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1.
PLoS One ; 19(2): e0297826, 2024.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38330068

RESUMO

Perception of sounds and speech involves structures in the auditory brainstem that rapidly process ongoing auditory stimuli. The role of these structures in speech processing can be investigated by measuring their electrical activity using scalp-mounted electrodes. However, typical analysis methods involve averaging neural responses to many short repetitive stimuli that bear little relevance to daily listening environments. Recently, subcortical responses to more ecologically relevant continuous speech were detected using linear encoding models. These methods estimate the temporal response function (TRF), which is a regression model that minimises the error between the measured neural signal and a predictor derived from the stimulus. Using predictors that model the highly non-linear peripheral auditory system may improve linear TRF estimation accuracy and peak detection. Here, we compare predictors from both simple and complex peripheral auditory models for estimating brainstem TRFs on electroencephalography (EEG) data from 24 participants listening to continuous speech. We also investigate the data length required for estimating subcortical TRFs, and find that around 12 minutes of data is sufficient for clear wave V peaks (>3 dB SNR) to be seen in nearly all participants. Interestingly, predictors derived from simple filterbank-based models of the peripheral auditory system yield TRF wave V peak SNRs that are not significantly different from those estimated using a complex model of the auditory nerve, provided that the nonlinear effects of adaptation in the auditory system are appropriately modelled. Crucially, computing predictors from these simpler models is more than 50 times faster compared to the complex model. This work paves the way for efficient modelling and detection of subcortical processing of continuous speech, which may lead to improved diagnosis metrics for hearing impairment and assistive hearing technology.


Assuntos
Percepção da Fala , Fala , Humanos , Percepção da Fala/fisiologia , Audição/fisiologia , Tronco Encefálico/fisiologia , Eletroencefalografia/métodos , Estimulação Acústica
2.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38083171

RESUMO

Attending to the speech stream of interest in multi-talker environments can be a challenging task, particularly for listeners with hearing impairment. Research suggests that neural responses assessed with electroencephalography (EEG) are modulated by listener's auditory attention, revealing selective neural tracking (NT) of the attended speech. NT methods mostly rely on hand-engineered acoustic and linguistic speech features to predict the neural response. Only recently, deep neural network (DNN) models without specific linguistic information have been used to extract speech features for NT, demonstrating that speech features in hierarchical DNN layers can predict neural responses throughout the auditory pathway. In this study, we go one step further to investigate the suitability of similar DNN models for speech to predict neural responses to competing speech observed in EEG. We recorded EEG data using a 64-channel acquisition system from 17 listeners with normal hearing instructed to attend to one of two competing talkers. Our data revealed that EEG responses are significantly better predicted by DNN-extracted speech features than by hand-engineered acoustic features. Furthermore, analysis of hierarchical DNN layers showed that early layers yielded the highest predictions. Moreover, we found a significant increase in auditory attention classification accuracies with the use of DNN-extracted speech features over the use of hand-engineered acoustic features. These findings open a new avenue for development of new NT measures to evaluate and further advance hearing technology.


Assuntos
Perda Auditiva , Percepção da Fala , Humanos , Fala/fisiologia , Percepção da Fala/fisiologia , Eletroencefalografia/métodos , Acústica
3.
J Neural Eng ; 20(6)2023 12 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37988748

RESUMO

Objective.This paper presents a novel domain adaptation (DA) framework to enhance the accuracy of electroencephalography (EEG)-based auditory attention classification, specifically for classifying the direction (left or right) of attended speech. The framework aims to improve the performances for subjects with initially low classification accuracy, overcoming challenges posed by instrumental and human factors. Limited dataset size, variations in EEG data quality due to factors such as noise, electrode misplacement or subjects, and the need for generalization across different trials, conditions and subjects necessitate the use of DA methods. By leveraging DA methods, the framework can learn from one EEG dataset and adapt to another, potentially resulting in more reliable and robust classification models.Approach.This paper focuses on investigating a DA method, based on parallel transport, for addressing the auditory attention classification problem. The EEG data utilized in this study originates from an experiment where subjects were instructed to selectively attend to one of the two spatially separated voices presented simultaneously.Main results.Significant improvement in classification accuracy was observed when poor data from one subject was transported to the domain of good data from different subjects, as compared to the baseline. The mean classification accuracy for subjects with poor data increased from 45.84% to 67.92%. Specifically, the highest achieved classification accuracy from one subject reached 83.33%, a substantial increase from the baseline accuracy of 43.33%.Significance.The findings of our study demonstrate the improved classification performances achieved through the implementation of DA methods. This brings us a step closer to leveraging EEG in neuro-steered hearing devices.


Assuntos
Eletroencefalografia , Percepção da Fala , Humanos , Estimulação Acústica/métodos , Eletroencefalografia/métodos , Ruído , Atenção
4.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng ; 70(4): 1264-1273, 2023 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36227816

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate alpha power as an objective measure of effortful listening in continuous speech with scalp and ear-EEG. METHODS: Scalp and ear-EEG were recorded simultaneously during presentation of a 33-s news clip in the presence of 16-talker babble noise. Four different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) were used to manipulate task demand. The effects of changes in SNR were investigated on alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) and desynchronization (ERD). Alpha activity was extracted from scalp EEG using different referencing methods (common average and symmetrical bi-polar) in different regions of the brain (parietal and temporal) and ear-EEG. RESULTS: Alpha ERS decreased with decreasing SNR (i.e., increasing task demand) in both scalp and ear-EEG. Alpha ERS was also positively correlated to behavioural performance which was based on the questions regarding the contents of the speech. CONCLUSION: Alpha ERS/ERD is better suited to track performance of a continuous speech than listening effort. SIGNIFICANCE: EEG alpha power in continuous speech may indicate of how well the speech was perceived and it can be measured with both scalp and Ear-EEG.


Assuntos
Couro Cabeludo , Fala , Eletroencefalografia , Percepção Auditiva , Auscultação
5.
Front Neurosci ; 16: 932959, 2022.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36017182

RESUMO

Objectives: Comprehension of speech in adverse listening conditions is challenging for hearing-impaired (HI) individuals. Noise reduction (NR) schemes in hearing aids (HAs) have demonstrated the capability to help HI to overcome these challenges. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of NR processing (inactive, where the NR feature was switched off, vs. active, where the NR feature was switched on) on correlates of listening effort across two different background noise levels [+3 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and +8 dB SNR] by using a phase synchrony analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Design: The EEG was recorded while 22 HI participants fitted with HAs performed a continuous speech in noise (SiN) task in the presence of background noise and a competing talker. The phase synchrony within eight regions of interest (ROIs) and four conventional EEG bands was computed by using a multivariate phase synchrony measure. Results: The results demonstrated that the activation of NR in HAs affects the EEG phase synchrony in the parietal ROI at low SNR differently than that at high SNR. The relationship between conditions of the listening task and phase synchrony in the parietal ROI was nonlinear. Conclusion: We showed that the activation of NR schemes in HAs can non-linearly reduce correlates of listening effort as estimated by EEG-based phase synchrony. We contend that investigation of the phase synchrony within ROIs can reflect the effects of HAs in HI individuals in ecological listening conditions.

6.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2021: 531-534, 2021 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34891349

RESUMO

Comprehension of speech in noise is a challenge for hearing-impaired (HI) individuals. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides a tool to investigate the effect of different levels of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the speech. Most studies with EEG have focused on spectral power in well-defined frequency bands such as alpha band. In this study, we investigate how local functional connectivity, i.e. functional connectivity within a localized region of the brain, is affected by two levels of SNR. Twenty-two HI participants performed a continuous speech in noise task at two different SNRs (+3 dB and +8 dB). The local connectivity within eight regions of interest was computed by using a multivariate phase synchrony measure on EEG data. The results showed that phase synchrony increased in the parietal and frontal area as a response to increasing SNR. We contend that local connectivity measures can be used to discriminate between speech-evoked EEG responses at different SNRs.


Assuntos
Percepção da Fala , Fala , Sincronização de Fases em Eletroencefalografia , Humanos , Ruído , Razão Sinal-Ruído
7.
Semin Hear ; 42(3): 260-281, 2021 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34594089

RESUMO

Hearing aids continue to acquire increasingly sophisticated sound-processing features beyond basic amplification. On the one hand, these have the potential to add user benefit and allow for personalization. On the other hand, if such features are to benefit according to their potential, they require clinicians to be acquainted with both the underlying technologies and the specific fitting handles made available by the individual hearing aid manufacturers. Ensuring benefit from hearing aids in typical daily listening environments requires that the hearing aids handle sounds that interfere with communication, generically referred to as "noise." With this aim, considerable efforts from both academia and industry have led to increasingly advanced algorithms that handle noise, typically using the principles of directional processing and postfiltering. This article provides an overview of the techniques used for noise reduction in modern hearing aids. First, classical techniques are covered as they are used in modern hearing aids. The discussion then shifts to how deep learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, provides a radically different way of solving the noise problem. Finally, the results of several experiments are used to showcase the benefits of recent algorithmic advances in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, speech intelligibility, selective attention, and listening effort.

8.
Ear Hear ; 42(6): 1590-1601, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33950865

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: The investigation of auditory cognitive processes recently moved from strictly controlled, trial-based paradigms toward the presentation of continuous speech. This also allows the investigation of listening effort on larger time scales (i.e., sustained listening effort). Here, we investigated the modulation of sustained listening effort by a noise reduction algorithm as applied in hearing aids in a listening scenario with noisy continuous speech. The investigated directional noise reduction algorithm mainly suppresses noise from the background. DESIGN: We recorded the pupil size and the EEG in 22 participants with hearing loss who listened to audio news clips in the presence of background multi-talker babble noise. We estimated how noise reduction (off, on) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR; +3 dB, +8 dB) affect pupil size and the power in the parietal EEG alpha band (i.e., parietal alpha power) as well as the behavioral performance. RESULTS: Our results show that noise reduction reduces pupil size, while there was no significant effect of the SNR. It is important to note that we found interactions of SNR and noise reduction, which suggested that noise reduction reduces pupil size predominantly under the lower SNR. Parietal alpha power showed a similar yet nonsignificant pattern, with increased power under easier conditions. In line with the participants' reports that one of the two presented talkers was more intelligible, we found a reduced pupil size, increased parietal alpha power, and better performance when people listened to the more intelligible talker. CONCLUSIONS: We show that the modulation of sustained listening effort (e.g., by hearing aid noise reduction) as indicated by pupil size and parietal alpha power can be studied under more ecologically valid conditions. Mainly concluded from pupil size, we demonstrate that hearing aid noise reduction lowers sustained listening effort. Our study approximates to real-world listening scenarios and evaluates the benefit of the signal processing as can be found in a modern hearing aid.


Assuntos
Auxiliares de Audição , Perda Auditiva , Percepção da Fala , Eletroencefalografia , Humanos , Esforço de Escuta , Inteligibilidade da Fala
9.
Front Neurosci ; 15: 636060, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33841081

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Previous research using non-invasive (magnetoencephalography, MEG) and invasive (electrocorticography, ECoG) neural recordings has demonstrated the progressive and hierarchical representation and processing of complex multi-talker auditory scenes in the auditory cortex. Early responses (<85 ms) in primary-like areas appear to represent the individual talkers with almost equal fidelity and are independent of attention in normal-hearing (NH) listeners. However, late responses (>85 ms) in higher-order non-primary areas selectively represent the attended talker with significantly higher fidelity than unattended talkers in NH and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Motivated by these findings, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a noise reduction scheme (NR) in a commercial hearing aid (HA) on the representation of complex multi-talker auditory scenes in distinct hierarchical stages of the auditory cortex by using high-density electroencephalography (EEG). DESIGN: We addressed this issue by investigating early (<85 ms) and late (>85 ms) EEG responses recorded in 34 HI subjects fitted with HAs. The HA noise reduction (NR) was either on or off while the participants listened to a complex auditory scene. Participants were instructed to attend to one of two simultaneous talkers in the foreground while multi-talker babble noise played in the background (+3 dB SNR). After each trial, a two-choice question about the content of the attended speech was presented. RESULTS: Using a stimulus reconstruction approach, our results suggest that the attention-related enhancement of neural representations of target and masker talkers located in the foreground, as well as suppression of the background noise in distinct hierarchical stages is significantly affected by the NR scheme. We found that the NR scheme contributed to the enhancement of the foreground and of the entire acoustic scene in the early responses, and that this enhancement was driven by better representation of the target speech. We found that the target talker in HI listeners was selectively represented in late responses. We found that use of the NR scheme resulted in enhanced representations of the target and masker speech in the foreground and a suppressed representation of the noise in the background in late responses. We found a significant effect of EEG time window on the strengths of the cortical representation of the target and masker. CONCLUSION: Together, our analyses of the early and late responses obtained from HI listeners support the existing view of hierarchical processing in the auditory cortex. Our findings demonstrate the benefits of a NR scheme on the representation of complex multi-talker auditory scenes in different areas of the auditory cortex in HI listeners.

10.
Entropy (Basel) ; 22(10)2020 Oct 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33286893

RESUMO

We propose a new estimator to measure directed dependencies in time series. The dimensionality of data is first reduced using a new non-uniform embedding technique, where the variables are ranked according to a weighted sum of the amount of new information and improvement of the prediction accuracy provided by the variables. Then, using a greedy approach, the most informative subsets are selected in an iterative way. The algorithm terminates, when the highest ranked variable is not able to significantly improve the accuracy of the prediction as compared to that obtained using the existing selected subsets. In a simulation study, we compare our estimator to existing state-of-the-art methods at different data lengths and directed dependencies strengths. It is demonstrated that the proposed estimator has a significantly higher accuracy than that of existing methods, especially for the difficult case, where the data are highly correlated and coupled. Moreover, we show its false detection of directed dependencies due to instantaneous couplings effect is lower than that of existing measures. We also show applicability of the proposed estimator on real intracranial electroencephalography data.

11.
Front Neurosci ; 14: 846, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33071722

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Selectively attending to a target talker while ignoring multiple interferers (competing talkers and background noise) is more difficult for hearing-impaired (HI) individuals compared to normal-hearing (NH) listeners. Such tasks also become more difficult as background noise levels increase. To overcome these difficulties, hearing aids (HAs) offer noise reduction (NR) schemes. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of NR processing (inactive, where the NR feature was switched off, vs. active, where the NR feature was switched on) on the neural representation of speech envelopes across two different background noise levels [+3 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and +8 dB SNR] by using a stimulus reconstruction (SR) method. DESIGN: To explore how NR processing supports the listeners' selective auditory attention, we recruited 22 HI participants fitted with HAs. To investigate the interplay between NR schemes, background noise, and neural representation of the speech envelopes, we used electroencephalography (EEG). The participants were instructed to listen to a target talker in front while ignoring a competing talker in front in the presence of multi-talker background babble noise. RESULTS: The results show that the neural representation of the attended speech envelope was enhanced by the active NR scheme for both background noise levels. The neural representation of the attended speech envelope at lower (+3 dB) SNR was shifted, approximately by 5 dB, toward the higher (+8 dB) SNR when the NR scheme was turned on. The neural representation of the ignored speech envelope was modulated by the NR scheme and was mostly enhanced in the conditions with more background noise. The neural representation of the background noise was modulated (i.e., reduced) by the NR scheme and was significantly reduced in the conditions with more background noise. The neural representation of the net sum of the ignored acoustic scene (ignored talker and background babble) was not modulated by the NR scheme but was significantly reduced in the conditions with a reduced level of background noise. Taken together, we showed that the active NR scheme enhanced the neural representation of both the attended and the ignored speakers and reduced the neural representation of background noise, while the net sum of the ignored acoustic scene was not enhanced. CONCLUSION: Altogether our results support the hypothesis that the NR schemes in HAs serve to enhance the neural representation of speech and reduce the neural representation of background noise during a selective attention task. We contend that these results provide a neural index that could be useful for assessing the effects of HAs on auditory and cognitive processing in HI populations.

12.
Ear Hear ; 41 Suppl 1: 39S-47S, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33105258

RESUMO

To increase the ecological validity of outcomes from laboratory evaluations of hearing and hearing devices, it is desirable to introduce more realistic outcome measures in the laboratory. This article presents and discusses three outcome measures that have been designed to go beyond traditional speech-in-noise measures to better reflect realistic everyday challenges. The outcome measures reviewed are: the Sentence-final Word Identification and Recall (SWIR) test that measures working memory performance while listening to speech in noise at ceiling performance; a neural tracking method that produces a quantitative measure of selective speech attention in noise; and pupillometry that measures changes in pupil dilation to assess listening effort while listening to speech in noise. According to evaluation data, the SWIR test provides a sensitive measure in situations where speech perception performance might be unaffected. Similarly, pupil dilation has also shown sensitivity in situations where traditional speech-in-noise measures are insensitive. Changes in working memory capacity and effort mobilization were found at positive signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), that is, at SNRs that might reflect everyday situations. Using stimulus reconstruction, it has been demonstrated that neural tracking is a robust method at determining to what degree a listener is attending to a specific talker in a typical cocktail party situation. Using both established and commercially available noise reduction schemes, data have further shown that all three measures are sensitive to variation in SNR. In summary, the new outcome measures seem suitable for testing hearing and hearing devices under more realistic and demanding everyday conditions than traditional speech-in-noise tests.


Assuntos
Comunicação , Avaliação de Resultados em Cuidados de Saúde , Percepção da Fala , Cognição , Humanos , Ruído
13.
PLoS One ; 15(7): e0235782, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32649733

RESUMO

Individuals with hearing loss allocate cognitive resources to comprehend noisy speech in everyday life scenarios. Such a scenario could be when they are exposed to ongoing speech and need to sustain their attention for a rather long period of time, which requires listening effort. Two well-established physiological methods that have been found to be sensitive to identify changes in listening effort are pupillometry and electroencephalography (EEG). However, these measurements have been used mainly for momentary, evoked or episodic effort. The aim of this study was to investigate how sustained effort manifests in pupillometry and EEG, using continuous speech with varying signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Eight hearing-aid users participated in this exploratory study and performed a continuous speech-in-noise task. The speech material consisted of 30-second continuous streams that were presented from loudspeakers to the right and left side of the listener (±30° azimuth) in the presence of 4-talker background noise (+180° azimuth). The participants were instructed to attend either to the right or left speaker and ignore the other in a randomized order with two different SNR conditions: 0 dB and -5 dB (the difference between the target and the competing talker). The effects of SNR on listening effort were explored objectively using pupillometry and EEG. The results showed larger mean pupil dilation and decreased EEG alpha power in the parietal lobe during the more effortful condition. This study demonstrates that both measures are sensitive to changes in SNR during continuous speech.


Assuntos
Auxiliares de Audição , Pupila/fisiologia , Percepção da Fala , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Percepção Auditiva , Eletroencefalografia , Feminino , Audição , Testes Auditivos , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Razão Sinal-Ruído
14.
Front Neurosci ; 13: 153, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30941002

RESUMO

Auditory attention identification methods attempt to identify the sound source of a listener's interest by analyzing measurements of electrophysiological data. We present a tutorial on the numerous techniques that have been developed in recent decades, and we present an overview of current trends in multivariate correlation-based and model-based learning frameworks. The focus is on the use of linear relations between electrophysiological and audio data. The way in which these relations are computed differs. For example, canonical correlation analysis (CCA) finds a linear subset of electrophysiological data that best correlates to audio data and a similar subset of audio data that best correlates to electrophysiological data. Model-based (encoding and decoding) approaches focus on either of these two sets. We investigate the similarities and differences between these linear model philosophies. We focus on (1) correlation-based approaches (CCA), (2) encoding/decoding models based on dense estimation, and (3) (adaptive) encoding/decoding models based on sparse estimation. The specific focus is on sparsity-driven adaptive encoding models and comparing the methodology in state-of-the-art models found in the auditory literature. Furthermore, we outline the main signal processing pipeline for how to identify the attended sound source in a cocktail party environment from the raw electrophysiological data with all the necessary steps, complemented with the necessary MATLAB code and the relevant references for each step. Our main aim is to compare the methodology of the available methods, and provide numerical illustrations to some of them to get a feeling for their potential. A thorough performance comparison is outside the scope of this tutorial.

15.
J Med Syst ; 40(4): 108, 2016 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26922592

RESUMO

In this study, Random Forests (RF) classifier is proposed for ECG heartbeat signal classification in diagnosis of heart arrhythmia. Discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is used to decompose ECG signals into different successive frequency bands. A set of different statistical features were extracted from the obtained frequency bands to denote the distribution of wavelet coefficients. This study shows that RF classifier achieves superior performances compared to other decision tree methods using 10-fold cross-validation for the ECG datasets and the obtained results suggest that further significant improvements in terms of classification accuracy can be accomplished by the proposed classification system. Accurate ECG signal classification is the major requirement for detection of all arrhythmia types. Performances of the proposed system have been evaluated on two different databases, namely MIT-BIH database and St. -Petersburg Institute of Cardiological Technics 12-lead Arrhythmia Database. For MIT-BIH database, RF classifier yielded an overall accuracy 99.33 % against 98.44 and 98.67 % for the C4.5 and CART classifiers, respectively. For St. -Petersburg Institute of Cardiological Technics 12-lead Arrhythmia Database, RF classifier yielded an overall accuracy 99.95 % against 99.80 % for both C4.5 and CART classifiers, respectively. The combined model with multiscale principal component analysis (MSPCA) de-noising, discrete wavelet transform (DWT) and RF classifier also achieves better performance with the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) and F-measure equal to 0.999 and 0.993 for MIT-BIH database and 1 and 0.999 for and St. -Petersburg Institute of Cardiological Technics 12-lead Arrhythmia Database, respectively. Obtained results demonstrate that the proposed system has capacity for reliable classification of ECG signals, and to assist the clinicians for making an accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular disorders (CVDs).


Assuntos
Arritmias Cardíacas/diagnóstico , Árvores de Decisões , Eletrocardiografia/métodos , Processamento de Imagem Assistida por Computador/métodos , Aprendizado de Máquina , Bases de Dados Factuais , Frequência Cardíaca , Humanos , Análise de Componente Principal , Curva ROC , Análise de Ondaletas
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