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Sensor dentures to reveal tongue's role in speech

As long as the tongue has been around, you would think science would have figured out the specific position and behaviors of the tongue when used in speaking. Such discoveries would prove beneficial in helping people with speech impediments and with those with trouble speaking subsequent to a stroke. Christophe Jeannin and a team of researchers at the Institute of Speech Communication in Grenoble, France, are tackling this problem using dentures that contain a number of tiny pressure sensors to record the position of the tongue and the force it applies as it creates various sounds during conversation.

The scientists are studying 20 denture wearers, and to determine where to place the sensors, they first applied a powder cover to their dentures. When speaking, their tongues remove the powder when they touch the teeth and acrylic, marking the places where sensors need to go.

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