Speech production parameters of three postlingually deafened adults who use cochlear implants were measured: after 24 h of auditory deprivation (which was achieved by turning the subject's speech processor off); after turning the speech processor back on; and after turning the speech processor off again. The measured parameters included vowel acoustics [F1, F2, F0, sound-pressure level (SPL), duration and H1–H2, the amplitude difference between the first two spectral harmonics, a correlate of breathiness] while reading word lists, and average airflow during the reading of passages. Changes in speech processor state (on-to-off or vice versa) were accompanied by numerous changes in speech production parameters. Many changes were in the direction of normalcy, and most were consistent with long-term speech production changes in the same subjects following activation of the processors of their cochlear implants [Perkell et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 91, 2961–2978 (1992)]. Changes in mean airflow were always accompanied by H1–H2 (breathiness) changes in the same direction, probably due to underlying changes in laryngeal posture. Some parameters (different combinations of SPL, F0, H1–H2 and formants for different subjects) showed very rapid changes when turning the speech processor on or off. Parameter changes were faster and more pronounced, however, when the speech processor was turned on than when it was turned off. The picture that emerges from the present study is consistent with a dual role for auditory feedback in speech production: long-term calibration of articulatory parameters as well as feedback mechanisms with relatively short time constants.


The following article appeared in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 92, Issue 3, pp. 1284-1300 (September 1992) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.403923


speech production, hearing aids, auditory deprivation

Subject Categories

Speech, Cochlear implants, Hearing


Psychology | Speech and Hearing Science


Acoustical Society of America

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©1992 Acoustical Society of America

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