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Sound research at Acoustical Society meeting
Date:5/9/2011

ential application of this scheme is to one day integrate cochlear implants with smartphones so that future users can not only get better performance, but also seamless communication. Imagine one device that helps you hear and connects all." In the current cochlear implant pitch-encoding schemes for rendering melody, the original sound signals are significantly altered. This produces potentially detrimental effects on speech perception, which means improvement in hearing music comes at a cost to hearing speech. To overcome this, the new approach takes advantage of spectral constancy. It is achieved by preserving the spatial position voiced sounds occupy in a given timeframe, while altering the timeframe of pitch cycles. This minimizes distortion of the sound signals of both speech and music. Presentation 5aPP13, "Using spectral constancy to encode temporal pitch and improve cochlear implant melody perception," is on Friday morning, May 27 in Grand Ballroom C. Abstract: http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may11/asa1190.html

Video Game and Mock Alien Language for Learning

How do babies decode all the spoken sounds they hear to learn words and their meanings? "Alien" language may provide a clue. A team from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Sweden's Stockholm University designed a video game narrated in what amounts to alien language due to deliberately distorted acoustics. The soundtrack is unintelligible in any language and in the study was the only source of instruction for 49 adult players. Yet with just two hours of play, they could reliably extract word-length sound categories from continuous alien sounds and apply that learning to advance through the game. Results suggest this approach is a promising new way to explore language learning. Notes Francisco Lacerda, Ph.D., of Stockholm University, a specialist in language acquisition: "This is a
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Contact: Charles E. Blue
cblue@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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