Neural correlates of speech quality dimensions analyzed using electroencephalography (EEG).

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:By means of subjective psychophysical methods, quality of transmitted speech has been decomposed into three perceptual dimensions named 'discontinuity' (F), 'noisiness' (N) and 'coloration' (C). Previous studies using electroencephalography (EEG) already reported effects of perceived intensity of single quality dimensions on electrical brain activity. However, it has not been investigated so far, whether the dimensions themselves are dissociable on a neurophysiological level of analysis. APPROACH:Pursuing this goal in the present study, a high-quality (HQ) recording of a spoken word was degraded on each dimension at a time, resulting in three quality-impaired stimuli (F, N, C) which were on average described as being equal in perceived degradation intensity. Participants performed a three-stimulus oddball task, involving the serial presentation of different stimulus types: (1) HQ or degraded 'standard' stimuli to establish sensory/perceptual quality references. (2) Degraded 'oddball' stimuli to cause random, infrequent deviations from those references. EEG was employed to examine the neuro-electrical correlates of speech quality perception. MAIN RESULTS:Emphasis was placed on modulations in temporal and morphological characteristics of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP), whose subcomponents P3a and P3b are commonly linked to attentional orienting and task relevance categorization, respectively. Electrophysiological data analysis ([Formula: see text]) revealed significant modulations of P300 amplitude and latency by the perceptual dimensions underlying both quality references and oddball stimuli. SIGNIFICANCE:The present study exemplifies the utility of physiological methods like EEG for dissociating speech degradations not only based on perceived intensity level, but also their distinctive quality dimension.

journal_name

J Neural Eng

authors

Uhrig S,Mittag G,Möller S,Voigt-Antons JN

doi

10.1088/1741-2552/aaf122

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-06-01 00:00:00

pages

036009

issue

3

eissn

1741-2560

issn

1741-2552

journal_volume

16

pub_type

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