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IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst. 2011 Aug;5(4):339-46. doi: 10.1109/TBCAS.2011.2159858.

An articulatory silicon vocal tract for speech and hearing prostheses.


We describe the concept of a bioinspired feedback loop that combines a cochlear processor with an integrated-circuit vocal tract to create what we call a speech-locked loop. We discuss how the speech-locked loop can be applied in hearing prostheses, such as cochlear implants, to help improve speech recognition in noise. We also investigate speech-coding strategies for brain-machine-interface-based speech prostheses and present an articulatory speech-synthesis system by using an integrated-circuit vocal tract that models the human vocal tract. Our articulatory silicon vocal tract makes the transmission of low bit-rate speech-coding parameters feasible over a bandwidth-constrained body sensor network. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first articulatory speech-prosthesis system reported to date. We also present a speech-prosthesis simulator as a means to generate realistic articulatory parameter sequences.


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