An Evaluation of Bone-conducted Ultrasonic Hearing Aid regarding Perception of Paralinguistic Information

Takayuki Kagomiya, Seiji Nakagawa, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan

Human listeners can perceive speech signals in a voice-modulated ultrasonic carrier from a bone-conduction stimulator, even if the listeners are patients with sensorineural hearing loss. Considering this fact, we have been developing a bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing aid (BCUHA). This paper reports an evaluation of the BCUHA; the evaluation was carried out by considering the transmission of paralinguistic information, especially information on speakers' intentions. Intention identification experiments were carried out using the BCUHA. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis was carried out, and the results indicated that the BCUHA shows good performance in transmitting information on the speaker's intention. Thus, this research shows that the BCUHA has the capability of being an effective tool in expressive oral communications.