Title

Generalized Learning of Dysarthric Speech Between Male and Female Talkers

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Volume

64

Issue

2

Publisher

American Speech - Language - Hearing Association

Publication Date

2-17-2021

Award Number

NIH 1R1DC018867-01

Funder

NIH

First Page

444

Last Page

451

Abstract

Purpose

Perceptual training is a listener-targeted means for improving intelligibility of dysarthric speech. Recent work has shown that training with one talker generalizes to a novel talker of the same sex and that the magnitude of benefit is maximized when the talkers are perceptually similar. The current study expands previous findings by investigating whether perceptual training effects generalize between talkers of different sex.

Method

Forty new listeners were recruited for this study and completed a pretest, familiarization, and posttest perceptual training paradigm. Historical data collected using the same three-phase protocol were included in the data analysis. All listeners were exposed to the same talker with dysarthria during the pretest and posttest phases. For the familiarization phase, listeners were exposed to one of four talkers with dysarthria, differing in sex and level of perceptual similarity to the test talker or a control talker. During the testing phases, listener transcribed phrases produced by the test talker with dysarthria. Listener transcriptions were then used to calculate a percent words correct intelligibility score.

Results

Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that intelligibility at posttest was not predicted by sex of the training talker. Consistent with earlier work, the magnitude of intelligibility gain was greater when the familiarization and test talkers were perceptually similar. Additional analyses revealed greater between-listeners variability in the dissimilar conditions as compared to the similar conditions.

Conclusions

Learning as a result of perceptual training with one talker with dysarthria generalized to another talker regardless of sex. In addition, listeners trained with perceptually similar talkers had greater and more consistent intelligibility improvement. Together, these results add to previous evidence demonstrating that learning generalizes to novel talkers with dysarthria and that perceptual training is suitable for many listeners.

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