Compensating for impaired prosody perception in cochlear implant recipients: A novel approach using speech preprocessing
Due to inherent device limitations, cochlear implant (CI) recipients are provided with greatly reduced pitch information. However, detecting changes in pitch is necessary to perceive intonation, a main feature of prosody. Therefore, CI recipients’ ability to perceive prosody is typically below that of normal-hearing subjects. We propose a novel preprocessing algorithm to enhance intonation perception by broadening the range of pitch changes in speech signals. To proof this concept, we have developed the pitch range extension (PREX) algorithm. PREX is capable of low-delay pitch modifications to speech signals. In addition, it provides automatic and intonation based amplification of pitch movements. In an evaluation with 23 CI recipients, the proposed algorithm significantly improved intonation perception in a question vs. statement experiment. However, the improved performance of CI subjects was still inferior to the performance of normal-hearing subjects. The results support the idea that preprocessing algorithms can improve the perception of prosodic speech features. Furthermore, we suggest utilizing the PREX algorithm for individualized treatment and rehabilitation.
Meister, H., Landwehr, M., Pyschny, V., Walger, M., and Wedel, H.v. (2009), “The perception of prosody and speaker gender in normal-hearing listeners and cochlear implant recipients,” Int. J. Audiol., 48, 38-48.
Nolan, F. (2003), “Intonational equivalence: An experimental evaluation of pitch scales,” Proc. 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 771-774.
Nooteboom, S. (1997), “The prosody of speech: Melody and rhythm,” in The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences. Eds. Hardcastle, W.J. and Laver, J. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell), pp. 640-673.
Wagener, K., Kühnel, V., and Kollmeier, B. (1999). “Entwicklung und Evaluation eines Satztests in deutscher Sprache I: Design des Oldenburger Satztests,” Zeitschrift für Audiologie/Audiological Acoustics, 38, 4-15.
Wang, W., Zhou, N., and Xu, L. (2011), “Musical pitch and lexical tone perception with cochlear implants,” Int. J. Audiol., 50, 270-278.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright* and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
*From the 2017 issue onward. The Danavox Jubilee Foundation owns the copyright of all articles published in the 1969-2015 issues. However, authors are still allowed to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.