Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Patients improve speech by watching 3-D tongue images


Findings could be helpful for stroke patients

A new study done by University of Texas at Dallas researchers indicates that watching 3-D images of tongue movements can help individuals learn speech sounds.

Technology recently allowed researchers to switch from 2-D to the Opti-Speech technology, which shows the 3-D images of the tongue.

Credit: University of Texas at Dallas

According to Dr. William Katz, co-author of the study and professor at UT Dallas' Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the findings could be especially helpful for stroke patients seeking to improve their speech articulation.

"These results show that individuals can be taught consonant sounds in part by watching 3-D tongue images," said Katz, who teaches in the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. "But we also are seeking to use visual feedback to get at the underlying nature of apraxia and other related disorders."

The study, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, was small but showed that participants became more accurate in learning new sounds when they were exposed to visual feedback training.

Katz is one of the first researchers to suggest that the visual feedback on tongue movements could help stroke patients recover speech.

"People with apraxia of speech can have trouble with this process. They typically know what they want to say but have difficulty getting their speech plans to the muscle system, causing sounds to come out wrong," Katz said.

"My original inspiration was to show patients their tongues, which would clearly show where sounds should and should not be articulated," he said.

Technology recently allowed researchers to switch from 2-D technology to the Opti-Speech technology, which shows the 3-D images of the tongue. A previous UT Dallas research project determined that the Opti-Speech visual feedback system can reliably provide real-time feedback for speech learning.

Part of the new study looked at an effect called compensatory articulation -- when acoustics are rapidly shifted and subjects think they are making a certain sound with their mouths, but hear feedback that indicates they are making a different sound.

Katz said people will instantaneously shift away from the direction that the sound has pushed them. Then, if the shift is turned off, they'll overshoot.

"In our paradigm, we were able to visually shift people. Their tongues were making one sound but, little by little, we start shifting it," Katz said. "People changed their sounds to match the tongue image."

Katz said the research results highlight the importance of body visualization as part of rehabilitation therapy, saying there is much more work to be done.

"We want to determine why visual feedback affects speech," Katz said. "How much is due to compensating, versus mirroring (or entrainment)? Do some of the results come from people visually guiding their tongue to the right place, then having their sense of 'mouth feel' take over? What parts of the brain are likely involved?

"3-D imaging is opening an entirely new path for speech rehabilitation. Hopefully this work can be translated soon to help patients who desperately want to speak better."


The Opti-Speech study was co-authored by Sonya Mehta, a doctoral student in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and was funded by the UT Dallas Office of Sponsored Projects, the Callier Center Excellence in Education Fund, and a grant awarded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Phil Roth | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>