Speechreading Enhancement by Voice Fundamental Frequency The Effects of Fo Contour Distortions Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1992
Speechreading Enhancement by Voice Fundamental Frequency
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Theresa Hnath-Chisolm
    University of South Florida Tampa
  • Arthur Boothroyd
    Graduate Center, City University of New York, NY
  • Contact author: Theresa Hnath-Chisolm, PhD, College of Social and Behavioral Communication Sciences, BEH 255, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620.
Article Information
Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1992
Speechreading Enhancement by Voice Fundamental Frequency
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1160-1168. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1160
History: Received August 26, 1991 , Accepted January 24, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1160-1168. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1160
History: Received August 26, 1991; Accepted January 24, 1992

Recognition of words in sentences of known topic was measured in normally hearing adults via speechreading alone and speechreading supplemented with auditory presentation of signals intended to convey variations of voice fundamental frequency (Fo) over time. Three signals were used: (a) the low-pass filtered output of an electroglottograph (unprocessed Fo), (b) a constant amplitude sine wave whose instantaneous frequency was intended to equal that of Fo (processed Fo), and (c) the same sine wave restricted to a small number of discrete frequency steps (quantized Fo). As the number of steps in the quantized Fo contours increased from 1 to 12, the speechreading enhancement effect increased. The quantized Fo contour with 12 steps was as effective as the processed Fo contour (without quantization), but this processed contour was significantly less effective than the unprocessed electroglottograph signal. The results show that the auditory Fo speechreading enhancement effect is sensitive to the errors introduced by the Fo extraction and regeneration process used in this study. It is also sensitive to the quantization of Fo contours into less than 12 steps. Whether more than 12 steps are required for the full enhancement effect remains to be determined.

Acknowledgments
The work reported here was part of a doctoral dissertation completed by the first author and submitted to the City University of New York. This research was supported in part by NIH Grant #17764. We gratefully acknowledge the valuable contributions of Irving Hochberg, Harry Levitt, and Mark Weiss, who served as dissertation advisers. We also extend thanks to Eddy Yeung for technical assistance and Laurie Hanin for serving as talker.
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