Reaction Times of Normal Listeners to Laryngeal, Alaryngeal, and Synthetic Speech The purpose of this study was to compare listener processing demands when decoding alaryngeal compared to laryngeal speech. Fifty-six listeners were presented with single words produced by 1 proficient speaker from 5 different modes of speech: normal, tracheosophageal (TE), esophageal (ES), electrolaryngeal (EL), and synthetic speech (SS). Cognitive processing load ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2006
Reaction Times of Normal Listeners to Laryngeal, Alaryngeal, and Synthetic Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul M. Evitts
    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
  • Jeff Searl
    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
  • Contact Author: Paul M. Evitts, who is now at Department of Communicative Disorders, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383. E-mail: pevitts@wcupa.edu.
  • Jeff Searl is currently an Associate Professor in the Hearing and Speech Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS.
    Jeff Searl is currently an Associate Professor in the Hearing and Speech Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2006
Reaction Times of Normal Listeners to Laryngeal, Alaryngeal, and Synthetic Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1380-1390. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/099)
History: Received September 9, 2005 , Accepted April 22, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1380-1390. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/099)
History: Received September 9, 2005; Accepted April 22, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

The purpose of this study was to compare listener processing demands when decoding alaryngeal compared to laryngeal speech. Fifty-six listeners were presented with single words produced by 1 proficient speaker from 5 different modes of speech: normal, tracheosophageal (TE), esophageal (ES), electrolaryngeal (EL), and synthetic speech (SS). Cognitive processing load was indexed by listener reaction time (RT). To account for significant durational differences among the modes of speech, an RT ratio was calculated (stimulus duration divided by RT). Results indicated that the cognitive processing load was greater for ES and EL relative to normal speech. TE and normal speech did not differ in terms of RT ratio, suggesting fairly comparable cognitive demands placed on the listener. SS required greater cognitive processing load than normal and alaryngeal speech. The results are discussed relative to alaryngeal speech intelligibility and the role of the listener. Potential clinical applications and directions for future research are also presented.

Acknowledgments
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a PhD at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Results of this study were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Philadelphia, November 2004. We thank Larry Small and Rod Gabel for their guidance and Rachel Roszman for her assistance in data management.
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