Of considerable importance to a variety of researchers is the need to model aspects of talking heads based upon an understanding of human physiology. This approach cuts across a number of topics, including articulatory synthesis (see virtual vocal tracts); models of speech motor control; simulations and modeling of different articulator systems, including the lips, jaw, and tongue; and facial animation.
The applications of this work are also diverse, ranging from research tools
for working with the hearing impaired to
the creation of and improvements in avatars
that are beginning to populate cyberspace. Virtual humans and other virtual
be appearing more and frequently in a variety of places, including film, TV,
toys, and video games. The realism of these simulations will be dependent,
in part, on the incorporation of the relevant physiological knowledge in the
computational models of the wide varieties of cyber-entities that will
inhabit our future.