Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
Help is on the way for people who suffer from vocal cord dysfunction. Researchers are developing methods that will contribute to manufacturing voice prostheses with improved affective features. For example, for little girls who have lost their voices, the improved artificial voice devices can produce age-appropriate voices, instead of the usual voice of an adult male.

Help is on the way for people who suffer from vocal cord dysfunction. Researchers are developing methods that will contribute to manufacturing voice prostheses with improved affective features. For example, for little girls who have lost their voices, the improved artificial voice devices can produce age-appropriate voices, instead of the usual voice of an adult male.

These advances in artificial voice production have been made possible by results achieved in a research project led by Professor Samuli Siltanen, results that are good news indeed for the approximately 30,000 Finns with vocal cord problems. Siltanen's project is part of the Academy of Finland's Computational Science Research Programme (LASTU).

One of the fundamental problems of speech signal analysis is to find the vocal cord excitation signal from a digitally recorded speech sound and to determine the shape of the vocal tract, i.e. the mouth and the throat. This so-called glottal inverse filtering of the speech signal requires a highly specialised form of computer calculation. With traditional techniques, inverse filtration is only possible for low-pitch male voices. Women's and children's voices are trickier cases as the higher pitch comes too close in frequency to the lowest resonance of the vocal tract. The novel inverse calculation method developed by Siltanen and his team significantly improves glottal inverse filtering in these cases.

Besides in speech synthesis, inverse filtering is needed in automatic speech recognition. In speech synthesis, a computer will transform text into synthetic speech. The old-fashioned way is to record individual words and play them one after the other, but this seldom produces natural-sounding speech.

"Most speech sounds are a result of a specific process. The air flowing between the vocal folds makes them vibrate. This vibration, if we could hear it, would produce a weird buzzing sound. However, as it moves through the vocal tract, that buzz is transformed into some familiar vowel," explains Siltanen.

Singing, says Siltanen, is a perfect example of this interplay between the vocal cord response and the vocal tract: "When we sing the vowel 'a' in different pitches, our vocal tracts remain unchanged but the frequency of the vocal cord excitation changes. On the other hand, we can also sing different vowels in the same pitch, whereby the shape of the tract changes and the excitation stays the same."

Speech recognition is widely used, for example, in mobile phones and automatic telephone services. High-quality glottal inverse filtering improves the success rate of speech recognition in noisy environments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2012, October 24). Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins