Speech Restoration: An Interactive Process PurposeThis study investigates the ability to understand degraded speech signals and explores the correlation between this capacity and the functional characteristics of the peripheral auditory system.MethodThe authors evaluated the capability of 50 normal-hearing native French speakers to restore time-reversed speech. The task required them to transcribe two-syllable items containing temporal ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2009
Speech Restoration: An Interactive Process
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claire Grataloup
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Université Lyon2
  • Michel Hoen
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Université Lyon2
  • Evelyne Veuillet
    CNRS and Université Lyon1
  • Lionel Collet
    CNRS and Université Lyon1
  • François Pellegrino
    CNRS and Université Lyon2
  • Fanny Meunier
    CNRS and Université Lyon2
  • Contact author: Claire Grataloup, Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage UMR 5596 et Universite Lumiere Lyon2, Institut des Sciences de l’Homme, 14 avenue Berthelot, Lyon 69363 France. E-mail: claire.grataloup@gmail.com.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article   |   August 01, 2009
Speech Restoration: An Interactive Process
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2009, Vol. 52, 827-838. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0235)
History: Received December 21, 2006 , Revised June 18, 2007 , Accepted September 3, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2009, Vol. 52, 827-838. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0235)
History: Received December 21, 2006; Revised June 18, 2007; Accepted September 3, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeThis study investigates the ability to understand degraded speech signals and explores the correlation between this capacity and the functional characteristics of the peripheral auditory system.

MethodThe authors evaluated the capability of 50 normal-hearing native French speakers to restore time-reversed speech. The task required them to transcribe two-syllable items containing temporal reversions of variable sizes, ranging from no reversion to complete reversion, increasing by half-syllable steps. In parallel, the functionality of each participant’s auditory efferent system was evaluated using contralateral suppression of click-evoked otoacoustic emissions.

ResultsPerceptual accuracy for time-reversed speech diminished when the size of the applied temporal distortion increased. A lexical benefit was evident, and an important interindividual variability in performance was observed. Functional exploration of the auditory system revealed that speech restoration performances correlated with the suppression strength of the participant’s auditory efferent system.

ConclusionsThese results suggest a clear relation between the functional asymmetry of the auditory efferent pathway (the right-side activity is greater than the left-side activity in right-handed participants) and the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech in normal-hearing participants. Further experiments are needed to better specify how the functionality of the medial olivocochlear bundle can cause phonological activation to be more efficient.

Acknowledgments
We are very grateful for financial support of this project: The study was funded by a grant from the Rhône-Alpes region, awarded to the last author; the first author’s doctoral work was funded by a grant from the Délégation Générale pour l’Armement (DGA); and the second author’s postdoctoral funding was obtained from the Groupement De Recherche (GDR) du CNRS Number 2213.
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