Neuroscience Technology and Interfaces for Speech, Language, and Musical Communication

Neuroscience Technology and Interfaces for Speech, Language, and Musical Communication

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch512
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Medical practice is extensively using monitoring devices that are more or less invasive and immersive. For aural and oral communication these could be hearing aids, prosthetics, cochlear implants or goggles detecting vestibular effects and vertigo. Recently, a wide variety of trendy mobile or wearable devices has been offered to the general public, provoking a frenzy for augmentation alongside the great expectations that the popularization of Brain Computer Interfaces has caused to both the consumer market and the scientific community. The use of bionic devices clinched with synapses of the nerves does not merely mingle input activity to brain activity, but also it provides a virtual channel for augmenting and manipulating speech communication, language communication and even further musical communication. The electromechanical parameters, the medical practices and the learning potential for this new world of augmented Human Computer Interaction platforms and devices are examined under the prism of audio communication.
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Recently, in a continuously changing environment with a wide variety of trendy mobile or wearable devices, in an increasingly demanding market for additional benefits in favor of the end user, the success of a product depends on its ability to adjust to the needs and desires of the consumer. So, new concepts have emerged in spectacular pageantries for the amazed public eyes.

Within this scenic approach, the concept of Interface Design and Usability has come to surface not only for smartphones and tablets, which are definitely powerful computer devices, but also for a variety of wearable or implanted pieces of apparatuses that are in position to perform many of the functions of computing machinery.

Inevitably, the issue of Usability comes to surface, as it measures perhaps more clearly than any other factor, the ability of a product not only to affect the body but also the mind of the user. This seemed to be the situation experienced thus far only with advanced medical devices and prosthetics that enabled monitoring of subtle neurological functionality. Indeed, for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes microsensors, wearable monitoring systems and various imaging assemblages provide an enhanced telecommunication channel between the actual patient organs and the monitoring clinician (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Wearable and implanted devices used for detecting and ameliorating oral and aural communication. Left: video Frenzel goggles that eliminate vision and provide simultaneous eye movement recording for the Dix-Hallpike maneuver that detects Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Center: Otologic Carina™ cochlear implantation deployed within the inner ear. Right: EEG cap recording brain activity produced by electroencephalography.


The initial success of implanted or portable devices used for health and fitness reasons has widely promulgated mobile device applications of all types that take advantage of the affordable imaging modalities, the immediate reporting potential, the endoscopic representations of computer generated signals, the tactile sensing, the microrobotic precision, the motion tracking, the stereotactic functionality, the GPS positioning, the accelerometer measuring of shock, vibration or orientation, and many others.

As microprocessor signal pins interface with the internal neurological architecture of the human organism, they synchronize external events with the structure and functionality of the brain. The notion of Usability, extensively used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), refers to the potency of a product that is massively deployed to end users to bring into action specific targetable derivatives under certain circumstances (Dix et al, 2004). These are measured in terms of:

  • 1.

    Effectiveness, i.e. the degree to which interaction with specific computing machinery is successful in producing desirable outcomes for particular activities or purposes.

  • 2.

    Efficiency, that is the design of interaction in such a way so that the ratio of useful work performed to the total efforts attempted is maximized as possible.

  • 3.

    Subjective Satisfaction, which results from the fulfillment of a user’s expectations or needs while using components of electronic equipment, or the whole apparatus collectively.

  • 4.

    A feature that recently has become a key element in the use of electronic devices is Learnability, which has to do with prior acquired knowledge or skill in using equipment of some kind, whether this ability has been developed by study, teaching, experience or sociability. The last factor has emerged as a new attribute of computing experience out of the personal relation with social networking.

Although the first three factors give a more mechanically driven approach to the evaluation processes of HCI, it is the fourth element that has gained momentum in terms of business intelligence. Indeed, Learnability is crucial for consumer electronics, since users flock around products that have a User Interface (UI) metaphor, a paradigm or an idiom they have previously used (Rogers et al., 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

CT: Computed Tomography scans are special X-Ray tests that after being processed by computing machinery reconstruct detailed images of inner body structures and organs.

HCI: Human Computer Interaction is the scientific field that observes in depth how humans use all kinds of computing machinery, aiming to exploit the efficiency and effectiveness of their control potential by designing in cognitive and applicative terms new services.

UI: User Interface is the imminently responsive part of computable processes and structures. By it users can interact with a smart device.

BCI: The Brain Computer Interface research and development engulfs all the neuroprosthetics applications that focus in repairing, augmenting, and assisting human cognition or sensory-motor functions.

EEG: ElectroEncephaloGraphy is a monitoring methodology that gives concise measurements of the electrical activity of the brain while it performs cognitive tasks. Some 20 electrodes or more can be positioned on the scull to monitor small electric signals produced by brain functions.GUI: By the term Graphical User Interface is denoted the integral part of computing machinery that relies on graphic representations to carry out commands. It also depicts visually the results of computer interaction establishing multimodal graphic communication between the smart device and the end user.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produced detailed images of the inner body. MRI may reveal problems that cannot be easily diagnosed by X-rays, ultrasounds or CT scans.

Senses: While computer research has put as goal to replicate the five senses, it becomes evident that machine perception can simulate, especially in gaming, some other sensations too, like vertigo, balance, equilibrium, acceleration, dizziness, magnetoception and so on.

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