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Contact Information

  • Address: Printing House, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2
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Biographical information

Shona D'Arcy was awarded a BA (maths) and a BAI (Electronic Engineering) from Trinity College Dublin in 1999. After completing an MSc in Telecommunications and Human Centred Design at Birmingham University in 2001 she commenced her PhD research on the Effect of Accents and Age on Automatic SPeech Recognition". After graduating from Birmingham University in 2007 she work as a Voice User Interface Designer for Nortel networks with special focus on Dialogue Design for telephony base IVRS. Currently Shona is working as a Post Doctoral Researcher as Part of the Technology Research for Independent Living TRIL ( As part of this multi-disciplinary research consortium Shona is investigating speech as a potential bio marker of early onset of cognitive decline.

Research Interests

  • Aging is the main focus of my current research, particularly investigating objective markers of cognitive decline to be found in speech and language. As a reseracher in TRIL research collaboration I have been involved in speech and cognitive data collection from a large cohort of elderly partiticpants. I have been investigating the correlation between a wide range of speech features and cognitive measures.
  • As part of my industrial experience, dialogue designer for Nortel Networks, I am interested in adapting Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems as tools for remote assessment of cognitive disorders. Telemonitoring of systems such as cognitive function are necessary for an ageing population who will increase the drain on medical resources.
  • I am interested in identifying objective biomarkers in speech that can be used to identify the onset of cognitive decline. I plan to further this area of reseach to look at other modalities that can can be used to produce a more comprehensive assessment of cognitive function.
  • My first field of research was into Speech recognition of children's speech. As a research assistant on a pan European research consortium investigating multisensorial interaction. As part of this study I gained valuable skills in the design and collection of speech corpora. The second stage of my doctoral research was an investigation of accents of the British Isles in terms of ASR. Building on my experience in speech corpora collection, recordings of 14 accents across the British Isles were made to produce a partiularly unique corpus (
  • Analysis of both these corpora investigating the acoustic foundations for these speech signals performing poorly on standard ASR systems.


Investigating speech as a source of biomarkers for changes in cognition, executive function and mood Author: Nils Pénard, Sian U. E. Counihan, Shona D'Arcy, Viliam Rapcan, Richard B. Reilly, Ian H. Robertson. Academy of Aphasia 47th Annual Meeting, Boston, USA, 18-20 Oct 2009 (TRIL ref 929)

The Use of Telephone Speech Recordings for Assessment and Monitoring of Cognitive Function in Elderly People Author: Viliam Rapcan, Shona D'Arcy, Nils Pénard, Ian H. Robertson, Richard B. Reilly 6-Sep-2009 10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (Interspeech 2009), Brighton, 6-10 September.

Shona D'Arcy, Nils Pénard, Sian Counihan, Viliam Rapcan, Ian Robertson, Richard B. Reilly "Corpora for Assessment of Cognitive Function in Older Persons " 3rd Advanced Voice Function Assessment International Workshop, Madrid, Spain, 18-20 May 2009.

Shona D’Arcy, Viliam Rapcan, Nils Pénard, Margaret E. Morris, Ian H. Robertson, Richard B. Reilly " Speech as a Means of Monitoring Cognitive Function of Elderly" Interspeech 2008, Brisbane, Australia, 22-26 September 2008

Nils Pénard, Shona D’Arcy, Viliam Rapcan, Paul Dockree, Chiara Besani, Kate O’Sullivan, Margaret E. Morris, Ian H. Robertson, Richard B. Reilly "Investigating Speech as a Diagnostic Tool for Abnormal Ageing" The British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2008, Dublin, 2-4 April 2008

Russell, M., D'Arcy, S. (2007): "Challenges for computer recognition of children˛s speech", In SLaTE-2007, 108-111.

Russell, M., D'Arcy, S., Li Qun, "The Effects of Bandwidth Reduction on Human and Computer Recognition of Children's Speech," Signal Processing Letters, IEEE , vol.14, no.12, pp.1044-1046, Dec. 2007

D'Arcy, S., Russell, M. (2005): "A comparison of human and computer recognition accuracy for children's speech", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 2197-2200.

Batliner, A., Blomberg, M., D'Arcy, S., Elenius, D., Giuliani, D., Gerosa, M., Hacker, C., Russell, M., Steidl, S., & Wong, M. (2005): "The PF STAR Children's Speech Corpus." In Proc Interspeech 2005

D'Arcy, S.M., Russell, M.J., Browning, S.R., Tomlinson, M.J. (2004) "The Accents of the British Isles (ABI) corpus." Proc. MIDL, Paris, 115-119.

D'Arcy, S. M., Wong, L. P., and Russell, M. J. (2004):"Recognition of read and spontaneous children's speech using two new corpora," in Proc. ICSLP, 2004.

Batliner, A., Hacker, C., Steidl, S., Nöth, E., D'Arcy, S.M., Russell, M. J., and Wong, M., (2004) "'You stupid tin box' -children interacting with the AIBO robot: A cross linguistic emotional speech corpus," in Proc. LREC.Lisbon, 2004.

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