Does the Visual Channel Improve the Perception of Consonants Produced by Speakers of French With Down Syndrome? Purpose This work evaluates whether seeing the speaker's face could improve the speech intelligibility of adults with Down syndrome (DS). This is not straightforward because DS induces a number of anatomical and motor anomalies affecting the orofacial zone. Method A speech-in-noise perception test was used to evaluate the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 17, 2018
Does the Visual Channel Improve the Perception of Consonants Produced by Speakers of French With Down Syndrome?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alexandre Hennequin
    Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Amélie Rochet-Capellan
    Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Silvain Gerber
    Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Marion Dohen
    Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Marion Dohen: marion.dohen@gipsa-lab.grenoble-inp.fr
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Daniel Fogerty
    Editor: Daniel Fogerty×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 17, 2018
Does the Visual Channel Improve the Perception of Consonants Produced by Speakers of French With Down Syndrome?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 957-972. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0112
History: Received March 30, 2017 , Revised July 30, 2017 , Accepted December 8, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 957-972. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0112
History: Received March 30, 2017; Revised July 30, 2017; Accepted December 8, 2017

Purpose This work evaluates whether seeing the speaker's face could improve the speech intelligibility of adults with Down syndrome (DS). This is not straightforward because DS induces a number of anatomical and motor anomalies affecting the orofacial zone.

Method A speech-in-noise perception test was used to evaluate the intelligibility of 16 consonants (Cs) produced in a vowel–consonant–vowel context (Vo = /a/) by 4 speakers with DS and 4 control speakers. Forty-eight naïve participants were asked to identify the stimuli in 3 modalities: auditory (A), visual (V), and auditory–visual (AV). The probability of correct responses was analyzed, as well as AV gain, confusions, and transmitted information as a function of modality and phonetic features.

Results The probability of correct response follows the trend AV > A > V, with smaller values for the DS than the control speakers in A and AV but not in V. This trend depended on the C: the V information particularly improved the transmission of place of articulation and to a lesser extent of manner, whereas voicing remained specifically altered in DS.

Conclusions The results suggest that the V information is intact in the speech of people with DS and improves the perception of some phonetic features in Cs in a similar way as for control speakers. This result has implications for further studies, rehabilitation protocols, and specific training of caregivers.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.6002267

Acknowledgment
This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013 Grant Agreement no.339152 “Speech Unit(e)s,” awarded to PI Jean-Luc Schwartz) and from the FIRAH foundation (International Foundation of Applied Disability Research) awarded to PIs Marion Dohen and Amélie Rochet-Capellan. It was approved by the Comité d'Éthique pour les Recherches Non Interventionnelles ethics committee of Grenoble Alpes University (IRB00010290 COMUE Grenoble Alpes University IRB#1 – approval number: 2014-03-11-41) and by the ethical committee of the FIRAH. The authors thank the Association pour la Recherche et l'Insertion Sociale des Trisomiques (Down Syndrome Research and Social Integration Association), the Établissement et Service d'Aide par le Travail—Service d'Activité de Jour (Institution and Service through Work—Day Activity Service), and the speakers who participated in this study and their families.
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