Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maastricht University researchers produce 'neural fingerprint' of speech recognition

10.11.2008
Scientists from Maastricht University have developed a method to look into the brain of a person and read out who has spoken to him or her and what was said.

With the help of neuroimaging and data mining techniques the researchers mapped the brain activity associated with the recognition of speech sounds and voices.

In their Science article ”Who” is Saying “What”? Brain-Based Decoding of Human Voice and Speech the four authors demonstrate that speech sounds and voices can be identified by means of a unique 'neural fingerprint' in the listener's brain. In the future this new knowledge could be used to improve computer systems for automatic speech and speaker recognition.

Seven study subjects listened to three different speech sounds (the vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/), spoken by three different people, while their brain activity was mapped using neuroimaging techniques (fMRI). With the help of data mining methods the researchers developed an algorithm to translate this brain activity into unique patterns that determine the identity of a speech sound or a voice. The various acoustic characteristics of vocal cord vibrations (neural patterns) were found to determine the brain activity. Just like real fingerprints, these neural patterns are both unique and specific: the neural fingerprint of a speech sound does not change if uttered by somebody else and a speaker's fingerprint remains the same, even if this person says something different.

Moreover, this study revealed that part of the complex sound-decoding process takes place in areas of the brain previously just associated with the early stages of sound processing. Existing neurocognitive models assume that processing sounds actively involves different regions of the brain according to a certain hierarchy: after a simple processing in the auditory cortex the more complex analysis (speech sounds into words) takes place in specialised regions of the brain. However, the findings from this study imply a less hierarchal processing of speech that is spread out more across the brain.

The research was partly funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): Two of the four authors, Elia Formisano and Milene Bonte carried out their research with an NWO grant (Vidi and Veni). The data mining methods were developed during the PhD research of Federico De Martino (doctoral thesis defended at Maastricht University on 24 October 2008).

Kim van den Wijngaard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.unimaas.nl
http://www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=Q06604X23SUA400B5HD2&taal=en

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>