Thursday, September 27, 2007

Speech-language Pathology and Audiology Titles from Delmar Learning

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Complete Review for NCLEX-RN (Delmar's Complete Review for NCLEX-RN (W/CD))
Donna F. Gauwitz
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Survival Guide for School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists
Ellen Pritchard Dodge
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Pediatric Swallowing and Feeding: Assessment and Management (Dysphagia Series)
Joan C. Arvedson
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Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies to Enhance Communication and Socialization (Health & Life Science)
Kathleen Ann Quill
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A Coursebook on Scientific and Professional Writing for Speech-Language Pathology
M.N. Hegde
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Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language, and Hearing
Anthony J. Seikel
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Treatment Resource Manual for Speech-Language Pathology
Froma P. Roth
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The Child and Adolescent Stuttering Treatment and Activity Resource Guide
Peter R Ramig
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Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual
Kenneth G. Shipley
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Assessment & Intervention for Communication Disorders in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Populations
Henriette W. Langdon
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Hegde's PocketGuide to Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology
M.N. Hegde
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Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Anomalies: Effects on Speech and Resonance
Ann W. Kummer
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Hegde's PocketGuide to Communication Disorders
M.N. Hegde
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The International Guide to Speech Acquisition
Sharynne McLeod
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Hegde's PocketGuide to Treatment in Speech-Language Pathology
M.N. Hegde
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Eliciting Sounds: Techniques and Strategies for Clinicians
Wayne A. Secord
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Language In Our Life And Its Role In Our Brain

The early studies done in this area were by Broca (1861) and Wernicke
(1874). Broca's work included the patient, now known as "tan", who
could only say the word "tan", although his speech comprehension
stayed in tact. The patient died shortly afterwards and autopsy
revealed that he had been damaged in the lower part of the left
frontal lobe. Broca collected eight more cases and concluded that the
identified area was essential in the production and comprehension of
speech. The area is called Broca's area and the condition of damage to
it is called Broca's aphasia.

Wernicke reported a different aphasia. Patients could speak in
organized and grammatical sentences, although what they said seemed to
have little to do with the on going conversation. On the other hand
they seemed to have no understanding of what was spoken to them. On
autopsy, they all had damage to an area at the top of the left
temporal lobe, now known as Wernicke's area.

These speech zones also tally with the sensory and motor cortical
mechanisms. For example, Wernicke's aphasia represents a problem with
speech processing. The spoken word is a sound stimulus which enters
our ear and in transferred as an electrical signal through our nerves
until it reaches the primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe.
This area is close to Wernicke's area which contains the "word
analyzer". The word analyzer contains the sound patterns of words
that are essential in converting speech into words. If Wernicke's are
damaged the sounds cannot be identified as speech and comprehended.

We humans have a wonderful opportunity to communicate with each other both spoken and written languages, unlike our "smaller brothers" from animal world who can only use some specific signals which are recognized by them only. Language is a very powerful tool that enables us not only to communicate, but also plays a vital part in our brain's development and simply "working'.

Broca's area is in the frontal lobe and contains the motor cortex.
Speech is a motor process requiring sophisticated control over muscles
of the throat, lips and mouth. Broca's area contains the motor plans
for words. When Broca's damaged the plans cannot be activated
even though the motor cortex is intact.

Speech, reading and writing are also language functions that have a
role in the human brain. Aphasia study showed that the condition was
more common in left hemisphere damage than in right. In contrast to
the symmetry of sensory and motor functions, language functions are
asymmetrical, being more dominant in the left hemisphere. Global
aphasia is when both Broca's and Wernicke's areas are damaged and
"shadowing" experiments in which words are spoken to a subject quickly
and they must repeat them back quickly suggest that a global aphasic
will be unable to "shadow". The accurate fasciculus's the direct
pathway from Wernicke's to Broca's area. If this is damaged then
conduction aphasia results, which is severe impairment of repetition or
"shadowing". However, normal speech production and comprehension are
less affected. This implies other less direct pathways exist apart
from the direct pathway of accurate fascicules.

Writing, as a motor process is produced from the motor cortex under
the control of the planning centre in Broca's area. The input system,
reading, involves the visual system and a region that contains the
visual pattern of words and is capable of converting visual input into
words. The key region for reading and writing is the angular gyros, on
the borders of the temporal and parietal lobes.

This region contains visual word patterns, the visual pattern is
transmitted to Wernicke's area, where it arouses the auditory form of
the word and comprehension occurs. Pure word blindness occurs when we
have someone able to write a page of coherent and fluent prose, but
who cannot read it back. This syndrome is known as alexia without

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Speech Recognition Software Finally Works

By Lamont Wood, Special to LiveScience

posted: 16 July 2007 08:39 am ET

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Surprisingly, the summer of 2007 will be remembered for something other than Paris Hilton’s incarceration: It’s also the 10th anniversary of continuous speech recognition (SR) technology for the PC. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 1.0 came out in the summer of 1997, and those who wanted to dictate to their computers no longer had to pause ... between ... words.

Originally, the user had to “train” the software for about 45 minutes by reading it a canned test, and the resulting accuracy of about 75 percent meant you couldn’t finish a short sentence without several glaring errors. Today, having changed hands twice before arriving at version 9.5, training takes only minutes and out-of-the-box accuracy is about 95 percent, meaning you can expect one error per run-on sentence. Dragon’s current vendor, Nuance Communications Inc. of Burlington, MA, reports that sales are booming.

Chris Strammiello, a spokesman for Dragon’s current vendor, Nuance Communications Inc. of Burlington, MA, told LiveScience that Dragon did not catch on with the mass market until Version 8.0 came out in June 2004, offering enough accuracy (thanks to improved algorithms and faster computers) to be truly useful. Sales have been increasing by 30 percent per year since then, he said. (Strammiello would not break out Dragon’s contribution to Nuance’s bottom line, but the firm’s gross sales rose from $130.9 million in 2004, to $232.4 million in 2005, to $388.5 in 2006.)

Up from 95 percent

Actually, my extensive personal use shows that 95 percent is about as accurate as typing, with the software’s chief advantage being that it can keep up with a conversational speed of 140 words per minute, which is easily three times faster than most people can type.

Proofreading is a strange experience, since you are seeing the text for the first time, and you can be confused between what you meant to say, what you really said, and what the computer heard. Long words are almost invariably correct, while short words sometimes seem interchangeable.

Getting to 99 percent accuracy is possible in several weeks using the software’s correction facilities, by which it gradually adjusts itself to your voice. But speaking clearly and consistently is all-important. The personal version of Dragon retails for about $200, while the professional version costs about $765.

Painful decade

Over the past decade and earlier, the history of SR has not been a continuous series of triumphs, as the technology was nearly sunk twice by rampant hucksterism. One of the pioneers in the SR field was Kurzweill Applied Intelligence, two of whose executives were sentenced to prison in 1993 for inventing sales. The remains of that firm were bought in 1997 by a Belgium-based SR firm, Lernout and Hauspie (L&H), which was then reporting steady sales growth.

Dragon’s original vendor, Dragon Systems, was not reporting much growth after releasing NaturallySpeaking in 1997, and in 2000 L&H stepped forward and bought the struggling firm in a stock deal. A few months later, L&H’s sales growth was exposed as fakery, and it collapsed.

ScanSoft Inc. bought the Dragon SR technology at a bankruptcy auction in late 2001 and has continued development through three upgrades since then, meanwhile changing its name to Nuance Communications.

SR elsewhere

SR facilities are also included in Microsoft Office XP, although the fact is apparently not known to most users. Industry observers considered it a test version, as it required a mouse for navigation and correction, unlike Dragon.

Microsoft Vista has an enhanced version of SR that, like Dragon, does not need a mouse.

IBM ViaVoice was also once a competitor of Dragon, but IBM has licensed the software to Nuance, which uses it as an entry-level product. No other large-vocabulary desktop SR products are being marketed in the United States.

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