Cochlear implants (CIs) provide access to auditory information that can affect vocal control. For example, previous research shows that, when producing a sustained vowel, CI users will alter the pitch of their voice when the feedback of their own voice is perceived to shift. Although these results can be informative as to how perception and production are linked for CI users, the artificial nature of the task raises questions as to the applicability of the results to real-world vocal productions. To examine how vocal control, when producing sustained vowels, relates to vocal control for more ecologically valid tasks, 10 CI users’ vocal control was measured across two tasks: (1) sustained vowel production, and (2) singing. The results found that vocal control, as measured by the variability of the participants’ fundamental frequency, was significantly correlated when producing sustained vowels and when singing, although variability was significantly greater when singing. This suggests that, despite the artificial nature of sustained vowel production, vocal control on such tasks is related to vocal control for more ecologically valid tasks. However, the results also suggest that vocal control may be overestimated with sustained vowel production tasks.
Abbreviations:CI (Cochlear implants), NH (Normal hearing)
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Published online: November 14, 2018
Accepted: October 18, 2018
Funding: This work was supported by funds from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.