Exploiting Electrophysiological Measures of Semantic Processing for Auditory Attention Decoding

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Karen DijkstraJ. Farquhar


In Auditory Attention Decoding, a user's electrophysiological brain responses to certain features of speech are modelled and subsequently used to distinguish attended from unattended speech in multi-speaker contexts. Such approaches are frequently based on acoustic features of speech, such as the auditory envelope. A recent paper shows that the brain's response to a semantic description (i.e., semantic dissimilarity) of narrative speech can also be modelled using such an approach. Here we use the (publicly available) data accompanying that study, in order to investigate whether combining this semantic dissimilarity feature with an auditory envelope approach improves decoding performance over using the envelope alone. We analyse data from their 'Cocktail Party' experiment in which 33 subjects attended to one of two simultaneously presented audiobook narrations, for 30 1-minute fragments. We find that the addition of the dissimilarity feature to an envelope-based approach significantly increases accuracy, though the increase is marginal (85.4% to 86.6%). However, we subsequently show that this dissimilarity feature, in which the degree of dissimilarity of the current word with regard to the previous context is tagged to the onset...Continue Reading

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