The role of outer hair cell function in the perception of synthetic versus natural speech

Maria K. Wolters, Pauline Campbell, Christine DePlacido, Amy Liddell, David Owens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Hearing loss as assessed by pure-tone audiometry (PTA) is sig- nificantly correlated with the intelligibility of syntheti c speech. However, PTA is a subjective audiological measure that as- sesses the entire auditory pathway and does not discriminate between the different afferent and efferent contributions . In this paper, we focus on one particular aspect of hearing that has been shown to correlate with hearing loss: outer hair cell (OHC) function. One role of OHCs is to increase sensitivity and frequency selectivity. This function of OHCs can be assessed quickly and objectively through otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing, which is little known outside the field of audiology . We find that OHC function affects the perception of human speech , but not that of synthetic speech. This has important implications not just for audiological and electrophysiological resear ch, but also for adapting speech synthesis to ageing ears.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTERSPEECH 2007, 8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, Antwerp, Belgium, August 27-31, 2007
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInterspeech 2007 - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 27 Aug 200731 Aug 2007


ConferenceInterspeech 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • speech synthesis
  • intelligibility
  • otoacoustic emissions
  • pure-tone audiometry


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of outer hair cell function in the perception of synthetic versus natural speech'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this