The Haskins Optically Corrected Ultrasound System (HOCUS)

Whalen, D. H.; Iskarous, Khalil; Tiede, Mark K.; Ostry, David J.; Lehnert-LeHouillier, Heike; Vatikiotis-Bateson, Eric; Hailey, Donald S.
June 2005
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2005, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p543
Academic Journal
The tongue is critical in the production of speech, yet its nature has made it difficult to measure. Not only does its ability to attain complex shapes make it difficult to track, it is also largely hidden from view during speech. The present article describes a new combination of optical tracking and ultrasound imaging that allows for a noninvasive, real-time view of most of the tongue surface during running speech. The optical system (Optotrak) tracks the location of external structures in 3-dimensional space using infrared emitting diodes (IREDs). By tracking 3 or more IREDs on the head and a similar number on an ultrasound transceiver, the transduced image of the tongue can be corrected for the motion of both the head and the transceiver and thus be represented relative to the hard structures of the vocal tract. If structural magnetic resonance images of the speaker are available, they may allow the estimation of the location of the rear pharyngeal wall as well. This new technique is contrasted with other currently available options for imaging the tongue. It promises to provide high-quality, relatively low-cost imaging of most of the tongue surface during fairly unconstrained speech.


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