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speech signal processing

Agnieszka Jacoszek, Agnieszka Pollak, Rafał Płoski, Monika Ołdak
Hearing plays a crucial role in human development. Receiving and processing sounds are essential for the advancement of the speech ability during the early childhood and for a proper functioning in the society. Hearing loss is one of the most frequent disabilities that affect human senses. It can be caused by genetic or environmental factors or both of them. Calcium- and integrin-binding protein 2 (CIB2) is one of the recently identified genes, involved in HI pathogenesis. CIB2 is widely expressed in various human and animal tissues, mainly in skeletal muscle, nervous tissue, inner ear, and retina...
October 22, 2016: European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology
Fabíola Araújo, José Filho, Aldebaro Klautau
Voice imitation basically consists in estimating a synthesizer input parameters to mimic a target speech signal. This is a difficult inverse problem because the mapping is time-varying, non-linear and from many to one. It typically requires considerable amount of time to be done manually. This work presents a system based on a genetic algorithm (GA) to automatically estimate the input parameters of the Klatt and HLSyn formant synthesizers using an analysis-by-synthesis process. Results are presented for natural (human-generated) speech for three male speakers...
October 18, 2016: Bio Systems
Bas P Hartel, Martijn J H Agterberg, Ad F Snik, Henricus P M Kunst, A John V Opstal, Arjan J Bosman, Ronald J E Pennings
OBJECTIVES: Usher syndrome is the leading cause of hereditary deaf-blindness. Most patients with Usher syndrome type IIa start using hearing aids from a young age. A serious complaint refers to interference between sound localization abilities and adaptive sound processing (compression), as present in today's hearing aids. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of advanced signal processing on binaural hearing, including sound localization. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: In this prospective study, patients were fitted with hearing aids with a nonlinear (compression) and linear amplification program...
October 19, 2016: Clinical Otolaryngology
Maurice Filo, Fadi Karameh, Mariette Awad
The cochlea is an indispensable preliminary processing stage in auditory perception that employs mechanical frequency-tuning and electrical transduction of incoming sound waves. Cochlear mechanical responses are shown to exhibit active nonlinear spatiotemporal response dynamics (e.g., otoacoustic emission). To model such phenomena, it is often necessary to incorporate cochlear fluid-membrane interactions. This results in both excessively high-order model formulations and computationally intensive solutions that limit their practical use in simulating the model and analyzing its response even for simple single-tone inputs...
October 17, 2016: Biological Cybernetics
Christopher R Watts, Shaheen N Awan, Youri Maryn
PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the relationship and reliability of cepstral peak prominence (CPP) measures from two acoustic software applications, Analysis of Dysphonia in Speech and Voice (ADSV) and Praat. METHODOLOGY: Flemish and English recordings of sustained vowels and connected speech samples were analyzed using ADSV and Praat. Correlational analyses and measures of the standard error of the estimate were applied to the vowel and connected speech data obtained from the two programs...
October 14, 2016: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation
Koenraad S Rhebergen, Thijs H Maalderink, Wouter A Dreschler
OBJECTIVES: The effects of nonlinear signal processing on speech intelligibility in noise are difficult to evaluate. Often, the effects are examined by comparing speech intelligibility scores with and without processing measured at fixed signal to noise ratios (SNRs) or by comparing the adaptive measured speech reception thresholds corresponding to 50% intelligibility (SRT50) with and without processing. These outcome measures might not be optimal. Measuring at fixed SNRs can be affected by ceiling or floor effects, because the range of relevant SNRs is not know in advance...
October 4, 2016: Ear and Hearing
Rebecca Carroll, Verena Uslar, Thomas Brand, Esther Ruigendijk
OBJECTIVE: The authors aimed to determine whether hearing impairment affects sentence comprehension beyond phoneme or word recognition (i.e., on the sentence level), and to distinguish grammatically induced processing difficulties in structurally complex sentences from perceptual difficulties associated with listening to degraded speech. Effects of hearing impairment or speech in noise were expected to reflect hearer-specific speech recognition difficulties. Any additional processing time caused by the sustained perceptual challenges across the sentence may either be independent of or interact with top-down processing mechanisms associated with grammatical sentence structure...
September 28, 2016: Ear and Hearing
Hugo Cordeiro, José Fonseca, Isabel Guimarães, Carlos Meneses
OBJECTIVES: Speech signal processing techniques have provided several contributions to pathologic voice identification, in which healthy and unhealthy voice samples are evaluated. A less common approach is to identify laryngeal pathologies, for which the use of a noninvasive method for pathologic voice identification is an important step forward for preliminary diagnosis. In this study, a hierarchical classifier and a combination of systems are used to improve the accuracy of a three-class identification system (healthy, physiological larynx pathologies, and neuromuscular larynx pathologies)...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation
Rui Cai, Ben D Richardson, Donald M Caspary
: Human aging studies suggest that an increased use of top-down knowledge-based resources would compensate for degraded upstream acoustic information to accurately identify important temporally rich signals. Sinusoidal amplitude-modulated (SAM) stimuli have been used to mimic the fast-changing temporal features in speech and species-specific vocalizations. Single units were recorded from auditory thalamus [medial geniculate body (MGB)] of young awake, aged awake, young anesthetized, and aged anesthetized rats...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ji Eun Choi, Sung Hwa Hong, Jong Ho Won, Hee-Sung Park, Young Sang Cho, Won-Ho Chung, Yang-Sun Cho, Il Joon Moon
Adults who score 50% correct or less in open-set sentence recognition test under the best aided listening condition may be considered as candidates for cochlear implant (CI). However, the requirement for 'the best aided listening condition' needs significant time and clinical resources to ensure such condition. As speech signals are composed of dynamic spectral and temporal modulations, psychoacoustic sensitivity to the combinations of spectral and temporal modulation cues may be a strong predictor for aided speech recognition...
October 12, 2016: Scientific Reports
Christian Herff, Tanja Schultz
Speech interfaces have become widely accepted and are nowadays integrated in various real-life applications and devices. They have become a part of our daily life. However, speech interfaces presume the ability to produce intelligible speech, which might be impossible due to either loud environments, bothering bystanders or incapabilities to produce speech (i.e., patients suffering from locked-in syndrome). For these reasons it would be highly desirable to not speak but to simply envision oneself to say words or sentences...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Hemanth Narayan Shetty, Vishal Koonoor
BACKGROUND: 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. OBJECTIVES: The present study evaluated the relation between speech perception in noise and temporal; and spectral processing abilities in children with normal and atypical groups...
November 2016: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
César F Lima, Olivia Brancatisano, Amy Fancourt, Daniel Müllensiefen, Sophie K Scott, Jason D Warren, Lauren Stewart
Some individuals show a congenital deficit for music processing despite normal peripheral auditory processing, cognitive functioning, and music exposure. This condition, termed congenital amusia, is typically approached regarding its profile of musical and pitch difficulties. Here, we examine whether amusia also affects socio-emotional processing, probing auditory and visual domains. Thirteen adults with amusia and 11 controls completed two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants judged emotions in emotional speech prosody, nonverbal vocalizations (e...
October 11, 2016: Scientific Reports
Natasha Warner, Anne Cutler
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Evidence from spoken word recognition suggests that for English listeners, distinguishing full versus reduced vowels is important, but discerning stress differences involving the same full vowel (as in mu- from music or museum) is not. In Dutch, in contrast, the latter distinction is important. This difference arises from the relative frequency of unstressed full vowels in the two vocabularies. The goal of this paper is to determine how this difference in the lexicon influences the perception of stressed versus unstressed vowels...
October 7, 2016: Phonetica
Eline Borch Petersen, Malte Wöstmann, Jonas Obleser, Thomas Lunner
Hearing loss manifests as a reduced ability to understand speech, particularly in multi-talker situations. In these situations, younger normal-hearing listeners' brains are known to track attended speech through phase-locking of neural activity to the slow-varying envelope of the speech. This study investigates how hearing loss, compensated by hearing aids, affects the neural tracking of the speech-onset envelope in elderly participants with varying degree of hearing loss (N = 27, 62-86 years, hearing thresholds 11-73 dB hearing level)...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Jing Mi, H Steven Colburn
Spatially separating speech maskers from target speech often leads to a large intelligibility improvement. Modeling this phenomenon has long been of interest to binaural-hearing researchers for uncovering brain mechanisms and for improving signal-processing algorithms in hearing-assistive devices. Much of the previous binaural modeling work focused on the unmasking enabled by binaural cues at the periphery, and little quantitative modeling has been directed toward the grouping or source-separation benefits of binaural processing...
October 3, 2016: Trends in Hearing
Matthew Winn
People with hearing impairment are thought to rely heavily on context to compensate for reduced audibility. Here, we explore the resulting cost of this compensatory behavior, in terms of effort and the efficiency of ongoing predictive language processing. The listening task featured predictable or unpredictable sentences, and participants included people with cochlear implants as well as people with normal hearing who heard full-spectrum/unprocessed or vocoded speech. The crucial metric was the growth of the pupillary response and the reduction of this response for predictable versus unpredictable sentences, which would suggest reduced cognitive load resulting from predictive processing...
October 3, 2016: Trends in Hearing
Raphael Koning, Jan Wouters
Speech perception by cochlear implant (CI) users can be very good in quiet but their speech intelligibility (SI) performance decreases in noisy environments. Because recent studies have shown that transient parts of the speech envelope are most important for SI in normal-hearing (NH) listeners, the enhanced envelope (EE) strategy was developed to emphasize onset cues of the speech envelope in the CI signal processing chain. The influence of enhancement of the onsets of the speech envelope on SI was investigated with CI users for speech in stationary speech-shaped noise (SSN) and with an interfering talker...
September 30, 2016: Hearing Research
Mahan Azadpour, Robert L Smith
Cochlear implants (CIs) bypass some of the mechanisms that underlie normal neural behavior as occurs in acoustic hearing. One such neural mechanism is short-term adaptation, which has been proposed to have a significant role in speech perception. Acoustically-evoked neural adaptation has been mainly attributed to the depletion of neurotransmitter in the hair-cell to auditory-nerve synapse and is therefore not fully present in CI stimulation. This study evaluated a signal processing method that integrated a physiological model of hair-cell adaptation into CI speech processing...
September 30, 2016: Hearing Research
Elham Zarei, Hamed Sadjedi
BACKGROUND: Speech synthesis models have been considered as viable tools for performance evaluation of cochlear stimulation algorithms, due to the difficulties of clinical tests. OBJECTIVE: The present study has developed a tool that can be used before any audio signal reconstruction algorithm, which shows more conformity with the electrophysiological parameters of the patient in evaluation of the cochlear implant stimulation algorithms. METHODS: In this method, excitable nerve fiber characteristics such as stimulation threshold and effective refractory period have been considered in the signal pre-reconstruction process...
September 23, 2016: Technology and Health Care: Official Journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine
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