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Effects of Age and Parkinson's Disease on the Relationship between Vocal Fold Abductory Kinematics and Relative Fundamental Frequency

  • Author Footnotes
    # Present Address: Delsys, Inc. and Altec, Inc., Natick, MA, 01760, USA,
    Jennifer M. Vojtech
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer M. Vojtech, Boston University, 677 Beacon St., Boston, MA, 02215.
    Footnotes
    # Present Address: Delsys, Inc. and Altec, Inc., Natick, MA, 01760, USA,
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Delsys, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts

    Altec, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts
    Search for articles by this author
  • Cara E. Stepp
    Affiliations
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    # Present Address: Delsys, Inc. and Altec, Inc., Natick, MA, 01760, USA,

      Summary

      Purpose

      This study reports on two experiments to examine vocal fold abduction and its relationship with relative fundamental frequency (RFF), considering two attributes that have been shown to elicit group differences in RFF: age (Experiment 1) and Parkinson's disease (PD; Experiment 2).

      Methods

      For both experiments, simultaneous acoustic and nasendoscopic recordings were collected as participants produced the utterance, /ifi/. RFF values were computed from the acoustic signal, whereas abduction duration and glottic angle at voicing offset were identified from the laryngoscopic images. In Experiment 1, 50 speakers with typical voices (18–83 years) were analyzed to examine (1A) the effects of speaker age on individual outcome measures (RFF, abduction duration, glottic angle) via Pearson's correlation coefficients, and (1B) the effects of abductory measures and age on RFF via an analysis of covariance. In Experiment 2, 20 speakers with PD and 20 matched controls were analyzed to examine (2A) the effects of group (with/without PD) on outcome measures via an analysis of variance, and (2B) the relationship of RFF with abduction duration, glottic angle, and age when considering group via an analysis of covariance.

      Results

      Age demonstrated a significant, negative relationship with glottic angle (1A) but was not a significant factor when examining the relationship of vocal fold abduction and RFF (1B). Speaker group (with/without PD) demonstrated a significant effect on measures of RFF and abduction duration (2A) but was not a significant factor when examining the relationship of vocal fold abduction and RFF (2B).

      Conclusions

      RFF is sensitive to changes in vocal fold abductory patterns during devoicing, irrespective of speaker age or PD status.

      Key Words

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