Posted by: Dr. Thomas Campbell, Ludwig A. Michael, MD, Callier Center Executive Director and Sara T Martineau Endowed Professor
Technology is revealing new ways almost daily to help speech, language and hearing patients overcome major challenges. But the Callier Center and UT Dallas are ready to accelerate the pace.
We’ve launched the Communications Technology Center (CTech), an ambitious new collaboration among the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Arts and Humanities. Housed on UT Dallas’ main campus, the center provides space and tools for sharing ideas across disciplines, assessing technologies and creating innovate new approaches.
One project involves a technology to treat apraxia, a speech deficit that can result from brain damage caused by a stroke. The research team is tracking tongue movement during speech with a method called electromagnetic articulography (EMA). EMA feedback allows patients to see their own tongue movements on a computer screen while they’re speaking, so they can position the tongue for selected speech targets.
Another technology center project uses acoustic software programs to analyze the speech of young children with disorders. Some of the children suffer from major deficits resulting from traumatic brain injury or seizures, but other patients have relatively common, less severe disorders. This computer analysis enables therapists to identify speech and language deficits and predict future problems at a young age, helping direct treatment.
Cochlear implantation technology has changed thousands of lives over the past four decades. But it has limitations. UT Dallas engineers and audiologists are working through CTech on a remedy that lets users adjust their implant settings in any environment. They developed a specially designed algorithm and a software interface to adjust cochlear implant settings via a mobile device.
We encourage you to check out the new CTech website and learn more about these projects and other important research that will change the way we talk and hear in years to come.