Effect of Ventricular Folds on Vocalization Fundamental Frequency in Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus)

Published:December 31, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.01.013


      This study investigates the effect of the ventricular folds on fundamental frequency (fo) in the voice production of domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus). The excised larynges of six subadult pigs were phonated in two preparation stages, with the ventricular folds present (PS1) and removed (PS2). Vocal fold resonances were tested with a laser vibrometer, and a four-mass computational model was created. Highly significant fo differences were found between PS1 and PS2 (means at 93.7 and 409.3 Hz, respectively). Two tissue resonances were found at 115 Hz and 250–290 Hz. The computational model had unique solutions for abducted and adducted ventricular folds at about 150 and 400 Hz, roughly matching the fo measured ex vivo for PS1 and PS2. The differing fo encountered across preparation stages PS1 and PS2 is explained by distinct activation of either a high or a low eigenfrequency mode, depending on the engagement of the ventricular folds. The inability of the investigated larynges to vibrate at frequencies below 250 Hz in PS2 suggests that in vivo low-frequency calls of domestic pigs (pre-eminently grunts) are likely produced with engaged ventricular folds. Allometric comparison suggests that the special, mechanically coupled “double oscillator” has evolved to prevent signaling disadvantages. Given these traits, the porcine larynx might – apart from special applications relating to the involvement of ventricular folds – not be an ideal candidate for emulating human voice production in excised larynx experimentation.

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