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Speaker recognition with temporal cues in acoustic and electric hearing

  • Author(s): Vongphoe, M;
  • Zeng, F G
  • et al.

Natural spoken language processing includes not, only speech recognition but also identification of the speaker's gender, age, emotional, and social status. Our purpose in this study is to evaluate whether temporal cues are sufficient to support both speech and speaker recognition. Ten cochlear-implant and six normal-hearing subjects were presented with vowel tokens spoken by three men, three women, two boys, and two girls. In one condition, the subject was asked to recognize the vowel. In the other condition, the subject was asked to identify the speaker. Extensive training was provided for the speaker recognition task. Normal-hearing subjects achieved nearly perfect performance in both tasks. Cochlear-implant subjects achieved good performance in vowel recognition but poor performance in speaker recognition. The level of the cochlear implant performance was functionally equivalent to normal performance with eight spectral bands for vowel recognition but only to one band for speaker recognition. These results show a disassociation between speech and speaker recognition with primarily temporal cues, highlighting the limitation of current speech processing strategies in cochlear implants. Several methods, including explicit encoding of fundamental frequency and frequency modulation, are proposed to improve speaker recognition for current cochlear implant users. (C) 2005 Acoustical Society of America.

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