Browsing by Subject "speech"

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  • Hoegaerts, Josephine (2018)
    This paper argues for an embodied approach to the scientist’s persona, using ‘experience’ as its focal point. Rather than noting that embodied experiences influenced scientists’ practices and identities amidst (or despite) ideals of objectivity, I want to draw attention to the ways in which personal, embodied experiences were celebrated in nineteenth century science, and presented as primordial for the practice of competent research. I am focusing on those scientists involved in the study of the voice in order to do so. Because the physical workings of the voice are largely hidden inside the body, fields such as laryngology and phoniatry developed a number of touch-based, experiential scientific practices before and alongside tools of visual observation. These non-visual practices were very closely connected to researchers’ sensations of their own bodies, and connected to their identity (as a middle-class amateur singer, a hoarse professor, a stammerer, e.g). As scientific disciplines studying the voice developed over the century, personal ‘experience’ (understood both as particular practices and notions of personal background and identity) was increasingly brought forward as a unique source of understanding and expertise. This resulted in a highly diverse field of experts on the voice, in which otherwise non-elite researchers could participate and even rise to fame. They did so because, and not despite, their physical and social impediments. Studying the experiential practices and memories brought forward by this network of experts allows me to look at the construction of their scientific personae from an intersectional perspective. A focus on the nineteenth century notion of ‘experience’ and its inclusion in scientific discourse allows us an insight into the various constituent elements of a ‘persona’ built within the context of a particular field, and drawing liberally on aspects of identification that do not always fit the classic categories of gender, class, age, health, etc.
  • Salminen, Esa (2006)
    The study is about language use in three commercial, youth-oriented radio stations in Lusaka, the capital of the Republic of Zambia. The study analyses the speech style of Zambian radio presenters and disc jockeys aged between 20 and 35, and the functions and meanings of this speech style, that approximates Black American youth speech. The study is based on analysis of radio recordings, interviews with radio presenters and radio listeners, as well as ethnographic observation data, coupled with statistical demographic and economic data. The ethnographic material was gathered during a three year period between June 2002 and July 2005, the recordings and interviews mostly during the last six months of this period. The main finding of the study is that speech style for the 'radio speech community' is a form of social capital, and it is used to gain upward social mobility and employment, but also sought for as an end in itself, as a building block of a modernistic identity. The study shows how the social group of the radio presenters is in a unique position in Zambia: its members are able to use verbal talent and an identity-building project as a means of subsistence in an impoverished economical context. This finding is compared with other studies on modernisation, namely in historical Europe and contemporary Congo (Brazzaville). The main theoretical sources for the study consist of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, in the works of Charles Briggs, Erwing Goffman, William Labov and John Gumperz; as well as social and anthropological theorists, of which the main ones cited in the study are Pierre Bourdieu, Jonathan Friedman, Mike Featherstone and Peter Burke. Other sources include census statistics, education policy papers of the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations Human Development Report.
  • Astikainen, Piia; Mällo, Tanel; Ruusuvirta, Timo; Naatanen, Risto (2014)
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Putkinen, Vesa; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    The maturation of 5-6-year-old children's auditory discrimination - indicated by the development of the auditory event-related-potentials (ERPs) - has not been previously studied in longitudinal settings. For the first time, we present here the results based on extensive dataset collected from 75 children. We followed the 5- to 6-year-olds for 20 months and measured their ERPs four times with the same multifeature paradigm with phonemic stimuli. The amplitude of the mismatch negativity (MMN) response increased during this time for vowel, vowel duration and frequency changes. Furthermore, the P3a component started to mature toward adult-like positivity for the vowel, intensity and frequency deviants and the late discriminative negativity (LDN) component decreased with age for vowel and intensity deviants. All the changes in the components seemed to happen during the second follow-up year, when Finnish children are taught letter symbols and other preliminary academic skills before going to school at the age of seven. Therefore, further studies are needed to clarify if these changes in the auditory discrimination are purely age-related or due to increasing linguistic knowledge of the children.
  • Salo, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Goals. This thesis explores what are the convincing prosodic features of Finnish speech, concen-trating on two main features, fundamental frequency and speech rate. Earlier studies into the pro-sodic features of speech have shown listeners perceive speakers with lower fundamental frequen-cy (f0) and higher speech rate to be more convincing. I am also trying to establish whether there can be found an interaction between speaker’s gender and credibility. However, at the point of publication and to the best of the author’s knowledge, there has not been any published research regarding what are the convincing parameters in Finnish speech prosody. In light of the above, the hypothesis of this research is: The prosodic features of a convincing speech in the Finnish language do not differ from the prosodic features to be convincing (proven by published re-search) in other western and European languages. The purpose of this study is to provide addi-tional information to the field of speech research in Finnish language. Methods. This was a quantitative study and involved the use of both listening experiments and statistical tests. The listening experiment was used to examine the prosodic features of convincing speech, with 16 statements being collected from European Parliament's plenary website, two statements each from four Finnish male MEPs and 4 Finnish female MEPs. Each statement was first delexicalized, and out of each delexicalized statement, eight new manipulations were creat-ed, for a total of 64 manipulated statements. These manipulations involved raising and lowering the fundamental frequency by ±4 semitones and both speeding up and speeding down the speech rate by ±1.5 seconds. This resulted in the eight manipulated statements for each lexicalized state-ment being classified as: high, low, fast, slow, high-fast, high-slow, low-fast and low-slow. During the listening experiment, each manipulated statement was compared to a non-modified statement. Twelve native Finnish-speaking subjects participated in the experiment; during which they lis-tened to sounds in pairs of two (manipulated vs. non-manipulated), after which the subjects an-swered the question “Which of the statements is more convincing: the first or second one?” Results and conclusions. In conclusion, it was observed that a lower fundamental frequency and higher speech rate were perceived as more convincing than a higher fundamental frequency and lower speech rate. This matches previous research findings on other European languages and due to the statistically significant results we saw between lower f0, faster speech rate and convincing speech, this allows us to prove this thesis’ hypothesis, that convincing prosodic features in the Finnish language are the same as those identified in English language.
  • Leminen, Alina; Verwoert, Maxime; Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Wikman, Patrik; Alho, Kimmo (2020)
    In real-life noisy situations, we can selectively attend to conversations in the presence of irrelevant voices, but neurocognitive mechanisms in such natural listening situations remain largely unexplored. Previous research has shown distributed activity in the mid superior temporal gyrus (STG) and sulcus (STS) while listening to speech and human voices, in the posterior STS and fusiform gyrus when combining auditory, visual and linguistic information, as well as in left-hemisphere temporal and frontal cortical areas during comprehension. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we investigated how selective attention modulates neural responses to naturalistic audiovisual dialogues. Our healthy adult participants (N = 15) selectively attended to video-taped dialogues between a man and woman in the presence of irrelevant continuous speech in the background. We modulated the auditory quality of dialogues with noise vocoding and their visual quality by masking speech-related facial movements. Both increased auditory quality and increased visual quality were associated with bilateral activity enhancements in the STG/STS. In addition, decreased audiovisual stimulus quality elicited enhanced fronto-parietal activity, presumably reflecting increased attentional demands. Finally, attention to the dialogues, in relation to a control task where a fixation cross was attended and the dialogue ignored, yielded enhanced activity in the left planum polare, angular gyrus, the right temporal pole, as well as in the orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate gyrus. Our findings suggest that naturalistic conversations effectively engage participants and reveal brain networks related to social perception in addition to speech and semantic processing networks.
  • Heikkila, Jenni; Tiippana, Kaisa; Loberg, Otto; Leppänen, Paavo H. T. (2018)
    Seeing articulatory gestures enhances speech perception. Perception of auditory speech can even be changed by incongruent visual gestures, which is known as the McGurk effect (e.g., dubbing a voice saying /mi/ onto a face articulating /ni/, observers often hear /ni/). In children, the McGurk effect is weaker than in adults, but no previous knowledge exists about the neural-level correlates of the McGurk effect in school-age children. Using brain event-related potentials, we investigated change detection responses to congruent and incongruent audiovisual speech in school-age children and adults. We used an oddball paradigm with a congruent audiovisual /mi/ as the standard stimulus and a congruent audiovisual /ni/ or McGurk A/mi/V/ni/ as the deviant stimulus. In adults, a similar change detection response was elicited by both deviant stimuli. In children, change detection responses differed between the congruent and the McGurk stimulus. This reflects a maturational difference in the influence of visual stimuli on auditory processing.
  • Lahti, Lauri (Helsingfors universitet, 2006)
    The study examines various uses of computer technology in acquisition of information for visually impaired people. For this study 29 visually impaired persons took part in a survey about their experiences concerning acquisition of infomation and use of computers, especially with a screen magnification program, a speech synthesizer and a braille display. According to the responses, the evolution of computer technology offers an important possibility for visually impaired people to cope with everyday activities and interacting with the environment. Nevertheless, the functionality of assistive technology needs further development to become more usable and versatile. Since the challenges of independent observation of environment were emphasized in the survey, the study led into developing a portable text vision system called Tekstinäkö. Contrary to typical stand-alone applications, Tekstinäkö system was constructed by combining devices and programs that are readily available on consumer market. As the system operates, pictures are taken by a digital camera and instantly transmitted to a text recognition program in a laptop computer that talks out loud the text using a speech synthesizer. Visually impaired test users described that even unsure interpretations of the texts in the environment given by Tekstinäkö system are at least a welcome addition to complete perception of the environment. It became clear that even with a modest development work it is possible to bring new, useful and valuable methods to everyday life of disabled people. Unconventional production process of the system appeared to be efficient as well. Achieved results and the proposed working model offer one suggestion for giving enough attention to easily overlooked needs of the people with special abilities. ACM Computing Classification System (1998): K.4.2 Social Issues: Assistive technologies for persons with disabilities I.4.9 Image processing and computer vision: Applications
  • Alho, Kimmo; Zarnowiec, Katarzyna; Gorina-Careta, Natalia; Escera, Carles (2019)
    In electroencephalography (EEG) measurements, processing of periodic sounds in the ascending auditory pathway generates the frequency-following response (FFR) phase-locked to the fundamental frequency (F0) and its harmonics of a sound. We measured FFRs to the steady-state (vowel) part of syllables /ba/ and /aw/ occurring in binaural rapid streams of speech sounds as frequently repeating standard syllables or as infrequent (p = 0.2) deviant syllables among standard /wa/ syllables. Our aim was to study whether concurrent active phonological processing affects early processing of irrelevant speech sounds reflected by FFRs to these sounds. To this end, during syllable delivery, our healthy adult participants performed tasks involving written letters delivered on a computer screen in a rapid stream. The stream consisted of vowel letters written in red, infrequently occurring consonant letters written in the same color, and infrequently occurring vowel letters written in blue. In the phonological task, the participants were instructed to press a response key to the consonant letters differing phonologically but not in color from the frequently occurring red vowels, whereas in the non-phonological task, they were instructed to respond to the vowel letters written in blue differing only in color from the frequently occurring red vowels. We observed that the phonological task enhanced responses to deviant /ba/ syllables but not responses to deviant /aw/ syllables. This suggests that active phonological task performance may enhance processing of such small changes in irrelevant speech sounds as the 30-ms difference in the initial formant-transition time between the otherwise identical syllables /ba/ and /wa/ used in the present study.
  • Wiklund, Satu Mari-Anna; Vainio, Martti Tapani (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019)
    It is known that persons afflicted with autism often have deviant prosodic features in their speech. For example, they may have a limited range of intonation, their speech can be overly fast, jerky or loud, or it can be characterized by large pitch excursions, quiet voice, inconsistent pause structure, prominent word stress and/or by creaky or nasal voice (Paul et al. 2005a; Paul et al. 2005b; Shriberg et al. 2001; Provonost et al. 1966; Rutter & Lockyer 1967; Ornitz & Ritvo 1976; Fay & Schuler 1980; Tager-Flusberg 1981; Baltaxe & Simmons 1985, 1992; Paul 1987; McPartland & Klin 2006; Tager-Flusberg 2000). Moreover, it has been shown that people afflicted with autism have difficulties to produce affective prosodic patterns (Scott 1985). Fine et al. (1991) have however reported that autistic subjects are able to employ useful prosodic patterns for communication. Producing appropriate stress patterns can nevertheless be difficult for them (Paul et al. 2005a, Paul et al. 2005b). Shriberg et al. (2001) report that persons with autism have notable deficits in pragmatic and affective use of prosody, but they do not have difficulties with the grammatical functions of prosody. Deviant prosodic features of speech do not, however, concern every individual afflicted with autism (Simmons & Baltaxe 1975; Paul et al. 2005b). Nevertheless, when these features occur, they constitute a significant obstacle to the social acceptance of the individual (Paul et al. 2005a: 205). Indeed, deviant prosodic features may create an immediate impression of “oddness” (VanBourgondien & Woods 1992), and they affect autistic speakers’ ratings of social and communicative competence (Paul et al. 2005b). The aim of this paper is to present different salient prosodic features occurring in slightly autistic preadolescents’ speech. The data come from authentic group therapy sessions where 11–13-year-old Finnish-speaking boys (N = 7) and French-speaking boys (N = 4) speak with each other and with their two therapists. The paper will focus on the following features: large pitch excursions, bouncing pitch, flat pitch, jerky rhythm, slow speech rate and fast speech rate. Some of these features occur only in Finnish or in French, whereas some others can be found in both languages. It is also interesting that some of them occur all the time in the speech of an individual, whereas some others occur only in certain types of contexts. The analyses have been carried out using methods of phonetics.
  • Wiklund, Mari; Honko, Mari; Kanto, Laura; Råman, Joonas (2021)
  • Hakonen, Maria; May, Patrick J. C.; Jaaskelainen, Iiro P.; Jokinen, Emma; Sams, Mikko; Tiitinen, Hannu (2017)
    Introduction: We examined which brain areas are involved in the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech using an experimental paradigm where the same distorted sentence can be perceived at different levels of intelligibility. This change in intelligibility occurs via a single intervening presentation of the intact version of the sentence, and the effect lasts at least on the order of minutes. Since the acoustic structure of the distorted stimulus is kept fixed and only intelligibility is varied, this allows one to study brain activity related to speech comprehension specifically. Methods: In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment, a stimulus set contained a block of six distorted sentences. This was followed by the intact counterparts of the sentences, after which the sentences were presented in distorted form again. A total of 18 such sets were presented to 20 human subjects. Results: The blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-responses elicited by the distorted sentences which came after the disambiguating, intact sentences were contrasted with the responses to the sentences presented before disambiguation. This revealed increased activity in the bilateral frontal pole, the dorsal anterior cingulate/paracingulate cortex, and the right frontal operculum. Decreased BOLD responses were observed in the posterior insula, Heschl's gyrus, and the posterior superior temporal sulcus. Conclusions: The brain areas that showed BOLD-enhancement for increased sentence comprehension have been associated with executive functions and with the mapping of incoming sensory information to representations stored in episodic memory. Thus, the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech may be associated with the engagement of memory-related subsystems. Further, activity in the primary auditory cortex was modulated by prior experience, possibly in a predictive coding framework. Our results suggest that memory biases the perception of ambiguous sensory information toward interpretations that have the highest probability to be correct based on previous experience.
  • Uusitalo, Karoliina; Haataja, Leena; Nyman, Anna; Ripatti, Liisi; Huhtala, Mira; Rautava, Päivi; Lehtonen, Liisa; Parkkola, Riitta; Lahti, Katri; Koivisto, Mari; Setänen, Sirkku (2020)
    Objective To evaluate the rate of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and its correlation to cognition and self-experienced health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children born very preterm. Design Prospective follow-up study. Setting Regional population of children born very preterm in Turku University Hospital, Finland, in 2001-2006. Patients A total of 170 children born very preterm were followed up until 11 years of age. Main outcome measures Motor and cognitive outcomes were evaluated using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children -Second Edition (Movement ABC-2) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -Fourth Edition, respectively, and HRQoL using the 17-Dimensional Illustrated Questionnaire (17D). The Touwen neurological examination was performed to exclude other neurological conditions affecting the motor outcome. Results Eighteen children born very preterm (17 boys) (11.3%) had DCD, defined as Movement ABC-2 total test score ≤5th percentile. A positive correlation between motor and cognitive outcome (r=0.22, p=0.006) was found. Children born very preterm with DCD had lower cognitive scores than those without DCD (Full-Scale IQ mean 76.8 vs 91.6, p=0.001). Moreover, children born very preterm with DCD reported lower HRQoL than children born very preterm without motor impairment (17D mean 0.93 vs 0.96, p=0.03). However, HRQoL was higher in this group of children born very preterm compared with population-based normative test results (p
  • Hoegaerts, Josephine; Wiklund, Mari (2021)
  • Särkämö, Teppo Tapio; Ripollés, Pablo; Vepsäläinen, Henna Reetta; Autti, Taina Helena; Silvennoinen, Heli Marjukka; Salli, Eero; Laitinen, Sari; Forsblom, Anita; Soinila, Seppo; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni (2014)
    Music is a highly complex and versatile stimulus for the brain that engages many temporal, frontal, parietal, cerebellar, and subcortical areas involved in auditory, cognitive, emotional, and motor processing. Regular musical activities have been shown to effectively enhance the structure and function of many brain areas, making music a potential tool also in neurological rehabilitation. In our previous randomized controlled study, we found that listening to music on a daily basis can improve cognitive recovery and improve mood after an acute middle cerebral artery stroke. Extending this study, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis utilizing cost function masking was performed on the acute and 6-month post-stroke stage structural magnetic resonance imaging data of the patients (n = 49) who either listened to their favorite music [music group (MG), n = 16] or verbal material [audio book group (ABG), n = 18] or did not receive any listening material [control group (CG), n = 15] during the 6-month recovery period. Although all groups showed significant gray matter volume (GMV) increases from the acute to the 6-month stage, there was a specific network of frontal areas [left and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), right medial SFG] and limbic areas [left ventral/subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (SACC) and right ventral striatum (VS)] in patients with left hemisphere damage in which the GMV increases were larger in the MG than in the ABG and in the CG. Moreover, the GM reorganization in the frontal areas correlated with enhanced recovery of verbal memory, focused attention, and language skills, whereas the GM reorganization in the SACC correlated with reduced negative mood. This study adds on previous results, showing that music listening after stroke not only enhances behavioral recovery, but also induces fine-grained neuroanatomical changes in the recovering brain.
  • Leo, Vera; Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Linnavalli, Tanja; Tervaniemi, Mari; Laine, Matti; Soinila, Seppo; Särkämö, Teppo (2018)
    Coupling novel verbal material with a musical melody can potentially aid in its learning and recall in healthy subjects, but this has never been systematically studied in stroke patients with cognitive deficits. In a counterbalanced design, we presented novel verbal material (short narrative stories) in both spoken and sung formats to stroke patients at the acute poststroke stage and 6 months poststroke. The task comprised three learning trials and a delayed recall trial. Memory performance on the spoken and sung tasks did not differ at the acute stage, whereas sung stories were learned and recalled significantly better compared with spoken stories at the 6 months poststroke stage. Interestingly, this pattern of results was evident especially in patients with mild aphasia, in whom the learning of sung versus spoken stories improved more from the acute to the 6-month stages compared with nonaphasic patients. Overall, these findings suggest that singing could be used as a mnemonic aid in the learning of novel verbal material in later stages of recovery after stroke.
  • Alaluusua, Suvi; Harjunpää, Roni; Turunen, Leena; Geneid, Ahmed; Leikola, Junnu; Heliövaara, Arja (2020)
    Introduction Maxillary advancement may affect speech in cleft patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of maxillary advancement on Finnish alveolar consonants/s/,/l/, and/r/in cleft patients. Materials and methods Fifty-nine Finnish-speaking nonsyndromic cleft patients, who had undergone Le Fort I or bimaxillary osteotomies, were evaluated retrospectively Production of the Finnish alveolar consonants/s/,/l/, and/r/was assessed from pre- and postoperative standardized video recordings by two experienced speech pathologists. McNemar’s test was used in the statistical analyses. Kappa statistics were calculated to assess reliability. Results The patients included 35 females and 24 males with CP (n = 12), UCLP (n = 31), and BCLP (n = 16). There was a significant improvement in/s/and/l/sounds after maxillary advancement (p = 0.039 and p = 0.002, respectively). The preoperative mean percentage of/s/errors was 34%; postoperatively it was 20%./L/was misarticulated preoperatively by 34% of the patients and postoperatively by 19%./R/was misarticulated preoperatively by 47% of the patients and postoperatively by 42%. The level of mild articulation errors rose from 25% to 31%, while severe articulation errors decreased from 37% to 25%. The reliabilities were good. Conclusion When planning orthognathic surgery in cleft patients with maxillary retrusion and articulation errors, advancement of the maxilla might be a means for improving articulation of/s/and/l/.
  • Tiippana, Kaisa (2014)