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Speech enhancement

Brandon J Auer, Jessica L Calvi, Nicolas M Jordan, David Schrader, Jennifer Byrd-Craven
BACKGROUND: Worry or fear related to speaking in front of others, or more broadly, communicating and interacting with others, is common. At elevated levels, however, it may contribute to heightened stress reactivity during acute speaking challenges. The purpose of this study was to examine multi-system physiological stress reactivity in the context of high-stakes public speaking while considering the impact of hypothesized individual difference risk factors. METHODS: University student participants (n = 95) delivering speeches as a heavily-weighted component of their final grade had saliva samples collected immediately prior to speaking, immediately after, and 20 min after speech completion...
May 8, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Begoña Díaz, Helen Blank, Katharina von Kriegstein
The cerebral cortex modulates early sensory processing via feed-back connections to sensory pathway nuclei. The functions of this top-down modulation for human behavior are poorly understood. Here, we show that top-down modulation of the visual sensory thalamus (the lateral geniculate body, LGN) is involved in visual-speech recognition. In two independent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, LGN response increased when participants processed fast-varying features of articulatory movements required for visual-speech recognition, as compared to temporally more stable features required for face identification with the same stimulus material...
May 14, 2018: NeuroImage
Nele Hellbernd, Daniela Sammler
Our ability to understand others' communicative intentions in speech is key to successful social interaction. Indeed, misunderstanding an "excuse me" as apology, while meant as criticism, may have important consequences. Recent behavioural studies have provided evidence that prosody, i.e., vocal tone, is an important indicator for speakers' intentions. Using a novel audio-morphing paradigm, the present fMRI study examined the neurocognitive mechanisms that allow listeners to 'read' speakers' intents from vocal-prosodic patterns...
May 16, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Charles F Emery, Catherine M Stoney, Julian F Thayer, DeWayne Williams, Andrew Bodine
OBJECTIVE: Studies of sex differences in heart rate variability (HRV) typically have not accounted for the influence of family history (FH) of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study evaluated sex differences in HRV response to speech stress among men and women (age range 30-49 years) with and without a documented FH of CVD. METHODS: Participants were 77 adults (mean age = 39.8 ± 6.2 years; range: 30-49 years; 52% female) with positive FH (FH+, n = 32) and negative FH (FH-, n = 45) of CVD, verified with relatives of participants...
July 2018: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Adalet Elçin Yıldız, Hülya Maraş Genç, Esra Gürkaş, Havva Akmaz Ünlü, İbrahim Halil Öncel, Alev Güven
PURPOSE: We aimed to present clinical and radiologic characteristics of mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with a reversible splenial lesion (MERS) in children. METHODS: Eight children (5 boys and 3 girls; median age, 5.9 years; age range, 8 months to 14.1 years) diagnosed with MERS between September 2015 and June 2017 were included in the study. We reviewed the patient's data, including demographic characteristics, prodromal and neurologic symptoms, neurologic examination, magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography findings, laboratory findings, treatment, and prognosis...
March 2018: Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology: Official Journal of the Turkish Society of Radiology
(no author information available yet)
Reports an error in "Preparatory power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance" by Amy J. C. Cuddy, Caroline A. Wilmuth, Andy J. Yap and Dana R. Carney ( Journal of Applied Psychology , 2015[Jul], Vol 100[4], 1286-1295). In the article, the degrees of freedom associated with the three F-tests noted on pages 1289 and 1290 should be 1 and 59 (and not 1 and 60, as previously reported). Also, on p. 1290, in the first sentence under the "Mediation" heading, it should be noted that the dependent variables were regressed onto the mediators, and not the other way around...
May 2018: Journal of Applied Psychology
Alan Wiinberg, Johannes Zaar, Torsten Dau
This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) "idealized" envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above -10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Oliver Cheadle, Clarissa Sorger, Peter Howell
Feedback delivered over auditory and vibratory afferent pathways has different effects on the fluency of people who stutter (PWS). These features were exploited to investigate the neural structures involved in stuttering. The speech signal vibrated locations on the body (vibrotactile feedback, VTF). Eleven PWS read passages under VTF and control (no-VTF) conditions. All combinations of vibration amplitude, synchronous or delayed VTF and vibrator position (hand, sternum or forehead) were presented. Control conditions were performed at the beginning, middle and end of test sessions...
May 7, 2018: Brain and Language
Laurel H Carney
An important topic in contemporary auditory science is supra-threshold hearing. Difficulty hearing at conversational speech levels in background noise has long been recognized as a problem of sensorineural hearing loss, including that associated with aging (presbyacusis). Such difficulty in listeners with normal thresholds has received more attention recently, especially associated with descriptions of synaptopathy, the loss of auditory nerve (AN) fibers as a result of noise exposure or aging. Synaptopathy has been reported to cause a disproportionate loss of low- and medium-spontaneous rate (L/MSR) AN fibers...
May 9, 2018: Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology: JARO
Areej Nimer Asad, Suzanne C Purdy, Elaine Ballard, Liz Fairgray, Caroline Bowen
PURPOSE: In this descriptive study, phonological processes were examined in the speech of children aged 5;0-7;6 (years; months) with mild to profound hearing loss using hearing aids (HAs) and cochlear implants (CIs), in comparison to their peers. A second aim was to compare phonological processes of HA and CI users. METHOD: Children with hearing loss (CWHL, N = 25) were compared to children with normal hearing (CWNH, N = 30) with similar age, gender, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Communication Disorders
Yung-Yue Chen
Mobile devices are often used in our daily lives for the purposes of speech and communication. The speech quality of mobile devices is always degraded due to the environmental noises surrounding mobile device users. Regretfully, an effective background noise reduction solution cannot easily be developed for this speech enhancement problem. Due to these depicted reasons, a methodology is systematically proposed to eliminate the effects of background noises for the speech communication of mobile devices. This methodology integrates a dual microphone array with a background noise elimination algorithm...
May 8, 2018: Sensors
Haniyeh Salehi, Vijay Parsa, Paula Folkeard
Wireless remote microphones (RMs) transmit the desired acoustic signal to the hearing aid (HA) and facilitate enhanced listening in challenging environments. Fitting and verification of RMs, and benchmarking the relative performance of different RM devices in varied acoustic environments are of significant interest to Audiologists and RM developers. This paper investigates the application of instrumental speech intelligibility and quality metrics for characterizing the RM performance in two acoustic environments with varying amounts of background noise and reverberation...
March 6, 2018: Audiology Research
Luodi Yu, Suiping Wang, Dan Huang, Xueyuan Wu, Yang Zhang
OBJECTIVE: This autism study investigated how inter-trial phase coherence (ITPC) drives abnormalities in auditory evoked potential (AEP) responses for speech and nonspeech stimuli. METHODS: Auditory P1-N2 responses and ITPCs in the theta band (4-7 Hz) for pure tones and words were assessed with EEG data from 15 school-age children with autism and 16 age-matched typically developing (TD) controls. RESULTS: The autism group showed enhanced P1 and reduced N2 for both speech and nonspeech stimuli in comparison with the TD group...
April 19, 2018: Clinical Neurophysiology: Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Katherine R Keefe, Kevin J Byrne, Jessica R Levi
OBJECTIVES: Although tonsillectomy is a common and largely safe procedure, pain management in children remains a controversial topic. In addition to the challenge of choosing appropriate analgesia, there is often low parent and child adherence. This article presents a review, and evaluates the potential role, of a range of complementary and alternative therapies that may be sought out by parents. METHODS: A literature review of complementary and alternative interventions performed using PubMed, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE, supplemented by searches from Google and hand searches of cross-references of selected articles, yielded 32 studies for qualitative analysis...
May 4, 2018: Laryngoscope
Hanna den Bakker, Michael S Sidorov, Zheng Fan, David J Lee, Lynne M Bird, Catherine J Chu, Benjamin D Philpot
Background: Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, speech and motor impairments, epilepsy, abnormal sleep, and phenotypic overlap with autism. Individuals with AS display characteristic EEG patterns including high-amplitude rhythmic delta waves. Here, we sought to quantitatively explore EEG architecture in AS beyond known spectral power phenotypes. We were motivated by studies of functional connectivity and sleep spindles in autism to study these EEG readouts in children with AS...
2018: Molecular Autism
Baljeet Rana, Jörg M Buchholz
Better-ear glimpsing (BEG) is an auditory phenomenon that helps understanding speech in noise by utilizing interaural level differences (ILDs). The benefit provided by BEG is limited in hearing-impaired (HI) listeners by reduced audibility at high frequencies. Rana and Buchholz [(2016). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140(2), 1192-1205] have shown that artificially enhancing ILDs at low and mid frequencies can help HI listeners understanding speech in noise, but the achieved benefit is smaller than in normal-hearing (NH) listeners...
April 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Enrique A Lopez-Poveda, Almudena Eustaquio-Martín
It has been recently shown that cochlear implant users could enjoy better speech reception in noise and enhanced spatial unmasking with binaural audio processing inspired by the inhibitory effects of the contralateral medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex on compression [Lopez-Poveda, Eustaquio-Martin, Stohl, Wolford, Schatzer, and Wilson (2016). Ear Hear. 37, e138-e148]. The perceptual evidence supporting those benefits, however, is limited to a few target-interferer spatial configurations and to a particular implementation of contralateral MOC inhibition...
April 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Dongmei Wang, John H L Hansen
In this study, a single microphone speech enhancement algorithm is proposed to improve speech intelligibility for cochlear implant recipients. The proposed algorithm combines harmonic structure estimation with a subsequent statistical based speech enhancement stage. Traditional minimum mean square error (MMSE) based speech enhancement methods typically focus on statistical characteristics of the noise and track the noise variance along time dimension. The MMSE method is usually effective for stationary noise, but not as useful for non-stationary noise...
April 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Sung Dae Na, Qun Wei, Ki Woong Seong, Jin Ho Cho, Myoung Nam Kim
BACKGROUND: The conventional methods of speech enhancement, noise reduction, and voice activity detection are based on the suppression of noise or non-speech components of the target air-conduction signals. However, air-conduced speech is hard to differentiate from babble or white noise signals. OBJECTIVE: To overcome this problem, the proposed algorithm uses the bone-conduction speech signals and soft thresholding based on the Shannon entropy principle and cross-correlation of air- and bone-conduction signals...
April 17, 2018: Technology and Health Care: Official Journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine
Ramesh Raghavan, Stephen Camarata, Karl White, William Barbaresi, Susan Parish, Gloria Krahn
Purpose: The aim of the study was to provide an overview of population science as applied to speech and language disorders, illustrate data sources, and advance a research agenda on the epidemiology of these conditions. Method: Computer-aided database searches were performed to identify key national surveys and other sources of data necessary to establish the incidence, prevalence, and course and outcome of speech and language disorders. This article also summarizes a research agenda that could enhance our understanding of the epidemiology of these disorders...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
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