15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Analysis of Emotional Effect on Speech-Body Gesture Interplay

Zhaojun Yang, Shrikanth S. Narayanan

University of Southern California, USA

In interpersonal interactions, speech and body gesture channels are internally coordinated towards conveying communicative intentions. The speech-gesture relationship is influenced by the internal emotion state underlying the communication. In this paper, we focus on uncovering the emotional effect on the interrelation between speech and body gestures. We investigate acoustic features describing speech prosody (pitch and energy) and vocal tract configuration (MFCCs), as well as three types of body gestures, viz., head motion, lower and upper body motions. We employ mutual information to measure the coordination between the two communicative channels, and analyze the quantified speech-gesture link with respect to distinct levels of emotion attributes, i.e., activation and valence. The results reveal that the speech-gesture coupling is generally tighter for low-level activation and high-level valence, compared to high-level activation and low-level valence. We further propose a framework for modeling the dynamics of speech-gesture interaction. Experimental studies suggest that such quantified coupling representations can well discriminate different levels of activation and valence, reinforcing that emotions are encoded in the dynamics of the multimodal link. We also verify that the structures of the coupling representations are emotion-dependent using subspace-based analysis.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yang, Zhaojun / Narayanan, Shrikanth S. (2014): "Analysis of emotional effect on speech-body gesture interplay", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1934-1938.