Prominence marking in Parkinsonian speech and its correlation with motor performance and cognitive abilities

Tabea Thies, Doris Mücke, Anja Lowit, Elke Kalbe, Julia Steffen, Michael T. Barbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives
Research suggests that people with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) do not only suffer from motor but also non-motor impairment. This interdisciplinary study investigated how prominence marking is influenced by problems on the motoric and cognitive level.
Materials and methods
We collected production data from 38 native German speakers: 19 PwPD (in medication-ON condition) with a mild to moderate motor impairment, 13 males and 6 females (mean 66.2 years old, SD = 7.7) and 19 healthy age and gender matched control participants (mean 65.4 years old, SD = 9.3). Target words were produced in accented and unaccented condition within a speech task. The data were analysed for intensity, syllable duration, F0 and vowel articulation. Furthermore, we assessed motor control and cognitive functions, i.e. working memory, set-shifting, attention control and processing speed.
Results
Comparisons between PwPD and control participants revealed that the vowel space was smaller in PwPD even in mildly impaired speakers. Both groups were able to mark prominence by increasing pitch, syllable duration and intensity and adjusting their vowel articulation. For the PwPD we found that set-shifting as an executive function was correlated with modulation of F0 and intensity: the worse the set-shifting performance, the stronger intensity and F0 were modulated (target overshoot). Furthermore, motor impairment within the PwPD group was related to a decrease in the acoustic vowel space (target undershoot) which resulted further in a decrease in speech intelligibility and naturalness. This behaviour of target over and undershoot indicates an inefficient way of prominence marking in PwPD with mildly affected speech.
Conclusion
PwPD with signs of mild dysarthria overused F0 and intensity in prominent positions. This reflected abnormalities in the regulatory mechanism for expressing prosodic prominence and correlated with set-shifting ability. This is the first study to report a link between cognitive skills and speech production at the phonetic level in PwPD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107306
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume137
Early online date16 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2019

Fingerprint

Aptitude
Parkinson Disease
Interdisciplinary Studies
Speech Intelligibility
Dysarthria
Phonetics
Executive Function
Short-Term Memory
Acoustics
Cognition

Keywords

  • Parkinson's disease
  • prominence marking
  • acoustic parameters
  • executive functions
  • motor functions
  • dysarthria

Cite this

Thies, Tabea ; Mücke, Doris ; Lowit, Anja ; Kalbe, Elke ; Steffen, Julia ; Barbe, Michael T. / Prominence marking in Parkinsonian speech and its correlation with motor performance and cognitive abilities. In: Neuropsychologia. 2020 ; Vol. 137. pp. 1-16.
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title = "Prominence marking in Parkinsonian speech and its correlation with motor performance and cognitive abilities",
abstract = "ObjectivesResearch suggests that people with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) do not only suffer from motor but also non-motor impairment. This interdisciplinary study investigated how prominence marking is influenced by problems on the motoric and cognitive level.Materials and methodsWe collected production data from 38 native German speakers: 19 PwPD (in medication-ON condition) with a mild to moderate motor impairment, 13 males and 6 females (mean 66.2 years old, SD = 7.7) and 19 healthy age and gender matched control participants (mean 65.4 years old, SD = 9.3). Target words were produced in accented and unaccented condition within a speech task. The data were analysed for intensity, syllable duration, F0 and vowel articulation. Furthermore, we assessed motor control and cognitive functions, i.e. working memory, set-shifting, attention control and processing speed.ResultsComparisons between PwPD and control participants revealed that the vowel space was smaller in PwPD even in mildly impaired speakers. Both groups were able to mark prominence by increasing pitch, syllable duration and intensity and adjusting their vowel articulation. For the PwPD we found that set-shifting as an executive function was correlated with modulation of F0 and intensity: the worse the set-shifting performance, the stronger intensity and F0 were modulated (target overshoot). Furthermore, motor impairment within the PwPD group was related to a decrease in the acoustic vowel space (target undershoot) which resulted further in a decrease in speech intelligibility and naturalness. This behaviour of target over and undershoot indicates an inefficient way of prominence marking in PwPD with mildly affected speech.ConclusionPwPD with signs of mild dysarthria overused F0 and intensity in prominent positions. This reflected abnormalities in the regulatory mechanism for expressing prosodic prominence and correlated with set-shifting ability. This is the first study to report a link between cognitive skills and speech production at the phonetic level in PwPD.",
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Prominence marking in Parkinsonian speech and its correlation with motor performance and cognitive abilities. / Thies, Tabea; Mücke, Doris; Lowit, Anja; Kalbe, Elke; Steffen, Julia ; Barbe, Michael T.

In: Neuropsychologia, Vol. 137, 107306, 03.02.2020, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prominence marking in Parkinsonian speech and its correlation with motor performance and cognitive abilities

AU - Thies, Tabea

AU - Mücke, Doris

AU - Lowit, Anja

AU - Kalbe, Elke

AU - Steffen, Julia

AU - Barbe, Michael T.

PY - 2019/12/16

Y1 - 2019/12/16

N2 - ObjectivesResearch suggests that people with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) do not only suffer from motor but also non-motor impairment. This interdisciplinary study investigated how prominence marking is influenced by problems on the motoric and cognitive level.Materials and methodsWe collected production data from 38 native German speakers: 19 PwPD (in medication-ON condition) with a mild to moderate motor impairment, 13 males and 6 females (mean 66.2 years old, SD = 7.7) and 19 healthy age and gender matched control participants (mean 65.4 years old, SD = 9.3). Target words were produced in accented and unaccented condition within a speech task. The data were analysed for intensity, syllable duration, F0 and vowel articulation. Furthermore, we assessed motor control and cognitive functions, i.e. working memory, set-shifting, attention control and processing speed.ResultsComparisons between PwPD and control participants revealed that the vowel space was smaller in PwPD even in mildly impaired speakers. Both groups were able to mark prominence by increasing pitch, syllable duration and intensity and adjusting their vowel articulation. For the PwPD we found that set-shifting as an executive function was correlated with modulation of F0 and intensity: the worse the set-shifting performance, the stronger intensity and F0 were modulated (target overshoot). Furthermore, motor impairment within the PwPD group was related to a decrease in the acoustic vowel space (target undershoot) which resulted further in a decrease in speech intelligibility and naturalness. This behaviour of target over and undershoot indicates an inefficient way of prominence marking in PwPD with mildly affected speech.ConclusionPwPD with signs of mild dysarthria overused F0 and intensity in prominent positions. This reflected abnormalities in the regulatory mechanism for expressing prosodic prominence and correlated with set-shifting ability. This is the first study to report a link between cognitive skills and speech production at the phonetic level in PwPD.

AB - ObjectivesResearch suggests that people with Parkinson’s disease (PwPD) do not only suffer from motor but also non-motor impairment. This interdisciplinary study investigated how prominence marking is influenced by problems on the motoric and cognitive level.Materials and methodsWe collected production data from 38 native German speakers: 19 PwPD (in medication-ON condition) with a mild to moderate motor impairment, 13 males and 6 females (mean 66.2 years old, SD = 7.7) and 19 healthy age and gender matched control participants (mean 65.4 years old, SD = 9.3). Target words were produced in accented and unaccented condition within a speech task. The data were analysed for intensity, syllable duration, F0 and vowel articulation. Furthermore, we assessed motor control and cognitive functions, i.e. working memory, set-shifting, attention control and processing speed.ResultsComparisons between PwPD and control participants revealed that the vowel space was smaller in PwPD even in mildly impaired speakers. Both groups were able to mark prominence by increasing pitch, syllable duration and intensity and adjusting their vowel articulation. For the PwPD we found that set-shifting as an executive function was correlated with modulation of F0 and intensity: the worse the set-shifting performance, the stronger intensity and F0 were modulated (target overshoot). Furthermore, motor impairment within the PwPD group was related to a decrease in the acoustic vowel space (target undershoot) which resulted further in a decrease in speech intelligibility and naturalness. This behaviour of target over and undershoot indicates an inefficient way of prominence marking in PwPD with mildly affected speech.ConclusionPwPD with signs of mild dysarthria overused F0 and intensity in prominent positions. This reflected abnormalities in the regulatory mechanism for expressing prosodic prominence and correlated with set-shifting ability. This is the first study to report a link between cognitive skills and speech production at the phonetic level in PwPD.

KW - Parkinson's disease

KW - prominence marking

KW - acoustic parameters

KW - executive functions

KW - motor functions

KW - dysarthria

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107306

DO - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107306

M3 - Article

VL - 137

SP - 1

EP - 16

JO - Neuropsychologia

JF - Neuropsychologia

SN - 0028-3932

M1 - 107306

ER -