Perceived Emotion in Clear Speech
Many listeners report that clear speech sounds more angry than typical conversational speech. A series of studies from the SAP lab have confirmed that, on average, clear speech is rated as sounding more angry than conversational speech. But what is causing this increase in perceived anger? This question is being investigated from several angles by various lab members, including acoustic analysis and perceptual studies that modify acoustic elements of clear speech to examine changes in perceived emotion.
Feasibility Testing of a Noninvasive Ventilator Microphone
Patients receiving support from a mechanical ventilator have traditionally required invasive ventilation, with a tube inserted directly into the airway. An alternative is non-invasive ventilation (NIV), which replaces the invasive tube with a face mask. While the use of NIV is expanding in many settings, a drawback is it severely hinders patients’ ability to communicate effectively. The SAP laboratory is currently collaborating with Axon Medical and the University of Utah Anesthesiology department to test a microphone system that enhances patient communication while undergoing NIV. Testing with young healthy volunteers produced promising results, with intelligibility increasing significantly while using the NIV microphone device. Testing with patient populations is currently underway.
Listeners’ judgments of speech produced by non-native English speakers
An Au.D. capstone project conducted many years ago at the University of Kansas suggested that older adults with hearing loss give lower accentedness ratings to speech produced by non-native speakers than young adults do. A new Au.D. capstone project will have older adults with hearing loss make accentedness ratings of speech samples downloaded from the George Mason University Accent Archive; a lab project will have young adults with normal hearing will perform the same tasks.
Clarity ratings of conversational and clear speech produced by younger and older talkers in quiet and in noise
In this Au.D. capstone project, young adults with normal hearing will rate the clarity of speech produced by younger and older adults to determine whether these groups differ in how effective they are at producing clear speech.