Analysis of infant cries for the early detection of hearing impairment

Sebastian Möller, Rainer Schönweiler

29 Citations (Scopus)


The basic hypothesis is that cry vocalizations of hearing-impaired infants differ from those of their counterparts with normal hearing abilities due to the lack of auditory feedback. This assumption, based on observations made by clinical experts, is investigated by means of auditory experiments with naive and expert listeners, and by signal analysis of the cries. The listening experiment shows that it is possible for experts to auditorily classify cries for both infant groups, based on the voice related and melodic cry features. The cries of profoundly hearing-impaired infants are different regarding their perceived sound, rhythm and melody. The sound may well be correlated to spectral characteristics, and melodic and rhythmic parameters are extracted which differ significantly for the two infant groups. The findings are discussed in the context of a cry production model. The extracted signal parameters enable an automatic classification of the cries by means of topological feature maps, which may later be used as the basis for an early supplementary diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpeech Communication
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 07.1999


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