Current Speech News and Events

Current Speech News and Events, Speech News Articles.
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AI may mistake chess discussions as racist talk
'The Queen's Gambit,' the recent TV mini-series about a chess master, may have stirred increased interest in chess, but a word to the wise: social media talk about game-piece colors could lead to misunderstandings, at least for hate-speech detection software. (2021-02-18)

Predicting words' grammatical properties helps us read faster
Psycholinguists from the HSE Centre for Language and Brain found that when reading, people are not only able to predict specific words, but also words' grammatical properties, which helps them to read faster. Researchers have also discovered that predictability of words and grammatical features can be successfully modelled with the use of neural networks. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. (2021-02-16)

Changing the connection between the hemispheres affects speech perception
When we listen to speech sounds, our brain needs to combine information from both hemispheres. How does the brain integrate acoustic information from remote areas? In a neuroimaging study, a team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, the Donders Institute and the University of Zurich applied electrical stimulation to participants' brains during a listening task. The stimulation affected the connection between the two hemispheres, which in turn changed participants' listening behaviour. (2021-02-12)

The politics of synonyms
A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found people are more successful at identifying language associated with Republican speech than Democratic speech patterns. The results are available in the February issue of the journal PLOS. (2021-02-11)

Synchronization of brain hemispheres changes what we hear
Most of the time, our brain receives different input from each of our ears, but we nevertheless perceive speech as unified sounds. This process takes place through synchronization of the areas of the brain involved with the help of gamma waves, neurolinguists at the University of Zurich have now discovered. Their findings may lead to new treatment approaches for tinnitus. (2021-02-08)

Forming sound memories: Autism gene plays key aspect in birdsong
Inactivating a gene in young songbirds that's closely linked with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevents the birds from forming memories necessary to accurately reproduce their fathers' songs, a new study led by UT Southwestern shows. (2021-02-03)

Speaking and listening seem more difficult in a masked world, but people are adapting
People are adapting to speaking from behind, and understanding others who are wearing, a cloth face mask, University of California, Davis, researchers suggest in a new study. (2021-02-02)

A computational approach to understanding how infants perceive language
A multi-institutional team of cognitive scientists and computational linguists have developed computationally-based modeling approach that opens the path toward a much deeper understanding of early language acquisition. (2021-01-29)

RUDN University linguists conducted comprehensive study of how Russian speakers perceive Greek sound
Linguists from RUDN University found out how Russian speakers differentiate between similar consonants of the Greek language and associate them with Russian sounds. (2021-01-25)

Internet and freedom of speech, when metaphors give too much power
Since 1997, when the US supreme court metaphorically called the Internet the free market of ideas, attempts at regulation have been blocked by the 1st amendment. But with power concentrated in a few platforms, that metaphor is now misleading, says a study by Bocconi's Oreste Pollicino (2021-01-21)

Direct current stimulation of the brain over Wernicke's area can help people learn new words
Researchers from the Laboratory of Behavioural Neurodynamics at St Petersburg University have studied how different types of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the brain affect the acquisition of new words. Their experiments have shown that cathodal tDCS over Wernicke's area enables subjects to better remember new abstract words - those that refer to non-physical entities and ideas. (2021-01-20)

Scholars link diet, dentition, and linguistics
University of Miami anthropologist Caleb Everett and former student Sihan Chen used a novel data analysis of thousands of languages, in addition to studying a unique subset of celebrities, to reveal how a soft food diet--contrasted with the diet of hunter-gatherers--is restructuring dentition and changing how people speak. Their findings were published this week in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-14)

Why independent cultures think alike when it comes to categories: It's not in the brain
A study from the Network Dynamics Group (NDG) at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication conducted an experiment in which people were asked to categorize unfamiliar shapes. Individuals and small groups created many different unique categorization systems while large groups created systems nearly identical to one another. (2021-01-12)

Study explains role of bone-conducted speech transmission in speech production and hearing
The perception of our own voice depends on sound transmission through air (air-conducted) as well as through the skull bone (bone-conducted or BC). The transmission properties of BC speech are, however, not well understood. Now, scientists from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report their latest findings on BC transmission under the influence of oral cavity sound pressure, which can boost BC-based technology and basic research on hearing loss and speech impairment. (2021-01-07)

Speech recognition changes after cochlear implant
Researchers compared changes in preoperative aided speech recognition with postoperative speech recognition among individuals who received cochlear implants. (2021-01-07)

Light-carrying chips advance machine learning
An international team of researchers found that so-called photonic processors, with which data is processed by means of light, can process information very much more rapidly and in parallel than electronic chips. The results have been published in the scientific journal ''Nature''. (2021-01-06)

Bedside EEG test can aid prognosis in unresponsive brain injury patients
Assessing the ability of unresponsive patients with severe brain injury to understand what is being said to them could yield important insights into how they might recover, according to new research. (2021-01-05)

ADDF presents vision of a consortium to accelerate research into speech and language biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease
In a commentary in Exploration in Medicine, Alzheimer's experts lay out a vision for a worldwide research consortium that can give clinicians -- and patients -- the answers to which speech and language changes may signal Alzheimer's in the form of digital biomarkers. (2021-01-05)

Disposable surgical masks best for being heard clearly when speaking, study finds
Researcher Ryan Corey recently heard from a friend who teaches at a school where some of the students have hearing loss. The friend wanted to know if he had any ideas to help her communicate with these students while wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Corey, who also has hearing loss, did not know what to tell her. So, he headed to the Illinois Augmented Listening Laboratory to look for solutions. (2020-12-23)

Study sheds new light on how the brain distinguishes speech from noise
For the first time, researchers have provided physiological evidence that a pervasive neuromodulation system - a group of neurons that regulate the functioning of more specialized neurons - strongly influences sound processing in an important auditory region of the brain. The neuromodulator, acetylcholine, may even help the main auditory brain circuitry distinguish speech from noise. (2020-12-20)

Female language style promotes visibility and influence online
A female-typical language style promotes the popularity of talks in the digital context and turns out to be an underappreciated but highly effective tool for social influence. This was shown by UZH psychologists in an international study in which they analyzed 1,100 TED Talks. (2020-12-16)

How much does the way you speak reveal about you?
Listeners can extract a lot of information about a person from their acoustic speech signal. During the 179th ASA Meeting, Dec. 7-10, Tessa Bent, Emerson Wolff, and Jennifer Lentz will describe their study in which listeners were told to categorize 144 unique audio clips of monolingual English talkers into Midland, New York City, and Southern U.S. dialect regions, and Asian American, Black/African American, or white speakers. (2020-12-10)

Accent perception depends on backgrounds of speaker, listener
Visual cues can change listeners' perception of others' accents, and people's past exposure to varied speech can also impact their perception of accents. Ethan Kutlu will discuss his team's work testing the impact that visual input and linguistic diversity has on listeners' perceived accentedness judgments in two different locations: Gainesville, Florida, and Montreal, Canada. The session will take place Dec. 9 as part of the 179th ASA Meeting. (2020-12-09)

Dogs may never learn that every sound of a word matters
Despite their excellent auditory capacities, dogs do not attend to differences between words which differ only in one speech sound (e.g. dog vs dig), according to a new study by Hungarian researchers measuring brain activity with non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) on awake dogs. This might be a reason why the number of words dogs learn to recognize typically remains very low throughout their life. (2020-12-08)

Exploring links between infant vocabulary size and vocal interactions with caregivers
Analysis of recordings from infants' homes reveals that certain types of vocal interactions between adults and infants are associated with a larger infant vocabulary. Lukas Lopez of University of California, Merced, and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on November 25. (2020-11-25)

Artificial intelligence technology helps Parkinson's patients during COVID-19 pandemic
Jessica Huber, a professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and associate dean for research in Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences, leads Purdue's Motor Speech Lab. Huber and her team are now doing virtual studies to evaluate speech disorders related to Parkinson's using artificial intelligence technology platforms. (2020-11-24)

Study: Countering hate on social media
The rise of online hate speech is a disturbing, growing trend in countries around the world, with serious psychological consequences and the potential to impact, and even contribute to, real-world violence. A new paper offers a framework for studying the dynamics of online hate and counter speech, and offers the first large-scale classification of millions of instances such interactions on Twitter. (2020-11-20)

Cynical hostility presents a potential pathway to cardiovascular disease
Cynical hostility is a potential pathway to cardiovascular disease by preventing a healthy response to stress over time, according to a Baylor University study. (2020-11-16)

Be mindful: Study shows mindfulness might not work as you expect
If dispositional mindfulness can teach us anything about how we react to stress, it might be an unexpected lesson on its ineffectiveness at managing stress as it's happening, according to new research from the University at Buffalo. When the goal is ''not to sweat the small stuff,'' mindfulness appears to offer little toward achieving that end. (2020-11-13)

Research shows what happens in the sensory cortex when learning and recognising patterns
A study by scientists at the University of Sussex is challenging the common understanding of how mammalian brains work. (2020-11-12)

UTSA research team makes breakthrough discovery on brain cortex functionality
A team of researchers from UTSA's Neurosciences Institute is challenging the historical belief that the organization of the cortical circuit of GABAergic neurons is exclusively local. (2020-11-11)

Empathy and perspective taking: How social skills are built
Being able to feel empathy and to take in the other person's perspective are two abilities through which we understand what is going on in the other's mind. But it is still unclear what exactly they constitute. The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences has now developed a model which explains what empathy and perspective taking are made of: It is not one specific competence rather than many individual factors that vary according to the situation. (2020-11-10)

Researchers isolate and decode brain signal patterns for specific behaviors
A standing challenge has been isolating patterns in brain signals that relate to a specific behavior, such as finger movements. Researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm that resolved this challenge by uncovering neural patterns missed by other methods. This could both enable new neuroscience discoveries and enhance future brain-machine interfaces. (2020-11-09)

New tool can diagnose strokes with a smartphone
A new tool created by researchers at Penn State and Houston Methodist Hospital could diagnose a stroke based on abnormalities in a patient's speech ability and facial muscular movements, and with the accuracy of an emergency room physician -- all within minutes from an interaction with a smartphone. (2020-10-22)

University of Sydney research could lead to customised cochlear implants
A School of Biomedical Engineering researcher has analysed the accuracy of predictions for cochlear implant outcomes, with a view to further improve their performance in noisy environments. (2020-10-19)

Novel software assesses phonologial awareness
Understanding sounds in language is a critical building block for child literacy, yet this skill is often overlooked. Researchers from Michigan State University have developed a new software tool to assess children's phonological awareness -- or, how they process the sound structure of words. (2020-10-14)

Earphone tracks facial expressions, even with a face mask
Cornell University researchers have invented an earphone that can continuously track full facial expressions by observing the contour of the cheeks - and can then translate expressions into emojis or silent speech commands. (2020-10-12)

RUDN University linguist: learning foreign language is harder for visually impaired people
A scientist from RUDN University analysed the effect of visual impairment on a person's perception of unfamiliar sounds when learning a foreign language. The experiment showed that lack of access to visual cues makes learning difficult. (2020-10-06)

Awakening after a sleeping pill
A patient who could not move and talk spontaneously for eight years started to do so again after being administered a sleeping pill. The spectacular but temporary effect was visualized with brain scans, giving researchers from Radboud university medical center and Amsterdam UMC a better understanding of this disorder's underlying neurophysiological processes. The article has been published in Cortex. (2020-10-02)

How speech propels pathogens
Speech and singing spread saliva droplets, a phenomenon that has attracted much attention in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists from the CNRS, l'université de Montpellier, and Princeton University sought to shed light on what takes place during conversations. (2020-10-02)

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