Automatic speech analysis to early detect functional cognitive decline in elderly population

E. Ambrosini, M. Caielli, M. Milis, C. Loizou, D. Azzolino, S. Damanti, L. Bertagnoli, M. Cesari, S. Moccia, M. Cid, C. Galan De Isla, P. Salamanca, N. A. Borghese, S. Ferrante

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study aimed at evaluating whether people with a normal cognitive function can be discriminated from subjects with a mild impairment of cognitive function based on a set of acoustic features derived from spontaneous speech. Voice recordings from 90 Italian subjects (age >65 years; group 1: 47 subjects with MMSE>26; group 2: 43 subjects with 20≤ MMSE ≤26) were collected. Voice samples were processed using a MATLAB-based custom software to derive a broad set of known acoustic features. Linear mixed model analyses were performed to select the features able to significantly distinguish between groups. The selected features (% of unvoiced segments, duration of unvoiced segments, % of voice breaks, speech rate, and duration of syllables), alone or in addition to age and years of education, were used to build a learning-based classifier. The leave-one-out cross validation was used for testing and the classifier accuracy was computed. When the voice features were used alone, an overall classification accuracy of 0.73 was achieved. When age and years of education were additionally used, the overall accuracy increased up to 0.80. These performances were lower than the accuracy of 0.86 found in a recent study. However, in that study the classification was based on several tasks, including more cognitive demanding tasks. Our results are encouraging because acoustic features, derived for the first time only from an ecologic continuous speech task, were able to discriminate people with a normal cognitive function from people with a mild cognitive decline. This study poses the basis for the development of a mobile application performing automatic voice analysis on-the-fly during phone calls, which might potentially support the detection of early signs of functional cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages212-216
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Event41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 23 2019Jul 27 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/23/197/27/19

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Ambrosini, E., Caielli, M., Milis, M., Loizou, C., Azzolino, D., Damanti, S., Bertagnoli, L., Cesari, M., Moccia, S., Cid, M., De Isla, C. G., Salamanca, P., Borghese, N. A., & Ferrante, S. (2019). Automatic speech analysis to early detect functional cognitive decline in elderly population. In 2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019 (pp. 212-216). [8856768] (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2019.8856768