Stefan Scherer: “Investigating Voice Quality as a Speaker-Independent Indicator of Depression and PTSD”

August 27, 2013 | Lyon, France

Speaker: Stefan Scherer
Host: Interspeech

Abstract: “We seek to investigate voice quality characteristics, in particular on a breathy to tense dimension, as an indicator for psychological distress, i.e. depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), within semi-structured virtual human interviews. Our evaluation identifies significant differences between the voice quality of psychologically distressed participants and not-distressed participants within this limited corpus. We investigate the capability of automatic algorithms to classify psychologically distressed speech in speaker-independent experiments. Additionally, we examine the impact of the posed questions’ affective polarity, as motivated by findings in the literature on positive stimulus attenuation and negative stimulus potentiation in emotional reactivity of psychologically distressed participants. The experiments yield promising results using standard machine learning algorithms and solely four distinct features capturing the tenseness of the speaker’s voice.”