Acoustic and kinematic characteristics of vowel production through a virtual vocal tract in Dysarthria

Jeff Berry, Andrew Kolb, Cassandra North, Michael T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Broadening our understanding of the components and processes of speech sensorimotor learning is crucial to furthering methods of speech neurorehabilitation. Recent research in limb sensorimotor control has used virtual environments to study learning in novel sensorimotor working spaces. Comparable experimental paradigms have yet to be undertaken to study speech learning. We present acoustic and kinematic data obtained from participants producing vowels in unfamiliar articulatory-acoustic working spaces using a virtual vocal tract. Talkers with dysarthria and healthy controls were asked to produce vowels using an electromagnetic articulograph-driven speech synthesizer for participantcontrolled auditory feedback. The aim of the work was to characterize performance within and between groups to generate hypotheses regarding experimental manipulations that may bolster our understanding of speech sensorimotor learning. Results indicate that dysarthric talkers displayed relatively reduced acoustic working spaces and somewhat more variable acoustic targets compared to controls. Kinematic measures of articulatory dynamics, particularly peak speed and movement jerk-cost, were idiosyncratic and did not dissociate talker groups. These findings suggest that individuals with dysarthria and healthy talkers may use idiosyncratic movement strategies in learning to control a virtual vocal tract, but that dysarthric talkers may nonetheless exhibit acoustic limitations that parallel deficits in speech intelligibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1588-1592
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
StatePublished - 2014
Event15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: Celebrating the Diversity of Spoken Languages, INTERSPEECH 2014 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Sep 14 2014Sep 18 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 ISCA.


  • Articulatory resynthesis
  • Auditory feedback
  • Dysarthria
  • Sensorimotor learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation


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