Abstract: Human brain performs remarkably well in segregating a particular speaker from
interfering speakers in a multi-speaker scenario. It has been recently shown
that we can quantitatively evaluate the segregation capability by modelling the
relationship between the speech signals present in an auditory scene and the
cortical signals of the listener measured using electroencephalography (EEG).
This has opened up avenues to integrate neuro-feedback into hearing aids
whereby the device can infer user's attention and enhance the attended speaker.
Commonly used algorithms to infer the auditory attention are based on linear
systems theory where the speech cues such as envelopes are mapped on to the EEG
signals. Here, we present a joint convolutional neural network (CNN) - long
short-term memory (LSTM) model to infer the auditory attention. Our joint
CNN-LSTM model takes the EEG signals and the spectrogram of the multiple
speakers as inputs and classifies the attention to one of the speakers. We
evaluated the reliability of our neural network using three different datasets
comprising of 61 subjects where, each subject undertook a dual-speaker
experiment. The three datasets analysed corresponded to speech stimuli
presented in three different languages namely German, Danish and Dutch. Using
the proposed joint CNN-LSTM model, we obtained a median decoding accuracy of
77.2% at a trial duration of three seconds. Furthermore, we evaluated the
amount of sparsity that our model can tolerate by means of magnitude pruning
and found that the model can tolerate up to 50% sparsity without substantial
loss of decoding accuracy.