Clinical Applications of Speech Acoustics Lab
Lab director: Dr. Thea Knowles
The Clinical Applications of Speech Acoustics (CASA) Lab studies speech production in people with motor speech disorders using a combination of acoustic, perceptual, and person-centered techniques. The overall goals of the CASA Lab are to better quantify the characteristics of disordered speech production, as well as to identify mechanisms to inform and improve clinical speech management.
The majority of our work focuses on speech deficits related to Parkinson’s disease. While there are well known, evidence-based behavioral interventions for speech deficits in PD, many individuals are not good candidates, do not respond well, or have difficulties transferring their skills beyond the clinic. The long-term goal of our lab’s research is to identify speech characteristics of these individuals to prevent people from “falling through the cracks,” as well as open up new possible avenues for assessment and treatment.
Some of our recent projects include assessing acoustic and perceptual changes resulting from speech rate modifications, the potential benefits of speech amplification technology, and how talkers with Parkinson’s can overcome challenges imposed by face masks.
📢 Thea recently accepted a new position at Michigan State University, and will be starting there this fall. (Note the fresh new paint on the lab website! Go green!
🎉 Congratulations to our lab members’ accomplishments! 🎉 Gursharan graduated from the Masters in CDS and will soon be starting her clinical fellowship–congratulations! 🎉 Amanda graduated from the SLHS major and will be starting her graduate degree at Syracuse University in the fall –congratulations!
I (Thea) am in Denver for the week at the Acoustical Society of America Meeting. I’ll be presenting a continuation of our speech-in-masks work, this time reporting acoustic findings of the effects of masks and clear and loud speaking styles on the speech of talkers with Parkinson’s disease.
Our lab has two papers now available that report on the effects of face masks on speech: “The impact of face masks on spectral acoustics of speech: Effect of clear and loud speech styles” was just published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Lab Updates! Hello from hybrid lab meetings We are swiftly moving through 2022! We took a moment to reflect back on 2021 to think about some of the major milestones and projects for the lab and about what’s in store in Spring of this year.