[NPE] Cochlear implants – Speech processing strategy

Speech processor

Taxonomy of Speech Sounds

Voiced or unvoiced (유성음 vs. 무성음)

  • All the voewels are voiced sounds
  • Consonants are voiced or unvoiced sounds
  • Voiced sounds are resonant.
  • Unvoiced sounds are noisy.


  • position of articulators: high, mid, low
  • shoae of lips: rounded or not
    -place of constriction: front, central, retroflex



Vocoder (Voice coder)

  • reproducing an intelligible facsimile of a voice for recorded messages on telephone systems
  • efficiency matters: to reduce the information content in voice messages(일정 기준으로 추출된 정보의 목소리만을 전달하는 것이 목표였다)

    Channel vocoder

  • analysis(encoding) / decoding(synthesis)
  • a limited set of parameters from speech input in the analysis part
  • The information rate required for transmission of the parameters is much less than that required for transmission of the unprocessed speech signal

Voice coding


How to extract information


  • Information about the excitation of the vocal tract is extracted with a voicing detector and with a pitch (or fundamental frequency detector)
  • The voicing detector determines whetere the current speech sound is voiced or unvoiced.
  • Pitch detector determines the frequency of glottal opening for voiced speech sound.
  • Information about the configuration of the vocal tract is extracted with a back of bandpass filters and envelope detector.
  • This analysis provides snapshots of the filtering by the vocal tract at 5~30 ms interval.

How to synthesize the sound


  • to reconstruct the speech waveform for the listener.
  • Voicing control input(binary) is used to switch between a noise source or a source of periodic pulse.
  • The outputs of the multiplier blocks are envelop signals for each bandpass filters.
  • A synthesized speech signal is formed by summing the outputs of the bandpass filters.

Implications for Cochlear Implants

  • The amount of information that can be presented and perceived with a cochlear implant is much less.
  • Perception of electrical stimuli is different from perception of acoustic stimuli. (Pitch saturation limit) : Electrical stimuli has cannot make proper pitch over 3MHz, although acoustic stimuli dosen’t have limitation on pitch saturation.

Pitch saturation limit

  • Perception of lectrical stimuli is different from perception of acoustic stimuli.
  • Pitch saturation limit: typically around 300 pulses/s for electrical pulses or 300Hz for electrical sinusoids. Higher rates or requencies do not produce increases in pitch.
  • In normal hearing, different pitches are heard over much wider ranges of rates or frequencies, probalby through combinations of rate and place cues.

Speech Processing Strategies




  • F0: 300Hz 미만의 주파수를 이용하여 pulse rate를 본다.
  • F1: 300~1,000Hz 의 주파수
  • F2: 1.000~3.000Hz 의 주파수

A1, A2에 해당하는 amplitude를 pulse rate를 기반으로 modulate 해서 신호를 전달한다.
Formant: 어음에서 나타나는 peak



  • 주파수를 좀 더 자세하게 보기 시작했다. 이전 model보다 자음을 더 강조.
  • MPEAK extracts high-frequency information from the speech signal, in addition to formant information
  • MPEAK strategy, as well as the F0/F1/F2 strategy, tends to make erros in formant extraction in noise environment.

이전 모델들은 feature extraction strategy이다.



  • filter만 존재한다. (Let the brain do the work)
  • Stimulus was delivered simultaneously to electrodes in analog form
  • Problem of the CA: Channel interaction (channel III, for example) is a main issue of CA model.



  • "Pulsatile" processing + Predetermined
  • Biphasic pulse trains were delivered to the electrodes in a non-simultaneous pattern
  • Less channel interaction : 각 채널에 pulse가 도달하는 시간이 다르다. 동시에 pulse가 가지 않기 때문에(interleaved) SG 입장에서 보면 주변 cell들과 다른 시간에 pulse를 전달받기 때문에 channel interaction을 현저하게 줄일 수 있었다.



  • CIS의 본격적인 활용
  • m개의 filter, n개의 전극 : 더 많은 수의 filter bank를 구현해서 신호가 센 주파수 n개를 선별해서 n개의 전극을 자극한다.
  • Major differences between CIS and n-of-m
    • N-of-m strategy has greater number of bandpass filter.
    • N-of-m strategy is based on temporal frames
    • The SPEAK strategy selects 6~8 largets peaks(n) and has a fixed 250n Hz per channel rate
    • The ACE strategy has a larger range of peak selection(8~12) and higher rate(900~1,200Hz) than the SPEAK strategy.



  • CIS-based strategy
  • 의미없는 low frequency signal을 줄임

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