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   Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
   on Hearing Enhancement

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            Gallaudet University Logo
     Gallaudet
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Project 4 - Evaluation of Concatenative Synthetic Speech Reception in People with Cochlear Implants

Investigators

H. Timothy Bunnell, Ph.D. - Wilmington, DE / A. I. duPont Hospital for Children

Purpose of Study

The aural rehabilitation strategies proposed for several projects within this RERC require large amounts of speech materials. We hope to generate these materials automatically with text-to-speech synthesis, however there do not appear to be any published studies reporting experiences of hearing impaired listeners with the latest TTS technology that we propose to use. The purpose of this study is to assess the feasibility of using TTS technology to allow new speech materials for aural rehabilitation to be developed rapidly, even for story-length materials, and to provide text-to-speech for dialogue-like interaction.

Description

This study will explore the relationship between TTS quality and its perception by hearing impaired listeners, as well as the trade-offs between synthetic speech quality and its usefulness as the speech materials for aural rehabilitation. In pilot studies with normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners, we will compare the results of listening tests with synthesized speech of varying qualities. The results of the pilot study will be used to calibrate stimuli for an aural rehabilitation training task ranging from natural speech to a quality level that affords approximately 70% words correct for NH listeners on the pilot task. Analyses will compare outcome measures of aural rehabilitation training using natural speech with those obtained from training with synthesized speech of various qualities.

Progress

Data has been collected for a pilot study with normal hearing listeners.

Contact Information

H. Timothy Bunnell

Email - bunnell@asel.udel.edu

Phone - (302) 651-6835

More information on this research can be found at: http://www.nemoursresearch.org/cpass

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Last modified: 07/01/2013

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