Kay introduced a new software option for the powerful CSL platform at ASHA '95 in Orlando called the Motor Speech Profile (MSP), Model 4341. The new program, which is the result of collaborative efforts between Kay and clinical speech scientists, provides acoustic analysis of motor disordered speech based on a variety of specific tasks elicited from the patient. These results are then quantified and/or graphed to help objectify patient performance.
MSP is similar in concept to another CSL option, the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP), which objectifies many voicing parameters. MSP is focused specifically on motor speech assessment. Both programs were developed by Dimitar Deliyski, Ph.D., of Kay's engineering department.
The evaluation of motor speech disorders is challenging for the speech-language pathologist and neurologist. While perceptual analysis is valuable, there is also a need to objectively evaluate a variety of parameters of the subject's speech to fully assess speech production. These can include, among others, breath support, voicing behavior, nasality, rate of speech, and vowel and consonant production. Each of these can be evaluated objectively to more fully describe the subject's speech. The clinician can supplement the more subjective impressions of overall intelligibility with data that can be measured and monitored over time. Ideally, even subjective evaluation of intelligibility should be rated by a new listener unfamiliar with a patient's speech patterns.
MSP provides built-in protocols to analyze separate parameters. Says Deliyski, "The program uses the acoustic parameters most closely associated with a perceptual attribute to objectify speech behavior. For example, distorted vowels are often characterized by neutralized second formant transitions. MSP sets up a task to measure and assess this behavior."
In another example, diadochokinetic (DDK) rate and its periodicity have been shown to be closely associated with articulator mobility. A DDK task is also included in the protocol which provides a model followed by the subject's attempt, and then automatic analysis of the production.
According to Deliyski, a new feature (not displayed at ASHA) that will ultimately be included in MSP is the analysis and graphic display of long-term frequency and amplitude modulation (e.g., tremor, vibrato, etc.) in the patient's voice. These modulation parameters will also be derived from a simple, protocol-driven elicitation of the task to facilitate sample collection and analysis for the speech clinician. The results from other instrumental procedures (e.g., aerodynamic, nasometric, etc.) can also be entered into the analysis report summary.
Kay received thoughtful input from a large number of clinicians and speech scientists during the design of MSP. Though the following list is not comprehensive, we wish to especially acknowledge the valuable contributions from: Klaas Bakker, Ph.D., SW Missouri State University; Frank Boutsen, Ph.D., University of South Alabama; Eugene Buder, Ph.D., University of Memphis; Carla Gress, Ph.D., University of California at San Francisco; and Shimon Sapir, Ph.D., Northwestern University. Please note that suggestions/contributions from these individuals do not imply their endorsement of this or any other Kay product.