9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Speech as a Means of Monitoring Cognitive Function of Elderly Speakers

Shona D'Arcy (1), Viliam Rapcan (1), Nils Penard (2), Margaret E. Morris (3), Ian H. Robertson (2), Richard B. Reilly (2)

(1) University College Dublin, Ireland; (2) Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; (3) Intel Corporation, USA

This study investigates the use of speech as an indicator of the onset of cognitive decline in the elderly. The analysis found features that correlate with the results of a clinical measure of cognitive function. Using a combination of temporal language features, such as pause and utterance duration, 76% classification accuracy was achieved. While no significant results were found for ASR experiments, vowel duration, on average, increased by 17% for subjects with cognitive impairment compared to those without. The results from this study introduce the concept of longitudinal studies into aging using speech as a window into cognitive function.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  D'Arcy, Shona / Rapcan, Viliam / Penard, Nils / Morris, Margaret E. / Robertson, Ian H. / Reilly, Richard B. (2008): "Speech as a means of monitoring cognitive function of elderly speakers", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 2230-2233.