15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Aero-Tactile Integration in Fricatives: Converting Audio to Air Flow Information for Speech Perception Enhancement

Donald Derrick, Greg A. O'Beirne, Tom De Rybel, Jennifer Hay

University of Canterbury, New Zealand

We follow up on research demonstrating that aero-tactile information can enhance or interfere with accurate auditory perception among uninformed and untrained perceivers. We computationally extract aperiodic information from auditory recordings of speech, which represents turbulent air-flow produced from the lips. This extracted signal is used to drive a piezoelectric air-pump producing air-flow to the right temple simultaneous with presentation of auditory recordings. Using forced-choice experiments, we replicate previous results with stops, finding enhanced perception of /pa/ in /pa/ vs. /ba/ pairs, and /ta/ in /ta/ vs. /da/ pairs. We also found enhanced perception of /fa/ in /ba/ vs. /fa/ pairs, and /sha/ in /da/ vs. /sha/ pairs, demonstrating that air flow during fricative production contacting the skin can also enhance speech perception. The results show that aero-tactile information can be extracted from the audio signal and used to enhance speech perception of a large class of speech sounds found in many languages of the world.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Derrick, Donald / O'Beirne, Greg A. / Rybel, Tom De / Hay, Jennifer (2014): "Aero-tactile integration in fricatives: converting audio to air flow information for speech perception enhancement", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 2580-2584.