STAR Speech Therapy Animation and imaging Resource

Ultrasound speech recording

Information about how ultrasound tongue imaging works can be found on STAR’s sister site Seeing Speech, here.

Recording UTI and lips

Sonix RP ultrasound st up

Many of the STAR UTI datasets were recorded using high-speed Sonix RP ultrasound machine with automatic audio-ultrasound synchronization (see Figure 1). Articulate Assistant Advanced (AAA) software was used to record simultaneous audio and UTI. Microconvex probes were used, fitted to a stabilising headset, worn by participants (see figure 1). Orthographic or pictorial stimuli were presented to speakers via a monitor. Audio recordings were made using an Audio Technica directional clip-on microphone clipped to the side of the ultrasound headset.

The stabilizing headsets

There are two types of ultrasound tongue imaging headset, supplied by Articulate Instruments.

Aluminium stabilising headset (Figure 2) - is lightweight aluminium and weighs under 1Kg. The headset has thirteen adjustable sections, including a quick-release headstrap at the back of the head, that allow it to be fitted to different sized heads. The probe is held in place underneath the headset, aligned with the midline of the chin in sagittal view. The probe’s sagittal angle can be altered to focus on different sections of the midsagittal tongue. e.g. the root, dorsum, or tip and blade. Front-facing and profile micro-cameras are integrated into the headset on adjustable brackets to film lip movement.

Ultrafit plastic headset (Figure 3) – is fully adjustable, very lightweight (300g) and ideal for child-speech recording. The headset can be widened or narrowed to fit to the speaker’s head, and can be raised using optional additional foam inserts. Velcro straps across the forehead and around the back of the head further stabilise the headset. The probe is held in place under the chin using a single arm on the left side of the head and secured to the right side of the headset using a Velcro strap. The sagittal rotation of the probe can be adjusted to focus on different sections of the tongue, e.g. the root, dorsum, or tip and blade. A micro-camera is integrated into the headset on an adjustable bracket to film the lips in profile.

UTI recording session

The following video shows a UTI recording session with a six-year-old child. The video shows headset fitting, imaging of the speaker’s midsagittal bite plane and hard-palate locations and recording of speech with UTI and lip camera.