Feedforward and feedback control in apraxia of speech: effects of noise masking on vowel production.
ABSTRACT: This study was designed to test two hypotheses about apraxia of speech (AOS) derived from the Directions Into Velocities of Articulators (DIVA) model (Guenther et al., 2006): the feedforward system deficit hypothesis and the feedback system deficit hypothesis.The authors used noise masking to minimize auditory feedback during speech. Six speakers with AOS and aphasia, 4 with aphasia without AOS, and 2 groups of speakers without impairment (younger and older adults) participated. Acoustic measures of vowel contrast, variability, and duration were analyzed.Younger, but not older, speakers without impairment showed significantly reduced vowel contrast with noise masking. Relative to older controls, the AOS group showed longer vowel durations overall (regardless of masking condition) and a greater reduction in vowel contrast under masking conditions. There were no significant differences in variability. Three of the 6 speakers with AOS demonstrated the group pattern. Speakers with aphasia without AOS did not differ from controls in contrast, duration, or variability.The greater reduction in vowel contrast with masking noise for the AOS group is consistent with the feedforward system deficit hypothesis but not with the feedback system deficit hypothesis; however, effects were small and not present in all individual speakers with AOS. Theoretical implications and alternative interpretations of these findings are discussed.
Project description:Two auditory perturbation experiments were used to investigate the integrity of neural circuits responsible for speech sensorimotor adaptation in acquired apraxia of speech (AOS). This has implications for understanding the nature of AOS as well as normal speech motor control. Two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, compensatory responses to unpredictable fundamental frequency (F0) perturbations during vocalization were investigated in healthy older adults and adults with acquired AOS plus aphasia. F0 perturbation involved upward and downward 100-cent shifts versus no shift, in equal proportion, during 2 s vocalizations of the vowel /a/. In Experiment 2, adaptive responses to sustained first formant (F1) perturbations during speech were investigated in healthy older adults, adults with AOS and adults with aphasia only (APH). The F1 protocol involved production of the vowel /?/ in four consonant-vowel words of Australian English (pear, bear, care, dare), and one control word with a different vowel (paw). An unperturbed Baseline phase was followed by a gradual Ramp to a 30% upward F1 shift stimulating a compensatory response, a Hold phase where the perturbation was repeatedly presented with alternating blocks of masking trials to probe adaptation, and an End phase with masking trials only to measure persistence of any adaptation. AOS participants showed normal compensation to unexpected F0 perturbations, indicating that auditory feedback control of low-level, non-segmental parameters is intact. Furthermore, individuals with AOS displayed an adaptive response to sustained F1 perturbations, but age-matched controls and APH participants did not. These findings suggest that older healthy adults may have less plastic motor programs that resist modification based on sensory feedback, whereas individuals with AOS have less well-established and more malleable motor programs due to damage from stroke.
Project description:Purpose: Disorders of speech production may be accompanied by abnormal processing of speech sensory feedback. Here, we introduce a semi-automated analysis designed to assess the degree to which speakers use natural online feedback to decrease acoustic variability in spoken words. Because production deficits in aphasia have been hypothesised to stem from problems with sensorimotor integration, we investigated whether persons with aphasia (PWA) can correct their speech acoustics online. Method: Eight PWA in the chronic stage produced 200 repetitions each of three monosyllabic words. Formant variability was measured for each vowel in multiple time windows within the syllable, and the reduction in formant variability from vowel onset to midpoint was quantified. Result: PWA significantly decreased acoustic variability over the course of the syllable, providing evidence of online feedback correction mechanisms. The magnitude of this corrective formant movement exceeded past measurements in control participants. Conclusion: Vowel centreing behaviour suggests that error correction abilities are at least partially spared in speakers with aphasia, and may be relied upon to compensate for feedforward deficits by bringing utterances back on track. These proof of concept data show the potential of this analysis technique to elucidate the mechanisms underlying disorders of speech production.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To study the effects of masked auditory feedback (MAF) on speech fluency in adults with aphasia and/or apraxia of speech (APH/AOS). We hypothesized that adults with AOS would increase speech fluency when speaking with noise. Altered auditory feedback (AAF; i.e., delayed/frequency-shifted feedback) was included as a control condition not expected to improve speech fluency.<h4>Method</h4>Ten participants with APH/AOS and 10 neurologically healthy (NH) participants were studied under both feedback conditions. To allow examination of individual responses, we used an ABACA design. Effects were examined on syllable rate, disfluency duration, and vocal intensity.<h4>Results</h4>Seven of 10 APH/AOS participants increased fluency with masking by increasing rate, decreasing disfluency duration, or both. In contrast, none of the NH participants increased speaking rate with MAF. In the AAF condition, only 1 APH/AOS participant increased fluency. Four APH/AOS participants and 8 NH participants slowed their rate with AAF.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Speaking with MAF appears to increase fluency in a subset of individuals with APH/AOS, indicating that overreliance on auditory feedback monitoring may contribute to their disorder presentation. The distinction between responders and nonresponders was not linked to AOS diagnosis, so additional work is needed to develop hypotheses for candidacy and underlying control mechanisms.
Project description:Purpose To better define the contributions of somatosensory and auditory feedback in vocal motor control, a laryngeal perturbation experiment was conducted with and without masking of auditory feedback. Method Eighteen native speakers of English produced a sustained vowel while their larynx was physically and externally displaced on a subset of trials. For the condition with auditory masking, speech-shaped noise was played via earphones at 90 dB SPL. Responses to the laryngeal perturbation were compared to responses by the same participants to an auditory perturbation experiment that involved a 100-cent downward shift in fundamental frequency (<i>f</i> <sub>o</sub>). Responses were also examined in relation to a measure of auditory acuity. Results Compensatory responses to the laryngeal perturbation were observed with and without auditory masking. The level of compensation was greatest in the laryngeal perturbation condition without auditory masking, followed by the condition with auditory masking; the level of compensation was smallest in the auditory perturbation experiment. No relationship was found between the degree of compensation to auditory versus laryngeal perturbations, and the variation in responses in both perturbation experiments was not related to auditory acuity. Conclusions The findings indicate that somatosensory and auditory feedback control mechanisms work together to compensate for laryngeal perturbations, resulting in the greatest degree of compensation when both sources of feedback are available. In contrast, these two control mechanisms work in competition in response to auditory perturbations, resulting in an overall smaller degree of compensation. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.12559628.
Project description:Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impaired social interaction and communication, which may be related to their difficulties in speech production. To investigate the mechanisms of atypical speech production in this population, we examined feedback control by delaying the auditory feedback of their own speech, which degraded speech fluency. We also examined feedforward control by adding loud pink noise to the auditory feedback, which led to increased vocal effort in producing speech. The results of Japanese speakers show that, compared with neurotypical (NT) individuals, high-functioning adults with ASD (including Asperger's disorder, autistic disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) were more affected by delayed auditory feedback but less affected by external noise. These findings indicate that, in contrast to NT individuals, those with ASD relied more on feedback control than on feedforward control in speech production, which is consistent with the hypothesis that this population exhibits attenuated Bayesian priors.
Project description:The representation of speech goals was explored using an auditory feedback paradigm. When talkers produce vowels the formant structure of which is perturbed in real time, they compensate to preserve the intended goal. When vowel formants are shifted up or down in frequency, participants change the formant frequencies in the opposite direction to the feedback perturbation. In this experiment, the specificity of vowel representation was explored by examining the magnitude of vowel compensation when the second formant frequency of a vowel was perturbed for speakers of two different languages (English and French). Even though the target vowel was the same for both language groups, the pattern of compensation differed. French speakers compensated to smaller perturbations and made larger compensations overall. Moreover, French speakers modified the third formant in their vowels to strengthen the compensation even though the third formant was not perturbed. English speakers did not alter their third formant. Changes in the perceptual goodness ratings by the two groups of participants were consistent with the threshold to initiate vowel compensation in production. These results suggest that vowel goals not only specify the quality of the vowel but also the relationship of the vowel to the vowel space of the spoken language.
Project description:The perturbation of acoustic features in a speaker's auditory feedback elicits rapid compensatory responses that demonstrate the importance of auditory feedback for control of speech output. The current study investigated whether responses to a perturbation of speech auditory feedback vary depending on the importance of the perturbed feature to perception of the vowel being produced. Auditory feedback of speakers' first formant frequency (F1) was shifted upward by 130 mels in randomly selected trials during the speakers' production of consonant-vowel-consonant words containing either the vowel /Λ/ or the vowel /ɝ/. Although these vowels exhibit comparable F1 frequencies, the contribution of F1 to perception of /Λ/ is greater than its contribution to perception of /ɝ/. Compensation to the F1 perturbation was observed during production of both vowels, but compensatory responses during /Λ/ occurred at significantly shorter latencies and exhibited significantly larger magnitudes than compensatory responses during /ɝ/. The finding that perturbation of vowel F1 during /Λ/ and /ɝ/ yielded compensatory differences that mirrored the contributions of F1 to perception of these vowels indicates that some portion of feedback control is weighted toward monitoring and preservation of acoustic cues for speech perception.
Project description:Sensorimotor adaptation experiments are commonly used to examine motor learning behavior and to uncover information about the underlying control mechanisms of many motor behaviors, including speech production. In the speech and voice domains, aspects of the acoustic signal are shifted/perturbed over time via auditory feedback manipulations. In response, speakers alter their production in the opposite direction of the shift so that their perceived production is closer to what they intended. This process relies on a combination of feedback and feedforward control mechanisms that are difficult to disentangle. The current study describes and tests a simple 3-parameter mathematical model that quantifies the relative contribution of feedback and feedforward control mechanisms to sensorimotor adaptation. The model is a simplified version of the DIVA model, an adaptive neural network model of speech motor control. The three fitting parameters of SimpleDIVA are associated with the three key subsystems involved in speech motor control, namely auditory feedback control, somatosensory feedback control, and feedforward control. The model is tested through computer simulations that identify optimal model fits to six existing sensorimotor adaptation datasets. We show its utility in (1) interpreting the results of adaptation experiments involving the first and second formant frequencies as well as fundamental frequency; (2) assessing the effects of masking noise in adaptation paradigms; (3) fitting more than one perturbation dimension simultaneously; (4) examining sensorimotor adaptation at different timepoints in the production signal; and (5) quantitatively predicting responses in one experiment using parameters derived from another experiment. The model simulations produce excellent fits to real data across different types of perturbations and experimental paradigms (mean correlation between data and model fits across all six studies = 0.95 ± 0.02). The model parameters provide a mechanistic explanation for the behavioral responses to the adaptation paradigm that are not readily available from the behavioral responses alone. Overall, SimpleDIVA offers new insights into speech and voice motor control and has the potential to inform future directions of speech rehabilitation research in disordered populations. Simulation software, including an easy-to-use graphical user interface, is publicly available to facilitate the use of the model in future studies.
Project description:Past studies have shown that when formants are perturbed in real time, speakers spontaneously compensate for the perturbation by changing their formant frequencies in the opposite direction to the perturbation. Further, the pattern of these results suggests that the processing of auditory feedback error operates at a purely acoustic level. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the response of three language groups to real-time formant perturbations, (1) native English speakers producing an English vowel /ε/, (2) native Japanese speakers producing a Japanese vowel (/e([inverted perpendicular])/), and (3) native Japanese speakers learning English, producing /ε/. All three groups showed similar production patterns when F1 was decreased; however, when F1 was increased, the Japanese groups did not compensate as much as the native English speakers. Due to this asymmetry, the hypothesis that the compensatory production for formant perturbation operates at a purely acoustic level was rejected. Rather, some level of phonological processing influences the feedback processing behavior.
Project description:This study examined whether rapid temporal auditory processing, verbal working memory capacity, non-verbal intelligence, executive functioning, musical ability and prior foreign language experience predicted how well native English speakers (N=120) discriminated Norwegian tonal and vowel contrasts as well as a non-speech analogue of the tonal contrast and a native vowel contrast presented over noise. Results confirmed a male advantage for temporal and tonal processing, and also revealed that temporal processing was associated with both non-verbal intelligence and speech processing. In contrast, effects of musical ability on non-native speech-sound processing and of inhibitory control on vowel discrimination were not mediated by temporal processing. These results suggest that individual differences in non-native speech-sound processing are to some extent determined by temporal auditory processing ability, in which males perform better, but are also determined by a host of other abilities that are deployed flexibly depending on the characteristics of the target sounds.