The Speech Research Laboratory in the Center for Pediatric Auditory and Speech Sciences (CPASS) at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is seeking cochlear implant patients age 18 or older for a research study designed to assess the intelligibility of synthetic speech. The study is part of a grant funded by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The PI is Dr. H. Timothy Bunnell, Head of the Speech Research Lab and Director of CPASS.
As part of the grant, we are proposing to develop speech-training software designed to augment aural rehabilitation therapy. The software will use synthesized speech that has already been developed in our laboratory. We would like to find out if this type of computer-generated speech can be used effectively for aural rehabilitation. The pilot study is to assess the intelligibility of the synthetic speech with people who have cochlear implants to see how well they respond to it.
The experiment will be conducted in our Laboratory. The procedure involves sitting in a sound-dampened room and listening to a series of short semantically unpredictable (nonsense) sentences over loudspeakers. The sentences will be produced with synthetic speech at various levels of quality. Some of the sentences will be difficult to understand. Participants will hear each sentence only once and type what they hear. For each sentence, we will measure the difference between what they type and what the sentence was supposed to be. Results will be compared to normal-hearing listeners' performance on the same task. Participants will be paid $25 for one 1-hour session.
Participants must be at least 18 years old and have bilateral cochlear implants or a unilateral implant with non-functional hearing in the
contralateral ear. They should be more than one year post-implant-activation. All participants must be post-lingually deaf with American English as their native language. If you know of anyone who might qualify, please have them contact the Research Coordinator, Jim Polikoff, by phone at 302-651-6843 or by email.