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See detailUne audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la fluence de parole lors d’une prise de parole en public : Etude pilote
Menjot, Pauline; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

in Cahiers de l'ASELF (in press)

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur ... [more ▼]

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur les performances de communication, notamment sur la fluence de parole. La littérature met en évidence les bénéfices d’un entrainement ciblant les compétences communicationnelles liées à cette activité. Néanmoins, son implémentation dans des situations proches du monde réel reste complexe. Par conséquent, la réalité virtuelle pourrait être un outil novateur et pertinent pour ce type d’entrainement. Objectifs : Cette étude vise à valider l’utilisation d’une audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la prise de parole en public en évaluant sa capacité à susciter des réactions émotionnelles (en termes d’anxiété) et comportementales (en termes de disfluences). Méthodologie : Huit participants ont réalisé une présentation orale dans trois conditions : 1) face à un public réel (Vivo_Public), 2) devant un public virtuel (Virtuo_Public) et 3) dans une salle de conférence virtuelle sans public (Virtuo_Vide). Les disfluences et le niveau d’anxiété des participants ont été analysés. Le vécu de l’immersion dans l’environnement virtuel a quant à lui été évalué au moyen d’un questionnaire portant sur le sentiment de présence et les cybermalaises. Résultats : Les réactions comportementales, le sentiment de présence satisfaisant et l’absence de cybermalaises suggèrent que cet environnement virtuel est un outil prometteur pour l’entrainement à la prise de parole en public. Conclusion : Cette étude est la première étape d’un projet à long terme. Elle a permis de mettre en évidence les éléments positifs de cette audience virtuelle ainsi que ceux nécessitant une amélioration. D’autres études sont toutefois nécessaires pour améliorer cet environnement et confirmer statistiquement sa validité écologique. [less ▲]

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See detailCan ambulatory biofeedback help a transgender woman speak at a higher pitch?
Morsomme, Dominique ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege

in Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology (in press)

Voice feminization for transgender women remains a challenge. The fundamental frequency of the voice (fo) is one of the main parameters contributing to the perception of gender. One of the aims of voice ... [more ▼]

Voice feminization for transgender women remains a challenge. The fundamental frequency of the voice (fo) is one of the main parameters contributing to the perception of gender. One of the aims of voice therapy is to help transgender women acquire a new vocal motor behavior to increase their fo. We hypothesized that ambulatory biofeedback could help extend the new vocal behavior to daily life. This prospective case study assessed the impact of two weeks of ambulatory vibrotactile biofeedback (VTBF) applied to one transgender woman, following two weeks of voice therapy (three 60-minute sessions). The VTBF was activated when the participant’s voice was lower than 150 Hz for more than 500 ms and was accompanied by two 60-minute counseling sessions. The results showed that mean fo monitored in daily activities tended to increase following the two weeks of voice therapy (Δ = 8 Hz or 1 semitone) and then increased significantly immediately after the two weeks of VTBF (Δ = 13 Hz or 1.5 semitones). The increase in mean fo from day to day and the decrease in the activation percentage from the first to the second week of VTBF (Δ = 6%) indicated a gradual integration of the motor behavior, making it possible to achieve the targeted female frequency. The results suggest that ambulatory VTBF helped the participant to generalize the techniques acquired during the voice therapy sessions to real-life communication situations. These results are promising for therapeutic programs that integrate tools that can be used outside the clinical context. [less ▲]

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See detailLa réalité virtuelle : Un outil applicable en thérapie vocale
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Morsomme, Dominique ULiege

Conference (2021, June 25)

Dans un premier temps, nous expliquerons ce qu’est la réalité virtuelle. Nous présenterons ses applications dans le domaine de la santé, et plus spécifiquement en orthophonie. Nous nous intéresserons ... [more ▼]

Dans un premier temps, nous expliquerons ce qu’est la réalité virtuelle. Nous présenterons ses applications dans le domaine de la santé, et plus spécifiquement en orthophonie. Nous nous intéresserons ensuite à l’apport de cette nouvelle technologie dans le domaine de la voix. Nous présenterons nos recherches sur une classe virtuelle destinée à l’entrainement des compétences de communication orale des enseignants. Nous exposerons la conception de l’outil, sa validation scientifique via la comparaison de l’usage vocal d’enseignants donnant une leçon dans leur classe réelle et dans la classe virtuelle [1], et son efficacité en tant qu’outil d’entrainement des compétences de communication en environnement bruyant [2]. Nous illustrerons l’utilisation de la réalité virtuelle lors de la thérapie vocale d’une enseignante dysphonique à l’aide d’une vidéo. Bibliographie : [1] Remacle, A., Bouchard, S., Etienne, A-M., Rivard, M-C., & Morsomme, D. (2021). A virtual classroom can elicit teachers' speech characteristics: Evidence from acoustic measurements during in vivo and in virtuo lessons, compared to a free speech control situation. Virtual Reality. DOI: 10.1007/s10055-020-00491-1 [2] Remacle, A. (2019, September 19). Virtual Reality in Teachers' Vocal Motor Behavior Acquisition (VirtuVox). ClinicalTrials.gov. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04096352?term=remacle&cond=Voice+Disorders&draw=2&rank=1 [less ▲]

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See detailLa réalité virtuelle : Un outil au service de la thérapie vocale
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Morsomme, Dominique ULiege

in Rééducation Orthophonique (2021), 286

Résumé: Dans le domaine de la santé, la réalité virtuelle (RV) représente une alternative à l’exposition dans le monde réel (in vivo). Elle permet de vivre des situations proches de la réalité, dans le ... [more ▼]

Résumé: Dans le domaine de la santé, la réalité virtuelle (RV) représente une alternative à l’exposition dans le monde réel (in vivo). Elle permet de vivre des situations proches de la réalité, dans le but de développer, d’entrainer, ou de rééduquer des compétences spécifiques dans un environnement contrôlé, en présence du clinicien. La RV est une technologie permettant d’immerger un utilisateur (e.g. un enseignant) dans un environnement en trois dimensions recréé artificiellement (e.g. une salle de classe virtuelle) afin d’y vivre une expérience proche de la réalité (e.g. donner une leçon aux élèves). Cet article présente une synthèse de nos recherches sur l’apport de la RV dans l’apprentissage de comportements vocaux efficaces. Nous évaluons l’applicabilité et l’efficacité d’une salle de classe virtuelle pour l’entrainement des compétences vocales des enseignants. Suite au développement d’une salle de classe virtuelle composée de 16 élèves animés et de bruits typiques d’école, une étude de validation a été menée sur 30 enseignantes. Les résultats suggèrent que cet environnement virtuel représente un outil écologiquement valide et utilisable pour exercer les compétences vocales : une fois immergés dans la classe virtuelle, les enseignants adoptent les adaptations vocales spécifiques aux situations d’enseignement. Une seconde étude a évalué l’efficacité d’un programme d’entrainement utilisant la RV pour l’apprentissage de compétences de communication en environnement bruyant chez des futurs enseignants. Les résultats préliminaires montrent que des simulations virtuelles de situations d’enseignement favorisent l’amélioration du sentiment d’efficacité personnelle de communication en environnement bruyant. La RV représente un outil prometteur, offrant un certain potentiel en termes d’applications puisque l’environnement virtuel peut servir non seulement aux enseignants sur le terrain mais également aux futurs enseignants, dans l’optique de les entraîner (prévention) et aux enseignants en souffrance (rééducation de patients dysphoniques). Abstract: In the field of health care, virtual reality (VR) represents an alternative to exposure in the real world (in vivo). It makes it possible to experience close-to-reality situations with the aim of developing, training or rehabilitating specific competences in a controlled environment with a clinician present. VR is a technology that lets a user (e.g., a teacher) be immersed in an artificially created 3D environment (e.g., a virtual classroom) in order to have a realistic experience (e.g., teaching a lesson). This article presents a summary of our research on the contribution VR can make to the learning of efficient vocal behaviors. We assess the applicability and efficacy of a virtual classroom to train teachers’ vocal skills. Following the development of a virtual classroom with 16 animated pupils and noises typical of a school, a validation study was done with 30 teachers. The results suggest that this virtual environment represents an ecologically valid tool that can be used to exercise vocal skills: once they are immersed in the virtual classroom, teachers adopt the specific vocal adaptations they use in teaching situations. A second study assessed the efficacy of a training program using VR for future teachers learning how to communicate in a noisy environment. The preliminary results show that virtual simulations of teaching situations promote an enhanced feeling of self-efficacy regarding communication in noisy environments. VR represents a promising tool with considerable potential for application since the virtual environment may be used not only for working teachers but also for future teachers, for training purposes (prevention), and injured teachers (rehabilitation of dysphonic patients). [less ▲]

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See detailSpeakInVR : validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends ... [more ▼]

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students, etc. However, social anxiety may impede oral presentation performances . Repeated training in front of an audience can help to better control the speaker’s emotions and skills, and improve speaking performances (Wallach et al., 2009). Given that training in front of a real audience can be logistically difficult to organize, virtual reality (VR) can be the solution. Nevertheless, the emotional impact of the virtual audience on the speaker will depend on the emotional valence and arousal they attribute to the audience’s avatars. Aim: The goal of the present study is to assess the emotional valence and arousal attributed to the avatars of a new virtual audience, depending on the avatars’ attitude. Method and material: Based on the methods from Chollet & Scherer (2017), 125 adults participated in this study. They rated the emotional valence and arousal of 8 avatars depending on their body posture, their face’s expressions, or their head movements. Results and conclusions: Results show that head movements were more readily linked to the emotional valence attributed to the avatars by the participants than were body postures and facial expressions. Furthermore, arousal seems to be directly linked with head movements and facial expressions. Full results from each parameter will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a virtual audience for public speaking: Preliminary results
Menjot, Pauline ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training, is complex to implement in real -life (Goberman et al., 2011). Hence, virtual reality (VR) could be a viable alternative tool (Owens & Beidel, 2015). The aim of this study was to validate a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its qualities (i.e., feeling of presence and cybersickness) and its ability to elicit emotional (i.e., anxiety) and behavioral (i.e., dysfluencies) reactions. Methodology. Forty participants without social anxiety (attested to by the PRCS, Heeren et al., 2013 ; LSAS-SR, Heeren et al., 2012 ; and BFNE-S, Rodebaugh et al., 2004) or fluency disorders (confirmed by the SSI-4, Riley, 2009) were recruited. They had to give an oral presentation under three counterbalanced conditions (in an empty virtual conference room and in front of virtual and real audiences). We aimed to analyze their speech and anxiety and the quality of VR. Due to the health crisis, this methodology was only pre-tested on 8 participants. However, positive results, including a sufficient feeling of presence and the lack of cybersickness, suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool. Conclusions. The methodology will be discussed in light of these first positive results, on the one hand, and of the characteristics that can be improved (realism of the virtual audience and methodological limits), on the other hand, for the benefit of future studies. References Furmark, T. (2002). Social phobia: Overview of community surveys. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105(2), 84–93. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.1r103.x Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 Heeren, A., Ceschi, G., Valentiner, D. P., Dethier, V., & Philippot, P. (2013). Assessing public speaking fear with the short form of the personal report of confidence as a speaker scale: Confirmatory factor analyses among a French-speaking community sample. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 9, 609–618. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S43097 Heeren, A., Maurage, P., Rossignol, M., Vanhaelen, M., Peschard, V., Eeckhout, C., & Philippot, P. (2012). Self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale: Psychometric properties of the French version. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 44(2), 99–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026249 Owens, M. E., & Beidel, D. C. (2015). Can virtual reality effectively elicit distress associated with social anxiety disorder? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37(2), 296–305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-014-9454-x Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: The factor structure and item properties of the original and brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Psychological Assessment, 16(2), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.16.2.169 [less ▲]

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See detailWhich teachers are most at risk for voice disorders? Individual factors predicting vocal acoustic parameters monitored in situ during a workweek
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Lefèvre, Nathalie

in International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (2021), 94(6), 12711285

Purpose: To identify the factors affecting teachers’ vocal acoustic parameters, with the aim of detecting individuals at risk of phonotrauma. Method: The voicing time, voice sound pressure level [SPL] and ... [more ▼]

Purpose: To identify the factors affecting teachers’ vocal acoustic parameters, with the aim of detecting individuals at risk of phonotrauma. Method: The voicing time, voice sound pressure level [SPL] and fundamental frequency [fo] of 87 teachers were measured during one workweek using a voice dosimeter. We retrospectively investigated the impact of 10 factors (gender, age, teaching experience, teaching level, tobacco, gastro-esophageal problems, nonoccupational voice activity, voice education, past voice problems, and biopsychosocial impact of voice problems measured using the Voice Handicap Index [VHI]) on each voice parameter. Results: None of the above factors affected voicing time or SPL. fo depended significantly on gender, teaching level, nonoccupational voice activity and VHI score. Specifically, fo was higher in women (Δ = 69 Hz), in individuals without nonoccupational voice activities (Δ = 11 Hz), and in individuals with a lower VHI score (increase of 0.7 Hz for each additional point). For females, post hoc comparisons revealed a substantial impact of teaching level on fo: university instructors had deeper voices than kindergarten (Δ = 66 Hz), elementary (Δ = 52 Hz), or secondary teachers (Δ = 41 Hz). Conclusions: Since higher fo increases the mechanical stress related to vocal fold vibration, the screening and prevention of phonotrauma should focus primarily on women, particularly those who teach at lower levels, and teachers with more self-rated voice problems. The lower fo of teachers who engage in nonprofessional voice activities may suggest acute inflammation or muscle fatigue due to voice overload. [less ▲]

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See detailCommuniquer et enseigner avec un masque : Comment (s’)en sortir ?
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Henrich Bernardoni, Nathalie

Scientific conference (2021, January 15)

La conférence détaille l’impact du masque sur la capacité à communiquer. Comment influence-t-il la respiration ? De quelle façon modifie-t-il la parole transmise et la parole reçue, plus particulièrement ... [more ▼]

La conférence détaille l’impact du masque sur la capacité à communiquer. Comment influence-t-il la respiration ? De quelle façon modifie-t-il la parole transmise et la parole reçue, plus particulièrement en situation d’interaction entre l’enseignant et ses étudiants ? La présentation décrit les adaptations possibles à cette situation de port de masque pour l’enseignant et son environnement. Enfin, quelques conseils pratiques sont proposés pour limiter l’effort vocal du locuteur et favoriser la compréhension des auditeurs. [less ▲]

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See detailA virtual classroom can elicit teachers’ speech characteristics: Evidence from acoustic measurements during in vivo and in virtuo lessons, compared to a free speech control situation
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Bouchard, Stéphane; Etienne, Anne-Marie ULiege et al

in Virtual Reality (2021)

To achieve pedagogic goals and deal with environmental constraints such as noise when lecturing, teachers adapt their speech production in terms of frequency, intensity, and temporal aspects. The mastery ... [more ▼]

To achieve pedagogic goals and deal with environmental constraints such as noise when lecturing, teachers adapt their speech production in terms of frequency, intensity, and temporal aspects. The mastery of appropriate vocal skills is key to teachers’ speech intelligibility, health, and educational effectiveness. This project tests the relevance of virtual reality (VR) for training teachers’ vocal skills by simulating a lesson in a realistic VR environment characterized by adjustable constraints such as background noise and fidgety children. The VR environment depicts an elementary school classroom with 16 pupils aged 9 to 12 years old animated with typical childlike actions. To validate this virtual classroom in terms of speech characteristics, we conducted acoustic analyses on the speech productions of 30 female teachers in three conditions: (1) giving a free speech while facing the experimenter (control), (2) teaching in their usual classroom (in vivo), and (3) teaching the same lesson in a virtual classroom (in virtuo). The background noise in the VR setting was adjusted for each talker so it was similar to the level measured in vivo. Repeated measures ANOVAs showed that teachers significantly increased their voice frequency, intensity, and intonation, and made longer pauses while speaking in vivo and in virtuo, compared to the control condition (p < .001). These voice and speech adaptations (partly related to background noise), the strong feeling of presence and the lack of side effects suggest that the virtual classroom may facilitate voice training and rehabilitation for teachers. [less ▲]

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See detailCommuniquer et enseigner avec un masque : Réflexions scientifiques et cliniques
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Henrich Bernardoni, Nathalie

Article for general public (2021)

L'article détaille l’impact du masque sur la capacité à communiquer. Comment influence-t-il la respiration ? De quelle façon modifie-t-il la parole transmise et la parole reçue, plus particulièrement en ... [more ▼]

L'article détaille l’impact du masque sur la capacité à communiquer. Comment influence-t-il la respiration ? De quelle façon modifie-t-il la parole transmise et la parole reçue, plus particulièrement en situation d’interaction entre l’enseignant et ses étudiants ? Les adaptations possibles à cette situation de port de masque pour l’enseignant et son environnement sont décrites. Enfin, quelques conseils pratiques sont proposés pour limiter l’effort vocal du locuteur et favoriser la compréhension des auditeurs. [less ▲]

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See detailListening to a dysphonic speaker in noise may impede children’s spoken language processing in a realistic classroom setting
Schiller, Isabel ULiege; Morsomme, Dominique ULiege; Kob, Malte et al

in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (2021)

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate children’s processing of dysphonic speech in a realistic classroom setting, under the influence of added classroom noise. Method: Normally developing 6 ... [more ▼]

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate children’s processing of dysphonic speech in a realistic classroom setting, under the influence of added classroom noise. Method: Normally developing 6-year-old primary-school children performed two listening tasks in their regular classrooms: a phoneme discrimination task to assess speech perception, and a sentence-picture matching task to assess listening comprehension. Speech stimuli were played back in either a normal or an impaired voice quality. Children performed the tasks in the presence of induced classroom noise at signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) between +2 and +9 dB. Results: Children’s performance in the phoneme discrimination task decreased significantly when the speaker’s voice was impaired. The effect of voice quality on sentence-picture matching depended on task demands: easy sentences were processed more accurately in the impaired-voice condition than in the normal-voice conditions. SNR effects are discussed in light of methodological constraints. Conclusions: Listening to a dysphonic teacher in a noisy classroom may impede children’s perception of speech, particularly when phonological discrimination is needed to disambiguate the speech input. Future research regarding the interaction of voice quality and task demands is necessary. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of teachers at risk for phonotrauma using ambulatory monitoring of speaking fundamental frequency
Remacle, Angélique ULiege; de Chambourcy, Laetitia; Lefèvre, Nathalie

in Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Voice Physiology and Biomechanics (2020, December 04)

Introduction: Excessive mechanical stress on the vocal folds – including deformation, oscillation, collision and acceleration [1] – can lead to tissue damage, that is, phonotrauma. Among professional ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Excessive mechanical stress on the vocal folds – including deformation, oscillation, collision and acceleration [1] – can lead to tissue damage, that is, phonotrauma. Among professional voice users, excessive vibration patterns represent major risk factors for voice disorders [2]. This study evaluates several individual factors together to determine whether they can predict teachers’ speaking fundamental frequency [f0] and help to identify those who are most at risk of phonotrauma. Methods:The f0 of 87 teachers (66 women) without voice pathology was assessed every 200 ms during one workweek with the Ambulatory Phonation Monitor (KayPENTAX, Montvale, NJ), using an autocorrelation algorithm. The following individual factors were collected with questionnaires: gender, age, teaching experience, teaching level, tobacco consumption, gastro-esophageal problems, nonoccupational voice activity, voice education (i.e., having received weekly speaking and/or singing training for at least one year), past voice problems, and biopsychosocial impact of voice problems measured using the Voice Handicap Index [VHI [3]]). General linear mixed models were used to determine the effect of individual factors on teachers’ f0 tracked in real-life situations for a total of 431 days (4,479 hours). Results: Speaking f0 depended significantly on gender (F(1, 74) = 132.1, p < .001), teaching level (F(3, 74) = 12.49, p < .001), nonoccupational voice activity (F(1, 74) = 4.34, p = .041) and VHI score (F(1, 74) = 8.95, p = .004). Specifically, f0 was higher in women, in individuals without nonoccupational voice activity, and in individuals with a higher VHI score (increase of 0.7 Hz for each additional point). For females, post hoc comparisons revealed a substantial impact of teaching level: university instructors had deeper voices than kindergarten (p < .001), elementary (p < .001), or secondary teachers (p = .001), and secondary teachers had deeper voices than kindergarten teachers (p = .003). Discussion: The higher-pitched voices of kindergarten and elementary teachers may be due to the Lombard effect, the convergence effect, the characteristics of child-directed speech, and the cognitive and/or emotional load related to occupational stress [4]. On the other hand, lowering the pitch may be a strategy secondary and university teachers use to assert their authority. The lower f0 of teachers who engage in nonprofessional voice activities may suggest acute inflammation or muscle fatigue due to voice overload. Prevention and early detection should be offered primarily to individuals at risk of phonotrauma due to higher f0, namely females, and specifically those teaching at the kindergarten and elementary levels. In addition, self-assessment questionnaires such as the VHI could also help to detect individuals with potentially harmful f0 patterns. [less ▲]

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See detailA virtual audience for public speaking: A pilot study
Menjot, Pauline; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2020, December 01)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has consequences on communication performance (King & Finn, 2017), particularly on speech fluency (Goberman et al., 2011), and quality of speech can influence a speaker’s career success (Wörtwein et al., 2015). While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training on communication performance (Goberman et al., 2011), its implementation is complex. Therefore, virtual reality (VR) seems to be an innovative and relevant tool for clinicians. Aims. This study aims to validate the use of a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its capacity to elicit emotional (i.e. anxiety) and behavioral (i.e. disfluencies) responses confirming its ecological validity. Methodology. Eight participants made an oral presentation in front of a virtual audience. Their speech disfluencies and anxiety were analyzed. They also completed questionnaires assessing the quality of VR based on the feeling of presence and side effects (i.e. cybersickness). Results. The emotional (anxiety) and behavioral responses (speech disfluencies), the sufficient feeling of presence, and the absence of cybersickness suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool for public speaking training and rehabilitation. Conclusions. This pilot study is the first step in a long-term project. It highlights the positive points of a virtual audience as well as those requiring improvement. Further studies are needed to enhance this virtual environment and statistically confirm its ecological validity. References: - Ferreira Marinho, A. C., Mesquita de Medeiros, A., Côrtes Gama, A. C., & Caldas Teixeira, L. (2017). Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates. Journal of Voice, 31(1), 7-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.12.012 - Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 - King, P. E., & Finn, A. N. (2017). A test of attention control theory in public speaking: cognitive load influences the relationship between state anxiety and verbal production. Communication Education, 66(2), 168–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2016.1272128 - Wörtwein, T., Chollet, M., Schauerte, B., Morency, L.-P., Stiefelhagen, R., & Scherer, S. (2015). Multimodal Public Speaking Performance Assessment. International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818346.2820762 [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptation des pratiques vocales professionnelles au port du masque
Loie, Corinne; Henrich Bernardoni, Nathalie; Remacle, Angélique ULiege

in L'Orthophoniste (2020), 404

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See detailSpeakInVR : Validation d'une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Speech/Talk (2020)

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See detailCommuniquer et enseigner avec un masque : Comment (s’)en sortir ?
Henrich Bernardoni, Nathalie; Remacle, Angélique ULiege

Conference given outside the academic context (2020)

Après avoir rapidement exploré les conditions de port du masque imposées aux enseignants français et belges en lien avec la crise sanitaire du COVID-19, nous discuterons de l’impact du masque sur la ... [more ▼]

Après avoir rapidement exploré les conditions de port du masque imposées aux enseignants français et belges en lien avec la crise sanitaire du COVID-19, nous discuterons de l’impact du masque sur la capacité à communiquer et à interagir avec les élèves. Comment impacte-t-il la respiration ? De quelle façon modifie-t-il la parole transmise et la parole reçue ? Nous finirons en explorant les adaptations possibles à cette situation de port de masque pour l’enseignant et son environnement. Nous donnerons des conseils pratiques à mettre en place au quotidien pour limiter l’effort vocal de l’enseignant et favoriser la compréhension de ses élèves. [less ▲]

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See detailNoise and a speaker’s impaired voice quality disrupt spoken language processing in school-aged children: Evidence from performance and response time measures
Schiller, Isabel ULiege; Morsomme, Dominique ULiege; Kob, Malte et al

in Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (2020)

Purpose: Our aim was to investigate isolated and combined effects of speech-shaped noise (SSN) and a speaker’s impaired voice quality on spoken language processing in first-grade children. Method: In ... [more ▼]

Purpose: Our aim was to investigate isolated and combined effects of speech-shaped noise (SSN) and a speaker’s impaired voice quality on spoken language processing in first-grade children. Method: In individual examinations, 53 typically developing children aged 5 to 6 years performed a speech perception task (phoneme discrimination) and a listening comprehension task (sentence-picture matching). Speech stimuli were randomly presented in a 2x2 factorial design with the factors noise (no added noise vs. SSN at 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio) and voice quality (normal voice vs. impaired voice). Outcome measures were task performance and response time (RT). Results: SSN and impaired voice quality significantly lowered children’s performance and increased RTs in the speech perception task, particularly when combined. Regarding listening comprehension, a significant interaction between noise and voice quality indicated that children’s performance was hindered by SSN when the speaker’s voice was impaired but not when it was normal. RTs in this task were unaffected by noise or voice quality. Conclusions: Results suggest that speech signal degradations caused by a speaker’s impaired voice and background noise generate more processing errors and increased listening effort in young school-aged children. This finding is vital for classroom listening and highlights the importance of ensuring teachers’ vocal health and adequate room acoustics. [less ▲]

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See detailSPEAKinVR: validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Conference (2020, April 30)

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which ... [more ▼]

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which stands for what the technology delivers from an objective point of view” and presence which is “the human reaction to immersion”, i.e., the participant’s subjective sense of being in the virtual place. The reactions of the audience can have a significant impact on the speaker’s emotions and performance. At a first level, our hypothesis is that interactivity has a positive impact on the presence feeling. At a higher level, as already shown by Chollet et al. (2015), interactivity in VR is also a major ingredient in the training process. It is therefore essential to know if the users perceive the interactions in the virtual environment as representative of the reality and how each one is interpreted. There are two main dimensions in the context of emotion and affect: arousal and valence. As defined by Chollet and Scherer (2017), “arousal can be understood as an audience member’s level of alertness, and valence corresponds to how positively or negatively the person feels toward the speaker or the presentation”. In their paper, they tried to understand how users perceive virtual audience based on the nonverbal behavior of audience members. Our first question is to investigate which attitudes the characters must display and how people perceive the individual members of the audience in terms of their states of arousal and valence. A second related question is linked to the level of reality used to represent the public. The characters in virtual environments, i.e. avatars, are most often synthetic images. In some cases, photorealistic representations are used but the level of animation is then generally extremely limited. In this context, our second research question investigates whether the use of fully rigged 3D photogrammetric models, i.e. with a skeleton we can animate, can significantly improve the user’s presence. [less ▲]

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See detailSPEAKInVR : Validation d’une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2020, March 12)

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a ... [more ▼]

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the tourist guide visiting a city with a group, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students… Unfortunately, many firms complain about the too low level of this skill within their staff. The global theme of our work is to look for innovative solutions leading to an improvement of public speaking performances. The global project aims to help people to speak in public by training them in a realistic and interactive VR environment providing some feedbacks. Unity 3D engine was used to create a first basic version of the tool. 3D avatars have been designed and animated to represent some common audience postures, corresponding to different degrees of arousal and valence, and some classical situations as people typing on laptops or playing with smartphones. 3D photogrammetric versions of these avatars will soon be completed for testing increased realism. The objective of this presentation is to validate the virtual audience. [less ▲]

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