US 3773032 A
An acoustical apparatus for producing audio frequency tones selectively modulated for use in speech therapy, suppression treatment and stammering. The tones are generated by two low frequency audio generators. One generator is connected to a multivibrator which has a multiposition switch so that the tone can be pulsed and its duration varied. The frequencies of both generators can also be varied by adjustable parameters.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Donovan et al.
1451 Nov. 20, 1973  ACOUSTICAL APPARATUS FOR TREATING 3,101,390 8/1963 Maille 179/1 N STAMMERING 3,101,081 8/1963 Tomatis 128/1 R 3,570,473 3/1971 Konval1n.. 128/1 R  Inventors: George Edward Donovan, 3,140,709 7/1964 Weisz 128/1 R Gorseinon; Charles Edward Mark 1,929,752 10/1933 Marvel 128/1 R Swansea both Nmhem FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,040,001 8 1966 G t B 'ta' 128 l R  Assignee: Technology Exchange Inc., Fairview, tea n m Primary Examiner-Kyle L. Howell  Filed: Dec. 3, 1971 Attorney-Seth Natter et a].
 A 1. No.: 204 663 pp 57 ABSTRACT 52 US. (:1. 128/1 R, 35/35 c, 179/1 N amusfica' Pmducing  Int. Cl A6lb 5/12 quency tones selectwely modulated for use m speech  Field of Search 128/1 R; 179/1 sA, py Suppression treatment and Stammering- The 179 I} N; 35/35 C tones are generated by two low frequency aud o generators. One generator 1s connected to a mult1v1brator  References Cited \ghichlhzzls a rcriintlgigosititon switchdsontihaz the tone car;
- e pu se an 1 ura 1on vane e requencies o 3 566 858 :TATES :ATENTS 128 R both generators can also be varied by adjustable paarson et /1 rameters 3,349,179 10/1967 Klein 179/1 N 3,043,913 7/1962 Tomatis 179/1 N 8 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures MULTIVIBRATOR 28 29 23 V STABLE l A MULTIVIBRATOR gge I VIBRATOR 1 C 4 I5 PAIENTEUNUVZO I975 MU LTIVIBRAT OR MULTIVIBRATOR MULTI- VIBRATOR I C I a Ic FIG.
ACOUSTICAL APPARATUS FOR TREATING STAMMERING This invention relates to an acoustic apparatus for producing audio frequency tones selectively modulated as to frequency and amplitude, particularly for use in speech therapy, suppression treatment, and the study of stammering.
More specifically, this invention relates to an audio frequency acoustical apparatus including means for generating a low frequency uninterrupted sound, called a speech masking tone, and means for periodically interrupting, or suppressing the masking tone and for adjusting the mark-to-space ratio so as to obtain brief or extended bursts of the masking tone, the brief bursts approximating a metronomic beat. The apparatus may also include means for modulating th amplitude and/or frequency of the bursts to assimilate them to speed sounds. The apparatus may further include means for detecting a person's speech and using a distorted and- /or delayed form thereof to supplement or replace the speech masking tone.
The speech masking tone preferably lies mainly within the lower part of the audio frequency band. For example, it is a wave complex whose predominating components are in the lower part of the audio frequency band.
It is therefore an object according to the present invention to provide an audio acoustical apparatus for generating speech masking tones to suppress stammermg.
It is a further object according to the present invention to provide an audio tone generator which is simple in design, easy to manufacture, and inexpensive in cost.
Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing, which discloses the embodiment of the present invention. It is to be understood, however, that the drawing is designed for the purpose of illustration only, and not as a definition of the limits of the invention.
In the drawing;
FIG. 1 is an electrical schematic diagram of the audio acoustical apparatus of the present invention; and,
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the battery circuit of the apparatus of FIG. 1.
Referring to the Figures, there is shown a schematic diagram of the apparatus according to the invention suitable for speech therapy.
A free running multivibrator is provided as a first oscillating means for continuously generating an audio signal of a preselected frequency which may be transduced into a masking tone. The frequency of the masking tone can be, for example, 180 c.p.s. The multivibrator includes means for adjustably varying and fixing the frequency of the audio signal. The audio frequency signal of the multivibrator 10 is fed into a first input of a NAND gate 14, whose output side is coupled in a conventional manner through capacitor and resistor 16 to an earphone, receiver, or other electro-acoustic transducer 17. Socket 18 is used for coupling auxiliary apparatus to the output of gate 14.
A free running multivibrator 19 is provided as a second oscillating means and continuously generates a control signal of a preselected frequency. The multivibrator 19 includes means for variably adjusting and fixing the frequency of the control signal to. ap'reselected value, e.g., within the range of 60-90 c.p.m.
The oscillating output of multivibrator 19 is fed into the input of a monostable multivibrator '23 having parallel capacitors 24 and 25 selectively switchable into the circuit by one set of contacts A,B,C of a multiple gang selector switch 26. The other set of similarly referenced contacts are coupled between the output of multivibrator 23 and the second input of the NAND gate The apparatus permits the user to select between a number of different acoustical effects. With push switch 27 closed, a power source such as a battery 30 is connected to the set as shown in FIG. 2. With switch 26 in position A, the masking input of the gate 14 is not inhibited, and a substantially continuous masking noise is delivered through gate 14 to the transducer 17.
By switching to positions B and C the continuous of audio frequency signal multivibrator 10 is inhibited, and at the same time an accurately shaped pulse output of adjustable width is delivered by multivibrator 23. The frequency of the pulse output is governed by the control signal. The pulse width is dependent upon the adjustment of variable resistor 28 by the patient or the therapist, and the present values of the capacitors 24 and 25 switchable into circuit by switch 26. For example, in position B, both capacitors 24 and 25 are switched into circuit, and in position C, capacitor 25 is open circuited and only capacitor 24 remains in circuit. By adopting a circuit of suitable parameters and extending the multiple gang switch 26, the output pulse from multivibrator 23 may be varied by resistor 28 in a feedback loop to adjust the ratio of audio signal time to dwell time at the transducer 17. The transduced masking tone pulse duration may thus be varied be-' tween a short burst producing a metronomic beat in the transducer 17, and a pulse with a mark-to-space ratio of unity, or greater, equivalent to long bursts. The normally closed push switch 29 serves to disconnect the output of the multivibrator 23, so that if the patient, is in difficulty, he can suppress the stammer by introducing the continuous masking noise. I
Resistor 16 adjusts the volume level in the transducer 17. Further sockets 18 may be added to allow the therapist to listen in and monitor the effects, or allow auxiliary devices such as recorders or light signalling circuits to be connected to the output. Moreover, input sockets (not shown) may be provided to inject a noise produced by detecting the patients voice in a pickup into the masking part of the circuit and subjecting it to distortion and/or delay. It will be apparent that other known forms of oscillating means may be employed for producing the audio frequency signal and the control signal.
What is claimed is:
l. A therapeutic medical apparatus for the treatment of speech defects of a patient characterized by stammering, said apparatus comprising first oscillating means for continuously generating a speech masking audio frequency signal adapted to mask the patients ability to hear his own speech defect, means for transducing the audio frequency signal to an audible masking tone, means for attenuating the amplitude of the audible masking tone, second oscillating means for continuously generating a control signal of a preselected frequency, the preselected frequency being less than that of the audio frequency signal, and means interconnecting the first oscillating means and the second oscillating means, the interconnecting means including gate means adapted for interrupting the audio frequency signal transmitted to the transducer at a rate solely controlled by the control signal, and pulse shaping means, the pulse shaping means having means for varying the ratio of audibly transduced masking tone time to dwell time, the pulse shaping means interconnecting the second oscillating means and the gate means, the second oscillating means being adapted to trigger the pulse shaping means in response to the preselected control signal frequency, whereby an audible speech pacer is provided for supplying masking tone pulses in a preselected frequency wherein the duration of the pulses may be varied.
2. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 1 wherein the ratio varying means includes adjustable feedback means.
3. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 2 wherein the adjustable feedback means includes variable resistance means.
4. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in back means includes means for varying the capacitance in the feedback means.
5. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 1 further including switch means adapted to selectively preclude the control signal'from the gate means whereby the user may select between an audible continuous masking tone or pulses of masking tone.
6. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 1 wherein the pulse shaping means includes a monostable multivibrator.
7. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 1 wherein the first oscillating means includes means for selectively varying and fixing the frequency of the audio frequency signal.
8. A therapeutic medical apparatus constructed in accordance with claim 1 wherein the second oscillating means includes means for selectively varying and fixing the frequency of the control signal.