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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.
Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:5 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2011