Interspeech'2005 - Eurospeech

Lisbon, Portugal
September 4-8, 2005

A Preprocessing Technique for Improving Speech Intelligibility in Reverberant Environments: The Effect of Steady-State Suppression on Elderly People

Yusuke Miyauchi, Nao Hodoshima, Keiichi Yasu, Nahoko Hayashi, Takayuki Arai, Mitsuko Shindo

Sophia University, Japan

In a large auditorium, perceiving speech may become difficult. One reason that reverberation degrades speech intelligibility is the effect of overlap-masking (Bolt and MacDonald, 1949; Nabelek and Robinette, 1978). Reverberation is a more critical issue for elderly people to perceive speech than it is for young people (Fitzgibbons and Gordon-Salant, 1999). Arai et al. suppressed steady-state portions of speech which have more energy but are less crucial for speech perception, and confirmed promising results for improving speech intelligibility (Arai et al., 2001, 2002). Hodoshima et al. conducted perceptual tests to confirm the effectiveness of steady-state suppression with several reverberation conditions, and obtained significant improvements with reverberation times of 0.7-1.3 s. In this study, we conducted an experiment for evaluating steadystate suppression with fifty elderly people and found that there were significant improvements. Also, steady-state suppression yielded better improvements in speech intelligibility for elderly people than it did for young people.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Miyauchi, Yusuke / Hodoshima, Nao / Yasu, Keiichi / Hayashi, Nahoko / Arai, Takayuki / Shindo, Mitsuko (2005): "A preprocessing technique for improving speech intelligibility in reverberant environments: the effect of steady-state suppression on elderly people", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 2769-2772.