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Speech enhancement

Giulia Prete, Anita D'Anselmo, Luca Tommasi, Alfredo Brancucci
Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) has been increasingly adopted to modulate perceptual and cognitive functions, but the effects on auditory perception are still relatively uncharted. Starting from the evidence that a stronger right ear advantage effect (REA) in dichotic listening positively correlates with speech sound processing, the present study was aimed at modulating the REA by means of high-frequency transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (hf-tRNS). Stimulation was applied over the auditory cortex (AC) either unilaterally (Experiment 1, N = 50) or bilaterally (Experiment 2, N = 24) during a verbal dichotic listening task...
March 13, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Wei-En J Tseng, Siew-Na Lim, Lu-An Chen, Shuo-Bin Jou, Hsiang-Yao Hsieh, Mei-Yun Cheng, Chun-Wei Chang, Han-Tao Li, Hsing-I Chiang, Tony Wu
Whether the cognitive processing of music and speech relies on shared or distinct neuronal mechanisms remains unclear. Music and language processing in the brain are right and left temporal functions, respectively. We studied patients with musicogenic epilepsy (ME) that was specifically triggered by popular songs to analyze brain hyperexcitability triggered by specific stimuli. The study included two men and one woman (all right-handed, aged 35-55 years). The patients had sound-triggered left temporal ME in response to popular songs with vocals, but not to instrumental, classical, or nonvocal piano solo versions of the same song...
March 15, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Greg D Reynolds, Kelly C Roth
We present an integrative review of research and theory on major factors involved in the early development of attentional biases to faces. Research utilizing behavioral, eye-tracking, and neuroscience measures with infant participants as well as comparative research with animal subjects are reviewed. We begin with coverage of research demonstrating the presence of an attentional bias for faces shortly after birth, such as newborn infants' visual preference for face-like over non-face stimuli. The role of experience and the process of perceptual narrowing in face processing are examined as infants begin to demonstrate enhanced behavioral and neural responsiveness to mother over stranger, female over male, own- over other-race, and native over non-native faces...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Xuefei Shao, Di Qiang, Yinhua Liu, Quan Yuan, Jin Tao, Bihua Ji
Cerebral syphilitic gumma is very rare and is often pathologically confirmed following surgery. This study reports three patients with cerebral syphilitic gumma. The first case was a 62-year-old man who was admitted to our hospital due to speech arrest for 10 hours. Head MRI showed a nodular signal shadow with a significant enhancement and a significant centerline shift. He subsequently received surgery, and cerebral syphilitic gumma was confirmed by postoperative pathology. The second patient was a 66-year-old man who was admitted to our hospital due to complaints of gradually decreasing right eye vision and headache for nearly 50 days...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Zhizhou Deng, Bharath Chandrasekaran, Suiping Wang, Patrick C M Wong
In second language acquisition studies, the high talker variability training approach has been frequently used to train participants to learn new speech patterns. However, the neuroplasticity induced by training is poorly understood. In the present study, native English speakers were trained on non-native pitch patterns (linguistic tones from Mandarin Chinese) in multi-talker (N = 16) or single-talker (N = 16) training conditions. We focused on two aspects of multi-talker training, voice processing and lexical phonology accessing, and used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activation and functional connectivity (FC) of two regions of interest in a tone identification task conducted before and after training, namely the anterior part of the right superior temporal gyrus (aRSTG) and the posterior left superior temporal gyrus (pLSTG)...
March 10, 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Matthew B Fitzgerald, Robert K Jackler
OBJECTIVE: To describe the manner in which hearing was evaluated in American Otological Practice during the late 19th and early 20th centuries before introduction of the electric audiometer. METHODS: Primary sources were the Transactions of the American Otological Society and American textbooks, especially those authored by Presidents of the Society. RESULTS: In the era before electric audiometry multiple methods were used for evaluating the thresholds of different frequencies...
April 2018: Otology & Neurotology
Charlotte Prevoteau, Stephanie Y Chen, Anil K Lalwani
Since the advent of cochlear implant (CI) surgery in the 1960s, there have been remarkable technological and surgical advances enabling excellent speech perception in quiet with many CI users able to use the telephone. However, many CI users struggle with music perception, particularly with the pitch-based and melodic elements of music. Yet remarkably, despite poor music perception, many CI users enjoy listening to music based on self-report questionnaires, and prospective studies have suggested a disassociation between music perception and enjoyment...
March 5, 2018: Auris, Nasus, Larynx
Mina Aghsoleimani, Hamid Jalilvand, Mohammad Ebrahim Mahdavi, Ahmad Reza Nazeri, Mohammad Kamali
Objectives: Directional microphone technology can enhance the speech intelligibility and listening comfort of listeners with hearing impairment. The main aim of this study is to investigate and compare the benefit derived by listeners with severe hearing loss from directional microphone technology with that derived by listeners with moderate hearing loss. Methods: The acceptable noise levels (ANLs) of two groups of listeners with moderate or severe hearing impairment (17 subjects in each group) were measured under unaided, omnidirectional-baseline-aided, and directional-aided conditions...
March 10, 2018: Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
Anja Kuschmann, Anja Lowit
PURPOSE: This study aimed to advance our understanding of how children with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (CP) realise sentence stress acoustically, and how well listeners could identify the position of the stressed word within these utterances. METHOD: Seven children with CP and eight typically developing children participated in the experiment. Stress on target words in two sentence positions was elicited through a picture-based question-answer paradigm. Acoustic parameters of stress [duration, intensity and fundamental frequency (F0)] were measured and compared between stressed and unstressed target words...
March 8, 2018: International Journal of Speech-language Pathology
Martin Becker, Paolo Devanna, Simon E Fisher, Sonja C Vernes
Mutations of the FOXP2 gene cause a severe speech and language disorder, providing a molecular window into the neurobiology of language. Individuals with FOXP2 mutations have structural and functional alterations affecting brain circuits that overlap with sites of FOXP2 expression, including regions of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum. FOXP2 displays complex patterns of expression in the brain, as well as in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that sophisticated regulatory mechanisms control its spatio-temporal expression...
2018: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Miriam I Marrufo-Pérez, Almudena Eustaquio-Martín, Luis E López-Bascuas, Enrique A Lopez-Poveda
The amplitude modulations (AMs) in speech signals are useful cues for speech recognition. Several adaptation mechanisms may make the detection of AM in noisy backgrounds easier when the AM carrier is presented later rather than earlier in the noise. The aim of the present study was to characterize temporal adaptation to noise in AM detection. AM detection thresholds were measured for monaural (50 ms, 1.5 kHz) pure-tone carriers presented at the onset ('early' condition) and 300 ms after the onset ('late' condition) of ipsilateral, contralateral, and bilateral (diotic) broadband noise, as well as in quiet...
March 5, 2018: Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology: JARO
Madhuri Shelar, Sadhana Nanaware, S Arulmozhi, Sathiyanarayanan Lohidasan, Kakasaheb Mahadik
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Sarasvata ghrita (SG), a polyherbal formulation from ayurveda, an ancient medicinal system of India, has been used to improve intelligence and memory, treat speech delay, speaking difficulties and low digestion power in children. AIM OF THE STUDY: Study aimed to validate the ethno use of SG in memory enhancement through systematic scientific protocol. The effect of SG and modern extracts of ingredients of SG was compared on cognitive function and neuroprotection in amyloid-β peptide 25-35(Aβ25-35) induced memory impairment in wistar rats...
February 28, 2018: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Jessica Brown, Amber Thiessen
Purpose: Visuographic supports in the form of images are utilized during assessment and treatment for individuals with aphasia to supplement speech, language, and cognitive losses limiting communication. Clinicians rely on prior experience and intuition to make decisions regarding image-based support design and selection (e.g., augmentative and alternative communication strategies). Researchers have begun to focus on the relationship between the images and the benefits they provide for adults with aphasia...
March 1, 2018: American Journal of Speech-language Pathology
Jing Chen, Brian C J Moore, Thomas Baer, Xihong Wu
An algorithm for enhancing spectral changes over time was previously shown to improve the intelligibility of speech in steady speech-spectrum noise (SSN) for hearing-impaired subjects but tended to impair intelligibility for speech in a background of two-talker speech. Large individual differences were found and the application of a genetic algorithm for selecting the "best" parameter values for each listener was found to be beneficial. In the present study, the spectral-change enhancement (SCE) processing was modified by individually tailoring the degree of SCE based on the frequency-dependent hearing loss of the subjects, and by using finer frequency resolution...
February 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Rolf Bader
Coincidence detection of a spike pattern fed from the cochlea into a single neuron is investigated using a physical Finite-Difference model of the cochlea and a physiologically motivated neuron model. Previous studies have shown experimental evidence of increased spike synchronization in the nucleus cochlearis and the trapezoid body [Joris et al., J. Neurophysiol. 71(3), 1022-1036 and 1037-1051 (1994)] and models show tone partial phase synchronization at the transition from mechanical waves on the basilar membrane into spike patterns [Ch...
February 2018: Chaos
Valentina Lavermicocca, Anna Rita Dellomonaco, Angela Tedesco, Marilina Notarnicola, Roberta Di Fede, Piero Paolo Battaglini
Neurofeedback (NF) is a form of biofeedback based on the self-modulation of brain activity; it aims to enhance mental and behavioral performances. The user modifies his brain functions thanks to EEG-mediated self-regulation and therapist's guidance. Recent advances in Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) have provided new evidence on the effectiveness of NF in reinforcing cognitive functions expecially in children with ADHD. The applications on adults with cognitive deficits are still few. The study aims to investigate the possible effect of NF techniques on cognitive performance of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in terms of changes in scores at the neurocognitive assessment...
February 2018: Recenti Progressi in Medicina
Manuela Jaeger, Martin G Bleichner, Anna-Katharina R Bauer, Bojana Mirkovic, Stefan Debener
The acoustic envelope of human speech correlates with the syllabic rate (4-8 Hz) and carries important information for intelligibility, which is typically compromised in multi-talker, noisy environments. In order to better understand the dynamics of selective auditory attention to low frequency modulated sound sources, we conducted a two-stream auditory steady-state response (ASSR) selective attention electroencephalogram (EEG) study. The two streams consisted of 4 and 7 Hz amplitude and frequency modulated sounds presented from the left and right side...
February 27, 2018: Brain Topography
Meg Simione, Felipe Fregni, Jordan R Green
Motor cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to enhance motor learning in healthy adults as well as various neurological conditions. However, there has been limited data on whether tDCS enhances jaw motor performance during different oral behaviors such as speech, maximum syllable repetition, and chewing. Because the effects of anodal and cathodal stimulation are known to be dependent on task demands, we hypothesized that tDCS would have a distinct effect on the jaw motor performance during these disparate oral behaviors...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Maartje J Schreuder, Thomas Meyer, Alana C Krix
This study was inspired by the case of a robbery victim who was startled and reminded of the crime upon hearing a stranger's voice, while not clearly recognizing the speaker. To investigate whether specific voices can modulate startle reactions and thereby predict speaker identification, we presented an audio hijack scenario to 84 participants and afterwards asked them to identify the perpetrator among neutral and negative speech fragments, while measuring flash-evoked eye-blink startle responses. Furthermore, we addressed data-driven cognitive processing during the audio scenario as a potential moderator in voice discrimination...
February 24, 2018: Biological Psychology
Muge Ozker, Daniel Yoshor, Michael S Beauchamp
Human faces contain multiple sources of information. During speech perception, visual information from the talker's mouth is integrated with auditory information from the talker's voice. By directly recording neural responses from small populations of neurons in patients implanted with subdural electrodes, we found enhanced visual cortex responses to speech when auditory speech was absent (rendering visual speech especially relevant). Receptive field mapping demonstrated that this enhancement was specific to regions of the visual cortex with retinotopic representations of the mouth of the talker...
February 27, 2018: ELife
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