The goal of this research is to develop improved assessment protocols that afford a quantitative and analytic evaluation of speech impairment in children and adults with neurological disorders. Speech impairments (dysarthrias) will be studied in persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, cerebellar degeneration, cerebral palsy, and developmental speech disorders. Improved evaluation of speech intelligibility is a particular focus of this work, but issues of speech and voice quality also are addressed. The methods to be used are a combination of standard clinical assessments (such as rating scales), intelligibility evaluations, and computer-based acoustic analyses. Specifically, the methods include: perceptual ratings of speech by experienced clinicians, quantitative assessment of intelligibility, a multiple-parameter acoustic analysis, computer correction of speech abnormalities through LPC resynthesis of the acoustic signal, and derivation of vocal tract shape from acoustic parameters. Work in all these areas will be based on recordings of speech samples from a large number of individuals with dysarthria. One product of the research will be a library of clinical profiles including intelligibility scores, phonetic feature analyses, ratings of speech/voice quality, acoustic measures, and neurological diagnosis. Particular attention will be given to the influences of subject age and sex on the characteristics of dysarthria for a given neurological diagnosis. The assessment protocols will be implemented on microcomputers and designed to be incorporated in clinical practice. The research also will contribute to the development of expert systems for the rating and classification of dysarthria.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HAR (01))
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Wang, Yu-Tsai; Nip, Ignatius S B; Green, Jordan R et al. (2012) Accuracy of perceptual and acoustic methods for the detection of inspiratory loci in spontaneous speech. Behav Res Methods 44:1121-8
Kim, Yunjung; Kuo, Christina (2012) Effect of level of presentation to listeners on scaled speech intelligibility of speakers with dysarthria. Folia Phoniatr Logop 64:26-33
Kim, Yunjung; Kent, Raymond D; Weismer, Gary (2011) An acoustic study of the relationships among neurologic disease, dysarthria type, and severity of dysarthria. J Speech Lang Hear Res 54:417-29
Bunton, Kate; Leddy, Mark (2011) An evaluation of articulatory working space area in vowel production of adults with Down syndrome. Clin Linguist Phon 25:321-34
Wang, Yu-Tsai; Green, Jordan R; Nip, Ignatius S B et al. (2010) Breath group analysis for reading and spontaneous speech in healthy adults. Folia Phoniatr Logop 62:297-302
Wang, Yu-Tsai; Green, Jordan R; Nip, Ignatius S B et al. (2010) Accuracy of perceptually based and acoustically based inspiratory loci in reading. Behav Res Methods 42:791-7
Kim, Yunjung; Weismer, Gary; Kent, Raymond D et al. (2009) Statistical models of F2 slope in relation to severity of dysarthria. Folia Phoniatr Logop 61:329-35
Wang, Yu-Tsai; Kent, Ray D; Kent, Jane Finley et al. (2009) Acoustic analysis of voice in dysarthria following stroke. Clin Linguist Phon 23:335-47
Wang, Yu-Tsai; Kent, Ray D; Duffy, Joseph R et al. (2009) Analysis of diadochokinesis in ataxic dysarthria using the motor speech profile program. Folia Phoniatr Logop 61:1-11
Vorperian, Houri K; Kent, Ray D (2007) Vowel acoustic space development in children: a synthesis of acoustic and anatomic data. J Speech Lang Hear Res 50:1510-45

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