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The Effect of Pitch and Loudness Auditory Feedback Perturbations on Vocal Quality During Sustained Phonation

  • Alexandra Schenck
    Affiliations
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Author Footnotes
    a Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Colorado Boulder, 2501 Kittredge Loop Dr, Boulder, CO 80305
    Allison I. Hilger
    Footnotes
    a Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Colorado Boulder, 2501 Kittredge Loop Dr, Boulder, CO 80305
    Affiliations
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Author Footnotes
    b Current address: Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322
    Samuel Levant
    Footnotes
    b Current address: Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322
    Affiliations
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Jason H. Kim
    Affiliations
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Author Footnotes
    c Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 2504A Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78712
    Rosemary A. Lester-Smith
    Footnotes
    c Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 2504A Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78712
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Author Footnotes
    d Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201.
    Charles Larson
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Charles Larson, M.S., B.M., Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208.
    Footnotes
    d Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201.
    Affiliations
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    a Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Colorado Boulder, 2501 Kittredge Loop Dr, Boulder, CO 80305
    b Current address: Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322
    c Current address: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 2504A Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78712
    d Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201.
Published:November 13, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.11.001

      Summary

      Objective

      Dysphonia is a reduction in vocal quality that impacts communication and is often an early sign of a voice disorder. There is little information regarding the effects of auditory feedback control of loudness and pitch on voice quality. In this study, we used both loudness-shift and pitch-shift paradigms to study the relationship between auditory feedback control and vocal quality as measured by smoothed cepstral peak prominence (CPPS), which reflects the harmonicity of the voice signal.

      Study Design

      Experimental, mixed design.

      Methods

      We applied 200 ms loudness-shifts (± 0, 3, or 6 dB) and pitch-shifts (± 0, 50, and 100 cents) to auditory feedback during sustained vowel production in 25 healthy adults. We then measured CPPS before and after the loudness-shift or pitch-shift to investigate the effect of changes in auditory feedback on vocal harmonicity.

      Results & Conclusions

      Results showed that, on average, CPPS significantly decreased between the first half of the measured segment and the last half of the segment in the absence of auditory feedback shifts, suggesting that voice quality may be reduced across longer vowels over time. Upward and downward shifts in loudness auditory feedback caused a relative increase in CPPS, indicating an improvement in vocal harmonicity, even in cases when vocal intensity was reduced. Pitch alterations had inconsistent and minimal effects. We propose that there may be a control mechanism for voice quality that increases harmonicity of the voice signal to improve voice audibility (ie, ability to be heard) in the presence of unpredictable variability in voice intensity.

      Key Words

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