Speech production is constantly modulated by sensory information from the auditory periphery concerning the accuracy of speech output and ambient noise characteristics. The sensitivity of speech motor output to auditory sensory information has been demonstrated most clearly in studies involving auditory feedback perturbations and changes in background noise signals. However, speech responses observed in these protocols are perturbation are far from uniform and instead depend on a number of characteristics specific to the speech task and speech utterances being investigated. The proposed research examines task and utterance effects on speech responses to auditory feedback perturbations and different background noise signals to evaluate the extent to which the integration of sensory information from the auditory periphery into speech motor commands operates to preserve meaningfully contrastive information in the speech acoustic signal. Investigations of speech responses to perturbations of auditory feedback will examine whether these responses are modulated by the effects of the perturbation on the contrast distance separating the perturbed sound from neighboring sounds. Investigations of speech production in noise will examine the sensitivity of speech responses to different background noise signals during speech task and utterance conditions requiring production of more or less discriminatory information in the speech acoustic signal. The results of this research will provide insight into the question of whether the control of spectral features in speech responses to auditory feedback and background noise share a common control parameter for modulating discriminatory power in speech output.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this study is to investigate how the motor commands for speech production are integrated with sensory information from the auditory periphery to preserve meaningfully contrastive information in the speech acoustic signal in different speaking conditions. The proposed work will supplement the existing literature on sensorimotor control for speech and provide a more comprehensive account of the role of auditory sensory information in speech communication.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
5R03DC011159-03
Application #
8272585
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-Y (53))
Program Officer
Shekim, Lana O
Project Start
2010-06-01
Project End
2014-05-31
Budget Start
2012-06-01
Budget End
2014-05-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$151,008
Indirect Cost
$54,208
Name
Northeastern University
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
001423631
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
Reilly, Kevin J; Dougherty, Kathleen E (2013) The role of vowel perceptual cues in compensatory responses to perturbations of speech auditory feedback. J Acoust Soc Am 134:1314-23