Opening the Black Box: Real-Time Speech Perturbation Experiments Reloaded
* Presenting author
In neuroscience, speech perturbation experiments are a well-studied and useful mean to assess speech pathologies and neuronal integration mechanisms. These experiments often depend on complex signal processing technology. In order to enable replication and modification of experiments as well as the interpretation of their results, technological details need to be accessible. However, in practice the experiment’s actual mechanism often remains hidden in black boxes like digital signal processors or other audio equipment. We conducted a study with 20 Parkinson patients, assessing vocal responses to pitch shifted auditory feedback. While we could replicate earlier experimental findings of Parkinsonian speech pathologies, we introduced an open-source and easy-applicable setup for real-time speech perturbation experiments. It runs on standard audio interfaces, allows researchers to interactively reprogram the signal flow at runtime and can be applied both inside and outside the laboratory.