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.
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!
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University
Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
23.08.2017 | Automotive Engineering
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences