Interactive games to understand & augment speech communication

October 13, 2011
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111
Host: Rob Jacob

Abstract

Spoken communication is more than merely producing a series of words within a sentence frame. How an utterance is produced its prosody can dramatically alter the intended message. Young children modulate prosody long before they have mastered the formation or sequencing of individual speech sounds. Prosodic structure also appears to be retained in vocalizations produced by individuals with severe neuromotor speech disorders. Thus, prosody serves as an important carrier signal that may be used to scaffold speech development or to convey intentions. In our laboratory we use acoustic analysis, signal processing and interface design techniques to study and augment speech communication. In this talk, I focus on the use of interactive games for eliciting natural spoken interactions and for providing motivation contexts to collect data from children and individuals with speech impairments. I discuss how these novel human-computer interfaces inform our understanding of speech production and how they can be leveraged for assistive technology, language learning, and therapeutic interventions.

Bio:

Rupal Patel, Ph.D. Associate Professor Joint appointments in the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology & College of Computer and Information Science.

Professor Patel directs the Communication Analysis and Design Laboratory, an interdisciplinary group comprised of students and staff with backgrounds in speech acoustics, speech and language therapy, signal processing, natural language processing and human computer interaction. The lab is focused on studying the acoustic of speech melody in typically developing childrens and individuals with neuromotor impairment using human-computer interfaces that simulate or elicit natural spoken interaction. Findings of these empirical studies inform the design of novel communication technologies that assess and/or augment speech communication.

More information: http://www.cadlab.neu.edu