The Effects of Speech Compression Algorithms on the Intelligibility of Two Individuals With Dysarthric Speech Purpose Telemedicine, used to offset disparities in access to speech-language therapy, relies on technology that utilizes compression algorithms to transmit signals efficiently. These algorithms have been thoroughly evaluated on healthy speech; however, the effects of compression algorithms on the intelligibility of disordered speech have not been adequately explored. ... Research Note
Newly Published
Research Note  |   December 03, 2018
The Effects of Speech Compression Algorithms on the Intelligibility of Two Individuals With Dysarthric Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rene L. Utianski
    Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Steven Sandoval
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
  • Visar Berisha
    School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Kaitlin L. Lansford
    School of Communication Science & Disorders, Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Julie M. Liss
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Disclosure: Visar Berisha is the Chief Science Officer at Aural Analytics. Julie M. Liss is the Chief Clinical Officer at Aural Analytics. The authors have no other relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.
    Disclosure: Visar Berisha is the Chief Science Officer at Aural Analytics. Julie M. Liss is the Chief Clinical Officer at Aural Analytics. The authors have no other relevant conflicts of interest to disclose. ×
  • Correspondence to Rene L. Utianski: Utianski.Rene@mayo.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Kristie Spencer
    Editor: Kristie Spencer×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Note
Research Note   |   December 03, 2018
The Effects of Speech Compression Algorithms on the Intelligibility of Two Individuals With Dysarthric Speech
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0081
History: Received April 23, 2018 , Revised June 8, 2018 , Accepted July 10, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0081
History: Received April 23, 2018; Revised June 8, 2018; Accepted July 10, 2018

Purpose Telemedicine, used to offset disparities in access to speech-language therapy, relies on technology that utilizes compression algorithms to transmit signals efficiently. These algorithms have been thoroughly evaluated on healthy speech; however, the effects of compression algorithms on the intelligibility of disordered speech have not been adequately explored.

Method This case study assessed acoustic and perceptual effects of resampling and speech compression (i.e., transcoding) on the speech of 2 individuals with dysarthria. Forced-choice vowel identification and transcription tasks were utilized, completed by 20 naive undergraduate listeners.

Results Results showed relative improvements and decrements in intelligibility, on various measures, based on the speakers' acoustic profiles. The transcoding of the speech compression algorithm resulted in an enlarged vowel space area and associated improvements in vowel identification for 1 speaker and a smaller vowel space area and decreased vowel identification for the other speaker. Interestingly, there was an overall decrease in intelligibility in the transcription task in this condition for both speakers.

Conclusions There is a complex interplay between dysarthria and compression algorithms that warrants further exploration. The findings suggest that it is critical to be mindful of apparent changes in intelligibility secondary to compression algorithms necessary for practicing telemedicine.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.7291940

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants 2R01DC006859 (Liss) and 1R21DC012558 (Liss and Berisha). Rene L. Utianski, Julie M. Liss, and Visar Berisha received research support from the National Institutes of Health. Portions of this work were presented at the 164th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and were awarded second place in the Best Paper Award competitions for Students and Young Presenters in Speech Communication.
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