Sunday, July 10, 2016

K-Means Used to Predict Spots Depression in Speech Patterns

Reduced frequency range in vowel production is a well documented speech characteristic of individuals with psychological and neurological disorders. Affective disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are known to influence motor control and in particular speech production. The assessment and documentation of reduced vowel space and reduced expressivity often either rely on subjective assessments or on analysis of speech under constrained laboratory conditions (e.g. sustained vowel production, reading tasks). These constraints render the analysis of such measures expensive and impractical. Within this work, we investigate an automatic unsupervised machine learning based approach to assess a speaker's vowel space. Our experiments are based on recordings of 253 individuals. Symptoms of depression and PTSD are assessed using standard self-assessment questionnaires and their cut-off scores. The experiments show a significantly reduced vowel space in subjects that scored positively on the questionnaires. We show the measure's statistical robustness against varying demographics of individuals and articulation rate. The reduced vowel space for subjects with symptoms of depression can be explained by the common condition of psychomotor retardation influencing articulation and motor control. These findings could potentially support treatment of affective disorders, like depression and PTSD in the future.

- Full Paper Here

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