasting concerns in audiology is the unexplained individual differences in speech perception performance even for individuals with similar audiograms. One proposal is that there are cognitive/perceptual individual differences underlying this vulnerability and that these differences are present in normal hearing (NH) individuals but do not reveal themselves in studies that use clear speech produced in quiet (because of a ceiling effect). However, previous studies have failed to uncover cognitive/perceptual variables that explain much of the variance in NH performance on more challenging degraded speech tasks. This lack of strong correlations may be due to either examining the wrong measures (e.g., working memory capacity) or to there being no reliable differences in degraded speech performance in NH listeners (i.e., variability in performance is due to measurement noise). The proposed project has 3 aims; the first, is to establish whether there are reliable individual differences in degraded speech performance for NH listeners that are sustained both across degradation types (speech in noise, compressed speech, noise-vocoded speech) and across multiple testing sessions. The second aim is to establish whether there are reliable differences in NH listeners' ability to adapt their phonetic categories based on short-term statistics both across tasks and across sessions; and finally, to determine whether performance on degraded speech perception tasks are correlated with performance on phonetic adaptability tasks, thus establishing a possible explanatory variable for individual differences in speech perception for NH and hearing impaired listeners.
Heinrich, Antje; Henshaw, Helen; Ferguson, Melanie A
Good speech perception and communication skills in everyday life are crucial for participation and well-being, and are therefore an overarching aim of auditory rehabilitation. Both behavioral and self-report measures can be used to assess these skills. However, correlations between behavioral and self-report speech perception measures are often low. One possible explanation is that there is a mismatch between the specific situations used in the assessment of these skills in each method, and a more careful matching across situations might improve consistency of results. The role that cognition plays in specific speech situations may also be important for understanding communication, as speech perception tests vary in their cognitive demands. In this study, the role of executive function, working memory (WM) and attention in behavioral and self-report measures of speech perception was investigated. Thirty existing hearing aid users with mild-to-moderate hearing loss aged between 50 and 74 years completed a behavioral test battery with speech perception tests ranging from phoneme discrimination in modulated noise (easy) to words in multi-talker babble (medium) and keyword perception in a carrier sentence against a distractor voice (difficult). In addition, a self-report measure of aided communication, residual disability from the Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile, was obtained. Correlations between speech perception tests and self-report measures were higher when specific speech situations across both were matched. Cognition correlated with behavioral speech perception test results but not with self-report. Only the most difficult speech perception test, keyword perception in a carrier sentence with a competing distractor voice, engaged executive functions in addition to WM. In conclusion, any relationship between behavioral and self-report speech perception is not mediated by a shared correlation with cognition.
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre-attentive b......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre...... from each of the faces and from the voice on the auditory speech percept. We found that directing visual spatial attention towards a face increased the influence of that face on auditory perception. However, the influence of the voice on auditory perception did not change suggesting that audiovisual...... integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration...
Massaro, Dominic W; Chen, Trevor H
Galantucci, Fowler, and Turvey (2006) have claimed that perceiving speech is perceiving gestures and that the motor system is recruited for perceiving speech. We make the counter argument that perceiving speech is not perceiving gestures, that the motor system is not recruitedfor perceiving speech, and that speech perception can be adequately described by a prototypical pattern recognition model, the fuzzy logical model of perception (FLMP). Empirical evidence taken as support for gesture and motor theory is reconsidered in more detail and in the framework of the FLMR Additional theoretical and logical arguments are made to challenge gesture and motor theory.
Nabelek, Anna K.; Tampas, Joanna W.; Burchfield, Samuel B.
l, speech perception in noiseBackground noise is a significant factor influencing hearing-aid satisfaction and is a major reason for rejection of hearing aids. Attempts have been made by previous researchers to relate the use of hearing aids to speech perception in noise (SPIN), with an expectation of improved speech perception followed by an…
Eskelund, Kasper; Dau, Torsten
Speech perception integrates signal from ear and eye. This is witnessed by a wide range of audiovisual integration effects, such as ventriloquism and the McGurk illusion. Some behavioral evidence suggest that audiovisual integration of specific aspects is special for speech perception. However, our...... knowledge of such bimodal integration would be strengthened if the phenomena could be investigated by objective, neutrally based methods. One key question of the present work is if perceptual processing of audiovisual speech can be gauged with a specific signature of neurophysiological activity...... on the auditory speech percept? In two experiments, which both combine behavioral and neurophysiological measures, an uncovering of the relation between perception of faces and of audiovisual integration is attempted. Behavioral findings suggest a strong effect of face perception, whereas the MMN results are less...
Davidson, Lisa S; Geers, Ann E; Blamey, Peter J; Tobey, Emily A; Brenner, Christine A
Picture Vocabulary Test achieved asymptote at similar ages, around 10 to 11 yrs. On average, children receiving CIs between 2 and 5 yrs of age exhibited significant improvement on tests of speech perception, lipreading, speech production, and language skills measured between primary grades and adolescence. Evidence suggests that improvement in speech perception scores with age reflects increased spoken language level up to a language age of about 10 yrs. Speech perception performance significantly decreased with softer stimulus intensity level and with introduction of background noise. Upgrades to newer speech processing strategies and greater use of frequency-modulated systems may be beneficial for ameliorating performance under these demanding listening conditions.
Jahn, Kelly N; Stevenson, Ryan A; Wallace, Mark T
Despite significant improvements in speech perception abilities following cochlear implantation, many prelingually deafened cochlear implant (CI) recipients continue to rely heavily on visual information to develop speech and language. Increased reliance on visual cues for understanding spoken language could lead to the development of unique audiovisual integration and visual-only processing abilities in these individuals. Brain imaging studies have demonstrated that good CI performers, as indexed by auditory-only speech perception abilities, have different patterns of visual cortex activation in response to visual and auditory stimuli as compared with poor CI performers. However, no studies have examined whether speech perception performance is related to any type of visual processing abilities following cochlear implantation. The purpose of the present study was to provide a preliminary examination of the relationship between clinical, auditory-only speech perception tests, and visual temporal acuity in prelingually deafened adult CI users. It was hypothesized that prelingually deafened CI users, who exhibit better (i.e., more acute) visual temporal processing abilities would demonstrate better auditory-only speech perception performance than those with poorer visual temporal acuity. Ten prelingually deafened adult CI users were recruited for this study. Participants completed a visual temporal order judgment task to quantify visual temporal acuity. To assess auditory-only speech perception abilities, participants completed the consonant-nucleus-consonant word recognition test and the AzBio sentence recognition test. Results were analyzed using two-tailed partial Pearson correlations, Spearman's rho correlations, and independent samples t tests. Visual temporal acuity was significantly correlated with auditory-only word and sentence recognition abilities. In addition, proficient CI users, as assessed via auditory-only speech perception performance, demonstrated
Zuk, Jennifer; Iuzzini-Seigel, Jenya; Cabbage, Kathryn; Green, Jordan R.; Hogan, Tiffany P.
Purpose: Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is hypothesized to arise from deficits in speech motor planning and programming, but the influence of abnormal speech perception in CAS on these processes is debated. This study examined speech perception abilities among children with CAS with and without language impairment compared to those with…
Foundations of Voice and Speech Quality Perception starts out with the fundamental question of: "How do listeners perceive voice and speech quality and how can these processes be modeled?" Any quantitative answers require measurements. This is natural for physical quantities but harder to imagine for perceptual measurands. This book approaches the problem by actually identifying major perceptual dimensions of voice and speech quality perception, defining units wherever possible and offering paradigms to position these dimensions into a structural skeleton of perceptual speech and voice quality. The emphasis is placed on voice and speech quality assessment of systems in artificial scenarios. Many scientific fields are involved. This book bridges the gap between two quite diverse fields, engineering and humanities, and establishes the new research area of Voice and Speech Quality Perception.
Kim, Heejung; Hahm, Jarang; Lee, Hyekyoung; Kang, Eunjoo; Kang, Hyejin; Lee, Dong Soo
The human brain naturally integrates audiovisual information to improve speech perception. However, in noisy environments, understanding speech is difficult and may require much effort. Although the brain network is supposed to be engaged in speech perception, it is unclear how speech-related brain regions are connected during natural bimodal audiovisual or unimodal speech perception with counterpart irrelevant noise. To investigate the topological changes of speech-related brain networks at all possible thresholds, we used a persistent homological framework through hierarchical clustering, such as single linkage distance, to analyze the connected component of the functional network during speech perception using functional magnetic resonance imaging. For speech perception, bimodal (audio-visual speech cue) or unimodal speech cues with counterpart irrelevant noise (auditory white-noise or visual gum-chewing) were delivered to 15 subjects. In terms of positive relationship, similar connected components were observed in bimodal and unimodal speech conditions during filtration. However, during speech perception by congruent audiovisual stimuli, the tighter couplings of left anterior temporal gyrus-anterior insula component and right premotor-visual components were observed than auditory or visual speech cue conditions, respectively. Interestingly, visual speech is perceived under white noise by tight negative coupling in the left inferior frontal region-right anterior cingulate, left anterior insula, and bilateral visual regions, including right middle temporal gyrus, right fusiform components. In conclusion, the speech brain network is tightly positively or negatively connected, and can reflect efficient or effortful processes during natural audiovisual integration or lip-reading, respectively, in speech perception.
Good, Arla; Gordon, Karen A; Papsin, Blake C; Nespoli, Gabe; Hopyan, Talar; Peretz, Isabelle; Russo, Frank A
Children who use cochlear implants (CIs) have characteristic pitch processing deficits leading to impairments in music perception and in understanding emotional intention in spoken language. Music training for normal-hearing children has previously been shown to benefit perception of emotional prosody. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether deaf children who use CIs obtain similar benefits from music training. We hypothesized that music training would lead to gains in auditory processing and that these gains would transfer to emotional speech prosody perception. Study participants were 18 child CI users (ages 6 to 15). Participants received either 6 months of music training (i.e., individualized piano lessons) or 6 months of visual art training (i.e., individualized painting lessons). Measures of music perception and emotional speech prosody perception were obtained pre-, mid-, and post-training. The Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Musical Abilities was used to measure five different aspects of music perception (scale, contour, interval, rhythm, and incidental memory). The emotional speech prosody task required participants to identify the emotional intention of a semantically neutral sentence under audio-only and audiovisual conditions. Music training led to improved performance on tasks requiring the discrimination of melodic contour and rhythm, as well as incidental memory for melodies. These improvements were predominantly found from mid- to post-training. Critically, music training also improved emotional speech prosody perception. Music training was most advantageous in audio-only conditions. Art training did not lead to the same improvements. Music training can lead to improvements in perception of music and emotional speech prosody, and thus may be an effective supplementary technique for supporting auditory rehabilitation following cochlear implantation.
Gifford, René H; Revit, Lawrence J
Although cochlear implant patients are achieving increasingly higher levels of performance, speech perception in noise continues to be problematic. The newest generations of implant speech processors are equipped with preprocessing and/or external accessories that are purported to improve listening in noise. Most speech perception measures in the clinical setting, however, do not provide a close approximation to real-world listening environments. To assess speech perception for adult cochlear implant recipients in the presence of a realistic restaurant simulation generated by an eight-loudspeaker (R-SPACE) array in order to determine whether commercially available preprocessing strategies and/or external accessories yield improved sentence recognition in noise. Single-subject, repeated-measures design with two groups of participants: Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Corporation recipients. Thirty-four subjects, ranging in age from 18 to 90 yr (mean 54.5 yr), participated in this prospective study. Fourteen subjects were Advanced Bionics recipients, and 20 subjects were Cochlear Corporation recipients. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in semidiffuse restaurant noise originating from an eight-loudspeaker array were assessed with the subjects' preferred listening programs as well as with the addition of either Beam preprocessing (Cochlear Corporation) or the T-Mic accessory option (Advanced Bionics). In Experiment 1, adaptive SRTs with the Hearing in Noise Test sentences were obtained for all 34 subjects. For Cochlear Corporation recipients, SRTs were obtained with their preferred everyday listening program as well as with the addition of Focus preprocessing. For Advanced Bionics recipients, SRTs were obtained with the integrated behind-the-ear (BTE) mic as well as with the T-Mic. Statistical analysis using a repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) evaluated the effects of the preprocessing strategy or external accessory in reducing the SRT in noise. In addition
Mantokoudis, Georgios; Dubach, Patrick; Pfiffner, Flurin; Kompis, Martin; Caversaccio, Marco; Senn, Pascal
Telephone communication is a challenge for many hearing-impaired individuals. One important technical reason for this difficulty is the restricted frequency range (0.3-3.4 kHz) of conventional landline telephones. Internet telephony (voice over Internet protocol [VoIP]) is transmitted with a larger frequency range (0.1-8 kHz) and therefore includes more frequencies relevant to speech perception. According to a recently published, laboratory-based study, the theoretical advantage of ideal VoIP conditions over conventional telephone quality has translated into improved speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. However, the speech perception benefits of nonideal VoIP network conditions, which may occur in daily life, have not been explored. VoIP use cannot be recommended to hearing-impaired individuals before its potential under more realistic conditions has been examined. To compare realistic VoIP network conditions, under which digital data packets may be lost, with ideal conventional telephone quality with respect to their impact on speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. We assessed speech perception using standardized test material presented under simulated VoIP conditions with increasing digital data packet loss (from 0% to 20%) and compared with simulated ideal conventional telephone quality. We monaurally tested 10 adult users of cochlear implants, 10 adult users of hearing aids, and 10 normal-hearing adults in the free sound field, both in quiet and with background noise. Across all participant groups, mean speech perception scores using VoIP with 0%, 5%, and 10% packet loss were 15.2% (range 0%-53%), 10.6% (4%-46%), and 8.8% (7%-33%) higher, respectively, than with ideal conventional telephone quality. Speech perception did not differ between VoIP with 20% packet loss and conventional telephone quality. The maximum benefits were observed under ideal VoIP conditions without packet loss and were 36% (P = .001) for cochlear implant users, 18
Kenney, Mary Kay; Barac-Cikoja, Dragana; Finnegan, Kimberly; Jeffries, Neal; Ludlow, Christy L.
Children with developmental speech disorders may have additional deficits in speech perception and/or short-term memory. To determine whether these are only transient developmental delays that can accompany the disorder in childhood or persist as part of the speech disorder, adults with a persistent familial speech disorder were tested on speech…
Rumbach, Anna F; Rose, Tanya A; Cheah, Mynn
To explore Australian speech-language pathologists' use of non-speech oral motor exercises, and rationales for using/not using non-speech oral motor exercises in clinical practice. A total of 124 speech-language pathologists practising in Australia, working with paediatric and/or adult clients with speech sound difficulties, completed an online survey. The majority of speech-language pathologists reported that they did not use non-speech oral motor exercises when working with paediatric or adult clients with speech sound difficulties. However, more than half of the speech-language pathologists working with adult clients who have dysarthria reported using non-speech oral motor exercises with this population. The most frequently reported rationale for using non-speech oral motor exercises in speech sound difficulty management was to improve awareness/placement of articulators. The majority of speech-language pathologists agreed there is no clear clinical or research evidence base to support non-speech oral motor exercise use with clients who have speech sound difficulties. This study provides an overview of Australian speech-language pathologists' reported use and perceptions of non-speech oral motor exercises' applicability and efficacy in treating paediatric and adult clients who have speech sound difficulties. The research findings provide speech-language pathologists with insight into how and why non-speech oral motor exercises are currently used, and adds to the knowledge base regarding Australian speech-language pathology practice of non-speech oral motor exercises in the treatment of speech sound difficulties. Implications for Rehabilitation Non-speech oral motor exercises refer to oral motor activities which do not involve speech, but involve the manipulation or stimulation of oral structures including the lips, tongue, jaw, and soft palate. Non-speech oral motor exercises are intended to improve the function (e.g., movement, strength) of oral structures. The
Mitterer, Holger; Mattys, Sven L
Two experiments investigated the conditions under which cognitive load exerts an effect on the acuity of speech perception. These experiments extend earlier research by using a different speech perception task (four-interval oddity task) and by implementing cognitive load through a task often thought to be modular, namely, face processing. In the cognitive-load conditions, participants were required to remember two faces presented before the speech stimuli. In Experiment 1, performance in the speech-perception task under cognitive load was not impaired in comparison to a no-load baseline condition. In Experiment 2, we modified the load condition minimally such that it required encoding of the two faces simultaneously with the speech stimuli. As a reference condition, we also used a visual search task that in earlier experiments had led to poorer speech perception. Both concurrent tasks led to decrements in the speech task. The results suggest that speech perception is affected even by loads thought to be processed modularly, and that, critically, encoding in working memory might be the locus of interference.
Gordon, Karen A.; Papsin, Blake C.; Nespoli, Gabe; Hopyan, Talar; Peretz, Isabelle; Russo, Frank A.
Objectives: Children who use cochlear implants (CIs) have characteristic pitch processing deficits leading to impairments in music perception and in understanding emotional intention in spoken language. Music training for normal-hearing children has previously been shown to benefit perception of emotional prosody. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether deaf children who use CIs obtain similar benefits from music training. We hypothesized that music training would lead to gains in auditory processing and that these gains would transfer to emotional speech prosody perception. Design: Study participants were 18 child CI users (ages 6 to 15). Participants received either 6 months of music training (i.e., individualized piano lessons) or 6 months of visual art training (i.e., individualized painting lessons). Measures of music perception and emotional speech prosody perception were obtained pre-, mid-, and post-training. The Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Musical Abilities was used to measure five different aspects of music perception (scale, contour, interval, rhythm, and incidental memory). The emotional speech prosody task required participants to identify the emotional intention of a semantically neutral sentence under audio-only and audiovisual conditions. Results: Music training led to improved performance on tasks requiring the discrimination of melodic contour and rhythm, as well as incidental memory for melodies. These improvements were predominantly found from mid- to post-training. Critically, music training also improved emotional speech prosody perception. Music training was most advantageous in audio-only conditions. Art training did not lead to the same improvements. Conclusions: Music training can lead to improvements in perception of music and emotional speech prosody, and thus may be an effective supplementary technique for supporting auditory rehabilitation following cochlear implantation. PMID:28085739
Lotto, Andrew J.; Hickok, Gregory S.; Holt, Lori L.
The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT. PMID:19223222
De Keyser, Kim; Santens, Patrick; Bockstael, Annelies; Botteldooren, Dick; Talsma, Durk; De Vos, Stefanie; Van Cauwenberghe, Mieke; Verheugen, Femke; Corthals, Paul; De Letter, Miet
Purpose: This study investigated the possible relationship between hypokinetic speech production and speech intensity perception in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Method: Participants included 14 patients with idiopathic PD and 14 matched healthy controls (HCs) with normal hearing and cognition. First, speech production was objectified…
Xi, Ji; Liang, Ruiyu; Fei, Xianju
In this paper, a speech emotion recognition (SER) algorithm was proposed to improve the emotional perception of hearing-impaired people. The algorithm utilizes multiple kernel technology to overcome the drawback of SVM: slow training speed. Firstly, in order to improve the adaptive performance of Gaussian Radial Basis Function (RBF), the parameter determining the nonlinear mapping was optimized on the basis of Kernel target alignment. Then, the obtained Kernel Function was used as the basis kernel of Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) with slack variable that could solve the over-fitting problem. However, the slack variable also brings the error into the result. Therefore, a soft-margin MKL was proposed to balance the margin against the error. Moreover, the relatively iterative algorithm was used to solve the combination coefficients and hyper-plane equations. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can acquire an accuracy of 90% for five kinds of emotions including happiness, sadness, anger, fear and neutral. Compared with KPCA+CCA and PIM-FSVM, the proposed algorithm has the highest accuracy.
Dubach, Patrick; Pfiffner, Flurin; Kompis, Martin; Caversaccio, Marco
Background Telephone communication is a challenge for many hearing-impaired individuals. One important technical reason for this difficulty is the restricted frequency range (0.3–3.4 kHz) of conventional landline telephones. Internet telephony (voice over Internet protocol [VoIP]) is transmitted with a larger frequency range (0.1–8 kHz) and therefore includes more frequencies relevant to speech perception. According to a recently published, laboratory-based study, the theoretical advantage of ideal VoIP conditions over conventional telephone quality has translated into improved speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. However, the speech perception benefits of nonideal VoIP network conditions, which may occur in daily life, have not been explored. VoIP use cannot be recommended to hearing-impaired individuals before its potential under more realistic conditions has been examined. Objective To compare realistic VoIP network conditions, under which digital data packets may be lost, with ideal conventional telephone quality with respect to their impact on speech perception by hearing-impaired individuals. Methods We assessed speech perception using standardized test material presented under simulated VoIP conditions with increasing digital data packet loss (from 0% to 20%) and compared with simulated ideal conventional telephone quality. We monaurally tested 10 adult users of cochlear implants, 10 adult users of hearing aids, and 10 normal-hearing adults in the free sound field, both in quiet and with background noise. Results Across all participant groups, mean speech perception scores using VoIP with 0%, 5%, and 10% packet loss were 15.2% (range 0%–53%), 10.6% (4%–46%), and 8.8% (7%–33%) higher, respectively, than with ideal conventional telephone quality. Speech perception did not differ between VoIP with 20% packet loss and conventional telephone quality. The maximum benefits were observed under ideal VoIP conditions without packet loss and
Eskelund, Kasper; Andersen, Tobias
Speech perception is audiovisual as evidenced by bimodal integration in the McGurk effect. This integration effect may be specific to speech or be applied to all stimuli in general. To investigate this, Tuomainen et al. (2005) used sine-wave speech, which naÃ¯ve observers may perceive as non......-speech, but hear as speech once informed of the linguistic origin of the signal. Combinations of sine-wave speech and incongruent video of the talker elicited a McGurk effect only for informed observers. This indicates that the audiovisual integration effect is specific to speech perception. However, observers...... that observers did look near the mouth. We conclude that eye-movements did not influence the results of Tuomainen et al. and that their results thus can be taken as evidence of a speech specific mode of audiovisual integration underlying the McGurk illusion....
Mondelli, Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia; dos Santos, Marina de Marchi; José, Maria Renata
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Unilateral hearing loss is characterized by a decrease of hearing in one ear only. In the presence of ambient noise, individuals with unilateral hearing loss are faced with greater difficulties understanding speech than normal listeners. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the speech perception of individuals with unilateral hearing loss in speech perception with and without competitive noise, before and after the hearing aid fitting process. METHODS: The study included 30 adu...
Jaekl, Philip; Pesquita, Ana; Alsius, Agnes; Munhall, Kevin; Soto-Faraco, Salvador
Seeing a speaker's facial gestures can significantly improve speech comprehension, especially in noisy environments. However, the nature of the visual information from the speaker's facial movements that is relevant for this enhancement is still unclear. Like auditory speech signals, visual speech signals unfold over time and contain both dynamic configural information and luminance-defined local motion cues; two information sources that are thought to engage anatomically and functionally separate visual systems. Whereas, some past studies have highlighted the importance of local, luminance-defined motion cues in audiovisual speech perception, the contribution of dynamic configural information signalling changes in form over time has not yet been assessed. We therefore attempted to single out the contribution of dynamic configural information to audiovisual speech processing. To this aim, we measured word identification performance in noise using unimodal auditory stimuli, and with audiovisual stimuli. In the audiovisual condition, speaking faces were presented as point light displays achieved via motion capture of the original talker. Point light displays could be isoluminant, to minimise the contribution of effective luminance-defined local motion information, or with added luminance contrast, allowing the combined effect of dynamic configural cues and local motion cues. Audiovisual enhancement was found in both the isoluminant and contrast-based luminance conditions compared to an auditory-only condition, demonstrating, for the first time the specific contribution of dynamic configural cues to audiovisual speech improvement. These findings imply that globally processed changes in a speaker's facial shape contribute significantly towards the perception of articulatory gestures and the analysis of audiovisual speech. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Donaldson, Gail S; Dawson, Patricia K; Borden, Lamar Z
Previous studies have confirmed that current steering can increase the number of discriminable pitches available to many cochlear implant (CI) users; however, the ability to perceive additional pitches has not been linked to improved speech perception. The primary goals of this study were to determine (1) whether adult CI users can achieve higher levels of spectral cue transmission with a speech processing strategy that implements current steering (Fidelity120) than with a predecessor strategy (HiRes) and, if so, (2) whether the magnitude of improvement can be predicted from individual differences in place-pitch sensitivity. A secondary goal was to determine whether Fidelity120 supports higher levels of speech recognition in noise than HiRes. A within-subjects repeated measures design evaluated speech perception performance with Fidelity120 relative to HiRes in 10 adult CI users. Subjects used the novel strategy (either HiRes or Fidelity120) for 8 wks during the main study; a subset of five subjects used Fidelity120 for three additional months after the main study. Speech perception was assessed for the spectral cues related to vowel F1 frequency, vowel F2 frequency, and consonant place of articulation; overall transmitted information for vowels and consonants; and sentence recognition in noise. Place-pitch sensitivity was measured for electrode pairs in the apical, middle, and basal regions of the implanted array using a psychophysical pitch-ranking task. With one exception, there was no effect of strategy (HiRes versus Fidelity120) on the speech measures tested, either during the main study (N = 10) or after extended use of Fidelity120 (N = 5). The exception was a small but significant advantage for HiRes over Fidelity120 for consonant perception during the main study. Examination of individual subjects' data revealed that 3 of 10 subjects demonstrated improved perception of one or more spectral cues with Fidelity120 relative to HiRes after 8 wks or longer
Dias, James W.; Cook, Theresa C.; Rosenblum, Lawrence D.
Research suggests that selective adaptation in speech is a low-level process dependent on sensory-specific information shared between the adaptor and test-stimuli. However, previous research has only examined how adaptors shift perception of unimodal test stimuli, either auditory or visual. In the current series of experiments, we investigated whether adaptation to cross-sensory phonetic information can influence perception of integrated audio-visual phonetic information. We examined how selective adaptation to audio and visual adaptors shift perception of speech along an audiovisual test continuum. This test-continuum consisted of nine audio-/ba/-visual-/va/ stimuli, ranging in visual clarity of the mouth. When the mouth was clearly visible, perceivers “heard” the audio-visual stimulus as an integrated “va” percept 93.7% of the time (e.g., McGurk & MacDonald, 1976). As visibility of the mouth became less clear across the nine-item continuum, the audio-visual “va” percept weakened, resulting in a continuum ranging in audio-visual percepts from /va/ to /ba/. Perception of the test-stimuli was tested before and after adaptation. Changes in audiovisual speech perception were observed following adaptation to visual-/va/ and audiovisual-/va/, but not following adaptation to auditory-/va/, auditory-/ba/, or visual-/ba/. Adaptation modulates perception of integrated audio-visual speech by modulating the processing of sensory-specific information. The results suggest that auditory and visual speech information are not completely integrated at the level of selective adaptation. PMID:27041781
Gordon, Peter C.
Four experiments addressing the role of attention in phonetic perception are reported. The first experiment shows that the relative importance of two cues to the voicing distinction changes when subjects must perform an arithmetic distractor task at the same time as identifying a speech stimulus. The voice onset time cue loses phonetic significance when subjects are distracted, while the F0 onset frequency cue does not. The second experiment shows a similar pattern for two cues to the distinction between the vowels /i/ (as in 'beat') and /I/ (as in 'bit'). Together these experiments indicate that careful attention to speech perception is necessary for strong acoustic cues to achieve their full phonetic impact, while weaker acoustic cues achieve their full phonetic impact without close attention. Experiment 3 shows that this pattern is obtained when the distractor task places little demand on verbal short term memory. Experiment 4 provides a large data set for testing formal models of the role of attention in speech perception. Attention is shown to influence the signal to noise ratio in phonetic encoding. This principle is instantiated in a network model in which the role of attention is to reduce noise in the phonetic encoding of acoustic cues. Implications of this work for understanding speech perception and general theories of the role of attention in perception are discussed.
Full Text Available Developmental stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the ability to produce speech fluently. While stuttering is typically diagnosed based on one's behavior during speech production, some models suggest that it involves more central representations of language, and thus may affect language perception as well. Here we tested the hypothesis that developmental stuttering implicates neural systems involved in language perception, in a task that manipulates comprehensibility without an overt speech production component. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD signals in adults who do and do not stutter, while they were engaged in an incidental speech perception task. We found that speech perception evokes stronger activation in adults who stutter (AWS compared to controls, specifically in the right inferior frontal gyrus (RIFG and in left Heschl's gyrus (LHG. Significant differences were additionally found in the lateralization of response in the inferior frontal cortex: AWS showed bilateral inferior frontal activity, while controls showed a left lateralized pattern of activation. These findings suggest that developmental stuttering is associated with an imbalanced neural network for speech processing, which is not limited to speech production, but also affects cortical responses during speech perception.
Poeppel, David; Idsardi, William J; van Wassenhove, Virginie
Speech perception consists of a set of computations that take continuously varying acoustic waveforms as input and generate discrete representations that make contact with the lexical representations stored in long-term memory as output. Because the perceptual objects that are recognized by the speech perception enter into subsequent linguistic computation, the format that is used for lexical representation and processing fundamentally constrains the speech perceptual processes. Consequently, theories of speech perception must, at some level, be tightly linked to theories of lexical representation. Minimally, speech perception must yield representations that smoothly and rapidly interface with stored lexical items. Adopting the perspective of Marr, we argue and provide neurobiological and psychophysical evidence for the following research programme. First, at the implementational level, speech perception is a multi-time resolution process, with perceptual analyses occurring concurrently on at least two time scales (approx. 20-80 ms, approx. 150-300 ms), commensurate with (sub)segmental and syllabic analyses, respectively. Second, at the algorithmic level, we suggest that perception proceeds on the basis of internal forward models, or uses an 'analysis-by-synthesis' approach. Third, at the computational level (in the sense of Marr), the theory of lexical representation that we adopt is principally informed by phonological research and assumes that words are represented in the mental lexicon in terms of sequences of discrete segments composed of distinctive features. One important goal of the research programme is to develop linking hypotheses between putative neurobiological primitives (e.g. temporal primitives) and those primitives derived from linguistic inquiry, to arrive ultimately at a biologically sensible and theoretically satisfying model of representation and computation in speech.
Full Text Available Congenital amusics, or tone-deaf individuals, show difficulty in perceiving and producing small pitch differences. While amusia has marked effects on music perception, its impact on speech perception is less clear. Here we test the hypothesis that individual differences in pitch perception affect judgment of emotion in speech, by applying band-pass filters to spoken statements of emotional speech. A norming study was first conducted on Mechanical Turk to ensure that the intended emotions from the Macquarie Battery for Evaluation of Prosody (MBEP were reliably identifiable by US English speakers. The most reliably identified emotional speech samples were used in in Experiment 1, in which subjects performed a psychophysical pitch discrimination task, and an emotion identification task under band-pass and unfiltered speech conditions. Results showed a significant correlation between pitch discrimination threshold and emotion identification accuracy for band-pass filtered speech, with amusics (defined here as those with a pitch discrimination threshold > 16 Hz performing worse than controls. This relationship with pitch discrimination was not seen in unfiltered speech conditions. Given the dissociation between band-pass filtered and unfiltered speech conditions, we inferred that amusics may be compensating for poorer pitch perception by using speech cues that are filtered out in this manipulation.
Full Text Available A change in talker is a change in the context for the phonetic interpretation of acoustic patterns of speech. Different talkers have different mappings between acoustic patterns and phonetic categories and listeners need to adapt to these differences. Despite this complexity, listeners are adept at comprehending speech in multiple-talker contexts, albeit at a slight but measurable performance cost (e.g., slower recognition. So far, this talker-variability cost has been demonstrated only in audio-only speech. Other research in single-talker contexts have shown, however, that when listeners are able to see a talker’s face, speech recognition is improved under adverse listening (e.g., noise or distortion conditions that can increase uncertainty in the mapping between acoustic patterns and phonetic categories. Does seeing a talker's face reduce the cost of word recognition in multiple-talker contexts? We used a speeded word-monitoring task in which listeners make quick judgments about target-word recognition in single- and multiple-talker contexts. Results show faster recognition performance in single-talker conditions compared to multiple-talker conditions for both audio-only and audio-visual speech. However, recognition time in a multiple-talker context was slower in the audio-visual condition compared to audio-only condition. These results suggest that seeing a talker’s face during speech perception may slow recognition by increasing the importance of talker identification, signaling to the listener a change in talker has occurred.
Audiovisual information is integrated in speech perception. One manifestation of this is the McGurk illusion in which watching the articulating face alters the auditory phonetic percept. Understanding this phenomenon fully requires a computational model with predictive power. Here, we describe...
This book interconnects two essential disciplines to study the perception of speech: Neuroscience and Quality of Experience, which to date have rarely been used together for the purposes of research on speech quality perception. In five key experiments, the book demonstrates the application of standard clinical methods in neurophysiology on the one hand, and of methods used in fields of research concerned with speech quality perception on the other. Using this combination, the book shows that speech stimuli with different lengths and different quality impairments are accompanied by physiological reactions related to quality variations, e.g., a positive peak in an event-related potential. Furthermore, it demonstrates that – in most cases – quality impairment intensity has an impact on the intensity of physiological reactions.
John F Magnotti
Full Text Available Audiovisual speech integration combines information from auditory speech (talker's voice and visual speech (talker's mouth movements to improve perceptual accuracy. However, if the auditory and visual speech emanate from different talkers, integration decreases accuracy. Therefore, a key step in audiovisual speech perception is deciding whether auditory and visual speech have the same source, a process known as causal inference. A well-known illusion, the McGurk Effect, consists of incongruent audiovisual syllables, such as auditory "ba" + visual "ga" (AbaVga, that are integrated to produce a fused percept ("da". This illusion raises two fundamental questions: first, given the incongruence between the auditory and visual syllables in the McGurk stimulus, why are they integrated; and second, why does the McGurk effect not occur for other, very similar syllables (e.g., AgaVba. We describe a simplified model of causal inference in multisensory speech perception (CIMS that predicts the perception of arbitrary combinations of auditory and visual speech. We applied this model to behavioral data collected from 60 subjects perceiving both McGurk and non-McGurk incongruent speech stimuli. The CIMS model successfully predicted both the audiovisual integration observed for McGurk stimuli and the lack of integration observed for non-McGurk stimuli. An identical model without causal inference failed to accurately predict perception for either form of incongruent speech. The CIMS model uses causal inference to provide a computational framework for studying how the brain performs one of its most important tasks, integrating auditory and visual speech cues to allow us to communicate with others.
Lolli, Sydney L; Lewenstein, Ari D; Basurto, Julian; Winnik, Sean; Loui, Psyche
Congenital amusics, or "tone-deaf" individuals, show difficulty in perceiving and producing small pitch differences. While amusia has marked effects on music perception, its impact on speech perception is less clear. Here we test the hypothesis that individual differences in pitch perception affect judgment of emotion in speech, by applying low-pass filters to spoken statements of emotional speech. A norming study was first conducted on Mechanical Turk to ensure that the intended emotions from the Macquarie Battery for Evaluation of Prosody were reliably identifiable by US English speakers. The most reliably identified emotional speech samples were used in Experiment 1, in which subjects performed a psychophysical pitch discrimination task, and an emotion identification task under low-pass and unfiltered speech conditions. Results showed a significant correlation between pitch-discrimination threshold and emotion identification accuracy for low-pass filtered speech, with amusics (defined here as those with a pitch discrimination threshold >16 Hz) performing worse than controls. This relationship with pitch discrimination was not seen in unfiltered speech conditions. Given the dissociation between low-pass filtered and unfiltered speech conditions, we inferred that amusics may be compensating for poorer pitch perception by using speech cues that are filtered out in this manipulation. To assess this potential compensation, Experiment 2 was conducted using high-pass filtered speech samples intended to isolate non-pitch cues. No significant correlation was found between pitch discrimination and emotion identification accuracy for high-pass filtered speech. Results from these experiments suggest an influence of low frequency information in identifying emotional content of speech.
Full Text Available Background: Cochlear implants (CI for the rehabilitation of patients with profound or total bilateral sensorineural hypoacusis represent the initial use of electrical fields to provide audibility in cases where the use of sound amplifiers does not provide satisfactory results. Aims: To compare speech perception performance after cochlear implantation in children with connexin 26-associated deafness with that of a control group of children with deafness of unknown etiology. Study Design: Retrospective comparative study. Methods: During the period from 2006 to , cochlear implantation was performed on 26 children. Eighteen of these children had undergone genetic tests for mutation of the Gap Junction Protein Beta 2 (GJB2 gene. Bi-allelic GJB2 mutations were confirmed in 7 out of 18 examined children. In order to confirm whether genetic factors have influence on speech perception after cochlear implantation, we compared the post-implantation speech performance of seven children with mutations of the GBJ2 (connexin 26 gene with seven other children who had the wild type version of this particular gene. The latter were carefully matched according to the age at cochlear implantation. Speech perception performance was measured before cochlear implantation, and one and two years after implantation. All the patients were arranged in line with the appropriate speech perception category (SPC. Non-parametric tests, Friedman ANOVA and Mann-Whitney’s U test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Both groups showed similar improvements in speech perception scores after cochlear implantation. Statistical analysis did not confirm significant differences between the groups 12 and 24 months after cochlear implantation. Conclusion: The results obtained in this study showed an absence of apparent distinctions in the scores of speech perception between the two examined groups and therefore might have significant implications in selecting prognostic indicators
Heinrich, Antje; Henshaw, Helen; Ferguson, Melanie A.
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
Full Text Available 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 50-74 years with mild SNHL 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 nonverbal IQ; 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 auditory environments pose on
Delphi, Maryam; Lotfi, M-Yones; Moossavi, Abdollah; Bakhshi, Enayatollah; Banimostafa, Maryam
Previous studies have shown that interaural-time-difference (ITD) training can improve localization ability. Surprisingly little is, however, known about localization training vis-à-vis speech perception in noise based on interaural time difference in the envelope (ITD ENV). We sought to investigate the reliability of an ITD ENV-based training program in speech-in-noise perception among elderly individuals with normal hearing and speech-in-noise disorder. The present interventional study was performed during 2016. Sixteen elderly men between 55 and 65 years of age with the clinical diagnosis of normal hearing up to 2000 Hz and speech-in-noise perception disorder participated in this study. The training localization program was based on changes in ITD ENV. In order to evaluate the reliability of the training program, we performed speech-in-noise tests before the training program, immediately afterward, and then at 2 months' follow-up. The reliability of the training program was analyzed using the Friedman test and the SPSS software. Significant statistical differences were shown in the mean scores of speech-in-noise perception between the 3 time points (P=0.001). The results also indicated no difference in the mean scores of speech-in-noise perception between the 2 time points of immediately after the training program and 2 months' follow-up (P=0.212). The present study showed the reliability of an ITD ENV-based localization training in elderly individuals with speech-in-noise perception disorder.
Koller, Roger; Guignard, Jérémie; Caversaccio, Marco; Kompis, Martin; Senn, Pascal
Background Telecommunication is limited or even impossible for more than one-thirds of all cochlear implant (CI) users. Objective We sought therefore to study the impact of voice quality on speech perception with voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) under real and adverse network conditions. Methods Telephone speech perception was assessed in 19 CI users (15-69 years, average 42 years), using the German HSM (Hochmair-Schulz-Moser) sentence test comparing Skype and conventional telephone (public switched telephone networks, PSTN) transmission using a personal computer (PC) and a digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) telephone dual device. Five different Internet transmission quality modes and four accessories (PC speakers, headphones, 3.5 mm jack audio cable, and induction loop) were compared. As a secondary outcome, the subjective perceived voice quality was assessed using the mean opinion score (MOS). Results Speech telephone perception was significantly better (median 91.6%, P 15%) were not superior to conventional telephony. In addition, there were no significant differences between the tested accessories (P>.05) using a PC. Coupling a Skype DECT phone device with an audio cable to the CI, however, resulted in higher speech perception (median 65%) and subjective MOS scores (3.2) than using PSTN (median 7.5%, P<.001). Conclusions Skype calls significantly improve speech perception for CI users compared with conventional telephony under real network conditions. Listening accessories do not further improve listening experience. Current Skype DECT telephone devices do not fully offer technical advantages in voice quality. PMID:28438727
Calandruccio, Lauren; Gomez, Bianca; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J
The purpose of this study was to develop a task to evaluate children's English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers. Eight bilingual Spanish-English and 8 age-matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9-16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected for adaptively estimating masked speech reception thresholds. Speech stimuli were spoken by simultaneous bilingual Spanish-English talkers. The target stimuli were 30 disyllabic English and Spanish words, familiar to 5-year-olds and easily illustrated. Competing stimuli included either 2-talker English or 2-talker Spanish speech (corresponding to target language) and spectrally matched noise. For both groups of children, regardless of test language, performance was significantly worse for the 2-talker than for the noise masker condition. No difference in performance was found between bilingual and monolingual children. Bilingual children performed significantly better in English than in Spanish in competing speech. For all listening conditions, performance improved with increasing age. Results indicated that the stimuli and task were appropriate for speech recognition testing in both languages, providing a more conventional measure of speech-in-noise perception as well as a measure of complex listening. Further research is needed to determine performance for Spanish-dominant listeners and to evaluate the feasibility of implementation into routine clinical use.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the le...
Hisanaga, Satoko; Sekiyama, Kaoru; Igasaki, Tomohiko; Murayama, Nobuki
Several behavioural studies have shown that the interplay between voice and face information in audiovisual speech perception is not universal. Native English speakers (ESs) are influenced by visual mouth movement to a greater degree than native Japanese speakers (JSs) when listening to speech. However, the biological basis of these group differences is unknown. Here, we demonstrate the time-varying processes of group differences in terms of event-related brain potentials (ERP) and eye gaze for audiovisual and audio-only speech perception. On a behavioural level, while congruent mouth movement shortened the ESs' response time for speech perception, the opposite effect was observed in JSs. Eye-tracking data revealed a gaze bias to the mouth for the ESs but not the JSs, especially before the audio onset. Additionally, the ERP P2 amplitude indicated that ESs processed multisensory speech more efficiently than auditory-only speech; however, the JSs exhibited the opposite pattern. Taken together, the ESs' early visual attention to the mouth was likely to promote phonetic anticipation, which was not the case for the JSs. These results clearly indicate the impact of language and/or culture on multisensory speech processing, suggesting that linguistic/cultural experiences lead to the development of unique neural systems for audiovisual speech perception.
Full Text Available Background: Previous studies have shown that interaural-time-difference (ITD training can improve localization ability. Surprisingly little is, however, known about localization training vis-à-vis speech perception in noise based on interaural time difference in the envelope (ITD ENV. We sought to investigate the reliability of an ITD ENV-based training program in speech-in-noise perception among elderly individuals with normal hearing and speech-in-noise disorder. Methods: The present interventional study was performed during 2016. Sixteen elderly men between 55 and 65 years of age with the clinical diagnosis of normal hearing up to 2000 Hz and speech-in-noise perception disorder participated in this study. The training localization program was based on changes in ITD ENV. In order to evaluate the reliability of the training program, we performed speech-in-noise tests before the training program, immediately afterward, and then at 2 months’ follow-up. The reliability of the training program was analyzed using the Friedman test and the SPSS software. Results: Significant statistical differences were shown in the mean scores of speech-in-noise perception between the 3 time points (P=0.001. The results also indicated no difference in the mean scores of speech-in-noise perception between the 2 time points of immediately after the training program and 2 months’ follow-up (P=0.212. Conclusion: The present study showed the reliability of an ITD ENV-based localization training in elderly individuals with speech-in-noise perception disorder.
Slater, Jessica; Skoe, Erika; Strait, Dana L; O'Connell, Samantha; Thompson, Elaine; Kraus, Nina
Music training may strengthen auditory skills that help children not only in musical performance but in everyday communication. Comparisons of musicians and non-musicians across the lifespan have provided some evidence for a "musician advantage" in understanding speech in noise, although reports have been mixed. Controlled longitudinal studies are essential to disentangle effects of training from pre-existing differences, and to determine how much music training is necessary to confer benefits. We followed a cohort of elementary school children for 2 years, assessing their ability to perceive speech in noise before and after musical training. After the initial assessment, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group began music training right away and completed 2 years of training, while the second group waited a year and then received 1 year of music training. Outcomes provide the first longitudinal evidence that speech-in-noise perception improves after 2 years of group music training. The children were enrolled in an established and successful community-based music program and followed the standard curriculum, therefore these findings provide an important link between laboratory-based research and real-world assessment of the impact of music training on everyday communication skills. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Yeung, H Henny; Werker, Janet F
Speech is robustly audiovisual from early in infancy. Here we show that audiovisual speech perception in 4.5-month-old infants is influenced by sensorimotor information related to the lip movements they make while chewing or sucking. Experiment 1 consisted of a classic audiovisual matching procedure, in which two simultaneously displayed talking faces (visual [i] and [u]) were presented with a synchronous vowel sound (audio /i/ or /u/). Infants' looking patterns were selectively biased away from the audiovisual matching face when the infants were producing lip movements similar to those needed to produce the heard vowel. Infants' looking patterns returned to those of a baseline condition (no lip movements, looking longer at the audiovisual matching face) when they were producing lip movements that did not match the heard vowel. Experiment 2 confirmed that these sensorimotor effects interacted with the heard vowel, as looking patterns differed when infants produced these same lip movements while seeing and hearing a talking face producing an unrelated vowel (audio /a/). These findings suggest that the development of speech perception and speech production may be mutually informative.
Chen, Liang; Lei, Jianghua
The present study aimed to investigate the development of visual speech perception in Chinese-speaking children. Children aged 7, 13 and 16 were asked to visually identify both consonant and vowel sounds in Chinese as quickly and accurately as possible. Results revealed (1) an increase in accuracy of visual speech perception between ages 7 and 13 after which the accuracy rate either stagnates or drops; and (2) a U-shaped development pattern in speed of perception with peak performance in 13-year olds. Results also showed that across all age groups, the overall levels of accuracy rose, whereas the response times fell for simplex finals, complex finals and initials. These findings suggest that (1) visual speech perception in Chinese is a developmental process that is acquired over time and is still fine-tuned well into late adolescence; (2) factors other than cross-linguistic differences in phonological complexity and degrees of reliance on visual information are involved in development of visual speech perception.
Cao, Shuyang; Li, Liang; Wu, Xihong
When a target-speech/masker mixture is processed with the signal-separation technique, ideal binary mask (IBM), intelligibility of target speech is remarkably improved in both normal-hearing listeners and hearing-impaired listeners. Intelligibility of speech can also be improved by filling in speech gaps with un-modulated broadband noise. This study investigated whether intelligibility of target speech in the IBM-treated target-speech/masker mixture can be further improved by adding a broadband-noise background. The results of this study show that following the IBM manipulation, which remarkably released target speech from speech-spectrum noise, foreign-speech, or native-speech masking (experiment 1), adding a broadband-noise background with the signal-to-noise ratio no less than 4 dB significantly improved intelligibility of target speech when the masker was either noise (experiment 2) or speech (experiment 3). The results suggest that since adding the noise background shallows the areas of silence in the time-frequency domain of the IBM-treated target-speech/masker mixture, the abruption of transient changes in the mixture is smoothed and the perceived continuity of target-speech components becomes enhanced, leading to improved target-speech intelligibility. The findings are useful for advancing computational auditory scene analysis, hearing-aid/cochlear-implant designs, and understanding of speech perception under "cocktail-party" conditions.
Verheij, Emmy; Oomen, Karin P Q; Smetsers, Stephanie E; van Zanten, Gijsbert A; Speleman, Lucienne
Fanconi anemia is a hereditary chromosomal instability disorder. Hearing loss and ear abnormalities are among the many manifestations reported in this disorder. In addition, Fanconi anemia patients often complain about hearing difficulties in situations with background noise (speech perception in noise difficulties). Our study aimed to describe the prevalence of hearing loss and speech perception in noise difficulties in Dutch Fanconi anemia patients. Retrospective chart review. A retrospective chart review was conducted at a Dutch tertiary care center. All patients with Fanconi anemia at clinical follow-up in our hospital were included. Medical files were reviewed to collect data on hearing loss and speech perception in noise difficulties. In total, 49 Fanconi anemia patients were included. Audiograms were available in 29 patients and showed hearing loss in 16 patients (55%). Conductive hearing loss was present in 24.1%, sensorineural in 20.7%, and mixed in 10.3%. A speech in noise test was performed in 17 patients; speech perception in noise was subnormal in nine patients (52.9%) and abnormal in two patients (11.7%). Hearing loss and speech perception in noise abnormalities are common in Fanconi anemia. Therefore, pure tone audiograms and speech in noise tests should be performed, preferably already at a young age, because hearing aids or assistive listening devices could be very valuable in developing language and communication skills. 4. Laryngoscope, 127:2358-2361, 2017. © 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
Venezia, Jonathan H; Thurman, Steven M; Matchin, William; George, Sahara E; Hickok, Gregory
Recent influential models of audiovisual speech perception suggest that visual speech aids perception by generating predictions about the identity of upcoming speech sounds. These models place stock in the assumption that visual speech leads auditory speech in time. However, it is unclear whether and to what extent temporally-leading visual speech information contributes to perception. Previous studies exploring audiovisual-speech timing have relied upon psychophysical procedures that require artificial manipulation of cross-modal alignment or stimulus duration. We introduce a classification procedure that tracks perceptually relevant visual speech information in time without requiring such manipulations. Participants were shown videos of a McGurk syllable (auditory /apa/ + visual /aka/ = perceptual /ata/) and asked to perform phoneme identification (/apa/ yes-no). The mouth region of the visual stimulus was overlaid with a dynamic transparency mask that obscured visual speech in some frames but not others randomly across trials. Variability in participants' responses (~35 % identification of /apa/ compared to ~5 % in the absence of the masker) served as the basis for classification analysis. The outcome was a high resolution spatiotemporal map of perceptually relevant visual features. We produced these maps for McGurk stimuli at different audiovisual temporal offsets (natural timing, 50-ms visual lead, and 100-ms visual lead). Briefly, temporally-leading (~130 ms) visual information did influence auditory perception. Moreover, several visual features influenced perception of a single speech sound, with the relative influence of each feature depending on both its temporal relation to the auditory signal and its informational content.
Venezia, Jonathan H.; Thurman, Steven M.; Matchin, William; George, Sahara E.; Hickok, Gregory
Recent influential models of audiovisual speech perception suggest that visual speech aids perception by generating predictions about the identity of upcoming speech sounds. These models place stock in the assumption that visual speech leads auditory speech in time. However, it is unclear whether and to what extent temporally-leading visual speech information contributes to perception. Previous studies exploring audiovisual-speech timing have relied upon psychophysical procedures that require artificial manipulation of cross-modal alignment or stimulus duration. We introduce a classification procedure that tracks perceptually-relevant visual speech information in time without requiring such manipulations. Participants were shown videos of a McGurk syllable (auditory /apa/ + visual /aka/ = perceptual /ata/) and asked to perform phoneme identification (/apa/ yes-no). The mouth region of the visual stimulus was overlaid with a dynamic transparency mask that obscured visual speech in some frames but not others randomly across trials. Variability in participants' responses (∼35% identification of /apa/ compared to ∼5% in the absence of the masker) served as the basis for classification analysis. The outcome was a high resolution spatiotemporal map of perceptually-relevant visual features. We produced these maps for McGurk stimuli at different audiovisual temporal offsets (natural timing, 50-ms visual lead, and 100-ms visual lead). Briefly, temporally-leading (∼130 ms) visual information did influence auditory perception. Moreover, several visual features influenced perception of a single speech sound, with the relative influence of each feature depending on both its temporal relation to the auditory signal and its informational content. PMID:26669309
Krieger-Redwood, Katya; Gaskell, M Gareth; Lindsay, Shane; Jefferies, Elizabeth
Several accounts of speech perception propose that the areas involved in producing language are also involved in perceiving it. In line with this view, neuroimaging studies show activation of premotor cortex (PMC) during phoneme judgment tasks; however, there is debate about whether speech perception necessarily involves motor processes, across all task contexts, or whether the contribution of PMC is restricted to tasks requiring explicit phoneme awareness. Some aspects of speech processing, such as mapping sounds onto meaning, may proceed without the involvement of motor speech areas if PMC specifically contributes to the manipulation and categorical perception of phonemes. We applied TMS to three sites-PMC, posterior superior temporal gyrus, and occipital pole-and for the first time within the TMS literature, directly contrasted two speech perception tasks that required explicit phoneme decisions and mapping of speech sounds onto semantic categories, respectively. TMS to PMC disrupted explicit phonological judgments but not access to meaning for the same speech stimuli. TMS to two further sites confirmed that this pattern was site specific and did not reflect a generic difference in the susceptibility of our experimental tasks to TMS: stimulation of pSTG, a site involved in auditory processing, disrupted performance in both language tasks, whereas stimulation of occipital pole had no effect on performance in either task. These findings demonstrate that, although PMC is important for explicit phonological judgments, crucially, PMC is not necessary for mapping speech onto meanings.
Lynne E Bernstein
Full Text Available This paper examines the questions, what levels of speech can be perceived visually, and how is visual speech represented by the brain? Review of the literature leads to the conclusions that every level of psycholinguistic speech structure (i.e., phonetic features, phonemes, syllables, words, and prosody can be perceived visually, although individuals differ in their abilities to do so; and that there are visual modality-specific representations of speech qua speech in higher-level vision brain areas. That is, the visual system represents the modal patterns of visual speech. The suggestion that the auditory speech pathway receives and represents visual speech is examined in light of neuroimaging evidence on the auditory speech pathways. We outline the generally agreed-upon organization of the visual ventral and dorsal pathways and examine several types of visual processing that might be related to speech through those pathways, specifically, face and body, orthography, and sign language processing. In this context, we examine the visual speech processing literature, which reveals widespread diverse patterns activity in posterior temporal cortices in response to visual speech stimuli. We outline a model of the visual and auditory speech pathways and make several suggestions: (1 The visual perception of speech relies on visual pathway representations of speech qua speech. (2 A proposed site of these representations, the temporal visual speech area (TVSA has been demonstrated in posterior temporal cortex, ventral and posterior to multisensory posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS. (3 Given that visual speech has dynamic and configural features, its representations in feedforward visual pathways are expected to integrate these features, possibly in TVSA.
Pisoni, David B.
This paper reviews some of the major evidence and arguments currently available to support the view that human speech perception may require the use of specialized neural mechanisms for perceptual analysis. Experiments using synthetically produced speech signals with adults are briefly summarized and extensions of these results to infants and other organisms are reviewed with an emphasis towards detailing those aspects of speech perception that may require some need for specialized species-specific processors. Finally, some comments on the role of early experience in perceptual development are provided as an attempt to identify promising areas of new research in speech perception. PMID:399200
Fuller, Christina D; Galvin, John J; Maat, Bert; Başkent, Deniz; Free, Rolien H
In normal-hearing (NH) adults, long-term music training may benefit music and speech perception, even when listening to spectro-temporally degraded signals as experienced by cochlear implant (CI) users. In this study, we compared two different music training approaches in CI users and their effects on speech and music perception, as it remains unclear which approach to music training might be best. The approaches differed in terms of music exercises and social interaction. For the pitch/timbre group, melodic contour identification (MCI) training was performed using computer software. For the music therapy group, training involved face-to-face group exercises (rhythm perception, musical speech perception, music perception, singing, vocal emotion identification, and music improvisation). For the control group, training involved group nonmusic activities (e.g., writing, cooking, and woodworking). Training consisted of weekly 2-hr sessions over a 6-week period. Speech intelligibility in quiet and noise, vocal emotion identification, MCI, and quality of life (QoL) were measured before and after training. The different training approaches appeared to offer different benefits for music and speech perception. Training effects were observed within-domain (better MCI performance for the pitch/timbre group), with little cross-domain transfer of music training (emotion identification significantly improved for the music therapy group). While training had no significant effect on QoL, the music therapy group reported better perceptual skills across training sessions. These results suggest that more extensive and intensive training approaches that combine pitch training with the social aspects of music therapy may further benefit CI users.
Full Text Available Listeners must accomplish two complementary perceptual feats in extracting a message from speech. They must discriminate linguistically-relevant acoustic variability and generalize across irrelevant variability. Said another way, they must categorize speech. Since the mapping of acoustic variability is language-specific, these categories must be learned from experience. Thus, understanding how, in general, the auditory system acquires and represents categories can inform us about the toolbox of mechanisms available to speech perception. This perspective invites consideration of findings from cognitive neuroscience literatures outside of the speech domain as a means of constraining models of speech perception. Although neurobiological models of speech perception have mainly focused on cerebral cortex, research outside the speech domain is consistent with the possibility of significant subcortical contributions in category learning. Here, we review the functional role of one such structure, the basal ganglia. We examine research from animal electrophysiology, human neuroimaging, and behavior to consider characteristics of basal ganglia processing that may be advantageous for speech category learning. We also present emerging evidence for a direct role for basal ganglia in learning auditory categories in a complex, naturalistic task intended to model the incidental manner in which speech categories are acquired. To conclude, we highlight new research questions that arise in incorporating the broader neuroscience research literature in modeling speech perception, and suggest how understanding contributions of the basal ganglia can inform attempts to optimize training protocols for learning non-native speech categories in adulthood.
Klein, Kelsey E; Walker, Elizabeth A; Kirby, Benjamin; McCreery, Ryan W
We examined the effects of vocabulary, lexical characteristics (age of acquisition and phonotactic probability), and auditory access (aided audibility and daily hearing aid [HA] use) on speech perception skills in children with HAs. Participants included 24 children with HAs and 25 children with normal hearing (NH), ages 5-12 years. Groups were matched on age, expressive and receptive vocabulary, articulation, and nonverbal working memory. Participants repeated monosyllabic words and nonwords in noise. Stimuli varied on age of acquisition, lexical frequency, and phonotactic probability. Performance in each condition was measured by the signal-to-noise ratio at which the child could accurately repeat 50% of the stimuli. Children from both groups with larger vocabularies showed better performance than children with smaller vocabularies on nonwords and late-acquired words but not early-acquired words. Overall, children with HAs showed poorer performance than children with NH. Auditory access was not associated with speech perception for the children with HAs. Children with HAs show deficits in sensitivity to phonological structure but appear to take advantage of vocabulary skills to support speech perception in the same way as children with NH. Further investigation is needed to understand the causes of the gap that exists between the overall speech perception abilities of children with HAs and children with NH.
Lavie, Limor; Banai, Karen; Karni, Avi; Attias, Joseph
Purpose: We tested whether using hearing aids can improve unaided performance in speech perception tasks in older adults with hearing impairment. Method: Unaided performance was evaluated in dichotic listening and speech-in-noise tests in 47 older adults with hearing impairment; 36 participants in 3 study groups were tested before hearing aid…
Drawing on recent developments in the cortical organization of vision, and on data from a variety of sources, Hickok and Poeppel (2000) have proposed a new model of the functional anatomy of speech perception. The model posits that early cortical stages of speech perception involve auditory fields in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (although asymmetrically). This cortical processing system then diverges into two broad processing streams, a ventral stream, involved in mapping sound onto meaning, and a dorsal stream, involved in mapping sound onto articulatory-based representations. The ventral stream projects ventrolaterally toward inferior posterior temporal cortex which serves as an interface between sound and meaning. The dorsal stream projects dorsoposteriorly toward the parietal lobe and ultimately to frontal regions. This network provides a mechanism for the development and maintenance of ``parity'' between auditory and motor representations of speech. Although the dorsal stream represents a tight connection between speech perception and speech production, it is not a critical component of the speech perception process under ecologically natural listening conditions. Some degree of bi-directionality in both the dorsal and ventral pathways is also proposed. A variety of recent empirical tests of this model have provided further support for the proposal.
Full Text Available The neural basis of speech perception has been debated for over a century. While it is generally agreed that the superior temporal lobes are critical for the perceptual analysis of speech, a major current topic is whether the motor system contributes to speech perception, with several conflicting findings attested. In a dorsal-ventral speech stream framework (Hickok & Poeppel 2007, this debate is essentially about the roles of the dorsal versus ventral speech processing streams. A major roadblock in characterizing the neuroanatomy of speech perception is task-specific effects. For example, much of the evidence for dorsal stream involvement comes from syllable discrimination type tasks, which have been found to behaviorally doubly dissociate from auditory comprehension tasks (Baker et al. 1981. Discrimination task deficits could be a result of difficulty perceiving the sounds themselves, which is the typical assumption, or it could be a result of failures in temporary maintenance of the sensory traces, or the comparison and/or the decision process. Similar complications arise in perceiving sentences: the extent of inferior frontal (i.e. dorsal stream activation during listening to sentences increases as a function of increased task demands (Love et al. 2006. Another complication is the stimulus: much evidence for dorsal stream involvement uses speech samples lacking semantic context (CVs, non-words. The present study addresses these issues in a large-scale lesion-symptom mapping study. 158 patients with focal cerebral lesions from the Mutli-site Aphasia Research Consortium underwent a structural MRI or CT scan, as well as an extensive psycholinguistic battery. Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping was used to compare the neuroanatomy involved in the following speech perception tasks with varying phonological, semantic, and task loads: (i two discrimination tasks of syllables (non-words and words, respectively, (ii two auditory comprehension tasks
Távora-Vieira, Dayse; Marino, Roberta; Acharya, Aanand; Rajan, Gunesh P
This study aimed to determine the impact of cochlear implantation on speech understanding in noise, subjective perception of hearing, and tinnitus perception of adult patients with unilateral severe to profound hearing loss and to investigate whether duration of deafness and age at implantation would influence the outcomes. In addition, this article describes the auditory training protocol used for unilaterally deaf patients. This is a prospective study of subjects undergoing cochlear implantation for unilateral deafness with or without associated tinnitus. Speech perception in noise was tested using the Bamford-Kowal-Bench speech-in-noise test presented at 65 dB SPL. The Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit were used to evaluate the subjective perception of hearing with a cochlear implant and quality of life. Tinnitus disturbance was measured using the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire. Data were collected before cochlear implantation and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after implantation. Twenty-eight postlingual unilaterally deaf adults with or without tinnitus were implanted. There was a significant improvement in speech perception in noise across time in all spatial configurations. There was an overall significant improvement on the subjective perception of hearing and quality of life. Tinnitus disturbance reduced significantly across time. Age at implantation and duration of deafness did not influence the outcomes significantly. Cochlear implantation provided significant improvement in speech understanding in challenging situations, subjective perception of hearing performance, and quality of life. Cochlear implantation also resulted in reduced tinnitus disturbance. Age at implantation and duration of deafness did not seem to influence the outcomes.
Vroomen, Jean; Stekelenburg, Jeroen J.
Perception of intersensory temporal order is particularly difficult for (continuous) audiovisual speech, as perceivers may find it difficult to notice substantial timing differences between speech sounds and lip movements. Here we tested whether this occurs because audiovisual speech is strongly paired ("unity assumption"). Participants made…
Eskelund, Kasper; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Andersen, Tobias
investigate whether the integration of auditory and visual speech observed in these two audiovisual integration effects are specific traits of speech perception. We further ask whether audiovisual integration is undertaken in a single processing stage or multiple processing stages....
Grover, C.N.; Terken, J.M.B.
Modelling rhythmic characteristics of speech is expected to contribute to the acceptability of synthetic speech. However, before rules for the control of speech rhythm in synthetic speech can be developed, we need to know which properties of speech give rise to the perception of speech rhythm. An
Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Mercure, Evelyne; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Dick, Fred; Thomas, Michael S. C.
Being able to see a talking face confers a considerable advantage for speech perception in adulthood. However, behavioural data currently suggest that children fail to make full use of these available visual speech cues until age 8 or 9. This is particularly surprising given the potential utility of multiple informational cues during language…
Full Text Available Adult speech perception reflects the long-term regularities of the native language, but it is also flexible such that it accommodates and adapts to adverse listening conditions and short-term deviations from native-language norms. The purpose of this review article is to examine how the broader neuroscience literature can inform and advance research efforts in understanding the neural basis of flexibility and adaptive plasticity in speech perception. In particular, we consider several domains of neuroscience research that offer insight into how perception can be adaptively tuned to short-term deviations while also maintaining without affecting the long-term learned regularities for mapping sensory input. We review several literatures to highlight the potential role of learning algorithms that rely on prediction error signals and discuss specific neural structures that are likely to contribute to such learning. Already, a few studies have alluded to a potential role of these mechanisms in adaptive plasticity in speech perception. Better understanding the application and limitations of these algorithms for the challenges of flexible speech perception under adverse conditions promises to inform theoretical models of speech.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.
Kumar, G Vinodh; Halder, Tamesh; Jaiswal, Amit K; Mukherjee, Abhishek; Roy, Dipanjan; Banerjee, Arpan
Observable lip movements of the speaker influence perception of auditory speech. A classical example of this influence is reported by listeners who perceive an illusory (cross-modal) speech sound (McGurk-effect) when presented with incongruent audio-visual (AV) speech stimuli. Recent neuroimaging studies of AV speech perception accentuate the role of frontal, parietal, and the integrative brain sites in the vicinity of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) for multisensory speech perception. However, if and how does the network across the whole brain participates during multisensory perception processing remains an open question. We posit that a large-scale functional connectivity among the neural population situated in distributed brain sites may provide valuable insights involved in processing and fusing of AV speech. Varying the psychophysical parameters in tandem with electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, we exploited the trial-by-trial perceptual variability of incongruent audio-visual (AV) speech stimuli to identify the characteristics of the large-scale cortical network that facilitates multisensory perception during synchronous and asynchronous AV speech. We evaluated the spectral landscape of EEG signals during multisensory speech perception at varying AV lags. Functional connectivity dynamics for all sensor pairs was computed using the time-frequency global coherence, the vector sum of pairwise coherence changes over time. During synchronous AV speech, we observed enhanced global gamma-band coherence and decreased alpha and beta-band coherence underlying cross-modal (illusory) perception compared to unisensory perception around a temporal window of 300-600 ms following onset of stimuli. During asynchronous speech stimuli, a global broadband coherence was observed during cross-modal perception at earlier times along with pre-stimulus decreases of lower frequency power, e.g., alpha rhythms for positive AV lags and theta rhythms for negative AV lags. Thus, our
Nan, Yun; Liu, Li; Geiser, Eveline; Shu, Hua; Gong, Chen Chen; Dong, Qi; Gabrieli, John D E; Desimone, Robert
Musical training confers advantages in speech-sound processing, which could play an important role in early childhood education. To understand the mechanisms of this effect, we used event-related potential and behavioral measures in a longitudinal design. Seventy-four Mandarin-speaking children aged 4-5 y old were pseudorandomly assigned to piano training, reading training, or a no-contact control group. Six months of piano training improved behavioral auditory word discrimination in general as well as word discrimination based on vowels compared with the controls. The reading group yielded similar trends. However, the piano group demonstrated unique advantages over the reading and control groups in consonant-based word discrimination and in enhanced positive mismatch responses (pMMRs) to lexical tone and musical pitch changes. The improved word discrimination based on consonants correlated with the enhancements in musical pitch pMMRs among the children in the piano group. In contrast, all three groups improved equally on general cognitive measures, including tests of IQ, working memory, and attention. The results suggest strengthened common sound processing across domains as an important mechanism underlying the benefits of musical training on language processing. In addition, although we failed to find far-transfer effects of musical training to general cognition, the near-transfer effects to speech perception establish the potential for musical training to help children improve their language skills. Piano training was not inferior to reading training on direct tests of language function, and it even seemed superior to reading training in enhancing consonant discrimination.
Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L.
What is the nature of the interface between speech perception and production, where auditory and motor representations converge? One set of explanations suggests that during perception, the motor circuits involved in producing a perceived action are in some way enacting the action without actually causing movement (covert simulation) or sending along the motor information to be used to predict its sensory consequences (i.e., efference copy). Other accounts either reject entirely the involvement of motor representations in perception, or explain their role as being more supportive than integral, and not employing the identical circuits used in production. Using fMRI, we investigated whether there are brain regions that are conjointly active for both speech perception and production, and whether these regions are sensitive to articulatory (syllabic) complexity during both processes, which is predicted by a covert simulation account. A group of healthy young adults (1) observed a female speaker produce a set of familiar words (perception), and (2) observed and then repeated the words (production). There were two types of words, varying in articulatory complexity, as measured by the presence or absence of consonant clusters. The simple words contained no consonant cluster (e.g. “palace”), while the complex words contained one to three consonant clusters (e.g. “planet”). Results indicate that the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv) was significantly active during speech perception and speech production but that activation in this region was scaled to articulatory complexity only during speech production, revealing an incompletely specified efferent motor signal during speech perception. The right planum temporal (PT) was also active during speech perception and speech production, and activation in this region was scaled to articulatory complexity during both production and perception. These findings are discussed in the context of current theories theory of
Saalasti, Satu; Katsyri, Jari; Tiippana, Kaisa; Laine-Hernandez, Mari; von Wendt, Lennart; Sams, Mikko
Audiovisual speech perception was studied in adults with Asperger syndrome (AS), by utilizing the McGurk effect, in which conflicting visual articulation alters the perception of heard speech. The AS group perceived the audiovisual stimuli differently from age, sex and IQ matched controls. When a voice saying /p/ was presented with a face…
Döge, Julia; Baumann, Uwe; Weissgerber, Tobias; Rader, Tobias
To assess auditory localization accuracy and speech reception threshold (SRT) in complex noise conditions in adult patients with acquired single-sided deafness, after intervention with a cochlear implant (CI) in the deaf ear. Nonrandomized, open, prospective patient series. Tertiary referral university hospital. Eleven patients with late-onset single-sided deafness (SSD) and normal hearing in the unaffected ear, who received a CI. All patients were experienced CI users. Unilateral cochlear implantation. Speech perception was tested in a complex multitalker equivalent noise field consisting of multiple sound sources. Speech reception thresholds in noise were determined in aided (with CI) and unaided conditions. Localization accuracy was assessed in complete darkness. Acoustic stimuli were radiated by multiple loudspeakers distributed in the frontal horizontal plane between -60 and +60 degrees. In the aided condition, results show slightly improved speech reception scores compared with the unaided condition in most of the patients. For 8 of the 11 subjects, SRT was improved between 0.37 and 1.70 dB. Three of the 11 subjects showed deteriorations between 1.22 and 3.24 dB SRT. Median localization error decreased significantly by 12.9 degrees compared with the unaided condition. CI in single-sided deafness is an effective treatment to improve the auditory localization accuracy. Speech reception in complex noise conditions is improved to a lesser extent in 73% of the participating CI SSD patients. However, the absence of true binaural interaction effects (summation, squelch) impedes further improvements. The development of speech processing strategies that respect binaural interaction seems to be mandatory to advance speech perception in demanding listening situations in SSD patients.
Getz, Laura M; Nordeen, Elke R; Vrabic, Sarah C; Toscano, Joseph C
Adult speech perception is generally enhanced when information is provided from multiple modalities. In contrast, infants do not appear to benefit from combining auditory and visual speech information early in development. This is true despite the fact that both modalities are important to speech comprehension even at early stages of language acquisition. How then do listeners learn how to process auditory and visual information as part of a unified signal? In the auditory domain, statistical learning processes provide an excellent mechanism for acquiring phonological categories. Is this also true for the more complex problem of acquiring audiovisual correspondences, which require the learner to integrate information from multiple modalities? In this paper, we present simulations using Gaussian mixture models (GMMs) that learn cue weights and combine cues on the basis of their distributional statistics. First, we simulate the developmental process of acquiring phonological categories from auditory and visual cues, asking whether simple statistical learning approaches are sufficient for learning multi-modal representations. Second, we use this time course information to explain audiovisual speech perception in adult perceivers, including cases where auditory and visual input are mismatched. Overall, we find that domain-general statistical learning techniques allow us to model the developmental trajectory of audiovisual cue integration in speech, and in turn, allow us to better understand the mechanisms that give rise to unified percepts based on multiple cues.
Full Text Available Language and music share many rhythmic properties, such as variations in intensity and duration leading to repeating patterns. Perception of rhythmic properties may rely on cognitive networks that are shared between the two domains. If so, then variability in speech rhythm perception may relate to individual differences in musicality. To examine this possibility, the present study focuses on rhythmic grouping, which is assumed to be guided by a domain-general principle, the Iambic/Trochaic law, stating that sounds alternating in intensity are grouped as strong-weak, and sounds alternating in duration are grouped as weak-strong. German listeners completed a grouping task: They heard streams of syllables alternating in intensity, duration, or neither, and had to indicate whether they perceived a strong-weak or weak-strong pattern. Moreover, their music perception abilities were measured, and they filled out a questionnaire reporting their productive musical experience. Results showed that better musical rhythm perception ability was associated with more consistent rhythmic grouping of speech, while melody perception ability and productive musical experience were not. This suggests shared cognitive procedures in the perception of rhythm in music and speech. Also, the results highlight the relevance of considering individual differences in musicality when aiming to explain variability in prosody perception.
Judge, Simon; Robertson, Zoë; Hawley, Mark; Enderby, Pam
To explore users' experiences and perceptions of speech-driven environmental control systems (SPECS) as part of a larger project aiming to develop a new SPECS. The motivation for this part of the project was to add to the evidence base for the use of SPECS and to determine the key design specifications for a new speech-driven system from a user's perspective. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 users of SPECS from around the United Kingdom. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using a qualitative method based on framework analysis. Reliability is the main influence on the use of SPECS. All the participants gave examples of occasions when their speech-driven system was unreliable; in some instances, this unreliability was reported as not being a problem (e.g., for changing television channels); however, it was perceived as a problem for more safety critical functions (e.g., opening a door). Reliability was cited by participants as the reason for using a switch-operated system as back up. Benefits of speech-driven systems focused on speech operation enabling access when other methods were not possible; quicker operation and better aesthetic considerations. Overall, there was a perception of increased independence from the use of speech-driven environmental control. In general, speech was considered a useful method of operating environmental controls by the participants interviewed; however, their perceptions regarding reliability often influenced their decision to have backup or alternative systems for certain functions.
Shafiro, Valeriy; Sheft, Stanley; Gygi, Brian; Ho, Kim Thien N
Perceptual training with spectrally degraded environmental sounds results in improved environmental sound identification, with benefits shown to extend to untrained speech perception as well. The present study extended those findings to examine longer-term training effects as well as effects of mere repeated exposure to sounds over time. Participants received two pretests (1 week apart) prior to a week-long environmental sound training regimen, which was followed by two posttest sessions, separated by another week without training. Spectrally degraded stimuli, processed with a four-channel vocoder, consisted of a 160-item environmental sound test, word and sentence tests, and a battery of basic auditory abilities and cognitive tests. Results indicated significant improvements in all speech and environmental sound scores between the initial pretest and the last posttest with performance increments following both exposure and training. For environmental sounds (the stimulus class that was trained), the magnitude of positive change that accompanied training was much greater than that due to exposure alone, with improvement for untrained sounds roughly comparable to the speech benefit from exposure. Additional tests of auditory and cognitive abilities showed that speech and environmental sound performance were differentially correlated with tests of spectral and temporal-fine-structure processing, whereas working memory and executive function were correlated with speech, but not environmental sound perception. These findings indicate generalizability of environmental sound training and provide a basis for implementing environmental sound training programs for cochlear implant (CI) patients.
Full Text Available This fMRI study examines shared and distinct cortical areas involved in the auditory perception of song and speech at the level of their underlying constituents: words, pitch and rhythm. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on the brain activity patterns of six conditions, arranged in a subtractive hierarchy: sung sentences including words, pitch and rhythm; hummed speech prosody and song melody containing only pitch patterns and rhythm; as well as the pure musical or speech rhythm.Systematic contrasts between these balanced conditions following their hierarchical organization showed a great overlap between song and speech at all levels in the bilateral temporal lobe, but suggested a differential role of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG and intraparietal sulcus (IPS in processing song and speech. The left IFG was involved in word- and pitch-related processing in speech, the right IFG in processing pitch in song.Furthermore, the IPS showed sensitivity to discrete pitch relations in song as opposed to the gliding pitch in speech. Finally, the superior temporal gyrus and premotor cortex coded for general differences between words and pitch patterns, irrespective of whether they were sung or spoken. Thus, song and speech share many features which are reflected in a fundamental similarity of brain areas involved in their perception. However, fine-grained acoustic differences on word and pitch level are reflected in the activity of IFG and IPS.
Eskelund, Kasper; MacDonald, Ewen; Andersen, Tobias
We perceive identity, expression and speech from faces. While perception of identity and expression depends crucially on the configuration of facial features it is less clear whether this holds for visual speech perception. Facial configuration is poorly perceived for upside-down faces as demonst...
Pons, Ferran; Andreu, Llorenç; Sanz-Torrent, Monica; Buil-Legaz, Lucía; Lewkowicz, David J
Speech perception involves the integration of auditory and visual articulatory information, and thus requires the perception of temporal synchrony between this information. There is evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty with auditory speech perception but it is not known if this is also true for the integration of auditory and visual speech. Twenty Spanish-speaking children with SLI, twenty typically developing age-matched Spanish-speaking children, and twenty Spanish-speaking children matched for MLU-w participated in an eye-tracking study to investigate the perception of audiovisual speech synchrony. Results revealed that children with typical language development perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 666 ms regardless of whether the auditory or visual speech attribute led the other one. Children with SLI only detected the 666 ms asynchrony when the auditory component preceded [corrected] the visual component. None of the groups perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 366 ms. These results suggest that the difficulty of speech processing by children with SLI would also involve difficulties in integrating auditory and visual aspects of speech perception.
Fowler, Jennifer R.; Eggleston, Jessica L.; Reavis, Kelly M.; McMillan, Garnett P.; Reiss, Lina A. J.
Purpose: The objective was to determine whether speech perception could be improved for bimodal listeners (those using a cochlear implant [CI] in one ear and hearing aid in the contralateral ear) by removing low-frequency information provided by the CI, thereby reducing acoustic-electric overlap. Method: Subjects were adult CI subjects with at…
Hickok, Gregory; Costanzo, Maddalena; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele
Motor theories of speech perception have been re-vitalized as a consequence of the discovery of mirror neurons. Some authors have even promoted a strong version of the motor theory, arguing that the motor speech system is critical for perception. Part of the evidence that is cited in favor of this claim is the observation from the early 1980s that…
Hakvoort, Britt; de Bree, Elise; van der Leij, Aryan; Maassen, Ben; van Setten, Ellie; Maurits, Natasha; van Zuijen, Titia L.
Purpose: This study assessed whether a categorical speech perception (CP) deficit is associated with dyslexia or familial risk for dyslexia, by exploring a possible cascading relation from speech perception to phonology to reading and by identifying whether speech perception distinguishes familial risk (FR) children with dyslexia (FRD) from those…
Mealings, Kiri T.; Demuth, Katherine; Buchholz, Jörg; Dillon, Harvey
Purpose: Open-plan classroom styles are increasingly being adopted in Australia despite evidence that their high intrusive noise levels adversely affect learning. The aim of this study was to develop a new Australian speech perception task (the Mealings, Demuth, Dillon, and Buchholz Classroom Speech Perception Test) and use it in an open-plan…
Gauvin, Hanna S.; Hartsuiker, Robert J.; Huettig, Falk
The Perceptual Loop Theory of speech monitoring assumes that speakers routinely inspect their inner speech. In contrast, Huettig and Hartsuiker (2010) observed that listening to one's own speech during language production drives eye-movements to phonologically related printed words with a similar time-course as listening to someone else's speech does in speech perception experiments. This suggests that speakers use their speech perception system to listen to their own overt speech, but not to their inner speech. However, a direct comparison between production and perception with the same stimuli and participants is lacking so far. The current printed word eye-tracking experiment therefore used a within-subjects design, combining production and perception. Displays showed four words, of which one, the target, either had to be named or was presented auditorily. Accompanying words were phonologically related, semantically related, or unrelated to the target. There were small increases in looks to phonological competitors with a similar time-course in both production and perception. Phonological effects in perception however lasted longer and had a much larger magnitude. We conjecture that this difference is related to a difference in predictability of one's own and someone else's speech, which in turn has consequences for lexical competition in other-perception and possibly suppression of activation in self-perception. PMID:24339809
Dreschler, W. A.; Plomp, R.
Twenty-one sensorineurally hearing-impaired adolescents were studied with an extensive battery of tone-perception, phoneme-perception, and speech-perception tests. Tests on loudness perception, frequency selectivity, and temporal resolution at the test frequencies of 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz were
Dornan, Dimity; Hickson, Louise; Murdoch, Bruce; Houston, Todd
This study examined the speech perception, speech, and language developmental progress of 25 children with hearing loss (mean Pure-Tone Average [PTA] 79.37 dB HL) in an auditory verbal therapy program. Children were tested initially and then 21 months later on a battery of assessments. The speech and language results over time were compared with…
Full Text Available This present study investigated the link between speech-in-speech perception capacities and four executive function components: response suppression, inhibitory control, switching and working memory. We constructed a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm using a written target word and a spoken prime word, implemented in one of two concurrent auditory sentences (cocktail party situation. The prime and target were semantically related or unrelated. Participants had to perform a lexical decision task on visual target words and simultaneously listen to only one of two pronounced sentences. The attention of the participant was manipulated: The prime was in the pronounced sentence listened to by the participant or in the ignored one. In addition, we evaluate the executive function abilities of participants (switching cost, inhibitory-control cost and response-suppression cost and their working memory span. Correlation analyses were performed between the executive and priming measurements. Our results showed a significant interaction effect between attention and semantic priming. We observed a significant priming effect in the attended but not in the ignored condition. Only priming effects obtained in the ignored condition were significantly correlated with some of the executive measurements. However, no correlation between priming effects and working memory capacity was found. Overall, these results confirm, first, the role of attention for semantic priming effect and, second, the implication of executive functions in speech-in-noise understanding capacities.
in cross-language and second language speech perception research: The mapping issue (the perceptual relationship of sounds of the native and the nonnative language in the mind of the native listener and the L2 learner), the perceptual and learning difficulty/ease issue (how this relationship may or may...... not cause perceptual and learning difficulty), and the plasticity issue (whether and how experience with the nonnative language affects the perceptual organization of speech sounds in the mind of L2 learners). One important general conclusion from this research is that perceptual learning is possible at all...
Fuller, Christina; Free, Rolien; Maat, Bert; Başkent, Deniz
In normal-hearing listeners, musical background has been observed to change the sound representation in the auditory system and produce enhanced performance in some speech perception tests. Based on these observations, it has been hypothesized that musical background can influence sound and speech perception, and as an extension also the quality of life, by cochlear-implant users. To test this hypothesis, this study explored musical background [using the Dutch Musical Background Questionnaire (DMBQ)], and self-perceived sound and speech perception and quality of life [using the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) and the Speech Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ)] in 98 postlingually deafened adult cochlear-implant recipients. In addition to self-perceived measures, speech perception scores (percentage of phonemes recognized in words presented in quiet) were obtained from patient records. The self-perceived hearing performance was associated with the objective speech perception. Forty-one respondents (44% of 94 respondents) indicated some form of formal musical training. Fifteen respondents (18% of 83 respondents) judged themselves as having musical training, experience, and knowledge. No association was observed between musical background (quantified by DMBQ), and self-perceived hearing-related performance or quality of life (quantified by NCIQ and SSQ), or speech perception in quiet.
Martínez-Montes, Eduardo; Hernández-Pérez, Heivet; Chobert, Julie; Morgado-Rodríguez, Lisbet; Suárez-Murias, Carlos; Valdés-Sosa, Pedro A; Besson, Mireille
The aim of this experiment was to investigate the influence of musical expertise on the automatic perception of foreign syllables and harmonic sounds. Participants were Cuban students with high level of expertise in music or in visual arts and with the same level of general education and socio-economic background. We used a multi-feature Mismatch Negativity (MMN) design with sequences of either syllables in Mandarin Chinese or harmonic sounds, both comprising deviants in pitch contour, duration and Voice Onset Time (VOT) or equivalent that were either far from (Large deviants) or close to (Small deviants) the standard. For both Mandarin syllables and harmonic sounds, results were clear-cut in showing larger MMNs to pitch contour deviants in musicians than in visual artists. Results were less clear for duration and VOT deviants, possibly because of the specific characteristics of the stimuli. Results are interpreted as reflecting similar processing of pitch contour in speech and non-speech sounds. The implications of these results for understanding the influence of intense musical training from childhood to adulthood and of genetic predispositions for music on foreign language perception are discussed.
Full Text Available The aim of this experiment was to investigate the influence of musical expertise on the automatic perception of foreign syllables and harmonic sounds. Participants were Cuban students with high level of expertise in music or in visual arts and with the same level of general education and socio-economic background. We used a multi-feature Mismatch Negativity (MMN design with sequences of either syllables in Mandarin Chinese or harmonic sounds, both comprising deviants in pitch contour, duration and Voice Onset Time (VOT or equivalent that were either far from (Large deviants or close to (Small deviants the standard. For both Mandarin syllables and harmonic sounds, results were clear-cut in showing larger MMNs to pitch contour deviants in musicians than in visual artists. Results were less clear for duration and VOT deviants, possibly because of the specific characteristics of the stimuli. Results are interpreted as reflecting similar processing of pitch contour in speech and non-speech sounds. The implications of these results for understanding the influence of intense musical training from childhood to adulthood and of genetic predispositions for music on foreign language perception is discussed.
Danielson, D Kyle; Bruderer, Alison G; Kandhadai, Padmapriya; Vatikiotis-Bateson, Eric; Werker, Janet F
The period between six and 12 months is a sensitive period for language learning during which infants undergo auditory perceptual attunement, and recent results indicate that this sensitive period may exist across sensory modalities. We tested infants at three stages of perceptual attunement (six, nine, and 11 months) to determine 1) whether they were sensitive to the congruence between heard and seen speech stimuli in an unfamiliar language, and 2) whether familiarization with congruent audiovisual speech could boost subsequent non-native auditory discrimination. Infants at six- and nine-, but not 11-months, detected audiovisual congruence of non-native syllables. Familiarization to incongruent, but not congruent, audiovisual speech changed auditory discrimination at test for six-month-olds but not nine- or 11-month-olds. These results advance the proposal that speech perception is audiovisual from early in ontogeny, and that the sensitive period for audiovisual speech perception may last somewhat longer than that for auditory perception alone.
Ross, Lars A; Molholm, Sophie; Blanco, Daniella; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Saint-Amour, Dave; Foxe, John J
Observing a speaker's articulations substantially improves the intelligibility of spoken speech, especially under noisy listening conditions. This multisensory integration of speech inputs is crucial to effective communication. Appropriate development of this ability has major implications for children in classroom and social settings, and deficits in it have been linked to a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism. It is clear from structural imaging studies that there is a prolonged maturational course within regions of the perisylvian cortex that persists into late childhood, and these regions have been firmly established as being crucial to speech and language functions. Given this protracted maturational timeframe, we reasoned that multisensory speech processing might well show a similarly protracted developmental course. Previous work in adults has shown that audiovisual enhancement in word recognition is most apparent within a restricted range of signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, we investigated when these properties emerge during childhood by testing multisensory speech recognition abilities in typically developing children aged between 5 and 14 years, and comparing them with those of adults. By parametrically varying SNRs, we found that children benefited significantly less from observing visual articulations, displaying considerably less audiovisual enhancement. The findings suggest that improvement in the ability to recognize speech-in-noise and in audiovisual integration during speech perception continues quite late into the childhood years. The implication is that a considerable amount of multisensory learning remains to be achieved during the later schooling years, and that explicit efforts to accommodate this learning may well be warranted. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original US government works.
Rogalsky, Corianne; Love, Tracy; Driscoll, David; Anderson, Steven W.; Hickok, Gregory
The discovery of mirror neurons in macaque has led to a resurrection of motor theories of speech perception. Although the majority of lesion and functional imaging studies have associated perception with the temporal lobes, it has also been proposed that the ‘human mirror system’, which prominently includes Broca’s area, is the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception. Although numerous studies have demonstrated a tight link between sensory and motor speech processes, few have directly assessed the critical prediction of mirror neuron theories of speech perception, namely that damage to the human mirror system should cause severe deficits in speech perception. The present study measured speech perception abilities of patients with lesions involving motor regions in the left posterior frontal lobe and/or inferior parietal lobule (i.e., the proposed human ‘mirror system’). Performance was at or near ceiling in patients with fronto-parietal lesions. It is only when the lesion encroaches on auditory regions in the temporal lobe that perceptual deficits are evident. This suggests that ‘mirror system’ damage does not disrupt speech perception, but rather that auditory systems are the primary substrate for speech perception. PMID:21207313
Mens, L.H.M.; Berenstein, C.K.
OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of two multipolar electrode configurations on speech perception, pitch perception, and the intracochlear electrical field. STUDY DESIGN: Crossover design; within subject. SETTING: Tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: Eight experienced adult cochlear implant users.
Full Text Available Seeing articulatory movements influences perception of auditory speech. This is often reflected in a shortened latency of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs generated in the auditory cortex. The present study addressed whether this early neural correlate of audiovisual interaction is modulated by attention. We recorded ERPs in 15 subjects while they were presented with auditory, visual and audiovisual spoken syllables. Audiovisual stimuli consisted of incongruent auditory and visual components known to elicit a McGurk effect, i.e. a visually driven alteration in the auditory speech percept. In a Dual task condition, participants were asked to identify spoken syllables whilst monitoring a rapid visual stream of pictures for targets, i.e., they had to divide their attention. In a Single task condition, participants identified the syllables without any other tasks, i.e., they were asked to ignore the pictures and focus their attention fully on the spoken syllables. The McGurk effect was weaker in the Dual task than in the Single task condition, indicating an effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception. Early auditory ERP components, N1 and P2, peaked earlier to audiovisual stimuli than to auditory stimuli when attention was fully focused on syllables, indicating neurophysiological audiovisual interaction. This latency decrement was reduced when attention was loaded, suggesting that attention influences early neural processing of audiovisual speech. We conclude that reduced attention weakens the interaction between vision and audition in speech.
Alsius, Agnès; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko E; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Tiippana, Kaisa
Seeing articulatory movements influences perception of auditory speech. This is often reflected in a shortened latency of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) generated in the auditory cortex. The present study addressed whether this early neural correlate of audiovisual interaction is modulated by attention. We recorded ERPs in 15 subjects while they were presented with auditory, visual, and audiovisual spoken syllables. Audiovisual stimuli consisted of incongruent auditory and visual components known to elicit a McGurk effect, i.e., a visually driven alteration in the auditory speech percept. In a Dual task condition, participants were asked to identify spoken syllables whilst monitoring a rapid visual stream of pictures for targets, i.e., they had to divide their attention. In a Single task condition, participants identified the syllables without any other tasks, i.e., they were asked to ignore the pictures and focus their attention fully on the spoken syllables. The McGurk effect was weaker in the Dual task than in the Single task condition, indicating an effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception. Early auditory ERP components, N1 and P2, peaked earlier to audiovisual stimuli than to auditory stimuli when attention was fully focused on syllables, indicating neurophysiological audiovisual interaction. This latency decrement was reduced when attention was loaded, suggesting that attention influences early neural processing of audiovisual speech. We conclude that reduced attention weakens the interaction between vision and audition in speech.
Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D
The aim of the present study was to characterize effects of learning a sign language on the processing of a spoken language. Specifically, audiovisual phoneme comprehension was assessed before and after 13 weeks of sign language exposure. L2 ASL learners performed this task in the fMRI scanner. Results indicated that L2 American Sign Language (ASL) learners' behavioral classification of the speech sounds improved with time compared to hearing nonsigners. Results indicated increased activation in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) after sign language exposure, which suggests concomitant increased phonological processing of speech. A multiple regression analysis indicated that learner's rating on co-sign speech use and lipreading ability was correlated with SMG activation. This pattern of results indicates that the increased use of mouthing and possibly lipreading during sign language acquisition may concurrently improve audiovisual speech processing in budding hearing bimodal bilinguals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rader, Tobias; Adel, Youssef; Fastl, Hugo; Baumann, Uwe
The aim of this study is to simulate speech perception with combined electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS), verify the advantage of combined stimulation in normal-hearing (NH) subjects, and then compare it with cochlear implant (CI) and EAS user results from the authors' previous study. Furthermore, an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system was built to examine the impact of low-frequency information and is proposed as an applied model to study different hypotheses of the combined-stimulation advantage. Signal-detection-theory (SDT) models were applied to assess predictions of subject performance without the need to assume any synergistic effects. Speech perception was tested using a closed-set matrix test (Oldenburg sentence test), and its speech material was processed to simulate CI and EAS hearing. A total of 43 NH subjects and a customized ASR system were tested. CI hearing was simulated by an aurally adequate signal spectrum analysis and representation, the part-tone-time-pattern, which was vocoded at 12 center frequencies according to the MED-EL DUET speech processor. Residual acoustic hearing was simulated by low-pass (LP)-filtered speech with cutoff frequencies 200 and 500 Hz for NH subjects and in the range from 100 to 500 Hz for the ASR system. Speech reception thresholds were determined in amplitude-modulated noise and in pseudocontinuous noise. Previously proposed SDT models were lastly applied to predict NH subject performance with EAS simulations. NH subjects tested with EAS simulations demonstrated the combined-stimulation advantage. Increasing the LP cutoff frequency from 200 to 500 Hz significantly improved speech reception thresholds in both noise conditions. In continuous noise, CI and EAS users showed generally better performance than NH subjects tested with simulations. In modulated noise, performance was comparable except for the EAS at cutoff frequency 500 Hz where NH subject performance was superior. The ASR system showed similar behavior
Klatte, Maria; Lachmann, Thomas; Meis, Markus
The effects of classroom noise and background speech on speech perception, measured by word-to-picture matching, and listening comprehension, measured by execution of oral instructions, were assessed in first- and third-grade children and adults in a classroom-like setting. For speech perception, in addition to noise, reverberation time (RT) was varied by conducting the experiment in two virtual classrooms with mean RT = 0.47 versus RT = 1.1 s. Children were more impaired than adults by background sounds in both speech perception and listening comprehension. Classroom noise evoked a reliable disruption in children's speech perception even under conditions of short reverberation. RT had no effect on speech perception in silence, but evoked a severe increase in the impairments due to background sounds in all age groups. For listening comprehension, impairments due to background sounds were found in the children, stronger for first- than for third-graders, whereas adults were unaffected. Compared to classroom noise, background speech had a smaller effect on speech perception, but a stronger effect on listening comprehension, remaining significant when speech perception was controlled. This indicates that background speech affects higher-order cognitive processes involved in children's comprehension. Children's ratings of the sound-induced disturbance were low overall and uncorrelated to the actual disruption, indicating that the children did not consciously realize the detrimental effects. The present results confirm earlier findings on the substantial impact of noise and reverberation on children's speech perception, and extend these to classroom-like environmental settings and listening demands closely resembling those faced by children at school.
Guediche, Sara; Fiez, Julie A; Holt, Lori L
When listeners encounter speech under adverse listening conditions, adaptive adjustments in perception can improve comprehension over time. In some cases, these adaptive changes require the presence of external information that disambiguates the distorted speech signals, whereas in other cases mere exposure is sufficient. Both external (e.g., written feedback) and internal (e.g., prior word knowledge) sources of information can be used to generate predictions about the correct mapping of a distorted speech signal. We hypothesize that these predictions provide a basis for determining the discrepancy between the expected and actual speech signal that can be used to guide adaptive changes in perception. This study provides the first empirical investigation that manipulates external and internal factors through (a) the availability of explicit external disambiguating information via the presence or absence of postresponse orthographic information paired with a repetition of the degraded stimulus, and (b) the accuracy of internally generated predictions; an acoustic distortion is introduced either abruptly or incrementally. The results demonstrate that the impact of external information on adaptive plasticity is contingent upon whether the intelligibility of the stimuli permits accurate internally generated predictions during exposure. External information sources enhance adaptive plasticity only when input signals are severely degraded and cannot reliably access internal predictions. This is consistent with a computational framework for adaptive plasticity in which error-driven supervised learning relies on the ability to compute sensory prediction error signals from both internal and external sources of information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Naturally produced English clear speech has been shown to be more intelligible than English conversational speech. However, little is known about the extent of the clear speech effects in the production of nonnative English, and perception of foreign-accented English by younger and older listeners. The present study examined whether Cantonese speakers would employ the same strategies as those used by native English speakers in producing clear speech in their second language. Also, the clear s...
Full Text Available A growing body of evidence shows that brain oscillations track speech. This mechanism is thought to maximise 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 behavioural 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.
Full Text Available This study investigated whether auditory, speech perception and phonological skills are tightly interrelated or independently contributing to reading. We assessed each of these three skills in 36 adults with a past diagnosis of dyslexia and 54 matched normal reading adults. Phonological skills were tested by the typical threefold tasks, i.e. rapid automatic naming, verbal short term memory and phonological awareness. Dynamic auditory processing skills were assessed by means of a frequency modulation (FM and an amplitude rise time (RT; an intensity discrimination task (ID was included as a non-dynamic control task. Speech perception was assessed by means of sentences and words in noise tasks. Group analysis revealed significant group differences in auditory tasks (i.e. RT and ID and in phonological processing measures, yet no differences were found for speech perception. In addition, performance on RT discrimination correlated with reading but this relation was mediated by phonological processing and not by speech in noise. Finally, inspection of the individual scores revealed that the dyslexic readers showed an increased proportion of deviant subjects on the slow-dynamic auditory and phonological tasks, yet each individual dyslexic reader does not display a clear pattern of deficiencies across the levels of processing skills. Although our results support phonological and slow-rate dynamic auditory deficits which relate to literacy, they suggest that at the individual level, problems in reading and writing cannot be explained by the cascading auditory theory. Instead, dyslexic adults seem to vary considerably in the extent to which each of the auditory and phonological factors are expressed and interact with environmental and higher-order cognitive influences.
Yamamoto, Kosuke; Kawabata, Hideaki
We ordinarily speak fluently, even though our perceptions of our own voices are disrupted by various environmental acoustic properties. The underlying mechanism of speech is supposed to monitor the temporal relationship between speech production and the perception of auditory feedback, as suggested by a reduction in speech fluency when the speaker is exposed to delayed auditory feedback (DAF). While many studies have reported that DAF influences speech motor processing, its relationship to the temporal tuning effect on multimodal integration, or temporal recalibration, remains unclear. We investigated whether the temporal aspects of both speech perception and production change due to adaptation to the delay between the motor sensation and the auditory feedback. This is a well-used method of inducing temporal recalibration. Participants continually read texts with specific DAF times in order to adapt to the delay. Then, they judged the simultaneity between the motor sensation and the vocal feedback. We measured the rates of speech with which participants read the texts in both the exposure and re-exposure phases. We found that exposure to DAF changed both the rate of speech and the simultaneity judgment, that is, participants' speech gained fluency. Although we also found that a delay of 200 ms appeared to be most effective in decreasing the rates of speech and shifting the distribution on the simultaneity judgment, there was no correlation between these measurements. These findings suggest that both speech motor production and multimodal perception are adaptive to temporal lag but are processed in distinct ways.
Baum, Sarah H; Martin, Randi C; Hamilton, A Cris; Beauchamp, Michael S
Converging evidence suggests that the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) is a critical site for multisensory integration of auditory and visual information during speech perception. We report a patient, SJ, who suffered a stroke that damaged the left tempo-parietal area, resulting in mild anomic aphasia. Structural MRI showed complete destruction of the left middle and posterior STS, as well as damage to adjacent areas in the temporal and parietal lobes. Surprisingly, SJ demonstrated preserved multisensory integration measured with two independent tests. First, she perceived the McGurk effect, an illusion that requires integration of auditory and visual speech. Second, her perception of morphed audiovisual speech with ambiguous auditory or visual information was significantly influenced by the opposing modality. To understand the neural basis for this preserved multisensory integration, blood-oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) was used to examine brain responses to audiovisual speech in SJ and 23 healthy age-matched controls. In controls, bilateral STS activity was observed. In SJ, no activity was observed in the damaged left STS but in the right STS, more cortex was active in SJ than in any of the normal controls. Further, the amplitude of the BOLD response in right STS response to McGurk stimuli was significantly greater in SJ than in controls. The simplest explanation of these results is a reorganization of SJ's cortical language networks such that the right STS now subserves multisensory integration of speech. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Snellings, Patrick; van der Leij, Aryan; Blok, Henk; de Jong, Peter F.
This study investigated the role of speech perception accuracy and speed in fluent word decoding of reading disabled (RD) children. A same-different phoneme discrimination task with natural speech tested the perception of single consonants and consonant clusters by young but persistent RD children. RD children were slower than chronological age…
Lam, Choi Ling Coriolanus
of the reverberation time, the indoor ambient noise (or background noise level), the signal-to-noise ratio, and the speech transmission index, it aims to establish a guideline for improving the speech intelligibility in classrooms for any countries and any environmental conditions. The study showed that the acoustical conditions of most of the measured classrooms in Hong Kong are unsatisfactory. The selection of materials inside a classroom is important for improving speech intelligibility at design stage, especially the acoustics ceiling, to shorten the reverberation time inside the classroom. The signal-to-noise should be higher than 11dB(A) for over 70% of speech perception, either tonal or non-tonal languages, without the usage of address system. The unexpected results bring out a call to revise the standard design and to devise acceptable standards for classrooms in Hong Kong. It is also demonstrated a method for assessment on the classroom in other cities with similar environmental conditions.
Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Mani, Nivedita; Grossmann, Tobias
Recent studies suggest that infants' audiovisual speech perception is influenced by articulatory experience (Mugitani et al., 2008; Yeung & Werker, 2013). The current study extends these findings by testing if infants' emerging ability to produce native sounds in babbling impacts their audiovisual speech perception. We tested 44 6-month-olds…
Frijns, Johan H M; Snel-Bongers, Jorien; Vellinga, Dirk; Schrage, Erik; Vanpoucke, Filiep J; Briaire, Jeroen J
Even with six defective contacts, spanning can largely restore speech perception with the HiRes 120 speech processing strategy to the level supported by an intact electrode array. Moreover, the sound quality is not degraded. Previous studies have demonstrated reduced speech perception scores (SPS) with defective contacts in HiRes 120. This study investigated whether replacing defective contacts by spanning, i.e. current steering on non-adjacent contacts, is able to restore speech recognition to the level supported by an intact electrode array. Ten adult cochlear implant recipients (HiRes90K, HiFocus1J) with experience with HiRes 120 participated in this study. Three different defective electrode arrays were simulated (six separate defective contacts, three pairs or two triplets). The participants received three take-home strategies and were asked to evaluate the sound quality in five predefined listening conditions. After 3 weeks, SPS were evaluated with monosyllabic words in quiet and in speech-shaped background noise. The participants rated the sound quality equal for all take-home strategies. SPS with background noise were equal for all conditions tested. However, SPS in quiet (85% phonemes correct on average with the full array) decreased significantly with increasing spanning distance, with a 3% decrease for each spanned contact.
Anderson, Karen L; Goldstein, Howard
Children typically learn in classroom environments that have background noise and reverberation that interfere with accurate speech perception. Amplification technology can enhance the speech perception of students who are hard of hearing. This study used a single-subject alternating treatments design to compare the speech recognition abilities of children who are, hard of hearing when they were using hearing aids with each of three frequency modulated (FM) or infrared devices. Eight 9-12-year-olds with mild to severe hearing loss repeated Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentence lists under controlled conditions in a typical kindergarten classroom with a background noise level of +10 dB signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and 1.1 s reverberation time. Participants listened to HINT lists using hearing aids alone and hearing aids in combination with three types of S/N-enhancing devices that are currently used in mainstream classrooms: (a) FM systems linked to personal hearing aids, (b) infrared sound field systems with speakers placed throughout the classroom, and (c) desktop personal sound field FM systems. The infrared ceiling sound field system did not provide benefit beyond that provided by hearing aids alone. Desktop and personal FM systems in combination with personal hearing aids provided substantial improvements in speech recognition. This information can assist in making S/N-enhancing device decisions for students using hearing aids. In a reverberant and noisy classroom setting, classroom sound field devices are not beneficial to speech perception for students with hearing aids, whereas either personal FM or desktop sound field systems provide listening benefits.
Higgins, Meaghan C; Penney, Sarah B; Robertson, Erin K
The roles of phonological short-term memory (pSTM) and speech perception in spoken sentence comprehension were examined in an experimental design. Deficits in pSTM and speech perception were simulated through task demands while typically-developing children (N [Formula: see text] 71) completed a sentence-picture matching task. Children performed the control, simulated pSTM deficit, simulated speech perception deficit, or simulated double deficit condition. On long sentences, the double deficit group had lower scores than the control and speech perception deficit groups, and the pSTM deficit group had lower scores than the control group and marginally lower scores than the speech perception deficit group. The pSTM and speech perception groups performed similarly to groups with real deficits in these areas, who completed the control condition. Overall, scores were lowest on noncanonical long sentences. Results show pSTM has a greater effect than speech perception on sentence comprehension, at least in the tasks employed here.
Ben-David, Boaz M.; Multani, Namita; Shakuf, Vered; Rudzicz, Frank; van Lieshout, Pascal H. H. M.
Purpose: Our aim is to explore the complex interplay of prosody (tone of speech) and semantics (verbal content) in the perception of discrete emotions in speech. Method: We implement a novel tool, the Test for Rating of Emotions in Speech. Eighty native English speakers were presented with spoken sentences made of different combinations of 5…
Full Text Available Human locomotion typically creates noise, a possible consequence of which is the masking of sound signals originating in the surroundings. When walking side by side, people often subconsciously synchronize their steps. The neurophysiological and evolutionary background of this behavior is unclear. The present study investigated the potential of sound created by walking to mask perception of speech and compared the masking produced by walking in step with that produced by unsynchronized walking. The masking sound (footsteps on gravel and the target sound (speech were presented through the same speaker to 15 normal-hearing subjects. The original recorded walking sound was modified to mimic the sound of two individuals walking in pace or walking out of synchrony. The participants were instructed to adjust the sound level of the target sound until they could just comprehend the speech signal ("just follow conversation" or JFC level when presented simultaneously with synchronized or unsynchronized walking sound at 40 dBA, 50 dBA, 60 dBA, or 70 dBA. Synchronized walking sounds produced slightly less masking of speech than did unsynchronized sound. The median JFC threshold in the synchronized condition was 38.5 dBA, while the corresponding value for the unsynchronized condition was 41.2 dBA. Combined results at all sound pressure levels showed an improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR for synchronized footsteps; the median difference was 2.7 dB and the mean difference was 1.2 dB [P < 0.001, repeated-measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA]. The difference was significant for masker levels of 50 dBA and 60 dBA, but not for 40 dBA or 70 dBA. This study provides evidence that synchronized walking may reduce the masking potential of footsteps.
Full Text Available Previous studies have found that perception in older people benefits from multisensory over uni-sensory information. As normal speech recognition is affected by both the auditory input and the visual lip-movements of the speaker, we investigated the efficiency of audio and visual integration in an older population by manipulating the relative reliability of the auditory and visual information in speech. We also investigated the role of the semantic context of the sentence to assess whether audio-visual integration is affected by top-down semantic processing. We presented participants with audio-visual sentences in which the visual component was either blurred or not blurred. We found that there was a greater cost in recall performance for semantically meaningless speech in the audio-visual blur compared to audio-visual no blur condition and this effect was specific to the older group. Our findings have implications for understanding how aging affects efficient multisensory integration for the perception of speech and suggests that multisensory inputs may benefit speech perception in older adults when the semantic content of the speech is unpredictable.
Won, Jong Ho; Moon, Il Joon; Jin, Sunhwa; Park, Heesung; Woo, Jihwan; Cho, Yang-Sun; Chung, Won-Ho; Hong, Sung Hwa
Spectrotemporal modulation (STM) detection performance was examined for cochlear implant (CI) users. The test involved discriminating between an unmodulated steady noise and a modulated stimulus. The modulated stimulus presents frequency modulation patterns that change in frequency over time. In order to examine STM detection performance for different modulation conditions, two different temporal modulation rates (5 and 10 Hz) and three different spectral modulation densities (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 cycles/octave) were employed, producing a total 6 different STM stimulus conditions. In order to explore how electric hearing constrains STM sensitivity for CI users differently from acoustic hearing, normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners were also tested on the same tasks. STM detection performance was best in NH subjects, followed by HI subjects. On average, CI subjects showed poorest performance, but some CI subjects showed high levels of STM detection performance that was comparable to acoustic hearing. Significant correlations were found between STM detection performance and speech identification performance in quiet and in noise. In order to understand the relative contribution of spectral and temporal modulation cues to speech perception abilities for CI users, spectral and temporal modulation detection was performed separately and related to STM detection and speech perception performance. The results suggest that that slow spectral modulation rather than slow temporal modulation may be important for determining speech perception capabilities for CI users. Lastly, test-retest reliability for STM detection was good with no learning. The present study demonstrates that STM detection may be a useful tool to evaluate the ability of CI sound processing strategies to deliver clinically pertinent acoustic modulation information.
Müller-Deile, J; Kortmann, T; Hoppe, U; Hessel, H; Morsnowski, A
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
Full Text Available In obstetrics postoperative cognitive dysfunctions may take place after caesarean section and vaginal delivery with poor results both for mother and child. The goal was to study influence of anesthesia techniques following caesarian section on memory, perception and speech. Having agreed with local ethics committee and obtained informed consent depending on anesthesia method, pregnant women were divided into 2 groups: 1st group (n=31 had spinal anesthesia, 2nd group (n=34 – total intravenous anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia: 1.8-2.2 mLs of hyperbaric 0.5% bupivacaine. ТIVА: Thiopental sodium (4 mgs kg-1, succinylcholine (1-1.5 mgs kg-1. Phentanyl (10-5-3 µgs kg-1 hour and Diazepam (10 mgs were used after newborn extraction. We used Luria’s test for memory assessment, perception was studied by test “recognition of time”. Speech was studied by test "name of fingers". Control points: 1 - before the surgery, 2 - in 24h after the caesarian section, 3 - on day 3 after surgery, 4 - at discharge from hospital (5-7th day. The study showed that initially decreased memory level in expectant mothers regressed along with the time after caesarean section. Memory is restored in 3 days after surgery regardless of anesthesia techniques. In spinal anesthesia on 5-7th postoperative day memory level exceeds that of used in total intravenous anesthesia. The perception and speech do not depend on the term of postoperative period. Anesthesia technique does not influence perception and speech restoration after caesarean sections.
Petersen, Bjørn; Sørensen, Stine Derdau; Pedersen, Ellen Raben
their standard school schedule and received no music training. Before and after the intervention period, both groups completed a set of tests for perception of music, speech and emotional prosody. In addition, the participants filled out a questionnaire which examined music listening habits and enjoyment....... RESULTS CI users significantly improved their overall music perception and discrimination of melodic contour and rhythm in particular. No effect of the music training was found on discrimination of emotional prosody or speech. The CI users described levels of music engagement and enjoyment that were...... combined with their positive feedback suggests that music training could form part of future rehabilitation programs as a strong, motivational and beneficial method of improving auditory skills in adolescent CI users....
Aparicio, Mario; Peigneux, Philippe; Charlier, Brigitte; Balériaux, Danielle; Kavec, Martin; Leybaert, Jacqueline
We present here the first neuroimaging data for perception of Cued Speech (CS) by deaf adults who are native users of CS. CS is a visual mode of communicating a spoken language through a set of manual cues which accompany lipreading and disambiguate it. With CS, sublexical units of the oral language are conveyed clearly and completely through the visual modality without requiring hearing. The comparison of neural processing of CS in deaf individuals with processing of audiovisual (AV) speech in normally hearing individuals represents a unique opportunity to explore the similarities and differences in neural processing of an oral language delivered in a visuo-manual vs. an AV modality. The study included deaf adult participants who were early CS users and native hearing users of French who process speech audiovisually. Words were presented in an event-related fMRI design. Three conditions were presented to each group of participants. The deaf participants saw CS words (manual + lipread), words presented as manual cues alone, and words presented to be lipread without manual cues. The hearing group saw AV spoken words, audio-alone and lipread-alone. Three findings are highlighted. First, the middle and superior temporal gyrus (excluding Heschl’s gyrus) and left inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis constituted a common, amodal neural basis for AV and CS perception. Second, integration was inferred in posterior parts of superior temporal sulcus for audio and lipread information in AV speech, but in the occipito-temporal junction, including MT/V5, for the manual cues and lipreading in CS. Third, the perception of manual cues showed a much greater overlap with the regions activated by CS (manual + lipreading) than lipreading alone did. This supports the notion that manual cues play a larger role than lipreading for CS processing. The present study contributes to a better understanding of the role of manual cues as support of visual speech perception in the framework
Tryfon, Ana; Foster, Nicholas E V; Sharda, Megha; Hyde, Krista L
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often characterized by atypical language profiles and auditory and speech processing. These can contribute to aberrant language and social communication skills in ASD. The study of the neural basis of speech perception in ASD can serve as a potential neurobiological marker of ASD early on, but mixed results across studies renders it difficult to find a reliable neural characterization of speech processing in ASD. To this aim, the present study examined the functional neural basis of speech perception in ASD versus typical development (TD) using an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of 18 qualifying studies. The present study included separate analyses for TD and ASD, which allowed us to examine patterns of within-group brain activation as well as both common and distinct patterns of brain activation across the ASD and TD groups. Overall, ASD and TD showed mostly common brain activation of speech processing in bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, the results revealed trends for some distinct activation in the TD group showing additional activation in higher-order brain areas including left superior frontal gyrus (SFG), left medial frontal gyrus (MFG), and right IFG. These results provide a more reliable neural characterization of speech processing in ASD relative to previous single neuroimaging studies and motivate future work to investigate how these brain signatures relate to behavioral measures of speech processing in ASD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Millman, Rebecca E; Mattys, Sven L
Background noise can interfere with our ability to understand speech. Working memory capacity (WMC) has been shown to contribute to the perception of speech in modulated noise maskers. WMC has been assessed with a variety of auditory and visual tests, often pertaining to different components of working memory. This study assessed the relationship between speech perception in modulated maskers and components of auditory verbal working memory (AVWM) over a range of signal-to-noise ratios. Speech perception in noise and AVWM were measured in 30 listeners (age range 31-67 years) with normal hearing. AVWM was estimated using forward digit recall, backward digit recall, and nonword repetition. After controlling for the effects of age and average pure-tone hearing threshold, speech perception in modulated maskers was related to individual differences in the phonological component of working memory (as assessed by nonword repetition) but only in the least favorable signal-to-noise ratio. The executive component of working memory (as assessed by backward digit) was not predictive of speech perception in any conditions. AVWM is predictive of the ability to benefit from temporal dips in modulated maskers: Listeners with greater phonological WMC are better able to correctly identify sentences in modulated noise backgrounds.
Dole, Marjorie; Hoen, Michel; Meunier, Fanny
Developmental dyslexia is associated with impaired speech-in-noise perception. The goal of the present research was to further characterize this deficit in dyslexic adults. In order to specify the mechanisms and processing strategies used by adults with dyslexia during speech-in-noise perception, we explored the influence of background type,…
Davidson, Lisa S; Skinner, Margaret W; Holstad, Beth A; Fears, Beverly T; Richter, Marie K; Matusofsky, Margaret; Brenner, Christine; Holden, Timothy; Birath, Amy; Kettel, Jerrica L; Scollie, Susan
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a wider instantaneous input dynamic range (IIDR) setting on speech perception and comfort in quiet and noise for children wearing the Nucleus 24 implant system and the Freedom speech processor. In addition, children's ability to understand soft and conversational level speech in relation to aided sound-field thresholds was examined. Thirty children (age, 7 to 17 years) with the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant system and the Freedom speech processor with two different IIDR settings (30 versus 40 dB) were tested on the Consonant Nucleus Consonant (CNC) word test at 50 and 60 dB SPL, the Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech in Noise Test, and a loudness rating task for four-talker speech noise. Aided thresholds for frequency-modulated tones, narrowband noise, and recorded Ling sounds were obtained with the two IIDRs and examined in relation to CNC scores at 50 dB SPL. Speech Intelligibility Indices were calculated using the long-term average speech spectrum of the CNC words at 50 dB SPL measured at each test site and aided thresholds. Group mean CNC scores at 50 dB SPL with the 40 IIDR were significantly higher (p Speech in Noise Test were not significantly different for the two IIDRs. Significantly improved aided thresholds at 250 to 6000 Hz as well as higher Speech Intelligibility Indices afforded improved audibility for speech presented at soft levels (50 dB SPL). These results indicate that an increased IIDR provides improved word recognition for soft levels of speech without compromising comfort of higher levels of speech sounds or sentence recognition in noise.
Liu, Fang; Jiang, Cunmei; Wang, Bei; Xu, Yi; Patel, Aniruddh D
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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kleinschmidt, Dave F.; Jaeger, T. Florian
Successful speech perception requires that listeners map the acoustic signal to linguistic categories. These mappings are not only probabilistic, but change depending on the situation. For example, one talker’s /p/ might be physically indistinguishable from another talker’s /b/ (cf. lack of invariance). We characterize the computational problem posed by such a subjectively non-stationary world and propose that the speech perception system overcomes this challenge by (1) recognizing previously encountered situations, (2) generalizing to other situations based on previous similar experience, and (3) adapting to novel situations. We formalize this proposal in the ideal adapter framework: (1) to (3) can be understood as inference under uncertainty about the appropriate generative model for the current talker, thereby facilitating robust speech perception despite the lack of invariance. We focus on two critical aspects of the ideal adapter. First, in situations that clearly deviate from previous experience, listeners need to adapt. We develop a distributional (belief-updating) learning model of incremental adaptation. The model provides a good fit against known and novel phonetic adaptation data, including perceptual recalibration and selective adaptation. Second, robust speech recognition requires listeners learn to represent the structured component of cross-situation variability in the speech signal. We discuss how these two aspects of the ideal adapter provide a unifying explanation for adaptation, talker-specificity, and generalization across talkers and groups of talkers (e.g., accents and dialects). The ideal adapter provides a guiding framework for future investigations into speech perception and adaptation, and more broadly language comprehension. PMID:25844873
Scheperle, Rachel A; Abbas, Paul J
The ability to perceive speech is related to the listener's ability to differentiate among frequencies (i.e., spectral resolution). Cochlear implant (CI) users exhibit variable speech-perception and spectral-resolution abilities, which can be attributed in part to the extent of electrode interactions at the periphery (i.e., spatial selectivity). However, electrophysiological measures of peripheral spatial selectivity have not been found to correlate with speech perception. The purpose of this study was to evaluate auditory processing at the periphery and cortex using both simple and spectrally complex stimuli to better understand the stages of neural processing underlying speech perception. The hypotheses were that (1) by more completely characterizing peripheral excitation patterns than in previous studies, significant correlations with measures of spectral selectivity and speech perception would be observed, (2) adding information about processing at a level central to the auditory nerve would account for additional variability in speech perception, and (3) responses elicited with spectrally complex stimuli would be more strongly correlated with speech perception than responses elicited with spectrally simple stimuli. Eleven adult CI users participated. Three experimental processor programs (MAPs) were created to vary the likelihood of electrode interactions within each participant. For each MAP, a subset of 7 of 22 intracochlear electrodes was activated: adjacent (MAP 1), every other (MAP 2), or every third (MAP 3). Peripheral spatial selectivity was assessed using the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) to obtain channel-interaction functions for all activated electrodes (13 functions total). Central processing was assessed by eliciting the auditory change complex with both spatial (electrode pairs) and spectral (rippled noise) stimulus changes. Speech-perception measures included vowel discrimination and the Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech
Schellenberg, E Glenn
Claims of beneficial side effects of music training are made for many different abilities, including verbal and visuospatial abilities, executive functions, working memory, IQ, and speech perception in particular. Such claims assume that music training causes the associations even though children who take music lessons are likely to differ from other children in music aptitude, which is associated with many aspects of speech perception. Music training in childhood is also associated with cognitive, personality, and demographic variables, and it is well established that IQ and personality are determined largely by genetics. Recent evidence also indicates that the role of genetics in music aptitude and music achievement is much larger than previously thought. In short, music training is an ideal model for the study of gene-environment interactions but far less appropriate as a model for the study of plasticity. Children seek out environments, including those with music lessons, that are consistent with their predispositions; such environments exaggerate preexisting individual differences. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
Jepsen, Morten Løve
in a diagnostic rhyme test. The framework was constructed such that discrimination errors originating from the front-end and the back-end were separated. The front-end was fitted to individual listeners with cochlear hearing loss according to non-speech data, and speech data were obtained in the same listeners......A better understanding of how the human auditory system represents and analyzes sounds and how hearing impairment affects such processing is of great interest for researchers in the fields of auditory neuroscience, audiology, and speech communication as well as for applications in hearing......-instrument and speech technology. In this thesis, the primary focus was on the development and evaluation of a computational model of human auditory signal-processing and perception. The model was initially designed to simulate the normal-hearing auditory system with particular focus on the nonlinear processing...
Moore, Brian C J; Tyler, Lorraine K; Marslen-Wilson, William
Spoken language communication is arguably the most important activity that distinguishes humans from non-human species. This paper provides an overview of the review papers that make up this theme issue on the processes underlying speech communication. The volume includes contributions from researchers who specialize in a wide range of topics within the general area of speech perception and language processing. It also includes contributions from key researchers in neuroanatomy and functional neuro-imaging, in an effort to cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries and foster cross-disciplinary interactions in this important and rapidly developing area of the biological and cognitive sciences.
Marquezin, Daniela Maria Santos Serrano; Viola, Izabel; Ghirardi, Ana Carolina de Assis Moura; Madureira, Sandra; Ferreira, Léslie Piccolotto
To analyze speech expressiveness in a group of executives based on perceptive and acoustic aspects of vocal dynamics. Four male subjects participated in the research study (S1, S2, S3, and S4). The assessments included the Kingdomality test to obtain the keywords of communicative attitudes; perceptive-auditory assessment to characterize vocal quality and dynamics, performed by three judges who are speech language pathologists; perceptiveauditory assessment to judge the chosen keywords; speech acoustics to assess prosodic elements (Praat software); and a statistical analysis. According to the perceptive-auditory analysis of vocal dynamics, S1, S2, S3, and S4 did not show vocal alterations and all of them were considered with lowered habitual pitch. S1: pointed out as insecure, nonobjective, nonempathetic, and unconvincing with inappropriate use of pauses that are mainly formed by hesitations; inadequate separation of prosodic groups with breaking of syntagmatic constituents. S2: regular use of pauses for respiratory reload, organization of sentences, and emphasis, which is considered secure, little objective, empathetic, and convincing. S3: pointed out as secure, objective, empathetic, and convincing with regular use of pauses for respiratory reload and organization of sentences and hesitations. S4: the most secure, objective, empathetic, and convincing, with proper use of pauses for respiratory reload, planning, and emphasis; prosodic groups agreed with the statement, without separating the syntagmatic constituents. The speech characteristics and communicative attitudes were highlighted in two subjects in a different manner, in such a way that the slow rate of speech and breaks of the prosodic groups transmitted insecurity, little objectivity, and nonpersuasion.
Accounts of speech perception disagree on whether listeners perceive the acoustic signal (Diehl, Lotto, & Holt, 2004) or the vocal tract gestures that produce the signal (e.g., Fowler, 1986). In this dissertation, I outline a research program using a phenomenon called "perceptual compensation for coarticulation" (Mann, 1980) to examine this…
Giroux, Ibrahima; Rey, Arnaud
Saffran, Newport, and Aslin (1996a) found that human infants are sensitive to statistical regularities corresponding to lexical units when hearing an artificial spoken language. Two sorts of segmentation strategies have been proposed to account for this early word-segmentation ability: bracketing strategies, in which infants are assumed to insert boundaries into continuous speech, and clustering strategies, in which infants are assumed to group certain speech sequences together into units (Swingley, 2005). In the present study, we test the predictions of two computational models instantiating each of these strategies i.e., Serial Recurrent Networks: Elman, 1990; and Parser: Perruchet & Vinter, 1998 in an experiment where we compare the lexical and sublexical recognition performance of adults after hearing 2 or 10 min of an artificial spoken language. The results are consistent with Parser's predictions and the clustering approach, showing that performance on words is better than performance on part-words only after 10 min. This result suggests that word segmentation abilities are not merely due to stronger associations between sublexical units but to the emergence of stronger lexical representations during the development of speech perception processes. Copyright © 2009, Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Yeend, Ingrid; Beach, Elizabeth Francis; Sharma, Mridula; Dillon, Harvey
Recent animal research has shown that exposure to single episodes of intense noise causes cochlear synaptopathy without affecting hearing thresholds. It has been suggested that the same may occur in humans. If so, it is hypothesized that this would result in impaired encoding of sound and lead to difficulties hearing at suprathreshold levels, particularly in challenging listening environments. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effect of noise exposure on auditory processing, including the perception of speech in noise, in adult humans. A secondary aim was to explore whether musical training might improve some aspects of auditory processing and thus counteract or ameliorate any negative impacts of noise exposure. In a sample of 122 participants (63 female) aged 30-57 years with normal or near-normal hearing thresholds, we conducted audiometric tests, including tympanometry, audiometry, acoustic reflexes, otoacoustic emissions and medial olivocochlear responses. We also assessed temporal and spectral processing, by determining thresholds for detection of amplitude modulation and temporal fine structure. We assessed speech-in-noise perception, and conducted tests of attention, memory and sentence closure. We also calculated participants' accumulated lifetime noise exposure and administered questionnaires to assess self-reported listening difficulty and musical training. The results showed no clear link between participants' lifetime noise exposure and performance on any of the auditory processing or speech-in-noise tasks. Musical training was associated with better performance on the auditory processing tasks, but not the on the speech-in-noise perception tasks. The results indicate that sentence closure skills, working memory, attention, extended high frequency hearing thresholds and medial olivocochlear suppression strength are important factors that are related to the ability to process speech in noise. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by
De Ceulaer, Geert; Pascoal, David; Vanpoucke, Filiep; Govaerts, Paul J
The newest Nucleus CI processor, the CP900, has two new options to improve speech-in-noise perception: (1) use of an adaptive directional microphone (SCAN mode) and (2) wireless connection to MiniMic1 and MiniMic2 wireless remote microphones. An analysis was made of the absolute and relative benefits of these technologies in a real-world mimicking test situation. Speech perception was tested using an adaptive speech-in-noise test (sentences-in-babble noise). In session A, SRTs were measured in three conditions: (1) Clinical Map, (2) SCAN and (3) MiniMic1. Each was assessed for three distances between speakers and CI recipient: 1 m, 2 m and 3 m. In session B, the benefit of the use of MiniMic2 was compared to benefit of MiniMic1 at 3 m. A group of 13 adult CP900 recipients participated. SCAN and MiniMic1 improved performance compared to the standard microphone with a median improvement in SRT of 2.7-3.9 dB for SCAN at 1 m and 3 m, respectively, and 4.7-10.9 dB for the MiniMic1. MiniMic1 improvements were significant. MiniMic2 showed an improvement in SRT of 22.2 dB compared to 10.0 dB for MiniMic1 (3 m). Digital wireless transmission systems (i.e. MiniMic) offer a statistically and clinically significant improvement in speech perception in challenging, realistic listening conditions.
Ramirez, Joshua; Mann, Virginia
Both dyslexics and auditory neuropathy (AN) subjects show inferior consonant-vowel (CV) perception in noise, relative to controls. To better understand these impairments, natural acoustic speech stimuli that were masked in speech-shaped noise at various intensities were presented to dyslexic, AN, and control subjects either in isolation or accompanied by visual articulatory cues. AN subjects were expected to benefit from the pairing of visual articulatory cues and auditory CV stimuli, provided that their speech perception impairment reflects a relatively peripheral auditory disorder. Assuming that dyslexia reflects a general impairment of speech processing rather than a disorder of audition, dyslexics were not expected to similarly benefit from an introduction of visual articulatory cues. The results revealed an increased effect of noise masking on the perception of isolated acoustic stimuli by both dyslexic and AN subjects. More importantly, dyslexics showed less effective use of visual articulatory cues in identifying masked speech stimuli and lower visual baseline performance relative to AN subjects and controls. Last, a significant positive correlation was found between reading ability and the ameliorating effect of visual articulatory cues on speech perception in noise. These results suggest that some reading impairments may stem from a central deficit of speech processing.
Full Text Available Event-related potential (ERP evidence demonstrates that preschool-aged children selectively attend to informative moments such as word onsets during speech perception. Although this observation indicates a role for attention in language processing, it is unclear whether this type of attention is part of basic speech perception mechanisms, higher-level language skills, or general cognitive abilities. The current study examined these possibilities by measuring ERPs from 5-year-old children listening to a narrative containing attention probes presented before, during, and after word onsets as well as at random control times. Children also completed behavioral tests assessing verbal and nonverbal skills. Probes presented after word onsets elicited a more negative ERP response beginning around 100 ms after probe onset than control probes, indicating increased attention to word-initial segments. Crucially, the magnitude of this difference was correlated with performance on verbal tasks, but showed no relationship to nonverbal measures. More specifically, ERP attention effects were most strongly correlated with performance on a complex metalinguistic task involving grammaticality judgments. These results demonstrate that effective allocation of attention during speech perception supports higher-level, controlled language processing in children by allowing them to focus on relevant information at individual word and complex sentence levels.
Sheppard, Beth; Elliott, Nancy; Baese-Berk, Melissa
Intensive English Program (IEP) Instructors and content faculty both listen to international students at the university. For these two groups of instructors, this study compared perceptions of international student speech by collecting comprehensibility ratings and transcription samples for intelligibility scores. No significant differences were…
Varnet, Léo; Wang, Tianyun; Peter, Chloe; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel
It is now well established that extensive musical training percolates to higher levels of cognition, such as speech processing. However, the lack of a precise technique to investigate the specific listening strategy involved in speech comprehension has made it difficult to determine how musicians' higher performance in non-speech tasks contributes to their enhanced speech comprehension. The recently developed Auditory Classification Image approach reveals the precise time-frequency regions used by participants when performing phonemic categorizations in noise. Here we used this technique on 19 non-musicians and 19 professional musicians. We found that both groups used very similar listening strategies, but the musicians relied more heavily on the two main acoustic cues, at the first formant onset and at the onsets of the second and third formants onsets. Additionally, they responded more consistently to stimuli. These observations provide a direct visualization of auditory plasticity resulting from extensive musical training and shed light on the level of functional transfer between auditory processing and speech perception.
Huyse, Aurélie; Berthommier, Frédéric; Leybaert, Jacqueline
The aim of the present study was to examine audiovisual speech integration in cochlear-implanted children and in normally hearing children exposed to degraded auditory stimuli. Previous studies have shown that speech perception in cochlear-implanted users is biased toward the visual modality when audition and vision provide conflicting information. Our main question was whether an experimentally designed degradation of the visual speech cue would increase the importance of audition in the response pattern. The impact of auditory proficiency was also investigated. A group of 31 children with cochlear implants and a group of 31 normally hearing children matched for chronological age were recruited. All children with cochlear implants had profound congenital deafness and had used their implants for at least 2 years. Participants had to perform an /aCa/ consonant-identification task in which stimuli were presented randomly in three conditions: auditory only, visual only, and audiovisual (congruent and incongruent McGurk stimuli). In half of the experiment, the visual speech cue was normal; in the other half (visual reduction) a degraded visual signal was presented, aimed at preventing lipreading of good quality. The normally hearing children received a spectrally reduced speech signal (simulating the input delivered by the cochlear implant). First, performance in visual-only and in congruent audiovisual modalities were decreased, showing that the visual reduction technique used here was efficient at degrading lipreading. Second, in the incongruent audiovisual trials, visual reduction led to a major increase in the number of auditory based responses in both groups. Differences between proficient and nonproficient children were found in both groups, with nonproficient children's responses being more visual and less auditory than those of proficient children. Further analysis revealed that differences between visually clear and visually reduced conditions and between
Millman, Rebecca E.; Mattys, Sven L.
Purpose: Background noise can interfere with our ability to understand speech. Working memory capacity (WMC) has been shown to contribute to the perception of speech in modulated noise maskers. WMC has been assessed with a variety of auditory and visual tests, often pertaining to different components of working memory. This study assessed the relationship between speech perception in modulated maskers and components of auditory verbal working memory (AVWM) over a range of signal-to-noise rati...
Dole, Marjorie; Hoen, Michel; Meunier, Fanny
Developmental dyslexia is associated with impaired speech-in-noise perception. The goal of the present research was to further characterize this deficit in dyslexic adults. In order to specify the mechanisms and processing strategies used by adults with dyslexia during speech-in-noise perception, we explored the influence of background type, presenting single target-words against backgrounds made of cocktail party sounds, modulated speech-derived noise or stationary noise. We also evaluated the effect of three listening configurations differing in terms of the amount of spatial processing required. In a monaural condition, signal and noise were presented to the same ear while in a dichotic situation, target and concurrent sound were presented to two different ears, finally in a spatialised configuration, target and competing signals were presented as if they originated from slightly differing positions in the auditory scene. Our results confirm the presence of a speech-in-noise perception deficit in dyslexic adults, in particular when the competing signal is also speech, and when both signals are presented to the same ear, an observation potentially relating to phonological accounts of dyslexia. However, adult dyslexics demonstrated better levels of spatial release of masking than normal reading controls when the background was speech, suggesting that they are well able to rely on denoising strategies based on spatial auditory scene analysis strategies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cho, Soojin; Yu, Jyaehyoung; Chun, Hyungi; Seo, Hyekyung; Han, Woojae
Deficits of the aging auditory system negatively affect older listeners in terms of speech communication, resulting in limitations to their social lives. To improve their perceptual skills, the goal of this study was to investigate the effects of time alteration, selective word stress, and varying sentence lengths on the speech perception of older listeners. Seventeen older people with normal hearing were tested for seven conditions of different time-altered sentences (i.e., ±60%, ±40%, ±20%, 0%), two conditions of selective word stress (i.e., no-stress and stress), and three different lengths of sentences (i.e., short, medium, and long) at the most comfortable level for individuals in quiet circumstances. As time compression increased, sentence perception scores decreased statistically. Compared to a natural (or no stress) condition, the selectively stressed words significantly improved the perceptual scores of these older listeners. Long sentences yielded the worst scores under all time-altered conditions. Interestingly, there was a noticeable positive effect for the selective word stress at the 20% time compression. This pattern of results suggests that a combination of time compression and selective word stress is more effective for understanding speech in older listeners than using the time-expanded condition only.
Beck, Ann R.; Dennis, Marcia
Speech-language pathologists (N=21) and teachers (N=54) were surveyed regarding their perceptions of classroom-based interventions. The two groups agreed about the primary advantages and disadvantages of most interventions, the primary areas of difference being classroom management and ease of data collection. Other findings indicated few…
Stevenson, Ryan A; Nelms, Caitlin E; Baum, Sarah H; Zurkovsky, Lilia; Barense, Morgan D; Newhouse, Paul A; Wallace, Mark T
Over the next 2 decades, a dramatic shift in the demographics of society will take place, with a rapid growth in the population of older adults. One of the most common complaints with healthy aging is a decreased ability to successfully perceive speech, particularly in noisy environments. In such noisy environments, the presence of visual speech cues (i.e., lip movements) provide striking benefits for speech perception and comprehension, but previous research suggests that older adults gain less from such audiovisual integration than their younger peers. To determine at what processing level these behavioral differences arise in healthy-aging populations, we administered a speech-in-noise task to younger and older adults. We compared the perceptual benefits of having speech information available in both the auditory and visual modalities and examined both phoneme and whole-word recognition across varying levels of signal-to-noise ratio. For whole-word recognition, older adults relative to younger adults showed greater multisensory gains at intermediate SNRs but reduced benefit at low SNRs. By contrast, at the phoneme level both younger and older adults showed approximately equivalent increases in multisensory gain as signal-to-noise ratio decreased. Collectively, the results provide important insights into both the similarities and differences in how older and younger adults integrate auditory and visual speech cues in noisy environments and help explain some of the conflicting findings in previous studies of multisensory speech perception in healthy aging. These novel findings suggest that audiovisual processing is intact at more elementary levels of speech perception in healthy-aging populations and that deficits begin to emerge only at the more complex word-recognition level of speech signals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs are systems that use real-time analysis of neuroimaging data to determine the mental state of their user for purposes such as providing neurofeedback. Here, we investigate the feasibility of a BCI based on speech perception. Multivariate pattern classification methods were applied to single-trial EEG data collected during speech perception by native and non-native speakers. Two principal questions were asked: 1 Can differences in the perceived categories of pairs of phonemes be decoded at the single-trial level? 2 Can these same categorical differences be decoded across participants, within or between native-language groups? Results indicated that classification performance progressively increased with respect to the categorical status (within, boundary or across of the stimulus contrast, and was also influenced by the native language of individual participants. Classifier performance showed strong relationships with traditional event-related potential measures and behavioral responses. The results of the cross-participant analysis indicated an overall increase in average classifier performance when trained on data from all participants (native and non-native. A second cross-participant classifier trained only on data from native speakers led to an overall improvement in performance for native speakers, but a reduction in performance for non-native speakers. We also found that the native language of a given participant could be decoded on the basis of EEG data with accuracy above 80%. These results indicate that electrophysiological responses underlying speech perception can be decoded at the single-trial level, and that decoding performance systematically reflects graded changes in the responses related to the phonological status of the stimuli. This approach could be used in extensions of the BCI paradigm to support perceptual learning during second language acquisition.
Lim, Sung-joo; Holt, Lori L
Although speech categories are defined by multiple acoustic dimensions, some are perceptually weighted more than others and there are residual effects of native-language weightings in non-native speech perception. Recent research on nonlinguistic sound category learning suggests that the distribution characteristics of experienced sounds influence perceptual cue weights: Increasing variability across a dimension leads listeners to rely upon it less in subsequent category learning (Holt & Lotto, 2006). The present experiment investigated the implications of this among native Japanese learning English /r/-/l/ categories. Training was accomplished using a videogame paradigm that emphasizes associations among sound categories, visual information, and players' responses to videogame characters rather than overt categorization or explicit feedback. Subjects who played the game for 2.5h across 5 days exhibited improvements in /r/-/l/ perception on par with 2-4 weeks of explicit categorization training in previous research and exhibited a shift toward more native-like perceptual cue weights. Copyright © 2011 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Uhler, Kristin M; Baca, Rosalinda; Dudas, Emily; Fredrickson, Tammy
Speech perception measures have long been considered an integral piece of the audiological assessment battery. Currently, a prelinguistic, standardized measure of speech perception is missing in the clinical assessment battery for infants and young toddlers. Such a measure would allow systematic assessment of speech perception abilities of infants as well as the potential to investigate the impact early identification of hearing loss and early fitting of amplification have on the auditory pathways. To investigate the impact of sensation level (SL) on the ability of infants with normal hearing (NH) to discriminate /a-i/ and /ba-da/ and to determine if performance on the two contrasts are significantly different in predicting the discrimination criterion. The design was based on a survival analysis model for event occurrence and a repeated measures logistic model for binary outcomes. The outcome for survival analysis was the minimum SL for criterion and the outcome for the logistic regression model was the presence/absence of achieving the criterion. Criterion achievement was designated when an infant's proportion correct score was >0.75 on the discrimination performance task. Twenty-two infants with NH sensitivity participated in this study. There were 9 males and 13 females, aged 6-14 mo. Testing took place over two to three sessions. The first session consisted of a hearing test, threshold assessment of the two speech sounds (/a/ and /i/), and if time and attention allowed, visual reinforcement infant speech discrimination (VRISD). The second session consisted of VRISD assessment for the two test contrasts (/a-i/ and /ba-da/). The presentation level started at 50 dBA. If the infant was unable to successfully achieve criterion (>0.75) at 50 dBA, the presentation level was increased to 70 dBA followed by 60 dBA. Data examination included an event analysis, which provided the probability of criterion distribution across SL. The second stage of the analysis was a
Trude, Alison M; Duff, Melissa C; Brown-Schmidt, Sarah
A hallmark of human speech perception is the ability to comprehend speech quickly and effortlessly despite enormous variability across talkers. However, current theories of speech perception do not make specific claims about the memory mechanisms involved in this process. To examine whether declarative memory is necessary for talker-specific learning, we tested the ability of amnesic patients with severe declarative memory deficits to learn and distinguish the accents of two unfamiliar talkers by monitoring their eye-gaze as they followed spoken instructions. Analyses of the time-course of eye fixations showed that amnesic patients rapidly learned to distinguish these accents and tailored perceptual processes to the voice of each talker. These results demonstrate that declarative memory is not necessary for this ability and points to the involvement of non-declarative memory mechanisms. These results are consistent with findings that other social and accommodative behaviors are preserved in amnesia and contribute to our understanding of the interactions of multiple memory systems in the use and understanding of spoken language. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Erdener, Dogu; Burnham, Denis
Despite the body of research on auditory-visual speech perception in infants and schoolchildren, development in the early childhood period remains relatively uncharted. In this study, English-speaking children between three and four years of age were investigated for: (i) the development of visual speech perception--lip-reading and visual…
integration to speech perception along with three model variations. In early MLE, integration is based on a continuous internal representation before categorization, which can make the model more parsimonious by imposing constraints that reflect experimental designs. The study also shows that cross......Speech perception is facilitated by seeing the articulatory mouth movements of the talker. This is due to perceptual audiovisual integration, which also causes the McGurk−MacDonald illusion, and for which a comprehensive computational account is still lacking. Decades of research have largely......-validation can evaluate models of audiovisual integration based on typical data sets taking both goodness-of-fit and model flexibility into account. All models were tested on a published data set previously used for testing the FLMP. Cross-validation favored the early MLE while more conventional error measures...
Schönmeyr, Björn; Wendby, Lisa; Sharma, Mitali; Jacobson, Lia; Restrepo, Carolina; Campbell, Alex
Many patients with cleft palate deformities worldwide receive treatment at a later age than is recommended for normal speech to develop. The outcomes after late palate repairs in terms of speech and quality of life (QOL) still remain largely unstudied. In the current study, questionnaires were used to assess the patients' perception of speech and QOL before and after primary palate repair. All of the patients were operated at a cleft center in northeast India and had a cleft palate with a normal lip or with a cleft lip that had been previously repaired. A total of 134 patients (7-35 years) were interviewed preoperatively and 46 patients (7-32 years) were assessed in the postoperative survey. The survey showed that scores based on the speech handicap index, concerning speech and speech-related QOL, did not improve postoperatively. In fact, the questionnaires indicated that the speech became more unpredictable (P reported that their self-confidence had improved after the operation. Thus, the majority of interviewed patients who underwent late primary palate repair were satisfied with the surgery. At the same time, speech and speech-related QOL did not improve according to the speech handicap index-based survey. Speech predictability may even become worse and nasal regurgitation may increase after late palate repair, according to these results.
Cullington, Helen E; Zeng, Fan-Gang
Despite excellent performance in speech recognition in quiet, most cochlear implant users have great difficulty with speech recognition in noise, music perception, identifying tone of voice, and discriminating different talkers. This may be partly due to the pitch coding in cochlear implant speech processing. Most current speech processing strategies use only the envelope information; the temporal fine structure is discarded. One way to improve electric pitch perception is to use residual acoustic hearing via a hearing aid on the nonimplanted ear (bimodal hearing). This study aimed to test the hypothesis that bimodal users would perform better than bilateral cochlear implant users on tasks requiring good pitch perception. Four pitch-related tasks were used. 1. Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentences spoken by a male talker with a competing female, male, or child talker. 2. Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia. This is a music test with six subtests examining pitch, rhythm and timing perception, and musical memory. 3. Aprosodia Battery. This has five subtests evaluating aspects of affective prosody and recognition of sarcasm. 4. Talker identification using vowels spoken by 10 different talkers (three men, three women, two boys, and two girls). Bilateral cochlear implant users were chosen as the comparison group. Thirteen bimodal and 13 bilateral adult cochlear implant users were recruited; all had good speech perception in quiet. There were no significant differences between the mean scores of the bimodal and bilateral groups on any of the tests, although the bimodal group did perform better than the bilateral group on almost all tests. Performance on the different pitch-related tasks was not correlated, meaning that if a subject performed one task well they would not necessarily perform well on another. The correlation between the bimodal users' hearing threshold levels in the aided ear and their performance on these tasks was weak. Although the bimodal cochlear
Viswanathan, Navin; Magnuson, James S.; Fowler, Carol A.
According to one approach to speech perception, listeners perceive speech by applying general pattern matching mechanisms to the acoustic signal (e.g., Diehl, Lotto, & Holt, 2004). An alternative is that listeners perceive the phonetic gestures that structured the acoustic signal (e.g., Fowler, 1986). The two accounts have offered different…
Başkent, Deniz; Fuller, Christina; Galvin, John; Schepel, Like; Gaudrain, Etienne; Free, Rolien
In adult normal-hearing musicians, perception of music, vocal emotion, and speech in noise has been previously shown to be better than non-musicians, sometimes even with spectro-temporally degraded stimuli. In this study, melodic contour identification, vocal emotion identification, and speech
Bernstein, Lynne E; Auer, Edward T; Eberhardt, Silvio P; Jiang, Jintao
Speech perception under audiovisual (AV) conditions is well known to confer benefits to perception such as increased speed and accuracy. Here, we investigated how AV training might benefit or impede auditory perceptual learning of speech degraded by vocoding. In Experiments 1 and 3, participants learned paired associations between vocoded spoken nonsense words and nonsense pictures. In Experiment 1, paired-associates (PA) AV training of one group of participants was compared with audio-only (AO) training of another group. When tested under AO conditions, the AV-trained group was significantly more accurate than the AO-trained group. In addition, pre- and post-training AO forced-choice consonant identification with untrained nonsense words showed that AV-trained participants had learned significantly more than AO participants. The pattern of results pointed to their having learned at the level of the auditory phonetic features of the vocoded stimuli. Experiment 2, a no-training control with testing and re-testing on the AO consonant identification, showed that the controls were as accurate as the AO-trained participants in Experiment 1 but less accurate than the AV-trained participants. In Experiment 3, PA training alternated AV and AO conditions on a list-by-list basis within participants, and training was to criterion (92% correct). PA training with AO stimuli was reliably more effective than training with AV stimuli. We explain these discrepant results in terms of the so-called "reverse hierarchy theory" of perceptual learning and in terms of the diverse multisensory and unisensory processing resources available to speech perception. We propose that early AV speech integration can potentially impede auditory perceptual learning; but visual top-down access to relevant auditory features can promote auditory perceptual learning.
Nisreen Naji Al-Khawaldeh
Full Text Available This paper presents the findings of an empirical study which compares Jordanian and English native speakers’ perceptions about the speech act of thanking. The forty interviews conducted revealed some similarities but also of remarkable cross-cultural differences relating to the significance of thanking, the variables affecting it, and the appropriate linguistic and paralinguistic choices, as well as their impact on the interpretation of thanking behaviour. The most important theoretical finding is that the data, while consistent with many views found in the existing literature, do not support Brown and Levinson’s (1987 claim that thanking is a speech act which intrinsically threatens the speaker’s negative face because it involves overt acceptance of an imposition on the speaker. Rather, thanking should be viewed as a means of establishing and sustaining social relationships. The study findings suggest that cultural variation in thanking is due to the high degree of sensitivity of this speech act to the complex interplay of a range of social and contextual variables, and point to some promising directions for further research.
Narayan, Chandan R; Werker, Janet F; Beddor, Patrice Speeter
Previous research suggests that infant speech perception reorganizes in the first year: young infants discriminate both native and non-native phonetic contrasts, but by 10-12 months difficult non-native contrasts are less discriminable whereas performance improves on native contrasts. In the current study, four experiments tested the hypothesis that, in addition to the influence of native language experience, acoustic salience also affects the perceptual reorganization that takes place in infancy. Using a visual habituation paradigm, two nasal place distinctions that differ in relative acoustic salience, acoustically robust labial-alveolar [ma]-[na] and acoustically less salient alveolar-velar [na]-[ enga], were presented to infants in a cross-language design. English-learning infants at 6-8 and 10-12 months showed discrimination of the native and acoustically robust [ma]-[na] (Experiment 1), but not the non-native (in initial position) and acoustically less salient [na]-[ enga] (Experiment 2). Very young (4-5-month-old) English-learning infants tested on the same native and non-native contrasts also showed discrimination of only the [ma]-[na] distinction (Experiment 3). Filipino-learning infants, whose ambient language includes the syllable-initial alveolar (/n/)-velar (/ eng/) contrast, showed discrimination of native [na]-[ enga] at 10-12 months, but not at 6-8 months (Experiment 4). These results support the hypothesis that acoustic salience affects speech perception in infancy, with native language experience facilitating discrimination of an acoustically similar phonetic distinction [na]-[ enga]. We discuss the implications of this developmental profile for a comprehensive theory of speech perception in infancy.
Saigusa, Hideto; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Nakamura, Tsuyoshi; Komachi, Taro; Kadosono, Osamu; Ito, Hiroyuki; Saigusa, Makoto; Niimi, Seiji
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive debilitating neurological disease. ALS disturbs the quality of life by affecting speech, swallowing and free mobility of the arms without affecting intellectual function. It is therefore of significance to improve intelligibility and quality of speech sounds, especially for ALS patients with slowly progressive courses. Currently, however, there is no effective or established approach to improve speech disorder caused by ALS. We investigated a surgical procedure to improve speech disorder for some patients with neuromuscular diseases with velopharyngeal closure incompetence. In this study, we performed the surgical procedure for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder caused by slowly progressing ALS. The patients suffered from speech disorder with hypernasality and imprecise and weak articulation during a 6-year course (patient 1) and a 3-year course (patient 2) of slowly progressing ALS. We narrowed bilateral lateral palatopharyngeal wall at velopharyngeal port, and performed this surgery under general anesthesia without muscle relaxant for the two patients. Postoperatively, intelligibility and quality of their speech sounds were greatly improved within one month without any speech therapy. The patients were also able to generate longer speech phrases after the surgery. Importantly, there was no serious complication during or after the surgery. In summary, we performed bilateral narrowing of lateral palatopharyngeal wall as a speech surgery for two patients suffering from severe speech disorder associated with ALS. With this technique, improved intelligibility and quality of speech can be maintained for longer duration for the patients with slowly progressing ALS.
Huettig, Falk; Hartsuiker, Robert J.
Theories of verbal self-monitoring generally assume an internal (pre-articulatory) monitoring channel, but there is debate about whether this channel relies on speech perception or on production-internal mechanisms. Perception-based theories predict that listening to one's own inner speech has similar behavioural consequences as listening to…
Vickers, Deborah A; Backus, Bradford C; Macdonald, Nora K; Rostamzadeh, Niloofar K; Mason, Nisha K; Pandya, Roshni; Marriage, Josephine E; Mahon, Merle H
individually and each child's home language and any special educational needs were recorded. All children were able to use the PRS handsets, and the CAPT speech perception test was sufficiently sensitive to highlight differences in perception in the different listening conditions. Scores were higher in quiet than in any noise condition. Results showed that group performance was significantly better with SFA than without it. The main demographic predictor of performance was expressive vocabulary age. SFA gave more benefit to the poorer performers in the group. There were no significant effects on performance relating to middle ear status or home language; however, the size of the population was too small to be able to fully explore these aspects in greater detail. PRS together with the CAPT provides a sensitive measure for in situ speech perception testing within the classroom. Vocabulary age has a large effect on a child's ability to perceive the speech signal. SFA leads to improved speech perception, when the speech signal has been degraded because of poor acoustics or background noise and has a particularly large effect for children with lower vocabulary ages.
Rotteveel, L.J.C.; Snik, A.F.M.; Cooper, H.; Mawman, D.J.; Olphen, A.F. van; Mylanus, E.A.M.
OBJECTIVES: To analyse the speech perception performance of 53 cochlear implant recipients with otosclerosis and to evaluate which factors influenced patient performance in this group. The factors included disease-related data such as demographics, pre-operative audiological characteristics, the
Wu, Che-Ming; Liu, Tien-Chen; Wang, Nan-Mai; Chao, Wei-Chieh
(1) To understand speech perception and communication ability through real telephone calls by Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants and compare them to live-voice perception, (2) to report the general condition of telephone use of this population, and (3) to investigate the factors that correlate with telephone speech perception performance. Fifty-six children with over 4 years of implant use (aged 6.8-13.6 years, mean duration 8.0 years) took three speech perception tests administered using telephone and live voice to examine sentence, monosyllabic-word and Mandarin tone perception. The children also filled out a questionnaire survey investigating everyday telephone use. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the scores between live-voice and telephone tests, and Pearson's test to examine the correlation between them. The mean scores were 86.4%, 69.8% and 70.5% respectively for sentence, word and tone recognition over the telephone. The corresponding live-voice mean scores were 94.3%, 84.0% and 70.8%. Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed the sentence and word scores were significantly different between telephone and live voice test, while the tone recognition scores were not, indicating tone perception was less worsened by telephone transmission than words and sentences. Spearman's test showed that chronological age and duration of implant use were weakly correlated with the perception test scores. The questionnaire survey showed 78% of the children could initiate phone calls and 59% could use the telephone 2 years after implantation. Implanted children are potentially capable of using the telephone 2 years after implantation, and communication ability over the telephone becomes satisfactory 4 years after implantation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fuller, Christina; Free, Rolien; Maat, Bert; Baskent, Deniz
In normal-hearing listeners, musical background has been observed to change the sound representation in the auditory system and produce enhanced performance in some speech perception tests. Based on these observations, it has been hypothesized that musical background can influence sound and speech
Wang, Hsiao-Lan S; Chen, I-Chen; Chiang, Chun-Han; Lai, Ying-Hui; Tsao, Yu
The current study examined the associations between basic auditory perception, speech prosodic processing, and vocabulary development in Chinese kindergartners, specifically, whether early basic auditory perception may be related to linguistic prosodic processing in Chinese Mandarin vocabulary acquisition. A series of language, auditory, and linguistic prosodic tests were given to 100 preschool children who had not yet learned how to read Chinese characters. The results suggested that lexical tone sensitivity and intonation production were significantly correlated with children's general vocabulary abilities. In particular, tone awareness was associated with comprehensive language development, whereas intonation production was associated with both comprehensive and expressive language development. Regression analyses revealed that tone sensitivity accounted for 36% of the unique variance in vocabulary development, whereas intonation production accounted for 6% of the variance in vocabulary development. Moreover, auditory frequency discrimination was significantly correlated with lexical tone sensitivity, syllable duration discrimination, and intonation production in Mandarin Chinese. Also it provided significant contributions to tone sensitivity and intonation production. Auditory frequency discrimination may indirectly affect early vocabulary development through Chinese speech prosody. © The Author(s) 2016.
Lewkowicz, David J; Minar, Nicholas J; Tift, Amy H; Brandon, Melissa
To investigate the developmental emergence of the perception of the multisensory coherence of native and non-native audiovisual fluent speech, we tested 4-, 8- to 10-, and 12- to 14-month-old English-learning infants. Infants first viewed two identical female faces articulating two different monologues in silence and then in the presence of an audible monologue that matched the visible articulations of one of the faces. Neither the 4-month-old nor 8- to 10-month-old infants exhibited audiovisual matching in that they did not look longer at the matching monologue. In contrast, the 12- to 14-month-old infants exhibited matching and, consistent with the emergence of perceptual expertise for the native language, perceived the multisensory coherence of native-language monologues earlier in the test trials than that of non-native language monologues. Moreover, the matching of native audible and visible speech streams observed in the 12- to 14-month-olds did not depend on audiovisual synchrony, whereas the matching of non-native audible and visible speech streams did depend on synchrony. Overall, the current findings indicate that the perception of the multisensory coherence of fluent audiovisual speech emerges late in infancy, that audiovisual synchrony cues are more important in the perception of the multisensory coherence of non-native speech than that of native audiovisual speech, and that the emergence of this skill most likely is affected by perceptual narrowing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Flanagan, Sheila; Zorilă, Tudor-Cătălin; Stylianou, Yannis; Moore, Brian C J
Auditory processing disorder (APD) may be diagnosed when a child has listening difficulties but has normal audiometric thresholds. For adults with normal hearing and with mild-to-moderate hearing impairment, an algorithm called spectral shaping with dynamic range compression (SSDRC) has been shown to increase the intelligibility of speech when background noise is added after the processing. Here, we assessed the effect of such processing using 8 children with APD and 10 age-matched control children. The loudness of the processed and unprocessed sentences was matched using a loudness model. The task was to repeat back sentences produced by a female speaker when presented with either speech-shaped noise (SSN) or a male competing speaker (CS) at two signal-to-background ratios (SBRs). Speech identification was significantly better with SSDRC processing than without, for both groups. The benefit of SSDRC processing was greater for the SSN than for the CS background. For the SSN, scores were similar for the two groups at both SBRs. For the CS, the APD group performed significantly more poorly than the control group. The overall improvement produced by SSDRC processing could be useful for enhancing communication in a classroom where the teacher's voice is broadcast using a wireless system.
Stern, Steven E; Chobany, Chelsea M; Beam, Alexander A; Hoover, Brittany N; Hull, Thomas T; Linsenbigler, Melissa; Makdad-Light, Courtney; Rubright, Courtney N
We have previously demonstrated that when speech generating devices (SGD) are used as assistive technologies, they are preferred over the users' natural voices. We sought to examine whether using SGDs would affect listener's perceptions of hirability of people with complex communication needs. In a series of three experiments, participants rated videotaped actors, one using SGD and the other using their natural, mildly dysarthric voice, on (a) a measurement of perceptions of speaker credibility, strength, and informedness and (b) measurements of hirability for jobs coded in terms of skill, verbal ability, and interactivity. Experiment 1 examined hirability for jobs varying in terms of skill and verbal ability. Experiment 2 was a replication that examined hirability for jobs varying in terms of interactivity. Experiment 3 examined jobs in terms of skill and specific mode of interaction (face-to-face, telephone, computer-mediated). Actors were rated more favorably when using SGD than their own voices. Actors using SGD were also rated more favorably for highly skilled and highly verbal jobs. This preference for SGDs over mildly dysarthric voice was also found for jobs entailing computer-mediated-communication, particularly skillful jobs.
Heather Raye Dial
When the lexical and sublexical stimuli were matched in discriminability, scores were highly correlated and no individual demonstrated substantially better performance on lexical than sublexical perception (Figures 1a-c. However, when the word discriminations were easier (as in prior studies; e.g., Miceli et al., 1980, patients with impaired syllable discrimination were within the control range on word discrimination (Figure 1d. Finally, digit matching showed no significant relation to perception tasks (e.g., Figure 1e. Moreover, there was a wide range of digit matching spans for patients performing well on speech perception tasks (e.g., > 1.5 on syllable discrimination and digit matching ranging from 3.6 to 6.0. These data fail to support dual route claims, suggesting that lexical processing depends on sublexical perception and suggesting that phonological STM depends on a buffer separate from speech perception mechanisms.
van der Jagt, M Annerie; Briaire, Jeroen J; Verbist, Berit M; Frijns, Johan H M
The HiFocus Mid-Scala (MS) electrode array has recently been introduced onto the market. This precurved design with a targeted mid-scalar intracochlear position pursues an atraumatic insertion and optimal distance for neural stimulation. In this study we prospectively examined the angular insertion depth achieved and speech perception outcomes resulting from the HiFocus MS electrode array for 6 months after implantation, and retrospectively compared these with the HiFocus 1J lateral wall electrode array. The mean angular insertion depth within the MS population (n = 96) was found at 470°. This was 50° shallower but more consistent than the 1J electrode array (n = 110). Audiological evaluation within a subgroup, including only postlingual, unilaterally implanted, adult cochlear implant recipients who were matched on preoperative speech perception scores and the duration of deafness (MS = 32, 1J = 32), showed no difference in speech perception outcomes between the MS and 1J groups. Furthermore, speech perception outcome was not affected by the angular insertion depth or frequency mismatch. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Barkhuysen, Pashiera; Krahmer, Emiel; Swerts, Marc
In this article we report on two experiments about the perception of audiovisual cues to emotional speech. The article addresses two questions: 1) how do visual cues from a speaker's face to emotion relate to auditory cues, and (2) what is the recognition speed for various facial cues to emotion? Both experiments reported below are based on tests with video clips of emotional utterances collected via a variant of the well-known Velten method. More specifically, we recorded speakers who displayed positive or negative emotions, which were congruent or incongruent with the (emotional) lexical content of the uttered sentence. In order to test this, we conducted two experiments. The first experiment is a perception experiment in which Czech participants, who do not speak Dutch, rate the perceived emotional state of Dutch speakers in a bimodal (audiovisual) or a unimodal (audio- or vision-only) condition. It was found that incongruent emotional speech leads to significantly more extreme perceived emotion scores than congruent emotional speech, where the difference between congruent and incongruent emotional speech is larger for the negative than for the positive conditions. Interestingly, the largest overall differences between congruent and incongruent emotions were found for the audio-only condition, which suggests that posing an incongruent emotion has a particularly strong effect on the spoken realization of emotions. The second experiment uses a gating paradigm to test the recognition speed for various emotional expressions from a speaker's face. In this experiment participants were presented with the same clips as experiment I, but this time presented vision-only. The clips were shown in successive segments (gates) of increasing duration. Results show that participants are surprisingly accurate in their recognition of the various emotions, as they already reach high recognition scores in the first gate (after only 160 ms). Interestingly, the recognition scores
Calcus, Axelle; Lorenzi, Christian; Collet, Gregory; Colin, Cécile; Kolinsky, Régine
Purpose: Children with dyslexia have been suggested to experience deficits in both categorical perception (CP) and speech identification in noise (SIN) perception. However, results regarding both abilities are inconsistent, and the relationship between them is still unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between CP…
Higgins, Meaghan C.; Penney, Sarah B.; Robertson, Erin K.
The roles of phonological short-term memory (pSTM) and speech perception in spoken sentence comprehension were examined in an experimental design. Deficits in pSTM and speech perception were simulated through task demands while typically-developing children (N = 71) completed a sentence-picture matching task. Children performed the control,…
Holtzclaw, Dan; Toscano, Nicholas
Speech disruption secondary to excessive gingival tissue has received scant attention in periodontal literature. Although a few articles have addressed the causes of this condition, documentation and scientific explanation of treatment outcomes are virtually non-existent. This case report describes speech pattern improvements secondary to periodontal surgery and provides a concise review of linguistic and phonetic literature pertinent to the case. A 21-year-old white female with a history of gingival abscesses secondary to excessive palatal tissue presented for treatment. Bilateral gingivectomies of palatal tissues were performed with inverse bevel incisions extending distally from teeth #5 and #12 to the maxillary tuberosities, and large wedges of epithelium/connective tissue were excised. Within the first month of the surgery, the patient noted "changes in the manner in which her tongue contacted the roof of her mouth" and "changes in her speech." Further anecdotal investigation revealed the patient's enunciation of sounds such as "s," "sh," and "k" was greatly improved following the gingivectomy procedure. Palatometric research clearly demonstrates that the tongue has intimate contact with the lateral aspects of the posterior palate during speech. Gingival excess in this and other palatal locations has the potential to alter linguopalatal contact patterns and disrupt normal speech patterns. Surgical correction of this condition via excisional procedures may improve linguopalatal contact patterns which, in turn, may lead to improved patient speech.
Noppeney, Uta; Lee, Hwee Ling
To form a coherent percept of the environment, the brain must integrate sensory signals emanating from a common source but segregate those from different sources. Temporal regularities are prominent cues for multisensory integration, particularly for speech and music perception. In line with models of predictive coding, we suggest that the brain adapts an internal model to the statistical regularities in its environment. This internal model enables cross-sensory and sensorimotor temporal predictions as a mechanism to arbitrate between integration and segregation of signals from different senses. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.
Evans, Samuel; Davis, Matthew H
How humans extract the identity of speech sounds from highly variable acoustic signals remains unclear. Here, we use searchlight representational similarity analysis (RSA) to localize and characterize neural representations of syllables at different levels of the hierarchically organized temporo-frontal pathways for speech perception. We asked participants to listen to spoken syllables that differed considerably in their surface acoustic form by changing speaker and degrading surface acoustics using noise-vocoding and sine wave synthesis while we recorded neural responses with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found evidence for a graded hierarchy of abstraction across the brain. At the peak of the hierarchy, neural representations in somatomotor cortex encoded syllable identity but not surface acoustic form, at the base of the hierarchy, primary auditory cortex showed the reverse. In contrast, bilateral temporal cortex exhibited an intermediate response, encoding both syllable identity and the surface acoustic form of speech. Regions of somatomotor cortex associated with encoding syllable identity in perception were also engaged when producing the same syllables in a separate session. These findings are consistent with a hierarchical account of how variable acoustic signals are transformed into abstract representations of the identity of speech sounds. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
Archila-Meléndez, Mario E.; Valente, Giancarlo; Correia, Joao M.; Rouhl, Rob P. W.; van Kranen-Mastenbroek, Vivianne H.; Jansma, Bernadette M.
Sensorimotor integration, the translation between acoustic signals and motoric programs, may constitute a crucial mechanism for speech. During speech perception, the acoustic-motoric translations include the recruitment of cortical areas for the representation of speech articulatory features, such
Maidment, David W; Kang, Hi Jee; Stewart, Hannah J; Amitay, Sygal
The study explored whether visual information improves speech identification in typically developing children with normal hearing when the auditory signal is spectrally degraded. Children (n=69) and adults (n=15) were presented with noise-vocoded sentences from the Children's Co-ordinate Response Measure (Rosen, 2011) in auditory-only or audiovisual conditions. The number of bands was adaptively varied to modulate the degradation of the auditory signal, with the number of bands required for approximately 79% correct identification calculated as the threshold. The youngest children (4- to 5-year-olds) did not benefit from accompanying visual information, in comparison to 6- to 11-year-old children and adults. Audiovisual gain also increased with age in the child sample. The current data suggest that children younger than 6 years of age do not fully utilize visual speech cues to enhance speech perception when the auditory signal is degraded. This evidence not only has implications for understanding the development of speech perception skills in children with normal hearing but may also inform the development of new treatment and intervention strategies that aim to remediate speech perception difficulties in pediatric cochlear implant users.
Petersen, Bjørn; Mortensen, Malene V; Gjedde, Albert
the behavioral and neurologic effects of musical ear training on CI users' speech and music perception. The goal is to find and work out musical methods to improve CI users' auditory capabilities and, in a longer perspective, provide an efficient strategy for improving speech understanding for both adults......Cochlear implants (CIs) provide impressive speech perception for persons with severe hearing loss, but many CI recipients fail in perceiving speech prosody and music. Successful rehabilitation depends on cortical plasticity in the brain and postoperative measures. The present study evaluates...
Kam, Anna Chi Shan; Sung, John Ka Keung; Lee, Tan; Wong, Terence Ka Cheong; van Hasselt, Andrew
In this study, the authors evaluated the effect of personalized amplification on mobile phone speech recognition in people with and without hearing loss. This prospective study used double-blind, within-subjects, repeated measures, controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of applying personalized amplification based on the hearing level captured on the mobile device. The personalized amplification settings were created using modified one-third gain targets. The participants in this study included 100 adults of age between 20 and 78 years (60 with age-adjusted normal hearing and 40 with hearing loss). The performance of the participants with personalized amplification and standard settings was compared using both subjective and speech-perception measures. Speech recognition was measured in quiet and in noise using Cantonese disyllabic words. Subjective ratings on the quality, clarity, and comfortableness of the mobile signals were measured with an 11-point visual analog scale. Subjective preferences of the settings were also obtained by a paired-comparison procedure. The personalized amplification application provided better speech recognition via the mobile phone both in quiet and in noise for people with hearing impairment (improved 8 to 10%) and people with normal hearing (improved 1 to 4%). The improvement in speech recognition was significantly better for people with hearing impairment. When the average device output level was matched, more participants preferred to have the individualized gain than not to have it. The personalized amplification application has the potential to improve speech recognition for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, as well as people with normal hearing, in particular when listening in noisy environments.
Full Text Available According to a traditional view, speech perception and production are processed largely separately in sensory and motor brain areas. Recent psycholinguistic and neuroimaging studies provide novel evidence that the sensory and motor systems dynamically interact in speech processing, by demonstrating that speech perception and imitation share regional brain activations. However, the exact nature and mechanisms of these sensorimotor interactions are not completely understood yet.Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS has often been used in the cognitive neurosciences, including speech research, as a complementary technique to behavioral and neuroimaging studies. Here we provide an up-to-date review focusing on TMS studies that explored speech perception and imitation.Single-pulse TMS of the primary motor cortex (M1 demonstrated a speech specific and somatotopically specific increase of excitability of the M1 lip area during speech perception (listening to speech or lip reading. A paired-coil TMS approach showed increases in effective connectivity from brain regions that are involved in speech processing to the M1 lip area when listening to speech. TMS in virtual lesion mode applied to speech processing areas modulated performance of phonological recognition and imitation of perceived speech.In summary, TMS is an innovative tool to investigate processing of speech perception and imitation. TMS studies have provided strong evidence that the sensory system is critically involved in mapping sensory input onto motor output and that the motor system plays an important role in speech perception.
Kuhl, Patricia K; Ramírez, Rey R; Bosseler, Alexis; Lin, Jo-Fu Lotus; Imada, Toshiaki
Historic theories of speech perception (Motor Theory and Analysis by Synthesis) invoked listeners' knowledge of speech production to explain speech perception. Neuroimaging data show that adult listeners activate motor brain areas during speech perception. In two experiments using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we investigated motor brain activation, as well as auditory brain activation, during discrimination of native and nonnative syllables in infants at two ages that straddle the developmental transition from language-universal to language-specific speech perception. Adults are also tested in Exp. 1. MEG data revealed that 7-mo-old infants activate auditory (superior temporal) as well as motor brain areas (Broca's area, cerebellum) in response to speech, and equivalently for native and nonnative syllables. However, in 11- and 12-mo-old infants, native speech activates auditory brain areas to a greater degree than nonnative, whereas nonnative speech activates motor brain areas to a greater degree than native speech. This double dissociation in 11- to 12-mo-old infants matches the pattern of results obtained in adult listeners. Our infant data are consistent with Analysis by Synthesis: auditory analysis of speech is coupled with synthesis of the motor plans necessary to produce the speech signal. The findings have implications for: (i) perception-action theories of speech perception, (ii) the impact of "motherese" on early language learning, and (iii) the "social-gating" hypothesis and humans' development of social understanding.
Hausen, Maija; Torppa, Ritva; Salmela, Viljami R; Vainio, Martti; Särkämö, Teppo
Disorders of music and speech perception, known as amusia and aphasia, have traditionally been regarded as dissociated deficits based on studies of brain damaged patients. This has been taken as evidence that music and speech are perceived by largely separate and independent networks in the brain. However, recent studies of congenital amusia have broadened this view by showing that the deficit is associated with problems in perceiving speech prosody, especially intonation and emotional prosody. In the present study the association between the perception of music and speech prosody was investigated with healthy Finnish adults (n = 61) using an on-line music perception test including the Scale subtest of Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) and Off-Beat and Out-of-key tasks as well as a prosodic verbal task that measures the perception of word stress. Regression analyses showed that there was a clear association between prosody perception and music perception, especially in the domain of rhythm perception. This association was evident after controlling for music education, age, pitch perception, visuospatial perception, and working memory. Pitch perception was significantly associated with music perception but not with prosody perception. The association between music perception and visuospatial perception (measured using analogous tasks) was less clear. Overall, the pattern of results indicates that there is a robust link between music and speech perception and that this link can be mediated by rhythmic cues (time and stress).
Full Text Available Disorders of music and speech perception, known as amusia and aphasia, have traditionally been regarded as dissociated deficits based on studies of brain damaged patients. This has been taken as evidence that music and speech are perceived by largely separate and independent networks in the brain. However, recent studies of congenital amusia have broadened this view by showing that the deficit is associated with problems in perceiving speech prosody, especially intonation and emotional prosody. In the present study the association between the perception of music and speech prosody was investigated with healthy Finnish adults (n = 61 using an on-line music perception test including the Scale subtest of Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA and Off-Beat and Out-of-key tasks as well as a prosodic verbal task that measures the perception of word stress. Regression analyses showed that there was a clear association between prosody perception and music perception, especially in the domain of rhythm perception. This association was evident after controlling for music education, age, pitch perception, visuospatial perception and working memory. Pitch perception was significantly associated with music perception but not with prosody perception. The association between music perception and visuospatial perception (measured using analogous tasks was less clear. Overall, the pattern of results indicates that there is a robust link between music and speech perception and that this link can be mediated by rhythmic cues (time and stress.
Hausen, Maija; Torppa, Ritva; Salmela, Viljami R.; Vainio, Martti; Särkämö, Teppo
Disorders of music and speech perception, known as amusia and aphasia, have traditionally been regarded as dissociated deficits based on studies of brain damaged patients. This has been taken as evidence that music and speech are perceived by largely separate and independent networks in the brain. However, recent studies of congenital amusia have broadened this view by showing that the deficit is associated with problems in perceiving speech prosody, especially intonation and emotional prosody. In the present study the association between the perception of music and speech prosody was investigated with healthy Finnish adults (n = 61) using an on-line music perception test including the Scale subtest of Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) and Off-Beat and Out-of-key tasks as well as a prosodic verbal task that measures the perception of word stress. Regression analyses showed that there was a clear association between prosody perception and music perception, especially in the domain of rhythm perception. This association was evident after controlling for music education, age, pitch perception, visuospatial perception, and working memory. Pitch perception was significantly associated with music perception but not with prosody perception. The association between music perception and visuospatial perception (measured using analogous tasks) was less clear. Overall, the pattern of results indicates that there is a robust link between music and speech perception and that this link can be mediated by rhythmic cues (time and stress). PMID:24032022
Millman, Rebecca E.; Mattys, Sven L.
Purpose: Background noise can interfere with our ability to understand speech. Working memory capacity (WMC) has been shown to contribute to the perception of speech in modulated noise maskers. WMC has been assessed with a variety of auditory and visual tests, often pertaining to different components of working memory. This study assessed the…
The goal of this work is to find a way to measure similarity of audiovisual speech percepts. Phoneme-related self-organizing maps (SOM) with a rectangular basis are trained with data material from a (labeled) video film. For the training, a combination of auditory speech features and corresponding....... Dependent on the training data, these other units may also be contextually immediate neighboring units. The poster demonstrates the idea with text material spoken by one individual subject using a set of simple audio-visual features. The data material for the training process consists of 44 labeled...... sentences in German with a balanced phoneme repertoire. As a result it can be stated that (i) the SOM can be trained to map auditory and visual features in a topology-preserving way and (ii) they show strain due to the influence of other audio-visual units. The SOM can be used to measure similarity amongst...
Tanta, Ivan; Lesinger, Gordana
Key place in this paper takes the study of political speech in the Republic of Croatia and their impact on voters, or which keywords are in political speeches and public appearances of politicians in Croatia that their voting body wants to hear. Given listed below we will define the research topic in the form of a question - is there a discrepancy in the perception of the public-political speech in Croatia, and which keywords are specific to the two main regions in Croatia and that inhabitant these regions respond. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the most important Roman orator, he used a specific associative mnemonic technique that is called "technique room". He would talk expound on keywords and conceptual terms that he needed for the desired topic and join in these make them, according to the desired order, in a very creative and unique way, the premises of the house or palace, which he knew well. Then, while holding the speech intended to pass through rooms of the house or palace and then put keywords and concepts come to mind, again according to the desired order. Given that this is a specific kind of research political speech that is relatively recent in Croatia, it should be noted that there is still, this kind of political communication is not sufficiently explored. Particularly the emphasis on the impact and use of keywords specific to the Republic of Croatia, in everyday public and political communication. The paper will be analyzed the political, campaign speeches and promises several winning candidates, and now Croatian MEPs, specific keywords related to: economics, culture, science, education and health. The analysis is based on comparison of the survey results on the representation of key words in the speeches of politicians and qualitative analysis of the speeches of politicians on key words during the election campaign.
Wilson, Amanda H.; Alsius, Agnès; Parè, Martin; Munhall, Kevin G.
Purpose: The aim of this article is to examine the effects of visual image degradation on performance and gaze behavior in audiovisual and visual-only speech perception tasks. Method: We presented vowel-consonant-vowel utterances visually filtered at a range of frequencies in visual-only, audiovisual congruent, and audiovisual incongruent…
Leybaert, Jacqueline; Macchi, Lucie; Huyse, Aurélie; Champoux, François; Bayard, Clémence; Colin, Cécile; Berthommier, Frédéric
Audiovisual speech perception of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with typical language development (TLD) was compared in two experiments using /aCa/ syllables presented in the context of a masking release paradigm. Children had to repeat syllables presented in auditory alone, visual alone (speechreading), audiovisual congruent and incongruent (McGurk) conditions. Stimuli were masked by either stationary (ST) or amplitude modulated (AM) noise. Although children with SLI were less accurate in auditory and audiovisual speech perception, they showed similar auditory masking release effect than children with TLD. Children with SLI also had less correct responses in speechreading than children with TLD, indicating impairment in phonemic processing of visual speech information. In response to McGurk stimuli, children with TLD showed more fusions in AM noise than in ST noise, a consequence of the auditory masking release effect and of the influence of visual information. Children with SLI did not show this effect systematically, suggesting they were less influenced by visual speech. However, when the visual cues were easily identified, the profile of responses to McGurk stimuli was similar in both groups, suggesting that children with SLI do not suffer from an impairment of audiovisual integration. An analysis of percent of information transmitted revealed a deficit in the children with SLI, particularly for the place of articulation feature. Taken together, the data support the hypothesis of an intact peripheral processing of auditory speech information, coupled with a supra modal deficit of phonemic categorization in children with SLI. Clinical implications are discussed.
Full Text Available Gender and age have been found to affect adults’ audio-visual (AV speech perception. However, research on adult aging focuses on adults over 60 years, who have an increasing likelihood for cognitive and sensory decline, which may confound positive effects of age-related AV-experience and its interaction with gender. Observed age and gender differences in AV speech perception may also depend on measurement sensitivity and AV task difficulty. Consequently both AV benefit and visual influence were used to measure visual contribution for gender-balanced groups of young (20-30 years and middle-aged adults (50-60 years with task difficulty varied using AV syllables from different talkers in alternative auditory backgrounds. Females had better speech-reading performance than males. Whereas no gender differences in AV benefit or visual influence were observed for young adults, visually influenced responses were significantly greater for middle-aged females than middle-aged males. That speech-reading performance did not influence AV benefit may be explained by visual speech extraction and AV integration constituting independent abilities. Contrastingly, the gender difference in visually influenced responses in middle adulthood may reflect an experience-related shift in females’ general AV perceptual strategy. Although young females’ speech-reading proficiency may not readily contribute to greater visual influence, between young and middle-adulthood recurrent confirmation of the contribution of visual cues induced by speech-reading proficiency may gradually shift females AV perceptual strategy towards more visually dominated responses.
Cai, Ting; McPherson, Bradley; Li, Caiwei; Yang, Feng
Conductive hearing loss simulations have attempted to estimate the speech-understanding difficulties of children with otitis media with effusion (OME). However, the validity of this approach has not been evaluated. The research aim of the present study was to investigate whether a simple, frequency-specific, attenuation-based simulation of OME-related hearing loss was able to reflect the actual effects of conductive hearing loss on speech perception. Forty-one school-age children with OME-related hearing loss were recruited. Each child with OME was matched with a same sex and age counterpart with normal hearing to make a participant pair. Pure-tone threshold differences at octave frequencies from 125 to 8000 Hz for every participant pair were used as the simulation attenuation levels for the normal-hearing children. Another group of 41 school-age otologically normal children were recruited as a control group without actual or simulated hearing loss. The Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test was utilized, and sentence recall accuracy at four signal to noise ratios (SNR) considered representative of classroom-listening conditions were derived, as well as reception thresholds for sentences (RTS) in quiet and in noise using adaptive protocols. The speech perception in quiet and in noise of children with simulated OME-related hearing loss was significantly poorer than that of otologically normal children. Analysis showed that RTS in quiet of children with OME-related hearing loss and of children with simulated OME-related hearing loss was significantly correlated and comparable. A repeated-measures analysis suggested that sentence recall accuracy obtained at 5-dB SNR, 0-dB SNR, and -5-dB SNR was similar between children with actual and simulated OME-related hearing loss. However, RTS in noise in children with OME was significantly better than that for children with simulated OME-related hearing loss. The present frequency-specific, attenuation-based simulation method reflected
LaCroix, Arianna N.; Diaz, Alvaro F.; Rogalsky, Corianne
The relationship between the neurobiology of speech and music has been investigated for more than a century. There remains no widespread agreement regarding how (or to what extent) music perception utilizes the neural circuitry that is engaged in speech processing, particularly at the cortical level. Prominent models such as Patel's Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH) and Koelsch's neurocognitive model of music perception suggest a high degree of overlap, particularly in the frontal lobe, but also perhaps more distinct representations in the temporal lobe with hemispheric asymmetries. The present meta-analysis study used activation likelihood estimate analyses to identify the brain regions consistently activated for music as compared to speech across the functional neuroimaging (fMRI and PET) literature. Eighty music and 91 speech neuroimaging studies of healthy adult control subjects were analyzed. Peak activations reported in the music and speech studies were divided into four paradigm categories: passive listening, discrimination tasks, error/anomaly detection tasks and memory-related tasks. We then compared activation likelihood estimates within each category for music vs. speech, and each music condition with passive listening. We found that listening to music and to speech preferentially activate distinct temporo-parietal bilateral cortical networks. We also found music and speech to have shared resources in the left pars opercularis but speech-specific resources in the left pars triangularis. The extent to which music recruited speech-activated frontal resources was modulated by task. While there are certainly limitations to meta-analysis techniques particularly regarding sensitivity, this work suggests that the extent of shared resources between speech and music may be task-dependent and highlights the need to consider how task effects may be affecting conclusions regarding the neurobiology of speech and music. PMID:26321976
Full Text Available The relationship between the neurobiology of speech and music has been investigated for more than a century. There remains no widespread agreement regarding how (or to what extent music perception utilizes the neural circuitry that is engaged in speech processing, particularly at the cortical level. Prominent models such as Patel’s Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH and Koelsch’s neurocognitive model of music perception suggest a high degree of overlap, particularly in the frontal lobe, but also perhaps more distinct representations in the temporal lobe with hemispheric asymmetries. The present meta-analysis study used activation likelihood estimate analyses to identify the brain regions consistently activated for music as compared to speech across the functional neuroimaging (fMRI and PET literature. Eighty music and 91 speech neuroimaging studies of healthy adult control subjects were analyzed. Peak activations reported in the music and speech studies were divided into four paradigm categories: passive listening, discrimination tasks, error/anomaly detection tasks and memory-related tasks. We then compared activation likelihood estimates within each category for music versus speech, and each music condition with passive listening. We found that listening to music and to speech preferentially activate distinct temporo-parietal bilateral cortical networks. We also found music and speech to have shared resources in the left pars opercularis but speech-specific resources in the left pars triangularis. The extent to which music recruited speech-activated frontal resources was modulated by task. While there are certainly limitations to meta-analysis techniques particularly regarding sensitivity, this work suggests that the extent of shared resources between speech and music may be task-dependent and highlights the need to consider how task effects may be affecting conclusions regarding the neurobiology of speech and music.
Buchan, Julie N; Paré, Martin; Munhall, Kevin G
During face-to-face conversation the face provides auditory and visual linguistic information, and also conveys information about the identity of the speaker. This study investigated behavioral strategies involved in gathering visual information while watching talking faces. The effects of varying talker identity and varying the intelligibility of speech (by adding acoustic noise) on gaze behavior were measured with an eyetracker. Varying the intelligibility of the speech by adding noise had a noticeable effect on the location and duration of fixations. When noise was present subjects adopted a vantage point that was more centralized on the face by reducing the frequency of the fixations on the eyes and mouth and lengthening the duration of their gaze fixations on the nose and mouth. Varying talker identity resulted in a more modest change in gaze behavior that was modulated by the intelligibility of the speech. Although subjects generally used similar strategies to extract visual information in both talker variability conditions, when noise was absent there were more fixations on the mouth when viewing a different talker every trial as opposed to the same talker every trial. These findings provide a useful baseline for studies examining gaze behavior during audiovisual speech perception and perception of dynamic faces.
Le Cocq, Cecile
Workers in noisy industrial environments are often confronted to communication problems. Lost of workers complain about not being able to communicate easily with their coworkers when they wear hearing protectors. In consequence, they tend to remove their protectors, which expose them to the risk of hearing loss. In fact this communication problem is a double one: first the hearing protectors modify one's own voice perception; second they interfere with understanding speech from others. This double problem is examined in this thesis. When wearing hearing protectors, the modification of one's own voice perception is partly due to the occlusion effect which is produced when an earplug is inserted in the car canal. This occlusion effect has two main consequences: first the physiological noises in low frequencies are better perceived, second the perception of one's own voice is modified. In order to have a better understanding of this phenomenon, the literature results are analyzed systematically, and a new method to quantify the occlusion effect is developed. Instead of stimulating the skull with a bone vibrator or asking the subject to speak as is usually done in the literature, it has been decided to excite the buccal cavity with an acoustic wave. The experiment has been designed in such a way that the acoustic wave which excites the buccal cavity does not excite the external car or the rest of the body directly. The measurement of the hearing threshold in open and occluded car has been used to quantify the subjective occlusion effect for an acoustic wave in the buccal cavity. These experimental results as well as those reported in the literature have lead to a better understanding of the occlusion effect and an evaluation of the role of each internal path from the acoustic source to the internal car. The speech intelligibility from others is altered by both the high sound levels of noisy industrial environments and the speech signal attenuation due to hearing
Locsei, Gusztav; Pedersen, Julie Hefting; Laugesen, Søren
This study investigated the relationship between speech perception performance in spatially complex, lateralized listening scenarios and temporal fine-structure (TFS) coding at low frequencies. Young normal-hearing (NH) and two groups of elderly hearing-impaired (HI) listeners with mild or moderate...... hearing loss above 1.5 kHz participated in the study. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were estimated in the presence of either speech-shaped noise, two-, four-, or eight-talker babble played reversed, or a nonreversed two-talker masker. Target audibility was ensured by applying individualized linear...... threshold nor the interaural phase difference threshold tasks showed a correlation with the SRTs or with the amount of masking release due to binaural unmasking, respectively. The results suggest that, although HI listeners with normal hearing thresholds below 1.5 kHz experienced difficulties with speech...
Roman, Adrienne S; Pisoni, David B; Kronenberger, William G; Faulkner, Kathleen F
Noise-vocoded speech is a valuable research tool for testing experimental hypotheses about the effects of spectral degradation on speech recognition in adults with normal hearing (NH). However, very little research has utilized noise-vocoded speech with children with NH. Earlier studies with children with NH focused primarily on the amount of spectral information needed for speech recognition without assessing the contribution of neurocognitive processes to speech perception and spoken word recognition. In this study, we first replicated the seminal findings reported by ) who investigated effects of lexical density and word frequency on noise-vocoded speech perception in a small group of children with NH. We then extended the research to investigate relations between noise-vocoded speech recognition abilities and five neurocognitive measures: auditory attention (AA) and response set, talker discrimination, and verbal and nonverbal short-term working memory. Thirty-one children with NH between 5 and 13 years of age were assessed on their ability to perceive lexically controlled words in isolation and in sentences that were noise-vocoded to four spectral channels. Children were also administered vocabulary assessments (Peabody Picture Vocabulary test-4th Edition and Expressive Vocabulary test-2nd Edition) and measures of AA (NEPSY AA and response set and a talker discrimination task) and short-term memory (visual digit and symbol spans). Consistent with the findings reported in the original ) study, we found that children perceived noise-vocoded lexically easy words better than lexically hard words. Words in sentences were also recognized better than the same words presented in isolation. No significant correlations were observed between noise-vocoded speech recognition scores and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary test-4th Edition using language quotients to control for age effects. However, children who scored higher on the Expressive Vocabulary test-2nd Edition
D'Souza, Dean; D'Souza, Hana; Johnson, Mark H; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette
Typically-developing (TD) infants can construct unified cross-modal percepts, such as a speaking face, by integrating auditory-visual (AV) information. This skill is a key building block upon which higher-level skills, such as word learning, are built. Because word learning is seriously delayed in most children with neurodevelopmental disorders, we assessed the hypothesis that this delay partly results from a deficit in integrating AV speech cues. AV speech integration has rarely been investigated in neurodevelopmental disorders, and never previously in infants. We probed for the McGurk effect, which occurs when the auditory component of one sound (/ba/) is paired with the visual component of another sound (/ga/), leading to the perception of an illusory third sound (/da/ or /tha/). We measured AV integration in 95 infants/toddlers with Down, fragile X, or Williams syndrome, whom we matched on Chronological and Mental Age to 25 TD infants. We also assessed a more basic AV perceptual ability: sensitivity to matching vs. mismatching AV speech stimuli. Infants with Williams syndrome failed to demonstrate a McGurk effect, indicating poor AV speech integration. Moreover, while the TD children discriminated between matching and mismatching AV stimuli, none of the other groups did, hinting at a basic deficit or delay in AV speech processing, which is likely to constrain subsequent language development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Eramudugolla, Ranmalee; Henderson, Rachel; Mattingley, Jason B.
Integration of simultaneous auditory and visual information about an event can enhance our ability to detect that event. This is particularly evident in the perception of speech, where the articulatory gestures of the speaker's lips and face can significantly improve the listener's detection and identification of the message, especially when that…
Lim, Hayoung A
The study compared the effect of music training, speech training and no-training on the verbal production of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Participants were 50 children with ASD, age range 3 to 5 years, who had previously been evaluated on standard tests of language and level of functioning. They were randomly assigned to one of three 3-day conditions. Participants in music training (n = 18) watched a music video containing 6 songs and pictures of the 36 target words; those in speech training (n = 18) watched a speech video containing 6 stories and pictures, and those in the control condition (n = 14) received no treatment. Participants' verbal production including semantics, phonology, pragmatics, and prosody was measured by an experimenter designed verbal production evaluation scale. Results showed that participants in both music and speech training significantly increased their pre to posttest verbal production. Results also indicated that both high and low functioning participants improved their speech production after receiving either music or speech training; however, low functioning participants showed a greater improvement after the music training than the speech training. Children with ASD perceive important linguistic information embedded in music stimuli organized by principles of pattern perception, and produce the functional speech.
Full Text Available (1 To evaluate the recognition of words, phonemes and lexical tones in audiovisual (AV and auditory-only (AO modes in Mandarin-speaking adults with cochlear implants (CIs; (2 to understand the effect of presentation levels on AV speech perception; (3 to learn the effect of hearing experience on AV speech perception.Thirteen deaf adults (age = 29.1±13.5 years; 8 male, 5 female who had used CIs for >6 months and 10 normal-hearing (NH adults participated in this study. Seven of them were prelingually deaf, and 6 postlingually deaf. The Mandarin Monosyllablic Word Recognition Test was used to assess recognition of words, phonemes and lexical tones in AV and AO conditions at 3 presentation levels: speech detection threshold (SDT, speech recognition threshold (SRT and 10 dB SL (re:SRT.The prelingual group had better phoneme recognition in the AV mode than in the AO mode at SDT and SRT (both p = 0.016, and so did the NH group at SDT (p = 0.004. Mode difference was not noted in the postlingual group. None of the groups had significantly different tone recognition in the 2 modes. The prelingual and postlingual groups had significantly better phoneme and tone recognition than the NH one at SDT in the AO mode (p = 0.016 and p = 0.002 for phonemes; p = 0.001 and p<0.001 for tones but were outperformed by the NH group at 10 dB SL (re:SRT in both modes (both p<0.001 for phonemes; p<0.001 and p = 0.002 for tones. The recognition scores had a significant correlation with group with age and sex controlled (p<0.001.Visual input may help prelingually deaf implantees to recognize phonemes but may not augment Mandarin tone recognition. The effect of presentation level seems minimal on CI users' AV perception. This indicates special considerations in developing audiological assessment protocols and rehabilitation strategies for implantees who speak tonal languages.
WEIJianqiang; DULimin; YANZhaoli; ZENGHui
In this paper, a Kalman filter-based speech enhancement algorithm with some improvements of previous work is presented. A new technique based on spectral subtraction is used for separation speech and noise characteristics from noisy speech and for the computation of speech and noise Autoregressive (AR) parameters. In order to obtain a Kalman filter output with high audible quality, a perceptual post-filter is placed at the output of the Kalman filter to smooth the enhanced speech spectra.Extensive experiments indicate that this newly proposed method works well.
Rachovitsas, Dimitrios; Psillas, George; Chatzigiannakidou, Vasiliki; Triaridis, Stefanos; Constantinidis, Jiannis; Vital, Victor
The aim of this study was to assess the speech perception and speech intelligibility outcome after cochlear implantation in children with malformed inner ear and to compare them with a group of congenitally deaf children implantees without inner ear malformation. Six deaf children (five boys and one girl) with inner ear malformations who were implanted and followed in our clinic were included. These children were matched with six implanted children with normal cochlea for age at implantation and duration of cochlear implant use. All subjects were tested with the internationally used battery tests of listening progress profile (LiP), capacity of auditory performance (CAP), and speech intelligibility rating (SIR). A closed and open set word perception test adapted to the Modern Greek language was also used. In the dysplastic group, two children suffered from CHARGE syndrome, another two from mental retardation, and two children grew up in bilingual homes. At least two years after switch-on, the dysplastic group scored mean LiP 62%, CAP 3.8, SIR 2.1, closed-set 61%, and open-set 49%. The children without inner ear dysplasia achieved significantly better scores, except for CAP which this difference was marginally statistically significant (p=0.009 for LiP, p=0.080 for CAP, p=0.041 for SIR, p=0.011 for closed-set, and p=0.006 for open-set tests). All of the implanted children with malformed inner ear showed benefit of auditory perception and speech production. However, the children with inner ear malformation performed less well compared with the children without inner ear dysplasia. This was possibly due to the high proportion of disabilities detected in the dysplastic group, such as CHARGE syndrome and mental retardation. Bilingualism could also be considered as a factor which possibly affects the outcome of implanted children. Therefore, children with malformed inner ear should be preoperatively evaluated for cognitive and developmental delay. In this case
Locke, J L; Kutz, K J
Thirty kindergarteners, 15 who substituted /w/ for /r/ and 15 with correct articulation, received two perception tests and a memory test that included /w/ and /r/ in minimally contrastive syllables. Although both groups had nearly perfect perception of the experimenter's productions of /w/ and /r/, misarticulating subjects perceived their own tape-recorded w/r productions as /w/. In the memory task these same misarticulating subjects committed significantly more /w/-/r/ confusions in unspoken recall. The discussion considers why people subvocally rehearse; a developmental period in which children do not rehearse; ways subvocalization may aid recall, including motor and acoustic encoding; an echoic store that provides additional recall support if subjects rehearse vocally, and perception of self- and other- produced phonemes by misarticulating children-including its relevance to a motor theory of perception. Evidence is presented that speech for memory can be sufficiently impaired to cause memory disorder. Conceptions that restrict speech disorder to an impairment of communication are challenged.
Andersen, Tobias; Starrfelt, Randi
perception. While these studies have focused on auditory speech perception other studies have shown that Broca's area is activated by visual speech perception. Furthermore, one preliminary report found that a patient with Broca's aphasia did not experience the McGurk illusion suggesting that an intact Broca......Lesions to Broca's area cause aphasia characterized by a severe impairment of the ability to speak, with comparatively intact speech perception. However, some studies have found effects on speech perception under adverse listening conditions, indicating that Broca's area is also involved in speech......'s area is necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. Here we describe a patient with Broca's aphasia who experienced the McGurk illusion. This indicates that an intact Broca's area is not necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. The McGurk illusions this patient experienced were atypical...
Locsei, Gusztav; Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten
and two-talker babble in terms of SRTs, HI listeners could utilize ITDs to a similar degree as NH listeners to facilitate the binaural unmasking of speech. A slight difference was observed between the group means when target and maskers were separated from each other by large ITDs, but not when separated...... SRMs are elicited by small ITDs. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) and SRM due to ITDs were measured over headphones for 10 young NH and 10 older HI listeners, who had normal or close-to-normal hearing below 1.5 kHz. Diotic target sentences were presented in diotic or dichotic speech-shaped noise...... or two-talker babble maskers. In the dichotic conditions, maskers were lateralized by delaying the masker waveforms in the left headphone channel. Multiple magnitudes of masker ITDs were tested in both noise conditions. Although deficits were observed in speech perception abilities in speechshaped noise...
Shetty, Hemanth Narayan; Koonoor, Vishal
Past research has reported that children with repeated occurrences of otitis media at an early age have a negative impact on speech perception at a later age. The present study necessitates documenting the temporal and spectral processing on speech perception in noise from normal and atypical groups. The present study evaluated the relation between speech perception in noise and temporal; and spectral processing abilities in children with normal and atypical groups. The study included two experiments. In the first experiment, temporal resolution and frequency discrimination of listeners with normal group and three subgroups of atypical groups (had a history of OM) a) less than four episodes b) four to nine episodes and c) More than nine episodes during their chronological age of 6 months to 2 years) were evaluated using measures of temporal modulation transfer function and frequency discrimination test. In the second experiment, SNR 50 was evaluated on each group of study participants. All participants had normal hearing and middle ear status during the course of testing. Demonstrated that children with atypical group had significantly poorer modulation detection threshold, peak sensitivity and bandwidth; and frequency discrimination to each F0 than normal hearing listeners. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation seen between measures of temporal resolution; frequency discrimination and speech perception in noise. It infers atypical groups have significant impairment in extracting envelope as well as fine structure cues from the signal. The results supported the idea that episodes of OM before 2 years of agecan produce periods of sensory deprivation that alters the temporal and spectral skills which in turn has negative consequences on speech perception in noise. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Guddattu, Vasudeva; Krishna, Y.
The speech produced by human vocal tract is a complex acoustic signal, with diverse applications in phonetics, speech synthesis, automatic speech recognition, speaker identification, communication aids, speech pathology, speech perception, machine translation, hearing research, rehabilitation and assessment of communication disorders and many…
Geers, Ann E; Davidson, Lisa S; Uchanski, Rosalie M; Nicholas, Johanna G
This study documented the ability of experienced pediatric cochlear implant (CI) users to perceive linguistic properties (what is said) and indexical attributes (emotional intent and talker identity) of speech, and examined the extent to which linguistic (LSP) and indexical (ISP) perception skills are related. Preimplant-aided hearing, age at implantation, speech processor technology, CI-aided thresholds, sequential bilateral cochlear implantation, and academic integration with hearing age-mates were examined for their possible relationships to both LSP and ISP skills. Sixty 9- to 12-year olds, first implanted at an early age (12 to 38 months), participated in a comprehensive test battery that included the following LSP skills: (1) recognition of monosyllabic words at loud and soft levels, (2) repetition of phonemes and suprasegmental features from nonwords, and (3) recognition of key words from sentences presented within a noise background, and the following ISP skills: (1) discrimination of across-gender and within-gender (female) talkers and (2) identification and discrimination of emotional content from spoken sentences. A group of 30 age-matched children without hearing loss completed the nonword repetition, and talker- and emotion-perception tasks for comparison. Word-recognition scores decreased with signal level from a mean of 77% correct at 70 dB SPL to 52% at 50 dB SPL. On average, CI users recognized 50% of key words presented in sentences that were 9.8 dB above background noise. Phonetic properties were repeated from nonword stimuli at about the same level of accuracy as suprasegmental attributes (70 and 75%, respectively). The majority of CI users identified emotional content and differentiated talkers significantly above chance levels. Scores on LSP and ISP measures were combined into separate principal component scores and these components were highly correlated (r = 0.76). Both LSP and ISP component scores were higher for children who received a CI
Millman, Rebecca E; Mattys, Sven L; Gouws, André D; Prendergast, Garreth
Verbal communication in noisy backgrounds is challenging. Understanding speech in background noise that fluctuates in intensity over time is particularly difficult for hearing-impaired listeners with a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The reduction in fast-acting cochlear compression associated with SNHL exaggerates the perceived fluctuations in intensity in amplitude-modulated sounds. SNHL-induced changes in the coding of amplitude-modulated sounds may have a detrimental effect on the ability of SNHL listeners to understand speech in the presence of modulated background noise. To date, direct evidence for a link between magnified envelope coding and deficits in speech identification in modulated noise has been absent. Here, magnetoencephalography was used to quantify the effects of SNHL on phase locking to the temporal envelope of modulated noise (envelope coding) in human auditory cortex. Our results show that SNHL enhances the amplitude of envelope coding in posteromedial auditory cortex, whereas it enhances the fidelity of envelope coding in posteromedial and posterolateral auditory cortex. This dissociation was more evident in the right hemisphere, demonstrating functional lateralization in enhanced envelope coding in SNHL listeners. However, enhanced envelope coding was not perceptually beneficial. Our results also show that both hearing thresholds and, to a lesser extent, magnified cortical envelope coding in left posteromedial auditory cortex predict speech identification in modulated background noise. We propose a framework in which magnified envelope coding in posteromedial auditory cortex disrupts the segregation of speech from background noise, leading to deficits in speech perception in modulated background noise. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT People with hearing loss struggle to follow conversations in noisy environments. Background noise that fluctuates in intensity over time poses a particular challenge. Using magnetoencephalography, we demonstrate
Booth, Alannah; Choto, Fadziso; Gotlieb, Jessica; Robertson, Rebecca; Morris, Gabriella; Stockley, Nicola; Mauff, Katya
Background Upon graduation, newly qualified speech-language therapists are expected to provide services independently. This study describes new graduates’ perceptions of their preparedness to provide services across the scope of the profession and explores associations between perceptions of dysphagia theory and clinical learning curricula with preparedness for adult and paediatric dysphagia service delivery. Methods New graduates of six South African universities were recruited to participate in a survey by completing an electronic questionnaire exploring their perceptions of the dysphagia curricula and their preparedness to practise across the scope of the profession of speech-language therapy. Results Eighty graduates participated in the study yielding a response rate of 63.49%. Participants perceived themselves to be well prepared in some areas (e.g. child language: 100%; articulation and phonology: 97.26%), but less prepared in other areas (e.g. adult dysphagia: 50.70%; paediatric dysarthria: 46.58%; paediatric dysphagia: 38.36%) and most unprepared to provide services requiring sign language (23.61%) and African languages (20.55%). There was a significant relationship between perceptions of adequate theory and clinical learning opportunities with assessment and management of dysphagia and perceptions of preparedness to provide dysphagia services. Conclusion There is a need for review of existing curricula and consideration of developing a standard speech-language therapy curriculum across universities, particularly in service provision to a multilingual population, and in both the theory and clinical learning of the assessment and management of adult and paediatric dysphagia, to better equip graduates for practice. PMID:26304217
Ortiz, Rosario; Jiménez, Juan E; Muñetón, Mercedes; Rojas, Estefanía; Estévez, Adelina; Guzmán, Remedios; Rodríguez, Cristina; Naranjo, Francisco
Several studies have indicated that dyslexics show a deficit in speech perception (SP). The main purpose of this research is to determine the development of SP in dyslexics and normal readers paired by grades from 2nd to 6th grade of primary school and to know whether the phonetic contrasts that are relevant for SP change during development, taking into account the individual differences. The achievement of both groups was compared in the phonetic tasks: voicing contrast, place of articulation contrast and manner of articulation contrast. The results showed that the dyslexic performed poorer than the normal readers in SP. In place of articulation contrast, the developmental pattern is similar in both groups but not in voicing and manner of articulation. Manner of articulation has more influence on SP, and its development is higher than the other contrast tasks in both groups.
Lewkowicz, David J.; Minar, Nicholas J.; Tift, Amy H.; Brandon, Melissa
To investigate the developmental emergence of the ability to perceive the multisensory coherence of native and non-native audiovisual fluent speech, we tested 4-, 8–10, and 12–14 month-old English-learning infants. Infants first viewed two identical female faces articulating two different monologues in silence and then in the presence of an audible monologue that matched the visible articulations of one of the faces. Neither the 4-month-old nor the 8–10 month-old infants exhibited audio-visual matching in that neither group exhibited greater looking at the matching monologue. In contrast, the 12–14 month-old infants exhibited matching and, consistent with the emergence of perceptual expertise for the native language, they perceived the multisensory coherence of native-language monologues earlier in the test trials than of non-native language monologues. Moreover, the matching of native audible and visible speech streams observed in the 12–14 month olds did not depend on audio-visual synchrony whereas the matching of non-native audible and visible speech streams did depend on synchrony. Overall, the current findings indicate that the perception of the multisensory coherence of fluent audiovisual speech emerges late in infancy, that audio-visual synchrony cues are more important in the perception of the multisensory coherence of non-native than native audiovisual speech, and that the emergence of this skill most likely is affected by perceptual narrowing. PMID:25462038
McNeel Gordon Jantzen
Full Text Available Musicians have a more accurate temporal and tonal representation of auditory stimuli than their non-musician counterparts (Kraus & Chandrasekaran, 2010; Parbery-Clark, Skoe, & Kraus, 2009; Zendel & Alain, 2008; Musacchia, Sams, Skoe, & Kraus, 2007. Musicians who are adept at the production and perception of music are also more sensitive to key acoustic features of speech such as voice onset timing and pitch. Together, these data suggest that musical training may enhance the processing of acoustic information for speech sounds. In the current study, we sought to provide neural evidence that musicians process speech and music in a similar way. We hypothesized that for musicians, right hemisphere areas traditionally associated with music are also engaged for the processing of speech sounds. In contrast we predicted that in non-musicians processing of speech sounds would be localized to traditional left hemisphere language areas. Speech stimuli differing in voice onset time was presented using a dichotic listening paradigm. Subjects either indicated aural location for a specified speech sound or identified a specific speech sound from a directed aural location. Musical training effects and organization of acoustic features were reflected by activity in source generators of the P50. This included greater activation of right middle temporal gyrus (MTG and superior temporal gyrus (STG in musicians. The findings demonstrate recruitment of right hemisphere in musicians for discriminating speech sounds and a putative broadening of their language network. Musicians appear to have an increased sensitivity to acoustic features and enhanced selective attention to temporal features of speech that is facilitated by musical training and supported, in part, by right hemisphere homologues of established speech processing regions of the brain.
Melissa M Baese-Berk
Full Text Available Neil Armstrong insisted that his quote upon landing on the moon was misheard, and that he had said one small step for a man, instead of one small step for man. What he said is unclear in part because function words like a can be reduced and spectrally indistinguishable from the preceding context. Therefore, their presence can be ambiguous, and they may disappear perceptually depending on the rate of surrounding speech. Two experiments are presented examining production and perception of reduced tokens of for and for a in spontaneous speech. Experiment 1 investigates the distributions of several acoustic features of for and for a. The results suggest that the distributions of for and for a overlap substantially, both in terms of temporal and spectral characteristics. Experiment 2 examines perception of these same tokens when the context speaking rate differs. The perceptibility of the function word a varies as a function of this context speaking rate. These results demonstrate that substantial ambiguity exists in the original quote from Armstrong, and that this ambiguity may be understood through context speaking rate.
Baese-Berk, Melissa M; Dilley, Laura C; Schmidt, Stephanie; Morrill, Tuuli H; Pitt, Mark A
Neil Armstrong insisted that his quote upon landing on the moon was misheard, and that he had said one small step for a man, instead of one small step for man. What he said is unclear in part because function words like a can be reduced and spectrally indistinguishable from the preceding context. Therefore, their presence can be ambiguous, and they may disappear perceptually depending on the rate of surrounding speech. Two experiments are presented examining production and perception of reduced tokens of for and for a in spontaneous speech. Experiment 1 investigates the distributions of several acoustic features of for and for a. The results suggest that the distributions of for and for a overlap substantially, both in terms of temporal and spectral characteristics. Experiment 2 examines perception of these same tokens when the context speaking rate differs. The perceptibility of the function word a varies as a function of this context speaking rate. These results demonstrate that substantial ambiguity exists in the original quote from Armstrong, and that this ambiguity may be understood through context speaking rate.
Voncken, Marisol J; Bögels, Susan M
Cognitive models emphasize that patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) are mainly characterized by biased perception of their social performance. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence showing that SAD patients suffer from actual deficits in social interaction. To unravel what characterizes SAD patients the most, underestimation of social performance (defined as the discrepancy between self-perceived and observer-perceived social performance), or actual (observer-perceived) social performance, 48 patients with SAD and 27 normal control participants were observed during a speech and conversation. Consistent with the cognitive model of SAD, patients with SAD underestimated their social performance relative to control participants during the two interactions, but primarily during the speech. Actual social performance deficits were clearly apparent in the conversation but not in the speech. In conclusion, interactions that pull for more interpersonal skills, like a conversation, elicit more actual social performance deficits whereas, situations with a performance character, like a speech, bring about more cognitive distortions in patients with SAD.
Full Text Available 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.
Andersen, Tobias S.; Starrfelt, Randi
Lesions to Broca's area cause aphasia characterized by a severe impairment of the ability to speak, with comparatively intact speech perception. However, some studies have found effects on speech perception under adverse listening conditions, indicating that Broca's area is also involved in speech perception. While these studies have focused on auditory speech perception other studies have shown that Broca's area is activated by visual speech perception. Furthermore, one preliminary report found that a patient with Broca's aphasia did not experience the McGurk illusion suggesting that an intact Broca's area is necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. Here we describe a patient with Broca's aphasia who experienced the McGurk illusion. This indicates that an intact Broca's area is not necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. The McGurk illusions this patient experienced were atypical, which could be due to Broca's area having a more subtle role in audiovisual integration of speech. The McGurk illusions of a control subject with Wernicke's aphasia were, however, also atypical. This indicates that the atypical McGurk illusions were due to deficits in speech processing that are not specific to Broca's aphasia. PMID:25972819
This paper investigates similarities between lexical consonant clusters and CVC sequences differing in the presence or absence of a lexical vowel in speech perception and production in two Portuguese varieties. The frequent high vowel deletion in the European variety (EP) and the realization of intervening vocalic elements between lexical clusters in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) may minimize the contrast between lexical clusters and CVC sequences in the two Portuguese varieties. In order to test this hypothesis we present a perception experiment with 72 participants and a physiological analysis of 3-dimensional movement data from 5 EP and 4 BP speakers. The perceptual results confirmed a gradual confusion of lexical clusters and CVC sequences in EP, which corresponded roughly to the gradient consonantal overlap found in production. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Fuller, Christina D; Galvin, John J; Maat, Bert; Başkent, Deniz; Free, Rolien H
In normal-hearing (NH) adults, long-term music training may benefit music and speech perception, even when listening to spectro-temporally degraded signals as experienced by cochlear implant (CI) users. In this study, we compared two different music training approaches in CI users and their effects
Stekelenburg, J.J.; Keetels, M.N.; Vroomen, J.H.M.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that the vision of lip movements can alter the perception of auditory speech syllables (McGurk effect). While there is ample evidence for integration of text and auditory speech, there are only a few studies on the orthographic equivalent of the McGurk effect.
Dubois, Cyril; Otzenberger, Helene; Gounot, Daniel; Sock, Rudolph; Metz-Lutz, Marie-Noelle
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…
Magimairaj, Beula M; Nagaraj, Naveen K; Benafield, Natalie J
We examined the association between speech perception in noise (SPIN), language abilities, and working memory (WM) capacity in school-age children. Existing studies supporting the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model suggest that WM capacity plays a significant role in adverse listening situations. Eighty-three children between the ages of 7 to 11 years participated. The sample represented a continuum of individual differences in attention, memory, and language abilities. All children had normal-range hearing and normal-range nonverbal IQ. Children completed the Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech-in-Noise Test (BKB-SIN; Etymotic Research, 2005), a selective auditory attention task, and multiple measures of language and WM. Partial correlations (controlling for age) showed significant positive associations among attention, memory, and language measures. However, BKB-SIN did not correlate significantly with any of the other measures. Principal component analysis revealed a distinct WM factor and a distinct language factor. BKB-SIN loaded robustly as a distinct 3rd factor with minimal secondary loading from sentence recall and short-term memory. Nonverbal IQ loaded as a 4th factor. Results did not support an association between SPIN and WM capacity in children. However, in this study, a single SPIN measure was used. Future studies using multiple SPIN measures are warranted. Evidence from the current study supports the use of BKB-SIN as clinical measure of speech perception ability because it was not influenced by variation in children's language and memory abilities. More large-scale studies in school-age children are needed to replicate the proposed role played by WM in adverse listening situations.
Laccourreye, L; Ettienne, V; Prang, I; Couloigner, V; Garabedian, E-N; Loundon, N
To analyze speech in children with profound hearing loss following congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection with cochlear implantation (CI) before the age of 3 years. In a cohort of 15 children with profound hearing loss, speech perception, production and intelligibility were assessed before and 3 years after CI; variables impacting results were explored. Post-CI, median word recognition was 74% on closed-list and 48% on open-list testing; 80% of children acquired speech production; and 60% were intelligible for all listeners or listeners attentive to lip-reading and/or aware of the child's hearing loss. Univariate analysis identified 3 variables (mean post-CI hearing threshold, bilateral vestibular areflexia, and brain abnormality on MRI) with significant negative impact on the development of speech perception, production and intelligibility. CI showed positive impact on hearing and speech in children with post-cCMV profound hearing loss. Our study demonstrated the key role of maximizing post-CI hearing gain. A few children had insufficient progress, especially in case of bilateral vestibular areflexia and/or brain abnormality on MRI. This led us to suggest that balance rehabilitation and speech therapy should be intensified in such cases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Bentsen, Thomas; May, Tobias; Kressner, Abigail A; Dau, Torsten
Computational speech segregation attempts to automatically separate speech from noise. This is challenging in conditions with interfering talkers and low signal-to-noise ratios. Recent approaches have adopted deep neural networks and successfully demonstrated speech intelligibility improvements. A selection of components may be responsible for the success with these state-of-the-art approaches: the system architecture, a time frame concatenation technique and the learning objective. The aim of this study was to explore the roles and the relative contributions of these components by measuring speech intelligibility in normal-hearing listeners. A substantial improvement of 25.4 percentage points in speech intelligibility scores was found going from a subband-based architecture, in which a Gaussian Mixture Model-based classifier predicts the distributions of speech and noise for each frequency channel, to a state-of-the-art deep neural network-based architecture. Another improvement of 13.9 percentage points was obtained by changing the learning objective from the ideal binary mask, in which individual time-frequency units are labeled as either speech- or noise-dominated, to the ideal ratio mask, where the units are assigned a continuous value between zero and one. Therefore, both components play significant roles and by combining them, speech intelligibility improvements were obtained in a six-talker condition at a low signal-to-noise ratio.
Full Text Available Recent models on speech perception propose a dual stream processing network, with a dorsal stream, extending from the posterior temporal lobe of the left hemisphere through inferior parietal areas into the left inferior frontal gyrus, and a ventral stream that is assumed to originate in the primary auditory cortex in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and to extend towards the anterior part of the temporal lobe, where it may connect to the ventral part of the inferior frontal gyrus. This article describes and reviews the results from a series of complementary functional magnetic imaging (fMRI studies that aimed to trace the hierarchical processing network for speech comprehension within the left and right hemisphere with a particular focus on the temporal lobe and the ventral stream. As hypothesised, the results demonstrate a bilateral involvement of the temporal lobes in the processing of speech signals. However, an increasing leftward asymmetry was detected from auditory-phonetic to lexico-semantic processing and along the posterior-anterior axis, thus forming a lateralisation gradient. This increasing leftward lateralisation was particularly evident for the left superior temporal sulcus (STS and more anterior parts of the temporal lobe.
Recent models on speech perception propose a dual-stream processing network, with a dorsal stream, extending from the posterior temporal lobe of the left hemisphere through inferior parietal areas into the left inferior frontal gyrus, and a ventral stream that is assumed to originate in the primary auditory cortex in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and to extend toward the anterior part of the temporal lobe, where it may connect to the ventral part of the inferior frontal gyrus. This article describes and reviews the results from a series of complementary functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that aimed to trace the hierarchical processing network for speech comprehension within the left and right hemisphere with a particular focus on the temporal lobe and the ventral stream. As hypothesized, the results demonstrate a bilateral involvement of the temporal lobes in the processing of speech signals. However, an increasing leftward asymmetry was detected from auditory-phonetic to lexico-semantic processing and along the posterior-anterior axis, thus forming a "lateralization" gradient. This increasing leftward lateralization was particularly evident for the left superior temporal sulcus and more anterior parts of the temporal lobe.
Booz, Jaime A.
Although many studies have examined acoustic and sociolinguistic differences between male and female speech, the relationship between talker speaking style and perceived gender has not yet been explored. The present study attempts to determine whether clear speech, a style adopted by talkers who perceive some barrier to effective communication, shifts perceptions of femininity for male and female talkers. Much of our understanding of gender perception in voice and speech is based on sustained vowels or single words, eliminating temporal, prosodic, and articulatory cues available in more naturalistic, connected speech. Thus, clear and conversational sentence stimuli, selected from the 41 talkers of the Ferguson Clear Speech Database (Ferguson, 2004) were presented to 17 normal-hearing listeners, aged 18 to 30. They rated the talkers' gender using a visual analog scale with "masculine" and "feminine" endpoints. This response method was chosen to account for within-category shifts of gender perception by allowing nonbinary responses. Mixed-effects regression analysis of listener responses revealed a small but significant effect of speaking style, and this effect was larger for male talkers than female talkers. Because of the high degree of talker variability observed for talker gender, acoustic analyses of these sentences were undertaken to determine the relationship between acoustic changes in clear and conversational speech and perceived femininity. Results of these analyses showed that mean fundamental frequency (fo) and f o standard deviation were significantly correlated to perceived gender for both male and female talkers, and vowel space was significantly correlated only for male talkers. Speaking rate and breathiness measures (CPPS) were not significantly related for either group. Outcomes of this study indicate that adopting a clear speaking style is correlated with increases in perceived femininity. Although the increase was small, some changes associated
Stevenson, Ryan A; Baum, Sarah H; Segers, Magali; Ferber, Susanne; Barense, Morgan D; Wallace, Mark T
Speech perception in noisy environments is boosted when a listener can see the speaker's mouth and integrate the auditory and visual speech information. Autistic children have a diminished capacity to integrate sensory information across modalities, which contributes to core symptoms of autism, such as impairments in social communication. We investigated the abilities of autistic and typically-developing (TD) children to integrate auditory and visual speech stimuli in various signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Measurements of both whole-word and phoneme recognition were recorded. At the level of whole-word recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance in both the auditory and audiovisual modalities. Importantly, autistic children showed reduced behavioral benefit from multisensory integration with whole-word recognition, specifically at low SNRs. At the level of phoneme recognition, autistic children exhibited reduced performance relative to their TD peers in auditory, visual, and audiovisual modalities. However, and in contrast to their performance at the level of whole-word recognition, both autistic and TD children showed benefits from multisensory integration for phoneme recognition. In accordance with the principle of inverse effectiveness, both groups exhibited greater benefit at low SNRs relative to high SNRs. Thus, while autistic children showed typical multisensory benefits during phoneme recognition, these benefits did not translate to typical multisensory benefit of whole-word recognition in noisy environments. We hypothesize that sensory impairments in autistic children raise the SNR threshold needed to extract meaningful information from a given sensory input, resulting in subsequent failure to exhibit behavioral benefits from additional sensory information at the level of whole-word recognition. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1280-1290. © 2017 International
The goal of the proposed research is to test a statistical model of speech recognition that incorporates the knowledge that speech is produced by relatively slow motions of the tongue, lips, and other speech articulators. This model is called Maximum Likelihood Continuity Mapping (Malcom). Many speech researchers believe that by using constraints imposed by articulator motions, we can improve or replace the current hidden Markov model based speech recognition algorithms. Unfortunately, previous efforts to incorporate information about articulation into speech recognition algorithms have suffered because (1) slight inaccuracies in our knowledge or the formulation of our knowledge about articulation may decrease recognition performance, (2) small changes in the assumptions underlying models of speech production can lead to large changes in the speech derived from the models, and (3) collecting measurements of human articulator positions in sufficient quantity for training a speech recognition algorithm is still impractical. The most interesting (and in fact, unique) quality of Malcom is that, even though Malcom makes use of a mapping between acoustics and articulation, Malcom can be trained to recognize speech using only acoustic data. By learning the mapping between acoustics and articulation using only acoustic data, Malcom avoids the difficulties involved in collecting articulator position measurements and does not require an articulatory synthesizer model to estimate the mapping between vocal tract shapes and speech acoustics. Preliminary experiments that demonstrate that Malcom can learn the mapping between acoustics and articulation are discussed. Potential applications of Malcom aside from speech recognition are also discussed. Finally, specific deliverables resulting from the proposed research are described.
The relationship between speech perception and production has been debated for a long time. The Motor Theory of speech perception (Liberman et al., 1989) claims that perceiving speech is identifying the intended articulatory gestures rather than perceiving the sound patterns. It seems to suggest that speech production precedes speech perception,…
Westerhausen, René; Bless, Josef J.; Passow, Susanne; Kompus, Kristiina; Hugdahl, Kenneth
The ability to use cognitive-control functions to regulate speech perception is thought to be crucial in mastering developmental challenges, such as language acquisition during childhood or compensation for sensory decline in older age, enabling interpersonal communication and meaningful social interactions throughout the entire life span.…
Scott, Sophie K.; Rosen, Stuart; Wickham, Lindsay; Wise, Richard J. S.
Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to investigate the neural basis of the comprehension of speech in unmodulated noise (``energetic'' masking, dominated by effects at the auditory periphery), and when presented with another speaker (``informational'' masking, dominated by more central effects). Each type of signal was presented at four different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) (+3, 0, -3, -6 dB for the speech-in-speech, +6, +3, 0, -3 dB for the speech-in-noise), with listeners instructed to listen for meaning to the target speaker. Consistent with behavioral studies, there was SNR-dependent activation associated with the comprehension of speech in noise, with no SNR-dependent activity for the comprehension of speech-in-speech (at low or negative SNRs). There was, in addition, activation in bilateral superior temporal gyri which was associated with the informational masking condition. The extent to which this activation of classical ``speech'' areas of the temporal lobes might delineate the neural basis of the informational masking is considered, as is the relationship of these findings to the interfering effects of unattended speech and sound on more explicit working memory tasks. This study is a novel demonstration of candidate neural systems involved in the perception of speech in noisy environments, and of the processing of multiple speakers in the dorso-lateral temporal lobes.
Tobias Søren Andersen
Full Text Available Lesions to Broca’s area cause aphasia characterised by a severe impairment of the ability to speak, with comparatively intact speech perception. However, some studies have found effects on speech perception under adverse listening conditions, indicating that Broca’s area is also involved in speech perception. While these studies have focused on auditory speech perception other studies have shown that Broca’s area is activated by visual speech perception. Furthermore, one preliminary report found that a patient with Broca’s aphasia did not experience the McGurk illusion suggesting that an intact Broca’s area is necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. Here we describe a patient with Broca’s aphasia who experienced the McGurk illusion. This indicates that an intact Broca’s area is not necessary for audiovisual integration of speech. The McGurk illusions this patient experienced were atypical, which could be due to Broca’s area having a more subtle role in audiovisual integration of speech. The McGurk illusions of a control subject with Wernicke’s aphasia were, however, also atypical. This indicates that the atypical McGurk illusions were due to deficits in speech processing that are not specific to Broca’s aphasia.
Recent models on speech perception propose a dual stream processing network, with a dorsal stream, extending from the posterior temporal lobe of the left hemisphere through inferior parietal areas into the left inferior frontal gyrus, and a ventral stream that is assumed to originate in the primary auditory cortex in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and to extend towards the anterior part of the temporal lobe, where it may connect to the ventral part of the inferior frontal gyrus...
Recent models on speech perception propose a dual-stream processing network, with a dorsal stream, extending from the posterior temporal lobe of the left hemisphere through inferior parietal areas into the left inferior frontal gyrus, and a ventral stream that is assumed to originate in the primary auditory cortex in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and to extend toward the anterior part of the temporal lobe, where it may connect to the ventral part of the inferior frontal gyrus....
Lai, Ying-Hui; Tsao, Yu; Lu, Xugang; Chen, Fei; Su, Yu-Ting; Chen, Kuang-Chao; Chen, Yu-Hsuan; Chen, Li-Ching; Po-Hung Li, Lieber; Lee, Chin-Hui
for the key speech envelope information, thus, improving speech recognition more effectively for Mandarin CI recipients. The results suggest that the proposed deep learning-based NR approach can potentially be integrated into existing CI signal processors to overcome the degradation of speech perception caused by noise.
Schumann, Annette; Serman, Maja; Gefeller, Olaf; Hoppe, Ulrich
Specific computer-based auditory training may be a useful completion in the rehabilitation process for cochlear implant (CI) listeners to achieve sufficient speech intelligibility. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a computerized, phoneme-discrimination training programme. The study employed a pretest-post-test design; participants were randomly assigned to the training or control group. Over a period of three weeks, the training group was instructed to train in phoneme discrimination via computer, twice a week. Sentence recognition in different noise conditions (moderate to difficult) was tested pre- and post-training, and six months after the training was completed. The control group was tested and retested within one month. Twenty-seven adult CI listeners who had been using cochlear implants for more than two years participated in the programme; 15 adults in the training group, 12 adults in the control group. Besides significant improvements for the trained phoneme-identification task, a generalized training effect was noted via significantly improved sentence recognition in moderate noise. No significant changes were noted in the difficult noise conditions. Improved performance was maintained over an extended period. Phoneme-discrimination training improves experienced CI listeners' speech perception in noise. Additional research is needed to optimize auditory training for individual benefit.
Petersen, Bjørn; Sørensen, Stine Derdau; Pedersen, Ellen Raben
measures of rehabilitation are important throughout adolescence. Music training may provide a beneficial method of strengthening not only music perception, but also linguistic skills, particularly prosody. The purpose of this study was to examine perception of music and speech and music engagement...... of adolescent CI users and the potential effects of an intensive musical ear training program. METHODS Eleven adolescent CI users participated in a short intensive training program involving music making activities and computer based listening exercises. Ten NH agemates formed a reference group, who followed...... their standard school schedule and received no music training. Before and after the intervention period, both groups completed a set of tests for perception of music, speech and emotional prosody. In addition, the participants filled out a questionnaire which examined music listening habits and enjoyment...
Keetels, M.N.; Schakel, L.; de Bonte, M.; Vroomen, J.
Listeners adjust their phonetic categories to cope with variations in the speech signal (phonetic recalibration). Previous studies have shown that lipread speech (and word knowledge) can adjust the perception of ambiguous speech and can induce phonetic adjustments (Bertelson, Vroomen, & de Gelder in
Cole, Roberta; And Others
The 16-unit language and speech improvement handbook for kindergarten and first grade students contains an introductory section which includes a discussion of the child's developmental speech and language characteristics, a sound development chart, a speech and hearing language screening test, the Henja articulation test, and a general outline of…
Roessler, Abeba, 1981-
The present dissertation set out to investigate how the linguistic environment affects speech perception. Three sets of studies have explored effects of bilingualism on word recognition in adults and infants and the impact of first language linguistic knowledge on rule learning in adults. In the present work, we have found evidence in three auditory priming studies that bilingual adults, in contrast to monolinguals have developed mechanisms to effectively overcome interference from irrelevant...
Full Text Available Spoken words are highly variable. A single word may never be uttered the same way twice. As listeners, we regularly encounter speakers of different ages, genders, and accents, increasing the amount of variation we face. How listeners understand spoken words as quickly and adeptly as they do despite this variation remains an issue central to linguistic theory. We propose that learned acoustic patterns are mapped simultaneously to linguistic representations and to social representations. In doing so, we illuminate a paradox that results in the literature from, we argue, the focus on representations and the peripheral treatment of word-level phonetic variation. We consider phonetic variation more fully and highlight a growing body of work that is problematic for current theory: Words with different pronunciation variants are recognized equally well in immediate processing tasks, while an atypical, infrequent, but socially-idealized form is remembered better in the long-term. We suggest that the perception of spoken words is socially-weighted, resulting in sparse, but high-resolution clusters of socially-idealized episodes that are robust in immediate processing and are more strongly encoded, predicting memory inequality. Our proposal includes a dual-route approach to speech perception in which listeners map acoustic patterns in speech to linguistic and social representations in tandem. This approach makes novel predictions about the extraction of information from the speech signal, and provides a framework with which we can ask new questions. We propose that language comprehension, broadly, results from the integration of both linguistic and social information.
Sumner, Meghan; Kim, Seung Kyung; King, Ed; McGowan, Kevin B
Spoken words are highly variable. A single word may never be uttered the same way twice. As listeners, we regularly encounter speakers of different ages, genders, and accents, increasing the amount of variation we face. How listeners understand spoken words as quickly and adeptly as they do despite this variation remains an issue central to linguistic theory. We propose that learned acoustic patterns are mapped simultaneously to linguistic representations and to social representations. In doing so, we illuminate a paradox that results in the literature from, we argue, the focus on representations and the peripheral treatment of word-level phonetic variation. We consider phonetic variation more fully and highlight a growing body of work that is problematic for current theory: words with different pronunciation variants are recognized equally well in immediate processing tasks, while an atypical, infrequent, but socially idealized form is remembered better in the long-term. We suggest that the perception of spoken words is socially weighted, resulting in sparse, but high-resolution clusters of socially idealized episodes that are robust in immediate processing and are more strongly encoded, predicting memory inequality. Our proposal includes a dual-route approach to speech perception in which listeners map acoustic patterns in speech to linguistic and social representations in tandem. This approach makes novel predictions about the extraction of information from the speech signal, and provides a framework with which we can ask new questions. We propose that language comprehension, broadly, results from the integration of both linguistic and social information.
Spectral integration (or formant averaging) was proposed in vowel perception research to account for the observation that a reduction of the intensity of one of two closely spaced formants (as in /u/) produced a predictable shift in vowel quality [Delattre et al., Word 8, 195-210 (1952)]. A related observation was reported in psychoacoustics, indicating that when the components of a two-tone periodic complex differ in amplitude and frequency, its perceived pitch is shifted toward that of the more intense tone [Helmholtz, App. XIV (1875/1948)]. Subsequent research in both fields focused on the frequency interval that separates these two spectral components, in an attempt to determine the size of the bandwidth for spectral integration to occur. This talk will review the accumulated evidence for and against spectral integration within the hypothesized limit of 3.5 Bark for static and dynamic signals in speech perception and psychoacoustics. Based on similarities in the processing of speech and non-speech sounds, it is suggested that spectral integration may reflect a general property of the auditory system. A larger frequency bandwidth, possibly close to 3.5 Bark, may be utilized in integrating acoustic information, including speech, complex signals, or sound quality of a violin.
sounds, has found that both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners prefer loud sounds to be closer to the most comfortable loudness-level, than suggested by common non-linear fitting rules. During this project, two listening experiments were carried out. In the first experiment, hearing aid users......Hearing aid processing of loud speech and noise signals: Consequences for loudness perception and listening comfort. Sound processing in hearing aids is determined by the fitting rule. The fitting rule describes how the hearing aid should amplify speech and sounds in the surroundings......, such that they become audible again for the hearing impaired person. The general goal is to place all sounds within the hearing aid users’ audible range, such that speech intelligibility and listening comfort become as good as possible. Amplification strategies in hearing aids are in many cases based on empirical...
Harris, Katherine Safford
Speaking is universally acknowledged as an important human talent, yet as a topic of educated common knowledge, it is peculiarly neglected. Partly, this is a consequence of the relatively recent growth of research on speech perception, production, and development, but also a function of the way that information is sliced up by undergraduate colleges. Although the basic acoustic mechanism of vowel production was known to Helmholtz, the ability to view speech production as a physiological event is evolving even now with such techniques as fMRI. Intensive research on speech perception emerged only in the early 1930s as Fletcher and the engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories developed the transmission of speech over telephone lines. The study of speech development was revolutionized by the papers of Eimas and his colleagues on speech perception in infants in the 1970s. Dissemination of knowledge in these fields is the responsibility of no single academic discipline. It forms a center for two departments, Linguistics, and Speech and Hearing, but in the former, there is a heavy emphasis on other aspects of language than speech and, in the latter, a focus on clinical practice. For psychologists, it is a rather minor component of a very diverse assembly of topics. I will focus on these three fields in proposing possible remedies.
Full Text Available Considerable progress has been made in the treatment of hearing loss with auditory implants. However, there are still many implanted patients that experience hearing deficiencies, such as limited speech understanding or vanishing perception with continuous stimulation (i.e., abnormal loudness adaptation. The present study aims to identify specific patterns of cerebral cortex activity involved with such deficiencies. We performed O-15-water positron emission tomography (PET in patients implanted with electrodes within the cochlea, brainstem, or midbrain to investigate the pattern of cortical activation in response to speech or continuous multi-tone stimuli directly inputted into the implant processor that then delivered electrical patterns through those electrodes. Statistical parametric mapping was performed on a single subject basis. Better speech understanding was correlated with a larger extent of bilateral auditory cortex activation. In contrast to speech, the continuous multi-tone stimulus elicited mainly unilateral auditory cortical activity in which greater loudness adaptation corresponded to weaker activation and even deactivation. Interestingly, greater loudness adaptation was correlated with stronger activity within the ventral prefrontal cortex, which could be up-regulated to suppress the irrelevant or aberrant signals into the auditory cortex. The ability to detect these specific cortical patterns and differences across patients and stimuli demonstrates the potential for using PET to diagnose auditory function or dysfunction in implant patients, which in turn could guide the development of appropriate stimulation strategies for improving hearing rehabilitation. Beyond hearing restoration, our study also reveals a potential role of the frontal cortex in suppressing irrelevant or aberrant activity within the auditory cortex, and thus may be relevant for understanding and treating tinnitus.
Berding, Georg; Wilke, Florian; Rode, Thilo; Haense, Cathleen; Joseph, Gert; Meyer, Geerd J; Mamach, Martin; Lenarz, Minoo; Geworski, Lilli; Bengel, Frank M; Lenarz, Thomas; Lim, Hubert H
Considerable progress has been made in the treatment of hearing loss with auditory implants. However, there are still many implanted patients that experience hearing deficiencies, such as limited speech understanding or vanishing perception with continuous stimulation (i.e., abnormal loudness adaptation). The present study aims to identify specific patterns of cerebral cortex activity involved with such deficiencies. We performed O-15-water positron emission tomography (PET) in patients implanted with electrodes within the cochlea, brainstem, or midbrain to investigate the pattern of cortical activation in response to speech or continuous multi-tone stimuli directly inputted into the implant processor that then delivered electrical patterns through those electrodes. Statistical parametric mapping was performed on a single subject basis. Better speech understanding was correlated with a larger extent of bilateral auditory cortex activation. In contrast to speech, the continuous multi-tone stimulus elicited mainly unilateral auditory cortical activity in which greater loudness adaptation corresponded to weaker activation and even deactivation. Interestingly, greater loudness adaptation was correlated with stronger activity within the ventral prefrontal cortex, which could be up-regulated to suppress the irrelevant or aberrant signals into the auditory cortex. The ability to detect these specific cortical patterns and differences across patients and stimuli demonstrates the potential for using PET to diagnose auditory function or dysfunction in implant patients, which in turn could guide the development of appropriate stimulation strategies for improving hearing rehabilitation. Beyond hearing restoration, our study also reveals a potential role of the frontal cortex in suppressing irrelevant or aberrant activity within the auditory cortex, and thus may be relevant for understanding and treating tinnitus.
Taal, Cees H.; Jensen, Jesper
filter sets certain frequency bands to zero when they do not contribute to intelligibility anymore. Experiments show large intelligibility improvements with the proposed method when used in stationary speech-shaped noise. However, it was also found that the method does not perform well for speech...... corrupted by a competing speaker. This is due to the fact that the SII is not a reliable intelligibility predictor for fluctuating noise sources. MATLAB code is provided....
Traditionally, second language (L2) instruction has emphasised auditory-based instruction methods. However, this approach is restrictive in the sense that speech perception by humans is not just an auditory phenomenon but a multimodal one, and specifically, a visual one as well. In the past decade, experimental studies have shown that the…
Huang, Y. B.; Fan, M. H.; Zhang, Q. Y.
With constant progress in modern speech communication technologies, the speech data is prone to be attacked by the noise or maliciously tampered. In order to make the speech perception hash algorithm has strong robustness and high efficiency, this paper put forward a speech perception hash algorithm based on the tensor decomposition and multi features is proposed. This algorithm analyses the speech perception feature acquires each speech component wavelet packet decomposition. LPCC, LSP and ISP feature of each speech component are extracted to constitute the speech feature tensor. Speech authentication is done by generating the hash values through feature matrix quantification which use mid-value. Experimental results showing that the proposed algorithm is robust for content to maintain operations compared with similar algorithms. It is able to resist the attack of the common background noise. Also, the algorithm is highly efficiency in terms of arithmetic, and is able to meet the real-time requirements of speech communication and complete the speech authentication quickly.
Chang, Soo-Eun; Kenney, Mary Kay; Loucks, Torrey M J; Poletto, Christopher J; Ludlow, Christy L
The issue of whether speech is supported by the same neural substrates as non-speech vocal tract gestures has been contentious. In this fMRI study we tested whether producing non-speech vocal tract gestures in humans shares the same functional neuroanatomy as non-sense speech syllables. Production of non-speech vocal tract gestures, devoid of phonological content but similar to speech in that they had familiar acoustic and somatosensory targets, was compared to the production of speech syllables without meaning. Brain activation related to overt production was captured with BOLD fMRI using a sparse sampling design for both conditions. Speech and non-speech were compared using voxel-wise whole brain analyses, and ROI analyses focused on frontal and temporoparietal structures previously reported to support speech production. Results showed substantial activation overlap between speech and non-speech function in regions. Although non-speech gesture production showed greater extent and amplitude of activation in the regions examined, both speech and non-speech showed comparable left laterality in activation for both target perception and production. These findings posit a more general role of the previously proposed "auditory dorsal stream" in the left hemisphere--to support the production of vocal tract gestures that are not limited to speech processing.
Eskelund, Kasper; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Andersen, Tobias
Speech perception integrates auditory and visual information. This is evidenced by the McGurk illusion where seeing the talking face influences the auditory phonetic percept and by the audiovisual detection advantage where seeing the talking face influences the detectability of the acoustic speech...... signal. Here we show that identification of phonetic content and detection can be dissociated as speech-specific and non-specific audiovisual integration effects. To this end, we employed synthetically modified stimuli, sine wave speech (SWS), which is an impoverished speech signal that only observers...... informed of its speech-like nature recognize as speech. While the McGurk illusion only occurred for informed observers the audiovisual detection advantage occurred for naïve observers as well. This finding supports a multi-stage account of audiovisual integration of speech in which the many attributes...
Gow, David W; Segawa, Jennifer A
The inherent confound between the organization of articulation and the acoustic-phonetic structure of the speech signal makes it exceptionally difficult to evaluate the competing claims of motor and acoustic-phonetic accounts of how listeners recognize coarticulated speech. Here we use Granger causation analyzes of high spatiotemporal resolution neural activation data derived from the integration of magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, to examine the role of lexical and articulatory mediation in listeners' ability to use phonetic context to compensate for place assimilation. Listeners heard two-word phrases such as pen pad and then saw two pictures, from which they had to select the one that depicted the phrase. Assimilation, lexical competitor environment and the phonological validity of assimilation context were all manipulated. Behavioral data showed an effect of context on the interpretation of assimilated segments. Analysis of 40 Hz gamma phase locking patterns identified a large distributed neural network including 16 distinct regions of interest (ROIs) spanning portions of both hemispheres in the first 200 ms of post-assimilation context. Granger analyzes of individual conditions showed differing patterns of causal interaction between ROIs during this interval, with hypothesized lexical and articulatory structures and pathways driving phonetic activation in the posterior superior temporal gyrus in assimilation conditions, but not in phonetically unambiguous conditions. These results lend strong support for the motor theory of speech perception, and clarify the role of lexical mediation in the phonetic processing of assimilated speech.
Full Text Available Abstract Background How does the brain repair obliterated speech and cope with acoustically ambivalent situations? A widely discussed possibility is to use top-down information for solving the ambiguity problem. In the case of speech, this may lead to a match of bottom-up sensory input with lexical expectations resulting in resonant states which are reflected in the induced gamma-band activity (GBA. Methods In the present EEG study, we compared the subject's pre-attentive GBA responses to obliterated speech segments presented after a series of correct words. The words were a minimal pair in German and differed with respect to the degree of specificity of segmental phonological information. Results The induced GBA was larger when the expected lexical information was phonologically fully specified compared to the underspecified condition. Thus, the degree of specificity of phonological information in the mental lexicon correlates with the intensity of the matching process of bottom-up sensory input with lexical information. Conclusions These results together with those of a behavioural control experiment support the notion of multi-level mechanisms involved in the repair of deficient speech. The delineated alignment of pre-existing knowledge with sensory input is in accordance with recent ideas about the role of internal forward models in speech perception.
Bentsen, Thomas; May, Tobias; Kressner, Abigail Anne
Computational speech segregation attempts to automatically separate speech from noise. This is challenging in conditions with interfering talkers and low signal-to-noise ratios. Recent approaches have adopted deep neural networks and successfully demonstrated speech intelligibility improvements....... A selection of components may be responsible for the success with these state-of-the-art approaches: the system architecture, a time frame concatenation technique and the learning objective. The aim of this study was to explore the roles and the relative contributions of these components by measuring speech......, to a state-of-the-art deep neural network-based architecture. Another improvement of 13.9 percentage points was obtained by changing the learning objective from the ideal binary mask, in which individual time-frequency units are labeled as either speech- or noise-dominated, to the ideal ratio mask, where...
Strait, Dana L; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
For children, learning often occurs in the presence of background noise. As such, there is growing desire to improve a child's access to a target signal in noise. Given adult musicians' perceptual and neural speech-in-noise enhancements, we asked whether similar effects are present in musically-trained children. We assessed the perception and subcortical processing of speech in noise and related cognitive abilities in musician and nonmusician children that were matched for a variety of overarching factors. Outcomes reveal that musicians' advantages for processing speech in noise are present during pivotal developmental years. Supported by correlations between auditory working memory and attention and auditory brainstem response properties, we propose that musicians' perceptual and neural enhancements are driven in a top-down manner by strengthened cognitive abilities with training. Our results may be considered by professionals involved in the remediation of language-based learning deficits, which are often characterized by poor speech perception in noise. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Eskelund, Kasper; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Andersen, Tobias S
Speech perception integrates auditory and visual information. This is evidenced by the McGurk illusion where seeing the talking face influences the auditory phonetic percept and by the audiovisual detection advantage where seeing the talking face influences the detectability of the acoustic speech signal. Here, we show that identification of phonetic content and detection can be dissociated as speech-specific and non-specific audiovisual integration effects. To this end, we employed synthetically modified stimuli, sine wave speech (SWS), which is an impoverished speech signal that only observers informed of its speech-like nature recognize as speech. While the McGurk illusion only occurred for informed observers, the audiovisual detection advantage occurred for naïve observers as well. This finding supports a multistage account of audiovisual integration of speech in which the many attributes of the audiovisual speech signal are integrated by separate integration processes.
section includes four carefully selected chapters. They deal with facets of speech production, speech acoustics, and/or speech perception or recognition, place them in an integrated phonetic-phonological perspective, and relate them in more or less explicit ways to aspects of speech technology. Therefore......, we hope that this volume can help speech scientists with traditional training in phonetics and phonology to keep up with the latest developments in speech technology. In the opposite direction, speech researchers starting from a technological perspective will hopefully get inspired by reading about...... the questions, phenomena, and communicative functions that are currently addressed in phonetics and phonology. Either way, the future of speech research lies in international, interdisciplinary collaborations, and our volume is meant to reflect and facilitate such collaborations...
Gou, J.; Smith, J.; Valero, J.; Rubio, I.
This paper reports on a clinical trial evaluating outcomes of a frequency-lowering technique for adolescents and young adults with severe to profound hearing impairment. Outcomes were defined by changes in aided thresholds, speech perception, and acceptance. The participants comprised seven young people aged between 13 and 25 years. They were…
William F Katz
Full Text Available Pronunciation training studies have yielded important information concerning the processing of audiovisual (AV information. Second language (L2 learners show increased reliance on bottom-up, multimodal input for speech perception (compared to monolingual individuals. However, little is known about the role of viewing one’s own speech articulation processes during speech training. The current study investigated whether real-time, visual feedback for tongue movement can improve a speaker’s learning of non-native speech sounds. An interactive 3D tongue visualization system based on electromagnetic articulography (EMA was used in a speech training experiment. Native speakers of American English produced a novel speech sound (/ɖ̠/; a voiced, coronal, palatal stop before, during, and after trials in which they viewed their own speech movements using the 3D model. Talkers’ productions were evaluated using kinematic (tongue-tip spatial positioning and acoustic (burst spectra measures. The results indicated a rapid gain in accuracy associated with visual feedback training. The findings are discussed with respect to neural models for multimodal speech processing.
Burnham, Denis; Dodd, Barbara
The McGurk effect, in which auditory [ba] dubbed onto [ga] lip movements is perceived as "da" or "tha," was employed in a real-time task to investigate auditory-visual speech perception in prelingual infants. Experiments 1A and 1B established the validity of real-time dubbing for producing the effect. In Experiment 2, 4 1/2-month-olds were tested in a habituation-test paradigm, in which an auditory-visual stimulus was presented contingent upon visual fixation of a live face. The experimental group was habituated to a McGurk stimulus (auditory [ba] visual [ga]), and the control group to matching auditory-visual [ba]. Each group was then presented with three auditory-only test trials, [ba], [da], and [(delta)a] (as in then). Visual-fixation durations in test trials showed that the experimental group treated the emergent percept in the McGurk effect, [da] or [(delta)a], as familiar (even though they had not heard these sounds previously) and [ba] as novel. For control group infants [da] and [(delta)a] were no more familiar than [ba]. These results are consistent with infants' perception of the McGurk effect, and support the conclusion that prelinguistic infants integrate auditory and visual speech information. Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Oh, Soo Hee; Donaldson, Gail S; Kong, Ying-Yee
Low-frequency acoustic cues have been shown to enhance speech perception by cochlear-implant users, particularly when target speech occurs in a competing background. The present study examined the extent to which a continuous representation of low-frequency harmonicity cues contributes to bimodal benefit in simulated bimodal listeners. Experiment 1 examined the benefit of restoring a continuous temporal envelope to the low-frequency ear while the vocoder ear received a temporally interrupted stimulus. Experiment 2 examined the effect of providing continuous harmonicity cues in the low-frequency ear as compared to restoring a continuous temporal envelope in the vocoder ear. Findings indicate that bimodal benefit for temporally interrupted speech increases when continuity is restored to either or both ears. The primary benefit appears to stem from the continuous temporal envelope in the low-frequency region providing additional phonetic cues related to manner and F1 frequency; a secondary contribution is provided by low-frequency harmonicity cues when a continuous representation of the temporal envelope is present in the low-frequency, or both ears. The continuous temporal envelope and harmonicity cues of low-frequency speech are thought to support bimodal benefit by facilitating identification of word and syllable boundaries, and by restoring partial phonetic cues that occur during gaps in the temporally interrupted stimulus.
Roman, Adrienne S.; Pisoni, David B.; Kronenberger, William G.; Faulkner, Kathleen F.
Objectives Noise-vocoded speech is a valuable research tool for testing experimental hypotheses about the effects of spectral-degradation on speech recognition in adults with normal hearing (NH). However, very little research has utilized noise-vocoded speech with children with NH. Earlier studies with children with NH focused primarily on the amount of spectral information needed for speech recognition without assessing the contribution of neurocognitive processes to speech perception and spoken word recognition. In this study, we first replicated the seminal findings reported by Eisenberg et al. (2002) who investigated effects of lexical density and word frequency on noise-vocoded speech perception in a small group of children with NH. We then extended the research to investigate relations between noise-vocoded speech recognition abilities and five neurocognitive measures: auditory attention and response set, talker discrimination and verbal and nonverbal short-term working memory. Design Thirty-one children with NH between 5 and 13 years of age were assessed on their ability to perceive lexically controlled words in isolation and in sentences that were noise-vocoded to four spectral channels. Children were also administered vocabulary assessments (PPVT-4 and EVT-2) and measures of auditory attention (NEPSY Auditory Attention (AA) and Response Set (RS) and a talker discrimination task (TD)) and short-term memory (visual digit and symbol spans). Results Consistent with the findings reported in the original Eisenberg et al. (2002) study, we found that children perceived noise-vocoded lexically easy words better than lexically hard words. Words in sentences were also recognized better than the same words presented in isolation. No significant correlations were observed between noise-vocoded speech recognition scores and the PPVT-4 using language quotients to control for age effects. However, children who scored higher on the EVT-2 recognized lexically easy words
Full Text Available This experimental phonetic research deals with the prosodies of directive speech in Javanese. The research procedures were: (1 speech production, (2 acoustic analysis, and (3 perception test. The data investigated are three directive utterances, in the form of statements, commands, and questions. The data were obtained by recording dialogues that present polite as well as impolite speech. Three acoustic experiments were conducted for statements, commands, and questions in directive speech: (1 modifications of duration, (2 modifications of contour, and (3 modifications of fundamental frequency. The result of the subsequent perception tests to 90 stimuli with 24 subjects were analysed statistically with ANOVA (Analysis of Variant. Based on this statistic analysis, the prosodic characteristics of polite and impolite speech were identified.
Ekström, Seth-Reino; Borg, Erik
The masking effect of a piano composition, played at different speeds and in different octaves, on speech-perception thresholds was investigated in 15 normal-hearing and 14 moderately-hearing-impaired subjects. Running speech (just follow conversation, JFC) testing and use of hearing aids increased the everyday validity of the findings. A comparison was made with standard audiometric noises [International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (ICRA) noise and speech spectrum-filtered noise (SPN)]. All masking sounds, music or noise, were presented at the same equivalent sound level (50 dBA). The results showed a significant effect of piano performance speed and octave (Ptempo had the largest effect; and high octave and slow tempo, the smallest. Music had a lower masking effect than did ICRA noise with two or six speakers at normal vocal effort (Pmusic offers an interesting opportunity for studying masking under realistic conditions, where spectral and temporal features can be varied independently. The results have implications for composing music with vocal parts, designing acoustic environments and creating a balance between speech perception and privacy in social settings.
Cowan, Gloria; Khatchadourian, Desiree
Women are more intolerant of hate speech than men. This study examined relationality measures as mediators of gender differences in the perception of the harm of hate speech and the importance of freedom of speech. Participants were 107 male and 123 female college students. Questionnaires assessed the perceived harm of hate speech, the importance…
S. Hamidreza Kasaei
Full Text Available In this paper, we propose design and initial implementation of a robust system which can automatically translates voice into text and text to sign language animations. Sign Language
Translation Systems could significantly improve deaf lives especially in communications, exchange of information and employment of machine for translation conversations from one language to another has. Therefore, considering these points, it seems necessary to study the speech recognition. Usually, the voice recognition algorithms address three major challenges. The first is extracting feature form speech and the second is when limited sound gallery are available for recognition, and the final challenge is to improve speaker dependent to speaker independent voice recognition. Extracting feature form speech is an important stage in our method. Different procedures are available for extracting feature form speech. One of the commonest of which used in speech
recognition systems is Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs. The algorithm starts with preprocessing and signal conditioning. Next extracting feature form speech using Cepstral coefficients will be done. Then the result of this process sends to segmentation part. Finally recognition part recognizes the words and then converting word recognized to facial animation. The project is still in progress and some new interesting methods are described in the current report.
Morrill, Tuuli H; McAuley, J Devin; Dilley, Laura C; Hambrick, David Z
Do the same mechanisms underlie processing of music and language? Recent investigations of this question have yielded inconsistent results. Likely factors contributing to discrepant findings are use of small samples and failure to control for individual differences in cognitive ability. We investigated the relationship between music and speech prosody processing, while controlling for cognitive ability. Participants (n = 179) completed a battery of cognitive ability tests, the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) to assess music perception, and a prosody test of pitch peak timing discrimination (early, as in insight vs. late, incite). Structural equation modeling revealed that only music perception was a significant predictor of prosody test performance. Music perception accounted for 34.5% of variance on prosody test performance; cognitive abilities and music training added only about 8%. These results indicate musical pitch and temporal processing are highly predictive of pitch discrimination in speech processing, even after controlling for other possible predictors of this aspect of language processing. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
of reduction levels and perceived speaker attributes in which moderate reduction can make a better impression on listeners than no reduction. In addition to its relevance in reduction models and theories, this interplay is instructive for various fields of speech application from social robotics to charisma...... whether variation in the degree of reduction also has a systematic effect on the attributes we ascribe to the speaker who produces the speech signal. A perception experiment was carried out for German in which 46 listeners judged whether or not speakers showing 3 different combinations of segmental...... and prosodic reduction levels (unreduced, moderately reduced, strongly reduced) are appropriately described by 13 physical, social, and cognitive attributes. The experiment shows that clear speech is not mere speech, and less clear speech is not just reduced either. Rather, results revealed a complex interplay...
Morrill, Ryan J.; Paukner, Annika; Ferrari, Pier F.; Ghazanfar, Asif A.
Across all languages studied to date, audiovisual speech exhibits a consistent rhythmic structure. This rhythm is critical to speech perception. Some have suggested that the speech rhythm evolved "de novo" in humans. An alternative account--the one we explored here--is that the rhythm of speech evolved through the modification of rhythmic facial…
Taitelbaum-Swead, Riki; Fostick, Leah
Everyday life includes fluctuating noise levels, resulting in continuously changing speech intelligibility. The study aims were: (1) to quantify the amount of decrease in age-related speech perception, as a result of increasing noise level, and (2) to test the effect of age on context usage at the word level (smaller amount of contextual cues). A total of 24 young adults (age 20-30 years) and 20 older adults (age 60-75 years) were tested. Meaningful and nonsense one-syllable consonant-vowel-consonant words were presented with the background noise types of speech noise (SpN), babble noise (BN), and white noise (WN), with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 0 and -5 dB. Older adults had lower accuracy in SNR = 0, with WN being the most difficult condition for all participants. Measuring the change in speech perception when SNR decreased showed a reduction of 18.6-61.5% in intelligibility, with age effect only for BN. Both young and older adults used less phonemic context with WN, as compared to other conditions. Older adults are more affected by an increasing noise level of fluctuating informational noise as compared to steady-state noise. They also use less contextual cues when perceiving monosyllabic words. Further studies should take into consideration that when presenting the stimulus differently (change in noise level, less contextual cues), other perceptual and cognitive processes are involved. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Eskelund, Kasper; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Andersen, Tobias
Seeing the talker’s articulatory mouth movements can influence the auditory speech percept both in speech identification and detection tasks. Here we show that these audiovisual integration effects also occur for sine wave speech (SWS), which is an impoverished speech signal that naïve observers...... often fail to perceive as speech. While audiovisual integration in the identification task only occurred when observers were informed of the speech-like nature of SWS, integration occurred in the detection task both for informed and naïve observers. This shows that both speech-specific and general...... mechanisms underlie audiovisual integration of speech....
Most, Tova; Rothem, Hilla; Luntz, Michal
The researchers evaluated the contribution of cochlear implants (CIs) to speech perception by a sample of prelingually deaf individuals implanted after age 8 years. This group was compared with a group with profound hearing impairment (HA-P), and with a group with severe hearing impairment (HA-S), both of which used hearing aids. Words and…
Zhang, Zewang; Sun, Zheng; Liu, Jiaqi; Chen, Jingwen; Huo, Zhao; Zhang, Xiao
A deep learning approach has been widely applied in sequence modeling problems. In terms of automatic speech recognition (ASR), its performance has significantly been improved by increasing large speech corpus and deeper neural network. Especially, recurrent neural network and deep convolutional neural network have been applied in ASR successfully. Given the arising problem of training speed, we build a novel deep recurrent convolutional network for acoustic modeling and then apply deep resid...
T. E. Braudo
Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to acquaint the specialists, working with children having developmental disorders, with age-related norms for speech development. Many well-known linguists and psychologists studied speech ontogenesis (logogenesis. Speech is a higher mental function, which integrates many functional systems. Speech development in infants during the first months after birth is ensured by the innate hearing and emerging ability to fix the gaze on the face of an adult. Innate emotional reactions are also being developed during this period, turning into nonverbal forms of communication. At about 6 months a baby starts to pronounce some syllables; at 7–9 months – repeats various sounds combinations, pronounced by adults. At 10–11 months a baby begins to react on the words, referred to him/her. The first words usually appear at an age of 1 year; this is the start of the stage of active speech development. At this time it is acceptable, if a child confuses or rearranges sounds, distorts or misses them. By the age of 1.5 years a child begins to understand abstract explanations of adults. Significant vocabulary enlargement occurs between 2 and 3 years; grammatical structures of the language are being formed during this period (a child starts to use phrases and sentences. Preschool age (3–7 y. o. is characterized by incorrect, but steadily improving pronunciation of sounds and phonemic perception. The vocabulary increases; abstract speech and retelling are being formed. Children over 7 y. o. continue to improve grammar, writing and reading skills. The described stages may not have strict age boundaries, as soon as they are dependent not only on environment, but also on the child’s mental constitution, heredity and character.
Yu, Jyaehyoung; Jeon, Hanjae; Song, Changgeun; Han, Woojae
The goal of the present study was to develop an auditory training program using a mobile device and to test its efficacy by applying it to older adults suffering from moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss. Among the 20 elderly hearing-impaired listeners who participated, 10 were randomly assigned to a training group (TG) and 10 were assigned to a non-training group (NTG) as a control. As a baseline, all participants were measured by vowel, consonant and sentence tests. In the experiment, the TG had been trained for 4 weeks using a mobile program, which had four levels and consisted of 10 Korean nonsense syllables, with each level completed in 1 week. In contrast, traditional auditory training had been provided for the NTG during the same period. To evaluate whether a training effect was achieved, the two groups also carried out the same tests as the baseline after completing the experiment. The results showed that performance on the consonant and sentence tests in the TG was significantly increased compared with that of the NTG. Also, improved scores of speech perception were retained at 2 weeks after the training was completed. However, vowel scores were not changed after the 4-week training in both the TG and the NTG. This result pattern suggests that a moderate amount of auditory training using the mobile device with cost-effective and minimal supervision is useful when it is used to improve the speech understanding of older adults with hearing loss. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 61-68. © 2015 Japan Geriatrics Society.
Frtusova, Jana B; Winneke, Axel H; Phillips, Natalie A
Auditory-visual (AV) speech enhances speech perception and facilitates auditory processing, as measured by event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Considering a perspective of shared resources between perceptual and cognitive processes, facilitated speech perception may render more resources available for higher-order functions. This study examined whether AV speech facilitation leads to better working memory (WM) performance in 23 younger and 20 older adults. Participants completed an n-back task (0- to 3-back) under visual-only (V-only), auditory-only (A-only), and AV conditions. The results showed faster responses across all memory loads and improved accuracy in the most demanding conditions (2- and 3-back) during AV compared with unisensory conditions. Older adults benefited from the AV presentation to the same extent as younger adults. WM performance of older adults during the AV presentation did not differ from that of younger adults in the A-only condition, suggesting that an AV presentation can help to counteract some of the age-related WM decline. The ERPs showed a decrease in the auditory N1 amplitude during the AV compared with A-only presentation in older adults, suggesting that the facilitation of perceptual processing becomes especially beneficial with aging. Additionally, the N1 occurred earlier in the AV than in the A-only condition for both age groups. These AV-induced modulations of auditory processing correlated with improvement in certain behavioral and ERP measures of WM. These results support an integrated model between perception and cognition, and suggest that processing speech under AV conditions enhances WM performance of both younger and older adults. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Lauren J. Amick
Full Text Available Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by frequent and involuntary disruptions during speech production. Adults who stutter are often subject to negative perceptions. The present study examined whether negative social and cognitive impressions are formed when listening to speech, even without any knowledge about the speaker. Two experiments were conducted in which naïve participants were asked to listen to and provide ratings on samples of read speech produced by adults who stutter and typically-speaking adults without knowledge about the individuals who produced the speech. In both experiments, listeners rated speaker cognitive ability, likeability, anxiety, as well as a number of speech characteristics that included fluency, naturalness, intelligibility, the likelihood the speaker had a speech-and-language disorder (Experiment 1 only, rate and volume (both Experiments 1 and 2. The speech of adults who stutter was perceived to be less fluent, natural, intelligible, and to be slower and louder than the speech of typical adults. Adults who stutter were also perceived to have lower cognitive ability, to be less likeable and to be more anxious than the typical adult speakers. Relations between speech characteristics and social and cognitive impressions were found, independent of whether or not the speaker stuttered (i.e., they were found for both adults who stutter and typically-speaking adults and did not depend on being cued that some of the speakers may have had a speech-language impairment.
Ou, Jinghua; Law, Sam-Po; Fung, Roxana
A growing body of research has suggested that cognitive abilities may play a role in individual differences in speech processing. The present study took advantage of a widespread linguistic phenomenon of sound change to systematically assess the relationships between speech processing and various components of attention and working memory in the auditory and visual modalities among typically developed Cantonese-speaking individuals. The individual variations in speech processing are captured in an ongoing sound change-tone merging in Hong Kong Cantonese, in which typically developed native speakers are reported to lose the distinctions between some tonal contrasts in perception and/or production. Three groups of participants were recruited, with a first group of good perception and production, a second group of good perception but poor production, and a third group of good production but poor perception. Our findings revealed that modality-independent abilities of attentional switching/control and working memory might contribute to individual differences in patterns of speech perception and production as well as discrimination latencies among typically developed speakers. The findings not only have the potential to generalize to speech processing in other languages, but also broaden our understanding of the omnipresent phenomenon of language change in all languages.
Scott, Sophie K.
Our understanding of the neurobiological basis for human speech production and perception has benefited from insights from psychology, neuropsychology and neurology. In this overview, I outline some of the ways that functional imaging has added to this knowledge and argue that, as a neuroanatomical tool, functional imaging has led to some…
Erdel, T; Crooks, S
Speech recognition, as an enabling technology in healthcare-systems computing, is a topic that has been discussed for quite some time, but is just now coming to fruition. Traditionally, speech-recognition software has been constrained by hardware, but improved processors and increased memory capacities are starting to remove some of these limitations. With these barriers removed, companies that create software for the healthcare setting have the opportunity to write more successful applications. Among the criticisms of speech-recognition applications are the high rates of error and steep training curves. However, even in the face of such negative perceptions, there remains significant opportunities for speech recognition to allow healthcare providers and, more specifically, physicians, to work more efficiently and ultimately spend more time with their patients and less time completing necessary documentation. This article will identify opportunities for inclusion of speech-recognition technology in the healthcare setting and examine major categories of speech-recognition software--continuous speech recognition, command and control, and text-to-speech. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each area, the limitations of the software today, and how future trends might affect them.
Schall, Sonja; von Kriegstein, Katharina
It has been proposed that internal simulation of the talking face of visually-known speakers facilitates auditory speech recognition. One prediction of this view is that brain areas involved in auditory-only speech comprehension interact with visual face-movement sensitive areas, even under auditory-only listening conditions. Here, we test this hypothesis using connectivity analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Participants (17 normal participants, 17 developmental prosopagnosics) first learned six speakers via brief voice-face or voice-occupation training (comprehension. Overall, the present findings indicate that learned visual information is integrated into the analysis of auditory-only speech and that this integration results from the interaction of task-relevant face-movement and auditory speech-sensitive areas.
Logan, J S; Greene, B G; Pisoni, D B
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.
Logan, John S.; Greene, Beth G.; Pisoni, David B.
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
Hardison, Debra M.
The majority of studies in second-language (L2) speech processing have involved unimodal (i.e., auditory) input; however, in many instances, speech communication involves both visual and auditory sources of information. Some researchers have argued that multimodal speech is the primary mode of speech perception (e.g., Rosenblum 2005). Research on…
Borrie, Stephanie A
This study investigated the influence of visual speech information on perceptual processing of neurologically degraded speech. Fifty listeners identified spastic dysarthric speech under both audio (A) and audiovisual (AV) conditions. Condition comparisons revealed that the addition of visual speech information enhanced processing of the neurologically degraded input in terms of (a) acuity (percent phonemes correct) of vowels and consonants and (b) recognition (percent words correct) of predictive and nonpredictive phrases. Listeners exploited stress-based segmentation strategies more readily in AV conditions, suggesting that the perceptual benefit associated with adding visual speech information to the auditory signal-the AV advantage-has both segmental and suprasegmental origins. Results also revealed that the magnitude of the AV advantage can be predicted, to some degree, by the extent to which an individual utilizes syllabic stress cues to inform word recognition in AV conditions. Findings inform the development of a listener-specific model of speech perception that applies to processing of dysarthric speech in everyday communication contexts.
Lassen, N A; Friberg, L
by measuring regional cerebral blood flow CBF after intracarotid Xenon-133 injection are reviewed with emphasis on tests involving auditory perception and speech, and approach allowing to visualize Wernicke and Broca's areas and their contralateral homologues in vivo. The completely atraumatic tomographic CBF...
Sarah H Baum
Full Text Available Older adults exhibit decreased performance and increased trial-to-trial variability on a range of cognitive tasks, including speech perception. We used blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI to search for neural correlates of these behavioral phenomena. We compared brain responses to simple speech stimuli (audiovisual syllables in 24 healthy older adults (53 to 70 years old and 14 younger adults (23 to 39 years old using two independent analysis strategies: region-of-interest (ROI and voxel-wise whole-brain analysis. While mean response amplitudes were moderately greater in younger adults, older adults had much greater within-subject variability. The greatly increased variability in older adults was observed for both individual voxels in the whole-brain analysis and for ROIs in the left superior temporal sulcus, the left auditory cortex, and the left visual cortex. Increased variability in older adults could not be attributed to differences in head movements between the groups. Increased neural variability may be related to the performance declines and increased behavioral variability that occur with aging.
Inner speech is one of the most common, but least investigated, mental activities humans perform. It is an internal copy of one's external voice and so is similar to a well-established component of motor control: corollary discharge. Corollary discharge is a prediction of the sound of one's voice generated by the motor system. This prediction is normally used to filter self-caused sounds from perception, which segregates them from externally caused sounds and prevents the sensory confusion that would otherwise result. The similarity between inner speech and corollary discharge motivates the theory, tested here, that corollary discharge provides the sensory content of inner speech. The results reported here show that inner speech attenuates the impact of external sounds. This attenuation was measured using a context effect (an influence of contextual speech sounds on the perception of subsequent speech sounds), which weakens in the presence of speech imagery that matches the context sound. Results from a control experiment demonstrated this weakening in external speech as well. Such sensory attenuation is a hallmark of corollary discharge.
Leone, Dorothy; Levy, Erika S.
Purpose: Much of a child's day is spent listening to speech in the presence of background noise. Although accurate vowel perception is important for listeners' accurate speech perception and comprehension, little is known about children's vowel perception in noise. "Clear speech" is a speech style frequently used by talkers in the…
Morrison, Susan C; Lincoln, Michelle A; Reed, Vicki A
In the discipline of speech-language pathology little is known about the explicit and implicit team skills taught within university curricula. This study surveyed 281 speech-language pathology students to determine a baseline of their perceived ability to participate in interprofessional teams. The students were enrolled in programs in Australia and the USA and were surveyed about their perceptions of their attitudes, knowledge and skills in teamwork. MANCOVA analysis for main effects of age, university program and clinical experience showed that age was not significant, negating the perception that life experiences improve perceived team skills. Clinical experience was significant in that students with more clinical experience rated themselves more highly on their team abilities. Post Hoc analysis revealed that Australian students rated themselves higher than their US counterparts on their knowledge about working on teams, but lower on attitudes to teams; all students perceived that they had the skills to work on teams. These results provide insight about teamwork training components in current speech-language pathology curricula. Implications are discussed with reference to enhancing university training programs.
Treille, Avril; Vilain, Coriandre; Kandel, Sonia; Sato, Marc
Previous electrophysiological studies have provided strong evidence for early multisensory integrative mechanisms during audiovisual speech perception. From these studies, one unanswered issue is whether hearing our own voice and seeing our own articulatory gestures facilitate speech perception, possibly through a better processing and integration of sensory inputs with our own sensory-motor knowledge. The present EEG study examined the impact of self-knowledge during the perception of auditory (A), visual (V) and audiovisual (AV) speech stimuli that were previously recorded from the participant or from a speaker he/she had never met. Audiovisual interactions were estimated by comparing N1 and P2 auditory evoked potentials during the bimodal condition (AV) with the sum of those observed in the unimodal conditions (A + V). In line with previous EEG studies, our results revealed an amplitude decrease of P2 auditory evoked potentials in AV compared to A + V conditions. Crucially, a temporal facilitation of N1 responses was observed during the visual perception of self speech movements compared to those of another speaker. This facilitation was negatively correlated with the saliency of visual stimuli. These results provide evidence for a temporal facilitation of the integration of auditory and visual speech signals when the visual situation involves our own speech gestures.
Language development in infants born very preterm is often compromised. Poor language skills have been described in preschoolers and differences between preterms and full terms, relative to early vocabulary size and morphosyntactical complexity, have also been identified. However, very few data are available concerning early speech perception abilities and their predictive value for later language outcomes. An overview of the results obtained in a prospective study exploring the link between early speech perception abilities and lexical development in the second year of life in a population of very preterm infants (≤32 gestation weeks) is presented. Specifically, behavioral measures relative to (a) native-language recognition and discrimination from a rhythmically distant and a rhythmically close nonfamiliar languages, and (b) monosyllabic word-form segmentation, were obtained and compared to data from full-term infants. Expressive vocabulary at two test ages (12 and 18 months, corrected age for gestation) was measured using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory. Behavioral results indicated that differences between preterm and control groups were present, but only evident when task demands were high in terms of language processing, selective attention to relevant information and memory load. When responses could be based on acquired knowledge from accumulated linguistic experience, between-group differences were no longer observed. Critically, while preterm infants responded satisfactorily to the native-language recognition and discrimination tasks, they clearly differed from full-term infants in the more challenging activity of extracting and retaining word-form units from fluent speech, a fundamental ability for starting to building a lexicon. Correlations between results from the language discrimination tasks and expressive vocabulary measures could not be systematically established. However, attention time to novel words in the word segmentation
Schoenmaker, Esther; van de Par, Steven
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.
Massaro, Dominic W
I review 2 seminal research reports published in this journal during its second decade more than a century ago. Given psychology's subdisciplines, they would not normally be reviewed together because one involves reading and the other speech perception. The small amount of interaction between these domains might have limited research and theoretical progress. In fact, the 2 early research reports revealed common processes involved in these 2 forms of language processing. Their illustration of the role of Wundt's apperceptive process in reading and speech perception anticipated descriptions of contemporary theories of pattern recognition, such as the fuzzy logical model of perception. Based on the commonalities between reading and listening, one can question why they have been viewed so differently. It is commonly believed that learning to read requires formal instruction and schooling, whereas spoken language is acquired from birth onward through natural interactions with people who talk. Most researchers and educators believe that spoken language is acquired naturally from birth onward and even prenatally. Learning to read, on the other hand, is not possible until the child has acquired spoken language, reaches school age, and receives formal instruction. If an appropriate form of written text is made available early in a child's life, however, the current hypothesis is that reading will also be learned inductively and emerge naturally, with no significant negative consequences. If this proposal is true, it should soon be possible to create an interactive system, Technology Assisted Reading Acquisition, to allow children to acquire literacy naturally.
Heimbauer, Lisa A; Beran, Michael J; Owren, Michael J
A long-standing debate concerns whether humans are specialized for speech perception, which some researchers argue is demonstrated by the ability to understand synthetic speech with significantly reduced acoustic cues to phonetic content. We tested a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) that recognizes 128 spoken words, asking whether she could understand such speech. Three experiments presented 48 individual words, with the animal selecting a corresponding visuographic symbol from among four alternatives. Experiment 1 tested spectrally reduced, noise-vocoded (NV) synthesis, originally developed to simulate input received by human cochlear-implant users. Experiment 2 tested "impossibly unspeechlike" sine-wave (SW) synthesis, which reduces speech to just three moving tones. Although receiving only intermittent and noncontingent reward, the chimpanzee performed well above chance level, including when hearing synthetic versions for the first time. Recognition of SW words was least accurate but improved in experiment 3 when natural words in the same session were rewarded. The chimpanzee was more accurate with NV than SW versions, as were 32 human participants hearing these items. The chimpanzee's ability to spontaneously recognize acoustically reduced synthetic words suggests that experience rather than specialization is critical for speech-perception capabilities that some have suggested are uniquely human. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This work focuses on speech-based human-machine interaction. Specifically, a Spoken Dialogue System (SDS that could be integrated into a robot is considered. Since Automatic Speech Recognition is one of the most sensitive tasks that must be confronted in such systems, the goal of this work is to improve the results obtained by this specific module. In order to do so, a hierarchical Language Model (LM is considered. Different series of experiments were carried out using the proposed models over different corpora and tasks. The results obtained show that these models provide greater accuracy in the recognition task. Additionally, the influence of the Acoustic Modelling (AM in the improvement percentage of the Language Models has also been explored. Finally the use of hierarchical Language Models in a language understanding task has been successfully employed, as shown in an additional series of experiments.
Gaudrain, Etienne; Carlyon, Robert P
Previous studies have suggested that cochlear implant users may have particular difficulties exploiting opportunities to glimpse clear segments of a target speech signal in the presence of a fluctuating masker. Although it has been proposed that this difficulty is associated with a deficit in linking the glimpsed segments across time, the details of this mechanism are yet to be explained. The present study introduces a method called Zebra-speech developed to investigate the relative contribution of simultaneous and sequential segregation mechanisms in concurrent speech perception, using a noise-band vocoder to simulate cochlear implants. One experiment showed that the saliency of the difference between the target and the masker is a key factor for Zebra-speech perception, as it is for sequential segregation. Furthermore, forward masking played little or no role, confirming that intelligibility was not limited by energetic masking but by across-time linkage abilities. In another experiment, a binaural cue was used to distinguish the target and the masker. It showed that the relative contribution of simultaneous and sequential segregation depended on the spectral resolution, with listeners relying more on sequential segregation when the spectral resolution was reduced. The potential of Zebra-speech as a segregation enhancement strategy for cochlear implants is discussed.
Chesters, Jennifer; Möttönen, Riikka; Watkins, Kate E
See Crinion (doi:10.1093/brain/awy075) for a scientific commentary on this article.Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting 5% of children, and persisting in 1% of adults. Promoting lasting fluency improvement in adults who stutter is a particular challenge. Novel interventions to improve outcomes are of value, therefore. Previous work in patients with acquired motor and language disorders reported enhanced benefits of behavioural therapies when paired with transcranial direct current stimulation. Here, we report the results of the first trial investigating whether transcranial direct current stimulation can improve speech fluency in adults who stutter. We predicted that applying anodal stimulation to the left inferior frontal cortex during speech production with temporary fluency inducers would result in longer-lasting fluency improvements. Thirty male adults who stutter completed a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over left inferior frontal cortex. Fifteen participants received 20 min of 1-mA stimulation on five consecutive days while speech fluency was temporarily induced using choral and metronome-timed speech. The other 15 participants received the same speech fluency intervention with sham stimulation. Speech fluency during reading and conversation was assessed at baseline, before and after the stimulation on each day of the 5-day intervention, and at 1 and 6 weeks after the end of the intervention. Anodal stimulation combined with speech fluency training significantly reduced the percentage of disfluent speech measured 1 week after the intervention compared with fluency intervention alone. At 6 weeks after the intervention, this improvement was maintained during reading but not during conversation. Outcome scores at both post-intervention time points on a clinical assessment tool (the Stuttering Severity Instrument, version 4) also showed significant improvement in the group receiving
Alexander L. Francis
Full Text Available Typically, understanding speech seems effortless and automatic. However, a variety of factors may, independently or interactively, make listening more effortful. Physiological measures may help to distinguish between the application of different cognitive mechanisms whose operation is perceived as effortful. In the present study, physiological and behavioral measures associated with task demand were collected along with behavioral measures of performance while participants listened to and repeated sentences. The goal was to measure psychophysiological reactivity associated with three degraded listening conditions, each of which differed in terms of the source of the difficulty (distortion, energetic masking, and informational masking, and therefore were expected to engage different cognitive mechanisms. These conditions were chosen to be matched for overall performance (keywords correct, and were compared to listening to unmasked speech produced by a natural voice. The three degraded conditions were: (1 Unmasked speech produced by a computer speech synthesizer, (2 Speech produced by a natural voice and masked by speech-shaped noise and (3 Speech produced by a natural voice and masked by two-talker babble. Masked conditions were both presented at a -8 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR, a level shown in previous research to result in comparable levels of performance for these stimuli and maskers. Performance was measured in terms of proportion of key words identified correctly, and task demand or effort was quantified subjectively by self-report. Measures of psychophysiological reactivity included electrodermal (skin conductance response frequency and amplitude, blood pulse amplitude and pulse rate. Results suggest that the two masked conditions evoked stronger psychophysiological reactivity than did the two unmasked conditions even when behavioral measures of listening performance and listeners’ subjective perception of task demand were comparable
Marstaller, L; Burianová, H
The perception of co-speech gestures, i.e., hand movements that co-occur with speech, has been investigated by several studies. The results show that the perception of co-speech gestures engages a core set of frontal, temporal, and parietal areas. However, no study has yet investigated the neural processes underlying the production of co-speech gestures. Specifically, it remains an open question whether Broca's area is central to the coordination of speech and gestures as has been suggested previously. The objective of this study was to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to (i) investigate the regional activations underlying overt production of speech, gestures, and co-speech gestures, and (ii) examine functional connectivity with Broca's area. We hypothesized that co-speech gesture production would activate frontal, temporal, and parietal regions that are similar to areas previously found during co-speech gesture perception and that both speech and gesture as well as co-speech gesture production would engage a neural network connected to Broca's area. Whole-brain analysis confirmed our hypothesis and showed that co-speech gesturing did engage brain areas that form part of networks known to subserve language and gesture. Functional connectivity analysis further revealed a functional network connected to Broca's area that is common to speech, gesture, and co-speech gesture production. This network consists of brain areas that play essential roles in motor control, suggesting that the coordination of speech and gesture is mediated by a shared motor control network. Our findings thus lend support to the idea that speech can influence co-speech gesture production on a motoric level. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Malmenholt, Ann; Lohmander, Anette; McAllister, Anita
The purpose of this study was to investigate current knowledge of the diagnosis childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) in Sweden and compare speech characteristics and symptoms to those of earlier survey findings in mainly English-speakers. In a web-based questionnaire 178 Swedish speech-language pathologists (SLPs) anonymously answered questions about their perception of typical speech characteristics for CAS. They graded own assessment skills and estimated clinical occurrence. The seven top speech characteristics reported as typical for children with CAS were: inconsistent speech production (85%), sequencing difficulties (71%), oro-motor deficits (63%), vowel errors (62%), voicing errors (61%), consonant cluster deletions (54%), and prosodic disturbance (53%). Motor-programming deficits described as lack of automatization of speech movements were perceived by 82%. All listed characteristics were consistent with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) consensus-based features, Strand's 10-point checklist, and the diagnostic model proposed by Ozanne. The mode for clinical occurrence was 5%. Number of suspected cases of CAS in the clinical caseload was approximately one new patient/year and SLP. The results support and add to findings from studies of CAS in English-speaking children with similar speech characteristics regarded as typical. Possibly, these findings could contribute to cross-linguistic consensus on CAS characteristics.
François, Clément; Chobert, Julie; Besson, Mireille; Schön, Daniele
The role of music training in fostering brain plasticity and developing high cognitive skills, notably linguistic abilities, is of great interest from both a scientific and a societal perspective. Here, we report results of a longitudinal study over 2 years using both behavioral and electrophysiological measures and a test-training-retest procedure to examine the influence of music training on speech segmentation in 8-year-old children. Children were pseudo-randomly assigned to either music or painting training and were tested on their ability to extract meaningless words from a continuous flow of nonsense syllables. While no between-group differences were found before training, both behavioral and electrophysiological measures showed improved speech segmentation skills across testing sessions for the music group only. These results show that music training directly causes facilitation in speech segmentation, thereby pointing to the importance of music for speech perception and more generally for children's language development. Finally these results have strong implications for promoting the development of music-based remediation strategies for children with language-based learning impairments.
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that listeners are better able to understand speech when they are familiar with the talker’s voice. In most of these studies, talker familiarity was ensured by explicit voice training; that is, listeners learned to identify the familiar talkers. In the real world, however, the characteristics of familiar talkers are learned incidentally, through communication. The present study investigated whether speech comprehension benefits from implicit voice training; that is, through exposure to talkers’ voices without listeners explicitly trying to identify them. During four training sessions, listeners heard short sentences containing a single verb (e.g., “he writes”, spoken by one talker. The sentences were mixed with noise, and listeners identified the verb within each sentence while their speech-reception thresholds (SRT were measured. In a final test session, listeners performed the same task, but this time they heard different sentences spoken by the familiar talker and three unfamiliar talkers. Familiar and unfamiliar talkers were counterbalanced across listeners. Half of the listeners performed a test session in which the four talkers were presented in separate blocks (blocked paradigm. For the other half, talkers varied randomly from trial to trial (interleaved paradigm. The results showed that listeners had lower SRT when the speech was produced by the familiar talker than the unfamiliar talkers. The type of talker presentation (blocked vs. interleaved had no effect on this familiarity benefit. These findings suggest that listeners implicitly learn talker-specific information during a speech-comprehension task, and exploit this information to improve the comprehension of novel speech material from familiar talkers.
William L Schuerman
Full Text Available In different tasks involving action perception, performance has been found to be facilitated when the presented stimuli were produced by the participants themselves rather than by another participant. These results suggest that the same mental representations are accessed during both production and perception. However, with regard to spoken word perception, evidence also suggests that listeners' representations for speech reflect the input from their surrounding linguistic community rather than their own idiosyncratic productions. Furthermore, speech perception is heavily influenced by indexical cues that may lead listeners to frame their interpretations of incoming speech signals with regard to speaker identity. In order to determine whether word recognition evinces similar self-advantages as found in action perception, it was necessary to eliminate indexical cues from the speech signal. We therefore asked participants to identify noise-vocoded versions of Dutch words that were based on either their own recordings or those of a statistically average speaker. The majority of participants were more accurate for the average speaker than for themselves, even after taking into account differences in intelligibility. These results suggest that the speech representations accessed during perception of noise-vocoded speech are more reflective of the input of the speech community, and hence that speech perception is not necessarily based on representations of one's own speech.
Schaadt, Gesa; van der Meer, Elke; Pannekamp, Ann; Oberecker, Regine; Männel, Claudia
During information processing, individuals benefit from bimodally presented input, as has been demonstrated for speech perception (i.e., printed letters and speech sounds) or the perception of emotional expressions (i.e., facial expression and voice tuning). While typically developing individuals show this bimodal benefit, school children with dyslexia do not. Currently, it is unknown whether the bimodal processing deficit in dyslexia also occurs for visual-auditory speech processing that is independent of reading and spelling acquisition (i.e., no letter-sound knowledge is required). Here, we tested school children with and without spelling problems on their bimodal perception of video-recorded mouth movements pronouncing syllables. We analyzed the event-related potential Mismatch Response (MMR) to visual-auditory speech information and compared this response to the MMR to monomodal speech information (i.e., auditory-only, visual-only). We found a reduced MMR with later onset to visual-auditory speech information in children with spelling problems compared to children without spelling problems. Moreover, when comparing bimodal and monomodal speech perception, we found that children without spelling problems showed significantly larger responses in the visual-auditory experiment compared to the visual-only response, whereas children with spelling problems did not. Our results suggest that children with dyslexia exhibit general difficulties in bimodal speech perception independently of letter-speech sound knowledge, as apparent in altered bimodal speech perception and lacking benefit from bimodal information. This general deficit in children with dyslexia may underlie the previously reported reduced bimodal benefit for letter-speech sound combinations and similar findings in emotion perception. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The present study has surveyed post-editor trainees’ views and attitudes before and after the introduction of speech technology as a front end to a computer-aided translation workbench. The aim of the survey was (i) to identify attitudes and perceptions among post-editor trainees before performing...... a post-editing task using automatic speech recognition (ASR); and (ii) to assess the degree to which post-editors’ attitudes and expectations to the use of speech technology changed after actually using it. The survey was based on two questionnaires: the first one administered before the participants...
Ozker, Muge; Schepers, Inga M; Magnotti, John F; Yoshor, Daniel; Beauchamp, Michael S
Human speech can be comprehended using only auditory information from the talker's voice. However, comprehension is improved if the talker's face is visible, especially if the auditory information is degraded as occurs in noisy environments or with hearing loss. We explored the neural substrates of audiovisual speech perception using electrocorticography, direct recording of neural activity using electrodes implanted on the cortical surface. We observed a double dissociation in the responses to audiovisual speech with clear and noisy auditory component within the superior temporal gyrus (STG), a region long known to be important for speech perception. Anterior STG showed greater neural activity to audiovisual speech with clear auditory component, whereas posterior STG showed similar or greater neural activity to audiovisual speech in which the speech was replaced with speech-like noise. A distinct border between the two response patterns was observed, demarcated by a landmark corresponding to the posterior margin of Heschl's gyrus. To further investigate the computational roles of both regions, we considered Bayesian models of multisensory integration, which predict that combining the independent sources of information available from different modalities should reduce variability in the neural responses. We tested this prediction by measuring the variability of the neural responses to single audiovisual words. Posterior STG showed smaller variability than anterior STG during presentation of audiovisual speech with noisy auditory component. Taken together, these results suggest that posterior STG but not anterior STG is important for multisensory integration of noisy auditory and visual speech.
van Laarhoven, Thijs; Keetels, Mirjam; Schakel, Lemmy; Vroomen, Jean
Individuals with developmental dyslexia (DD) may experience, besides reading problems, other speech-related processing deficits. Here, we examined the influence of visual articulatory information (lip-read speech) at various levels of background noise on auditory word recognition in children and adults with DD. We found that children with a…
John F Magnotti
Full Text Available During speech perception, humans integrate auditory information from the voice with visual information from the face. This multisensory integration increases perceptual precision, but only if the two cues come from the same talker; this requirement has been largely ignored by current models of speech perception. We describe a generative model of multisensory speech perception that includes this critical step of determining the likelihood that the voice and face information have a common cause. A key feature of the model is that it is based on a principled analysis of how an observer should solve this causal inference problem using the asynchrony between two cues and the reliability of the cues. This allows the model to make predictions abut the behavior of subjects performing a synchrony judgment task, predictive power that does not exist in other approaches, such as post hoc fitting of Gaussian curves to behavioral data. We tested the model predictions against the performance of 37 subjects performing a synchrony judgment task viewing audiovisual speech under a variety of manipulations, including varying asynchronies, intelligibility, and visual cue reliability. The causal inference model outperformed the Gaussian model across two experiments, providing a better fit to the behavioral data with fewer parameters. Because the causal inference model is derived from a principled understanding of the task, model parameters are directly interpretable in terms of stimulus and subject properties.
Knipfer, Christian; Riemann, Max; Bocklet, Tobias; Noeth, Elmar; Schuster, Maria; Sokol, Biljana; Eitner, Stephan; Nkenke, Emeka; Stelzle, Florian
Tooth loss and its prosthetic rehabilitation significantly affect speech intelligibility. However, little is known about the influence of speech deficiencies on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate whether speech intelligibility enhancement through prosthetic rehabilitation significantly influences OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures. Speech intelligibility by means of an automatic speech recognition system (ASR) was prospectively evaluated and compared with subjectively assessed Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) scores. Speech was recorded in 28 edentulous patients 1 week prior to the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures and 6 months thereafter. Speech intelligibility was computed based on the word accuracy (WA) by means of an ASR and compared with a matched control group. One week before and 6 months after rehabilitation, patients assessed themselves for OHRQoL. Speech intelligibility improved significantly after 6 months. Subjects reported a significantly higher OHRQoL after maxillary rehabilitation with complete dentures. No significant correlation was found between the OHIP sum score or its subscales to the WA. Speech intelligibility enhancement achieved through the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures might not be in the forefront of the patients' perception of their quality of life. For the improvement of OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures, food intake and mastication as well as freedom from pain play a more prominent role.
Zekveld, Adriana A; Kramer, Sophia E; Festen, Joost M
correlation coefficients indicated that the cognitive load was larger in listeners with better TRT performances as reflected by a longer peak latency (normal-hearing participants, SRT50% condition) and a larger peak amplitude and longer response duration (hearing-impaired participants, SRT50% and SRT84% conditions). Also, a larger word vocabulary was related to longer response duration in the SRT84% condition for the participants with normal hearing. The pupil response systematically increased with decreasing speech intelligibility. Ageing and hearing loss were related to less release from effort when increasing the intelligibility of speech in noise. In difficult listening conditions, these factors may induce cognitive overload relatively early or they may be associated with relatively shallow speech processing. More research is needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms explaining these results. Better TRTs and larger word vocabulary were related to higher mental processing load across speech intelligibility levels. This indicates that utilizing linguistic ability to improve speech perception is associated with increased listening load.
Mendi, Engin; Bayrak, Coskun
Learning disabilities affect the ability of children to learn, despite their having normal intelligence. Assistive tools can highly increase functional capabilities of children with learning disorders such as writing, reading, or listening. In this article, we describe a text-to-audiovisual synthesizer that can serve as an assistive tool for such children. The system automatically converts an input text to audiovisual speech, providing synchronization of the head, eye, and lip movements of the three-dimensional face model with appropriate facial expressions and word flow of the text. The proposed system can enhance speech perception and help children having learning deficits to improve their chances of success.
Full Text Available Wondo Na,1 Gibbeum Kim,1 Gungu Kim,1 Woojae Han,2 Jinsook Kim2 1Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Graduate School, 2Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea Purpose: The current study aimed to evaluate hearing-related changes in terms of speech-in-noise processing, fast-rate speech processing, and working memory; and to identify which of these three factors is significantly affected by age-related hearing loss.Methods: One hundred subjects aged 65–84 years participated in the study. They were classified into four groups ranging from normal hearing to moderate-to-severe hearing loss. All the participants were tested for speech perception in quiet and noisy conditions and for speech perception with time alteration in quiet conditions. Forward- and backward-digit span tests were also conducted to measure the participants’ working memory.Results: 1 As the level of background noise increased, speech perception scores systematically decreased in all the groups. This pattern was more noticeable in the three hearing-impaired groups than in the normal hearing group. 2 As the speech rate increased faster, speech perception scores decreased. A significant interaction was found between speed of speech and hearing loss. In particular, 30% of compressed sentences revealed a clear differentiation between moderate hearing loss and moderate-to-severe hearing loss. 3 Although all the groups showed a longer span on the forward-digit span test than the backward-digit span test, there was no significant difference as a function of hearing loss.Conclusion: The degree of hearing loss strongly affects the speech recognition of babble-masked and time-compressed speech in the elderly but does not affect the working memory. We expect these results to be applied to appropriate rehabilitation strategies for hearing
Selouani, Sid-Ahmed; Sidi Yakoub, Mohammed; O'Shaughnessy, Douglas
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.
Docherty, Nancy M; McCleery, Amanda; Divilbiss, Marielle; Schumann, Emily B; Moe, Aubrey; Shakeel, Mohammed K
Disordered speech in schizophrenia impairs social functioning because it impedes communication with others. Treatment approaches targeting this symptom have been limited by an incomplete understanding of its causes. This study examined the process underpinnings of speech disorder, assessed in terms of communication failure. Contributions of impairments in 2 social cognitive abilities, emotion perception and theory of mind (ToM), to speech disorder were assessed in 63 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 21 nonpsychiatric participants, after controlling for the effects of verbal intelligence and impairments in basic language-related neurocognitive abilities. After removal of the effects of the neurocognitive variables, impairments in emotion perception and ToM each explained additional variance in speech disorder in the patients but not the controls. The neurocognitive and social cognitive variables, taken together, explained 51% of the variance in speech disorder in the patients. Schizophrenic disordered speech may be less a concomitant of "positive" psychotic process than of illness-related limitations in neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning.
Al-Dawaideh, Ahmad Mousa
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) frequently work with people with severe communication disorders who require assistive technology (AT) for communication. The purpose of this study was to investigate the SLPs perceptions of the importance of and ability level required for using AT, and the relationship of AT with gender, level of education,…
Preisig, Basil C; Eggenberger, Noëmi; Zito, Giuseppe; Vanbellingen, Tim; Schumacher, Rahel; Hopfner, Simone; Nyffeler, Thomas; Gutbrod, Klemens; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Müri, René M
Co-speech gestures are part of nonverbal communication during conversations. They either support the verbal message or provide the interlocutor with additional information. Furthermore, they prompt as nonverbal cues the cooperative process of turn taking. In the present study, we investigated the influence of co-speech gestures on the perception of dyadic dialogue in aphasic patients. In particular, we analysed the impact of co-speech gestures on gaze direction (towards speaker or listener) and fixation of body parts. We hypothesized that aphasic patients, who are restricted in verbal comprehension, adapt their visual exploration strategies. Sixteen aphasic patients and 23 healthy control subjects participated in the study. Visual exploration behaviour was measured by means of a contact-free infrared eye-tracker while subjects were watching videos depicting spontaneous dialogues between two individuals. Cumulative fixation duration and mean fixation duration were calculated for the factors co-speech gesture (present and absent), gaze direction (to the speaker or to the listener), and region of interest (ROI), including hands, face, and body. Both aphasic patients and healthy controls mainly fixated the speaker's face. We found a significant co-speech gesture × ROI interaction, indicating that the presence of a co-speech gesture encouraged subjects to look at the speaker. Further, there was a significant gaze direction × ROI × group interaction revealing that aphasic patients showed reduced cumulative fixation duration on the speaker's face compared to healthy controls. Co-speech gestures guide the observer's attention towards the speaker, the source of semantic input. It is discussed whether an underlying semantic processing deficit or a deficit to integrate audio-visual information may cause aphasic patients to explore less the speaker's face. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The masking effect of a piano composition, played at different speeds and in different octaves, on speech-perception thresholds was investigated in 15 normal-hearing and 14 moderately-hearing-impaired subjects. Running speech (just follow conversation, JFC testing and use of hearing aids increased the everyday validity of the findings. A comparison was made with standard audiometric noises [International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (ICRA noise and speech spectrum-filtered noise (SPN]. All masking sounds, music or noise, were presented at the same equivalent sound level (50 dBA. The results showed a significant effect of piano performance speed and octave (P<.01. Low octave and fast tempo had the largest effect; and high octave and slow tempo, the smallest. Music had a lower masking effect than did ICRA noise with two or six speakers at normal vocal effort (P<.01 and SPN (P<.05. Subjects with hearing loss had higher masked thresholds than the normal-hearing subjects (P<.01, but there were smaller differences between masking conditions (P<.01. It is pointed out that music offers an interesting opportunity for studying masking under realistic conditions, where spectral and temporal features can be varied independently. The results have implications for composing music with vocal parts, designing acoustic environments and creating a balance between speech perception and privacy in social settings.
Gauvin, Hanna; De Baene, W.; Brass, Marcel; Hartsuiker, Robert
To minimize the number of errors in speech, and thereby facilitate communication, speech is monitored before articulation. It is, however, unclear at which level during speech production monitoring takes place, and what mechanisms are used to detect and correct errors. The present study investigated
Ross, Lars A; Del Bene, Victor A; Molholm, Sophie; Jae Woo, Young; Andrade, Gizely N; Abrahams, Brett S; Foxe, John J
Three lines of evidence motivated this study. 1) CNTNAP2 variation is associated with autism risk and speech-language development. 2) CNTNAP2 variations are associated with differences in white matter (WM) tracts comprising the speech-language circuitry. 3) Children with autism show impairment in multisensory speech perception. Here, we asked whether an autism risk-associated CNTNAP2 single nucleotide polymorphism in neurotypical adults was associated with multisensory speech perception performance, and whether such a genotype-phenotype association was mediated through white matter tract integrity in speech-language circuitry. Risk genotype at rs7794745 was associated with decreased benefit from visual speech and lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in several WM tracts (right precentral gyrus, left anterior corona radiata, right retrolenticular internal capsule). These structural connectivity differences were found to mediate the effect of genotype on audiovisual speech perception, shedding light on possible pathogenic pathways in autism and biological sources of inter-individual variation in audiovisual speech processing in neurotypicals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wu, Liang; Wan, Congying; Wang, Supin; Wan, Mingxi
Electrolarynx (EL) is a medical speech-recovery device designed for patients who have lost their original voice box due to laryngeal cancer. As a substitute for human larynx, the current commercial EL voice source cannot reconstruct natural EL speech under laryngectomy conditions. To eliminate the abnormal acoustic properties of EL speech, a supraglottal voice source with compensation of vocal tract characteristics was proposed and provided through an experimental EL(SGVS-EL) system. The acoustic analyses of simulated EL speech and reconstructed EL speech produced with different voice sources were performed in the normal subject and laryngectomee. The results indicated that the supraglottal voice source was successful in improving the acoustic properties of EL speech by enhancing low- frequency energy, correcting the shifted formants to normal range, and eliminating the visible spectral zeros. Both normal subject and laryngectomee also produced more natural vowels using SGVS-EL than commercial EL, even if the vocal tract parameter was substituted and the supraglottal voice source was biased to a certain degree. Therefore, supraglottal voice source is a feasible and effective approach to improving the acoustic quality of EL speech.
Førde, Reidun; Aasland, Olaf Gjerløw
Previous studies indicate that Norwegian doctors experience distress in their encounter with differing and partly contradictory ideals, such as the obligation to criticise unethical and inappropriate practices. The objective of this study was to investigate the perception of moral distress and professional freedom of speech among Norwegian doctors as of today, as well as identify changes that have occurred since the previous study undertaken in 2004. A total of 1,522 economically active doctors received a questionnaire listing various statements describing the perception of moral distress and professional freedom of speech. The responses were compared to responses to the 2004 study. Altogether 67% of the doctors responded to the questionnaire. The proportion who reported «fairly strong» or «strong» moral distress varied from 24% to 70% among the different statements. On the whole, the «rank and file» hospital doctors reported the highest degree of moral distress. Nevertheless, a decrease in the scores for moral distress could be observed from 2004 to 2010. During the same period, the perception of professional freedom of speech increased slightly. A reduced level of distress associated with ethical conflicts in working life may be due to improved methods for handling distressing situations, or because the consequences of the health services reorganisations are perceived as less threatening now than in 2004, immediately after the introduction of the hospital reform. However, the perceived lower distress level may also be due to professional and ethical resignation. These findings should be followed up by a qualitative study.
Full Text Available Background and Aim: Multiple sclerosis (MS is one of the central nervous system diseases can be associated with a variety of symptoms such as hearing disorders. The main consequence of hearing loss is poor speech perception, and temporal acuity has important role in speech perception. We evaluated the speech perception in silent and in the presence of noise and temporal acuity in patients with multiple sclerosis.Methods: Eighteen adults with multiple sclerosis with the mean age of 37.28 years and 18 age- and sex- matched controls with the mean age of 38.00 years participated in this study. Temporal acuity and speech perception were evaluated by random gap detection test (GDT and word recognition score (WRS in three different signal to noise ratios.Results: Statistical analysis of test results revealed significant differences between the two groups (p<0.05. Analysis of gap detection test (in 4 sensation levels and word recognition score in both groups showed significant differences (p<0.001.Conclusion: According to this survey, the ability of patients with multiple sclerosis to process temporal features of stimulus was impaired. It seems that, this impairment is important factor to decrease word recognition score and speech perception.
Sayyahi, Fateme; Soleymani, Zahra; Akbari, Mohammad; Bijankhan, Mahmood; Dolatshahi, Behrooz
The present study examined the relationship between gap detection threshold and speech error consistency in children with speech sound disorder. The participants were children five to six years of age who were categorized into three groups of typical speech, consistent speech disorder (CSD) and inconsistent speech disorder (ISD).The phonetic gap detection threshold test was used for this study, which is a valid test comprised six syllables with inter-stimulus intervals between 20-300ms. The participants were asked to listen to the recorded stimuli three times and indicate whether they heard one or two sounds. There was no significant difference between the typical and CSD groups (p=0.55), but there were significant differences in performance between the ISD and CSD groups and the ISD and typical groups (p=0.00). The ISD group discriminated between speech sounds at a higher threshold. Children with inconsistent speech errors could not distinguish speech sounds during time-limited phonetic discrimination. It is suggested that inconsistency in speech is a representation of inconsistency in auditory perception, which causes by high gap detection threshold. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zeng, Yin-Ting; Hwu, Wuh-Liang; Torng, Pao-Chuan; Lee, Ni-Chung; Shieh, Jeng-Yi; Lu, Lu; Chien, Yin-Hsiu
Patients with infantile-onset Pompe disease (IOPD) can be treated by recombinant human acid alpha glucosidase (rhGAA) replacement beginning at birth with excellent survival rates, but they still commonly present with speech disorders. This study investigated the progress of speech disorders in these early-treated patients and ascertained the relationship with treatments. Speech disorders, including hypernasal resonance, articulation disorders, and speech intelligibility, were scored by speech-language pathologists using auditory perception in seven early-treated patients over a period of 6 years. Statistical analysis of the first and last evaluations of the patients was performed with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. A total of 29 speech samples were analyzed. All the patients suffered from hypernasality, articulation disorder, and impairment in speech intelligibility at the age of 3 years. The conditions were stable, and 2 patients developed normal or near normal speech during follow-up. Speech therapy and a high dose of rhGAA appeared to improve articulation in 6 of the 7 patients (86%, p = 0.028) by decreasing the omission of consonants, which consequently increased speech intelligibility (p = 0.041). Severity of hypernasality greatly reduced only in 2 patients (29%, p = 0.131). Speech disorders were common even in early and successfully treated patients with IOPD; however, aggressive speech therapy and high-dose rhGAA could improve their speech disorders. Copyright © 2016 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ana Tereza de Matos Magalhães
Full Text Available As novas tecnologias do processador Freedom® foram criadas para proporcionar melhorias no processamento do som acústico de entrada, não apenas para novos usuários, como para gerações anteriores de implante coclear. OBJETIVO: Identificar a contribuição da tecnologia do processador de fala Freedom® para implante coclear multicanal, Nucleus22®, no desempenho de percepção de fala no silêncio e no ruído, e nos limiares audiométricos. MATERIAL E MÉTODO: A forma de estudo foi de coorte histórico com corte transversal. Dezessete pacientes preencheram os critérios de inclusão. Antes de iniciar os testes, o último mapa em uso com o Spectra® foi revisto e otimizado e o funcionamento do processador foi verificado. Os testes de fala foram apresentados a 60dBNPS em material gravado: monossílabos; frases em apresentação aberta no silêncio; e no ruído (SNR = 0dB. Foram realizadas audiometrias em campo livre com ambos os processadores de fala. A análise estatística utilizou testes não-paramétricos. RESULTADOS: Quando analisada a contribuição do Freedom® para pacientes com Nucleus22®, observa-se diferença estatisticamente significativa em todos os testes de percepção de fala e em todos os limiares audiométricos. CONCLUSÃO: A tecnologia contribuiu no desempenho de percepção de fala e nos limiares audiométricos dos pacientes usuários de Nucleus22®.New technology in the Freedom® speech processor for cochlear implants was developed to improve how incoming acoustic sound is processed; this applies not only for new users, but also for previous generations of cochlear implants. AIM: To identify the contribution of this technology - the Nucleus 22® - on speech perception tests in silence and in noise, and on audiometric thresholds. METHODS: A cross-sectional cohort study was undertaken. Seventeen patients were selected. The last map based on the Spectra® was revised and optimized before starting the tests. Troubleshooting
Verbal communication does not rely only on the simple perception of auditory signals. It is rather a parallel and integrative processing of linguistic and non-linguistic information, involving temporal and frontal areas in particular. This review describes the inherent complexity of auditory speech comprehension from a functional-neuroanatomical perspective. The review is divided into two parts. In the first part, structural and functional asymmetry of language relevant structures will be discus. The second part of the review will discuss recent neuroimaging studies, which coherently demonstrate that speech comprehension processes rely on a hierarchical network involving the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. Further, the results support the dual-stream model for speech comprehension, with a dorsal stream for auditory-motor integration, and a ventral stream for extracting meaning but also the processing of sentences and narratives. Specific patterns of functional asymmetry between the left and right hemisphere can also be demonstrated. The review article concludes with a discussion on interactions between the dorsal and ventral streams, particularly the involvement of motor related areas in speech perception processes, and outlines some remaining unresolved issues. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kröger, B J; Birkholz, P; Neuschaefer-Rube, C
Detailed knowledge of the neurophysiology of speech acquisition is important for understanding the developmental aspects of speech perception and production and for understanding developmental disorders of speech perception and production. A computer implemented neural model of sensorimotor control of speech production was developed. The model is capable of demonstrating the neural functions of different cortical areas during speech production in detail. (i) Two sensory and two motor maps or neural representations and the appertaining neural mappings or projections establish the sensorimotor feedback control system. These maps and mappings are already formed and trained during the prelinguistic phase of speech acquisition. (ii) The feedforward sensorimotor control system comprises the lexical map (representations of sounds, syllables, and words of the first language) and the mappings from lexical to sensory and to motor maps. The training of the appertaining mappings form the linguistic phase of speech acquisition. (iii) Three prelinguistic learning phases--i. e. silent mouthing, quasi stationary vocalic articulation, and realisation of articulatory protogestures--can be defined on the basis of our simulation studies using the computational neural model. These learning phases can be associated with temporal phases of prelinguistic speech acquisition obtained from natural data. The neural model illuminates the detailed function of specific cortical areas during speech production. In particular it can be shown that developmental disorders of speech production may result from a delayed or incorrect process within one of the prelinguistic learning phases defined by the neural model.
Julien, Hannah M.; Munson, Benjamin
Purpose We examined the relationship between adults' perception of the accuracy of children's speech, and acoustic detail in their subsequent productions to children. Methods Twenty-two adults participated in a task in which they rated the accuracy of 2- and 3-year-old children's word-initial /s/and /∫/ using a visual analog scale (VAS), then produced a token of the same word as if they were responding to the child whose speech they had just rated. Result The duration of adults' fricatives varied as a function of their perception of the accuracy of children's speech: longer fricatives were produced following productions that they rated as inaccurate. This tendency to modify duration in response to perceived inaccurate tokens was mediated by measures of self-reported experience interacting with children. However, speakers did not increase the spectral distinctiveness of their fricatives following the perception of inaccurate tokens. Conclusion These results suggest that adults modify temporal features of their speech in response to perceiving children's inaccurate productions. These longer fricatives are potentially both enhanced input to children, and an error-corrective signal. PMID:22744140
Full Text Available For deaf individuals with residual low-frequency acoustic hearing, combined use of a cochlear implant (CI and hearing aid (HA typically provides better speech understanding than with either device alone. Because of coarse spectral resolution, CIs do not provide fundamental frequency (F0 information that contributes to understanding of tonal languages such as Mandarin Chinese. The HA can provide good representation of F0 and, depending on the range of aided acoustic hearing, first and second formant (F1 and F2 information. In this study, Mandarin tone, vowel, and consonant recognition in quiet and noise was measured in 12 adult Mandarin-speaking bimodal listeners with the CI-only and with the CI+HA. Tone recognition was significantly better with the CI+HA in noise, but not in quiet. Vowel recognition was significantly better with the CI+HA in quiet, but not in noise. There was no significant difference in consonant recognition between the CI-only and the CI+HA in quiet or in noise. There was a wide range in bimodal benefit, with improvements often greater than 20 percentage points in some tests and conditions. The bimodal benefit was compared to CI subjects' HA-aided pure-tone average (PTA thresholds between 250 and 2000 Hz; subjects were divided into two groups: "better" PTA (50 dB HL. The bimodal benefit differed significantly between groups only for consonant recognition. The bimodal benefit for tone recognition in quiet was significantly correlated with CI experience, suggesting that bimodal CI users learn to better combine low-frequency spectro-temporal information from acoustic hearing with temporal envelope information from electric hearing. Given the small number of subjects in this study (n = 12, further research with Chinese bimodal listeners may provide more information regarding the contribution of acoustic and electric hearing to tonal language perception.
Full Text Available It has been suggested that intra- and inter-speaker variability in speech are correlated. Interlocutors have been shown to converge on various phonetic dimensions. In addition, speakers imitate the phonetic properties of voices they are exposed to in shadowing, repetition, and even passive listening tasks. We review three theoretical accounts of speech imitation and convergence phenomena: (i the Episodic Theory (ET of speech perception and production (Goldinger, 1998; (ii the Motor Theory (MT of speech perception (Liberman and Whalen, 2000;Galantucci et al., 2006 ; (iii Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT; Giles et al., 1991;Giles and Coupland, 1991. We argue that no account is able to explain all the available evidence. In particular, there is a need to integrate low-level, mechanistic accounts (like ET and MT and higher-level accounts (like CAT. We propose that this is possible within the framework of an integrated theory of production and comprehension (Pickering & Garrod, in press. Similarly to both ET and MT, this theory assumes parity between production and perception. Uniquely, however, it posits that listeners simulate speakers’ utterances by computing forward-model predictions at many different levels, which are then compared to the incoming phonetic input. In our account phonetic imitation can be achieved via the same mechanism that is responsible for sensorimotor adaptation; i.e. the correction of prediction errors. In addition, the model assumes that the degree to which sensory prediction errors lead to motor adjustments is context-dependent. The notion of context subsumes both the preceding linguistic input and non-linguistic attributes of the situation (e.g., the speaker’s and listener’s social identities, their conversational roles, the listener’s intention to imitate.
Ishikawa, Keiko; Boyce, Suzanne; Kelchner, Lisa; Powell, Maria Golla; Schieve, Heidi; de Alarcon, Alessandro; Khosla, Sid
Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine the effect of background noise on the intelligibility of dysphonic speech and to examine the relationship between intelligibility in noise and an acoustic measure of dysphonia--cepstral peak prominence (CPP). Method: A study of speech perception was conducted using speech samples from 6 adult speakers…
Strait, Dana L.; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
For children, learning often occurs in the presence of background noise. As such, there is growing desire to improve a child's access to a target signal in noise. Given adult musicians' perceptual and neural speech-in-noise enhancements, we asked whether similar effects are present in musically-trained children. We assessed the perception and…
David L Woods
Full Text Available Hearing aids (HAs only partially restore the ability of older hearing impaired (OHI listeners to understand speech in noise, due in large part to persistent deficits in consonant identification. Here, we investigated whether adaptive perceptual training would improve consonant-identification in noise in sixteen aided OHI listeners who underwent 40 hours of computer-based training in their homes. Listeners identified 20 onset and 20 coda consonants in 9,600 consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC syllables containing different vowels (/ɑ/, /i/, or /u/ and spoken by four different talkers. Consonants were presented at three consonant-specific signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs spanning a 12 dB range. Noise levels were adjusted over training sessions based on d' measures. Listeners were tested before and after training to measure (1 changes in consonant-identification thresholds using syllables spoken by familiar and unfamiliar talkers, and (2 sentence reception thresholds (SeRTs using two different sentence tests. Consonant-identification thresholds improved gradually during training. Laboratory tests of d' thresholds showed an average improvement of 9.1 dB, with 94% of listeners showing statistically significant training benefit. Training normalized consonant confusions and improved the thresholds of some consonants into the normal range. Benefits were equivalent for onset and coda consonants, syllables containing different vowels, and syllables presented at different SNRs. Greater training benefits were found for hard-to-identify consonants and for consonants spoken by familiar than unfamiliar talkers. SeRTs, tested with simple sentences, showed less elevation than consonant-identification thresholds prior to training and failed to show significant training benefit, although SeRT improvements did correlate with improvements in consonant thresholds. We argue that the lack of SeRT improvement reflects the dominant role of top-down semantic processing in
Chen, Stephanie Y; Griffin, Brianna M; Mancuso, Dean; Shiau, Stephanie; DiMattia, Michelle; Cellum, Ilana; Harvey Boyd, Kelly; Prevoteau, Charlotte; Kohlberg, Gavriel D; Spitzer, Jaclyn B; Lalwani, Anil K
Although speech perception tests are available to evaluate hearing, there is no standardized validated tool to quantify speech quality. The objective of this study is to develop a validated tool to measure quality of speech heard. Prospective instrument validation study of 35 normal hearing adults recruited at a tertiary referral center. Participants listened to 44 speech clips of male/female voices reciting the Rainbow Passage. Speech clips included original and manipulated excerpts capturing goal qualities such as mechanical and garbled. Listeners rated clips on a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS) of 18 characteristics (e.g. cartoonish, garbled). Skewed distribution analysis identified mean ratings in the upper and lower 2-point limits of the VAS (ratings of 8-10, 0-2, respectively); items with inconsistent responses were eliminated. The test was pruned to a final instrument of nine speech clips that clearly define qualities of interest: speech-like, male/female, cartoonish, echo-y, garbled, tinny, mechanical, rough, breathy, soothing, hoarse, like, pleasant, natural. Mean ratings were highest for original female clips (8.8) and lowest for not-speech manipulation (2.1). Factor analysis identified two subsets of characteristics: internal consistency demonstrated Cronbach's alpha of 0.95 and 0.82 per subset. Test-retest reliability of total scores was high, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.76. The Speech Quality Instrument (SQI) is a concise, valid tool for assessing speech quality as an indicator for hearing performance. SQI may be a valuable outcome measure for cochlear implant recipients who, despite achieving excellent speech perception, often experience poor speech quality. 2b. Laryngoscope, 2017. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
Wagner, Anita E; Toffanin, Paolo; Başkent, Deniz
Understanding speech is effortless in ideal situations, and although adverse conditions, such as caused by hearing impairment, often render it an effortful task, they do not necessarily suspend speech comprehension. A prime example of this is speech perception by cochlear implant users, whose
Partanen, Eino; Kujala, Teija; Näätänen, Risto; Liitola, Auli; Sambeth, Anke; Huotilainen, Minna
Learning, the foundation of adaptive and intelligent behavior, is based on plastic changes in neural assemblies, reflected by the modulation of electric brain responses. In infancy, auditory learning implicates the formation and strengthening of neural long-term memory traces, improving discrimination skills, in particular those forming the prerequisites for speech perception and understanding. Although previous behavioral observations show that newborns react differentially to unfamiliar sounds vs. familiar sound material that they were exposed to as fetuses, the neural basis of fetal learning has not thus far been investigated. Here we demonstrate direct neural correlates of human fetal learning of speech-like auditory stimuli. We presented variants of words to fetuses; unlike infants with no exposure to these stimuli, the exposed fetuses showed enhanced brain activity (mismatch responses) in response to pitch changes for the trained variants after birth. Furthermore, a significant correlation existed between the amount of prenatal exposure and brain activity, with greater activity being associated with a higher amount of prenatal speech exposure. Moreover, the learning effect was generalized to other types of similar speech sounds not included in the training material. Consequently, our results indicate neural commitment specifically tuned to the speech features heard before birth and their memory representations.
Kargas, Niko; López, Beatriz; Morris, Paul; Reddy, Vasudevi
To date, the literature on perception of affective, pragmatic, and grammatical prosody abilities in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been sparse and contradictory. It is interesting to note that the primary perception of syllable stress within the word structure, which is crucial for all prosody functions, remains relatively unexplored in ASD. Thus, in the current study, we explored syllable stress perception sensitivity and its relationship to speech production abnormalities and communicative ability in adults with ASD. A same-different syllable stress perception task using pairs of identical 4-syllable words was delivered to 42 adults with/without high-functioning ASD, matched for age, to investigate primary speech perception ability in ASD. Speech production and communicative ability in ASD was measured using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Lord et al., 2000). As predicted, the results showed that adults with ASD were less sensitive in making judgments about syllable stress relative to controls. Also, partial correlations revealed a key association of speech production abnormalities with stress perception sensitivity, rather than communicative ability. Our findings provide empirical evidence for deficits on primary syllable stress perception in ASD and its role on sociocommunicative difficulties. This information could facilitate the development of effective interventions for speech and language therapy and social communication.
Bonnard, Damien; Lautissier, Sylvie; Bosset-Audoit, Amélie; Coriat, Géraldine; Beraha, Max; Maunoury, Antoine; Martel, Jacques; Darrouzet, Vincent; Bébéar, Jean-Pierre; Dauman, René
An alternative to bilateral cochlear implantation is offered by the Neurelec Digisonic(®) SP Binaural cochlear implant, which allows stimulation of both cochleae within a single device. The purpose of this prospective study was to compare a group of Neurelec Digisonic(®) SP Binaural implant users (denoted BINAURAL group, n = 7) with a group of bilateral adult cochlear implant users (denoted BILATERAL group, n = 6) in terms of speech perception, sound localization, and self-assessment of health status and hearing disability. Speech perception was assessed using word recognition at 60 dB SPL in quiet and in a 'cocktail party' noise delivered through five loudspeakers in the hemi-sound field facing the patient (signal-to-noise ratio = +10 dB). The sound localization task was to determine the source of a sound stimulus among five speakers positioned between -90° and +90° from midline. Change in health status was assessed using the Glasgow Benefit Inventory and hearing disability was evaluated with the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit. Speech perception was not statistically different between the two groups, even though there was a trend in favor of the BINAURAL group (mean percent word recognition in the BINAURAL and BILATERAL groups: 70 vs. 56.7% in quiet, 55.7 vs. 43.3% in noise). There was also no significant difference with regard to performance in sound localization and self-assessment of health status and hearing disability. On the basis of the BINAURAL group's performance in hearing tasks involving the detection of interaural differences, implantation with the Neurelec Digisonic(®) SP Binaural implant may be considered to restore effective binaural hearing. Based on these first comparative results, this device seems to provide benefits similar to those of traditional bilateral cochlear implantation, with a new approach to stimulate both auditory nerves. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H D; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C M
This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses. Relative to controls, amusics showed impaired discrimination of lexical tones in both speech and non-speech conditions. They also received lower ratings for singing proficiency, producing larger pitch interval deviations and making more pitch interval errors compared to controls. Demonstrating higher pitch direction identification thresholds than controls for both speech syllables and piano tones, amusics nevertheless produced native lexical tones with comparable pitch trajectories and intelligibility as controls. Significant correlations were found between pitch threshold and lexical tone perception, music perception and production, but not between lexical tone perception and production for amusics. These findings provide further evidence that congenital amusia is a domain-general language-independent pitch-processing deficit that is associated with severely impaired music perception and production, mildly impaired speech perception, and largely intact speech production.
Full Text Available This paper describes open source software (available at https://github.com/robotology/natural-speech to build automatic speech recognition (ASR systems and run them within the YARP platform. The toolkit is designed (i to allow non-ASR experts to easily create their own ASR system and run it on iCub and (ii to build deep learning-based models specifically addressing the main challenges an ASR system faces in the context of verbal human–iCub interactions. The toolkit mostly consists of Python, C++ code and shell scripts integrated in YARP. As additional contribution, a second codebase (written in Matlab is provided for more expert ASR users who want to experiment with bio-inspired and developmental learning-inspired ASR systems. Specifically, we provide code for two distinct kinds of speech recognition: “articulatory” and “unsupervised” speech recognition. The first is largely inspired by influential neurobiological theories of speech perception which assume speech perception to be mediated by brain motor cortex activities. Our articulatory systems have been shown to outperform strong deep learning-based baselines. The second type of recognition systems, the “unsupervised” systems, do not use any supervised information (contrary to most ASR systems, including our articulatory systems. To some extent, they mimic an infant who has to discover the basic speech units of a language by herself. In addition, we provide resources consisting of pre-trained deep learning models for ASR, and a 2.5-h speech dataset of spoken commands, the VoCub dataset, which can be used to adapt an ASR system to the typical acoustic environments in which iCub operates.
Stilp, Christian E; Assgari, Ashley A
Speech perception is heavily influenced by surrounding sounds. When spectral properties differ between earlier (context) and later (target) sounds, this can produce spectral contrast effects (SCEs) that bias perception of later sounds. For example, when context sounds have more energy in low-F 1 frequency regions, listeners report more high-F 1 responses to a target vowel, and vice versa. SCEs have been reported using various approaches for a wide range of stimuli, but most often, large spectral peaks were added to the context to bias speech categorization. This obscures the lower limit of perceptual sensitivity to spectral properties of earlier sounds, i.e., when SCEs begin to bias speech categorization. Listeners categorized vowels (/ɪ/-/ɛ/, Experiment 1) or consonants (/d/-/g/, Experiment 2) following a context sentence with little spectral amplification (+1 to +4 dB) in frequency regions known to produce SCEs. In both experiments, +3 and +4 dB amplification in key frequency regions of the context produced SCEs, but lesser amplification was insufficient to bias performance. This establishes a lower limit of perceptual sensitivity where spectral differences across sounds can bias subsequent speech categorization. These results are consistent with proposed adaptation-based mechanisms that potentially underlie SCEs in auditory perception. Recent sounds can change what speech sounds we hear later. This can occur when the average frequency composition of earlier sounds differs from that of later sounds, biasing how they are perceived. These "spectral contrast effects" are widely observed when sounds' frequency compositions differ substantially. We reveal the lower limit of these effects, as +3 dB amplification of key frequency regions in earlier sounds was enough to bias categorization of the following vowel or consonant sound. Speech categorization being biased by very small spectral differences across sounds suggests that spectral contrast effects occur
Deschamps, Isabelle; Tremblay, Pascale
The processing of fluent speech involves complex computational steps that begin with the segmentation of the continuous flow of speech sounds into syllables and words. One question that naturally arises pertains to the type of syllabic information that speech processes act upon. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to profile regions, using a combination of whole-brain and exploratory anatomical region-of-interest (ROI) approaches, that were sensitive to syllabic information during speech perception by parametrically manipulating syllabic complexity along two dimensions: (1) individual syllable complexity, and (2) sequence complexity (supra-syllabic). We manipulated the complexity of the syllable by using the simplest syllable template-a consonant and vowel (CV)-and inserting an additional consonant to create a complex onset (CCV). The supra-syllabic complexity was manipulated by creating sequences composed of the same syllable repeated six times (e.g., /pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa/) and sequences of three different syllables each repeated twice (e.g., /pa-ta-ka-pa-ta-ka/). This parametrical design allowed us to identify brain regions sensitive to (1) syllabic complexity independent of supra-syllabic complexity, (2) supra-syllabic complexity independent of syllabic complexity and, (3) both syllabic and supra-syllabic complexity. High-resolution scans were acquired for 15 healthy adults. An exploratory anatomical ROI analysis of the supratemporal plane (STP) identified bilateral regions within the anterior two-third of the planum temporale, the primary auditory cortices as well as the anterior two-third of the superior temporal gyrus that showed different patterns of sensitivity to syllabic and supra-syllabic information. These findings demonstrate that during passive listening of syllable sequences, sublexical information is processed automatically, and sensitivity to syllabic and supra-syllabic information is localized almost exclusively within the STP.
Full Text Available Foreign-accented speech often presents a challenging listening condition. In addition to deviations from the target speech norms related to the inexperience of the nonnative speaker, listener characteristics may play a role in determining intelligibility levels. We have previously shown that an implicit visual bias for associating East Asian faces and foreignness predicts the listeners’ perceptual ability to process Korean-accented English audiovisual speech (Yi et al., 2013. Here, we examine the neural mechanism underlying the influence of listener bias to foreign faces on speech perception. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study, native English speakers listened to native- and Korean-accented English sentences, with or without faces. The participants’ Asian-foreign association was measured using an implicit association test (IAT, conducted outside the scanner. We found that foreign-accented speech evoked greater activity in the bilateral primary auditory cortices and the inferior frontal gyri, potentially reflecting greater computational demand. Higher IAT scores, indicating greater bias, were associated with increased BOLD response to foreign-accented speech with faces in the primary auditory cortex, the early node for spectrotemporal analysis. We conclude the following: (1 foreign-accented speech perception places greater demand on the neural systems underlying speech perception; (2 face of the talker can exaggerate the perceived foreignness of foreign-accented speech; (3 implicit Asian-foreign association is associated with decreased neural efficiency in early spectrotemporal processing.
Erickson, Laura C; Heeg, Elizabeth; Rauschecker, Josef P; Turkeltaub, Peter E
The brain improves speech processing through the integration of audiovisual (AV) signals. Situations involving AV speech integration may be crudely dichotomized into those where auditory and visual inputs contain (1) equivalent, complementary signals (validating AV speech) or (2) inconsistent, different signals (conflicting AV speech). This simple framework may allow the systematic examination of broad commonalities and differences between AV neural processes engaged by various experimental paradigms frequently used to study AV speech integration. We conducted an activation likelihood estimation metaanalysis of 22 functional imaging studies comprising 33 experiments, 311 subjects, and 347 foci examining "conflicting" versus "validating" AV speech. Experimental paradigms included content congruency, timing synchrony, and perceptual measures, such as the McGurk effect or synchrony judgments, across AV speech stimulus types (sublexical to sentence). Colocalization of conflicting AV speech experiments revealed consistency across at least two contrast types (e.g., synchrony and congruency) in a network of dorsal stream regions in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. There was consistency across all contrast types (synchrony, congruency, and percept) in the bilateral posterior superior/middle temporal cortex. Although fewer studies were available, validating AV speech experiments were localized to other regions, such as ventral stream visual areas in the occipital and inferior temporal cortex. These results suggest that while equivalent, complementary AV speech signals may evoke activity in regions related to the corroboration of sensory input, conflicting AV speech signals recruit widespread dorsal stream areas likely involved in the resolution of conflicting sensory signals. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Na, Wondo; Kim, Gibbeum; Kim, Gungu; Han, Woojae; Kim, Jinsook
The current study aimed to evaluate hearing-related changes in terms of speech-in-noise processing, fast-rate speech processing, and working memory; and to identify which of these three factors is significantly affected by age-related hearing loss. One hundred subjects aged 65-84 years participated in the study. They were classified into four groups ranging from normal hearing to moderate-to-severe hearing loss. All the participants were tested for speech perception in quiet and noisy conditions and for speech perception with time alteration in quiet conditions. Forward- and backward-digit span tests were also conducted to measure the participants' working memory. 1) As the level of background noise increased, speech perception scores systematically decreased in all the groups. This pattern was more noticeable in the three hearing-impaired groups than in the normal hearing group. 2) As the speech rate increased faster, speech perception scores decreased. A significant interaction was found between speed of speech and hearing loss. In particular, 30% of compressed sentences revealed a clear differentiation between moderate hearing loss and moderate-to-severe hearing loss. 3) Although all the groups showed a longer span on the forward-digit span test than the backward-digit span test, there was no significant difference as a function of hearing loss. The degree of hearing loss strongly affects the speech recognition of babble-masked and time-compressed speech in the elderly but does not affect the working memory. We expect these results to be applied to appropriate rehabilitation strategies for hearing-impaired elderly who experience difficulty in communication.
Full Text Available 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'.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.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.
Varnet, Léo; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Serniclaes, Willy; Meunier, Fanny; Hoen, Michel
Although there is a large consensus regarding the involvement of specific acoustic cues in speech perception, the precise mechanisms underlying the transformation from continuous acoustical properties into discrete perceptual units remains undetermined. This gap in knowledge is partially due to the lack of a turnkey solution for isolating critical speech cues from natural stimuli. In this paper, we describe a psychoacoustic imaging method known as the Auditory Classification Image technique that allows experimenters to estimate the relative importance of time-frequency regions in categorizing natural speech utterances in noise. Importantly, this technique enables the testing of hypotheses on the listening strategies of participants at the group level. We exemplify this approach by identifying the acoustic cues involved in da/ga categorization with two phonetic contexts, Al- or Ar-. The application of Auditory Classification Images to our group of 16 participants revealed significant critical regions on the second and third formant onsets, as predicted by the literature, as well as an unexpected temporal cue on the first formant. Finally, through a cluster-based nonparametric test, we demonstrate that this method is sufficiently sensitive to detect fine modifications of the classification strategies between different utterances of the same phoneme.
Full Text Available Enhancing speech recognition is the primary intention of this work. In this paper a novel speech recognition method based on vector quantization and improved particle swarm optimization (IPSO is suggested. The suggested methodology contains four stages, namely, (i denoising, (ii feature mining (iii, vector quantization, and (iv IPSO based hidden Markov model (HMM technique (IP-HMM. At first, the speech signals are denoised using median filter. Next, characteristics such as peak, pitch spectrum, Mel frequency Cepstral coefficients (MFCC, mean, standard deviation, and minimum and maximum of the signal are extorted from the denoised signal. Following that, to accomplish the training process, the extracted characteristics are given to genetic algorithm based codebook generation in vector quantization. The initial populations are created by selecting random code vectors from the training set for the codebooks for the genetic algorithm process and IP-HMM helps in doing the recognition. At this point the creativeness will be done in terms of one of the genetic operation crossovers. The proposed speech recognition technique offers 97.14% accuracy.
Jeon, Woojay; Juang, Biing-Hwang
To address the limitations of traditional cepstrum or LPC based front-end processing methods for automatic speech recognition, more elaborate methods based on physiological models of the human auditory system may be used to achieve more robust speech recognition in adverse environments. For this purpose, a modified version of a model of the primary auditory cortex featuring a three dimensional mapping of auditory spectra [Wang and Shamma, IEEE Trans. Speech Audio Process. 3, 382-395 (1995)] is adopted and investigated for its use as an improved front-end processing method. The study is conducted in two ways: first, by relating the model's redundant representation to traditional spectral representations and showing that the former not only encompasses information provided by the latter, but also reveals more relevant information that makes it superior in describing the identifying features of speech signals; and second, by observing the statistical features of the representation for various classes of sound to show how different identifying features manifest themselves as specific patterns on the cortical map, thereby becoming a place-coded data set on which detection theory could be applied to simulate auditory perception and cognition.
Meister, Hartmut; Schreitmüller, Stefan; Grugel, Linda; Beutner, Dirk; Walger, Martin; Meister, Ingo
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of cognitive functions (i.e., working memory [WM]) and speech recognition against different background maskers in older individuals. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were determined using a matrix-sentence test. Unmodulated noise, modulated noise (International Collegium for Rehabilitative Audiology [ICRA] noise 5-250), and speech fragments (International Speech Test Signal [ISTS]) were used as background maskers. Verbal WM was assessed using the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT; Helmstaedter & Durwen, 1990). Measurements were conducted with 14 normal-hearing older individuals and a control group of 12 normal-hearing young listeners. Despite their normal hearing ability, the young listeners outperformed the older individuals in all background maskers. These differences were largest for the modulated maskers. SRTs were significantly correlated with the scores of the VLMT. A linear regression model also included WM as the only significant predictor variable. The results support the assumption that WM plays an important role for speech understanding and that it might have impact on results obtained using speech audiometry. Thus, an individual's WM capacity should be considered with aural diagnosis and rehabilitation. The VLMT proved to be a clinically applicable test for WM. Further cognitive functions important with speech understanding are currently being investigated within the SAKoLA (Sprachaudiometrie und kognitive Leistungen im Alter [Speech Audiometry and Cognitive Functions in the Elderly]) project.
Children with cochlear implants show deficits in identifying emotional intent of utterances without facial or body language cues. A known limitation to cochlear implants is the inability to accurately portray the fundamental frequency contour of speech which carries the majority of information needed to identify emotional intent. Without reliable access to the fundamental frequency, other methods of identifying vocal emotion, if identifiable, could be used to guide therapies for training children with cochlear implants to better identify vocal emotion. The current study analyzed recordings of adults speaking neutral sentences with a set array of emotions in a child-directed and adult-directed manner. The goal was to identify acoustic cues that contribute to emotion identification that may be enhanced in child-directed speech, but are also present in adult-directed speech. Results of this study showed that there were significant differences in the variation of the fundamental frequency, the variation of intensity, and the rate of speech among emotions and between intended audiences.
Linear prediction (LP) analysis has been applied to speech system over the last few decades. LP technique is well-suited for speech analysis due to its ability to model speech production process approximately. Hence LP analysis has been widely used for speech enhancement, low-bit-rate speech coding in cellular telephony, speech recognition, characteristic parameter extraction (vocal tract resonances frequencies, fundamental frequency called pitch) and so on. However, the performance of the co...
Tye-Murray, Nancy; Spehar, Brent P; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra; Sommers, Mitchell S
Common-coding theory posits that (1) perceiving an action activates the same representations of motor plans that are activated by actually performing that action, and (2) because of individual differences in the ways that actions are performed, observing recordings of one's own previous behavior activates motor plans to an even greater degree than does observing someone else's behavior. We hypothesized that if observing oneself activates motor plans to a greater degree than does observing others, and if these activated plans contribute to perception, then people should be able to lipread silent video clips of their own previous utterances more accurately than they can lipread video clips of other talkers. As predicted, two groups of participants were able to lipread video clips of themselves, recorded more than two weeks earlier, significantly more accurately than video clips of others. These results suggest that visual input activates speech motor activity that links to word representations in the mental lexicon.
Heffner, Christopher C.; Newman, Rochelle S.; Dilley, Laura C.; Idsardi, William J.
Purpose: A new literature has suggested that speech rate can influence the parsing of words quite strongly in speech. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences between younger adults and older adults in the use of context speech rate in word segmentation, given that older adults perceive timing information differently from younger…
Murakami, Takenobu; Restle, Julia; Ziemann, Ulf
A left-hemispheric cortico-cortical network involving areas of the temporoparietal junction (Tpj) and the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG) is thought to support sensorimotor integration of speech perception into articulatory motor activation, but how this network links with the lip area of the primary motor cortex (M1) during speech…
Jiang, Cunmei; Hamm, Jeff P; Lim, Vanessa K; Kirk, Ian J; Yang, Yufang
Congenital amusia is a disorder in the perception and production of musical pitch. It has been suggested that early exposure to a tonal language may compensate for the pitch disorder (Peretz, 2008). If so, it is reasonable to expect that there would be different characterizations of pitch perception in music and speech in congenital amusics who speak a tonal language, such as Mandarin. In this study, a group of 11 adults with amusia whose first language was Mandarin were tested with melodic contour and speech intonation discrimination and identification tasks. The participants with amusia were impaired in discriminating and identifying melodic contour. These abnormalities were also detected in identifying both speech and non-linguistic analogue derived patterns for the Mandarin intonation tasks. In addition, there was an overall trend for the participants with amusia to show deficits with respect to controls in the intonation discrimination tasks for both speech and non-linguistic analogues. These findings suggest that the amusics' melodic pitch deficits may extend to the perception of speech, and could potentially result in some language deficits in those who speak a tonal language. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Heinen, Esther; Birkholz, Peter; Willmes, Klaus; Neuschaefer-Rube, Christiane
To explore possible effects of tongue piercing on perceived speech quality. Using a quasi-experimental design, we analyzed the effect of tongue piercing on speech in a perception experiment. Samples of spontaneous speech and read speech were recorded from 20 long-term pierced and 20 non-pierced individuals (10 males, 10 females each). The individuals having a tongue piercing were recorded with attached and removed piercing. The audio samples were blindly rated by 26 female and 20 male laypersons and by 5 female speech-language pathologists with regard to perceived speech quality along 5 dimensions: speech clarity, speech rate, prosody, rhythm and fluency. We found no statistically significant differences for any of the speech quality dimensions between the pierced and non-pierced individuals, neither for the read nor for the spontaneous speech. In addition, neither length nor position of piercing had a significant effect on speech quality. The removal of tongue piercings had no effects on speech performance either. Rating differences between laypersons and speech-language pathologists were not dependent on the presence of a tongue piercing. People are able to perfectly adapt their articulation to long-term tongue piercings such that their speech quality is not perceptually affected.
Full Text Available Speech perception is known to rely on both auditory and visual information. However, sound specific somatosensory input has been shown also to influence speech perceptual processing (Ito et al., 2009. In the present study we addressed further the relationship between somatosensory information and speech perceptual processing by addressing the hypothesis that the temporal relationship between orofacial movement and sound processing contributes to somatosensory-auditory interaction in speech perception. We examined the changes in event-related potentials in response to multisensory synchronous (simultaneous and asynchronous (90 ms lag and lead somatosensory and auditory stimulation compared to individual unisensory auditory and somatosensory stimulation alone. We used a robotic device to apply facial skin somatosensory deformations that were similar in timing and duration to those experienced in speech production. Following synchronous multisensory stimulation the amplitude of the event-related potential was reliably different from the two unisensory potentials. More importantly, the magnitude of the event-related potential difference varied as a function of the relative timing of the somatosensory-auditory stimulation. Event-related activity change due to stimulus timing was seen between 160-220 ms following somatosensory onset, mostly around the parietal area. The results demonstrate a dynamic modulation of somatosensory-auditory convergence and suggest the contribution of somatosensory information for speech processing process is dependent on the specific temporal order of sensory inputs in speech production.
Full Text Available The influence of experience with human speech sounds on speech perception in budgerigars, vocal mimics whose speech exposure can be tightly controlled in a laboratory setting, was measured. Budgerigars were divided into groups that differed in auditory exposure and then tested on a cue-trading identification paradigm with synthetic speech. Phonetic cue trading is a perceptual phenomenon observed when changes on one cue dimension are offset by changes in another cue dimension while still maintaining the same phonetic percept. The current study examined whether budgerigars would trade the cues of voice onset time (VOT and the first formant onset frequency when identifying syllable initial stop consonants and if this would be influenced by exposure to speech sounds. There were a total of four different exposure groups: No speech exposure (completely isolated, Passive speech exposure (regular exposure to human speech, and two Speech-trained groups. After the exposure period, all budgerigars were tested for phonetic cue trading using operant conditioning procedures. Birds were trained to peck keys in response to different synthetic speech sounds that began with "d" or "t" and varied in VOT and frequency of the first formant at voicing onset. Once training performance criteria were met, budgerigars were presented with the entire intermediate series, including ambiguous sounds. Responses on these trials were used to determine which speech cues were used, if a trading relation between VOT and the onset frequency of the first formant was present, and whether speech exposure had an influence on perception. Cue trading was found in all birds and these results were largely similar to those of a group of humans. Results indicated that prior speech experience was not a requirement for cue trading by budgerigars. The results are consistent with theories that explain phonetic cue trading in terms of a rich auditory encoding of the speech signal.
Tao, Duoduo; Deng, Rui; Jiang, Ye; Galvin, John J; Fu, Qian-Jie; Chen, Bing
To investigate how auditory working memory relates to speech perception performance by Mandarin-speaking cochlear implant (CI) users. Auditory working memory and speech perception was measured in Mandarin-speaking CI and normal-hearing (NH) participants. Working memory capacity was measured using forward digit span and backward digit span; working memory efficiency was measured using articulation rate. Speech perception was assessed with: (a) word-in-sentence recognition in quiet, (b) word-in-sentence recognition in speech-shaped steady noise at +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio, (c) Chinese disyllable recognition in quiet, (d) Chinese lexical tone recognition in quiet. Self-reported school rank was also collected regarding performance in schoolwork. There was large inter-subject variability in auditory working memory and speech performance for CI participants. Working memory and speech performance were significantly poorer for CI than for NH participants. All three working memory measures were strongly correlated with each other for both CI and NH participants. Partial correlation analyses were performed on the CI data while controlling for demographic variables. Working memory efficiency was significantly correlated only with sentence recognition in quiet when working memory capacity was partialled out. Working memory capacity was correlated with disyllable recognition and school rank when efficiency was partialled out. There was no correlation between working memory and lexical tone recognition in the present CI participants. Mandarin-speaking CI users experience significant deficits in auditory working memory and speech performance compared with NH listeners. The present data suggest that auditory working memory may contribute to CI users' difficulties in speech understanding. The present pattern of results with Mandarin-speaking CI users is consistent with previous auditory working memory studies with English-speaking CI users, suggesting that the lexical importance
Santarelli, Rosamaria; Magnavita, Vincenzo; De Filippi, Roberta; Ventura, Laura; Genovese, Elisabetta; Arslan, Edoardo
To compare speech perception performance in children fitted with previous generation Nucleus sound processor, Sprint or Esprit 3G, and the Freedom, the most recently released system from the Cochlear Corporation that features a larger input dynamic range. Prospective intrasubject comparative study. University Medical Center. Seventeen prelingually deafened children who had received the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant and used the Sprint or Esprit 3G sound processor. Cochlear implantation with Cochlear device. Speech perception was evaluated at baseline (Sprint, n = 11; Esprit 3G, n = 6) and after 1 month's experience with the Freedom sound processor. Identification and recognition of disyllabic words and identification of vowels were performed via recorded voice in quiet (70 dB [A]), in the presence of background noise at various levels of signal-to-noise ratio (+10, +5, 0, -5) and at a soft presentation level (60 dB [A]). Consonant identification and recognition of disyllabic words, trisyllabic words, and sentences were evaluated in live voice. Frequency discrimination was measured in a subset of subjects (n = 5) by using an adaptive, 3-interval, 3-alternative, forced-choice procedure. Identification of disyllabic words administered at a soft presentation level showed a significant increase when switching to the Freedom compared with the previously worn processor in children using the Sprint or Esprit 3G. Identification and recognition of disyllabic words in the presence of background noise as well as consonant identification and sentence recognition increased significantly for the Freedom compared with the previously worn device only in children fitted with the Sprint. Frequency discrimination was significantly better when switching to the Freedom compared with the previously worn processor. Serial comparisons revealed that that speech perception performance evaluated in children aged 5 to 15 years was superior with the Freedom than previous generations of Nucleus
Maeda, Yukihide; Takao, Soshi; Sugaya, Akiko; Kataoka, Yuko; Kariya, Shin; Tanaka, Satomi; Nagayasu, Rie; Nakagawa, Atsuko; Nishizaki, Kazunori
To clarify how the pure-tone threshold (PTT) on the PTA predicts speech perception (SP) in elderly Japanese persons. Data on PTT and SP were cross-sectionally analyzed in Japanese persons (656 ears in 353 patients, aged ≥65 years). Correlations of SP and average PTT in all tested frequencies were evaluated by Pearson's correlation coefficient and simple linear regression. After adjusting for sex, laterality of ears, and age, the relationship of average and frequency-specific PTT with impaired SP ≤50% was estimated by logistic regression models. SP correlated well (r = -0.699) with the average PTT of all tested frequencies. On the other hand, the correlation between patient age and SP was weak, especially among ≤85-year-old persons (r = -0.092). Linear regression showed that the average PTT corresponding to SP of 50% was 76.4 dB nHL. Odds ratios for impaired SP were highest for PTT at 2000 Hz. Odds ratios were higher for middle (500, 1000, 2000 Hz) and high frequencies (4000, 8000 Hz) than low frequencies (125, 250 Hz). The PTT on the pure-tone audiogram (PTA) is a good predictor of SP by speech audiometry among older persons, which could provide clinically important information for hearing aid fitting and cochlear implantation.
Anderson, Elizabeth S; Nelson, David A; Kreft, Heather; Nelson, Peggy B; Oxenham, Andrew J
Spectral ripple discrimination thresholds were measured in 15 cochlear-implant users with broadband (350-5600 Hz) and octave-band noise stimuli. The results were compared with spatial tuning curve (STC) bandwidths previously obtained from the same subjects. Spatial tuning curve bandwidths did not correlate significantly with broadband spectral ripple discrimination thresholds but did correlate significantly with ripple discrimination thresholds when the rippled noise was confined to an octave-wide passband, centered on the STC's probe electrode frequency allocation. Ripple discrimination thresholds were also measured for octave-band stimuli in four contiguous octaves, with center frequencies from 500 Hz to 4000 Hz. Substantial variations in thresholds with center frequency were found in individuals, but no general trends of increasing or decreasing resolution from apex to base were observed in the pooled data. Neither ripple nor STC measures correlated consistently with speech measures in noise and quiet in the sample of subjects in this study. Overall, the results suggest that spectral ripple discrimination measures provide a reasonable measure of spectral resolution that correlates well with more direct, but more time-consuming, measures of spectral resolution, but that such measures do not always provide a clear and robust predictor of performance in speech perception tasks. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America
Stark, Brielle C; Geva, Sharon; Warburton, Elizabeth A
Relatively preserved inner speech alongside poor overt speech has been documented in some persons with aphasia (PWA), but the relationship of overt speech with inner speech is still largely unclear, as few studies have directly investigated these factors. The present study investigates the relationship of relatively preserved inner speech in aphasia with selected measures of language and cognition. Thirty-eight persons with chronic aphasia (27 men, 11 women; average age 64.53 ± 13.29 years, time since stroke 8-111 months) were classified as having relatively preserved inner and overt speech (n = 21), relatively preserved inner speech with poor overt speech (n = 8), or not classified due to insufficient measurements of inner and/or overt speech (n = 9). Inner speech scores (by group) were correlated with selected measures of language and cognition from the Comprehensive Aphasia Test (Swinburn, Porter, & Al, 2004). The group with poor overt speech showed a significant relationship of inner speech with overt naming (r = .95, p speech and language and cognition factors were not significant for the group with relatively good overt speech. As in previous research, we show that relatively preserved inner speech is found alongside otherwise severe production deficits in PWA. PWA with poor overt speech may rely more on preserved inner speech for overt picture naming (perhaps due to shared resources with verbal working memory) and for written picture description (perhaps due to reliance on inner speech due to perceived task difficulty). Assessments of inner speech may be useful as a standard component of aphasia screening, and therapy focused on improving and using inner speech may prove clinically worthwhile. https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5303542.
Liu, Fang; Jiang, Cunmei; Thompson, William Forde; Xu, Yi; Yang, Yufang; Stewart, Lauren
Congenital amusia is a neuro-developmental disorder of pitch perception that causes severe problems with music processing but only subtle difficulties in speech processing. This study investigated speech processing in a group of Mandarin speakers with congenital amusia. Thirteen Mandarin amusics and thirteen matched controls participated in a set of tone and intonation perception tasks and two pitch threshold tasks. Compared with controls, amusics showed impaired performance on word discrimin...
Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Beer, Jessica; Henning, Shirley C; Colson, Bethany G; Pisoni, David B
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.
Boyle, Michael P
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether attribution theory could explain speech-language pathologists (SLPs) perceptions of children with communication disorders such as stuttering. Specifically, it was determined whether perceptions of onset and offset controllability, as well as biological and non-biological attributions for communication disorders were related to willingness to help, sympathy, and anger toward children with these disorders. It was also of interest to determine if blame for stuttering was related to perceived controllability of stuttering and negative attitudes toward people who stutter (PWS). A survey was developed to measure perceived onset and offset controllability, biological and non-biological attributions, willingness to help, sympathy, and anger toward middle school children with developmental stuttering, functional articulation disorders, and cerebral palsy. In addition, a scale was developed to measure blame and negative attitudes toward PWS in general. Surveys were mailed to 1000 school-based SLPs. Data from 330 participants were analyzed. Supporting the hypotheses of attribution theory, higher perceived onset and offset controllability of the disorder was linked to less willingness to help, lower sympathy, and more anger across conditions. Increased biological attributions were associated with more reported sympathy. Increased blame for stuttering was linked to higher perceived controllability of stuttering, more dislike of PWS, and more agreement with negative stereotypes about PWS. Educating SLPs about the variable loss of control inherent in stuttering could improve attitudes and increase understanding of PWS. Reductions in blame may facilitate feelings of sympathy and empathy for PWS and reduce environmental barriers for clients. Learning outcomes Readers should be able to: (1) identify the main principles of Weiner's attribution theory (2) identify common negative perceptions of people who stutter (3) describe how
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.
Aronoff, Justin M.; Freed, Daniel J.; Fisher, Laurel M.; Pal, Ivan; Soli, Sigfrid D.
directional microphone when the speech and masker were spatially separated, emphasizing the importance of measuring binaural benefits separately for each HRTF. Evaluation of binaural benefits indicated that binaural squelch and spatial release from masking were found for all HRTFs and binaural summation was found for all but one HRTF, although binaural summation was less robust than the other types of binaural benefits. Additionally, the results indicated that neither interaural time nor level cues dominated binaural benefits for the normal hearing participants. Conclusions This study provides a means to measure the degree to which cochlear implant microphones affect acoustic hearing with respect to speech perception in noise. It also provides measures that can be used to evaluate the independent contributions of interaural time and level cues. These measures provide tools that can aid researchers in understanding and improving binaural benefits in acoustic hearing individuals listening via cochlear implant microphones. PMID:21412155
Zhou, Q; Gu, X; Liu, B
The sound signal can be decomposed into temporal envelope and temporal fine structure information. The temporal envelope information is crucial for speech perception in quiet environment, and the temporal fine structure information plays an important role in speech perception in noise, Mandarin tone recognition and music perception, especially the pitch and melody perception.
Lebib, Riadh; Papo, David; Douiri, Abdel; de Bode, Stella; Gillon Dowens, Margaret; Baudonnière, Pierre-Marie
Lipreading reliably improve speech perception during face-to-face conversation. Within the range of good dubbing, however, adults tolerate some audiovisual (AV) discrepancies and lipreading, then, can give rise to confusion. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study the perceptual strategies governing the intermodal processing of dynamic and bimodal speech stimuli, either congruently dubbed or not. Electrophysiological analyses revealed that non-coherent audiovisual dubbings modulated in amplitude an endogenous ERP component, the N300, we compared to a 'N400-like effect' reflecting the difficulty to integrate these conflicting pieces of information. This result adds further support for the existence of a cerebral system underlying 'integrative processes' lato sensu. Further studies should take advantage of this 'N400-like effect' with AV speech stimuli to open new perspectives in the domain of psycholinguistics.
Saija, Jefta D; Akyürek, Elkan G; Andringa, Tjeerd C; Başkent, Deniz
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
Docherty, Nancy M.; McCleery, Amanda; Divilbiss, Marielle; Schumann, Emily B.; Moe, Aubrey; Shakeel, Mohammed K.
Disordered speech in schizophrenia impairs social functioning because it impedes communication with others. Treatment approaches targeting this symptom have been limited by an incomplete understanding of its causes. This study examined the process underpinnings of speech disorder, assessed in terms of communication failure. Contributions of impairments in 2 social cognitive abilities, emotion perception and theory of mind (ToM), to speech disorder were assessed in 63 patients with schizophren...
Glista, Danielle; Hawkins, Marianne; Bohnert, Andrea; Rehmann, Julia; Wolfe, Jace; Scollie, Susan
This study implemented a fitting method, developed for use with frequency lowering hearing aids, across multiple testing sites, participants, and hearing aid conditions to evaluate speech perception with a novel type of frequency lowering. A total of 8 participants, including children and young adults, participated in real-world hearing aid trials. A blinded crossover design, including posttrial withdrawal testing, was used to assess aided phoneme perception. The hearing aid conditions included adaptive nonlinear frequency compression (NFC), static NFC, and conventional processing. Enabling either adaptive NFC or static NFC improved group-level detection and recognition results for some high-frequency phonemes, when compared with conventional processing. Mean results for the distinction component of the Phoneme Perception Test (Schmitt, Winkler, Boretzki, & Holube, 2016) were similar to those obtained with conventional processing. Findings suggest that both types of NFC tested in this study provided a similar amount of speech perception benefit, when compared with group-level performance with conventional hearing aid technology. Individual-level results are presented with discussion around patterns of results that differ from the group average.
Full Text Available This article discusses the connection of hemispheric control over audioverbal perception processes and such individual features as “leading hand” (right-handedness and lefthandedness. We present a literature review and description of our research to provide evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of this connection. The method of dichotic listening was used for diagnosing audioverbal perception lateralization. This method allows estimation of the right-ear coefficient (REC, the efficiency coefficient (EC, and the effectiveness ratio (ER of different aspects of audioverbal perception. Our research involved 47 persons with a leading right hand (mean age, 29.04±9.97 years and 32 persons with a leading left hand (mean age, 29.41±10.34 years. Different hypotheses about the mechanisms of hemispheric control over audioverbal and motor processes were assessed. The research showed that both the leftand right-handers’ audioverbal perception characteristics depended mainly on right-hemisphere activity. The most dynamic and sensitive index of the functioning of the two hemispheres during dichotic listening was the efficiency coefficient of stimuli reproduction through the left ear (EC of the left ear. It turns out that this index depends on the coincidence/noncoincidence of the leading hemispheres in speech and motor processes. The highest efficiency of audioverbal perception revealed itself in the left-handers with a leading left ear (the hemispheric-control coincidence, and the lowest efficiency was in the left-handers with a leading right ear (the hemispheric-control divergence. The right-handers were characterized by less variation in values, although the influence of the coincidence/noncoincidence of the leading hemispheres in speech and motor processes also revealed itself as a tendency. This consistent pattern points out the necessity for further research on asymmetries of the different modalities that takes into account their probable
Full Text Available Although there is a large consensus regarding the involvement of specific acoustic cues in speech perception, the precise mechanisms underlying the transformation from continuous acoustical properties into discrete perceptual units remains undetermined. This gap in knowledge is partially due to the lack of a turnkey solution for isolating critical speech cues from natural stimuli. In this paper, we describe a psychoacoustic imaging method known as the Auditory Classification Image technique that allows experimenters to estimate the relative importance of time-frequency regions in categorizing natural speech utterances in noise. Importantly, this technique enables the testing of hypotheses on the listening strategies of participants at the group level. We exemplify this approach by identifying the acoustic cues involved in da/ga categorization with two phonetic contexts, Al- or Ar-. The application of Auditory Classification Images to our group of 16 participants revealed significant critical regions on the second and third formant onsets, as predicted by the literature, as well as an unexpected temporal cue on the first formant. Finally, through a cluster-based nonparametric test, we demonstrate that this method is sufficiently sensitive to detect fine modifications of the classification strategies between different utterances of the same phoneme.
Jungheim, M; Miller, S; Kühn, D; Ptok, M
In order to acquire language, children require speech input. The prosody of the speech input plays an important role. In most cultures adults modify their code when communicating with children. Compared to normal speech this code differs especially with regard to prosody. For this review a selective literature search in PubMed and Scopus was performed. Prosodic characteristics are a key feature of spoken language. By analysing prosodic features, children gain knowledge about underlying grammatical structures. Child-directed speech (CDS) is modified in a way that meaningful sequences are highlighted acoustically so that important information can be extracted from the continuous speech flow more easily. CDS is said to enhance the representation of linguistic signs. Taking into consideration what has previously been described in the literature regarding the perception of suprasegmentals, CDS seems to be able to support language acquisition due to the correspondence of prosodic and syntactic units. However, no findings have been reported, stating that the linguistically reduced CDS could hinder first language acquisition.
Heinzen, Christina Carolyn
The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns
The general topic addressed by this dissertation is that of bilingualism, and more specifically, the topic of bilingual acquisition of speech sounds. The central question in this study is the following: does bilingualism affect children’s perceptual development of speech sounds? The term bilingual
Uzuner Yurt, Serap; Aktas, Elif
In this study, the effects of the use of peer tutoring in Effective and Good Speech Course on students' success, perception of speech self-efficacy and speaking skills were examined. The study, designed as a mixed pattern in which quantitative and qualitative research approaches were combined, was carried out together with 57 students in 2014 to…
Restle, Julia; Murakami, Takenobu; Ziemann, Ulf
The posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG) in the left hemisphere is thought to form part of the putative human mirror neuron system and is assigned a key role in mapping sensory perception onto motor action. Accordingly, the pIFG is involved in motor imitation of the observed actions of others but it is not known to what extent speech repetition of auditory-presented sentences is also a function of the pIFG. Here we applied fMRI-guided facilitating intermittent theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (iTBS), or depressant continuous TBS (cTBS), or intermediate TBS (imTBS) over the left pIFG of healthy subjects and compared speech repetition accuracy of foreign Japanese sentences before and after TBS. We found that repetition accuracy improved after iTBS and, to a lesser extent, after imTBS, but remained unchanged after cTBS. In a control experiment, iTBS was applied over the left middle occipital gyrus (MOG), a region not involved in sensorimotor processing of auditory-presented speech. Repetition accuracy remained unchanged after iTBS of MOG. We argue that the stimulation type and stimulation site specific facilitating effect of iTBS over left pIFG on speech repetition accuracy indicates a causal role of the human left-hemispheric pIFG in the translation of phonological perception to motor articulatory output for repetition of speech. This effect may prove useful in rehabilitation strategies that combine repetitive speech training with iTBS of the left pIFG in speech disorders, such as aphasia after cerebral stroke. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The supported research provides a careful examination of the many different interrelated factors, processes, and constructs important to the perception by humans of complex acoustic signals, including speech and music...
Hurkmans, Josephus Johannes Stephanus
Apraxia of Speech (AoS) is a neurogenic speech disorder. A wide variety of behavioural methods have been developed to treat AoS. Various therapy programmes use musical elements to improve speech production. A unique therapy programme combining elements of speech therapy and music therapy is called
Zaar, Johannes; Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten
Speech perception is often studied in terms of natural meaningful speech, i.e., by measuring the in- telligibility of a given set of single words or full sentences. However, when trying to understand how background noise, various sorts of transmission channels (e.g., mobile phones) or hearing...... perception data: (i) an audibility-based approach, which corresponds to the Articu- lation Index (AI), and (ii) a modulation-masking based approach, as reflected in the speech-based Envelope Power Spectrum Model (sEPSM). For both models, the internal representations of the same stimuli as used...
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
Full Text Available Speech perception involves multiple input modalities. Research has indicated that perceivers establish cross-modal associations between auditory and visuospatial events to aid perception. Such intermodal relations can be particularly beneficial for speech development and learning, where infants and non-native perceivers need additional resources to acquire and process new sounds. This study examines how facial articulatory cues and co-speech hand gestures mimicking pitch contours in space affect non-native Mandarin tone perception. Native English as well as Mandarin perceivers identified tones embedded in noise with either congruent or incongruent Auditory-Facial (AF and Auditory-FacialGestural (AFG inputs. Native Mandarin results showed the expected ceiling-level performance in the congruent AF and AFG conditions. In the incongruent conditions, while AF identification was primarily auditory-based, AFG identification was partially based on gestures, demonstrating the use of gestures as valid cues in tone identification. The English perceivers’ performance was poor in the congruent AF condition, but improved significantly in AFG. While the incongruent AF identification showed some reliance on facial information, incongruent AFG identification relied more on gestural than auditory-facial information. These results indicate positive effects of facial and especially gestural input on non-native tone perception, suggesting that cross-modal (visuospatial resources can be recruited to aid auditory perception when phonetic demands are high. The current findings may inform patterns of tone acquisition and development, suggesting how multi-modal speech enhancement principles may be applied to facilitate speech learning.
Kummerer, Sharon E; Lopez-Reyna, Norma A; Hughes, Marie Tejero
This qualitative study explored mothers' perceptions of their children's communication disabilities, emergent literacy development, and speech-language therapy programs. Participants were 14 Mexican immigrant mothers and their children (age 17-47 months) who were receiving center-based services from an early childhood intervention program, located in a large urban city in the Midwestern United States. Mother interviews composed the primary source of data. A secondary source of data included children's therapy files and log notes. Following the analysis of interviews through the constant comparative method, grounded theory was generated. The majority of mothers perceived their children as exhibiting a communication delay. Causal attributions were diverse and generally medical in nature (i.e., ear infections, seizures) or due to familial factors (i.e., family history and heredity, lack of extended family). Overall, mothers seemed more focused on their children's speech intelligibility and/or expressive language in comparison to emergent literacy abilities. To promote culturally responsive intervention, mothers recommended that professionals speak Spanish, provide information about the therapy process, and use existing techniques with Mexican immigrant families.
Lee, Yune-Sang; Turkeltaub, Peter; Granger, Richard; Raizada, Rajeev D S
Although much effort has been directed toward understanding the neural basis of speech processing, the neural processes involved in the categorical perception of speech have been relatively less studied, and many questions remain open. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we probed the cortical regions mediating categorical speech perception using an advanced brain-mapping technique, whole-brain multivariate pattern-based analysis (MVPA). Normal healthy human subjects (native English speakers) were scanned while they listened to 10 consonant-vowel syllables along the /ba/-/da/ continuum. Outside of the scanner, individuals' own category boundaries were measured to divide the fMRI data into /ba/ and /da/ conditions per subject. The whole-brain MVPA revealed that Broca's area and the left pre-supplementary motor area evoked distinct neural activity patterns between the two perceptual categories (/ba/ vs /da/). Broca's area was also found when the same analysis was applied to another dataset (Raizada and Poldrack, 2007), which previously yielded the supramarginal gyrus using a univariate adaptation-fMRI paradigm. The consistent MVPA findings from two independent datasets strongly indicate that Broca's area participates in categorical speech perception, with a possible role of translating speech signals into articulatory codes. The difference in results between univariate and multivariate pattern-based analyses of the same data suggest that processes in different cortical areas along the dorsal speech perception stream are distributed on different spatial scales.
Joey L. Weidema
Full Text Available Whether pitch in language and music is governed by domain-specific or domain-general cognitive mechanisms is contentiously debated. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether mechanisms governing pitch contour perception operate differently when pitch information is interpreted as either speech or music. By modulating listening mode, this study aspired to demonstrate that pitch contour perception relies on domain-specific cognitive mechanisms, which are regulated by top-down influences from language and music. Three groups of participants (Mandarin speakers, Dutch speaking non-musicians, and Dutch musicians were exposed to identical pitch contours, and tested on their ability to identify these contours in a language and musical context. Stimuli consisted of disyllabic words spoken in Mandarin, and melodic tonal analogues, embedded in a linguistic and melodic carrier phrase, respectively. Participants classified identical pitch contours as significantly different depending on listening mode. Top-down influences from language appeared to alter the perception of pitch contour in speakers of Mandarin. This was not the case for non-musician speakers of Dutch. Moreover, this effect was lacking in Dutch speaking musicians. The classification patterns of pitch contours in language and music seem to suggest that domain-specific categorization is modulated by top-down influences from language and music.
Relano-Iborra, Helia; May, Tobias; Zaar, Johannes
A powerful tool to investigate speech perception is the use of speech intelligibility prediction models. Recently, a model was presented, termed correlation-based speechbased envelope power spectrum model (sEPSMcorr) , based on the auditory processing of the multi-resolution speech-based Envel...
Sutojo, Sarinah; van de Par, Steven; Schoenmaker, Esther
In situations with competing talkers or in the presence of masking noise, speech intelligibility can be improved by spatially separating the target speaker from the interferers. This advantage is generally referred to as spatial release from masking (SRM) and different mechanisms have been suggested to explain it. One proposed mechanism to benefit from spatial cues is the binaural masking release, which is purely stimulus driven. According to this mechanism, the spatial benefit results from differences in the binaural cues of target and masker, which need to appear simultaneously in time and frequency to improve the signal detection. In an alternative proposed mechanism, the differences in the interaural cues improve the segregation of auditory streams, a process, which involves top-down processing rather than being purely stimulus driven. Other than the cues that produce binaural masking release, the interaural cue differences between target and interferer required to improve stream segregation do not have to appear simultaneously in time and frequency. This study is concerned with the contribution of binaural masking release to SRM for three masker types that differ with respect to the amount of energetic masking they exert. Speech intelligibility was measured, employing a stimulus manipulation that inhibits binaural masking release, and analyzed with a metric to account for the number of better-ear glimpses. Results indicate that the contribution of the stimulus-driven binaural masking release plays a minor role while binaural stream segregation and the availability of glimpses in the better ear had a stronger influence on improving the speech intelligibility. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Simeon, Katherine M; Bicknell, Klinton; Grieco-Calub, Tina M
Individuals use semantic expectancy - applying conceptual and linguistic knowledge to speech input - to improve the accuracy and speed of language comprehension. This study tested how adults use semantic expectancy in quiet and in the presence of speech-shaped broadband noise at -7 and -12 dB signal-to-noise ratio. Twenty-four adults (22.1 ± 3.6 years, mean ± SD ) were tested on a four-alternative-forced-choice task whereby they listened to sentences and were instructed to select an image matching the sentence-final word. The semantic expectancy of the sentences was unrelated to (neutral), congruent with, or conflicting with the acoustic target. Congruent expectancy improved accuracy and conflicting expectancy decreased accuracy relative to neutral, consistent with a theory where expectancy shifts beliefs toward likely words and away from unlikely words. Additionally, there were no significant interactions of expectancy and noise level when analyzed in log-odds, supporting the predictions of ideal observer models of speech perception.
Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Strait, Dana L.; Anderson, Samira; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18–30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45–65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline. PMID:21589653
Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Strait, Dana L; Anderson, Samira; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18-30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45-65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.
Full Text Available Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18-30, we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45-65, potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory. Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.
Mirzaei, Maryam Sadat; Meshgi, Kourosh; Kawahara, Tatsuya
This study investigates the use of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems to epitomize second language (L2) listeners' problems in perception of TED talks. ASR-generated transcripts of videos often involve recognition errors, which may indicate difficult segments for L2 listeners. This paper aims to discover the root-causes of the ASR errors…
Strait, Dana L; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina
Musicians have increased resilience to the effects of noise on speech perception and its neural underpinnings. We do not know, however, how early in life these enhancements arise. We compared auditory brainstem responses to speech in noise in 32 preschool children, half of whom were engaged in music training. Thirteen children returned for testing one year later, permitting the first longitudinal assessment of subcortical auditory function with music training. Results indicate emerging neural enhancements in musically trained preschoolers for processing speech in noise. Longitudinal outcomes reveal that children enrolled in music classes experience further increased neural resilience to background noise following one year of continued training compared to nonmusician peers. Together, these data reveal enhanced development of neural mechanisms undergirding speech-in-noise perception in preschoolers undergoing music training and may indicate a biological impact of music training on auditory function during early childhood. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shahsavarani, Somayeh Bahar
High-level, top-down information such as linguistic knowledge is a salient cortical resource that influences speech perception under most listening conditions. But, are all listeners able to exploit these resources for speech facilitation to the same extent? It was found that children with cochlear implants showed different patterns of benefit from contextual information in speech perception compared with their normal-haring peers. Previous studies have discussed the role of non-acoustic factors such as linguistic and cognitive capabilities to account for this discrepancy. Given the fact that the amount of acoustic information encoded and processed by auditory nerves of listeners with cochlear implants differs from normal-hearing listeners and even varies across individuals with cochlear implants, it is important to study the interaction of specific acoustic properties of the speech signal with contextual cues. This relationship has been mostly neglected in previous research. In this dissertation, we aimed to explore how different acoustic dimensions interact to affect listeners' abilities to combine top-down information with bottom-up information in speech perception beyond the known effects of linguistic and cognitive capacities shown previously. Specifically, the present study investigated whether there were any distinct context effects based on the resolution of spectral versus slowly-varying temporal information in perception of spectrally impoverished speech. To that end, two experiments were conducted. In both experiments, a noise-vocoded technique was adopted to generate spectrally-degraded speech to approximate acoustic cues delivered to listeners with cochlear implants. The frequency resolution was manipulated by varying the number of frequency channels. The temporal resolution was manipulated by low-pass filtering of amplitude envelope with varying low-pass cutoff frequencies. The stimuli were presented to normal-hearing native speakers of American
Kriengwatana, B.; Escudero, P.; Kerkhoven, A.H.; ten Cate, C.
Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still
Huang, Yiteng; Chen, Jingdong; Chen, Shaoyan
A voice-command human-machine interface system has been developed for spacesuit extravehicular activity (EVA) missions. A multichannel acoustic signal processing method has been created for distant speech acquisition in noisy and reverberant environments. This technology reduces noise by exploiting differences in the statistical nature of signal (i.e., speech) and noise that exists in the spatial and temporal domains. As a result, the automatic speech recognition (ASR) accuracy can be improved to the level at which crewmembers would find the speech interface useful. The developed speech human/machine interface will enable both crewmember usability and operational efficiency. It can enjoy a fast rate of data/text entry, small overall size, and can be lightweight. In addition, this design will free the hands and eyes of a suited crewmember. The system components and steps include beam forming/multi-channel noise reduction, single-channel noise reduction, speech feature extraction, feature transformation and normalization, feature compression, model adaption, ASR HMM (Hidden Markov Model) training, and ASR decoding. A state-of-the-art phoneme recognizer can obtain an accuracy rate of 65 percent when the training and testing data are free of noise. When it is used in spacesuits, the rate drops to about 33 percent. With the developed microphone array speech-processing technologies, the performance is improved and the phoneme recognition accuracy rate rises to 44 percent. The recognizer can be further improved by combining the microphone array and HMM model adaptation techniques and using speech samples collected from inside spacesuits. In addition, arithmetic complexity models for the major HMMbased ASR components were developed. They can help real-time ASR system designers select proper tasks when in the face of constraints in computational resources.
Fridriksson, Julius; Basilakos, Alexandra; Hickok, Gregory; Bonilha, Leonardo; Rorden, Chris
Speech entrainment (SE), the online mimicking of an audiovisual speech model, has been shown to increase speech fluency in patients with Broca's aphasia. However, not all individuals with aphasia benefit from SE. The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of cortical damage that predict a positive response SE's fluency-inducing effects. Forty-four chronic patients with left hemisphere stroke (15 female) were included in this study. Participants completed two tasks: 1) spontaneous speech production, and 2) audiovisual SE. Number of different words per minute was calculated as a speech output measure for each task, with the difference between SE and spontaneous speech conditions yielding a measure of fluency improvement. Voxel-wise lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) was used to relate the number of different words per minute for spontaneous speech, SE, and SE-related improvement to patterns of brain damage in order to predict lesion locations associated with the fluency-inducing response to speech entrainment. Individuals with Broca's aphasia demonstrated a significant increase in different words per minute during speech entrainment versus spontaneous speech. A similar pattern of improvement was not seen in patients with other types of aphasia. VLSM analysis revealed damage to the inferior frontal gyrus predicted this response. Results suggest that SE exerts its fluency-inducing effects by providing a surrogate target for speech production via internal monitoring processes. Clinically, these results add further support for the use of speech entrainment to improve speech production and may help select patients for speech entrainment treatment. PMID:25989443
Ganapreeta Renunathan Naidu
Full Text Available Nonverbal cues play a vital role in contributing to how emotions are perceived, especially by outgroups. In this study, a cross-cultural perception experiment of Spanish Synthetic Expressive Voices (SEV was conducted to investigate the perception rate among different groups of Asians towards the SEV. Ten (10 subjects from each ethnic group namely Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysians participated in this test. The subjects were required to listen to and categorize the SEV corpus which contains 260 utterances with 4 emotions (anger, happiness, sadness, and surprise and the neutral speech in different intensities and durations. Overall, the results indicate that duration and intensity of speech plays a significant role in perception. This paper concludes that listeners’ perceptions are influenced by a speaker’s nonverbal expression and it is important that these features (duration and intensity of speech are considered when modelling synthetic speech for artificial agents in real-time applications in a cross-cultural user environment.
Loucas, Tom; Riches, Nick Greatorex; Charman, Tony; Pickles, Andrew; Simonoff, Emily; Chandler, Susie; Baird, Gillian
Background: The cognitive bases of language impairment in specific language impairment (SLI) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were investigated in a novel non-word comparison task which manipulated phonological short-term memory (PSTM) and speech perception, both implicated in poor non-word repetition. Aims: This study aimed to investigate the…
Hubbard, H. Isabel; Hudspeth, Sarah Grace; Holland, Audrey L.; Bonilha, Leonardo; Fromm, Davida; Rorden, Chris
A distinguishing feature of Broca’s aphasia is non-fluent halting speech typically involving one to three words per utterance. Yet, despite such profound impairments, some patients can mimic audio-visual speech stimuli enabling them to produce fluent speech in real time. We call this effect ‘speech entrainment’ and reveal its neural mechanism as well as explore its usefulness as a treatment for speech production in Broca’s aphasia. In Experiment 1, 13 patients with Broca’s aphasia were tested in three conditions: (i) speech entrainment with audio-visual feedback where they attempted to mimic a speaker whose mouth was seen on an iPod screen; (ii) speech entrainment with audio-only feedback where patients mimicked heard speech; and (iii) spontaneous speech where patients spoke freely about assigned topics. The patients produced a greater variety of words using audio-visual feedback compared with audio-only feedback and spontaneous speech. No difference was found between audio-only feedback and spontaneous speech. In Experiment 2, 10 of the 13 patients included in Experiment 1 and 20 control subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine the neural mechanism that supports speech entrainment. Group results with patients and controls revealed greater bilateral cortical activation for speech produced during speech entrainment compared with spontaneous speech at the junction of the anterior insula and Brodmann area 47, in Brodmann area 37, and unilaterally in the left middle temporal gyrus and the dorsal portion of Broca’s area. Probabilistic white matter tracts constructed for these regions in the normal subjects revealed a structural network connected via the corpus callosum and ventral fibres through the extreme capsule. Unilateral areas were connected via the arcuate fasciculus. In Experiment 3, all patients included in Experiment 1 participated in a 6-week treatment phase using speech entrainment to improve speech production
Klatte, Maria; Meis, Markus; Sukowski, Helga; Schick, August
The effects of background noise of moderate intensity on short-term storage and processing of verbal information were analyzed in 6 to 8 year old children. In line with adult studies on "irrelevant sound effect" (ISE), serial recall of visually presented digits was severely disrupted by background speech that the children did not understand. Train noises of equal Intensity however, had no effect. Similar results were demonstrated with tasks requiring storage and processing of heard information. Memory for nonwords, execution of oral instructions and categorizing speech sounds were significantly disrupted by irrelevant speech. The affected functions play a fundamental role in the acquisition of spoken and written language. Implications concerning current models of the ISE and the acoustic conditions in schools and kindergardens are discussed.
Kuipers, Jan Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume
A number of studies have shown that from an early age, bilinguals outperform their monolingual peers on executive control tasks. We previously found that bilingual children and adults also display greater attention to unexpected language switches within speech. Here, we investigated the effect of a bilingual upbringing on speech perception in one language. We recorded monolingual and bilingual toddlers' event-related potentials (ERPs) to spoken words preceded by pictures. Words matching the picture prime elicited an early frontal positivity in bilingual participants only, whereas later ERP amplitudes associated with semantic processing did not differ between groups. These results add to the growing body of evidence that bilingualism increases overall attention during speech perception whilst semantic integration is unaffected. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Allard, Emily R.; Williams, Dale F.
Using semantic differential scales with nine trait pairs, 445 adults rated five audio-taped speech samples, one depicting an individual without a disorder and four portraying communication disorders. Statistical analyses indicated that the no disorder sample was rated higher with respect to the trait of employability than were the articulation,…
Full Text Available Activity in premotor and sensorimotor cortices is found in speech production and some perception tasks. Yet, how sensorimotor integration supports these functions is unclear due to a lack of data examining the timing of activity from these regions. Beta (~20Hz and alpha (~10Hz spectral power within the EEG µ rhythm are considered indices of motor and somatosensory activity, respectively. In the current study, perception conditions required discrimination (same/different of syllables pairs (/ba/ and /da/ in quiet and noisy conditions. Production conditions required covert and overt syllable productions and overt word production. Independent component analysis was performed on EEG data obtained during these conditions to 1 identify clusters of µ components common to all conditions and 2 examine real-time event-related spectral perturbations (ERSP within alpha and beta bands. 17 and 15 out of 20 participants produced left and right µ-components, respectively, localized to precentral gyri. Discrimination conditions were characterized by significant (pFDR<.05 early alpha event-related synchronization (ERS prior to and during stimulus presentation and later alpha event-related desynchronization (ERD following stimulus offset. Beta ERD began early and gained strength across time. Differences were found between quiet and noisy discrimination conditions. Both overt syllable and word productions yielded similar alpha/beta ERD that began prior to production and was strongest during muscle activity. Findings during covert production were weaker than during overt production. One explanation for these findings is that µ-beta ERD indexes early predictive coding (e.g., internal modeling and/or overt and covert attentional / motor processes. µ-alpha ERS may index inhibitory input to the premotor cortex from sensory regions prior to and during discrimination, while µ-alpha ERD may index re-afferent sensory feedback during speech rehearsal and production.
Emily B. J. Coffey
Full Text Available Speech-in-noise (SIN perception is a complex cognitive skill that affects social, vocational, and educational activities. Poor SIN ability particularly affects young and elderly populations, yet varies considerably even among healthy young adults with normal hearing. Although SIN skills are known to be influenced by top-down processes that can selectively enhance lower-level sound representations, the complementary role of feed-forward mechanisms and their relationship to musical training is poorly understood. Using a paradigm that minimizes the main top-down factors that have been implicated in SIN performance such as working memory, we aimed to better understand how robust encoding of periodicity in the auditory system (as measured by the frequency-following response contributes to SIN perception. Using magnetoencephalograpy, we found that the strength of encoding at the fundamental frequency in the brainstem, thalamus, and cortex is correlated with SIN accuracy. The amplitude of the slower cortical P2 wave was previously also shown to be related to SIN accuracy and FFR strength; we use MEG source localization to show that the P2 wave originates in a temporal region anterior to that of the cortical FFR. We also confirm that the observed enhancements were related to the extent and timing of musicianship. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that basic feed-forward sound encoding affects SIN perception by providing better information to later processing stages, and that modifying this process may be one mechanism through which musical training might enhance the auditory networks that subserve both musical and language functions.
Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie
(1) To investigate whether voice gender discrimination (VGD) could be a useful indicator of the spectral and temporal processing abilities of individual cochlear implant (CI) users; (2) To examine the relationship between VGD and speech recognition with CI when comparable acoustic cues are used for both perception processes. VGD was measured using two talker sets with different inter-gender fundamental frequencies (F(0)), as well as different acoustic CI simulations. Vowel and consonant recognition in quiet and noise were also measured and compared with VGD performance. Eleven postlingually deaf CI users. The results showed that (1) mean VGD performance differed for different stimulus sets, (2) VGD and speech recognition performance varied among individual CI users, and (3) individual VGD performance was significantly correlated with speech recognition performance under certain conditions. VGD measured with selected stimulus sets might be useful for assessing not only pitch-related perception, but also spectral and temporal processing by individual CI users. In addition to improvements in spectral resolution and modulation detection, the improvement in higher modulation frequency discrimination might be particularly important for CI users in noisy environments.
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
Joyal, Marilyne; Bonneau, Audrey; Fecteau, Shirley
Individuals with schizophrenia display speech and language impairments that greatly impact their integration to the society. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the importance of speech and language therapy (SLT) as part of rehabilitation curriculums for patients with schizophrenia emphasizing on the speech and language abilities assessed, the therapy setting and the therapeutic approach. This article reviewed 18 studies testing the effects of language therapy or training in 433 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia. Results showed that 14 studies out of 18 lead to improvements in language and/or speech abilities. Most of these studies comprised pragmatic or expressive discursive skills being the only aim of the therapy or part of it. The therapy settings vary widely ranging from twice daily individual therapy to once weekly group therapy. The therapeutic approach was mainly operant conditioning. Although the evidence tends to show that certain areas of language are treatable through therapy, it remains difficult to state the type of approach that should be favoured and implemented to treat language impairments in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
McCreery, Ryan W.; Walker, Elizabeth A.; Spratford, Meredith; Oleson, Jacob; Bentler, Ruth; Holte, Lenore; Roush, Patricia
Objectives Progress has been made in recent years in the provision of amplification and early intervention for children who are hard of hearing. However, children who use hearing aids (HA) may have inconsistent access to their auditory environment due to limitations in speech audibility through their HAs or limited HA use. The effects of variability in children’s auditory experience on parent-report auditory skills questionnaires and on speech recognition in quiet and in noise were examined for a large group of children who were followed as part of the Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss study. Design Parent ratings on auditory development questionnaires and children’s speech recognition were assessed for 306 children who are hard of hearing. Children ranged in age from 12 months to 9 years of age. Three questionnaires involving parent ratings of auditory skill development and behavior were used, including the LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire, Parents Evaluation of Oral/Aural Performance in Children Rating Scale, and an adaptation of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing scale. Speech recognition in quiet was assessed using the Open and Closed set task, Early Speech Perception Test, Lexical Neighborhood Test, and Phonetically-balanced Kindergarten word lists. Speech recognition in noise was assessed using the Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment. Children who are hard of hearing were compared to peers with normal hearing matched for age, maternal educational level and nonverbal intelligence. The effects of aided audibility, HA use and language ability on parent responses to auditory development questionnaires and on children’s speech recognition were also examined. Results Children who are hard of hearing had poorer performance than peers with normal hearing on parent ratings of auditory skills and had poorer speech recognition. Significant individual variability among children who are hard of hearing was observed. Children with greater
Bartos, Anthony L; Cipr, Tomas; Nelson, Douglas J; Schwarz, Petr; Banowetz, John; Jerabek, Ladislav
A method is presented in which conventional speech algorithms are applied, with no modifications, to improve their performance in extremely noisy environments. It has been demonstrated that, for eigen-channel algorithms, pre-training multiple speaker identification (SID) models at a lattice of signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) levels and then performing SID using the appropriate SNR dependent model was successful in mitigating noise at all SNR levels. In those tests, it was found that SID performance was optimized when the SNR of the testing and training data were close or identical. In this current effort multiple i-vector algorithms were used, greatly improving both processing throughput and equal error rate classification accuracy. Using identical approaches in the same noisy environment, performance of SID, language identification, gender identification, and diarization were significantly improved. A critical factor in this improvement is speech activity detection (SAD) that performs reliably in extremely noisy environments, where the speech itself is barely audible. To optimize SAD operation at all SNR levels, two algorithms were employed. The first maximized detection probability at low levels (-10 dB ≤ SNR < +10 dB) using just the voiced speech envelope, and the second exploited features extracted from the original speech to improve overall accuracy at higher quality levels (SNR ≥ +10 dB).
Temporal and spatio-temporal vibrotactile displays for voice fundamental frequency: an initial evaluation of a new vibrotactile speech perception aid with normal-hearing and hearing-impaired individuals.
Auer, E T; Bernstein, L E; Coulter, D C
Four experiments were performed to evaluate a new wearable vibrotactile speech perception aid that extracts fundamental frequency (F0) and displays the extracted F0 as a single-channel temporal or an eight-channel spatio-temporal stimulus. Specifically, we investigated the perception of intonation (i.e., question versus statement) and emphatic stress (i.e., stress on the first, second, or third word) under Visual-Alone (VA), Visual-Tactile (VT), and Tactile-Alone (TA) conditions and compared performance using the temporal and spatio-temporal vibrotactile display. Subjects were adults with normal hearing in experiments I-III and adults with severe to profound hearing impairments in experiment IV. Both versions of the vibrotactile speech perception aid successfully conveyed intonation. Vibrotactile stress information was successfully conveyed, but vibrotactile stress information did not enhance performance in VT conditions beyond performance in VA conditions. In experiment III, which involved only intonation identification, a reliable advantage for the spatio-temporal display was obtained. Differences between subject groups were obtained for intonation identification, with more accurate VT performance by those with normal hearing. Possible effects of long-term hearing status are discussed.
Wong, Patrick C. M.; Uppunda, Ajith K.; Parrish, Todd B.; Dhar, Sumitrajit
Purpose: The present study examines the brain basis of listening to spoken words in noise, which is a ubiquitous characteristic of communication, with the focus on the dorsal auditory pathway. Method: English-speaking young adults identified single words in 3 listening conditions while their hemodynamic response was measured using fMRI: speech in…
Sjerps, Matthias J.; Mitterer, Holger; McQueen, James M.
Listeners perceive speech sounds relative to context. Contextual influences might differ over hemispheres if different types of auditory processing are lateralized. Hemispheric differences in contextual influences on vowel perception were investigated by presenting speech targets and both speech and non-speech contexts to listeners' right or left…
Methods: New graduates of six South African universities were recruited to participate in a survey by completing an electronic questionnaire exploring their perceptions of the dysphagia curricula and their preparedness to practise across the scope of the profession of speechlanguage therapy. Results: Eighty graduates participated in the study yielding a response rate of 63.49%. Participants perceived themselves to be well prepared in some areas (e.g. child language: 100%; articulation and phonology: 97.26%, but less prepared in other areas (e.g. adult dysphagia: 50.70%; paediatric dysarthria: 46.58%; paediatric dysphagia: 38.36% and most unprepared to provide services requiring sign language (23.61% and African languages (20.55%. There was a significant relationship between perceptions of adequate theory and clinical learning opportunities with assessment and management of dysphagia and perceptions of preparedness to provide dysphagia services. Conclusion: There is a need for review of existing curricula and consideration of developing a standard speech-language therapy curriculum across universities, particularly in service provision to a multilingual population, and in both the theory and clinical learning of the assessment and management of adult and paediatric dysphagia, to better equip graduates for practice.
Overby, Megan S.
Background: Academic programmes in speech-language pathology are increasingly providing telehealth/telepractice clinical education to students. Despite this growth, there is little information describing effective ways to teach it. Aims: The current exploratory study analyzed the perceptions of speech-language pathology/therapy (SLP/SLT) faculty,…
dictionary plays a key role in the speech recognition accuracy. .... Sophisticated microphone is used for the recording speech corpus in a noise free environment. .... values, word error rate (WER) and error-rate will be calculated as follows:.
Studer-Eichenberger, Esther; Studer-Eichenberger, Felix; Koenig, Thomas
The objectives of the present study were to investigate temporal/spectral sound-feature processing in preschool children (4 to 7 years old) with peripheral hearing loss compared with age-matched controls. The results verified the presence of statistical learning, which was diminished in children with hearing impairments (HIs), and elucidated possible perceptual mediators of speech production. Perception and production of the syllables /ba/, /da/, /ta/, and /na/ were recorded in 13 children with normal hearing and 13 children with HI. Perception was assessed physiologically through event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded by EEG in a multifeature mismatch negativity paradigm and behaviorally through a discrimination task. Temporal and spectral features of the ERPs during speech perception were analyzed, and speech production was quantitatively evaluated using speech motor maximum performance tasks. Proximal to stimulus onset, children with HI displayed a difference in map topography, indicating diminished statistical learning. In later ERP components, children with HI exhibited reduced amplitudes in the N2 and early parts of the late disciminative negativity components specifically, which are associated with temporal and spectral control mechanisms. Abnormalities of speech perception were only subtly reflected in speech production, as the lone difference found in speech production studies was a mild delay in regulating speech intensity. In addition to previously reported deficits of sound-feature discriminations, the present study results reflect diminished statistical learning in children with HI, which plays an early and important, but so far neglected, role in phonological processing. Furthermore, the lack of corresponding behavioral abnormalities in speech production implies that impaired perceptual capacities do not necessarily translate into productive deficits.
Hullett, Patrick W; Hamilton, Liberty S; Mesgarani, Nima; Schreiner, Christoph E; Chang, Edward F
The human superior temporal gyrus (STG) is critical for speech perception, yet the organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well understood. Here, to characterize the spatial organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech across human STG, we use high-density cortical surface field potential recordings while participants listened to natural continuous speech. While synthetic broad-band stimuli did not yield sustained activation of the STG, spectrotemporal receptive fields could be reconstructed from vigorous responses to speech stimuli. We find that the human STG displays a robust anterior-posterior spatial distribution of spectrotemporal tuning in which the posterior STG is tuned for temporally fast varying speech sounds that have relatively constant energy across the frequency axis (low spectral modulation) while the anterior STG is tuned for temporally slow varying speech sounds that have a high degree of spectral variation across the frequency axis (high spectral modulation). This work illustrates organization of spectrotemporal processing in the human STG, and illuminates processing of ethologically relevant speech signals in a region of the brain specialized for speech perception. Considerable evidence has implicated the human superior temporal gyrus (STG) in speech processing. However, the gross organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well characterized. Here we use natural speech stimuli and advanced receptive field characterization methods to show that spectrotemporal features within speech are well organized along the posterior-to-anterior axis of the human STG. These findings demonstrate robust functional organization based on spectrotemporal modulation content, and illustrate that much of the encoded information in the STG represents the physical acoustic properties of speech stimuli. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362014-13$15.00/0.
Choi, Young Sung
The purpose of this paper is to measure the public's perception on risk and benefit of nuclear power and to find ways to improve the perceptions. Latent Class Analysis is adopted for the perception measures, which quantify people's perception and reveal the perception structure. The measures resulted from Latent Class Analysis show that women perceive risks to be more existent and benefits to be less than men do. Moreover there is a tendency that if education level is high, perceived risk is low and perceived benefit is high. The perception of risk and benefit also depends on different channels through which people get information about nuclear energy. Comparing seven different information channels, the most effective ways of communicating with people to improve the risk and benefit perception of nuclear energy are found to be the visit to nuclear plants and the education through the regular schooling. Information dissemination through mass media is only effective to the benefit perception