Dynamic 3-D visualization of vocal tract shaping during speech

Yinghua Zhu*, Yoon Chul Kim, Michael I. Proctor, Shrikanth S. Narayanan, Krishna S. Nayak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Noninvasive imaging is widely used in speech research as a means to investigate the shaping and dynamics of the vocal tract during speech production. 3-D dynamic MRI would be a major advance, as it would provide 3-D dynamic visualization of the entire vocal tract. We present a novel method for the creation of 3-D dynamic movies of vocal tract shaping based on the acquisition of 2-D dynamic data from parallel slices and temporal alignment of the image sequences using audio information. Multiple sagittal 2-D real-time movies with synchronized audio recordings are acquired for English vowel-consonant-vowel stimuli/ala/,/a ¿ a/,/asa/, and/a\ \smallint \a/. Audio data are aligned using mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCC) extracted from windowed intervals of the speech signal. Sagittal image sequences acquired from all slices are then aligned using dynamic time warping (DTW). The aligned image sequences enable dynamic 3-D visualization by creating synthesized movies of the moving airway in the coronal planes, visualizing desired tissue surfaces and tube-shaped vocal tract airway after manual segmentation of targeted articulators and smoothing. The resulting volumes allow for dynamic 3-D visualization of salient aspects of lingual articulation, including the formation of tongue grooves and sublingual cavities, with a temporal resolution of 78 ms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6362229
Pages (from-to)838-848
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic 3-D visualization of vocal tract shaping during speech'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this