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The effect of visual information in speech signals by bone-conducted ultrasound

Yamashita, Akinoria; Nishimura, Tadashia; Nagatani, Yoshikib; Sakaguchi, Takefumia; Okayasu, Tadaoa; Yanai, Shuichia; Hosoi, Hiroshia

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328334f196

A prototype for a bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing aid was developed for the profoundly deaf. Previous studies using bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing aid revealed intelligibility only with the use of acoustic media in transmitting language information. In this study, we investigated the effects of visual information (lip-reading information) on intelligibility in bone-conducted ultrasound perception of normal-hearing individuals. We found that lip-reading information had clear effects on bone-conducted ultrasound perception, showing that simultaneous presentation of audio and visual information improved intelligibility to levels sufficient for speech perception. Our findings also suggested the efficacy of use of signal processing techniques in improving the intelligibility of prior consonants.

aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara Nara

bDepartment of Electric Engineering, Kobe City College of Technology, Nishiku, Kobe, Japan

Correspondence to Akinori Yamashita, Department of Otolaryngology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara Nara 634-8522, Japan

Tel: +81 744 29 8887; fax: +81 744 24 6844; e-mail:

Received 4 September 2009 accepted 3 November 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.