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B. 3-D Animation Programs Boost Deaf Education

Narrator: This is Science Today. Three-dimensional animation programs have boosted efforts to help deaf and hard-of-hearing children develop better language and reading skills. Dominic Massaro, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been working on synthetic speech for years and is co-creator of 'Baldi' - a computerized talking head.

Massaro: What we hope to do with our talking head is to tutor these children in the spoken language so that they can become better speakers of the language and obviously, you could do that with natural faces, too and certainly people have done this. There are a couple advantages that our talking head has and one is that it's simply a cyberhead - it doesn't get tired or bored or upset and so on.

Narrator: More importantly, you can do things with a cyberhead that you can't do with a real person - namely, show the inside of the mouth during speech.

Massaro:So that the child can see these things and practice and therefore, learn from them.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.