Vocalization and breathing during the first year of life

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      Summary

      Vocalization and breathing were studied in 40 healthy infants, including five boys and five girls each at ages 5 weeks, 2.5 months, 6.5 months, and 12 months. Breathing was monitored through the use of a variable inductance plethysmograph that enabled estimates of the volume changes of the rib cage, abdomen, and lung, as well as estimates of selected temporal features of the breathing cycle. Four vocalization types were studied intensively. These included cries, whimpers, grunts, and syllable utterances. Breathing behavior was highly variable across the four vocalization types, demonstrating the degrees of freedom of performance available to the infant to accomplish the aeromechanical drive required. Such behavior was influenced by body length, body position, and age, but not by vocalization type and sex. The protocol established is a useful tool for observing the natural course of the emergence of vocalization and breathing during the first year of life.
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