Discriminating dysarthria type from envelope modulation spectra research note

Julie M. Liss, Sue LeGendre, Andrew J. Lotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous research demonstrated the ability of temporally based rhythm metrics to distinguish among dysarthrias with different prosodic deficit profiles (J. M. Liss et al., 2009). The authors examined whether comparable results could be obtained by an automated analysis of speech envelope modulation spectra (EMS), which quantifies the rhythmicity of speech within specified frequency bands. Method: EMS was conducted on sentences produced by 43 speakers with 1 of 4 types of dysarthria and healthy controls. The EMS consisted of the spectra of the slow-rate (up to 10 Hz) amplitude modulations of the full signal and 7 octave bands ranging in center frequency from 125 to 8000 Hz. Six variables were calculated for each band relating to peak frequency and amplitude and relative energy above, below, and in the region of 4 Hz. Discriminant function analyses (DFA) determined which sets of predictor variables best discriminated between and among groups. Results: Each of 6 DFAs identified 2-6 of the 48 predictor variables. These variables achieved 84%-100% classification accuracy for group membership. Conclusions: Dysarthrias can be characterized by quantifiable temporal patterns in acoustic output. Because EMS analysis is automated and requires no editing or linguistic assumptions, it shows promise as a clinical and research tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1246-1255
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Classification
  • Dysarthria
  • Envelope modulation spectra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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