Research success: speaking by introducing – com! professional

Computer scientists at the University of Bremen’s Cognitive Systems Lab have now succeeded in realizing what is known as a neuro-language prosthesis. In this way, presented speech can be made audible acoustically – without delay in real time.

Great research successes require international cooperation: this has been going on for several years Cognitive Systems Lab (CSL) from the University of Bremen, the Department of Neurosurgery at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the ASPEN Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University (USA) on a neuro-language prosthesis. The goal: to convert language-related neural processes in the brain directly into audible language. This goal has now been achieved: “We have succeeded in making our test subjects hear themselves talking, even though they can only imagine speaking,” says Professor Tanja Schultz, head of the CSL, happily. “The brainwave signals of volunteer test persons who imagine they are speaking are converted directly into an audible output by our neuro-language prosthesis – in real time without any noticeable delay!” The sensational research result has now been published in the respected scientific journal “Nature Communications Biology”.

The neural speech prosthesis is based on a closed-loop system that combines technologies from modern speech synthesis with brain-computer interfaces. This system was developed by Miguel Angrick at the CSL. As input, it receives the neural signals of the users who imagine they are speaking. It transforms this into language practically at the same time using machine learning processes and outputs this audibly as feedback to the users. “This closes the circle for them from imagining speaking and hearing their language,” says Angrick.

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