Sample records for learned flexible vocal

  1. Functional flexibility in wild bonobo vocal behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zanna Clay


    Full Text Available A shared principle in the evolution of language and the development of speech is the emergence of functional flexibility, the capacity of vocal signals to express a range of emotional states independently of context and biological function. Functional flexibility has recently been demonstrated in the vocalisations of pre-linguistic human infants, which has been contrasted to the functionally fixed vocal behaviour of non-human primates. Here, we revisited the presumed chasm in functional flexibility between human and non-human primate vocal behaviour, with a study on our closest living primate relatives, the bonobo (Pan paniscus. We found that wild bonobos use a specific call type (the “peep” across a range of contexts that cover the full valence range (positive-neutral-negative in much of their daily activities, including feeding, travel, rest, aggression, alarm, nesting and grooming. Peeps were produced in functionally flexible ways in some contexts, but not others. Crucially, calls did not vary acoustically between neutral and positive contexts, suggesting that recipients take pragmatic information into account to make inferences about call meaning. In comparison, peeps during negative contexts were acoustically distinct. Our data suggest that the capacity for functional flexibility has evolutionary roots that predate the evolution of human speech. We interpret this evidence as an example of an evolutionary early transition away from fixed vocal signalling towards functional flexibility.

  2. Social learning of vocal structure in a nonhuman primate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemasson Alban


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Non-human primate communication is thought to be fundamentally different from human speech, mainly due to vast differences in vocal control. The lack of these abilities in non-human primates is especially striking if compared to some marine mammals and bird species, which has generated somewhat of an evolutionary conundrum. What are the biological roots and underlying evolutionary pressures of the human ability to voluntarily control sound production and learn the vocal utterances of others? One hypothesis is that this capacity has evolved gradually in humans from an ancestral stage that resembled the vocal behavior of modern primates. Support for this has come from studies that have documented limited vocal flexibility and convergence in different primate species, typically in calls used during social interactions. The mechanisms underlying these patterns, however, are currently unknown. Specifically, it has been difficult to rule out explanations based on genetic relatedness, suggesting that such vocal flexibility may not be the result of social learning. Results To address this point, we compared the degree of acoustic similarity of contact calls in free-ranging Campbell's monkeys as a function of their social bonds and genetic relatedness. We calculated three different indices to compare the similarities between the calls' frequency contours, the duration of grooming interactions and the microsatellite-based genetic relatedness between partners. We found a significantly positive relation between bond strength and acoustic similarity that was independent of genetic relatedness. Conclusion Genetic factors determine the general species-specific call repertoire of a primate species, while social factors can influence the fine structure of some the call types. The finding is in line with the more general hypothesis that human speech has evolved gradually from earlier primate-like vocal communication.

  3. Vocal learning in the functionally referential food grunts of chimpanzees. (United States)

    Watson, Stuart K; Townsend, Simon W; Schel, Anne M; Wilke, Claudia; Wallace, Emma K; Cheng, Leveda; West, Victoria; Slocombe, Katie E


    One standout feature of human language is our ability to reference external objects and events with socially learned symbols, or words. Exploring the phylogenetic origins of this capacity is therefore key to a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of language. While non-human primates can produce vocalizations that refer to external objects in the environment, it is generally accepted that their acoustic structure is fixed and a product of arousal states. Indeed, it has been argued that the apparent lack of flexible control over the structure of referential vocalizations represents a key discontinuity with language. Here, we demonstrate vocal learning in the acoustic structure of referential food grunts in captive chimpanzees. We found that, following the integration of two groups of adult chimpanzees, the acoustic structure of referential food grunts produced for a specific food converged over 3 years. Acoustic convergence arose independently of preference for the food, and social network analyses indicated this only occurred after strong affiliative relationships were established between the original subgroups. We argue that these data represent the first evidence of non-human animals actively modifying and socially learning the structure of a meaningful referential vocalization from conspecifics. Our findings indicate that primate referential call structure is not simply determined by arousal and that the socially learned nature of referential words in humans likely has ancient evolutionary origins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds. (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T


    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  5. Learning while Babbling: Prelinguistic Object-Directed Vocalizations Indicate a Readiness to Learn (United States)

    Goldstein, Michael H.; Schwade, Jennifer; Briesch, Jacquelyn; Syal, Supriya


    Two studies illustrate the functional significance of a new category of prelinguistic vocalizing--object-directed vocalizations (ODVs)--and show that these sounds are connected to learning about words and objects. Experiment 1 tested 12-month-old infants' perceptual learning of objects that elicited ODVs. Fourteen infants' vocalizations were…

  6. Failure of operant control of vocal learning in budgerigars

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    Yoshimasa Seki


    Full Text Available Budgerigars were trained by operant conditioning to produce contact calls immediately after hearing a stimulus contact call. In Experiments 1 and 2, playback stimuli were chosen from two different contact call classes from the bird’s repertoire. Once this task was learned, the birds were then tested with other probe stimulus calls from its repertoire, which differed from the original calls drawn from the two classes. Birds failed to mimic the probe stimuli but instead produced one of the two call classes as in the training sessions, showing that birds learned that each stimulus call served as a discriminative stimulus but not as a vocal template for imitation. In Experiment 3, birds were then trained with stimulus calls falling along a 24-step acoustic gradient which varied between the two sounds representing the two contact call categories. As before, birds obtained a reward when the bird’s vocalization matched that of the stimulus above a criterion level. Since the first step and the last step in the gradient were the birds’ original contact calls, these two patterns were easily matched. Intermediate contact calls in the gradient were much harder for the birds to match. After extensive training, one bird learned to produce contact calls that had only a modest similarity to the intermediate contact calls along the gradient. In spite of remarkable vocal plasticity under natural conditions, operant conditioning methods with budgerigars, even after extensive training and rigorous control of vocal discriminative stimuli, failed to show vocal learning.

  7. Lifelong Open and Flexible Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang, Jørgen


    and Flexible (LOF) learning embracing characteristics as: open learning, distance learning, e-learning, online learning, open accessibility, multimedia support, virtual mobility, learning communities, dual mode (earn & learn) approaches, and the like.In my presentation I will focus on the EADTU strategies...... for creating a synergy network in e-learning – eventually leading to a European Learning Space that supports virtual mobility of students, staff and courses, adds an e-dimension to the Bologa process and facilitates collaboration between universities and the corporate sector....

  8. Precise auditory-vocal mirroring in neurons for learned vocal communication. (United States)

    Prather, J F; Peters, S; Nowicki, S; Mooney, R


    Brain mechanisms for communication must establish a correspondence between sensory and motor codes used to represent the signal. One idea is that this correspondence is established at the level of single neurons that are active when the individual performs a particular gesture or observes a similar gesture performed by another individual. Although neurons that display a precise auditory-vocal correspondence could facilitate vocal communication, they have yet to be identified. Here we report that a certain class of neurons in the swamp sparrow forebrain displays a precise auditory-vocal correspondence. We show that these neurons respond in a temporally precise fashion to auditory presentation of certain note sequences in this songbird's repertoire and to similar note sequences in other birds' songs. These neurons display nearly identical patterns of activity when the bird sings the same sequence, and disrupting auditory feedback does not alter this singing-related activity, indicating it is motor in nature. Furthermore, these neurons innervate striatal structures important for song learning, raising the possibility that singing-related activity in these cells is compared to auditory feedback to guide vocal learning.

  9. Creating a flexible learning environment. (United States)

    Taylor, B A; Jones, S; Winters, P


    Lack of classroom space is a common problem for many hospital-based nurse educators. This article describes how nursing educators in one institution redesigned fixed classroom space into a flexible learning center that accommodates their various programs. Using the nursing process, the educators assessed their needs, planned the learning environment, implemented changes in the interior design, and evaluated the outcome of the project. The result was a learning environment conducive to teaching and learning.

  10. A hypothesis on improving foreign accents by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits


    Simmonds, Anna J.


    Rapid vocal motor learning is observed when acquiring a language in early childhood, or learning to speak another language later in life. Accurate pronunciation is one of the hardest things for late learners to master and they are almost always left with a non-native accent. Here, I propose a novel hypothesis that this accent could be improved by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits during learning. Much of the neurobiology of human vocal motor learning has been inferred fr...

  11. The reliability of flexible nasolaryngoscopy in the identification of vocal fold movement impairment in young infants. (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Chun Carol; McElwee, Tyler; Musso, Mary; Rosenberg, Tara L; Ongkasuwan, Julina


    Flexible nasolaryngoscopy (FNL) is considered the gold standard for evaluation of vocal fold mobility but there has been no data on the reliability of interpretation in the infant population. Visualization may be limited by excessive movement, secretions, or floppy supraglottic structures that prevent accurate diagnosis of vocal fold movement impairment (VFMI). We sought to evaluate the inter- and intra-rater reliability of FNL for the evaluation of VFMI in young infants. Case-control. Twenty infants were identified: 10 with VFMI and 10 normal as seen on FNL. Three pediatric otolaryngologists reviewed the video without sound and rated the presence and/or degree of vocal fold mobility. Twelve videos were repeated to assess intra-rater reliability. There was substantial agreement between the reviewers regarding the identification normal vs. any type of VFMI (kappa = 0.67) but only moderate agreement regarding the degree of vocal fold movement (kappa = 0.49). Intra-rater reliability ranges from moderate to perfect agreement (kappa = 0.48-1). FNL in infants is an extremely challenging procedure. Clinically, physicians frequently use the quality of the cry and the past medical and surgical history to help make a judgment of vocal fold movement when the view is suboptimal. These other factors, however, may bias the interpretation of the FNL. Without sound, there is only moderate inter-rater and variable intra-rater reliability for the identification of degree of movement on FNL. Otolaryngologists must be cognizant of the limitations of FNL when using it as a clinical tool or as a "gold standard" against which other modalities are measured. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Flexible Coupling of Respiration and Vocalizations with Locomotion and Head Movements in the Freely Behaving Rat

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    Joseph Andrews Alves


    Full Text Available Quadrupedal mammals typically synchronize their respiration with body movements during rhythmic locomotion. In the rat, fast respiration is coupled to head movements during sniffing behavior, but whether respiration is entrained by stride dynamics is not known. We recorded intranasal pressure, head acceleration, instantaneous speed, and ultrasonic vocalizations from male and female adult rats while freely behaving in a social environment. We used high-speed video recordings of stride to understand how head acceleration signals relate to locomotion and developed techniques to identify episodes of sniffing, walking, trotting, and galloping from the recorded variables. Quantitative analysis of synchrony between respiration and head acceleration rhythms revealed that respiration and locomotion movements were coordinated but with a weaker coupling than expected from previous work in other mammals. We have recently shown that rats behaving in social settings produce high rates of ultrasonic vocalizations during locomotion bouts. Accordingly, rats emitted vocalizations in over half of the respiratory cycles during fast displacements. We present evidence suggesting that emission of these calls disrupts the entrainment of respiration by stride. The coupling between these two variables is thus flexible, such that it can be overridden by other behavioral demands.

  13. Vocal communication in a complex multi-level society: constrained acoustic structure and flexible call usage in Guinea baboons. (United States)

    Maciej, Peter; Ndao, Ibrahima; Hammerschmidt, Kurt; Fischer, Julia


    To understand the evolution of acoustic communication in animals, it is important to distinguish between the structure and the usage of vocal signals, since both aspects are subject to different constraints. In terrestrial mammals, the structure of calls is largely innate, while individuals have a greater ability to actively initiate or withhold calls. In closely related taxa, one would therefore predict a higher flexibility in call usage compared to call structure. In the present study, we investigated the vocal repertoire of free living Guinea baboons (Papio papio) and examined the structure and usage of the animals' vocal signals. Guinea baboons live in a complex multi-level social organization and exhibit a largely tolerant and affiliative social style, contrary to most other baboon taxa. To classify the vocal repertoire of male and female Guinea baboons, cluster analyses were used and focal observations were conducted to assess the usage of vocal signals in the particular contexts. In general, the vocal repertoire of Guinea baboons largely corresponded to the vocal repertoire other baboon taxa. The usage of calls, however, differed considerably from other baboon taxa and corresponded with the specific characteristics of the Guinea baboons' social behaviour. While Guinea baboons showed a diminished usage of contest and display vocalizations (a common pattern observed in chacma baboons), they frequently used vocal signals during affiliative and greeting interactions. Our study shows that the call structure of primates is largely unaffected by the species' social system (including grouping patterns and social interactions), while the usage of calls can be more flexibly adjusted, reflecting the quality of social interactions of the individuals. Our results support the view that the primary function of social signals is to regulate social interactions, and therefore the degree of competition and cooperation may be more important to explain variation in call usage

  14. A hypothesis on a role of oxytocin in the social mechanisms of speech and vocal learning. (United States)

    Theofanopoulou, Constantina; Boeckx, Cedric; Jarvis, Erich D


    Language acquisition in humans and song learning in songbirds naturally happen as a social learning experience, providing an excellent opportunity to reveal social motivation and reward mechanisms that boost sensorimotor learning. Our knowledge about the molecules and circuits that control these social mechanisms for vocal learning and language is limited. Here we propose a hypothesis of a role for oxytocin (OT) in the social motivation and evolution of vocal learning and language. Building upon existing evidence, we suggest specific neural pathways and mechanisms through which OT might modulate vocal learning circuits in specific developmental stages. © 2017 The Authors.

  15. Vocal Learning in Grey Parrots: A Brief Review of Perception, Production, and Cross-Species Comparisons (United States)

    Pepperberg, Irene M.


    This chapter briefly reviews what is known-and what remains to be understood--about Grey parrot vocal learning. I review Greys' physical capacities--issues of auditory perception and production--then discuss how these capacities are used in vocal learning and can be recruited for referential communication with humans. I discuss cross-species…

  16. Flexible learning and the design of instruction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collis, Betty; Nikolova, Iliana


    The paper deals with the problem of designing flexible learning and instruction. Flexibility is considered both from the learner's and the designer's perspective. The potential of telematics in the design, development and implementation of flexible and distance learning is discussed. A Method for

  17. Flexible Learning Environments: Leveraging the Affordances of Flexible Delivery and Flexible Learning (United States)

    Hill, Janette R.


    The purpose of this article is to explore the key features of "flexible learning environments" (FLEs). Key principles associated with FLEs are explained. Underlying tenets and support mechanisms necessary for the implementation of FLEs are described. Similarities and differences in traditional learning and FLEs are explored. Finally, strategies…

  18. Flexible Learning in an Information Society (United States)

    Khan, Badrul, Ed.


    Flexible Learning in an Information Society uses a flexible learning framework to explain the best ways of creating a meaningful learning environment. This framework consists of eight factors--institutional, management, technological, pedagogical, ethical, interface design, resource support, and evaluation--and a systematic understanding of these…

  19. A hypothesis on improving foreign accents by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits. (United States)

    Simmonds, Anna J


    Rapid vocal motor learning is observed when acquiring a language in early childhood, or learning to speak another language later in life. Accurate pronunciation is one of the hardest things for late learners to master and they are almost always left with a non-native accent. Here, I propose a novel hypothesis that this accent could be improved by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits during learning. Much of the neurobiology of human vocal motor learning has been inferred from studies on songbirds. Jarvis (2004) proposed the hypothesis that as in songbirds there are two pathways in humans: one for learning speech (the striatal vocal learning pathway), and one for production of previously learnt speech (the motor pathway). Learning new motor sequences necessary for accurate non-native pronunciation is challenging and I argue that in late learners of a foreign language the vocal learning pathway becomes inactive prematurely. The motor pathway is engaged once again and learners maintain their original native motor patterns for producing speech, resulting in speaking with a foreign accent. Further, I argue that variability in neural activity within vocal motor circuitry generates vocal variability that supports accurate non-native pronunciation. Recent theoretical and experimental work on motor learning suggests that variability in the motor movement is necessary for the development of expertise. I propose that there is little trial-by-trial variability when using the motor pathway. When using the vocal learning pathway variability gradually increases, reflecting an exploratory phase in which learners try out different ways of pronouncing words, before decreasing and stabilizing once the "best" performance has been identified. The hypothesis proposed here could be tested using behavioral interventions that optimize variability and engage the vocal learning pathway for longer, with the prediction that this would allow learners to develop new motor

  20. FoxP2 isoforms delineate spatiotemporal transcriptional networks for vocal learning in the zebra finch (United States)

    Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A


    Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038

  1. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning. (United States)

    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc


    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  2. Early life manipulations of vasopressin-family peptides alter vocal learning. (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Peck, Samantha C; Kim, Tabitha H; Goldstein, Michael H; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth


    Vocal learning from social partners is crucial for the successful development of communication in a wide range of species. Social interactions organize attention and enhance motivation to learn species-typical behaviour. However, the neurobiological mechanisms connecting social motivation and vocal learning are unknown. Using zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ), a ubiquitous model for vocal learning, we show that manipulations of nonapeptide hormones in the vasopressin family (arginine vasotocin, AVT) early in development can promote or disrupt both song and social motivation. Young male zebra finches, like human infants, are socially gregarious and require interactive feedback from adult tutors to learn mature vocal forms. To investigate the role of social motivational mechanisms in song learning, in two studies, we injected hatchling males with AVT or Manning compound (MC, a nonapeptide receptor antagonist) on days 2-8 post-hatching and recorded song at maturity. In both studies, MC males produced a worse match to tutor song than controls. In study 2, which experimentally controlled for tutor and genetic factors, AVT males also learned song significantly better compared with controls. Furthermore, song similarity correlated with several measures of social motivation throughout development. These findings provide the first evidence that nonapeptides are critical to the development of vocal learning. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. Flexible Processes in Project-Centred Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ceri, Stefano; Matera, Maristella; Raffio, Alessandro; Spoelstra, Howard


    Ceri, S., Matera, M., Raffio, A. & Spoelstra, H. (2007). Flexible Processes in Project-Centred Learning. In E. Duval, R. Klamma, and M. Wolpers (Eds.), European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 4753, pp. 463-468. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag

  4. Will Flexible Learning Raise Student Achievement? (United States)

    Guest, Ross


    This paper presents both theoretical and survey evidence on the effect of flexible learning--in particular, the shift to a more student-centred approach to learning--on academic achievement by students. A survey was conducted of 577 business students at a major Australian university in order to elicit their preferences for academic achievement and…

  5. Specialized motor-driven dusp1 expression in the song systems of multiple lineages of vocal learning birds.

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    Haruhito Horita

    Full Text Available Mechanisms for the evolution of convergent behavioral traits are largely unknown. Vocal learning is one such trait that evolved multiple times and is necessary in humans for the acquisition of spoken language. Among birds, vocal learning is evolved in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Each time similar forebrain song nuclei specialized for vocal learning and production have evolved. This finding led to the hypothesis that the behavioral and neuroanatomical convergences for vocal learning could be associated with molecular convergence. We previously found that the neural activity-induced gene dual specificity phosphatase 1 (dusp1 was up-regulated in non-vocal circuits, specifically in sensory-input neurons of the thalamus and telencephalon; however, dusp1 was not up-regulated in higher order sensory neurons or motor circuits. Here we show that song motor nuclei are an exception to this pattern. The song nuclei of species from all known vocal learning avian lineages showed motor-driven up-regulation of dusp1 expression induced by singing. There was no detectable motor-driven dusp1 expression throughout the rest of the forebrain after non-vocal motor performance. This pattern contrasts with expression of the commonly studied activity-induced gene egr1, which shows motor-driven expression in song nuclei induced by singing, but also motor-driven expression in adjacent brain regions after non-vocal motor behaviors. In the vocal non-learning avian species, we found no detectable vocalizing-driven dusp1 expression in the forebrain. These findings suggest that independent evolutions of neural systems for vocal learning were accompanied by selection for specialized motor-driven expression of the dusp1 gene in those circuits. This specialized expression of dusp1 could potentially lead to differential regulation of dusp1-modulated molecular cascades in vocal learning circuits.

  6. Vocalic and consonantal processing biases in early word-learning: Cross-language differences?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry


    Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence o...

  7. Flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility: incidence and pathophysiology of aspiration. (United States)

    Tabaee, Abtin; Murry, Thomas; Zschommler, Anne; Desloge, Rosemary B


    The objective was to examine the incidence and pathophysiology of aspiration in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility presenting with dysphagia. Retrospective review of flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing (FEESST) data and medical records in two tertiary medical care centers. The data for all patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility who underwent FEESST between 2000 and 2003 were reviewed. Eighty-one patients (45 male and 36 female patients) were included in the study. The mean age was 59 years. The most common causes or origins were iatrogenic (42%), malignancy (23%), and neurological (18%). The immobility was left-sided in 59% of patients. A majority of the patients exhibited laryngeal edema/erythema (90%), difficulty with secretions (60%), and decreased laryngopharyngeal sensation (83%). The laryngeal adductor reflex was absent in 34% of the patients. An aspiration rate of 35% was detected with thin liquids. Trials of purees revealed a 76% rate of pooling, 44% rate of spillage, 32% rate of penetration, 18% rate of aspiration, and 24% rate of regurgitation. Rates of penetration and aspiration with purees were significantly higher in patients who had decreased laryngopharyngeal sensation, absent pharyngeal squeeze, and absent laryngeal adductor reflex. Dysphagia in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility is demonstrated during FEESST by pooling, spillage, penetration, and aspiration. The pathophysiology of dysphagia is multifactorial with decreased sensation and limitation of airway protective mechanisms both acting as contributing factors.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Ib Steen; Bonke, Sten


    aiming at stimulating the development of new building designs with an improved technological adaptability to new demands and flexibility. The data input to this review is extracted from 15 residential areas with a total of about 1000-1200 apartments which were built in the 1980s after a competition which...... storey housing with cross bearing walls. Within multi storey housing the developed system design appeared to be less adaptable to later alterations. Therefore The Danish Ministry of Housing and Building in 1983 issued an initiative to stimulate technology development of residential non profit housing...

  9. Cortical inter-hemispheric circuits for multimodal vocal learning in songbirds. (United States)

    Paterson, Amy K; Bottjer, Sarah W


    Vocal learning in songbirds and humans is strongly influenced by social interactions based on sensory inputs from several modalities. Songbird vocal learning is mediated by cortico-basal ganglia circuits that include the SHELL region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), but little is known concerning neural pathways that could integrate multimodal sensory information with SHELL circuitry. In addition, cortical pathways that mediate the precise coordination between hemispheres required for song production have been little studied. In order to identify candidate mechanisms for multimodal sensory integration and bilateral coordination for vocal learning in zebra finches, we investigated the anatomical organization of two regions that receive input from SHELL: the dorsal caudolateral nidopallium (dNCL SHELL ) and a region within the ventral arcopallium (Av). Anterograde and retrograde tracing experiments revealed a topographically organized inter-hemispheric circuit: SHELL and dNCL SHELL , as well as adjacent nidopallial areas, send axonal projections to ipsilateral Av; Av in turn projects to contralateral SHELL, dNCL SHELL , and regions of nidopallium adjacent to each. Av on each side also projects directly to contralateral Av. dNCL SHELL and Av each integrate inputs from ipsilateral SHELL with inputs from sensory regions in surrounding nidopallium, suggesting that they function to integrate multimodal sensory information with song-related responses within LMAN-SHELL during vocal learning. Av projections share this integrated information from the ipsilateral hemisphere with contralateral sensory and song-learning regions. Our results suggest that the inter-hemispheric pathway through Av may function to integrate multimodal sensory feedback with vocal-learning circuitry and coordinate bilateral vocal behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Mouse Vocal Communication System: Are Ultrasounds Learned or Innate? (United States)

    Arriaga, Gustavo; Jarvis, Erich D.


    Mouse ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are often used as behavioral readouts of internal states, to measure effects of social and pharmacological manipulations, and for behavioral phenotyping of mouse models for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. However, little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms of rodent USV production.…

  11. Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning. (United States)

    Jäncke, Lutz; Brügger, Eliane; Brummer, Moritz; Scherrer, Stephanie; Alahmadi, Nsreen


    Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning. 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The control group learned without background music while the 4 experimental groups were exposed to vocal or instrumental musical pieces during learning with different subjective intensity and valence. Thus, we employed 4 music listening conditions (vocal music with high intensity: VOC_HIGH, vocal music with low intensity: VOC_LOW, instrumental music with high intensity: INST_HIGH, instrumental music with low intensity: INST_LOW) and one control condition (CONT) during which the subjects learned the word lists. Since it turned out that the high and low intensity groups did not differ in terms of the rated intensity during the main experiment these groups were lumped together. Thus, we worked with 3 groups: one control group and two groups, which were exposed to background music (vocal and instrumental) during verbal learning. As dependent variable, the number of learned words was used. Here we measured immediate recall during five learning sessions (recall 1 - recall 5) and delayed recall for 15 minutes (recall 6) and 14 days (recall 7) after the last learning session. Verbal learning improved during the first 5 recall sessions without any strong difference between the control and experimental groups. Also the delayed recalls were similar for the three groups. There was only a trend for attenuated verbal learning for the group passively listened to vocals. This learning attenuation diminished during the following learning sessions. The exposure to vocal or instrumental background music during encoding did not

  12. Flexible learning intinerary vs. linear learning itinerary


    Martín San José, Juan Fernando; Juan Lizandra, María Carmen; Gil Gómez, Jose Antonio; Rando, Noemí


    The latest video game and entertainment technology and other technologies are facilitating the development of new and powerful e-Learning systems. In this paper, we present a computer-based game for learning about five historical ages. The objective of the game is to reinforce the events that mark the transition from one historical age to another and the order of the historical ages. Our game incorporates natural human-computer interaction based on video game technology, Frontal Projection, a...

  13. The Origins of Vocal Learning: New Sounds, New Circuits, New Cells (United States)

    Nottebohm, Fernando; Liu, Wan-Chun


    We do not know how vocal learning came to be, but it is such a salient trait in human evolution that many have tried to imagine it. In primates this is difficult because we are the only species known to possess this skill. Songbirds provide a richer and independent set of data. I use comparative data and ask broad questions: How does vocal…

  14. Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning.


    Jancke L; Brugger E; Brummer M; Scherrer S; Alahmadi N


    BACKGROUND: Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning. METHODS: 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The con...

  15. Learning to breathe and sing: development of respiratory-vocal coordination in young songbirds. (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Aronov, Dmitriy; Fee, Michale S


    How do animals with learned vocalizations coordinate vocal production with respiration? Songbirds such as the zebra finch learn their songs, beginning with highly variable babbling vocalizations known as subsong. After several weeks of practice, zebra finches are able to produce a precisely timed pattern of syllables and silences, precisely coordinated with expiratory and inspiratory pulses (Franz M, Goller F. J Neurobiol 51: 129-141, 2002). While respiration in adult song is well described, relatively little is known about respiratory patterns in subsong or about the processes by which respiratory and vocal patterns become coordinated. To address these questions, we recorded thoracic air sac pressure in juvenile zebra finches prior to the appearance of any consistent temporal or acoustic structure in their songs. We found that subsong contains brief inspiratory pulses (50 ms) alternating with longer pulses of sustained expiratory pressure (50-500 ms). In striking contrast to adult song, expiratory pulses often contained multiple (0-8) variably timed syllables separated by expiratory gaps and were only partially vocalized. During development, expiratory pulses became shorter and more stereotyped in duration with shorter and fewer nonvocalized parts. These developmental changes eventually resulted in the production of a single syllable per expiratory pulse and a single inspiratory pulse filling each gap, forming a coordinated sequence similar to that of adult song. To examine the role of forebrain song-control nuclei in the development of respiratory patterns, we performed pressure recordings before and after lesions of nucleus HVC (proper name) and found that this manipulation reverses the developmental trends in measures of the respiratory pattern.

  16. Observational fear learning in degus is correlated with temporal vocalization patterns. (United States)

    Lidhar, Navdeep K; Insel, Nathan; Dong, June Yue; Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori


    Some animals learn to fear a situation after observing another individual come to harm, and this learning is influenced by the animals' social relationship and history. An important but sometimes overlooked factor in studies of observational fear learning is that social context not only affects observers, but may also influence the behavior and communications expressed by those being observed. Here we sought to investigate whether observational fear learning in the degu (Octodon degus) is affected by social familiarity, and the degree to which vocal expressions of alarm or distress contribute. 'Demonstrator' degus underwent contextual fear conditioning in the presence of a cagemate or stranger observer. Among the 15 male pairs, observers of familiar demonstrators exhibited higher freezing rates than observers of strangers when returned to the conditioning environment one day later. Observer freezing during testing was, however, also related to the proportion of short- versus long- inter-call-intervals (ICIs) in vocalizations recorded during prior conditioning. In a regression model that included both social relationship and ICI patterns, only the latter was significant. Further investigation of vocalizations, including use of a novel, directed k-means clustering approach, suggested that temporal structure rather than tonal variations may have been responsible for communicating danger. These data offer insight into how different expressions of distress or fear may impact an observer, adding to the complexity of social context effects in studies of empathy and social cognition. The experiments also offer new data on degu alarm calls and a potentially novel methodological approach to complex vocalizations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Moving and Learning: Expanding Style and Increasing Flexibility (United States)

    Peterson, Kay; DeCato, Lisa; Kolb, David A.


    This article introduces ways in which movement can enhance one's understanding of how to learn using Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) concepts of the Learning Cycle, Learning Styles, and Learning Flexibility. The theoretical correspondence between the dialectic dimensions of the Learning Cycle and the dimensions of the Laban Movement Analysis…

  18. Production, Usage, and Comprehension in Animal Vocalizations (United States)

    Seyfarth, Robert M.; Cheney, Dorothy L.


    In this review, we place equal emphasis on production, usage, and comprehension because these components of communication may exhibit different developmental trajectories and be affected by different neural mechanisms. In the animal kingdom generally, learned, flexible vocal production is rare, appearing in only a few orders of birds and few…

  19. U-CrAc Flexible Interior Doctrine, Agile Learning Environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Søren Bolvig; Rosenstand, Claus Andreas Foss


    The research domain of this article is flexible learning environment for immediate use. The research question is: How can the learning environment support an agile learning process? The research contribution of this article is a flexible interior doctrine. The research method is action research...

  20. Song practice promotes acute vocal variability at a key stage of sensorimotor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie E Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trial by trial variability during motor learning is a feature encoded by the basal ganglia of both humans and songbirds, and is important for reinforcement of optimal motor patterns, including those that produce speech and birdsong. Given the many parallels between these behaviors, songbirds provide a useful model to investigate neural mechanisms underlying vocal learning. In juvenile and adult male zebra finches, endogenous levels of FoxP2, a molecule critical for language, decrease two hours after morning song onset within area X, part of the basal ganglia-forebrain pathway dedicated to song. In juveniles, experimental 'knockdown' of area X FoxP2 results in abnormally variable song in adulthood. These findings motivated our hypothesis that low FoxP2 levels increase vocal variability, enabling vocal motor exploration in normal birds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After two hours in either singing or non-singing conditions (previously shown to produce differential area X FoxP2 levels, phonological and sequential features of the subsequent songs were compared across conditions in the same bird. In line with our prediction, analysis of songs sung by 75 day (75d birds revealed that syllable structure was more variable and sequence stereotypy was reduced following two hours of continuous practice compared to these features following two hours of non-singing. Similar trends in song were observed in these birds at 65d, despite higher overall within-condition variability at this age. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together with previous work, these findings point to the importance of behaviorally-driven acute periods during song learning that allow for both refinement and reinforcement of motor patterns. Future work is aimed at testing the observation that not only does vocal practice influence expression of molecular networks, but that these networks then influence subsequent variability in these skills.

  1. Transfer Effect of Speech-sound Learning on Auditory-motor Processing of Perceived Vocal Pitch Errors. (United States)

    Chen, Zhaocong; Wong, Francis C K; Jones, Jeffery A; Li, Weifeng; Liu, Peng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Hanjun


    Speech perception and production are intimately linked. There is evidence that speech motor learning results in changes to auditory processing of speech. Whether speech motor control benefits from perceptual learning in speech, however, remains unclear. This event-related potential study investigated whether speech-sound learning can modulate the processing of feedback errors during vocal pitch regulation. Mandarin speakers were trained to perceive five Thai lexical tones while learning to associate pictures with spoken words over 5 days. Before and after training, participants produced sustained vowel sounds while they heard their vocal pitch feedback unexpectedly perturbed. As compared to the pre-training session, the magnitude of vocal compensation significantly decreased for the control group, but remained consistent for the trained group at the post-training session. However, the trained group had smaller and faster N1 responses to pitch perturbations and exhibited enhanced P2 responses that correlated significantly with their learning performance. These findings indicate that the cortical processing of vocal pitch regulation can be shaped by learning new speech-sound associations, suggesting that perceptual learning in speech can produce transfer effects to facilitating the neural mechanisms underlying the online monitoring of auditory feedback regarding vocal production.

  2. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning. (United States)

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A


    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience. (United States)

    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C; Gobes, Sharon M H


    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers' song, just like Wernicke's area in the left hemisphere of the human brain is dominant for speech perception. However, it is unclear if hemispheric specialization is due to pre-existing functional asymmetry or the result of learning itself. Here we show that in juvenile male and female zebra finches that had never heard an adult song before, neuronal activation after initial exposure to a conspecific song is bilateral. Thus, like in humans, hemispheric dominance develops with vocal proficiency. A left-lateralized functional system that develops through auditory-vocal learning may be an evolutionary adaptation that could increase the efficiency of transferring information within one hemisphere, benefiting the production and perception of learned communication signals.

  4. Let the music play! A short-term but no long-term detrimental effect of vocal background music with familiar language lyrics on foreign language vocabulary learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, A.M.B.; Smedinga, H.E.


    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the

  5. Convergence of calls as animals form social bonds, active compensation for noisy communication channels, and the evolution of vocal learning in mammals. (United States)

    Tyack, Peter L


    The classic evidence for vocal production learning involves imitation of novel, often anthropogenic sounds. Among mammals, this has been reported for dolphins, elephants, harbor seals, and humans. A broader taxonomic distribution has been reported for vocal convergence, where the acoustic properties of calls from different individuals converge when they are housed together in captivity or form social bonds in the wild. Vocal convergence has been demonstrated for animals as diverse as songbirds, parakeets, hummingbirds, bats, elephants, cetaceans, and primates. For most species, call convergence is thought to reflect a group-distinctive identifier, with shared calls reflecting and strengthening social bonds. A ubiquitous function for vocal production learning that is starting to receive attention involves modifying signals to improve communication in a noisy channel. Pooling data on vocal imitation, vocal convergence, and compensation for noise suggests a wider taxonomic distribution of vocal production learning among mammals than has been generally appreciated. The wide taxonomic distribution of this evidence for vocal production learning suggests that perhaps more of the neural underpinnings for vocal production learning are in place in mammals than is usually recognized. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

  6. Fulfilling a European Vision through Flexible Learning and Choice (United States)

    Harris, Margaret S. G.


    This article considers the value of flexibility and free choice in learning, and examines the increasing recognition of the evolving and wide range of appropriate environments for learning, such as the workplace, the home, the community, and the virtual world. This "Lifeplace Learning" is compared to the requirements and visions of the…

  7. Place preference and vocal learning rely on distinct reinforcers in songbirds. (United States)

    Murdoch, Don; Chen, Ruidong; Goldberg, Jesse H


    In reinforcement learning (RL) agents are typically tasked with maximizing a single objective function such as reward. But it remains poorly understood how agents might pursue distinct objectives at once. In machines, multiobjective RL can be achieved by dividing a single agent into multiple sub-agents, each of which is shaped by agent-specific reinforcement, but it remains unknown if animals adopt this strategy. Here we use songbirds to test if navigation and singing, two behaviors with distinct objectives, can be differentially reinforced. We demonstrate that strobe flashes aversively condition place preference but not song syllables. Brief noise bursts aversively condition song syllables but positively reinforce place preference. Thus distinct behavior-generating systems, or agencies, within a single animal can be shaped by correspondingly distinct reinforcement signals. Our findings suggest that spatially segregated vocal circuits can solve a credit assignment problem associated with multiobjective learning.

  8. A sensorimotor area in the songbird brain is required for production of vocalizations in the song learning period of development. (United States)

    Piristine, Hande C; Choetso, Tenzin; Gobes, Sharon M H


    Sensory feedback is essential for acquiring and maintaining complex motor behaviors, including birdsong. In zebra finches, auditory feedback reaches the song control circuits primarily through the nucleus interfacialis nidopalii (Nif), which provides excitatory input to HVC (proper name)-a premotor region essential for the production of learned vocalizations. Despite being one of the major inputs to the song control pathway, the role of Nif in generating vocalizations is not well understood. To address this, we transiently inactivated Nif in late juvenile zebra finches. Upon Nif inactivation (in both hemispheres or on one side only), birds went from singing stereotyped zebra finch song to uttering highly variable and unstructured vocalizations resembling sub-song, an early juvenile song form driven by a basal ganglia circuit. Simultaneously inactivating Nif and LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), the output nucleus of a basal ganglia circuit, inhibited song production altogether. These results suggest that Nif is required for generating the premotor drive for song. Permanent Nif lesions, in contrast, have only transient effects on vocal production, with song recovering within a day. The sensorimotor nucleus Nif thus produces a premotor drive to the motor pathway that is acutely required for generating learned vocalizations, but once permanently removed, the song system can compensate for its absence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1213-1225, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. The Contributing Student: A Pedagogy for Flexible Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collis, Betty; Moonen, J.C.M.M.


    At the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology in The Netherlands, we do not talk about distance education but rather 'flexible learning,' where distance is only one of the dimensions for which students have different options. In this article we briefly describe our approach to flexible

  10. Flexible Learning and Teaching: Looking Beyond the Binary of Full ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    common knowledge' (Edwards, 2010) will need to be co-constructed which understands flexible learning and teaching in ways which will meet needs of a diversity of students, including working students. It will require 'resourceful leadership' ...

  11. Flexible Pedagogies: Technology-Enhanced Learning. Flexible Pedagogies: Preparing for the Future Series (United States)

    Gordon, Neil


    This publication is part of our five-strand research project "Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future". It focuses on a better understanding of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) and: (1) identifies key international drivers in the move towards technology-enhanced learning; (2) highlights some of the challenges and opportunities…

  12. Flexible Dermal Armor : Designs Learned from Nature


    Chen, Irene Hsu


    Designs derived from nature have become a perfect blueprint for today's engineers and scientists to follow and implement. One particularly noted area is the defense industry, wherein flexible dermal armor inspired by nature has been pioneering many sophisticated technologies and designs in recent years. Designers today are considering borrowing aspects of flexibility and mobility of natural dermal armors to enhance the maneuverability of man-made armor by imitating the following mechanisms : ...

  13. Statistical learning across development: Flexible yet constrained

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren eKrogh


    Full Text Available Much research in the past two decades has documented infants’ and adults' ability to extract statistical regularities from auditory input. Importantly, recent research has extended these findings to the visual domain, demonstrating learners' sensitivity to statistical patterns within visual arrays and sequences of shapes. In this review we discuss both auditory and visual statistical learning to elucidate both the generality of and constraints on statistical learning. The review first outlines the major findings of the statistical learning literature with infants, followed by discussion of statistical learning across domains, modalities, and development. The second part of this review considers constraints on statistical learning. The discussion focuses on two categories of constraint: constraints on the types of input over which statistical learning operates and constraints based on the state of the learner. The review concludes with a discussion of possible mechanisms underlying statistical learning.

  14. Models of vocal learning in the songbird: Historical frameworks and the stabilizing critic. (United States)

    Nick, Teresa A


    Birdsong is a form of sensorimotor learning that involves a mirror-like system that activates with both song hearing and production. Early models of song learning, based on behavioral measures, identified key features of vocal plasticity, such as the requirements for memorization of a tutor song and auditory feedback during song practice. The concept of a comparator, which compares the memory of the tutor song to auditory feedback, featured prominently. Later models focused on linking anatomically-defined neural modules to behavioral concepts, such as the comparator. Exploiting the anatomical modularity of the songbird brain, localized lesions illuminated mechanisms of the neural song system. More recent models have integrated neuronal mechanisms identified in other systems with observations in songbirds. While these models explain multiple aspects of song learning, they must incorporate computational elements based on unknown biological mechanisms to bridge the motor-to-sensory delay and/or transform motor signals into the sensory domain. Here, I introduce the stabilizing critic hypothesis, which enables sensorimotor learning by (1) placing a purely sensory comparator afferent of the song system and (2) endowing song system disinhibitory interneuron networks with the capacity both to bridge the motor-sensory delay through prolonged bursting and to stabilize song segments selectively based on the comparator signal. These proposed networks stabilize an otherwise variable signal generated by both putative mirror neurons and a cortical-basal ganglia-thalamic loop. This stabilized signal then temporally converges with a matched premotor signal in the efferent song motor cortex, promoting spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the premotor circuitry and behavioral song learning. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Vocal Tract Adjustments of Dysphonic and Non-Dysphonic Women Pre- and Post-Flexible Resonance Tube in Water Exercise: A Quantitative MRI Study. (United States)

    Yamasaki, Rosiane; Murano, Emi Z; Gebrim, Eloisa; Hachiya, Adriana; Montagnoli, Arlindo; Behlau, Mara; Tsuji, Domingos


    To compare vocal tract (VT) adjustments of dysphonic and non-dysphonic women before and after flexible resonance tube in water exercise (FRTWE) at rest and during phonation using magnetic resonance imaging. Prospective study. Twenty women, aged 20-40 years, 10 dysphonic with vocal nodules (VNG) and 10 controls (CG), underwent four sets of sagittal VT MRI: two pre-FRTWE, at rest and during phonation, and two post-FRTWE, during phonation and at rest. The subjects performed 3 minutes of exercise. Nine parameters at rest and 21 during phonation were performed. Pre-FRTWE, eight significant differences were found, three at rest and five during phonation: at rest - laryngeal vestibule area, distance from epiglottis to pharyngeal posterior wall (PPW) and interarytenoid complex length were smaller in the VNG; during phonation - laryngeal vestibule area, angle between PPW and vocal fold (VF), epiglottis to PPW, and anterior commissure of the larynx to laryngeal posterior wall were smaller in the VNG; tongue area was larger in the VNG. Post-FRTWE, only three significant differences were found, two during phonation and one at rest: during phonation - angle between PPW and VF and the membranous portion of the VF length were smaller in the VNG; at rest - distance from epiglottis to PPW was smaller in the VNG. Results suggest that the habitual VT adjustments of dysphonic and non-dysphonic women are different at rest and during phonation. The FRTWE promoted positive VT changes in the VNG, reducing the intergroup differences. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Let the Music Play!--A Short-Term but No Long-Term Detrimental Effect of Vocal Background Music with Familiar Language Lyrics on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning (United States)

    de Groot, Annette M. B.; Smedinga, Hilde E.


    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the background. The vocabulary to learn varied in concreteness…

  17. Flexibility. (United States)

    Humphrey, L. Dennis


    Flexibility is an important aspect of all sports and recreational activities. Flexibility can be developed and maintained by stretching exercises. Exercises designed to develop flexibility in ankle joints, knees, hips, and the lower back are presented. (JN)

  18. Organizational Learning, Strategic Flexibility and Business Model Innovation: An Empirical Research Based on Logistics Enterprises (United States)

    Bao, Yaodong; Cheng, Lin; Zhang, Jian

    Using the data of 237 Jiangsu logistics firms, this paper empirically studies the relationship among organizational learning capability, business model innovation, strategic flexibility. The results show as follows; organizational learning capability has positive impacts on business model innovation performance; strategic flexibility plays mediating roles on the relationship between organizational learning capability and business model innovation; interaction among strategic flexibility, explorative learning and exploitative learning play significant roles in radical business model innovation and incremental business model innovation.

  19. Anatomy drawing screencasts: enabling flexible learning for medical students. (United States)

    Pickering, James D


    The traditional lecture remains an essential method of disseminating information to medical students. However, due to the constant development of the modern medical curriculum many institutions are embracing novel means for delivering the core anatomy syllabus. Using mobile media devices is one such way, enabling students to access core material at a time and place that suits their specific learning style. This study has examined the effect of five anatomy drawing screencasts that replicate the popular anatomy drawing element of a lecture. These resources were uploaded to the University's Virtual Learning Environment for student access. Usage data and an end of module questionnaire were used to assess the impact of the screencasts on student education. The data revealed a high level of usage that varied in both the time of day and day of the week, with the number of downloads dramatically increasing towards the end of the module when the assessment was approaching. The student group found the additional resources extremely useful in consolidating information and revision, with many commenting on their preference to the screencasts compared to the more traditional approaches to learning. Scrutinizing the screencasts in relation to cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning indicates a high correlation with an evidence-based approach to designing learning resources. Overall the screencasts have been a well-received enhancement that supports the student learning and has been shown to promote flexible learning. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.

  20. Maximizing flexibility and learning; using learning technology to improve course programs in higher education


    Aasbrenn, Martin; Bingen, Hanne Maria


    ICDE 23rd World Conference. Including EADTU Annual Conference 7-10 June, 2009 The Netherlands, Maastricht MECC We propose a framework for development of course programs in higher education : Our vision is that all teaching in higher education should aim for maximal learning with maximal flexibility. Learning technology could be used to optimize this, implemented through continuous feedback from the students.

  1. Noradrenergic control of gene expression and long-term neuronal adaptation evoked by learned vocalizations in songbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarciso A F Velho

    Full Text Available Norepinephrine (NE is thought to play important roles in the consolidation and retrieval of long-term memories, but its role in the processing and memorization of complex acoustic signals used for vocal communication has yet to be determined. We have used a combination of gene expression analysis, electrophysiological recordings and pharmacological manipulations in zebra finches to examine the role of noradrenergic transmission in the brain's response to birdsong, a learned vocal behavior that shares important features with human speech. We show that noradrenergic transmission is required for both the expression of activity-dependent genes and the long-term maintenance of stimulus-specific electrophysiological adaptation that are induced in central auditory neurons by stimulation with birdsong. Specifically, we show that the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM, an area directly involved in the auditory processing and memorization of birdsong, receives strong noradrenergic innervation. Song-responsive neurons in this area express α-adrenergic receptors and are in close proximity to noradrenergic terminals. We further show that local α-adrenergic antagonism interferes with song-induced gene expression, without affecting spontaneous or evoked electrophysiological activity, thus dissociating the molecular and electrophysiological responses to song. Moreover, α-adrenergic antagonism disrupts the maintenance but not the acquisition of the adapted physiological state. We suggest that the noradrenergic system regulates long-term changes in song-responsive neurons by modulating the gene expression response that is associated with the electrophysiological activation triggered by song. We also suggest that this mechanism may be an important contributor to long-term auditory memories of learned vocalizations.

  2. Mindfulness for Singers: The Effects of a Targeted Mindfulness Course on Learning Vocal Technique (United States)

    Czajkowski, Anne-Marie L.; Greasley, Alinka E.


    This paper reports the development and implementation of a unique Mindfulness for Singers (MfS) course designed to improve singers' vocal technique. Eight university students completed the intervention. Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) scores showed general improvement across all five facets of mindfulness. Qualitative results showed…

  3. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment. (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D


    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Cannabinoid exposure during zebra finch sensorimotor vocal learning persistently alters expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements and acute agonist responsiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lichtman Aron H


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have found that cannabinoid treatment of zebra finches during sensorimotor stages of vocal development alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Such persistently altered behavior must be attributable to changes in physiological substrates responsible for song. We are currently working to identify the nature of such physiological changes, and to understand how they contribute to altered vocal learning. One possibility is that developmental agonist exposure results in altered expression of elements of endocannabinoid signaling systems. To test this hypothesis we have studied effects of the potent cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN on endocannabinoid levels and densities of CB1 immunostaining in zebra finch brain. Results We found that late postnatal WIN treatment caused a long-term global disregulation of both levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG and densities of CB1 immunostaining across brain regions, while repeated cannabinoid treatment in adults produced few long-term changes in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the zebra finch endocannabinoid system is particularly sensitive to exogenous agonist exposure during the critical period of song learning and provide insight into susceptible brain areas.

  5. Towards Intelligence and Flexibility of Learning and Knowledge Testing Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The proposed goal oriented knowledge acquisition and assessment are based on the flexible educational model and allows to implement an adaptive control of the enhanced learning process according to the requirements of student's knowledge level, his state of cognition and subject learning history. The enhanced learner knowledge model specifies how the cognition state of the user will be achieved step by step. The use case actions definition is a starting point of the specification, which depends on different levels of learning scenarios and user cognition sub goals. The use case actions specification is used as a basis to set the requirements for service software specification and attributes of learning objects respectively. The paper presents the enhanced architecture of the student self-evaluation and on-line assessment system TestTool. The system is explored as an assessment engine capable of supporting and improving the individualized intelligent goal oriented self-instructional and simulation based mode of learning, grounded on the GRID distributed service architecture.

  6. The Effect of Time on Word Learning: An Examination of Decay of the Memory Trace and Vocal Rehearsal in Children with and without Specific Language Impairment (United States)

    Alt, Mary; Spaulding, Tammie


    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of time to response in a fast-mapping word learning task for children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with typically developing language skills (TD). Manipulating time to response allows us to examine decay of the memory trace, the use of vocal rehearsal, and their…

  7. Genetic dissection of behavioral flexibility: reversal learning in mice. (United States)

    Laughlin, Rick E; Grant, Tara L; Williams, Robert W; Jentsch, J David


    Behavioral inflexibility is a feature of schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and behavior addictions that likely results from heritable deficits in the inhibitory control over behavior. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of individual differences in flexibility, measured using an operant reversal learning task. We quantified discrimination acquisition and subsequent reversal learning in a cohort of 51 BXD strains of mice (2-5 mice/strain, n = 176) for which we have matched data on sequence, gene expression in key central nervous system regions, and neuroreceptor levels. Strain variation in trials to criterion on acquisition and reversal was high, with moderate heritability (∼.3). Acquisition and reversal learning phenotypes did not covary at the strain level, suggesting that these traits are effectively under independent genetic control. Reversal performance did covary with dopamine D2 receptor levels in the ventral midbrain, consistent with a similar observed relationship between impulsivity and D2 receptors in humans. Reversal, but not acquisition, is linked to a locus on mouse chromosome 10 with a peak likelihood ratio statistic at 86.2 megabase (p work demonstrates the clear trait independence between, and genetic control of, discrimination acquisition and reversal and illustrates how globally coherent data sets for a single panel of highly related strains can be interrogated and integrated to uncover genetic sources and molecular and neuropharmacological candidates of complex behavioral traits relevant to human psychopathology. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Collaborative Learning or Cooperative Learning? The Name Is Not Important; Flexibility Is

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George M. Jacobs


    Full Text Available Abstract A great deal of theory and research, not to mention students’ and teachers’ practical experience, supports the use of group activities in education. Collaborative learning and cooperative learning are two terms commonly used in discussions of how and why to use group activities. This article looks at the issue of whether the two terms collaborative learning and cooperative learning are synonymous or whether they represent different conceptualisations of how and why students should interact as part of their learning. Those scholars who differentiate the two terms often see collaborative learning as more student centred and cooperative learning as a more teacher centred way to facilitate student-student interaction. The present article argues that collaborative and cooperative learning should be seen as synonymous student centric approaches, and that teachers and students, regardless of which of the two terms they use, should and will vary the ways they shape their learning environments in order to best facilitate the cognitive and affective benefits that student-student interaction offers. Keywords: Collaborative learning, cooperative learning, flexibility

  9. Evidence for vocal learning in juvenile male killer whales, Orcinus orca, from an adventitious cross-socializing experiment. (United States)

    Crance, Jessica L; Bowles, Ann E; Garver, Alan


    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are thought to learn their vocal dialect. Dispersal in the species is rare, but effects of shifts in social association on the dialect can be studied under controlled conditions. Individual call repertoires and social association were measured in three adult female killer whales and three males (two juveniles and an adult) during two periods, 2001-2003 and 2005-2006. Three distinct dialect repertoires were represented among the subjects. An adventitious experiment in social change resulted from the birth of a calf and the transfer of two non-focal subjects in 2004. Across the two periods, 1691 calls were collected, categorized and attributed to individuals. Repertoire overlap for each subject dyad was compared with an index of association. During 2005-2006, the two juvenile males increased association with the unrelated adult male. By the end of the period, both had begun producing novel calls and call features characteristic of his repertoire. However, there was little or no reciprocal change and the adult females did not acquire his calls. Repertoire overlap and association were significantly correlated in the first period. In the second, median association time and repertoire similarity increased, but the relationship was only marginally significant. The results provided evidence that juvenile male killer whales are capable of learning new call types, possibly stimulated by a change in social association. The pattern of learning was consistent with a selective convergence of male repertoires.

  10. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions (United States)

    Noble, Daniel W. A.; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J.


    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms. PMID:23075525

  11. Flexible Pedagogies: Employer Engagement and Work-Based Learning. Flexible Pedagogies: Preparing for the Future Series (United States)

    Kettle, Jane


    This publication focuses on national and international policy initiatives to develop a better understanding of work-based learners and the types of flexibility that may well enhance their study especially pedagogically. As part of our five-strand research project "Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future" it: (1) highlights the…

  12. Common features of neural activity during singing and sleep periods in a basal ganglia nucleus critical for vocal learning in a juvenile songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin Yanagihara

    Full Text Available Reactivations of waking experiences during sleep have been considered fundamental neural processes for memory consolidation. In songbirds, evidence suggests the importance of sleep-related neuronal activity in song system motor pathway nuclei for both juvenile vocal learning and maintenance of adult song. Like those in singing motor nuclei, neurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X, part of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit essential for vocal plasticity, exhibit singing-related activity. It is unclear, however, whether Area X neurons show any distinctive spiking activity during sleep similar to that during singing. Here we demonstrate that, during sleep, Area X pallidal neurons exhibit phasic spiking activity, which shares some firing properties with activity during singing. Shorter interspike intervals that almost exclusively occurred during singing in awake periods were also observed during sleep. The level of firing variability was consistently higher during singing and sleep than during awake non-singing states. Moreover, deceleration of firing rate, which is considered to be an important firing property for transmitting signals from Area X to the thalamic nucleus DLM, was observed mainly during sleep as well as during singing. These results suggest that songbird basal ganglia circuitry may be involved in the off-line processing potentially critical for vocal learning during sensorimotor learning phase.

  13. Curriculum learning designs: teaching health assessment skills for advanced nursing practitioners through sustainable flexible learning. (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Les; Wong, Pauline; Hannon, John; Solberg Tokerud, Marte; Lyons, Judith


    Innovative curriculum designs are vital for effective learning in contemporary nursing education where traditional modes of delivery are not adequate to meet the learning needs of postgraduate students. This instance of postgraduate teaching in a distributed learning environment offered the opportunity to design a flexible learning model for teaching advanced clinical skills. To present a sustainable model for flexible learning that enables specialist nurses to gain postgraduate qualifications without on-campus class attendance by teaching and assessing clinical health care skills in an authentic workplace setting. An action research methodology was used to gather evidence and report on the process of curriculum development of a core unit, Comprehensive Health Assessment (CHA), within 13 different postgraduate speciality courses. Qualitative data was collected from 27 teaching academics, 21 clinical specialist staff, and 7 hospital managers via interviews, focus groups and journal reflections. Evaluations from the initial iteration of CHA from 36 students were obtained. Data was analyzed to develop and evaluate the curriculum design of CHA. The key factors indicated by participants in the curriculum design process were coordination and structuring of teaching and assessment; integration of content development; working with technologies, balancing specialities and core knowledge; and managing induction and expectations. A set of recommendations emerged as a result of the action research process. These included: a constructive alignment approach to curriculum design; the production of a facilitator's guide that specifies expectations and unit information for academic and clinical education staff; an agreed template for content authors; and the inclusion of synchronous communication for real-time online tutoring. The highlight of the project was that it built curriculum design capabilities of clinicians and students which can sustain this alternative model of online

  14. Lifelong mobile learning: Increasing accessibility and flexibility with tablet computers and ebooks


    Kalz, Marco


    Kalz, M. (2011, 1 September). Lifelong mobile learning: Increasing accessibility and flexibility with tablet computers and ebooks. Presentation provided during the opening ceremony of the iPad pilot for schakelzone rechten, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  15. Flexible Heuristic Dynamic Programming for Reinforcement Learning in Quadrotors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helmer, Alexander; de Visser, C.C.; van Kampen, E.


    Reinforcement learning is a paradigm for learning decision-making tasks from interaction with the environment. Function approximators solve a part of the curse of dimensionality when learning in high-dimensional state and/or action spaces. It can be a time-consuming process to learn a good policy in

  16. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds. (United States)

    Mooney, Richard


    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

  17. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds (United States)

    Mooney, Richard


    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory–vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory–vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory–vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain. PMID:24778375

  18. Vocal Fold Paralysis (United States)

    ... here Home » Health Info » Voice, Speech, and Language Vocal Fold Paralysis On this page: What is vocal fold ... Where can I get additional information? What is vocal fold paralysis? Structures involved in speech and voice production ...

  19. The Experimental Research on E-Learning Instructional Design Model Based on Cognitive Flexibility Theory (United States)

    Cao, Xianzhong; Wang, Feng; Zheng, Zhongmei

    The paper reports an educational experiment on the e-Learning instructional design model based on Cognitive Flexibility Theory, the experiment were made to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of the model in promoting the learning quality in ill-structured domain. The study performed the experiment on two groups of students: one group learned through the system designed by the model and the other learned by the traditional method. The results of the experiment indicate that the e-Learning designed through the model is helpful to promote the intrinsic motivation, learning quality in ill-structured domains, ability to resolve ill-structured problem and creative thinking ability of the students.

  20. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience


    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C.; Gobes, Sharon M. H.


    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers? song, just like Wernicke?s area in the left hemisphere of the hum...

  1. Literacy processes cognitive flexibility in learning and teaching

    CERN Document Server

    Cartwright, Kelly B


    Reading and writing instruction require individuals--both students and teachers--to flexibly process many kinds of information, from a variety of sources. This is the first book to provide an in-depth examination of cognitive flexibility: how it develops across the lifespan; its role in specific literacy processes, such as phonemic awareness, word recognition, and comprehension; and implications for improving literacy instruction and teacher education. The contributors include leading researchers in literacy, psychology, and cognitive development, who summarize the current state of the science

  2. The Use of Flexible, Interactive, Situation-Focused Software for the E-Learning of Mathematics. (United States)

    Farnsworth, Ralph Edward

    This paper discusses the classroom, home, and distance use of new, flexible, interactive, application-oriented software known as Active Learning Suite. The actual use of the software, not just a controlled experiment, is reported on. Designed for the e-learning of university mathematics, the program was developed by a joint U.S.-Russia team and…

  3. The Use of Work-Based Learning Pedagogical Perspectives to Inform Flexible Practice within Higher Education (United States)

    Nottingham, Paula


    The renewed emphasis on developing flexible learning practices in higher education (HE) underscores the importance of understanding pedagogies for students who are based in the workplace or undertake significant work-related elements of study. This paper draws on research that explores how work-based learning (WBL) pedagogy operates in UK HE using…

  4. No trade-off between learning speed and associative flexibility in bumblebees: a reversal learning test with multiple colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel E Raine

    Full Text Available Potential trade-offs between learning speed and memory-related performance could be important factors in the evolution of learning. Here, we test whether rapid learning interferes with the acquisition of new information using a reversal learning paradigm. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris were trained to associate yellow with a floral reward. Subsequently the association between colour and reward was reversed, meaning bees then had to learn to visit blue flowers. We demonstrate that individuals that were fast to learn yellow as a predictor of reward were also quick to reverse this association. Furthermore, overnight memory retention tests suggest that faster learning individuals are also better at retaining previously learned information. There is also an effect of relatedness: colonies whose workers were fast to learn the association between yellow and reward also reversed this association rapidly. These results are inconsistent with a trade-off between learning speed and the reversal of a previously made association. On the contrary, they suggest that differences in learning performance and cognitive (behavioural flexibility could reflect more general differences in colony learning ability. Hence, this study provides additional evidence to support the idea that rapid learning and behavioural flexibility have adaptive value.

  5. Flexible Learning in a Workplace Model: Blended a Motivation to a Lifelong Learner in a Social Network Environment (United States)

    Na-songkhla, Jaitip


    This paper presents a model of learning in a workplace, in which an online course provides flexibility for staff to learn at their convenient hours. A motivation was brought into an account of the success of learning in a workplace program, based upon Behaviorist learning approach--an online mentor and an accumulated learning activities score was…

  6. 气质因素对声乐学习的影响%The Influence of Temperament Factors to Vocal Learning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    本文从心理学的角度出发,主要论述了气质类型因素和声乐演唱者之间的关系,分析出认清每个人不同气质类型对于声乐学习的影响和重要作用,包括气质类型对每个人表演风格特性的影响;如何通过认识自身气质类型来突破自己,提高学习水平等。%Starting from a psychological point of view,discusses the relationship between temperament types of factors and vocal music,to analyze the impact and important role of a clear understanding of each different temperament types of vocal learning,including temperament type for each style of performance characteristicsimpact;how to recognize their own temperament type to break through,and improve the level of learning.

  7. Planning flexible learning to match the needs of consumers: a national survey. (United States)

    Ayer, S; Smith, C


    The injection of market forces into the National Health Service (NHS) has led to nurse education being viewed as a commodity which educational institutions supply and NHS employers purchase. Conscious of the costs of paying for courses within this new consumer culture, NHS trusts and other health service employers are increasingly looking for cost-effective flexible training to educate their workforce quickly and efficiently. Parallel to this is the accelerated demand for continuing professional development (CPD) brought about by the inception of the UKCC's Post-Registration Education and Practice Project (PREPP). Both registered and enrolled nurses are finding they need professional updating and skills and thus increased access to courses. The increased demand for education and training brought about by these changes cannot be met through traditional methods alone, requiring educational institutions to re-appraise their methods of delivery and introduce more flexible approaches to learning. There is every evidence that this is now the case with open learning, distance learning and flexible approaches to learning ever growing in popularity as providers of nurse education recognize the benefits such approaches offer. The emphasis is on meeting the diverse needs of the health care employers and individuals by providing education that is flexible, learner-centred and customer focused. This paper presents the findings of a national survey to ascertain how providers of flexible education plan educational programmes to meet the needs of their customers. Based on data collected from 120 educational institutions within the higher education, health and social care and private sectors, it highlights: the ways in which flexible learning programmes and courses are delivered; what aspects of flexibility are considered important when designing programmes to meet the needs of prospective customers; and what approaches are used to assess demand for flexible education. The study

  8. Exploring the Moderating Role of Perceived Flexibility Advantages in Mobile Learning Continuance Intention (MLCI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui-Ting Huang


    Full Text Available The primary purpose of this study was to explore the key factors that could affect mobile learning continuance intention (MLCI, and examine the moderating effect of perceived flexibility advantages (PFA on the relationship between key mobile learning elements and continuance intention. Five hundred undergraduate students who had previously adopted mobile devices to learn English took part in this study. Partial least squares (PLS analysis was utilized to test the hypotheses in this study. It has been found that the perceived usefulness of mobile technology, subjective norm, and self-management of learning could be closely linked to mobile learning continuance intention. With particular respect to the moderating role of perceived flexibility advantages, it has been demonstrated that PFA could moderate the relationship between perceived usefulness of mobile technology and mobile learning continuance intention, as well as the association between subjective norm and mobile learning continuance intention, whereas PFA did not moderate the link between self-management of learning and mobile learning continuance intention.This report has further added to the body of knowledge in the field of mobile learning through empirical examination.

  9. Perceptual Organization of Visual Structure Requires a Flexible Learning Mechanism (United States)

    Aslin, Richard N.


    Bhatt and Quinn (2011) provide a compelling and comprehensive review of empirical evidence that supports the operation of principles of perceptual organization in young infants. They also have provided a comprehensive list of experiences that could serve to trigger the learning of at least some of these principles of perceptual organization, and…

  10. BBC Pioneers a Flexible Approach to Lifelong Learning (United States)

    Education & Training, 2002


    Describes a programme offered by the School of Informatics at the University of Northumbria, UK, to employees from document archives at the BBC. Recounts how the programme is delivered through face-to-face workshops, with learning consolidated by work based projects. Details how the individual participants, and the BBC, have benefited from the…

  11. Pacing, Pixels, and Paper: Flexibility in Learning Words from Flashcards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara Sage


    Full Text Available The present study focused on how self-control over pace might help learners successfully extract information from digital learning aids. Past research has indicated that too much control over pace can be overwhelming, but too little control over pace can be ineffective. Within the popular self-testing domain of flashcards, we sought to elucidate the optimal level of user control for digital learning and compare learning outcomes between paper and digital flashcards. College students learned vocabulary from paper flashcards or one of several digital flashcard versions and were scored on their memory recall and asked about their perceptions of the learning process. With digital flashcards, students were randomly assigned to an automatic slideshow of cards with no user control, automatic slideshow with pre-set pauses, automatic slideshow where users could press the spacebar to pause at any time, or a self-paced slideshow with complete user control. Users reported feeling more in control when indeed having some control, but ultimately memory recall, cognitive load, and satisfaction were similar across the five versions. However, memory recall was positively related to user satisfaction with their specific flashcard set, and negatively related to users’ perceived mental effort and difficulty. Notably, whether paper or digital, students showed individual variability in how they advanced through the words. This research adds to the educational literature by suggesting that paper and digital flashcards are equally viable options for students. Given differences between individual users and the connection between satisfaction and recall, individualistic options that offer, but do not force, some control over pace seem ideal. Paper flashcards may already include such options, and e-flashcards should offer similar adaptive features to appeal to a wide variety of users.

  12. Applying machine learning techniques for forecasting flexibility of virtual power plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    MacDougall, Pamela; Kosek, Anna Magdalena; Bindner, Henrik W.


    network as well as the multi-variant linear regression. It is found that it is possible to estimate the longevity of flexibility with machine learning. The linear regression algorithm is, on average, able to estimate the longevity with a 15% error. However, there was a significant improvement with the ANN...... approach to investigating the longevity of aggregated response of a virtual power plant using historic bidding and aggregated behaviour with machine learning techniques. The two supervised machine learning techniques investigated and compared in this paper are, multivariate linear regression and single...... algorithm achieving, on average, a 5.3% error. This is lowered 2.4% when learning for the same virtual power plant. With this information it would be possible to accurately offer residential VPP flexibility for market operations to safely avoid causing further imbalances and financial penalties....

  13. Instrumental learning and cognitive flexibility processes are impaired in children exposed to early life stress. (United States)

    Harms, Madeline B; Shannon Bowen, Katherine E; Hanson, Jamie L; Pollak, Seth D


    Children who experience severe early life stress show persistent deficits in many aspects of cognitive and social adaptation. Early stress might be associated with these broad changes in functioning because it impairs general learning mechanisms. To explore this possibility, we examined whether individuals who experienced abusive caregiving in childhood had difficulties with instrumental learning and/or cognitive flexibility as adolescents. Fifty-three 14-17-year-old adolescents (31 exposed to high levels of childhood stress, 22 control) completed an fMRI task that required them to first learn associations in the environment and then update those pairings. Adolescents with histories of early life stress eventually learned to pair stimuli with both positive and negative outcomes, but did so more slowly than their peers. Furthermore, these stress-exposed adolescents showed markedly impaired cognitive flexibility; they were less able than their peers to update those pairings when the contingencies changed. These learning problems were reflected in abnormal activity in learning- and attention-related brain circuitry. Both altered patterns of learning and neural activation were associated with the severity of lifetime stress that the adolescents had experienced. Taken together, the results of this experiment suggest that basic learning processes are impaired in adolescents exposed to early life stress. These general learning mechanisms may help explain the emergence of social problems observed in these individuals. © 2017 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Learning Grammatical Categories from Distributional Cues: Flexible Frames for Language Acquisition (United States)

    St. Clair, Michelle C.; Monaghan, Padraic; Christiansen, Morten H.


    Numerous distributional cues in the child's environment may potentially assist in language learning, but what cues are useful to the child and when are these cues utilised? We propose that the most useful source of distributional cue is a flexible frame surrounding the word, where the language learner integrates information from the preceding and…

  15. The Flexible Learning Needs and Preferences of Regional Occupational Therapy Students In Australia (United States)

    Zeldenryk, Lynne; Bradey, Scott


    This study aimed to explore the flexible learning needs and preferences of occupational therapy students from a regional Australian university. Participants ("n"?=?170) were surveyed using a quantitative survey tool. Findings were analysed using SPSS to determine significant differences between variable attributes of the student cohort.…

  16. How Organisations Are Using Blended E-Learning to Deliver More Flexible Approaches to Trade Training (United States)

    Callan, Victor James; Johnston, Margaret Alison; Poulsen, Alison Louise


    Training organisations are being asked to respond to the growing levels of diversity around the contexts for training and to examine a wider range of training solutions than in the past. This research investigates how training organisations in Australia are using blended forms of e-learning to provide more responsive, flexible and innovative…

  17. Vocal plasticity in a reptile. (United States)

    Brumm, Henrik; Zollinger, Sue Anne


    Sophisticated vocal communication systems of birds and mammals, including human speech, are characterized by a high degree of plasticity in which signals are individually adjusted in response to changes in the environment. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first evidence for vocal plasticity in a reptile. Like birds and mammals, tokay geckos ( Gekko gecko ) increased the duration of brief call notes in the presence of broadcast noise compared to quiet conditions, a behaviour that facilitates signal detection by receivers. By contrast, they did not adjust the amplitudes of their call syllables in noise (the Lombard effect), which is in line with the hypothesis that the Lombard effect has evolved independently in birds and mammals. However, the geckos used a different strategy to increase signal-to-noise ratios: instead of increasing the amplitude of a given call type when exposed to noise, the subjects produced more high-amplitude syllable types from their repertoire. Our findings demonstrate that reptile vocalizations are much more flexible than previously thought, including elaborate vocal plasticity that is also important for the complex signalling systems of birds and mammals. We suggest that signal detection constraints are one of the major forces driving the evolution of animal communication systems across different taxa. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Vocal Imitations of Non-Vocal Sounds (United States)

    Houix, Olivier; Voisin, Frédéric; Misdariis, Nicolas; Susini, Patrick


    Imitative behaviors are widespread in humans, in particular whenever two persons communicate and interact. Several tokens of spoken languages (onomatopoeias, ideophones, and phonesthemes) also display different degrees of iconicity between the sound of a word and what it refers to. Thus, it probably comes at no surprise that human speakers use a lot of imitative vocalizations and gestures when they communicate about sounds, as sounds are notably difficult to describe. What is more surprising is that vocal imitations of non-vocal everyday sounds (e.g. the sound of a car passing by) are in practice very effective: listeners identify sounds better with vocal imitations than with verbal descriptions, despite the fact that vocal imitations are inaccurate reproductions of a sound created by a particular mechanical system (e.g. a car driving by) through a different system (the voice apparatus). The present study investigated the semantic representations evoked by vocal imitations of sounds by experimentally quantifying how well listeners could match sounds to category labels. The experiment used three different types of sounds: recordings of easily identifiable sounds (sounds of human actions and manufactured products), human vocal imitations, and computational “auditory sketches” (created by algorithmic computations). The results show that performance with the best vocal imitations was similar to the best auditory sketches for most categories of sounds, and even to the referent sounds themselves in some cases. More detailed analyses showed that the acoustic distance between a vocal imitation and a referent sound is not sufficient to account for such performance. Analyses suggested that instead of trying to reproduce the referent sound as accurately as vocally possible, vocal imitations focus on a few important features, which depend on each particular sound category. These results offer perspectives for understanding how human listeners store and access long

  19. Developmental Constraints on Learning Artificial Grammars with Fixed, Flexible and Free Word Order

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iga Nowak


    Full Text Available Human learning, although highly flexible and efficient, is constrained in ways that facilitate or impede the acquisition of certain systems of information. Some such constraints, active during infancy and childhood, have been proposed to account for the apparent ease with which typically developing children acquire language. In a series of experiments, we investigated the role of developmental constraints on learning artificial grammars with a distinction between shorter and relatively frequent words (‘function words,’ F-words and longer and less frequent words (‘content words,’ C-words. We constructed 4 finite-state grammars, in which the order of F-words, relative to C-words, was either fixed (F-words always occupied the same positions in a string, flexible (every F-word always followed a C-word, or free. We exposed adults (N = 84 and kindergarten children (N = 100 to strings from each of these artificial grammars, and we assessed their ability to recognize strings with the same structure, but a different vocabulary. Adults were better at recognizing strings when regularities were available (i.e., fixed and flexible order grammars, while children were better at recognizing strings from the grammars consistent with the attested distribution of function and content words in natural languages (i.e., flexible and free order grammars. These results provide evidence for a link between developmental constraints on learning and linguistic typology.

  20. Approaches to learning, need for cognition, and strategic flexibility among university students. (United States)

    Evans, Christina J; Kirby, John R; Fabrigar, Leandre R


    Considerable research has described students' deep and surface approaches to learning. Other research has described individuals' self-regulated learning and need for cognition. There is a need for research examining the relationships among these constructs. This study explored relationships among approaches to learning (deep, surface), need for cognition, and three types of control of learning (adaptive, inflexible, irresolute). Theory suggested similarities among the deep approach, need for cognition, and adaptive control (aspects of self-regulated learning); and among surface, inflexible, and irresolute control (aspects of an ineffective approach to learning). One-factor and two-factor models were proposed. Participants were 226 Canadian military college students. Participants completed the following questionnaires: the Study Process Questionnaire (Biggs, 1978), the Need for Cognition Scale (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982), and the Strategic Flexibility Questionnaire (Cantwell & Moore, 1996). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the identification of the six scale factors. Second order confirmatory factor analysis indicated three factors representing constructs underlying these factors. Neither the one- nor two-factor models accounted adequately for the data. Self-regulated learning was defined by measures of the deep approach to learning, need for cognition, and adaptive control of learning. The second factor divided into one factor consisting of irresolute control, the surface approach, and negative need for cognition; and another consisting of inflexible and negative adaptive control. Substantial relationships among scales support the need for further theory development.

  1. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning


    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.


    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. Ho...

  2. STP-LWE: A Variant of Learning with Error for a Flexible Encryption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Gao


    Full Text Available We construct a flexible lattice based scheme based on semitensor product learning with errors (STP-LWE, which is a variant of learning with errors problem. We have proved that STP-LWE is hard when LWE is hard. Our scheme is proved to be secure against indistinguishable chosen message attacks, and it can achieve a balance between the security and efficiency in the hierarchical encryption systems. In addition, our scheme is almost as efficient as the dual encryption in GPV08.

  3. A Framework for the Flexible Content Packaging of Learning Objects and Learning Designs (United States)

    Lukasiak, Jason; Agostinho, Shirley; Burnett, Ian; Drury, Gerrard; Goodes, Jason; Bennett, Sue; Lockyer, Lori; Harper, Barry


    This paper presents a platform-independent method for packaging learning objects and learning designs. The method, entitled a Smart Learning Design Framework, is based on the MPEG-21 standard, and uses IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) to provide bibliographic, technical, and pedagogical descriptors for the retrieval and description of learning…

  4. Crossing the Chasm – Introducing Flexible Learning into the Botswana Technical Education Programme: From Policy to Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Mead Richardson


    Full Text Available This paper reports on a longitudinal, ethnomethodological case study of the development towards flexible delivery of the Botswana Technical Education Programme (BTEP, offered by Francistown College of Technical & Vocational Education (FCTVE. Data collection methods included documentary analysis, naturalistic participant observation, and semi-structured interviews. The author identifies and analyses the technical, staffing, and cultural barriers to change when introducing technology-enhanced, flexible delivery methods. The study recommends that strategies to advance flexible learning should focus on the following goals: establish flexible policy and administration systems, change how staff utilization is calculated when flexible learning methodologies are used, embed flexible delivery in individual performance development and department/college strategic plans, ensure managerial leadership, hire and support permanent specialists, identify champions and share success stories, and address issues of inflexible organisational culture. This study may be of value in developing countries where mass-based models are sought to expand access to vocational education and training.

  5. Difficulties when assessing birdsong learning programmes under field conditions: a re-evaluation of song repertoire flexibility in the great tit. (United States)

    Rivera-Gutierrez, Hector F; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel


    There is a remarkable diversity of song-learning strategies in songbirds. Establishing whether a species is closed- or open-ended is important to be able to interpret functional and evolutionary consequences of variation in repertoire size. Most of our knowledge regarding the timing of vocal learning is based on laboratory studies, despite the fact that these may not always replicate the complex ecological and social interactions experienced by birds in the wild. Given that field studies cannot provide the experimental control of laboratory studies, it may not be surprising that species such as the great tit that were initially assumed to be closed-ended learners have later been suggested to be open-ended learners. By using an established colour-ringed population, by following a standardized recording protocol, and by taking into account the species' song ecology (using only recordings obtained during peak of singing at dawn), we replicated two previous studies to assess song repertoire learning and flexibility in adult wild great tits elicited by social interactions. First, we performed a playback experiment to test repertoire plasticity elicited by novel versus own songs. Additionally, in a longitudinal study, we followed 30 males in two consecutive years and analysed whether new neighbours influenced any change in the repertoire. Contrary to the previous studies, song repertoire size and composition were found to be highly repeatable both between years and after confrontation with a novel song. Our results suggest that great tits are closed-ended learners and that their song repertoire probably does not change during adulthood. Methodological differences that may have led to an underestimation of the repertoires or population differences may explain the discrepancy in results with previous studies. We argue that a rigorous and standardized assessment of the repertoire is essential when studying age- or playback-induced changes in repertoire size and composition

  6. Collaboration in E-Learning: A Study Using the Flexible E-Learning Framework (United States)

    Vandenhouten, C.; Gallagher-Lepak, S.; Reilly, J.; Ralston-Berg, P.


    E-Learning remains a new frontier for many faculty. When compared to the traditional classroom, E- Learning requires the talents of many team members from a variety of departments as well as the use of different teaching and learning strategies. Pedagogy as well as team configurations must change when moving to the online environment. As a result,…

  7. Flexible Pedagogies: Part-Time Learners and Learning in Higher Education. Flexible Pedagogies: Preparing for the Future Series (United States)

    McLinden, Michael


    This publication focuses on national and international policy initiatives to develop a better understanding of part-time learners and the types of flexibility that may enhance their study especially pedagogically. As part of our five-strand research project "Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future" it: (1) highlights the challenges…

  8. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellisha N Marongelli


    Full Text Available Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the breadths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR, which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field sizes. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model with a flexible structure, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies.

  9. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning (United States)

    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.


    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the widths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR), which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field widths. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model that is flexible in both basis function widths and weights, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies. PMID:23888141

  10. Interactive Web-based e-learning for Studying Flexible Manipulator Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abul K. M. Azad


    Full Text Available Abstract— This paper presents a web-based e-leaning facility for simulation, modeling, and control of flexible manipulator systems. The simulation and modeling part includes finite difference and finite element simulations along with neural network and genetic algorithm based modeling strategies for flexible manipulator systems. The controller part constitutes a number of open-loop and closed-loop designs. Closed loop control designs include the classical, adaptive, and neuro-model based strategies. Matlab software package and its associated toolboxes are used to implement these. The Matlab web server is used as the gateway between the facility and web-access. ASP.NET technology and SQL database are utilized to develop web applications for access control, user account and password maintenance, administrative management, and facility utilization monitoring. The reported facility provides a flexible but effective approach of web-based interactive e-learning facility of an engineering system. This can be extended to incorporate additional engineering systems within the e-learning framework.

  11. Behavioral Correlates of 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats: Progressive Operant Discrimination Learning Reduces Frequency Modulation and Increases Overall Amplitude

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoko Yuki


    Full Text Available Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs in rats are thought to contain ecological signals reflecting emotional states. These USVs are centered on 50-kHz, and frequency modulation (FM is hypothesized to indicate positive emotion; however, results from recent studies are inconsistent with this hypothesis. We suspected that such inconsistencies might result from ambiguity in defining frequency modulation, and problems with acoustic analyses and behavioral protocols. We addressed these problems by applying quantitative methods for USV analyses and using a food reward operant paradigm. Our results revealed that frequency modulation varied according to the degree of positive outcomes, but the direction of change was opposite to what had been observed in previous studies. The FM in 50-kHz USVs decreased as animals learned the task and obtained more reinforcement, while USV amplitude increased as learning progressed. To reconcile these results with those from prior studies, we suggest that FM in 50-kHz USVs should be taken as an index of reward prediction errors, and USV amplitude should be considered as an index of positive emotion.

  12. Predictive and tempo-flexible synchronization to a visual metronome in monkeys. (United States)

    Takeya, Ryuji; Kameda, Masashi; Patel, Aniruddh D; Tanaka, Masaki


    Predictive and tempo-flexible synchronization to an auditory beat is a fundamental component of human music. To date, only certain vocal learning species show this behaviour spontaneously. Prior research training macaques (vocal non-learners) to tap to an auditory or visual metronome found their movements to be largely reactive, not predictive. Does this reflect the lack of capacity for predictive synchronization in monkeys, or lack of motivation to exhibit this behaviour? To discriminate these possibilities, we trained monkeys to make synchronized eye movements to a visual metronome. We found that monkeys could generate predictive saccades synchronized to periodic visual stimuli when an immediate reward was given for every predictive movement. This behaviour generalized to novel tempi, and the monkeys could maintain the tempo internally. Furthermore, monkeys could flexibly switch from predictive to reactive saccades when a reward was given for each reactive response. In contrast, when humans were asked to make a sequence of reactive saccades to a visual metronome, they often unintentionally generated predictive movements. These results suggest that even vocal non-learners may have the capacity for predictive and tempo-flexible synchronization to a beat, but that only certain vocal learning species are intrinsically motivated to do it.

  13. Artificially lengthened and constricted vocal tract in vocal training methods. (United States)

    Bele, Irene Velsvik


    It is common practice in vocal training to make use of vocal exercise techniques that involve partial occlusion of the vocal tract. Various techniques are used; some of them form an occlusion within the front part of the oral cavity or at the lips. Another vocal exercise technique involves lengthening the vocal tract; for example, the method of phonation into small tubes. This essay presents some studies made on the effects of various vocal training methods that involve an artificially lengthened and constricted vocal tract. The influence of sufficient acoustic impedance on vocal fold vibration and economical voice production is presented.

  14. A functional polymorphism in the prodynorphin gene affects cognitive flexibility and brain activation during reversal learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail eVotinov


    Full Text Available Whether the opioid system plays a role in the ability to flexibly adapt behavior is still unclear. We used fMRI to investigate the effect of a nucleotide tandem repeat (68-bp VNTR functional polymorphism of the prodynorphin gene on cerebral activation during a reversal learning task in which participants had to flexibly adapt stimulus-response associations. Past studies suggested that alleles with 3 or 4 repeats (HH genotype of this polymorphism are associated with higher levels of dynorphin peptides than alleles with 1 or 2 repeats (LL genotype. On the behavioral level, the HH group made more perseverative errors than the LL group. On the neural level, the HH group demonstrated less engagement of left orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC and cortico-striatal circuitry, and lower effective connectivity of lOFC with anterior midcingulate cortex and anterior insula/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during reversal learning and processing negative feedback. This points to a lower ability of the HH genotype to monitor or adapt to changes in reward contingencies. These findings provide first evidence that dynorphins may contribute to individual differences in reversal learning, and that considering the opioid system may shed new light on the neurochemical correlates of decision-making and behavioral regulation.

  15. Collaborative Learning or Cooperative Learning? The Name Is Not Important; Flexibility Is (United States)

    Jacobs, George M.


    A great deal of theory and research, not to mention students' and teachers' practical experience, supports the use of group activities in education. Collaborative learning and cooperative learning are two terms commonly used in discussions of how and why to use group activities. This article looks at the issue of whether the two…

  16. Reinforcement of Infant Vocalizations through Contingent Vocal Imitation (United States)

    Pelaez, Martha; Virues-Ortega, Javier; Gewirtz, Jacob L.


    Maternal vocal imitation of infant vocalizations is highly prevalent during face-to-face interactions of infants and their caregivers. Although maternal vocal imitation has been associated with later verbal development, its potentially reinforcing effect on infant vocalizations has not been explored experimentally. This study examined the…

  17. Cross-fostering alters advertisement vocalizations of grasshopper mice (Onychomys): Evidence for the developmental stress hypothesis. (United States)

    Pasch, Bret; Abbasi, Mustafa Z; Wilson, Macey; Zhao, Daniel; Searle, Jeremy B; Webster, Michael S; Rice, Aaron N


    Nutritional stress can have lasting impacts on the development of traits involved in vocal production. Cross-fostering experiments are often used to examine the propensity for vocal learning in a variety of taxa, but few studies assess the influence of malnourishment that can occur as a byproduct of this technique. In this study, we reciprocally cross-fostered sister taxa of voluble grasshopper mice (genus Onychomys) to explore their propensity for vocal learning. Vocalizations of Onychomys leucogaster did not differ between control and cross-fostered animals, but cross-fostered Onychomys arenicola produced vocalizations that were higher in frequency in a direction away from tutors. These same animals exhibited a transient reduction in body mass early in development, indicative of malnutrition. Our findings simultaneously refute vocal learning and support the developmental stress hypothesis to highlight the importance of early ontogeny on the production of vocalizations later in life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Vocal Modification Abilities and Brain Structures in Parrots – how do they Correlate?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpøth, Solveig Walløe

    are among the most encephalized birds and posses excellent vocal imitation abilities. This along with their complex fission-­fusion societies and thereby dynamic use of communication make parrots unparalleled as a model system for the neurobiology behind vocal learning. This PhD thesis is based on three...... independent studies where I 1) compare the level of vocal complexity (i.e. modification of the contact call in response to playback stimuli) with the social complexity of four different parrot species, 2) correlate the vocal modification ability of parrots with a brain region involved in vocal learning, i...... and the peach-faced lovebird with a brain nucleus, MO, involved in vocal learning. We show that the species with the highest level of vocal complexity (i.e. the peach-fronted conure) was also the species with the largest volume of MO and the highest number of neurons in MO. The budgerigar had the smallest...

  19. Designing flexible instructional space for teaching introductory physics with emphasis on inquiry and collaborative active learning (United States)

    Bykov, Tikhon


    In recent years McMurry University's introductory physics curriculum has gone through a series of significant changes to achieve better integration of traditional course components (lecture/lab/discussion) by means of instructional design and technology. A system of flexible curriculum modules with emphasis on inquiry-based teaching and collaborative active learning has been introduced. To unify module elements, a technology suite has been used that consists of Tablet PC's and software applications including Physlets, tablet-adapted personal response system, PASCO data acquisition systems, and MS One-note collaborative writing software. Adoption of the new teaching model resulted in reevaluation of existing instructional spaces. The new teaching space will be created during the renovation of the McMurry Science Building. This space will allow for easy transitions between lecture and laboratory modes. Movable partitions will be used to accommodate student groups of different sizes. The space will be supportive of small peer-group activities with easy-to-reconfigure furniture, multiple white and black board surfaces and multiple projection screens. The new space will be highly flexible to account for different teaching functions, different teaching modes and learning styles.

  20. The Effects of Enhancing Prospective EFL Teachers' Knowledge Management Strategies in Virtual Learning Environments on Their Ideational Flexibility and Engagement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ammar Abdullah Mahmoud Ismail


    Full Text Available The last few years have witnessed an increased interest in moving away from traditional language instruction settings towards more hybrid and virtual learning environments. Face-to-face interaction, guided practice, and uniformity of knowledge sources and skills are all replaced by settings where multiplicity of views from different learning communities, interconnectedness, self-directedness, and self-management of knowledge and learning are increasingly emphasized. This shift from walled-classroom instruction with its limited scope and resources to hybrid and virtual learning environments with their limitless provisions requires that learners be equipped with requisite skills and strategies to manage knowledge and handle language learning in ways commensurate with the nature and limitless possibilities of these new environments. The current study aimed at enhancing knowledge management strategies of EFL teachers in virtual learning environments and examine the impact on their ideational flexibility and engagement in language learning settings. A knowledge management model was proposed and field-test on a cohort of prospective EFL teachers in the Emirati context. Participants were prospective EFL teachers enrolled in the Methods of Teaching Courses and doing their practicum in the Emirati EFL context. Participants' ideational flexibility was tapped via a bi-methodical approach including a contextualized task and a decontextualized one. Their engagement in virtual language learning settings was tapped via an engagement scale. Results of the study indicated that enhancing prospective EFL teachers' knowledge management strategies in virtual learning environments had a significant impact on their ideational flexibility and engagement in foreign language learning settings. Details of the instructional intervention, instruments for tapping students’ ideational flexibility and engagement, and results of the study are discussed. Implications for

  1. A Model for an Open and Flexible E-Training Platform To Encourage Companies' Learning Culture and Meet Employees' Learning Needs. (United States)

    Bagnasco, Andrea; Chirico, Marco; Parodi, Giancarlo; Scapolla, A. Marina


    Distance education is an answer to the demand for flexibility in training. The aim is to build a virtual learning community on the basis of a knowledge model that meets different learning needs. This article analyzes possible innovations in corporate training, and proposes a framework that integrates all information sources and offers practice…

  2. [Biofeedback in young singer vocal training]. (United States)

    Ciochină, Paula; Ciochină, Al D; Burlui, Ada; Zaharia, D


    Biofeedback therapy is a learning process that is based on "operant conditioning" techniques. To estimate the significance of biofeedback to an accurate and faster control of singing voice emission. Significantly, it was discovered that professional singers active in performing of both classical and music theatre repertoire with regard to the visual-kinesthetic effect of melodic contour in musical notation as it affect vocal timbre. The results of the study also indicate that the development of new technology for youth singer vocal training, may be useful to these singers.

  3. Flexible Learning and Teaching: Looking Beyond the Binary of Full-time/Part-time Provision in South African Higher Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara M Jones


    Full Text Available This paper engages with literature on flexible learning and teaching in order to explore whether it may be possible, within the South African context, to have flexible learning and teaching provide a third way which goes beyond the current practice of full-time/part-time provision. This binary classification of students is a proxy for day-time/after-hours delivery.  The argument is made that effective, flexible learning and teaching requires a fundamental shift in thinking about learning and teaching in higher education that moves us beyond such binaries. The paper proposes that in order to ensure access and success for students, ‘common knowledge’ (Edwards, 2010 will need to be co-constructed which understands flexible learning and teaching in ways which will meet needs of a diversity of students, including working students. It will require ‘resourceful leadership’ (Edwards, 2014 within the university that recognises, enhances and gives purpose to the capability of colleagues at every level of the systems they lead. Also, it will require the building of ‘common knowledge’ between certain sectors of universities and particular workplaces.

  4. Feasibility of Clinical Endoscopy and Stroboscopy in Children With Bilateral Vocal Fold Lesions. (United States)

    Zacharias, Stephanie R C; Brehm, Susan Baker; Weinrich, Barbara; Kelchner, Lisa; Tabangin, Meredith; de Alarcon, Alessandro


    The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of flexible and rigid endoscopy and stroboscopy for the identification of anatomical and physiological features in children with bilateral vocal fold lesions. The secondary purpose was to describe the age distribution of patients who could tolerate use of the different types of endoscopes. This cross-sectional clinic-based study included 38 children (ages 5 to 12 years) diagnosed with bilateral vocal fold lesions via videoendoscopy. Vocal fold vibratory characteristics (e.g., mucosal wave) were rated by 4 clinicians by consensus. Bilateral vocal fold lesions could be well described anatomically after visualization with both flexible and rigid endoscopes and were most commonly described as symmetrical and broad based. However, the clinicians' confidence in the accuracy of stroboscopy for rating vocal fold vibratory characteristics was limited for both flexible and rigid stroboscopes. Videoendoscopy was adequate for viewing and characterizing anatomical structures of bilateral vocal fold lesions in pediatric patients; however, vibratory characteristics were often not fully visualized with videostroboscopy. In view of the importance of visualizing vocal fold vibration in the differential diagnosis and treatment of vocal fold lesions, other imaging modalities, such as high-speed videoendoscopy, may provide more accurate descriptions of vocal fold vibratory characteristics in this population.

  5. Educational technology in transnational higher education in South East Asia: the cultural politics of flexible learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Ziguras


    Full Text Available This paper examines appropriateness of using educational technologies to increase the flexibility of learning in transnational higher education in South East Asia. It considers the argument that while interactive educational technologies may be appropriate in countries in which self-directed study and student autonomy are emphasised, the same uses of technology may not be as appropriate in South East Asian countries in which education has traditionally been more tightly structured and teacher-directed. This paper examines government policies toward the use of educational technologies in higher education in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, and considers the experiences of five transnational institutions in these countries. The paper concludes that transnational educators are inevitably caught up in tensions between global modernising trends and local traditional practices. It argues that it is important for educators to recognise how their actions relate to local social changes in countries in which their students are located.

  6. Autoshaping Infant Vocalizations


    Myers, Alexander McNaughton


    A series of five experiments was conducted to determine whether operant or respondent factors controlled the emission of a particular vocalization ( "Q" ) by human infants 16 to 18 months old. Experiment 1 consisted of a pilot investigation of the effects of an autoshaping procedure on three infants' vocal behavior. All three subjects demonstrated increased emission of the target sound during the CR period. Experiments 2 through 4 attempted to replicate the findings of Experiment 1 under cont...

  7. Impacto vocal de professores Teachers' vocal impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Ricarte


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: analisar o impacto vocal nas atividades diárias em professores do ensino médio. Correlacionar os achado da auto-percepção do problema vocal com os aspectos: efeitos no trabalho, na comunicação diária, na comunicação social e na sua emoção. MÉTODOS: a amostra foi constituída por 107 professores, sendo 86 com queixa e 21 sem queixa, selecionados em escolas da rede particular de ensino de Maceió-AL. Cada professor respondeu individualmente o protocolo Perfil Participação em Atividades Vocais na presença da pesquisadora, assinalando suas respostas em uma escala visual que varia de 0 a 10. O protocolo é composto por 28 questões com a presença integrada em cinco aspectos englobados para avaliar a qualidade de vida e o resultado de tratamentos vocais. O protocolo oferece, ainda, dois escores adicionais: pontuação de limitação nas atividades (PLA e de restrição de participação (PRP. RESULTADOS: na comparação dos grupos com e sem queixa vocal foram verificados que todos os resultados foram estatisticamente significantes (pPURPOSE: to analyze the vocal impact in the daily activities on high-school teachers. Correlate the finding of the auto-perception on the vocal problem with the following aspects: effects in the work, daily communication, social communication and, its emotion METHODS: the sample consisted of 107 teachers, 86 with and 21 with no complaint, selected from private teaching schools in Maceió-AL. Each teacher answered individually the Protocol for Voice Activity Participation Profile in the presence of the researcher, noting their responses on a visual scale ranging from 0 to 10. The protocol is composed of 28 questions with the presence integrated in five aspects to evaluate the quality of life and the result of vocal treatments. The protocol offers, still, two additional scores: punctuation of limitation in the activities (PLA and restriction of participation (PRP. RESULTS: comparing the groups with

  8. The impact of intraglottal vortices on vocal fold dynamics (United States)

    Erath, Byron; Pirnia, Alireza; Peterson, Sean


    During voiced speech a critical pressure is produced in the lungs that separates the vocal folds and creates a passage (the glottis) for airflow. As air passes through the vocal folds the resulting aerodynamic loading, coupled with the tissue properties of the vocal folds, produces self-sustained oscillations. Throughout each cycle a complex flow field develops, characterized by a plethora of viscous flow phenomena. Air passing through the glottis creates a jet, with periodically-shed vortices developing due to flow separation and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the shear layer. These vortices have been hypothesized to be a crucial mechanism for producing vocal fold vibrations. In this study the effect of vortices on the vocal fold dynamics is investigated experimentally by passing a vortex ring over a flexible beam with the same non-dimensional mechanical properties as the vocal folds. Synchronized particle image velocimetry data are acquired in tandem with the beam dynamics. The resulting impact of the vortex ring loading on vocal fold dynamics is discussed in detail. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant CBET #1511761.

  9. Precursors to the Development of Flexible Expertise: Metacognitive Self-Evaluations as Antecedences and Consequences in Adult Learning (United States)

    Birney, Damian P.; Beckmann, Jens F.; Wood, Robert E.


    The current study investigates a conceptualization of "flexible expertise" as it relates to adult learning within the context of management and leadership training. Three research domains and their relation to metacognitive outcomes are integrated: 1) individual differences in abilities, personality, and mindsets, 2) deliberate practice and…

  10. Part-Time Learners in Open and Distance Learning: Revisiting the Critical Importance of Choice, Flexibility and Employability (United States)

    Butcher, John; Rose-Adams, John


    In this article, we argue that, if open learning seeks to (re)assert a social justice mission, issues of openness and flexibility are more critical than ever. Drawing on qualitative data from a National Union of Students Wales/Open University study, which explored, in the voices of Welsh students, the identity, motivation and barriers faced by…

  11. Use of the Semantic Web to solve some basic problems in Education: Increase flexible, distributed lifelong learning, decrease teacher's workload

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koper, Rob


    Please refer to: Koper, R. (2004). Use of the Semantic Web to Solve Some Basic Problems in Education: Increase Flexible, Distributed Lifelong Learning, Decrease Teacher's Workload. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2004 (6). Special Issue on the Educational Semantic Web. ISSN:1365-893X [

  12. Audio-vocal interaction in single neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. (United States)

    Hage, Steffen R; Nieder, Andreas


    Complex audio-vocal integration systems depend on a strong interconnection between the auditory and the vocal motor system. To gain cognitive control over audio-vocal interaction during vocal motor control, the PFC needs to be involved. Neurons in the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) have been shown to separately encode the sensory perceptions and motor production of vocalizations. It is unknown, however, whether single neurons in the PFC reflect audio-vocal interactions. We therefore recorded single-unit activity in the VLPFC of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) while they produced vocalizations on command or passively listened to monkey calls. We found that 12% of randomly selected neurons in VLPFC modulated their discharge rate in response to acoustic stimulation with species-specific calls. Almost three-fourths of these auditory neurons showed an additional modulation of their discharge rates either before and/or during the monkeys' motor production of vocalization. Based on these audio-vocal interactions, the VLPFC might be well positioned to combine higher order auditory processing with cognitive control of the vocal motor output. Such audio-vocal integration processes in the VLPFC might constitute a precursor for the evolution of complex learned audio-vocal integration systems, ultimately giving rise to human speech. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357030-11$15.00/0.

  13. Vocal copying of individually distinctive signature whistles in bottlenose dolphins (United States)

    King, Stephanie L.; Sayigh, Laela S.; Wells, Randall S.; Fellner, Wendi; Janik, Vincent M.


    Vocal learning is relatively common in birds but less so in mammals. Sexual selection and individual or group recognition have been identified as major forces in its evolution. While important in the development of vocal displays, vocal learning also allows signal copying in social interactions. Such copying can function in addressing or labelling selected conspecifics. Most examples of addressing in non-humans come from bird song, where matching occurs in an aggressive context. However, in other animals, addressing with learned signals is very much an affiliative signal. We studied the function of vocal copying in a mammal that shows vocal learning as well as complex cognitive and social behaviour, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Copying occurred almost exclusively between close associates such as mother–calf pairs and male alliances during separation and was not followed by aggression. All copies were clearly recognizable as such because copiers consistently modified some acoustic parameters of a signal when copying it. We found no evidence for the use of copying in aggression or deception. This use of vocal copying is similar to its use in human language, where the maintenance of social bonds appears to be more important than the immediate defence of resources. PMID:23427174

  14. Improved teaching-learning-based and JAYA optimization algorithms for solving flexible flow shop scheduling problems (United States)

    Buddala, Raviteja; Mahapatra, Siba Sankar


    Flexible flow shop (or a hybrid flow shop) scheduling problem is an extension of classical flow shop scheduling problem. In a simple flow shop configuration, a job having `g' operations is performed on `g' operation centres (stages) with each stage having only one machine. If any stage contains more than one machine for providing alternate processing facility, then the problem becomes a flexible flow shop problem (FFSP). FFSP which contains all the complexities involved in a simple flow shop and parallel machine scheduling problems is a well-known NP-hard (Non-deterministic polynomial time) problem. Owing to high computational complexity involved in solving these problems, it is not always possible to obtain an optimal solution in a reasonable computation time. To obtain near-optimal solutions in a reasonable computation time, a large variety of meta-heuristics have been proposed in the past. However, tuning algorithm-specific parameters for solving FFSP is rather tricky and time consuming. To address this limitation, teaching-learning-based optimization (TLBO) and JAYA algorithm are chosen for the study because these are not only recent meta-heuristics but they do not require tuning of algorithm-specific parameters. Although these algorithms seem to be elegant, they lose solution diversity after few iterations and get trapped at the local optima. To alleviate such drawback, a new local search procedure is proposed in this paper to improve the solution quality. Further, mutation strategy (inspired from genetic algorithm) is incorporated in the basic algorithm to maintain solution diversity in the population. Computational experiments have been conducted on standard benchmark problems to calculate makespan and computational time. It is found that the rate of convergence of TLBO is superior to JAYA. From the results, it is found that TLBO and JAYA outperform many algorithms reported in the literature and can be treated as efficient methods for solving the FFSP.

  15. Birds and babies : a comparison of the early development in vocal learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haar, Sita Minke ter


    This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual

  16. Laryngeal ultrasound and pediatric vocal fold nodules. (United States)

    Ongkasuwan, Julina; Devore, Danielle; Hollas, Sarah; Jones, Jeremy; Tran, Brandon


    The term vocal fold nodules refers to bilateral thickening of the membranous folds with minimal impairment of the vibratory properties of the mucosa. Nodules are thought to be related to repetitive mechanical stress, associated with voice use patterns. Diagnosis is typically made in the office via either rigid or flexible laryngeal stroboscopy. Depending on the individual child, obtaining an optimal view of the larynx can be difficult if not impossible. Recent advances in high-frequency ultrasonography allows for transcervical examination of laryngeal structures. The goal of this project was to determine if laryngeal ultrasound (LUS) can be used to identify vocal fold nodules in dysphonic children. Prospective case-control study in which the patient acted as his or her own control. Forty-six pediatric patients were recruited for participation in this study; the mean age was 4.8 years. Twenty-three did not have any vocal fold lesions and 23 had a diagnosis of vocal fold nodules on laryngeal stroboscopy. Recorded LUSs were reviewed by two pediatric radiologists who were blinded to the nodule status. There was substantial inter-rater agreement (κ = 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50-0.89) between the two radiologists regarding the presence of nodules. There was also substantial agreement (κ = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.72-1) between LUS and laryngeal stroboscopy. Sensitivity of LUS was 100% (95% CI: 85%-100%) and specificity was 87% (95% CI: 66%-97%). LUS can be used to identify vocal fold nodules in children with substantial agreement with laryngeal stroboscopy. 3b Laryngoscope, 127:676-678, 2017. © 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  17. Vocal tract dynamics in an adult stutterer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Wolk


    Full Text Available The present study was motivated by the clinical observation of "laryngeal spasms" during dysfluency in an adult female  stutterer. The flexible fiberoptic nasolaryngoscope was employed in an attempt to assess this phenomenon objectively. Findings from fiberscopic and spectrographic investigations provided evidence for a disturbance in laryngeal behaviour, and in turn served to determine the nature of the treatment programme. Asymmetry of the vocal folds  and partial abductory laryngeal behaviour, reflecting  a conflict between adductory and abductory forces, characterized the dysfluency  in this patient. A subjective evaluation after treatment revealed a reduction in both severity and frequency of stuttering behaviour. Furthermore, fiberscopic examination carried out after treatment revealed an absence of the laryngeal disturbances noted previously. Results are considered in terms of vocal tract dynamics in stuttering and its clinical applicability.

  18. Altered ultrasonic vocalization and impaired learning and memory in Angelman syndrome mouse model with a large maternal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Hui Jiang


    Full Text Available Angelman syndrome (AS is a neurobehavioral disorder associated with mental retardation, absence of language development, characteristic electroencephalography (EEG abnormalities and epilepsy, happy disposition, movement or balance disorders, and autistic behaviors. The molecular defects underlying AS are heterogeneous, including large maternal deletions of chromosome 15q11-q13 (70%, paternal uniparental disomy (UPD of chromosome 15 (5%, imprinting mutations (rare, and mutations in the E6-AP ubiquitin ligase gene UBE3A (15%. Although patients with UBE3A mutations have a wide spectrum of neurological phenotypes, their features are usually milder than AS patients with deletions of 15q11-q13. Using a chromosomal engineering strategy, we generated mutant mice with a 1.6-Mb chromosomal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3, which inactivated the Ube3a and Gabrb3 genes and deleted the Atp10a gene. Homozygous deletion mutant mice died in the perinatal period due to a cleft palate resulting from the null mutation in Gabrb3 gene. Mice with a maternal deletion (m-/p+ were viable and did not have any obvious developmental defects. Expression analysis of the maternal and paternal deletion mice confirmed that the Ube3a gene is maternally expressed in brain, and showed that the Atp10a and Gabrb3 genes are biallelically expressed in all brain sub-regions studied. Maternal (m-/p+, but not paternal (m+/p-, deletion mice had increased spontaneous seizure activity and abnormal EEG. Extensive behavioral analyses revealed significant impairment in motor function, learning and memory tasks, and anxiety-related measures assayed in the light-dark box in maternal deletion but not paternal deletion mice. Ultrasonic vocalization (USV recording in newborns revealed that maternal deletion pups emitted significantly more USVs than wild-type littermates. The increased USV in maternal deletion mice suggests abnormal signaling behavior between mothers and pups that may reflect abnormal

  19. Case Study Methodology: Flexibility, Rigour, and Ethical Considerations for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion L. Pearson


    Full Text Available Individuals and teams engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL in multidisciplinary higher education settings must make decisions regarding choice of research methodology and methods. These decisions are guided by the research context and the goals of the inquiry. With reference to our own recent experiences investigating pedagogical and curricular practices in a pharmacy program, we outline case study methodology as one of the many options available for SoTL inquiry. Case study methodology has the benefits of flexibility in terms of the types of research questions that can be addressed and the data collection methods that can be employed. Conducted with proper attention to the context of the case(s selected, ethical treatment of participants, and data management, case studies also have the necessary rigour to be credible and generalizable. In the matter of generalization, however, we recommend that the readers of a case study draw their own conclusions about the applicability of the findings to other settings.

  20. A Model of Flexible Learning: Exploring Interdependent Relationships Between Students, Lecturers, Resources and Contexts in Virtual Spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Raymond Bostock


    Full Text Available In flexible and open models of education students and lecturers experience a virtual sense of separation that is caused by more than physical distance between students and lecturers. Transactional distance is “a psychological and communications gap, a space of potential misunderstanding between the inputs of lecturer and those of the student” created in part by the physical distance inherent to online learning (Moore 1991, p. 2. a large transactional distance such as that between geographically dispersed students and lecturers in an asynchronous, text-based, online learning environment may contribute to students’ feelings of isolation and disconnectedness, which can lead to reduced levels of motivation and engagement and consequently attrition. When designing e-learning experiences lecturers must consider two variables that affect transactional distance: structure and dialogue. Structure refers to the flexibility or rigidity of the pedagogical methods and strategies used in an e-learning experience. Dialogue refers to the interaction between the lecturer and student during an e-learning experience. Moore does not suggest that either structure or dialogue are inherently good things. Each may be appropriate in different circumstances and a typical educational event such as a conventional lecture will, at a micro-level, move constantly between the two. Another dimension of the theory suggests that more autonomous students, being self-directed, are better able to cope with more structure while less autonomous students benefit more from greater dialogue. This paper explores a proposed model of flexible learning which attempts to inform practitioners of the fluid, interdependent relationships between students, resources, contexts and lecturers. This helps explain and justify a reconceptualisation of the role of the lecturer and suggests how social activity is also pivotal in successful learning outcomes for students.

  1. Vocal Connections: How Voicework in Music Therapy Helped a Young Girl with Severe Learning Disabilities and Autism to Engage in her Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina Warnock


    Full Text Available This article examines the use of the non-verbal voice in music therapy with children with severe learning disabilities, complex needs and autism. Recent literature on the use of the voice in music therapy is summarised and links are made between the aims of music therapy and those of special educational establishments. Theories regarding the voice and the self, and the important connection between body awareness and emotion as precursors to learning are referred to, particularly in relation to learning disability. Through a case study, I demonstrate how a young girl used voicework to build connections with herself and the music therapist, whereby consequently she became more motivated to interact with her surroundings. I argue hence that the use of the non-verbal voice in music therapy, through its intrinsic connection to identity and internal emotional states can contribute significantly towards the healthy developments necessary for a person to be able to learn. Therefore, by increasing our knowledge about the actual process of learning, and the significance of our work within that process, we can move towards demonstrating clearer outcomes of music therapy in the educational context and have a stronger ‘voice’ within the multi-disciplinary teams that serve this population.

  2. Vocal Fold Collision Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Granados, Alba; Brunskog, Jonas; Misztal, M. K.


    When vocal folds vibrate at normal speaking frequencies, collisions occurs. The numerics and formulations behind a position-based continuum model of contact is an active field of research in the contact mechanics community. In this paper, a frictionless three-dimensional finite element model...

  3. Vocal Cord Paralysis (United States)

    ... Viral infections. Some viral infections, such as Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr and herpes, can cause inflammation and damage directly to the nerves in the larynx. Neurological conditions. If you have certain ... disease, you may experience vocal cord paralysis. Risk factors ...

  4. Building flexibility and managing complexity in community mental health: lessons learned in a large urban centre. (United States)

    Stergiopoulos, Vicky; Saab, Dima; Francombe Pridham, Kate; Aery, Anjana; Nakhost, Arash


    Across many jurisdictions, adults with complex mental health and social needs face challenges accessing appropriate supports due to system fragmentation and strict eligibility criteria of existing services. To support this underserviced population, Toronto's local health authority launched two novel community mental health models in 2014, inspired by Flexible Assertive Community Team principles. This study explores service user and provider perspectives on the acceptability of these services, and lessons learned during early implementation. We purposively sampled 49 stakeholders (staff, physicians, service users, health systems stakeholders) and conducted 17 semi-structured qualitative interviews and 5 focus groups between October 23, 2014 and March 2, 2015, exploring stakeholder perspectives on the newly launched team based models, as well as activities and strategies employed to support early implementation. Interviews and focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed wide-ranging endorsement for the two team-based models' success in engaging the target population of adults with complex service needs. Implementation strengths included the broad recognition of existing service gaps, the use of interdisciplinary teams and experienced service providers, broad partnerships and collaboration among various service sectors, training and team building activities. Emerging challenges included lack of complementary support services such as suitable housing, organizational contexts reluctant to embrace change and risk associated with complexity, as well as limited service provider and organizational capacity to deliver evidence-based interventions. Findings identified implementation drivers at the practitioner, program, and system levels, specific to the implementation of community mental health interventions for adults with complex health and social needs. These can inform future efforts to address the health

  5. Vocal Qualities in Music Theater Voice: Perceptions of Expert Pedagogues. (United States)

    Bourne, Tracy; Kenny, Dianna


    To gather qualitative descriptions of music theater vocal qualities including belt, legit, and mix from expert pedagogues to better define this voice type. This is a prospective, semistructured interview. Twelve expert teachers from United States, United Kingdom, Asia, and Australia were interviewed by Skype and asked to identify characteristics of music theater vocal qualities including vocal production, physiology, esthetics, pitch range, and pedagogical techniques. Responses were compared with published studies on music theater voice. Belt and legit were generally described as distinct sounds with differing physiological and technical requirements. Teachers were concerned that belt should be taught "safely" to minimize vocal health risks. There was consensus between teachers and published research on the physiology of the glottis and vocal tract; however, teachers were not in agreement about breathing techniques. Neither were teachers in agreement about the meaning of "mix." Most participants described belt as heavily weighted, thick folds, thyroarytenoid-dominant, or chest register; however, there was no consensus on an appropriate term. Belt substyles were named and generally categorized by weightedness or tone color. Descriptions of male belt were less clear than for female belt. This survey provides an overview of expert pedagogical perspectives on the characteristics of belt, legit, and mix qualities in the music theater voice. Although teacher responses are generally in agreement with published research, there are still many controversial issues and gaps in knowledge and understanding of this vocal technique. Breathing techniques, vocal range, mix, male belt, and vocal registers require continuing investigation so that we can learn more about efficient and healthy vocal function in music theater singing. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Role of Learning Tasks on Attitude Change Using Cognitive Flexibility Hypertext Systems (United States)

    Godshalk, Veronica M.; Harvey, Douglas M.; Moller, Leslie


    In this study, the authors examined the impact of task assignment on the effectiveness of a Web-based experiential exercise based on cognitive flexibility theory to enlighten learner attitudes toward the ill-structured topic of sexual harassment. In the research study, we sought to shed light on the use of a cognitive flexibility approach when…

  7. Evaluation of Vocal Fold Motion Abnormalities: Are We All Seeing the Same Thing? (United States)

    Madden, Lyndsay L; Rosen, Clark A


    Flexible laryngoscopy is the principle tool for the evaluation of vocal fold motion. As of yet, no consistent, unified outcome metric has been developed for vocal fold paralysis/immobility research. The goal of this study was to evaluate vocal fold motion assessment (inter- and intra-rater reliability) among general otolaryngologists and fellowship-trained laryngologists. Prospective video perceptual analysis study. Flexible laryngoscopic examinations, with sound, of 15 unique patient cases (20 seconds each) were sent to 10 general otolaryngologists and 10 fellowship-trained laryngologists blinded to clinical history. Reviewers were given written definitions of vocal fold mobility and immobility and two video examples. The cases included bilateral vocal fold mobility (six), unilateral vocal fold immobility (five), and unilateral vocal fold hypomobility (four). Five examinations were repeated to determine intra-rater reliability. Participants were asked to judge if there was or there was no purposeful motion, as described by written definitions, for each vocal fold (800 tokens in total). Twenty reviewers (100%) replied. Both general otolaryngologists and fellowship-trained laryngologists had an overall inter-rater reliability of 95%. Difference in inter-rater reliability between the two groups of raters was negligible: 95% for general otolaryngologists and 97.5% for fellowship-trained laryngologists. There was no variability in intra-rater reliability within either rater group (99%). Intra- and inter-rater agreement in determining whether the patient had purposeful vocal fold motion on flexible laryngoscopic examination was excellent in both groups. This study demonstrates that otolaryngologists can consistently and accurately judge the presence and the absence of vocal fold motion. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The Python Spectral Analysis Tool (PySAT) for Powerful, Flexible, and Easy Preprocessing and Machine Learning with Point Spectral Data (United States)

    Anderson, R. B.; Finch, N.; Clegg, S. M.; Graff, T.; Morris, R. V.; Laura, J.


    The PySAT point spectra tool provides a flexible graphical interface, enabling scientists to apply a wide variety of preprocessing and machine learning methods to point spectral data, with an emphasis on multivariate regression.

  9. Vocal fold motion outcome based on excellent prognosis with laryngeal electromyography. (United States)

    Smith, Libby J; Rosen, Clark A; Munin, Michael C


    As laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) becomes more refined, accurate predictions of vocal fold motion recovery are possible. Focus has been on outcomes for patients with poor prognosis for vocal fold motion recovery. Limited information is available regarding the expected rate of purposeful vocal fold motion recovery when there is good to normal motor recruitment, no signs of denervation, and no signs of synkinetic activity with LEMG, termed excellent prognosis. The objective of this study is to determine the rate of vocal fold motion recovery with excellent prognosis findings on LEMG after acute recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. Retrospective review. Patients undergoing a standardized LEMG protocol, consisting of qualitative (evaluation of motor recruitment, motor unit configuration, detection of fibrillations, presence of synkinesis) and quantitative (turns analysis) measurements were evaluated for purposeful vocal-fold motion recovery, calculated after at least 6 months since onset of injury. Twenty-three patients who underwent LEMG for acute vocal fold paralysis met the inclusion criteria of excellent prognosis. Eighteen patients (78.3%) recovered vocal fold motion, as determined by flexible laryngoscopy. Nearly 80% of patients determined to have excellent prognosis for vocal fold motion recovery experienced return of vocal fold motion. This information will help clinicians not only counsel their patients on expectations but will also help guide treatment. 4. Laryngoscope, 126:2310-2314, 2016. © 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  10. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia


    Mumović Gordana; Veselinović Mila; Arbutina Tanja; Škrbić Renata


    Introduction. Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional) dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. Methods. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft...

  11. Vocal fold injection medialization laryngoplasty. (United States)

    Modi, Vikash K


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) can cause glottic insufficiency that can result in hoarseness, chronic cough, dysphagia, and/or aspiration. In rare circumstances, UVFP can cause airway obstruction necessitating a tracheostomy. The treatment options for UVFP include observation, speech therapy, vocal fold injection medialization laryngoplasty, thyroplasty, and laryngeal reinnervation. In this chapter, the author will discuss the technique of vocal fold injection for medialization of a UVFP. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Convergent differential regulation of parvalbumin in the brains of vocal learners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erina Hara

    Full Text Available Spoken language and learned song are complex communication behaviors found in only a few species, including humans and three groups of distantly related birds--songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Despite their large phylogenetic distances, these vocal learners show convergent behaviors and associated brain pathways for vocal communication. However, it is not clear whether this behavioral and anatomical convergence is associated with molecular convergence. Here we used oligo microarrays to screen for genes differentially regulated in brain nuclei necessary for producing learned vocalizations relative to adjacent brain areas that control other behaviors in avian vocal learners versus vocal non-learners. A top candidate gene in our screen was a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV. In situ hybridization verification revealed that PV was expressed significantly higher throughout the song motor pathway, including brainstem vocal motor neurons relative to the surrounding brain regions of all distantly related avian vocal learners. This differential expression was specific to PV and vocal learners, as it was not found in avian vocal non-learners nor for control genes in learners and non-learners. Similar to the vocal learning birds, higher PV up-regulation was found in the brainstem tongue motor neurons used for speech production in humans relative to a non-human primate, macaques. These results suggest repeated convergent evolution of differential PV up-regulation in the brains of vocal learners separated by more than 65-300 million years from a common ancestor and that the specialized behaviors of learned song and speech may require extra calcium buffering and signaling.

  13. A Morphological Analyzer for Vocalized or Not Vocalized Arabic Language (United States)

    El Amine Abderrahim, Med; Breksi Reguig, Fethi

    This research has been to show the realization of a morphological analyzer of the Arabic language (vocalized or not vocalized). This analyzer is based upon our object model for the Arabic Natural Language Processing (NLP) and can be exploited by NLP applications such as translation machine, orthographical correction and the search for information.

  14. Social ultrasonic vocalization in awake head-restrained mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Weiner


    Full Text Available Numerous animal species emit vocalizations in response to various social stimuli. The neural basis of vocal communication has been investigated in monkeys, songbirds, rats, bats and invertebrates resulting in deep insights into motor control, neural coding and learning. Mice, which recently became very popular as a model system for mammalian neuroscience, also utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs during mating behavior. However, our knowledge is lacking of both the behavior and its underlying neural mechanism. We developed a novel method for head-restrained male mice (HRMM to interact with non-restrained female mice (NRFM and show that mice can emit USVs in this context. We first recorded USVs in free arena with non-restrained male mice (NRMM and NRFM. Of the NRMM, which vocalized in the free arena, the majority could be habituated to also vocalize while head-restrained but only when a female mouse was present in proximity. The USVs emitted by HRMM are similar to the USVs of NRMM in the presence of a female mouse in their spectral structure, inter syllable interval distribution and USV sequence length, and therefore are interpreted as social USVs. By analyzing vocalizations of NRMM, we established criteria to predict which individuals are likely to vocalize while head fixed based on the USV rate and average syllable duration. To characterize the USVs emitted by HRMM, we analyzed the syllable composition of HRMM and NRMM and found that USVs emitted by HRMM have higher proportions of USVs with complex spectral representation, supporting previous studies showing that mice social USVs are context dependent. Our results suggest a way to study the neural mechanisms of production and control of social vocalization in mice using advanced methods requiring head fixation.

  15. Social Ultrasonic Vocalization in Awake Head-Restrained Mouse. (United States)

    Weiner, Benjamin; Hertz, Stav; Perets, Nisim; London, Michael


    Numerous animal species emit vocalizations in response to various social stimuli. The neural basis of vocal communication has been investigated in monkeys, songbirds, rats, bats, and invertebrates resulting in deep insights into motor control, neural coding, and learning. Mice, which recently became very popular as a model system for mammalian neuroscience, also utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during mating behavior. However, our knowledge is lacking of both the behavior and its underlying neural mechanism. We developed a novel method for head-restrained male mice (HRMM) to interact with non-restrained female mice (NRFM) and show that mice can emit USVs in this context. We first recorded USVs in a free arena with non-restrained male mice (NRMM) and NRFM. Of the NRMM, which vocalized in the free arena, the majority could be habituated to also vocalize while head-restrained but only when a female mouse was present in proximity. The USVs emitted by HRMM are similar to the USVs of NRMM in the presence of a female mouse in their spectral structure, inter-syllable interval distribution, and USV sequence length, and therefore are interpreted as social USVs. By analyzing the vocalizations of NRMM, we established criteria to predict which individuals are likely to vocalize while head fixed based on the USV rate and average syllable duration. To characterize the USVs emitted by HRMM, we analyzed the syllable composition of HRMM and NRMM and found that USVs emitted by HRMM have a higher proportion of USVs with complex spectral representation, supporting previous studies showing that mice social USVs are context dependent. Our results suggest a way to study the neural mechanisms of production and control of social vocalization in mice using advanced methods requiring head fixation.

  16. The effect of vocal tract impedance on the vocal folds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerkvist, Finn T.; Selamtzis, Andreas


    frontend is used to measure the electroglottograph signal which reflects the opening and closing pattern of the vocal folds. The measurements were carried out for all four modes (Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge) for the vowel [a] in three different pitches: C3(131 Hz), G3 (196 Hz) and C4 (262Hz......The importance of the interaction between the acoustic impedance of the vocal tract with the flow across the vocal cords is well established. In this paper we are investigating the changes in vocal tract impedance when using the different modes of phonation according to Sadolin [1], going from...... the soft levels of the Neutral mode to the high levels of the fully ‘metallic’ Edge mode. The acoustic impedance of vocal tract as seen from the mouth opening is measured via a microphone placed close to the mouth when exciting the system with a volume velocity source [2]. At the same time a Laryngograph...

  17. The Costs of Supervised Classification: The Effect of Learning Task on Conceptual Flexibility (United States)

    Hoffman, Aaron B.; Rehder, Bob


    Research has shown that learning a concept via standard supervised classification leads to a focus on diagnostic features, whereas learning by inferring missing features promotes the acquisition of within-category information. Accordingly, we predicted that classification learning would produce a deficit in people's ability to draw "novel…

  18. Formative assessment in an online learning environment to support flexible on-the-job learning in complex professional domains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tamara van Gog; Desirée Joosten-ten Brinke; F. J. Prins; Dominique Sluijsmans


    This article describes a blueprint for an online learning environment that is based on prominent instructional design and assessment theories for supporting learning in complex domains. The core of this environment consists of formative assessment tasks (i.e., assessment for learning) that center on

  19. A Framework for Bioacoustic Vocalization Analysis Using Hidden Markov Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebenezer Out-Nyarko


    Full Text Available Using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs as a recognition framework for automatic classification of animal vocalizations has a number of benefits, including the ability to handle duration variability through nonlinear time alignment, the ability to incorporate complex language or recognition constraints, and easy extendibility to continuous recognition and detection domains. In this work, we apply HMMs to several different species and bioacoustic tasks using generalized spectral features that can be easily adjusted across species and HMM network topologies suited to each task. This experimental work includes a simple call type classification task using one HMM per vocalization for repertoire analysis of Asian elephants, a language-constrained song recognition task using syllable models as base units for ortolan bunting vocalizations, and a stress stimulus differentiation task in poultry vocalizations using a non-sequential model via a one-state HMM with Gaussian mixtures. Results show strong performance across all tasks and illustrate the flexibility of the HMM framework for a variety of species, vocalization types, and analysis tasks.

  20. Learning behaviour and preferences of family medicine residents under a flexible academic curriculum. (United States)

    Sy, Alice; Wong, Eric; Boisvert, Leslie


    To determine family medicine residents' learning behaviour and preferences outside of clinical settings in order to help guide the development of an effective academic program that can maximize their learning. Retrospective descriptive analysis of academic learning logs submitted by residents as part of their academic training requirements between 2008 and 2011. London, Ont. All family medicine residents at Western University who had completed their academic program requirements (N = 72) by submitting 300 or more credits (1 credit = 1 hour). Amount of time spent on various learning modalities, location where the learning took place, resources used for self-study, and the objective of the learning activity. A total of 72 residents completed their academic requirements during the study period and logged a total of 25 068 hours of academic learning. Residents chose to spend most of their academic time engaging in self-study (44%), attending staff physicians' teaching sessions (20%),and participating in conferences, courses, or workshops (12%) and in postgraduate medical education sessions (12%). Textbooks (26%), medical journals (20%), and point-of-care resources (12%) were the 3 most common resources used for self-study. The hospital (32%), residents' homes (32%),and family medicine clinics (14%) were the most frequently cited locations where academic learning occurred. While all physicians used a variety of educational activities, most residents (67%) chose self-study as their primary method of learning. The topic for academic learning appeared to have some influence on the learning modalities used by residents. Residents used a variety of learning modalities and chose self-study over other more traditional modalities (eg, lectures) for most of their academic learning. A successful academic program must take into account residents' various learning preferences and habits while providing guidance and training in the use of more effective learning methods and

  1. Sex differences, learning flexibility, and striatal dopamine D1 and D2 following adolescent drug exposure in rats (United States)

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Pozos, Hilda; De La Torre, Adrianna; DeShields, Simone; Cevallos, James; Rodriguez, Jonathan; Stolyarova, Alexandra


    Corticostriatal circuitry supports flexible reward learning and emotional behavior from the critical neurodevelopmental stage of adolescence through adulthood. It is still poorly understood how prescription drug exposure in adolescence may impact these outcomes in the long-term. We studied adolescent methylphenidate (MPH) and fluoxetine (FLX) exposure in rats and their impact on learning and emotion in adulthood. In Experiment 1, male and female rats were administered MPH, FLX, or saline (SAL), and compared with methamphetamine (mAMPH) treatment beginning in postnatal day (PND) 37. The rats were then tested on discrimination and reversal learning in adulthood. In Experiment 2, animals were administered MPH or SAL also beginning in PND 37 and later tested in adulthood for anxiety levels. In Experiment 3, we analyzed striatal dopamine D1 and D2 receptor expression in adulthood following either extensive learning (after Experiment 1) or more brief emotional measures (after Experiment 2). We found sex differences in discrimination learning and attenuated reversal learning after MPH and only sex differences in adulthood anxiety. In learners, there was enhanced striatal D1, but not D2, after either adolescent MPH or mAMPH. Lastly, also in learners, there was a sex x treatment group interaction for D2, but not D1, driven by the MPH-pretreated females, who expressed significantly higher D2 levels compared to SAL. These results show enduring effects of adolescent MPH on reversal learning in rats. Developmental psychostimulant exposure may interact with learning to enhance D1 expression in adulthood, and affect D2 expression in a sex-dependent manner. PMID:27091300

  2. Animal Models of Speech and Vocal Communication Deficits Associated With Psychiatric Disorders. (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Roberts, Todd F


    Disruptions in speech, language, and vocal communication are hallmarks of several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably autism spectrum disorders. Historically, the use of animal models to dissect molecular pathways and connect them to behavioral endophenotypes in cognitive disorders has proven to be an effective approach for developing and testing disease-relevant therapeutics. The unique aspects of human language compared with vocal behaviors in other animals make such an approach potentially more challenging. However, the study of vocal learning in species with analogous brain circuits to humans may provide entry points for understanding this human-specific phenotype and diseases. We review animal models of vocal learning and vocal communication and specifically link phenotypes of psychiatric disorders to relevant model systems. Evolutionary constraints in the organization of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity result in similarities in the brain mechanisms for vocal learning and vocal communication. Comparative approaches and careful consideration of the behavioral limitations among different animal models can provide critical avenues for dissecting the molecular pathways underlying cognitive disorders that disrupt speech, language, and vocal communication. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Vocal cord dysfunction in children. (United States)

    Noyes, Blakeslee E; Kemp, James S


    Vocal cord dysfunction is characterised by paradoxical vocal cord adduction that occurs during inspiration, resulting in symptoms of dyspnoea, wheeze, chest or throat tightness and cough. Although the condition is well described in children and adults, confusion with asthma often triggers the use of an aggressive treatment regimen directed against asthma. The laryngoscopic demonstration of vocal cord adduction during inspiration has been considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction, but historical factors and pulmonary function findings may provide adequate clues to the correct diagnosis. Speech therapy, and in some cases psychological counselling, is often beneficial in this disorder. The natural course and prognosis of vocal cord dysfunction are still not well described in adults or children.

  4. A case study of campus-based flexible learning using the World Wide Web and computer conferencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Nicholson


    Full Text Available In line with departments in many other universities, the IT Institute (ITI has experienced an increase in student numbers which has not been matched by a commensurate increase in funding or staff numbers. Staff to student ratios have increased to the point where it has become impractical for small group tutorials to take place. This position has affected job satisfaction and caused increasing doubts over the effectiveness of large group lectures for student learning. Furthermore, it has been recognized that over the last ten years the makeup of the student population has radically changed, leading to a larger proportion of 'nontraditional' students such as mature students with family responsibilities. Related to this, many students are now in part-time or even full-time employment. It is recognized that both these groups require greater flexibility in the time and place of their learning.

  5. Mental Model Progression in Learning the Electron Transport Chain: Effects of Instructional Strategies and Cognitive Flexibility (United States)

    Darabi, Aubteen; Hemphill, Jennifer; Nelson, David W.; Boulware, Wilma; Liang, Xinya


    This study investigated the effect of two instructional strategies, segmented and holistic, on the progression over time of learners' mental models toward that of an expert with the moderator of cognitive flexibility. Sixty-four juniors and seniors in a college metabolism course were randomly assigned to one of the two strategies for instruction…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Ye


    Full Text Available The article deals with motivational and adaptive direction of vocal training of the Art Faculty students of the Pedagogical University. Motivational and adaptive phase consisted in identifying the real state of prospective music teachers’ readiness to work with educational vocal choirs. The criterion of formation of motivational and adaptive component is defined as personal motivation in acquiring high-quality vocal and choral training. The author developed an experimental technique that involves a number of empirical research methods: special and long-term monitoring of the content and progress of the educational process; analysis, control and objectivity of teaching methods; testing; perform creative tasks; test activities; conversations and interviews that were conducted among students, faculty and trainers professional disciplines teaching practice.The mentioned criterion implies that Chinese students have sustained professional focus on improving their own vocal and choral training, awareness of the importance and prospects of this profession in their practical activities in educational conditions in China. Motivation in learning vocal and choral activities, Chinese students made the so-called "immunity" to the difficulties related with the new learning environment in universities Ukraine increases the desire to intensify and optimize the process of conducting and choral training, there is awareness of the need for new development knowledge, skills, new experience and carry it into practice national music and teacher education.

  7. Flexible State-Merging for learning (P)DFAs in Python


    Hammerschmidt, Christian; Loos, Benjamin Laurent; Verwer, Sicco; State, Radu


    We present a Python package for learning (non-)probabilistic deterministic finite state automata and provide heuristics in the red-blue framework. As our package is built along the API of the popular \\texttt{scikit-learn} package, it is easy to use and new learning methods are easy to add. It provides PDFA learning as an additional tool for sequence prediction or classification to data scientists, without the need to understand the algorithm itself but rather the limitations of PDFA as a mode...

  8. Primate vocal communication: a useful tool for understanding human speech and language evolution? (United States)

    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E


    Language is a uniquely human trait, and questions of how and why it evolved have been intriguing scientists for years. Nonhuman primates (primates) are our closest living relatives, and their behavior can be used to estimate the capacities of our extinct ancestors. As humans and many primate species rely on vocalizations as their primary mode of communication, the vocal behavior of primates has been an obvious target for studies investigating the evolutionary roots of human speech and language. By studying the similarities and differences between human and primate vocalizations, comparative research has the potential to clarify the evolutionary processes that shaped human speech and language. This review examines some of the seminal and recent studies that contribute to our knowledge regarding the link between primate calls and human language and speech. We focus on three main aspects of primate vocal behavior: functional reference, call combinations, and vocal learning. Studies in these areas indicate that despite important differences, primate vocal communication exhibits some key features characterizing human language. They also indicate, however, that some critical aspects of speech, such as vocal plasticity, are not shared with our primate cousins. We conclude that comparative research on primate vocal behavior is a very promising tool for deepening our understanding of the evolution of human speech and language, but much is still to be done as many aspects of monkey and ape vocalizations remain largely unexplored.

  9. Learning decision trees with flexible constraints and objectives using integer optimization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwer, S.; Zhang, Y.


    We encode the problem of learning the optimal decision tree of a given depth as an integer optimization problem. We show experimentally that our method (DTIP) can be used to learn good trees up to depth 5 from data sets of size up to 1000. In addition to being efficient, our new formulation allows

  10. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mumović Gordana


    Full Text Available Introduction. Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. Methods. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. A subjective acoustic analysis using the GIRBAS scale was performed prior to and after vocal therapy. Twenty adult patients and 10 children underwent objective acoustic analysis including several acoustic parameters. Pathological vocal qualities (hoarse, harsh and breathy voice were also obtained by computer analysis. Results. The subjective acoustic analysis revealed a significant (p<0.01 reduction in all dysphonia parameters after vocal treatment in adults and children. After treatment, all levels of dysphonia were lowered in 85% (85/100 of adult patients and 29% (29/100 had a normal voice. Before vocal therapy 9 children had severe, 13 had moderate and 8 slight dysphonia. After vocal therapy only 1 child had severe dysphonia, 7 had moderate, 10 had slight levels of dysphonia and 9 were without voice disorder. The objective acoustic analysis in adults revealed a significant improvement (p≤0.025 in all dysphonia parameters except SD F0 and jitter %. In children, the acoustic parameters SD F0, jitter % and NNE (normal noise energy were significantly improved (p=0.003-0.03. Pathological voice qualities were also improved in adults and children (p<0.05. Conclusion. Vocal therapy effectively improves the voice in hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules in both adults and children, affecting diverse acoustic parameters.

  11. Anatomic factors affecting the use of ultrasound to predict vocal fold motion: A pilot study. (United States)

    Masood, Maheer M; Huang, Benjamin; Goins, Allie; Hackman, Trevor G


    Ultrasonography is a well-established modality for visualization of head and neck anatomy. Using ultrasound to detect vocal fold mobility has been described before, but no study has evaluated factors affecting the exam reliability. The aim of the study is to determine anatomic factors influencing the reliability of ultrasound to detect vocal fold motion. Methods and materials Patients underwent ultrasound evaluation and flexible laryngoscopy to assess vocal fold motion from August 2015 to March 2016. Length, accuracy, and clarity of ultrasound examination were assessed, compared to flexible laryngoscopy. For patients with prior neck CT scan imaging, laryngeal anatomy was independently assessed by a blinded neuroradiologist. A total of 23 patients, 21 with bilateral vocal fold motion and two with unilateral paralysis, were enrolled. Vocal folds were visible in 19 patients (82%). Eight patients (42%) had good/excellent view and 11 patients (58%) had fair/difficult view. The ultrasound correctly detected absent movement of the vocal fold in the two patients with unilateral paralysis. A total of 19 patients had CT scans, and a linear correlation (r 2  = 0.65) was noted between the anterior thyroid cartilage angle measured on CT and the grade of view on ultrasound. Ultrasound was able to detect vocal fold motion in 82% of randomly screened patients. Ease of detection of vocal fold motion correlated with the anterior thyroid angle. Further studies are warranted to investigate the reproducibility of our results and how this might impact use of ultrasound for detection of vocal fold motion in the operative setting. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Perceptual fluency and judgments of vocal aesthetics and stereotypicality. (United States)

    Babel, Molly; McGuire, Grant


    Research has shown that processing dynamics on the perceiver's end determine aesthetic pleasure. Specifically, typical objects, which are processed more fluently, are perceived as more attractive. We extend this notion of perceptual fluency to judgments of vocal aesthetics. Vocal attractiveness has traditionally been examined with respect to sexual dimorphism and the apparent size of a talker, as reconstructed from the acoustic signal, despite evidence that gender-specific speech patterns are learned social behaviors. In this study, we report on a series of three experiments using 60 voices (30 females) to compare the relationship between judgments of vocal attractiveness, stereotypicality, and gender categorization fluency. Our results indicate that attractiveness and stereotypicality are highly correlated for female and male voices. Stereotypicality and categorization fluency were also correlated for male voices, but not female voices. Crucially, stereotypicality and categorization fluency interacted to predict attractiveness, suggesting the role of perceptual fluency is present, but nuanced, in judgments of human voices. © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  13. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia. (United States)

    Mumović, Gordana; Veselinović, Mila; Arbutina, Tanja; Škrbić, Renata


    Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional) dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. A subjective acoustic analysis using the GIRBAS scale was performed prior to and after vocal therapy. Twenty adult patients and 10 children underwent objective acoustic analysis including several acoustic parameters. Pathological vocal qualities (hoarse, harsh and breathy voice) were also obtained by computer analysis. The subjective acoustic analysis revealed a significant (pvocal treatment in adults and children. After treatment, all levels of dysphonia were lowered in 85% (85/100) of adult patients and 29% (29/100) had a normal voice. Before vocal therapy 9 children had severe, 13 had moderate and 8 slight dysphonia. After vocal therapy only 1 child had severe dysphonia, 7 had moderate, 10 had slight levels of dysphonia and 9 were without voice disorder. The objective acoustic analysis in adults revealed a significant improvement (p≤0.025) in all dysphonia parameters except SD FO and jitter %. In children, the acoustic parameters SD FO, jitter % and NNE (normal noise energy) were significantly improved (p=0.003-0.03). Pathological voice qualities were also improved in adults and children (pVocal therapy effectively improves the voice in hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules in both adults and children, affectinq diverse acoustic parameters.

  14. Domestic Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris are Sensitive to the “Human” Qualities of Vocal Commands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Gibson


    Full Text Available In recent years, domestic dogs have been recognized for their ability to utilize human communicative gestures in choice tasks, as well as communicate with humans through visual and auditory means. A few dogs have even demonstrated the capacity to learn hundreds to thousands of human words and object labels with extensive training. However less is known about dogs‟ understanding or perception of human vocalizations in the absence of explicit training. This study was conducted to determine what aspects of human scolding vocalizations dogs would be most responsive to when presented with a choice to consume or avoid available food items. Variables included the gender, authenticity, word clarity and the human quality of the vocal commands. Our results suggest that dogs are generally cautious about novel sounds produced in the proximity of food. However they are most likely to avoid consumption when hearing a vocalization originally produced by a scolding human, suggesting awareness of vocal qualities common to human speech.

  15. Implementing Flipped Classroom in Blended Learning Environments: A Proposal Based on the Cognitive Flexibility Theory (United States)

    Andrade, Mariel; Coutinho, Clara


    Flipped Classroom is an issue that gains increased attention in Blended Learning models. Generally, in the traditional classroom, the teacher uses the time in the classroom to explain the theoretical and conceptual body content and leaves the practices and exercises as extracurricular activities. In the Flipped Classroom, students study at home…

  16. Laryngeal Electromyography for Prognosis of Vocal Fold Paralysis. (United States)

    Pardo-Maza, Adriana; García-Lopez, Isabel; Santiago-Pérez, Susana; Gavilán, Javier


    This study aimed to determine the value of laryngeal electromyography in the prognosis of vocal fold paralysis. This is a retrospective descriptive study. This study included 80 patients diagnosed with unilateral or bilateral vocal fold paralysis on flexible laryngoscopy between 2002 and 2014 in a tertiary medical center. Laryngeal electromyography using a standardized protocol was performed; the outcome measures were classified and analyzed into two groups according to the degree of injury. Group 1 included patients with mild to moderate injury, and group 2 included patients with severe to complete injury. Prognosis was correlated with vocal fold motion recovery status with a minimum of 6 months of follow-up since the symptoms onset using positive and negative predictive values. Sixty patients showed acute or chronic recurrent laryngeal neuropathy in laryngeal electromyography. Twelve of 41 patients included in group 1 recovered motion, and 30 of 35 patients included in group 2 did not recover, resulting in 88.2% of positive predictive value and 35.7% of negative predictive value. Our data confirm that laryngeal electromyography is a useful clinical tool in predicting poor recovery in patients with vocal fold paralysis. It allows identification of candidates for early intervention. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Flexible Generation of E-Learning Exams in R: Moodle Quizzes, OLAT Assessments, and Beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achim Zeileis


    Full Text Available The capabilities of the package exams for automatic generation of (statistical exams in R are extended by adding support for learning management systems: As in earlier versions of the package exam generation is still based on separate Sweave ?les for each exercise but rather than just producing di?erent types of PDF output ?les, the package can now render the same exercises into a wide variety of output formats. These include HTML (with various options for displaying mathematical content and XML speci?cations for online exams in learning management systems such as Moodle or OLAT. This ?exibility is accomplished by a new modular and extensible design of the package that allows for reading all weaved exercises into R and managing associated supplementary ?les (such as graphics or data ?les. The manuscript discusses the readily available user interfaces, the design of the underlying infrastructure, and how new functionality can be built on top of the existing tools.

  18. International expansion through flexible replication: Learning from the internationalization experience of IKEA


    Anna Jonsson; Nicolai J Foss


    Business organizations may expand internationally by replicating a part of their value chain, such as a sales and marketing format, in other countries. However, little is known regarding how such “international replicators” build a format for replication, or how they can adjust it in order to adapt to local environments and under the impact of new learning. To illuminate these issues, we draw on a longitudinal in-depth study of Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA, involving more than 70 interv...

  19. The Python Spectral Analysis Tool (PySAT): A Powerful, Flexible, Preprocessing and Machine Learning Library and Interface (United States)

    Anderson, R. B.; Finch, N.; Clegg, S. M.; Graff, T. G.; Morris, R. V.; Laura, J.; Gaddis, L. R.


    Machine learning is a powerful but underutilized approach that can enable planetary scientists to derive meaningful results from the rapidly-growing quantity of available spectral data. For example, regression methods such as Partial Least Squares (PLS) and Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO), can be used to determine chemical concentrations from ChemCam and SuperCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) data [1]. Many scientists are interested in testing different spectral data processing and machine learning methods, but few have the time or expertise to write their own software to do so. We are therefore developing a free open-source library of software called the Python Spectral Analysis Tool (PySAT) along with a flexible, user-friendly graphical interface to enable scientists to process and analyze point spectral data without requiring significant programming or machine-learning expertise. A related but separately-funded effort is working to develop a graphical interface for orbital data [2]. The PySAT point-spectra tool includes common preprocessing steps (e.g. interpolation, normalization, masking, continuum removal, dimensionality reduction), plotting capabilities, and capabilities to prepare data for machine learning such as creating stratified folds for cross validation, defining training and test sets, and applying calibration transfer so that data collected on different instruments or under different conditions can be used together. The tool leverages the scikit-learn library [3] to enable users to train and compare the results from a variety of multivariate regression methods. It also includes the ability to combine multiple "sub-models" into an overall model, a method that has been shown to improve results and is currently used for ChemCam data [4]. Although development of the PySAT point-spectra tool has focused primarily on the analysis of LIBS spectra, the relevant steps and methods are applicable to any spectral data. The

  20. Repairing the vibratory vocal fold. (United States)

    Long, Jennifer L


    A vibratory vocal fold replacement would introduce a new treatment paradigm for structural vocal fold diseases such as scarring and lamina propria loss. This work implants a tissue-engineered replacement for vocal fold lamina propria and epithelium in rabbits and compares histology and function to injured controls and orthotopic transplants. Hypotheses were that the cell-based implant would engraft and control the wound response, reducing fibrosis and restoring vibration. Translational research. Rabbit adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASC) were embedded within a three-dimensional fibrin gel, forming the cell-based outer vocal fold replacement (COVR). Sixteen rabbits underwent unilateral resection of vocal fold epithelium and lamina propria, as well as reconstruction with one of three treatments: fibrin glue alone with healing by secondary intention, replantation of autologous resected vocal fold cover, or COVR implantation. After 4 weeks, larynges were examined histologically and with phonation. Fifteen rabbits survived. All tissues incorporated well after implantation. After 1 month, both graft types improved histology and vibration relative to injured controls. Extracellular matrix (ECM) of the replanted mucosa was disrupted, and ECM of the COVR implants remained immature. Immune reaction was evident when male cells were implanted into female rabbits. Best histologic and short-term vibratory outcomes were achieved with COVR implants containing male cells implanted into male rabbits. Vocal fold cover replacement with a stem cell-based tissue-engineered construct is feasible and beneficial in acute rabbit implantation. Wound-modifying behavior of the COVR implant is judged to be an important factor in preventing fibrosis. NA. Laryngoscope, 128:153-159, 2018. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  1. Episodic Visual Learning/Memory and Attentional Flexibility in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder After Clinically Effective Electroconvulsive Therapy. (United States)

    Kalogerakou, Stamatina; Oulis, Panagiotis; Anyfandi, Eleni; Konstantakopoulos, George; Papakosta, Vasiliki-Maria; Kontis, Dimitrios; Theochari, Eirini; Angelopoulos, Elias; Zervas, Ioannis M; Mellon, Robert C; Papageorgiou, Charalambos C; Tsaltas, Eleftheria


    This study is a follow-up of a previous one reporting that the neuropsychological profile of pharmacoresistant patients with major depressive disorder referred for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, ECT group) contrasted with that of their pharmacorespondent counterparts (NECT group). The NECT group exhibited severe visuospatial memory and minor executive deficits; the ECT group presented the reverse pattern. In that same ECT group, the current follow-up study examined the effects of clinically effective ECT on both cognitive domains 2 months later. Fifteen ECT patients were administered Hamilton Depression (HAMD-24), Hamilton Anxiety (HAMA), Mini-Mental State Examination Scales and 5 tests of Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery at intake (pre-ECT), end of ECT course (post-ECT), and 2 months thereafter (follow-up). Electroconvulsive therapy was effective in relieving clinical depression. After a post-ECT decline, the patients exhibited significant improvement in both Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, paired associate learning, and Stockings of Cambridge. By contrast, their major pre-ECT deficit in intra/extradimensional set shifting remained virtually unaffected. Our findings suggest that attentional flexibility deficits may constitute a neuropsychological trait-like feature of pharmacoresistant, ECT-referred major depressive disorder patients. However, this deficit does not seem generalized, given patient improvement in episodic visual learning/memory and some indication of improvement in spatial planning after ECT.

  2. Vocal Fold Vibration Following Surgical Intervention in Three Vocal Pathologies: A Preliminary Study. (United States)

    Chen, Wenli; Woo, Peak; Murry, Thomas


    High-speed videoendoscopy captures the cycle-to-cycle vibratory motion of each individual vocal fold in normal and severely disordered phonation. Therefore, it provides a direct method to examine the specific vibratory changes following vocal fold surgery. The purpose of this study was to examine the vocal fold vibratory pattern changes in the surgically treated pathologic vocal fold and the contralateral vocal fold in three vocal pathologies: vocal polyp (n = 3), paresis or paralysis (n = 3), and scar (n = 3). Digital kymography was used to extract high-speed kymographic vocal fold images at the mid-membranous region of the vocal fold. Spectral analysis was subsequently applied to the digital kymography to quantify the cycle-to-cycle movements of each vocal fold, expressed as a spectrum. Surgical modification resulted in significantly improved spectral power of the treated pathologic vocal fold. Furthermore, the contralateral vocal fold also presented with improved spectral power irrespective of vocal pathology. In comparison with normal vocal fold spectrum, postsurgical vocal fold vibrations continued to demonstrate decreased vibratory amplitude in both vocal folds. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. University Vocal Training and Vocal Health of Music Educators and Music Therapists (United States)

    Baker, Vicki D.; Cohen, Nicki


    The purpose of this study was to describe the university vocal training and vocal health of music educators and music therapists. The participants (N = 426), music educators (n = 351) and music therapists (n = 75), completed a survey addressing demographics, vocal training, voice usage, and vocal health. Both groups reported singing at least 50%…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah J Culley


    Full Text Available Delirium is a common and morbid condition in elderly hospitalized patients. Its pathophysiology is poorly understood but inflammation has been implicated based on a clinical association with systemic infection and surgery and preclinical data showing that systemic inflammation adversely affects hippocampus-dependent memory. However, clinical manifestations and imaging studies point to abnormalities not in the hippocampus but in cortical circuits. We therefore tested the hypothesis that systemic inflammation impairs prefrontal cortex function by assessing attention and executive function in aged animals. Aged (24-month-old Fischer-344 rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 50 ug/kg or saline and were tested on the attentional shifting task (AST, an index of integrity of the prefrontal cortex, on days 1-3 post-injection. Plasma and frontal cortex concentrations of the cytokine TNFα and the chemokine CCL2 were measured by ELISA in separate groups of identically treated, age-matched rats. LPS selectively impaired reversal learning and attentional shifts without affecting discrimination learning in the AST, indicating a deficit in attention and cognitive flexibility but not learning globally. LPS increased plasma TNFα and CCL2 acutely but this resolved within 24-48 h. TNFα in the frontal cortex did not change whereas CCL2 increased nearly 3-fold 2 h after LPS but normalized by the time behavioral testing started 24 h later. Together, our data indicate that systemic inflammation selectively impairs attention and executive function in aged rodents and that the cognitive deficit is independent of concurrent changes in frontal cortical TNFα and CCL2. Because inattention is a prominent feature of clinical delirium, our data support a role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of this clinical syndrome and suggest this animal model could be useful for studying that relationship further.

  5. The vocal monotony of monogamy (United States)

    Thomas, Jeanette


    There are four phocids in waters around Antarctica: Weddell, leopard, crabeater, and Ross seals. These four species provide a unique opportunity to examine underwater vocal behavior in species sharing the same ecosystem. Some species live in pack ice, others in factice, but all are restricted to the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic islands. All breed and produce vocalizations under water. Social systems range from polygyny in large breeding colonies, to serial monogamy, to solitary species. The type of mating system influences the number of underwater vocalizations in the repertoire, with monogamous seals producing only a single call, polygynous species producing up to 35 calls, and solitary species an intermediate number of about 10 calls. Breeding occurs during the austral spring and each species carves-out an acoustic niche for communicating, with species using different frequency ranges, temporal patterns, and amplitude changes to convey their species-specific calls and presumably reduce acoustic competition. Some species exhibit geographic variations in their vocalizations around the continent, which may reflect discrete breeding populations. Some seals become silent during a vulnerable time of predation by killer whales, perhaps to avoid detection. Overall, vocalizations of these seals exhibit adaptive characteristics that reflect the co-evolution among species in the same ecosystem.

  6. Temporal Resolution and Active Auditory Discrimination Skill in Vocal Musicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar, Prawin


    Full Text Available Introduction Enhanced auditory perception in musicians is likely to result from auditory perceptual learning during several years of training and practice. Many studies have focused on biological processing of auditory stimuli among musicians. However, there is a lack of literature on temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skills in vocal musicians. Objective The aim of the present study is to assess temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skill in vocal musicians. Method The study participants included 15 vocal musicians with a minimum professional experience of 5 years of music exposure, within the age range of 20 to 30 years old, as the experimental group, while 15 age-matched non-musicians served as the control group. We used duration discrimination using pure-tones, pulse-train duration discrimination, and gap detection threshold tasks to assess temporal processing skills in both groups. Similarly, we assessed active auditory discrimination skill in both groups using Differential Limen of Frequency (DLF. All tasks were done using MATLab software installed in a personal computer at 40dBSL with maximum likelihood procedure. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS (version 17.0. Result Descriptive statistics showed better threshold for vocal musicians compared with non-musicians for all tasks. Further, independent t-test showed that vocal musicians performed significantly better compared with non-musicians on duration discrimination using pure tone, pulse train duration discrimination, gap detection threshold, and differential limen of frequency. Conclusion The present study showed enhanced temporal resolution ability and better (lower active discrimination threshold in vocal musicians in comparison to non-musicians.

  7. Flexible and Affordable Foreign Language Learning Environment based on Web 2.0 Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Guetl


    Full Text Available Web technologies and educational platforms have greatly evolved over the past decade. One of the most significant factors contributing to education on the Internet has been the development of Web 2.0 technologies. These technologies, socially interactive in nature, have much to contribute to the area of Computer Assisted Language Leaning. Unfortunately, Web 2.0 technologies for the most part have been used in an ad hoc manner, permitting language learners acquire knowledge through interaction, but not through a more structured manner as these technologies were not developed to help lean languages as such. The goal of our work is to research and develop an environment, which employs Web 2.0 technology plus online language learning tools to provide a more integrated language learning environment. This paper will explore the technologies and provide information about how tools can be better integrated to provide a more productive working environment for language learners. A first working proof of concept based on our approach introduced is promising supporting modern language requirements and first findings and space for improvements are discussed.

  8. Two organizing principles of vocal production: Implications for nonhuman and human primates. (United States)

    Owren, Michael J; Amoss, R Toby; Rendall, Drew


    Vocal communication in nonhuman primates receives considerable research attention, with many investigators arguing for similarities between this calling and speech in humans. Data from development and neural organization show a central role of affect in monkey and ape sounds, however, suggesting that their calls are homologous to spontaneous human emotional vocalizations while having little relation to spoken language. Based on this evidence, we propose two principles that can be useful in evaluating the many and disparate empirical findings that bear on the nature of vocal production in nonhuman and human primates. One principle distinguishes production-first from reception-first vocal development, referring to the markedly different role of auditory-motor experience in each case. The second highlights a phenomenon dubbed dual neural pathways, specifically that when a species with an existing vocal system evolves a new functionally distinct vocalization capability, it occurs through emergence of a second parallel neural pathway rather than through expansion of the extant circuitry. With these principles as a backdrop, we review evidence of acoustic modification of calling associated with background noise, conditioning effects, audience composition, and vocal convergence and divergence in nonhuman primates. Although each kind of evidence has been interpreted to show flexible cognitively mediated control over vocal production, we suggest that most are more consistent with affectively grounded mechanisms. The lone exception is production of simple, novel sounds in great apes, which is argued to reveal at least some degree of volitional vocal control. If also present in early hominins, the cortically based circuitry surmised to be associated with these rudimentary capabilities likely also provided the substrate for later emergence of the neural pathway allowing volitional production in modern humans. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Vocal fold paralysis secondary to phonotrauma. (United States)

    Klein, Travis A L; Gaziano, Joy E; Ridley, Marion B


    A unique case of acute onset vocal fold paralysis secondary to phonotrauma is presented. The cause was forceful vocalization by a drill instructor on a firearm range. Imaging studies revealed extensive intralaryngeal and retropharyngeal hemorrhage. Laryngoscopy showed a complete left vocal fold paralysis. Relative voice rest was recommended, and the patient regained normal vocal fold mobility and function after approximately 12 weeks. Copyright © 2014 The Voice Foundation. All rights reserved.

  10. Unified pre- and postsynaptic long-term plasticity enables reliable and flexible learning. (United States)

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Froemke, Robert C; Sjöström, P Jesper; van Rossum, Mark Cw


    Although it is well known that long-term synaptic plasticity can be expressed both pre- and postsynaptically, the functional consequences of this arrangement have remained elusive. We show that spike-timing-dependent plasticity with both pre- and postsynaptic expression develops receptive fields with reduced variability and improved discriminability compared to postsynaptic plasticity alone. These long-term modifications in receptive field statistics match recent sensory perception experiments. Moreover, learning with this form of plasticity leaves a hidden postsynaptic memory trace that enables fast relearning of previously stored information, providing a cellular substrate for memory savings. Our results reveal essential roles for presynaptic plasticity that are missed when only postsynaptic expression of long-term plasticity is considered, and suggest an experience-dependent distribution of pre- and postsynaptic strength changes.

  11. An Investigation of Extinction-Induced Vocalizations (United States)

    Valentino, Amber L.; Shillingsburg, M. Alice; Call, Nathan A.; Burton, Britney; Bowen, Crystal N.


    Children with autism have significant communication delays. Although some children develop vocalizations through shaping and differential reinforcement, others rarely exhibit vocalizations, and alternative methods are targeted in intervention. However, vocal language often remains a goal for caregivers and clinicians. Thus, strategies to increase…

  12. A flexible e-learning resource promoting the critical reading of scientific papers for science undergraduates. (United States)

    Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor


    An important aim of undergraduate science education is to develop student skills in reading and evaluating research papers. We have designed, developed, and implemented an on-line interactive resource entitled "Evaluating Scientific Research literature" (ESRL) aimed at students from the first 2 years of the undergraduate program. In this article, we describe the resource, then use student data collected from questionnaire surveys to evaluate the resource within 2 years of its launch. Our results add to those reported previously and indicate that ESRL can enable students to start evaluating research articles when used during their undergraduate program. We conclude maximal learning is likely to occur when the resource can be embedded in the curriculum such that students have a clearly articulated context for the resource's activities, can see their relevance in relation to assessed assignments and can be encouraged to think deeply about the activities in conversation with one another and/or with staff. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):483-490, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  13. Vocal responses to noise reveal the presence of the Lombard effect in a frog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Halfwerk, W.H.; Lea, A.M.; Guerra, M.A.; Page, R.A.; Ryan, M.J.


    Many animal communication systems have evolved signal flexibility depending on environmental conditions. A common strategy of vocal communication is to increase amplitude in response to increasing noise levels. This phenomenon, known as the Lombard effect, is a widespread trait among mammals and

  14. Work station learning activities: a flexible and scalable instrument for integrating across basic subjects in biomedical education. (United States)

    González-Soltero, Rocío; Learte, Ana Isabel R; Sánchez, Ana Mª; Gal, Beatriz


    Establishing innovative teaching programs in biomedical education involves dealing with several national and supra-national (i.e. European) regulations as well as with new pedagogical and demographic demands. We aimed to develop and validate a suitable instrument to integrate activities across preclinical years in all Health Science Degrees while meeting requirements of national quality agencies. The new approach was conceived at two different levels: first, we identified potentially integrative units from different fields according to national learning goals established for each preclinical year (national quality agency regulations). Secondly, we implemented a new instrument that combines active methodologies in Work Station Learning Activities (WSLA), using clinical scenarios as a guiding common thread to instruct students from an integrated perspective. We evaluated students' perception through a Likert-type survey of a total of 118 students enrolled in the first year of the Bachelor's Degree in Medicine. Our model of integrated activities through WSLA is feasible, scalable and manageable with large groups of students and a minimum number of instructors, two major limitations in many medical schools. Students' perception of WSLA was positive in overall terms. Seventy nine percent of participants stated that WSLA sessions were more useful than non-integrated activities. Eighty three percent confirmed that the WSLA methodology was effective at integrating concepts covered by different subjects. The WSLA approach is a flexible and scalable instrument for moving towards integrated curricula, and it can be successfully adapted to teach basic subjects in preclinical years of Health Science degrees. WSLA can be applied to large groups of students in a variety of contexts or environments using clinical cases as connecting threads.

  15. Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger K Moore


    Full Text Available Almost all animals exploit vocal signals for a range of ecologically-motivated purposes: detecting predators prey and marking territory, expressing emotions, establishing social relations and sharing information. Whether it is a bird raising an alarm, a whale calling to potential partners,a dog responding to human commands, a parent reading a story with a child, or a business-person accessing stock prices using emph{Siri}, vocalisation provides a valuable communication channel through which behaviour may be coordinated and controlled, and information may be distributed and acquired.Indeed, the ubiquity of vocal interaction has led to research across an extremely diverse array of fields, from assessing animal welfare, to understanding the precursors of human language, to developing voice-based human-machine interaction. Opportunities for cross-fertilisation between these fields abound; for example, using artificial cognitive agents to investigate contemporary theories of language grounding, using machine learning to analyse different habitats or adding vocal expressivity to the next generation of language-enabled autonomous social agents. However, much of the research is conducted within well-defined disciplinary boundaries, and many fundamental issues remain. This paper attempts to redress the balance by presenting a comparative review of vocal interaction within-and-between humans, animals and artificial agents (such as robots, and it identifies a rich set of open research questions that may benefit from an inter-disciplinary analysis.

  16. Campbell's monkeys concatenate vocalizations into context-specific call sequences (United States)

    Ouattara, Karim; Lemasson, Alban; Zuberbühler, Klaus


    Primate vocal behavior is often considered irrelevant in modeling human language evolution, mainly because of the caller's limited vocal control and apparent lack of intentional signaling. Here, we present the results of a long-term study on Campbell's monkeys, which has revealed an unrivaled degree of vocal complexity. Adult males produced six different loud call types, which they combined into various sequences in highly context-specific ways. We found stereotyped sequences that were strongly associated with cohesion and travel, falling trees, neighboring groups, nonpredatory animals, unspecific predatory threat, and specific predator classes. Within the responses to predators, we found that crowned eagles triggered four and leopards three different sequences, depending on how the caller learned about their presence. Callers followed a number of principles when concatenating sequences, such as nonrandom transition probabilities of call types, addition of specific calls into an existing sequence to form a different one, or recombination of two sequences to form a third one. We conclude that these primates have overcome some of the constraints of limited vocal control by combinatorial organization. As the different sequences were so tightly linked to specific external events, the Campbell's monkey call system may be the most complex example of ‘proto-syntax’ in animal communication known to date. PMID:20007377

  17. Vocal Fry Use in Adult Female Speakers Exposed to Two Languages. (United States)

    Gibson, Todd A; Summers, Connie; Walls, Sydney


    Several studies have identified the widespread use of vocal fry among American women. Popular explanations for this phenomenon appeal to sociolinguistic purposes that likely take significant time for second language users to learn. The objective of this study was to determine if mere exposure to this vocal register, as opposed to nuanced sociolinguistic motivations, might explain its widespread use. This study used multigroup within- and between-subjects design. Fifty-eight women from one of three language background groups (functionally monolingual in English, functionally monolingual in Spanish, and Spanish-English bilinguals) living in El Paso, Texas, repeated a list of nonwords conforming to the sound rules of English and another list of nonwords conforming to the sound rules of Spanish. Perceptual analysis identified each episode of vocal fry. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in their frequency of vocal fry use despite large differences in their amount of English-language exposure. All groups produced more vocal fry when repeating English than when repeating Spanish nonwords. Because the human perceptual system encodes for vocal qualities even after minimal language experience, the widespread use of vocal fry among female residents in the United States likely is owing to mere exposure to English rather than nuanced sociolinguistic motivations. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Memory for vocal tempo and pitch. (United States)

    Boltz, Marilyn G


    Two experiments examined the ability to remember the vocal tempo and pitch of different individuals, and the way this information is encoded into the cognitive system. In both studies, participants engaged in an initial familiarisation phase while attending was systematically directed towards different aspects of speakers' voices. Afterwards, they received a tempo or pitch recognition task. Experiment 1 showed that tempo and pitch are both incidentally encoded into memory at levels comparable to intentional learning, and no performance deficit occurs with divided attending. Experiment 2 examined the ability to recognise pitch or tempo when the two dimensions co-varied and found that the presence of one influenced the other: performance was best when both dimensions were positively correlated with one another. As a set, these findings indicate that pitch and tempo are automatically processed in a holistic, integral fashion [Garner, W. R. (1974). The processing of information and structure. Potomac, MD: Erlbaum.] which has a number of cognitive implications.

  19. Two learning tasks provide evidence for disrupted behavioural flexibility in an animal model of schizophrenia-like behaviour induced by acute MK-801: A dose–response study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lobellová, Veronika; Entlerová, Marie; Svojanovská, Barbora; Hatalová, Hana; Prokopová, Iva; Petrásek, Tomáš; Valeš, Karel; Kubík, Štěpán; Fajnerová, Iveta; Stuchlík, Aleš


    Roč. 246, č. 1 (2013), s. 55-62 ISSN 0166-4328 R&D Projects: GA MZd(CZ) NT13386 Grant - others:Rada Programu interní podpory projektů mezinárodní spolupráce AV ČR(CZ) M200111204 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : flexibility * dizocilpine * learning Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.391, year: 2013

  20. Comportamento vocal de cantores populares Vocal behavior of popular singers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valquíria Zimmer


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: investigar aspectos do histórico, hábitos e comportamentos vocais de cantores populares, conforme o sexo e as categorias profissional e amador. MÉTODO: entrevista com 47 cantores, 25 homens e 22 mulheres. RESULTADOS: significância estatística nos seguintes achados: MASCULINO - microfone nos ensaios, ausência de problemas vocais diagnosticados, ausência de orientações sobre higiene vocal, dor ou desconforto após cantar, ausência de alergias e problemas respiratórios; FEMININO - aulas de canto e conhecimento sobre postura; AMADOR - não cantar dançando, não imitar vozes, ausência de avaliação otorrinolaringológica, ausência de problemas vocais diagnosticados, ausência de terapia fonoaudiológica, ausência de orientações de anatomofisiologia vocal e não utilização de álcool nos ensaios; PROFISSIONAL - rouquidão, conhecimento sobre articulação, álcool durante os shows, "garganta suja" ou pigarro, dor após cantar. CONCLUSÕES: a comparação entre os sexos evidenciou que os homens utilizavam microfone no ensaio, não apresentavam problemas alérgicos ou respiratórios, nem problemas vocais diagnosticados, mas apresentavam sensação de dor ou desconforto após o canto e não possuíam noções sobre higiene vocal; e que as mulheres realizavam aulas de canto e possuíam orientações de postura. A comparação entre amadores e profissionais mostrou que os amadores não cantavam dançando, não imitavam vozes, não utilizavam álcool nos ensaios, e não apresentavam problemas vocais diagnosticados, mas não possuíam avaliação otorrinolaringológica, não realizavam terapia fonoaudiológica, e não possuíam conhecimento sobre anatomofisiologia vocal; e os profissionais apresentavam queixa de rouquidão, de "garganta suja" ou pigarro e de dor após cantar, e usavam álcool durante os shows, apesar de possuir conhecimento sobre articulação.PURPOSE: to investigate aspects of vocal history, vocal habits and

  1. Modeling vocalization with ECoG cortical activity recorded during vocal production in the macaque monkey. (United States)

    Fukushima, Makoto; Saunders, Richard C; Fujii, Naotaka; Averbeck, Bruno B; Mishkin, Mortimer


    Vocal production is an example of controlled motor behavior with high temporal precision. Previous studies have decoded auditory evoked cortical activity while monkeys listened to vocalization sounds. On the other hand, there have been few attempts at decoding motor cortical activity during vocal production. Here we recorded cortical activity during vocal production in the macaque with a chronically implanted electrocorticographic (ECoG) electrode array. The array detected robust activity in motor cortex during vocal production. We used a nonlinear dynamical model of the vocal organ to reduce the dimensionality of `Coo' calls produced by the monkey. We then used linear regression to evaluate the information in motor cortical activity for this reduced representation of calls. This simple linear model accounted for circa 65% of the variance in the reduced sound representations, supporting the feasibility of using the dynamical model of the vocal organ for decoding motor cortical activity during vocal production.

  2. Flexible Bronchoscopy. (United States)

    Miller, Russell J; Casal, Roberto F; Lazarus, Donald R; Ost, David E; Eapen, George A


    Flexible bronchoscopy has changed the course of pulmonary medicine. As technology advances, the role of the flexible bronchoscope for both diagnostic and therapeutic indications is continually expanding. This article reviews the historical development of the flexible bronchoscopy, fundamental uses of the flexible bronchoscope as a tool to examine the central airways and obtain diagnostic tissue, and the indications, complications, and contraindications to flexible bronchoscopy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Vocal cysts: clinical, endoscopic, and surgical aspects. (United States)

    Martins, Regina Helena Garcia; Santana, Marcela Ferreira; Tavares, Elaine Lara Mendes


    Vocal cysts are benign laryngeal lesions, which affect children and adults. They can be classified as epidermic or mucous-retention cyst. The objective was to study the clinical, endoscopic, and surgical aspects of vocal cysts. We reviewed the medical charts of 72 patients with vocal cysts, considering age, gender, occupation, time of vocal symptoms, nasosinusal and gastroesophageal symptoms, vocal abuse, tabagism, alcoholism, associated lesions, treatment, and histological details. Of the 72 cases, 46 were adults (36 females and 10 male) and 26 were children (eight girls and 18 boys). As far as occupation is concerned, there was a higher incidence of students and teachers. All the patients had symptoms of chronic hoarseness. Nasosinusal (27.77%) and gastroesophageal (32%) symptoms were not relevant. Vocal abuse was reported by 45.83%, smoking by 18%, and alcoholism by 8.4% of the patients. Unilateral cysts were seen in 93% of the cases, 22 patients had associated lesions, such as bridge, sulcus vocalis, and microweb. Surgical treatment was performed in 46 cases. Histological analysis of the epidermic cysts revealed a cavity with caseous content, covered by stratified squamous epithelium, often keratinized. Mucous cysts presented mucous content, and the walls were coated by a cylindrical ciliated epithelium. Vocal cysts are benign vocal fold lesions that affect children and adults, being often associated with vocal overuse, which frequently affects people who use their voices professionally. Vocal symptoms are chronic in course, often times since childhood, and the treatment of choice is surgical removal. A careful examination of the vocal folds is necessary during surgery, because other laryngeal lesions may be associated with vocal cysts. Copyright © 2011 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Vocal competition in male Xenopus laevis frogs


    Tobias, Martha L.; Corke, Anna; Korsh, Jeremy; Yin, David; Kelley, Darcy B.


    Male Xenopus laevis frogs produce underwater advertisement calls that attract gravid females and suppress calling by male competitors. Here we explore whether groups of males establish vocal ranks and whether auditory cues alone suffice for vocal suppression. Tests of male–male pairs within assigned groups reveal linear vocal dominance relations, in which each male has a defined rank. Both the duration over which males interact, as well as the number of competitive opportunities, affect linea...

  5. Vocalization Subsystem Responses to a Temporarily Induced Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis (United States)

    Croake, Daniel J.; Andreatta, Richard D.; Stemple, Joseph C.


    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to quantify the interactions of the 3 vocalization subsystems of respiration, phonation, and resonance before, during, and after a perturbation to the larynx (temporarily induced unilateral vocal fold paralysis) in 10 vocally healthy participants. Using dynamic systems theory as a guide, we hypothesized that…

  6. Vocal Noise Cancellation From Respiratory Sounds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moussavi, Zahra


    Although background noise cancellation for speech or electrocardiographic recording is well established, however when the background noise contains vocal noises and the main signal is a breath sound...

  7. Quantification of Porcine Vocal Fold Geometry. (United States)

    Stevens, Kimberly A; Thomson, Scott L; Jetté, Marie E; Thibeault, Susan L


    The aim of this study was to quantify porcine vocal fold medial surface geometry and three-dimensional geometric distortion induced by freezing the larynx, especially in the region of the vocal folds. The medial surface geometries of five excised porcine larynges were quantified and reported. Five porcine larynges were imaged in a micro-CT scanner, frozen, and rescanned. Segmentations and three-dimensional reconstructions were used to quantify and characterize geometric features. Comparisons were made with geometry data previously obtained using canine and human vocal folds as well as geometries of selected synthetic vocal fold models. Freezing induced an overall expansion of approximately 5% in the transverse plane and comparable levels of nonuniform distortion in sagittal and coronal planes. The medial surface of the porcine vocal folds was found to compare reasonably well with other geometries, although the compared geometries exhibited a notable discrepancy with one set of published human female vocal fold geometry. Porcine vocal folds are qualitatively geometrically similar to data available for canine and human vocal folds, as well as commonly used models. Freezing of tissue in the larynx causes distortion of around 5%. The data can provide direction in estimating uncertainty due to bulk distortion of tissue caused by freezing, as well as quantitative geometric data that can be directly used in developing vocal fold models. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Vocal Fold Vibratory Changes Following Surgical Intervention. (United States)

    Chen, Wenli; Woo, Peak; Murry, Thomas


    High-speed videoendoscopy (HSV) captures direct cycle-to-cycle visualization of vocal fold movement in real time. This ultrafast recording rate is capable of visualizing the vibratory motion of the vocal folds in severely disordered phonation and provides a direct method for examining vibratory changes after vocal fold surgery. The purpose of this study was to examine the vibratory motion before and after surgical intervention. HSV was captured from two subjects with identifiable midvocal fold benign lesions and six subjects with highly aperiodic vocal fold vibration before and after phonosurgery. Digital kymography (DKG) was used to extract high-speed kymographic vocal fold images sampled at the midmembranous, anterior 1/3, and posterior 1/3 region. Spectral analysis was subsequently applied to the DKG to quantify the cycle-to-cycle movements of the left and the right vocal fold, expressed as a spectrum. Before intervention, the vibratory spectrum consisted of decreased and flat-like spectral peaks with robust power asymmetry. After intervention, increases in spectral power and decreases in power symmetry were noted. Spectral power increases were most remarkable in the midmembranous region of the vocal fold. Surgical modification resulted in improved lateral excursion of the vocal folds, vibratory function, and perceptual measures of Voice Handicap Index-10. These changes in vibratory behavior trended toward normal vocal fold vibration. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Office flexible cystoscopy. (United States)

    Kavoussi, L R; Clayman, R V


    Since the development of the first purpose-built flexible cystoscope in 1984, flexible cystoscopy has become an accepted diagnostic and therapeutic modality. Indeed, it is estimated that more than 10 per cent of practicing urologists are already familiar with this technology. The flexible cystoscope has markedly extended the urologist's ability to examine the bladder, and it has become a valuable adjunct to the rigid cystoscope. Although the operation of this instrument is vastly different from that of its rigid counterpart, with practice, the technique can be learned. After experience is obtained with diagnostic flexible cystoscopy, the urologist will likely prefer this new instrument for bladder inspection, as it provides for a more thorough yet less morbid and less expensive examination. In the future, the development of improved and smaller instrumentation will further extend the therapeutic indications for flexible cystoscopy. Indeed, advances in laser technology are already providing the urologist with 300- to 600-micron (0.9 to 1.8F) flexible probes capable of incision (KTP laser), fulguration (Nd:YAG laser), and stone disintegration (tunable dye laser). Lastly, the skills obtained in using the flexible cystoscope are all readily applicable to the development of dexterity with the already available flexible nephroscope and the more recently developed flexible ureteroscope.

  10. On flexibility


    Weiss, Christoph R.; Briglauer, Wolfgang


    By building on theoretical work by Mills and Schumann (1985) and Ungern-Sternberg (1990) this paper provides evidence on the determinants of two dimensions of flexibility, the flexibility in adjusting aggregate output over time (tactical flexibility) as well as the ability to switch quickly between products (operational flexibility). Econometric analysis of a sample of 40.000 farms in Upper-Austria for the period 1980 to 1990 suggests that larger full-time farms operated by younger, better ed...

  11. Air pulse deformation measurement: a preliminary method for noninvasive vocal fold pliability analysis. (United States)

    Larsson, Hans; Lindestad, P Å; Hertegård, S


    A new method, air pulse pliability measurement, is presented, with which the pliability and elasticity of the vocal folds was measured in vitro and in vivo using air pulses. The size of the mucosal movements induced by air pulse stimulation was measured with a laser-based technique. The air pulses fed via a 2-mm tubing, introduced through the working channel of a flexible endoscope. Both in vitro and in vivo tests were performed. Nine normal, vocally healthy subjects were examined by air pulse stimulations of the vocal folds, of the skin (cheek and dorsum of the hand) and of the inside of the lips. The in vitro tests showed a coefficient of variation of 5% within a range of 1-5 mm from the probe to the surface. The elasticity data showed no differences between vocal folds, lips or cheek. The hand data showed a significantly higher stiffness as compared to the other 3 measuring points (p measuring points, but in ideal conditions on skin it was 9%. The results show that the technique allows automatic, quantitative, noninvasive vocal fold pliability measurements on awake subjects. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Ling; Nielsen, Andreas Brinch; Hansen, Lars Kai


    This paper explores the vocal and non-vocal music classification problem within popular songs. A newly built labeled database covering 147 popular songs is announced. It is designed for classifying signals from 1sec time windows. Features are selected for this particular task, in order to capture...

  13. Final Syllable Lengthening (FSL) in Infant Vocalizations. (United States)

    Nathani, Suneeti; Oller, D. Kimbrough; Cobo-Lewis, Alan B.


    Sought to verify research findings that suggest there may be a U-shaped developmental trajectory for final syllable lengthening (FSL). Attempted to determine whether vocal maturity and deafness influence FSL . Eight normally hearing infants and eight deaf infants were examined at three levels of prelinguistic vocal development. (Author/VWL)

  14. Vocal communication in an avian hybrid zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, Paula Maria den


    Avian vocalizations function in mate attraction and territorial defence. Vocalizations can act as behavioural barriers and play an important role in speciation processes. Hybrid zones illustrate behavioural barriers are not always impermeable and provide a natural laboratory to examine the role of

  15. Collaborative Learning in Two Vocal Conservatoire Courses (United States)

    Rumiantsev, Tamara W.; Maas, Annemarie; Admiraal, Wilfried


    The apprenticeship tradition in conservatoire education assumes that teachers' expertise is the main source for the development of future music professionals. However, the professional practice of vocalists is nearly completely based on collaboration, such as with other vocalists, instrumentalists, accompanists, orchestras, conductors, or stage…

  16. Reinke Edema: Watch For Vocal Fold Cysts. (United States)

    Tüzüner, Arzu; Demirci, Sule; Yavanoglu, Ahmet; Kurkcuoglu, Melih; Arslan, Necmi


    Reinke edema is one of the common cause of dysphonia middle-aged population, and severe thickening of vocal folds require surgical treatment. Smoking plays a major role on etiology. Vocal fold cysts are also benign lesions and vocal trauma blamed for acquired cysts. We would like to present 3 cases with vocal fold cyst related with Reinke edema. First case had a subepidermal epidermoid cyst with Reinke edema, which could be easily observed before surgery during laryngostroboscopy. Second case had a mucous retention cyst into the edematous Reinke tissue, which was detected during surgical intervention, and third case had a epidermoid cyst that occurred 2 months after before microlaryngeal operation regarding Reinke edema reduction. These 3 cases revealed that surgical management of Reinke edema needs a careful dissection and close follow-up after surgery for presence of vocal fold cysts.

  17. [Clinical analysis of vocal fold firbrous mass]. (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Sun, Jing Wu; Wan, Guang Lun; Hu, Yan Ming


    To explore the character of laryngoscopy finding, voice, and therapy of vocal fold fibrous mass. Clinical data, morphology, voice character, surgery and pathology of 15 cases with vocal fold fibrous mass were analyzed. The morbidity of vocal fold fibrous mass might be related to overuse of voice and laryngopharyngeal reflex. Laryngoscopy revealed shuttle line appearance, smoothness and decreased mucosal wave of vocal fold. These patients were invalid for voice training and might be improved by surgery, but recovery is slow. The morbidity of vocal fold fibrous mass might be related to overuse of voice and laryngopharyngeal reflex. Conservative treatment is ineffective for this disease, and surgery might improve. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

  18. Sarcoidosis Presenting as Bilateral Vocal Fold Immobility. (United States)

    Hintze, Justin M; Gnagi, Sharon H; Lott, David G


    Bilateral true vocal fold paralysis is rarely attributable to inflammatory diseases. Sarcoidosis is a rare but important etiology of bilateral true vocal fold paralysis by compressive lymphadenopathy, granulomatous infiltration, and neural involvement. We describe the first reported case of sarcoidosis presenting as bilateral vocal fold immobility caused by direct fixation by granulomatous infiltration severe enough to necessitate tracheostomy insertion. In addition, we discuss the presentation, the pathophysiology, and the treatment of this disease with a review of the literature of previously reported cases of sarcoidosis-related vocal fold immobility. Sarcoidosis should therefore be an important consideration for the otolaryngologist's differential diagnosis of true vocal fold immobility. Copyright © 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Microvascular lesions of the true vocal fold. (United States)

    Postma, G N; Courey, M S; Ossoff, R H


    Microvascular lesions, also called varices or capillary ectasias, in contrast to vocal fold polyps with telangiectatic vessels, are relatively small lesions arising from the microcirculation of the vocal fold. Varices are most commonly seen in female professional vocalists and may be secondary to repetitive trauma, hormonal variations, or repeated inflammation. Microvascular lesions may either be asymptomatic or cause frank dysphonia by interrupting the normal vibratory pattern, mass, or closure of the vocal folds. They may also lead to vocal fold hemorrhage, scarring, or polyp formation. Laryngovideostroboscopy is the key in determining the functional significance of vocal fold varices. Management of patients with a varix includes medical therapy, speech therapy, and occasionally surgical vaporization. Indications for surgery are recurrent hemorrhage, enlargement of the varix, development of a mass in conjunction with the varix or hemorrhage, and unacceptable dysphonia after maximal medical and speech therapy due to a functionally significant varix.

  20. Child vocalization composition as discriminant information for automatic autism detection. (United States)

    Xu, Dongxin; Gilkerson, Jill; Richards, Jeffrey; Yapanel, Umit; Gray, Sharmi


    Early identification is crucial for young children with autism to access early intervention. The existing screens require either a parent-report questionnaire and/or direct observation by a trained practitioner. Although an automatic tool would benefit parents, clinicians and children, there is no automatic screening tool in clinical use. This study reports a fully automatic mechanism for autism detection/screening for young children. This is a direct extension of the LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis) system, which utilizes speech signal processing technology to analyze and monitor a child's natural language environment and the vocalizations/speech of the child. It is discovered that child vocalization composition contains rich discriminant information for autism detection. By applying pattern recognition and machine learning approaches to child vocalization composition data, accuracy rates of 85% to 90% in cross-validation tests for autism detection have been achieved at the equal-error-rate (EER) point on a data set with 34 children with autism, 30 language delayed children and 76 typically developing children. Due to its easy and automatic procedure, it is believed that this new tool can serve a significant role in childhood autism screening, especially in regards to population-based or universal screening.

  1. Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hjalmar Kosmos Turesson


    Full Text Available The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing and symbolic (referential signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet. We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols. To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus. The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders.

  2. Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets? (United States)

    Turesson, Hjalmar K; Ribeiro, Sidarta


    The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular, and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing) and symbolic (referential) signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet). We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols). To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders.

  3. The Risk of Vocal Fold Atrophy after Serial Corticosteroid Injections of the Vocal Fold. (United States)

    Shi, Lucy L; Giraldez-Rodriguez, Laureano A; Johns, Michael M


    The aim of this study was to illustrate the risk of vocal fold atrophy in patients who receive serial subepithelial steroid injections for vocal fold scar. This study is a retrospective case report of two patients who underwent a series of weekly subepithelial infusions of 10 mg/mL dexamethasone for benign vocal fold lesion. Shortly after the procedures, both patients developed a weak and breathy voice. The first patient was a 53-year-old man with radiation-induced vocal fold stiffness. Six injections were performed unilaterally, and 1 week later, he developed unilateral vocal fold atrophy with new glottal insufficiency. The second patient was a 67-year-old woman with severe vocal fold inflammation related to laryngitis and calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophagean dysmotility, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia (CREST) syndrome. Five injections were performed bilaterally, and 1 week later, she developed bilateral vocal fold atrophy with a large midline glottal gap during phonation. In both cases, the steroid-induced vocal atrophy resolved spontaneously after 4 months. Serial subepithelial steroid infusions of the vocal folds, although safe in the majority of patients, carry the risk of causing temporary vocal fold atrophy when given at short intervals. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. A Rat Excised Larynx Model of Vocal Fold Scar (United States)

    Welham, Nathan V.; Montequin, Douglas W.; Tateya, Ichiro; Tateya, Tomoko; Choi, Seong Hee; Bless, Diane M.


    Purpose: To develop and evaluate a rat excised larynx model for the measurement of acoustic, aerodynamic, and vocal fold vibratory changes resulting from vocal fold scar. Method: Twenty-four 4-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to 1 of 4 experimental groups: chronic vocal fold scar, chronic vocal fold scar treated with 100-ng basic…

  5. The role of motivation and cultural dialects in the in-group advantage for emotional vocalizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sauter, D.A.


    It is well-established that non-verbal emotional communication via both facial and vocal information is more accurate when expresser and perceiver are from the same cultural group. Two accounts have been put forward to explain this finding: According to the dialect theory, culture-specific learning

  6. The Effect of Vocalic vs. Consonantal Phonetic Structure on Language Segmentability: the Case of Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trecca, Fabio; Bleses, Dorthe; Christiansen, Morten Hyllekvist

    Danish-learning children are slower in the acquisition of receptive vocabulary than children in a range of other language groups. We have hypothesized that the phonetic structure of Danish, rich in vocoids and long vocalic stretches, might reduce the segmentability of the language and impede...

  7. A Comparison of Written, Vocal, and Video Feedback When Training Teachers (United States)

    Luck, Kally M.; Lerman, Dorothea C.; Wu, Wai-Ling; Dupuis, Danielle L.; Hussein, Louisa A.


    We compared the effectiveness of and preference for different feedback strategies when training six special education teachers during a 5-day summer training program. In Experiment 1, teachers received written or vocal feedback while learning to implement two different types of preference assessments. In Experiment 2, we compared either written or…

  8. Discussion: Changes in Vocal Production and Auditory Perception after Hair Cell Regeneration. (United States)

    Ryals, Brenda M.; Dooling, Robert J.


    A bird study found that with sufficient time and training after hair cell and hearing loss and hair cell regeneration, the mature avian auditory system can accommodate input from a newly regenerated periphery sufficiently to allow for recognition of previously familiar vocalizations and the learning of new complex acoustic classifications.…

  9. Challenges in navigational strategies for flexible endoscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Stap, N.; van der Heijden, Ferdinand; Broeders, Ivo Adriaan Maria Johannes

    Automating flexible endoscope navigation could lead to an increase in patient safety for endoluminal therapeutic procedures. Additionally, it may decrease the costs of diagnostic flexible endoscope procedures by shortening the learning curve and increasing the efficiency of insertion. Earlier

  10. Gestures, vocalizations, and memory in language origins. (United States)

    Aboitiz, Francisco


    THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE POSSIBLE HOMOLOGIES BETWEEN THE HUMAN LANGUAGE NETWORKS AND COMPARABLE AUDITORY PROJECTION SYSTEMS IN THE MACAQUE BRAIN, IN AN ATTEMPT TO RECONCILE TWO EXISTING VIEWS ON LANGUAGE EVOLUTION: one that emphasizes hand control and gestures, and the other that emphasizes auditory-vocal mechanisms. The capacity for language is based on relatively well defined neural substrates whose rudiments have been traced in the non-human primate brain. At its core, this circuit constitutes an auditory-vocal sensorimotor circuit with two main components, a "ventral pathway" connecting anterior auditory regions with anterior ventrolateral prefrontal areas, and a "dorsal pathway" connecting auditory areas with parietal areas and with posterior ventrolateral prefrontal areas via the arcuate fasciculus and the superior longitudinal fasciculus. In humans, the dorsal circuit is especially important for phonological processing and phonological working memory, capacities that are critical for language acquisition and for complex syntax processing. In the macaque, the homolog of the dorsal circuit overlaps with an inferior parietal-premotor network for hand and gesture selection that is under voluntary control, while vocalizations are largely fixed and involuntary. The recruitment of the dorsal component for vocalization behavior in the human lineage, together with a direct cortical control of the subcortical vocalizing system, are proposed to represent a fundamental innovation in human evolution, generating an inflection point that permitted the explosion of vocal language and human communication. In this context, vocal communication and gesturing have a common history in primate communication.

  11. Vocal ontogeny in neotropical singing mice (Scotinomys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly Campbell

    Full Text Available Isolation calls produced by dependent young are a fundamental form of communication. For species in which vocal signals remain important to adult communication, the function and social context of vocal behavior changes dramatically with the onset of sexual maturity. The ontogenetic relationship between these distinct forms of acoustic communication is surprisingly under-studied. We conducted a detailed analysis of vocal development in sister species of Neotropical singing mice, Scotinomys teguina and S. xerampelinus. Adult singing mice are remarkable for their advertisement songs, rapidly articulated trills used in long-distance communication; the vocal behavior of pups was previously undescribed. We recorded 30 S. teguina and 15 S. xerampelinus pups daily, from birth to weaning; 23 S. teguina and 11 S. xerampelinus were recorded until sexual maturity. Like other rodent species with poikilothermic young, singing mice were highly vocal during the first weeks of life and stopped vocalizing before weaning. Production of first advertisement songs coincided with the onset of sexual maturity after a silent period of ≧2 weeks. Species differences in vocal behavior emerged early in ontogeny and notes that comprise adult song were produced from birth. However, the organization and relative abundance of distinct note types was very different between pups and adults. Notably, the structure, note repetition rate, and intra-individual repeatability of pup vocalizations did not become more adult-like with age; the highly stereotyped structure of adult song appeared de novo in the first songs of young adults. We conclude that, while the basic elements of adult song are available from birth, distinct selection pressures during maternal dependency, dispersal, and territorial establishment favor major shifts in the structure and prevalence of acoustic signals. This study provides insight into how an evolutionarily conserved form of acoustic signaling provides

  12. Coping strategies in teachers with vocal complaint. (United States)

    Zambon, Fabiana; Moreti, Felipe; Behlau, Mara


    To understand the coping strategies used by teachers with vocal complaints, compare the differences between those who seek and those who do not seek voice therapy, and investigate the relationships among coping and voice perceptual analysis, coping and signs and symptoms of voice, and coping and participation restrictions and limitations in vocal activities. Cross-sectional nonrandomized prospective study with control group. Ninety female teachers participated in the study, of similar ages, divided into three groups: group 1 (G1) comprised 30 teachers with vocal complaints who sought voice therapy, group 2 (G2) comprised 30 teachers with vocal complaints who never sought voice therapy, and group 3 (G3) comprised 30 teachers without vocal complaints. The following analysis were conducted: identification and characterization questionnaire, addressing personal and occupational description, recording speech material for voice perceptual analysis, Voice Signs and Symptoms Questionnaire, Voice Activity and Participation Profile (VAPP), and Voice Disability Coping Questionnaire (VDCQ)-Brazilian Version. In relation to the voice perceptual analysis, there was statistically significant difference between the groups with vocal complaint (G1+G2), which had showed voices with mild-to-moderate deviation, and the group without vocal complaint (G1), which showed voices within the normal variability of voice quality (mean for G1 = 49.9, G2 = 43.7, and G3 = 32.3, P Teachers with vocal complaints who looked for voice therapy use more coping strategies. Moreover, they present a tendency to use more problem-focused coping strategies. Voice symptoms prompt the teachers into seeking treatment; however, they are not correlated with the coping itself. In general, the higher the perception of limitation and restriction of participating in vocal activities, the greater the use of coping strategies. Copyright © 2014 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Degrees of Change: Understanding Academics Experiences with a Shift to Flexible Technology- Enhanced Learning in Initial Teacher Education (United States)

    Kehrwald, Benjamin A.; McCallum, Faye


    The implementation of technology enhanced learning in higher education is often associated with changes to academic work. This article reports on a study of staff experiences with curriculum development and teaching in multiple modes of blended and online learning in a Bachelor of Education degree. The findings indicate that the changes…

  14. Common Vocal Effects and Partial Glottal Vibration in Professional Nonclassical Singers. (United States)

    Caffier, Philipp P; Ibrahim Nasr, Ahmed; Ropero Rendon, Maria Del Mar; Wienhausen, Sascha; Forbes, Eleanor; Seidner, Wolfram; Nawka, Tadeus


    To multidimensionally investigate common vocal effects in experienced professional nonclassical singers, to examine their mechanism of production and reproducibility, to demonstrate the existence of partial glottal vibration, and to assess the potential of damage to the voice from nonclassical singing. Individual cohort study. Ten male singers aged between 25 and 46 years (34 ± 7 years [mean ± SD]) with different stylistic backgrounds were recruited (five pop/rock/metal, five musical theater). Participants repeatedly presented the usual nonclassical vocal effects and techniques in their repertoire. All performances were documented and analyzed using established instruments (eg, auditory-perceptual assessment, videolaryngostroboscopy, electroglottography, voice function diagnostics). The vocal apparatus of all singers was healthy and capable of high performance. Typical nonclassical vocal effects were breathy voice, creaky voice, vocal fry, grunting, distortion, rattle, belt, and twang. All effects could be easily differentiated from each other. They were intraindividually consistently repeatable and also interindividually produced in a similar manner. A special feature in one singer was the first evidence of partial glottal vibration when belting in the high register. The unintended transition to this reduced voice quality was accompanied by physical fatigue and inflexible respiratory support. The long-lasting use of the investigated nonclassical vocal effects had no negative impact on trained singers. The possibility of long-term damage depends on the individual constitution, specific use, duration, and extent of the hyperfunction. The incidence of partial glottal vibration and its consequences require continuing research to learn more about efficient and healthy vocal function in nonclassical singing. Copyright © 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Meeting the challenge of providing flexible learning opportunities: Considerations for technology adoption amongst academic staff | Relever le défi de fournir des occasions d’apprentissage flexibles : considérations pour l’adoption de la technologie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Negin Mirriahi


    Full Text Available This paper reports on a subset of findings from a larger study investigating resistance from academic staff to the integration of technology with on-campus foreign language teaching at one North American higher education institution. The study revealed that the factors influencing technology adoption paralleled Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model’s tenets of perceived usefulness and ease of use. Further, this study supports Lai and Savage’s (2013 assertion of a lack of attention to the pedagogical affordances of technology when adoption decisions are made by instructors, thus we highlight the need for higher education leaders to determine strategies promoting awareness of the benefits technology-enabled teaching and learning can bring to advance educationally-rich flexible learning opportunities. Cet article traite d’un sous-ensemble de résultats provenant d’une étude plus vaste ayant enquêté sur la résistance des universitaires envers l’intégration de la technologie à l’enseignement en langue étrangère sur le campus dans un établissement nord-américain d’études supérieures. L’étude a révélé que les facteurs ayant une influence sur l’adoption de la technologie coïncident avec les principes du modèle d’acceptation de la technologie de Davis sur l’utilité perçue et la facilité d’utilisation. De plus, cette étude appuie l’assertion de Lai et Savage (2013 d’un manque d’attention envers les affordances pédagogiques de la technologie lorsque les décisions d’adoption sont prises par les formateurs. Nous soulignons donc le besoin, pour les meneurs de l’éducation supérieure, de déterminer les stratégies qui favorisent la connaissance des avantages de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage que permet la technologie pour faire progresser les occasions d’apprentissage flexibles et riches sur le plan éducatif.

  16. Differences in number and distribution of striatal calbindin medium spiny neurons between a vocal-learner (Melopsittacus undulatus and a non-vocal learner bird (Colinus virginianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eGarcia-Calero


    Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.

  17. Conflicting flexibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Jong, P.; Schaap, A.


    New buildings are designed for first users. For a sustainable approach there are many advantages in designing in flexibility and adjustability in order to enable and facilitate the other sequential users. For the first investor this flexibility is translated into improved exit values due to

  18. Rules of song development and their use in vocal interactions by birds with large repertoires. (United States)

    Geberzahn, Nicole; Hultsch, Henrike


    Songbirds are well known for settling their disputes by vocal signals, and their singing plays a dominant role. Most studies on this issue have concentrated on bird species that develop and use small vocal repertoires. In this article we will go farther and focus on examples of how species with large song repertoires make use of their vocal competence. In particular, we will outline the study of interaction rules which have been elucidated by examining time- and pattern-specific relationships between signals exchanged by territorial neighbors. First we present an inquiry into the rules of song learning and development. In birds with large song repertoires, the ontogeny of such rules proceeds along a number of trajectories which help in understanding the often remarkable accomplishments of adult birds. In both approaches, our model species will be the Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos that has been investigated intensively in the field and in the laboratory.

  19. A Neural Code That Is Isometric to Vocal Output and Correlates with Its Sensory Consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexei L Vyssotski


    Full Text Available What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf, which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns. NIf multiunit firing during song precedes responses in auditory cortical neurons by about 50 ms, revealing delayed congruence between NIf spiking and a neural representation of auditory feedback. Our findings suggest that NIf codes for imminent acoustic events within vocal performance.

  20. Improvement of a Vocal Fold Imaging System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krauter, K. G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)


    Medical professionals can better serve their patients through continual update of their imaging tools. A wide range of pathologies and disease may afflict human vocal cords or, as they’re also known, vocal folds. These diseases can affect human speech hampering the ability of the patient to communicate. Vocal folds must be opened for breathing and the closed to produce speech. Currently methodologies to image markers of potential pathologies are difficult to use and often fail to detect early signs of disease. These current methodologies rely on a strobe light and slower frame rate camera in an attempt to obtain images as the vocal folds travel over the full extent of their motion.

  1. Real-Time Vocal Tract Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Benkrid


    Full Text Available To date, most speech synthesis techniques have relied upon the representation of the vocal tract by some form of filter, a typical example being linear predictive coding (LPC. This paper describes the development of a physiologically realistic model of the vocal tract using the well-established technique of transmission line modelling (TLM. This technique is based on the principle of wave scattering at transmission line segment boundaries and may be used in one, two, or three dimensions. This work uses this technique to model the vocal tract using a one-dimensional transmission line. A six-port scattering node is applied in the region separating the pharyngeal, oral, and the nasal parts of the vocal tract.

  2. Vascular lesions of the vocal fold. (United States)

    Gökcan, Kürşat Mustafa; Dursun, Gürsel


    The aim of the study was to present symptoms, laryngological findings, clinical course, management modalities, and consequences of vascular lesions of vocal fold. This study examined 162 patients, the majority professional voice users, with vascular lesions regarding their presenting symptoms, laryngological findings, clinical courses and treatment results. The most common complaint was sudden hoarseness with hemorrhagic polyp. Microlaryngoscopic surgery was performed in 108 cases and the main indication of surgery was the presence of vocal fold mass or development of vocal polyp during clinical course. Cold microsurgery was utilized for removal of vocal fold masses and feeding vessels cauterized using low power, pulsed CO(2) laser. Acoustic analysis of patients revealed a significant improvement of jitter, shimmer and harmonics/noise ratio values after treatment. Depending on our clinical findings, we propose treatment algorithm where voice rest and behavioral therapy is the integral part and indications of surgery are individualized for each patient.

  3. Benign Lesions of The Vocal Fold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur Surmelioglu


    Full Text Available Benign lesions of vocal folds are common disorders. Fifty percent of patients who have sound complaints are found to have these lesions after endoscopic and stroboscopic examinations. Benign vocal fold diseases are primarily caused by vibratory trauma. However they may also occur as a result of viral infections and congenital causes. These lesions are often presented with the complaints of dysphonia. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2013; 22(1.000: 86-95

  4. Vocal health fitness to different music styles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cláudia Mendes Caminha Muniz


    Full Text Available Objective: To present genres and styles currently running on western music scene, focusing on the practice of singing voice. Methods: An observational and documental study for which were selected sound sources presenting musical genres and styles that are part of the experience of the researchers, which were analyzed considering origins, formative elements and vocal features. Alongside we carried out a review of literature grounded in databases research and free review of websites and classical books of the area. Results: The selected styles (Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal, Trash Metal, Grunge, Gothic Metal, Rap, Funk, Blues, R&B – Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Gospel, MPB, Samba, Forro, Sertanejo, Bossa Nova, Opera and Chamber Music were described, pointing the reasons for the speech therapist to be informed about them and about singing voice aspects. His guidance may minimize possible vocal damage caused by each style, since each of them carries its own patterns to which the interpreter must submit. Conclusions: We conclude that the singer will use a specific vocal pattern that resembles the musical style he intends to sing, regardless of any harm it may or may not cause to vocal health. When choosing a musical style, it is important that the singer has the knowledge and understanding of how the use of his vocal apparatus will cause or not cause injury to his voice. Also be aware that the technique in singing is necessary for vocal longevity.

  5. Vocal fold hemorrhage: factors predicting recurrence. (United States)

    Lennon, Christen J; Murry, Thomas; Sulica, Lucian


    Vocal fold hemorrhage is an acute phonotraumatic injury treated with voice rest; recurrence is a generally accepted indication for surgical intervention. This study aims to identify factors predictive of recurrence based on outcomes of a large clinical series. Retrospective cohort. Retrospective review of cases of vocal fold hemorrhage presenting to a university laryngology service. Demographic information was compiled. Videostroboscopic exams were evaluated for hemorrhage extent, presence of varix, mucosal lesion, and/or vocal fold paresis. Vocal fold hemorrhage recurrence was the main outcome measure. Follow-up telephone survey was used to complement clinical data. Forty-seven instances of vocal fold hemorrhage were evaluated (25M:22F; 32 professional voice users). Twelve of the 47 (26%) patients experienced recurrence. Only the presence of varix demonstrated significant association with recurrence (P = 0.0089) on multivariate logistic regression. Vocal fold hemorrhage recurred in approximately 26% of patients. Varix was a predictor of recurrence, with 48% of those with varix experiencing recurrence. Monitoring, behavioral management and/or surgical intervention may be indicated to treat patients with such characteristics. © 2013 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  6. Group cohesion in foraging meerkats: follow the moving 'vocal hot spot'. (United States)

    Gall, Gabriella E C; Manser, Marta B


    Group coordination, when 'on the move' or when visibility is low, is a challenge faced by many social living animals. While some animals manage to maintain cohesion solely through visual contact, the mechanism of group cohesion through other modes of communication, a necessity when visual contact is reduced, is not yet understood. Meerkats ( Suricata suricatta ), a small, social carnivore, forage as a cohesive group while moving continuously. While foraging, they frequently emit 'close calls', soft close-range contact calls. Variations in their call rates based on their local environment, coupled with individual movement, produce a dynamic acoustic landscape with a moving 'vocal hotspot' of the highest calling activity. We investigated whether meerkats follow such a vocal hotspot by playing back close calls of multiple individuals to foraging meerkats from the front and back edge of the group simultaneously. These two artificially induced vocal hotspots caused the group to spatially elongate and split into two subgroups. We conclude that meerkats use the emergent dynamic call pattern of the group to adjust their movement direction and maintain cohesion. Our study describes a highly flexible mechanism for the maintenance of group cohesion through vocal communication, for mobile species in habitats with low visibility and where movement decisions need to be adjusted continuously to changing environmental conditions.

  7. Dysphonia and vocal fold telangiectasia in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. (United States)

    Chang, Joseph; Yung, Katherine C


    This case report is the first documentation of dysphonia and vocal fold telangiectasia as a complication of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Case report of a 40-year-old man with HHT presenting with 2 years of worsening hoarseness. Hoarseness corresponded with a period of anticoagulation. Endoscopy revealed vocal fold scarring, vocal fold telangiectasias, and plica ventricular is suggestive of previous submucosal vocal fold hemorrhage and subsequent counterproductive compensation with ventricular phonation. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia may present as dysphonia with vocal fold telangiectasias and place patients at risk of vocal fold hemorrhage. © The Author(s) 2014.

  8. Flexible Simulation E-Learning Environment for Studying Digital Circuits and Possibilities for It Deployment as Semantic Web Service (United States)

    Radoyska, P.; Ivanova, T.; Spasova, N.


    In this article we present a partially realized project for building a distributed learning environment for studying digital circuits Test and Diagnostics at TU-Sofia. We describe the main requirements for this environment, substantiate the developer platform choice, and present our simulation and circuit parameter calculation tools.…

  9. Problem Based Learning: Does It Provide Appropriate Levels of Guidance and Flexibility for Use in Police Recruit Education? (United States)

    Shipton, Brett


    Education programs for police recruits have often been criticised for their over-reliance on teacher-centred approaches that are less than ideal for promoting functional knowledge and critical thinking skills. Problem-Based Learning (PBL), which is suggested as an alternative, has been criticised for not providing novice learners with appropriate…

  10. Avian vocal mimicry: a unified conceptual framework. (United States)

    Dalziell, Anastasia H; Welbergen, Justin A; Igic, Branislav; Magrath, Robert D


    Mimicry is a classical example of adaptive signal design. Here, we review the current state of research into vocal mimicry in birds. Avian vocal mimicry is a conspicuous and often spectacular form of animal communication, occurring in many distantly related species. However, the proximate and ultimate causes of vocal mimicry are poorly understood. In the first part of this review, we argue that progress has been impeded by conceptual confusion over what constitutes vocal mimicry. We propose a modified version of Vane-Wright's (1980) widely used definition of mimicry. According to our definition, a vocalisation is mimetic if the behaviour of the receiver changes after perceiving the acoustic resemblance between the mimic and the model, and the behavioural change confers a selective advantage on the mimic. Mimicry is therefore specifically a functional concept where the resemblance between heterospecific sounds is a target of selection. It is distinct from other forms of vocal resemblance including those that are the result of chance or common ancestry, and those that have emerged as a by-product of other processes such as ecological convergence and selection for large song-type repertoires. Thus, our definition provides a general and functionally coherent framework for determining what constitutes vocal mimicry, and takes account of the diversity of vocalisations that incorporate heterospecific sounds. In the second part we assess and revise hypotheses for the evolution of avian vocal mimicry in the light of our new definition. Most of the current evidence is anecdotal, but the diverse contexts and acoustic structures of putative vocal mimicry suggest that mimicry has multiple functions across and within species. There is strong experimental evidence that vocal mimicry can be deceptive, and can facilitate parasitic interactions. There is also increasing support for the use of vocal mimicry in predator defence, although the mechanisms are unclear. Less progress has

  11. Vocal fold elasticity of the Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) – producing high fundamental frequency vocalization with a very long vocal fold


    Riede, Tobias; Titze, Ingo R.


    The vocal folds of male Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) are about 3 cm long. If fundamental frequency were to be predicted by a simple vibrating string formula, as is often done for the human larynx, such long vocal folds would bear enormous stress to produce the species-specific mating call with an average fundamental frequency of 1 kHz. Predictions would be closer to 50 Hz. Vocal fold histology revealed the presence of a large vocal ligament between the vocal fold epithelium and...

  12. Elaborate Mimetic Vocal Displays by Female Superb Lyrebirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia H Dalziell


    Full Text Available Some of the most striking vocalizations in birds are made by males that incorporate vocal mimicry in their sexual displays. Mimetic vocalization in females is largely undescribed, but it is unclear whether this is because of a lack of selection for vocal mimicry in females, or whether the phenomenon has simply been overlooked. These issues are thrown into sharp relief in the superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, a basal oscine passerine with a lek-like mating system and female uniparental care. The spectacular mimetic song display produced by courting male lyrebirds is a textbook example of a sexually selected trait, but the vocalizations of female lyrebirds are largely unknown. Here, we provide the first analysis of the structure and context of the vocalizations of female lyrebirds. Female lyrebirds were completely silent during courtship; however, females regularly produced sophisticated vocal displays incorporating both lyrebird-specific vocalizations and imitations of sounds within their environment. The structure of female vocalizations varied significantly with context. While foraging, females mostly produced a complex lyrebird-specific song, whereas they gave lyrebird-specific alarm calls most often during nest defense. Within their vocal displays females also included a variety of mimetic vocalizations, including imitations of the calls of dangerous predators, and of alarm calls and song of harmless heterospecifics. Females gave more mimetic vocalizations during nest defense than while foraging, and the types of sounds they imitated varied between these contexts, suggesting that mimetic vocalizations have more than one function. These results are inconsistent with previous portrayals of vocalizations by female lyrebirds as rare, functionless by-products of sexual selection on males. Instead, our results support the hypotheses that complex female vocalizations play a role in nest defense and mediate female-female competition for

  13. Stuttering: A novel bullfrog vocalization (United States)

    Simmons, Andrea; Suggs, Dianne


    The advertisement call of male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) consists of a series of individual croaks, each of which contains multiple harmonics with a missing or attenuated fundamental frequency of approximately 100 Hz. The envelope of individual croaks has typically been represented in the literature as smooth and unmodulated. From an analysis of 5251 advertisement calls from 17 different choruses over two mating seasons, we show that males add an extra modulation (around 4 Hz) to the envelope of individual croaks, following specific rules. We term these extra modulations stutters. Neither single croak calls nor the first croak in multiple croak calls contains stutters. When stuttering begins, it does so with a croak containing a single stutter, and the number of stutters increases linearly (plus or minus 1 stutter, up to 4 stutters) with the number of croaks. This pattern is stable across individual males (N=10). Playback experiments reveal that vocal responses to stuttered and nonstuttered calls vary with proximity to the stimulus. Close males respond with nonstuttered calls, while far males respond with stuttered calls. The data suggest that nonstuttered calls are used for aggressive or territorial purposes, while stuttered calls are used to attract females.

  14. Vocal cord paralysis in children. (United States)

    King, Ericka F; Blumin, Joel H


    Vocal fold paralysis (VFP) is an increasingly commonly identified problem in the pediatric patient. Diagnostic and management techniques honed in adult laryngologic practice have been successfully applied to children. Iatrogenic causes, including cardiothoracic procedures, remain a common cause of unilateral VFP. Neurologic disorders predominate in the cause of bilateral VFP. Diagnosis with electromyography is currently being evaluated in children. Treatment of VFP is centered around symptomology, which is commonly divided between voice and airway concerns. Speech therapy shows promise in older children. Surgical management for unilateral VFP with injection laryngoplasty is commonly performed and well tolerated. Laryngeal reinnervation is currently being applied to the pediatric population as a permanent treatment and offers several advantages over laryngeal framework procedures. For bilateral VFP, tracheotomy is still commonly performed. Glottic dilation procedures are performed both openly and endoscopically with a high degree of success. VFP is a well recognized problem in pediatric patients with disordered voice and breathing. Some patients will spontaneously recover their laryngeal function. For those who do not, a variety of reliable techniques are available for rehabilitative treatment.

  15. Client-Server and Peer-to-Peer Ad-hoc Network for a Flexible Learning Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferial Khaddage


    Full Text Available Peer-to-Peer (P2P networking in a mobile learning environment has become a popular topic of research. One of the new emerging research ideas is on the ability to combine P2P network with server-based network to form a strong efficient portable and compatible network infrastructure. This paper describes a unique mobile network architecture, which reflects the on-campus students’ need for a mobile learning environment. This can be achieved by combining two different networks, client-server and peer-to-peer ad-hoc to form a sold and secure network. This is accomplished by employing one peer within the ad-hoc network to act as an agent-peer to facilitate communication and information sharing between the two networks. It can be implemented without any major changes to the current network technologies, and can combine any wireless protocols such as GPRS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G.

  16. Prosthetic avian vocal organ controlled by a freely behaving bird based on a low dimensional model of the biomechanical periphery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezequiel M Arneodo

    Full Text Available Because of the parallels found with human language production and acquisition, birdsong is an ideal animal model to study general mechanisms underlying complex, learned motor behavior. The rich and diverse vocalizations of songbirds emerge as a result of the interaction between a pattern generator in the brain and a highly nontrivial nonlinear periphery. Much of the complexity of this vocal behavior has been understood by studying the physics of the avian vocal organ, particularly the syrinx. A mathematical model describing the complex periphery as a nonlinear dynamical system leads to the conclusion that nontrivial behavior emerges even when the organ is commanded by simple motor instructions: smooth paths in a low dimensional parameter space. An analysis of the model provides insight into which parameters are responsible for generating a rich variety of diverse vocalizations, and what the physiological meaning of these parameters is. By recording the physiological motor instructions elicited by a spontaneously singing muted bird and computing the model on a Digital Signal Processor in real-time, we produce realistic synthetic vocalizations that replace the bird's own auditory feedback. In this way, we build a bio-prosthetic avian vocal organ driven by a freely behaving bird via its physiologically coded motor commands. Since it is based on a low-dimensional nonlinear mathematical model of the peripheral effector, the emulation of the motor behavior requires light computation, in such a way that our bio-prosthetic device can be implemented on a portable platform.

  17. Vocal fold submucosal infusion technique in phonomicrosurgery. (United States)

    Kass, E S; Hillman, R E; Zeitels, S M


    Phonomicrosurgery is optimized by maximally preserving the vocal fold's layered microstructure (laminae propriae). The technique of submucosal infusion of saline and epinephrine into the superficial lamina propria (SLP) was examined to delineate how, when, and why it was helpful toward this surgical goal. A retrospective review revealed that the submucosal infusion technique was used to enhance the surgery in 75 of 152 vocal fold procedures that were performed over the last 2 years. The vocal fold epithelium was noted to be adherent to the vocal ligament in 29 of the 75 cases: 19 from previous surgical scarring, 4 from cancer, 3 from sulcus vocalis, 2 from chronic hemorrhage, and 1 from radiotherapy. The submucosal infusion technique was most helpful when the vocal fold epithelium required resection and/or when extensive dissection in the SLP was necessary. The infusion enhanced the surgery by vasoconstriction of the microvasculature in the SLP, which improved visualization during cold-instrument tangential dissection. Improved visualization facilitated maximal preservation of the SLP, which is necessary for optimal pliability of the overlying epithelium. The infusion also improved the placement of incisions at the perimeter of benign, premalignant, and malignant lesions, and thereby helped preserve epithelium uninvolved by the disorder.

  18. Phonosurgery of vocal fold polyps, cysts and nodules is beneficial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jane Bjerg; Rasmussen, Niels


    This study reports our experience with microscopic phonosurgery (PS) of benign lesions of the vocal folds.......This study reports our experience with microscopic phonosurgery (PS) of benign lesions of the vocal folds....

  19. Endo-extralaryngeal Laterofixation of the Vocal Folds in Patients with Bilateral Vocal Fold Immobility. (United States)

    Wiegand, Susanne; Teymoortash, Afshin; Hanschmann, Holger


    Bilateral vocal fold paralysis can result in shortness of breath and severe dyspnea which can be life-threatening. Thirty-five patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis who underwent endo-extralaryngeal laterofixation according to Lichtenberger were retrospectively analyzed regarding etiology, symptoms, treatment and complications. In 27 patients, laterofixation of the vocal cord alone was performed. Eight patients underwent laterofixation and additional posterior chordectomy of the opposite vocal cord according to Dennis and Kashima. The time of intervention ranged from 1 day to 38 years after the onset of bilateral vocal cord immobility. The intraoperative course was uneventful in all patients. None of the patients had postoperative aspiration. Postoperative voice function was acceptable in all patients. Complications of suture laterofixation were laryngeal edema, formation of fibrin, and malposition of the suture. Laterofixation of the vocal cords according to Lichtenberger is a safe and easy method that can be used as a first-stage treatment of vocal cord paralysis. Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  20. Diagnostic and therapeutic pitfalls in benign vocal fold diseases (United States)

    Bohlender, Jörg


    More than half of patients presenting with hoarseness show benign vocal fold changes. The clinician should be familiar with the anatomy, physiology and functional aspects of voice disorders and also the modern diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities in order to ensure an optimal and patient specific management. This review article focuses on the diagnostic and therapeutic limitations and difficulties of treatment of benign vocal fold tumors, the management and prevention of scarred vocal folds and the issue of unilateral vocal fold paresis. PMID:24403969

  1. Oral and vocal fold diadochokinesis in dysphonic women


    Louzada,Talita; Beraldinelle,Roberta; Berretin-Felix,Giédre; Brasolotto,Alcione Ghedini


    The evaluation of oral and vocal fold diadochokinesis (DDK) in individuals with voice disorders may contribute to the understanding of factors that affect the balanced vocal production. Scientific studies that make use of this assessment tool support the knowledge advance of this area, reflecting the development of more appropriate therapeutic planning. Objective: To compare the results of oral and vocal fold DDK in dysphonic women and in women without vocal disorders. Material and methods: F...

  2. Vocal Hygiene Habits and Vocal Handicap Among Conservatory Students of Classical Singing. (United States)

    Achey, Meredith A; He, Mike Z; Akst, Lee M


    This study sought to assess classical singing students' compliance with vocal hygiene practices identified in the literature and to explore the relationship between self-reported vocal hygiene practice and self-reported singing voice handicap in this population. The primary hypothesis was that increased attention to commonly recommended vocal hygiene practices would correlate with reduced singing voice handicap. This is a cross-sectional, survey-based study. An anonymous survey assessing demographics, attention to 11 common vocal hygiene recommendations in both performance and nonperformance periods, and the Singing Voice Handicap Index 10 (SVHI-10) was distributed to classical singing teachers to be administered to their students at two major schools of music. Of the 215 surveys distributed, 108 were returned (50.2%), of which 4 were incomplete and discarded from analysis. Conservatory students of classical singing reported a moderate degree of vocal handicap (mean SVHI-10, 12; range, 0-29). Singers reported considering all 11 vocal hygiene factors more frequently when preparing for performances than when not preparing for performances. Of these, significant correlations with increased handicap were identified for consideration of stress reduction in nonperformance (P = 0.01) and performance periods (P = 0.02) and with decreased handicap for consideration of singing voice use in performance periods alone (P = 0.02). Conservatory students of classical singing report more assiduous attention to vocal hygiene practices when preparing for performances and report moderate degrees of vocal handicap overall. These students may have elevated risk for dysphonia and voice disorders which is not effectively addressed through common vocal hygiene recommendations alone. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Vocal Health Education and Medical Resources for Graduate-Level Vocal Performance Students. (United States)

    Latham, Katherine; Messing, Barbara; Bidlack, Melissa; Merritt, Samantha; Zhou, Xian; Akst, Lee M


    Most agree that education about vocal health and physiology can help singers avoid the development of vocal disorders. However, little is known about how this kind of education is provided to singers as part of their formal training. This study describes the amount of instruction in these topics provided through graduate-level curricula, who provides this instruction, and the kinds of affiliations such graduate singing programs have with medical professionals. This is an online survey of music schools with graduate singing programs. Survey questions addressed demographics of the programs, general attitudes about vocal health instruction for singers, the amount of vocal health instruction provided and by whom it was taught, perceived barriers to including more vocal health instruction, and any affiliations the voice program might have with medical personnel. Eighty-one survey responses were received. Instruction on vocal health was provided in 95% of the schools. In 55% of the schools, none of this instruction was given by a medical professional. Limited time in the curriculum, lack of financial support, and lack of availability of medical professional were the most frequently reported barriers to providing more instruction. When programs offered more hours of instruction, they were more likely to have some of that instruction given by a medical professional (P = 0.008) and to assess the amount of instruction provided positively (P = 0.001). There are several perceived barriers to incorporating vocal health education into graduate singing programs. Opportunity exists for more collaboration between vocal pedagogues and medical professionals in the education of singers about vocal health. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Utility of Eating Assessment Tool-10 in Predicting Aspiration in Patients with Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis. (United States)

    Zuniga, Steven A; Ebersole, Barbara; Jamal, Nausheen


    Objective Examine the incidence of penetration/aspiration in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility and investigate the relationship with self-reported perception of dysphagia. Study Design Case series with chart review. Setting Academic cancer center. Subjects and Methods Adult patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility diagnosed between 2014 and 2016 were reviewed. Patients were stratified into an aspiration group and a nonaspiration group using objective findings on flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, as scored using Rosenbek's Penetration Aspiration Scale. Objective findings were compared to patient perception of dysphagia. Bivariate linear correlation analysis was performed to evaluate correlation between Eating Assessment Tool-10 scores and presence of aspiration. Tests of diagnostic accuracy were calculated to investigate the predictive value of Eating Assessment Tool-10 scores >9 on aspiration risk. Results Of the 35 patients with new-onset unilateral vocal fold immobility were evaluated, 25.7% (9/35) demonstrated tracheal aspiration. Mean ± SD Eating Assessment Tool-10 scores were 19.2 ± 13.7 for aspirators and 7.0 ± 7.8 for nonaspirators ( P = .016). A statistically significant correlation was demonstrated between increasing Eating Assessment Tool-10 scores and Penetration Aspiration Scale scores ( r = 0.511, P = .002). Diagnostic accuracy analysis for aspiration risk in patients with an Eating Assessment Tool-10 score >9 revealed a sensitivity of 77.8% and a specificity of 73.1%. Conclusion Patient perception of swallowing difficulty may have utility in predicting aspiration risk. An EAT-10 of >9 in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility may portend up to a 5 times greater risk of aspiration. Routine swallow testing to assess for penetration/aspiration may be indicated in patients with unilateral vocal fold immobility.

  5. Laryngeal ultrasound and vocal fold movement in the pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit. (United States)

    Ongkasuwan, Julina; Ocampo, Elena; Tran, Brandon


    Vocal fold motion impairment (VFMI) is a known sequela of cardiovascular surgery. The gold standard for the evaluation of vocal fold movement is flexible nasolaryngoscopy (FNL). Although safe, FNL does cause measurable physiologic changes. Noxious stimuli in cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) neonates may cause imbalance between the pulmonary and systemic circulations and potentially circulatory collapse. The goals of this project were to determine the accuracy of laryngeal ultrasound (LUS) compared to FNL to identify VFMI in CVICU neonates and compare their physiologic impact. Case control. Prospective case-control study. Forty-six consecutive infants from the CVICU were recruited, 23 with VFMI and 23 without based on FNL findings. They then underwent LUS, which was subsequently reviewed by two pediatric radiologists blinded to the FNL results. Physiologic parameters were recorded before and after the procedures. Data analysis was performed with Cohen's kappa and Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Agreement between LUS and FNL was substantial (κ = 0.78). Laryngeal ultrasound had a sensitivity of 0.84 and specificity of 0.95 for identifying VFMI. In terms of physiologic impact, LUS caused statistically significantly less change in diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.01), pulse (P = 0.001), and O 2 saturation (P = 0.004) compared to FNL. Arytenoid rotation could be seen clearly, and the vocal fold-arytenoid angle in abduction was most predictive of symmetry and movement (P = 0.17). However, it was difficult to determine vocal fold closure patterns with LUS. Laryngeal ultrasound is a comparable to FNL for evaluating vocal fold mobility with less physiologic impact. 3b. Laryngoscope, 127:167-172, 2017. © 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  6. Vocal Imitation in Parrots Allows Addressing of Specific Individuals in a Dynamic Communication Network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, T.J.S.; Momberg, J.V.; Dabelsteen, T.


    €“fronted conures live in fission-fusion flocks where they encounter many different individuals every day, and it is possible that their vocal imitation ability is a flexible means to address a specific individual within a flock. We tested this via playback to short-term captive wild conures. Test birds were placed...... together in pairs in outdoor aviaries to form simple flocks. To simulate imitation of a specific individual these pairs received playback of contact calls that primarily imitate one of the two birds. Overall, individuals that received simulated vocal imitations of its calls responded more frequently...... and faster than the other individual. This suggests that orange-fronted conures can use imitations of contact calls to address specific individuals of a flock. In the discussion we argue that the fission-fusion flock dynamics of many parrot species has been an important factor in evolving conures´ and other...

  7. The role of vocal individuality in conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terry, Andrew Mark Ryder; Peake, Thomas More; McGregor, Peter Kenneth


    Identifying the individuals within a population can generate information on life history parameters, generate input data for conservation models, and highlight behavioural traits that may affect management decisions and error or bias within census methods. Individual animals can be discriminated...... by features of their vocalisations. This vocal individuality can be utilised as an alternative marking technique in situations where the marks are difficult to detect or animals are sensitive to disturbance. Vocal individuality can also be used in cases were the capture and handling of an animal is either...... and techniques for using this to count and monitor populations over time. We present case studies in birds where vocal individuality has been applied to conservation and we discuss its role in mammals....

  8. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Lautenbacher, Stefan; Salinas-Ranneberg, Melissa


    ” (central vowel, sounding like a darker “e” as in hesitations like “ehm”)—as experimental approximations to natural vocalizations. Methods: In 50 students vowel production and self-report ratings were assessed during painful and nonpainful heat stimulation (hot water immersion) as well as during baseline......Introduction and Objectives: There have, yet, been only few attempts to phonetically characterize the vocalizations of pain, although there is wide agreement that moaning, groaning, or other nonverbal utterance can be indicative of pain. We studied the production of vowels “u,” “a,” “i”, and “schwa...... pain. Furthermore, changes from nonpainful to painful stimulations in these parameters also significantly predicted concurrent changes in pain ratings. Conclusion: Vocalization characteristics of pain seem to be best described by an increase in pitch and in loudness. Future studies using more specific...

  9. A Framework for Automated Marmoset Vocalization Detection And Classification (United States)


    for studying the origins and neural basis of human language. Vocalizations belonging to the same species, or Conspecific Vocalizations (CVs), are...applications including automatic speech recognition [17], speech enhancement [18], voice activity detection [19], hyper-nasality detection [20], and emotion ...vocalizations. The feature sets chosen have the desirable property of capturing characteristics of the signals that are useful in both identifying and

  10. The Development and Validation of the Vocalic Sensitivity Test. (United States)

    Villaume, William A.; Brown, Mary Helen


    Notes that presbycusis, hearing loss associated with aging, may be marked by a second dimension of hearing loss, a loss in vocalic sensitivity. Reports on the development of the Vocalic Sensitivity Test, which controls for the verbal elements in speech while also allowing for the vocalics to exercise their normal metacommunicative function of…

  11. Nomenclature proposal to describe vocal fold motion impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosen, Clark A.; Mau, Ted; Remacle, Marc; Hess, Markus; Eckel, Hans E.; Young, VyVy N.; Hantzakos, Anastasios; Yung, Katherine C.; Dikkers, Frederik G.


    The terms used to describe vocal fold motion impairment are confusing and not standardized. This results in a failure to communicate accurately and to major limitations of interpreting research studies involving vocal fold impairment. We propose standard nomenclature for reporting vocal fold

  12. Nomenclature proposal to describe vocal fold motion impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosen, Clark A.; Mau, Ted; Remacle, Marc; Hess, Markus; Eckel, Hans E.; Young, VyVy N.; Hantzakos, Anastasios; Yung, Katherine C.; Dikkers, Frederik G.

    The terms used to describe vocal fold motion impairment are confusing and not standardized. This results in a failure to communicate accurately and to major limitations of interpreting research studies involving vocal fold impairment. We propose standard nomenclature for reporting vocal fold

  13. Readability and Understandability of Online Vocal Cord Paralysis Materials. (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Vini; Chandy, Zachariah; Hseih, Amy; Bui, Thanh-Lan; Verma, Sunil P


    Patients use several online resources to learn about vocal cord paralysis (VCP). The objective of this study was to assess the readability and understandability of online VCP patient education materials (PEMs), with readability assessments and the Patient Education Materials Evaluation Tool (PEMAT), respectively. The relationship between readability and understandability was then analyzed. Descriptive and correlational design. Online PEMs were identified by performing a Google search with the term "vocal cord paralysis." After scientific webpages, news articles, and information for medical professionals were excluded, 29 articles from the first 50 search results were considered. Readability analysis was performed with 6 formulas. Four individuals with different educational backgrounds conducted understandability analysis with the PEMAT. Fleiss's Kappa interrater reliability analysis determined consistency among raters. Correlation between readability and understandability was determined with Pearson's correlation test. The reading level of the reviewed articles ranged from grades 9 to 17. Understandability ranged from 29% to 82%. Correlation analysis demonstrated a strong negative correlation between materials' readability and understandability (r = -0.462, P Online PEMs pertaining to VCP are written above the recommended reading levels. Overall, materials written at lower grade levels are more understandable. However, articles of identical grade levels had varying levels of understandability. The PEMAT may provide a more critical evaluation of the quality of a PEM when compared with readability formulas. Both readability and understandability should be used to evaluate PEMs. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2016.

  14. Distributed acoustic cues for caller identity in macaque vocalization. (United States)

    Fukushima, Makoto; Doyle, Alex M; Mullarkey, Matthew P; Mishkin, Mortimer; Averbeck, Bruno B


    Individual primates can be identified by the sound of their voice. Macaques have demonstrated an ability to discern conspecific identity from a harmonically structured 'coo' call. Voice recognition presumably requires the integrated perception of multiple acoustic features. However, it is unclear how this is achieved, given considerable variability across utterances. Specifically, the extent to which information about caller identity is distributed across multiple features remains elusive. We examined these issues by recording and analysing a large sample of calls from eight macaques. Single acoustic features, including fundamental frequency, duration and Weiner entropy, were informative but unreliable for the statistical classification of caller identity. A combination of multiple features, however, allowed for highly accurate caller identification. A regularized classifier that learned to identify callers from the modulation power spectrum of calls found that specific regions of spectral-temporal modulation were informative for caller identification. These ranges are related to acoustic features such as the call's fundamental frequency and FM sweep direction. We further found that the low-frequency spectrotemporal modulation component contained an indexical cue of the caller body size. Thus, cues for caller identity are distributed across identifiable spectrotemporal components corresponding to laryngeal and supralaryngeal components of vocalizations, and the integration of those cues can enable highly reliable caller identification. Our results demonstrate a clear acoustic basis by which individual macaque vocalizations can be recognized.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Background: Vocal fold polyp is one of the most common causes for hoarseness. Many different etiological factors contribute to vocal fold polyp formation. The aim of the study was to find out whether the etiological factors for polyp formation have changed in the last 30 years.Methods: Eighty-one patients with unilateral vocal fold polyp were included in the study. A control group was composed of 50 volunteers without voice problems who matched the patients by age and gender. The data about etiological factors and the findings of phoniatric examination were obtained from the patients' medical documentation and from the questionnaires for the control group. The incidence of etiological factors was compared between the two groups. The program SPSS, Version 18 was used for statistical analysis.Results: The most frequent etiological factors were occupational voice load, GER, allergy and smoking. In 79% of patients 2 – 6 contemporary acting risk factors were found. Occupational voice load (p=0,018 and GER (p=0,004 were significantly more frequent in the patients than in the controls. The other factors did not significantly influence the polyp formation.Conclusions: There are several factors involved simultaneously in the formation of vocal fold polyps both nowadays and 30 years ago. Some of the most common factors remain the same (voice load, smoking, others are new (GER, allergy, which is probably due to the different lifestyle and working conditions than 30 years ago. Occupational voice load and GER were significantly more frequently present in the patients with polyp than in the control group. Regarding the given results it is important to instruct workers with professional vocal load about etiological factors for vocal fold polyp formation.

  16. Workplace flexibility. (United States)

    Scordato, C; Harris, J


    Whether your organization is in a growth pattern or downsizing, you are probably facing change. To gain some insight into your options, here is an in-depth look at the problems and benefits of some flexible work arrangements from a just published study by Catalyst.

  17. Flexibility conflict?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delsen, L.W.M.; Bauer, F.; Groß, H.; Sieglen, G.


    The chapter deals with the presupposed conflict of interests between employers and employees resulting from a decoupling of operating hours and working times. It starts from the notion that both long operating hours and flexibility are relative concepts. As there is some discretion, the ultimate

  18. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  19. Angyomatous vocal polypus: a complete spontaneous regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmir Américo Lourenço

    Full Text Available The authors describe a male patient who had malignant lymphoma seven years ago which remitted with chemotherapy.Two years ago he developed dysphonia. An unilateral, pediculate smooth red lesion on the right vocal fold was later discovered. Even without benefit of medicamentosus treatment, the patient refused surgery. In a reevaluation using rigid telescopy of the larynx two years later, the lesion had disappeared, completely and spontaneously. As there are no existing publications on this topic, this case report is an alert that surgery should be recommended with extreme caution in this type of vocal disease.

  20. Assessment of thyroplasty for vocal fold paralysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøntved, Ågot Møller; Faber, Christian; Jakobsen, John


    INTRODUCTION: Thyroplasty with silicone rubber implantation is a surgical procedure for treatment of patients with vocal fold paralysis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the outcome of the operation and to monitor which of the analyses were the more beneficial. MATERIAL AND METHODS...... because it offers a quantitative measure of the voice capacity and intensity, which are the major problems experienced by patients with vocal fold paralysis. Used together, these tools are highly instrumental in guiding the patient's choice of surgery or no surgery. Udgivelsesdato: 2009-Jan-12...

  1. The Importance of Vocal Parameters Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Ghisa


    Full Text Available To analyze communication we need to study the main parameters that describe the vocal sounds from the point of view of information content transfer efficiency. In this paper we analyze the physical quality of the “on air" information transfer, according to the audio streaming parameters and from the particular phonetic nature of the human factor. Applying this statistical analysis we aim to identify and record the correlation level of the acoustical parameters with the vocal ones and the impact which the presence of this cross-correlation can have on communication structures’ improvement.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Echternach


    Full Text Available The principal symptoms of unilateral vocal fold paralysis are hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing. Dyspnea is comparatively rare (Laccourreye et al., 2003. The extent to which unilateral vocal fold paralysis may lead to respiratory problems at all - in contrast to bilateral vocal fold paralysis- has not yet well been determined. On the one hand, inspiration is impaired with unilateral vocal fold paralysis; on the other hand, neither the position of the vocal fold paralysis nor the degree of breathiness correlates with respiratory parameters (Cantarella et al., 2003; 2005. The question of what respiratory stress a patient with a vocal fold paresis can endure has not yet been dealt with.A 43 year-old female patient was suffering from recurrent unspecific respiratory complaints for four months after physical activity. During training for a marathon, she experienced no difficulty in breathing. These unspecific respiratory complaints occurred only after athletic activity and persisted for hours. The patient observed neither an increased coughing nor a stridor. Her voice remained unaltered during the attacks, nor were there any signs of a symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux or infectious disease. A cardio-pulmonary and a radiological examination by means of an X-ray of the thorax also revealed no pathological phenomena. As antiallergic and antiobstructive therapy remained unsuccessful, a laryngological examination was performed in order to exclude a vocal cord dysfunction.Surprisingly enough, the laryngostroboscopy showed, as an initial description, a vocal fold paralysis of the left vocal fold in median position (Figure 1. The anamnestic background for the cause was unclear. The only clue was a thoracotomy on the left side due to a pleuritis in childhood. A subsequent laryngoscopic examination had never been performed. Good mucosa waves and amplitudes were shown bilateral with complete glottal closure. Neither in the acoustic analysis, nor in the

  3. Risk factors for the appearance of minimal pathologic lesions on vocal folds in vocal professionals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Jasmina


    Full Text Available Background/Aim. An excessive use or misuse of voice by vocal professionals may result in symptoms such are husky voice, hoarse voice, total loss of voice, or even organic changes taking place on vocal folds - minimal pathological lesions - MAPLs. The purpose of this study was to identify the type of MAPLs which affects vocal professionals, as well as to identify the risk factors that bring about these changes. Methods. There were 94 vocal professionals who were examined altogether, out of whom 46 were affected by MAPLs, whereas 48 of them were diagnosed with no MAPLs, so that they served as the control group. All these patients were clinically examined (anamnesis, clinical examination, bacteoriological examination of nose and pharynx, radiography of paranasal cavities, allergological processing, phoniatric examination, endo-video-stroboscopic examination, as well as gastroenterologic examination, and finally endocrinological and pulmological analyses. Results. The changes that occurred most often were identified as nodules (50%; n = 23/46 and polyps (24%; n = 11/46. Risk factors causing MAPLs in vocal professionals were as follows: age, which reduced the risk by 23.9% [OR 0.861 (0.786-0.942] whereas the years of career increase the risk [OR 1.114 (1.000-1.241], as well as the presence of a chronic respiratory disease [OR 7.310 (1.712- 31.218], and the presence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease [OR 4.542 (1.263-16.334]. The following factors did not contribute to development of MAPLs in vocal professionals: sex, a place of residence, irritation, smoking, endocrinologic disease and the presence of poly-sinusitis. Conclusion. It is necessary to introduce comprehensive procedures for prevention of MAPLs, particularly in high-risk groups. Identification of the risk factors for MAPLs and prevention of their influence on vocal professionals (given that their income depends on their vocal ability is of the highest importance.

  4. Functional results after external vocal fold medialization thyroplasty with the titanium vocal fold medialization implant. (United States)

    Schneider, Berit; Denk, Doris-Maria; Bigenzahn, Wolfgang


    A persistent insufficiency of glottal closure is mostly a consequence of a unilateral vocal fold movement impairment. It can also be caused by vocal fold atrophy or scarring processes with regular bilateral respiratory vocal fold function. Because of consequential voice, breathing, and swallowing impairments, a functional surgical treatment is required. The goal of the study was to outline the functional results after medialization thyroplasty with the titanium vocal fold medialization implant according to Friedrich. In the period of 1999 to 2001, an external vocal fold medialization using the titanium implant was performed on 28 patients (12 women and 16 men). The patients were in the age range of 19 to 84 years. Twenty-two patients had a paralysis of the left-side vocal fold, and six patients, of the right-side vocal fold. Detailed functional examinations were executed on all patients before and after the surgery: perceptive voice sound analysis according to the "roughness, breathiness, and hoarseness" method, judgment of the s/z ratio and voice dysfunction index, voice range profile measurements, videostroboscopy, and pulmonary function tests. In case of dysphagia/aspiration, videofluoroscopy of swallowing was also performed. The respective data were statistically analyzed (paired t test, Wilcoxon-test). All patients reported on improvement of voice, swallowing, and breathing functions postoperatively. Videostroboscopy revealed an almost complete glottal closure after surgery in all of the patients. All voice-related parameters showed a significant improvement. An increase of the laryngeal resistance by the medialization procedure could be excluded by analysis of the pulmonary function test. The results confirm the external medialization of the vocal folds as an adequate method in the therapy of voice, swallowing, and breathing impairment attributable to an insufficient glottal closure. The titanium implant offers, apart from good tissue tolerability, the

  5. Vocal Tract and Glottal Function During and After Vocal Exercising With Resonance Tube and Straw

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Guzman, M.; Laukkanen, A. M.; Krupa, P.; Horáček, Jaromír; Švec, J.G.; Geneid, A.


    Roč. 27, č. 4 (2013), "523.e19"-"523.e34" ISSN 0892-1997 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP101/12/1306 Institutional support: RVO:61388998 Keywords : vocal exercises * resonance tube * vocal tract impedance * computerized tomography * singer’s/speaker’s formant cluster Subject RIV: BI - Acoustics Impact factor: 0.944, year: 2013

  6. Vocal Fold Injection: Review of Indications, Techniques, and Materials for Augmentation


    Mallur, Pavan S.; Rosen, Clark A.


    Vocal fold injection is a procedure that has over a 100 year history but was rarely done as short as 20 years ago. A renaissance has occurred with respect to vocal fold injection due to new technologies (visualization and materials) and new injection approaches. Awake, un-sedated vocal fold injection offers many distinct advantages for the treatment of glottal insufficiency (vocal fold paralysis, vocal fold paresis, vocal fold atrophy and vocal fold scar). A review of materials available and ...

  7. Flexible licensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martyn Jansen


    Full Text Available The case is presented for a more flexible approach to licensing online library resources. Today's distributed education environment creates pressure for UK higher and further education institutions (HEI/FEIs to form partnerships and to develop educational products and roll them out across the globe. Online library resources are a key component of distributed education and yet existing licensing agreements struggle to keep pace with the increasing range of users and purposes for which they are required. This article describes the process of developing a flexible approach to licensing and proposes a new model licence for online library resources which has the adaptability needed in this new global educational landscape. These ideas have been presented and discussed at various workshops across Eduserv's and JISC Collections' higher education and publisher communities, and further consultation is ongoing.

  8. Iconicity can ground the creation of vocal symbols. (United States)

    Perlman, Marcus; Dale, Rick; Lupyan, Gary


    Studies of gestural communication systems find that they originate from spontaneously created iconic gestures. Yet, we know little about how people create vocal communication systems, and many have suggested that vocalizations do not afford iconicity beyond trivial instances of onomatopoeia. It is unknown whether people can generate vocal communication systems through a process of iconic creation similar to gestural systems. Here, we examine the creation and development of a rudimentary vocal symbol system in a laboratory setting. Pairs of participants generated novel vocalizations for 18 different meanings in an iterative 'vocal' charades communication game. The communicators quickly converged on stable vocalizations, and naive listeners could correctly infer their meanings in subsequent playback experiments. People's ability to guess the meanings of these novel vocalizations was predicted by how close the vocalization was to an iconic 'meaning template' we derived from the production data. These results strongly suggest that the meaningfulness of these vocalizations derived from iconicity. Our findings illuminate a mechanism by which iconicity can ground the creation of vocal symbols, analogous to the function of iconicity in gestural communication systems.

  9. Female presence and estrous state influence mouse ultrasonic courtship vocalizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Hanson

    Full Text Available The laboratory mouse is an emerging model for context-dependent vocal signaling and reception. Mouse ultrasonic vocalizations are robustly produced in social contexts. In adults, male vocalization during courtship has become a model of interest for signal-receiver interactions. These vocalizations can be grouped into syllable types that are consistently produced by different subspecies and strains of mice. Vocalizations are unique to individuals, vary across development, and depend on social housing conditions. The behavioral significance of different syllable types, including the contexts in which different vocalizations are made and the responses listeners have to different types of vocalizations, is not well understood. We examined the effect of female presence and estrous state on male vocalizations by exploring the use of syllable types and the parameters of syllables during courtship. We also explored correlations between vocalizations and other behaviors. These experimental manipulations produced four main findings: 1 vocalizations varied among males, 2 the production of USVs and an increase in the use of a specific syllable type were temporally related to mounting behavior, 3 the frequency (kHz, bandwidth, and duration of syllables produced by males were influenced by the estrous phase of female partners, and 4 syllable types changed when females were removed. These findings show that mouse ultrasonic courtship vocalizations are sensitive to changes in female phase and presence, further demonstrating the context-sensitivity of these calls.

  10. Predicting Achievable Fundamental Frequency Ranges in Vocalization Across Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingo Titze


    Full Text Available Vocal folds are used as sound sources in various species, but it is unknown how vocal fold morphologies are optimized for different acoustic objectives. Here we identify two main variables affecting range of vocal fold vibration frequency, namely vocal fold elongation and tissue fiber stress. A simple vibrating string model is used to predict fundamental frequency ranges across species of different vocal fold sizes. While average fundamental frequency is predominantly determined by vocal fold length (larynx size, range of fundamental frequency is facilitated by (1 laryngeal muscles that control elongation and by (2 nonlinearity in tissue fiber tension. One adaptation that would increase fundamental frequency range is greater freedom in joint rotation or gliding of two cartilages (thyroid and cricoid, so that vocal fold length change is maximized. Alternatively, tissue layers can develop to bear a disproportionate fiber tension (i.e., a ligament with high density collagen fibers, increasing the fundamental frequency range and thereby vocal versatility. The range of fundamental frequency across species is thus not simply one-dimensional, but can be conceptualized as the dependent variable in a multi-dimensional morphospace. In humans, this could allow for variations that could be clinically important for voice therapy and vocal fold repair. Alternative solutions could also have importance in vocal training for singing and other highly-skilled vocalizations.

  11. [Varices of the vocal cord: report of 21 cases]. (United States)

    Li, Jin-rang; Sun, Jian-jun


    To study the diagnosis and treatment of varices of the vocal cord. The clinical data of 21 cases with varix of vocal cord were analyzed. All the patients presented hoarseness. There were 15 female and 6 male cases with their ages ranged from 23 to 68 years (median 44 years old). The varix was found on the right vocal cord in 12 cases, on the left vocal cord in 9 cases. Isolated varix existed on the vocal cord in 10 cases, varix with vocal cord polyps or nodules in 10 cases, varix with vocal cord paralysis in 1 case. All the patients were diagnosed under the laryngovideoscopy. The lesions appeared on the superior surface of the vocal cord. Varices manifested as abnormally dilated capillary running in the anterior to posterior direction in 6 cases, as clusters of capillary in 3 cases, as a dot or small sheet or short line of capillary in 12 cases. The varices were disappeared in 2 of 8 cases with vocal cord varices and polyps after removed the polyps. The varices of others patients had no change after following up for more than 6 months, but one patient happened hemorrhage of the contralateral vocal cord. Varices are most commonly seen in female. Laryngovideoscopy is the key in determining the vocal fold varices. Management of patients with a varix includes medical therapy, speech therapy, and occasionally surgical vaporization.

  12. Glass ionomer application for vocal fold augmentation: Histopathological analysis on rabbit vocal fold. (United States)

    Demirci, Sule; Tuzuner, Arzu; Callıoglu, Elif Ersoy; Yumusak, Nihat; Arslan, Necmi; Baltacı, Bülent


    The aim of this study was to investigate the use of glass ionomer cement (GIC) as an injection material for vocal fold augmentation and to evaluate the biocompatibility of the material. Ten adult New Zealand rabbits were used. Under general anesthesia, 0.1-cc GIC was injected to one vocal fold and the augmentation of vocal fold was observed. No injection was applied to the opposite side, which was accepted as the control group. The animals were sacrificed after 3 months and the laryngeal specimens were histopathologically evaluated. The injected and the noninjected control vocal folds were analyzed. The GIC particles were observed in histological sections on the injected side, and no foreign body giant cells, granulomatous inflammation, necrosis, or marked chronic inflammation were detected around the glass ionomer particles. Mild inflammatory reactions were noticed in only two specimens. The noninjected sides of vocal folds were completely normal. The findings of this study suggest that GIC is biocompatible and may be further investigated as an alternative injection material for augmentation of the vocal fold. Further studies are required to examine the viscoelastic properties of GIC and the long-term effects in experimental studies. NA. © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  13. Hemispheric processing of vocal emblem sounds. (United States)

    Neumann-Werth, Yael; Levy, Erika S; Obler, Loraine K


    Vocal emblems, such as shh and brr, are speech sounds that have linguistic and nonlinguistic features; thus, it is unclear how they are processed in the brain. Five adult dextral individuals with left-brain damage and moderate-severe Wernicke's aphasia, five adult dextral individuals with right-brain damage, and five Controls participated in two tasks: (1) matching vocal emblems to photographs ('picture task') and (2) matching vocal emblems to verbal translations ('phrase task'). Cross-group statistical analyses on items on which the Controls performed at ceiling revealed lower accuracy by the group with left-brain damage (than by Controls) on both tasks, and lower accuracy by the group with right-brain damage (than by Controls) on the picture task. Additionally, the group with left-brain damage performed significantly less accurately than the group with right-brain damage on the phrase task only. Findings suggest that comprehension of vocal emblems recruits more left- than right-hemisphere processing.

  14. Vocal behaviour of Orange River Francolin Scleroptila ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fieldwork to study the vocal behaviour of Orange River Francolin Scleroptilia levaillantoides was conducted on a farm in the Heidelberg district, Gauteng province, South Africa, during August 2009 to March 2011. Orange River Francolins possess a basic repertoire of seven calls and one mechanical sound. From 83 ...

  15. Modelling vocal anatomy's significant effect on speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, B.


    This paper investigates the effect of larynx position on the articulatory abilities of a humanlike vocal tract. Previous work has investigated models that were built to resemble the anatomy of existing species or fossil ancestors. This has led to conflicting conclusions about the relation between

  16. Targeted transtracheal stimulation for vocal fold closure. (United States)

    Hadley, Aaron J; Thompson, Paul; Kolb, Ilya; Hahn, Elizabeth C; Tyler, Dustin J


    Paralysis of the structures in the head and neck due to stroke or other neurological disorder often causes dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing). Patients with dysphagia have a significantly higher incidence of aspiration pneumonia and death. The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN), which innervates the intrinsic laryngeal muscles that control the vocal folds, travels superiorly in parallel to the trachea in the tracheoesophageal groove. This study tests the hypothesis that functional electrical stimulation (FES) applied via transtracheal electrodes can produce controlled vocal fold adduction. Bipolar electrodes were placed at 15° intervals around the interior mucosal surface of the canine trachea, and current was applied to the tissue while electromyography (EMG) from the intrinsic laryngeal muscles and vocal fold movement visualization via laryngoscopy were recorded. The lowest EMG thresholds were found at an average location of 100° to the left of the ventral midsagittal line and 128° to the right. A rotatable pair of bipolar electrodes spaced 230° apart were able to stimulate bilaterally both RLNs in every subject. Laryngoscopy showed complete glottal closure with transtracheal stimulation in six of the eight subjects, and this closure was maintained under simultaneous FES-induced laryngeal elevation. Transtracheal stimulation is an effective tool for minimally invasive application of FES to induce vocal fold adduction, providing an alternative mechanism to study airway protection.

  17. Path Models of Vocal Emotion Communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Bänziger

    Full Text Available We propose to use a comprehensive path model of vocal emotion communication, encompassing encoding, transmission, and decoding processes, to empirically model data sets on emotion expression and recognition. The utility of the approach is demonstrated for two data sets from two different cultures and languages, based on corpora of vocal emotion enactment by professional actors and emotion inference by naïve listeners. Lens model equations, hierarchical regression, and multivariate path analysis are used to compare the relative contributions of objectively measured acoustic cues in the enacted expressions and subjective voice cues as perceived by listeners to the variance in emotion inference from vocal expressions for four emotion families (fear, anger, happiness, and sadness. While the results confirm the central role of arousal in vocal emotion communication, the utility of applying an extended path modeling framework is demonstrated by the identification of unique combinations of distal cues and proximal percepts carrying information about specific emotion families, independent of arousal. The statistical models generated show that more sophisticated acoustic parameters need to be developed to explain the distal underpinnings of subjective voice quality percepts that account for much of the variance in emotion inference, in particular voice instability and roughness. The general approach advocated here, as well as the specific results, open up new research strategies for work in psychology (specifically emotion and social perception research and engineering and computer science (specifically research and development in the domain of affective computing, particularly on automatic emotion detection and synthetic emotion expression in avatars.

  18. Vocal cord hemangioma in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer Kanlıkama


    Full Text Available Hemangioma is one of the most common benign tumorsin the head and neck region. Laryngeal hemangiomasare benign vascular tumors of unknown etiology thatarise from subglottic region with stridor in infants. Thistype also known as congenital laryngeal hemangioma, isthe more common. Congenital hemangiomas occur usuallyin subglottic region and more frequent in girls. Laryngealhemangioma in adults is a very rare conditionand main symptom is hoarseness and breathing difficulties.Adult hemangiomas can be seen in different locationssuch as the epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoidsand false and true vocal cords. They are more oftenof cavernous form and cause hoarseness. In this reportwe present an adult patient with hemangioma ofthe left vocal fold and review the literature. Diagnosticinvestigation revealed a pink-purple mass which was extendedfrom the anterior comissure to the posterior partof true vocal cord and false vocal cord, filling the ventriculeand extending to supraglottic region. Directlaryngoscopy was performed, but the lesion was not excisedbecause of its widespread extension in the larynx. JClin Exp Invest 2010; 2(1: 91-94

  19. Enhanced Processing of Vocal Melodies in Childhood (United States)

    Weiss, Michael W.; Schellenberg, E. Glenn; Trehub, Sandra E.; Dawber, Emily J.


    Music cognition is typically studied with instrumental stimuli. Adults remember melodies better, however, when they are presented in a biologically significant timbre (i.e., the human voice) than in various instrumental timbres (Weiss, Trehub, & Schellenberg, 2012). We examined the impact of vocal timbre on children's processing of melodies.…

  20. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lautenbacher, Stefan; Salinas-Ranneberg, Melissa; Niebuhr, Oliver; Kunz, Miriam


    INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: There have, yet, been only few attempts to phonetically characterize the vocalizations of pain, although there is wide agreement that moaning, groaning, or other nonverbal utterance can be indicative of pain. We studied the production of vowels "u," "a," "i", and "schwa"

  1. Music Education Intervention Improves Vocal Emotion Recognition (United States)

    Mualem, Orit; Lavidor, Michal


    The current study is an interdisciplinary examination of the interplay among music, language, and emotions. It consisted of two experiments designed to investigate the relationship between musical abilities and vocal emotional recognition. In experiment 1 (N = 24), we compared the influence of two short-term intervention programs--music and…

  2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease and vocal disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Aparecida Coelho de Arruda Henry


    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic disease in which gastroduodenal contents reflux into the esophagus. The clinical picture of gastroesophageal reflux disease is usually composed by heartburn and regurgitation (typical manifestations. Atypical manifestations (vocal disturbances and asthma may also be complaint. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the clinical, endoscopic, manometric and pHmetric aspects of patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease associated with vocal disturbances. METHODS: Fifty patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease were studied, including 25 with vocal disturbances (group 1 - G1 and 25 without these symptoms (group 2 - G2. All patients were submitted to endoscopy, manometry and esophageal pHmetry (2 probes. The group 1 patients were submitted to videolaryngoscopy. RESULTS: Endoscopic findings: non-erosive reflux disease was observed in 95% of G1 patients and 88% of G2. Videolaryngoscopy: vocal fold congestion, asymmetry, nodules and polyps were observed in G1 patients. Manometric findings: pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter (mm Hg: 11.6 ± 5.2 in G1 and 14.0 ± 6.2 in G2 (P = 0.14; pressure in the upper esophageal sphincter (mm Hg: 58.4 ± 15.9 in G1 and 69.5 ± 30.7 in the controls. pHmetric findings: De Meester index: 34.0 ± 20.9 in G1 and 15.4 ± 9.4 in G2 (P<0.001; number of reflux episodes in distal probe: 43.0 ± 20.4 in G1 and 26.4 ± 17.2 in G2 (P = 0.003; percentage of time with esophageal pH value lower than 4 units (distal sensor: 9.0% ± 6.4% in G1 and 3.4% ± 2.1% in G2 (P<0.001; number of reflux episodes in proximal probe: 7.5 ± 10.9 in G1 and 5.3 ± 5.7 in G2 (P = 0.38; percentage of time with esophageal pH values lower than 4 units (Proximal probe: 1.2 ± 2.7 in G1 and 0.5 ± 0.7 in G2 (P = 0.21. CONCLUSIONS: 1 The clinical, endoscopic, and manometric findings observed in patients with vocal disturbance do not differ from those without these symptoms; 2 gastroesophageal

  3. A case of bilateral vocal fold mucosal bridges, bilateral trans-vocal fold type III sulci vocales, and an intracordal polyp. (United States)

    Tan, Melin; Pitman, Michael J


    We present a patient with a novel finding of bilateral mucosal bridges, bilateral type III trans-vocal fold sulci vocales, and a vocal fold polyp. Although sulci and mucosal bridges occur in the vocal folds, it is rare to find multiples of these lesions in a single patient, and it is even more uncommon when they occur in conjunction with a vocal fold polyp. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a vocal fold polyp in combination with multiple vocal fold bridges and multiple type III sulci vocales in a single patient. To describe and visually present the diagnosis and treatment of a patient with an intracordal polyp, bilateral mucosal bridges, as well as bilateral type III trans-vocal fold sulci vocales. Presentation of a set of high definition intraoperative photos displaying the extent of the vocal fold lesions and the resection of the intracordal polyp. This patient presented with only 6 months of significant dysphonia. It was felt that the recent change in voice was because of the polyp and not the bridges or sulci vocales. Considering the patient's presentation and the possible morbidity of resection of mucosal bridges and sulci, only the polyp was excised. Postoperatively, the patient's voice returned to his acceptable mild baseline dysphonia, and the benefit has persisted 6 months postoperatively. The combination of bilateral mucosal bridges, bilateral type III sulcus vocalis, and an intracordal polyp in one patient is rare if not novel. Treatment of the polyp alone returned the patient's voice to his lifelong baseline of mild dysphonia. Copyright © 2011 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Catecholaminergic contributions to vocal communication signals. (United States)

    Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T


    Social context affects behavioral displays across a variety of species. For example, social context acutely influences the acoustic and temporal structure of vocal communication signals such as speech and birdsong. Despite the prevalence and importance of such social influences, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying the social modulation of communication. Catecholamines are implicated in the regulation of social behavior and motor control, but the degree to which catecholamines influence vocal communication signals remains largely unknown. Using a songbird, the Bengalese finch, we examined the extent to which the social context in which song is produced affected immediate early gene expression (EGR-1) in catecholamine-synthesising neurons in the midbrain. Further, we assessed the degree to which administration of amphetamine, which increases catecholamine concentrations in the brain, mimicked the effect of social context on vocal signals. We found that significantly more catecholaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (but not the central grey, locus coeruleus or subcoeruleus) expressed EGR-1 in birds that were exposed to females and produced courtship song than in birds that produced non-courtship song in isolation. Furthermore, we found that amphetamine administration mimicked the effects of social context and caused many aspects of non-courtship song to resemble courtship song. Specifically, amphetamine increased the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing, the repetition of vocal elements and the degree of sequence completions. Taken together, these data highlight the conserved role of catecholamines in vocal communication across species, including songbirds and humans. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Population structure of humpback whales in the western and central South Pacific Ocean as determined by vocal exchange among populations. (United States)

    Garland, Ellen C; Goldizen, Anne W; Lilley, Matthew S; Rekdahl, Melinda L; Garrigue, Claire; Constantine, Rochelle; Hauser, Nan Daeschler; Poole, M Michael; Robbins, Jooke; Noad, Michael J


    For cetaceans, population structure is traditionally determined by molecular genetics or photographically identified individuals. Acoustic data, however, has provided information on movement and population structure with less effort and cost than traditional methods in an array of taxa. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or song, that is similar among all males in a population. The rapid cultural transmission (the transfer of information or behavior between conspecifics through social learning) of different versions of this display between distinct but interconnected populations in the western and central South Pacific region presents a unique way to investigate population structure based on the movement dynamics of a song (acoustic) display. Using 11 years of data, we investigated an acoustically based population structure for the region by comparing stereotyped song sequences among populations and years. We used the Levenshtein distance technique to group previously defined populations into (vocally based) clusters based on the overall similarity of their song display in space and time. We identified the following distinct vocal clusters: western cluster, 1 population off eastern Australia; central cluster, populations around New Caledonia, Tonga, and American Samoa; and eastern region, either a single cluster or 2 clusters, one around the Cook Islands and the other off French Polynesia. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that each breeding aggregation represents a distinct population (each occupied a single, terminal node) in a metapopulation, similar to the current understanding of population structure based on genetic and photo-identification studies. However, the central vocal cluster had higher levels of song-sharing among populations than the other clusters, indicating that levels of vocal connectivity varied within the region. Our results demonstrate the utility and value of

  6. Perfil vocal do guia de turismo Vocal profile of tourism guide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisângela Barros Soares


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: caracterizar o perfil vocal dos guias de turismo, bem como gênero e idade. MÉTODOS: participaram desse estudo 23 guias de turismo, de ambos os gêneros, com idade entre 25 a 64 anos, participantes do Sindicato de Guias de Turismo do Estado de Pernambuco, que compareceram às reuniões trimestrais no período da coleta. Trata-se de um estudo de caráter descritivo, observacional e transversal. Para coleta foi realizada avaliação perceptivo-auditiva GRBAS. RESULTADOS: observou-se que a maioria dos guias apresentou loudness adequada, pitch normal e voz alterada. Além disso, as médias dos tempos máximos de fonação das vogais e das fricativas encontravam-se reduzidas e ataque vocal isocrônico. A ressonância, na maioria dos guias, estava equilibrada, mas houve uma incidência de ressonância laringo-faringea. A articulação foi precisa, com tipo e modo respiratório misto e nasal, respectivamente. Quanto à escala GRBAS as alterações apareceram de forma leve no G (grau de alteração vocal em 68%. CONCLUSÃO: na amostra estudada, a maioria era do gênero feminino com média de idade de 46 anos, e perfil vocal caracterizado por tempo máximo de fonação reduzidos, relação s/z adequado, ataque vocal isocrônico, pitch normal, loudness adequado, qualidade vocal alterada, com presença de rouquidão, soprosidade, tensão. A ressonância da maioria estava equilibrada e a articulação precisa, com tipo e modo respiratório misto e nasal, respectivamente. Quanto à escala GRBAS, as alterações apareceram de forma leve no grau de alteração vocal (G em 68% e tensão (S em 78% dos sujeitos.PURPOSE: to characterize the vocal profile of tourism guides, as well as gender and age. METHODS: 23 guides took part in this study, of both genders, with age between 25 to 64 years, partakers of the Union of Tourism Guides of the State of Pernambuco, who appeared to the quarterly meetings in the period of the collection. It is a descriptive

  7. Flexible Consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm Jacobsen, Peter; Pallesen, Trine

    This report presents the first findings from our qualitative study of consumer behaviour vis-à-vis flexible consumption. The main of objective of this report is to present our first round of data from Bornholm, and to assist the design of products/services designed in WP6. In the report, we adopt...... the perspective of the consumer: what does living in a demand response setup look like to participants – and what kinds of behaviour and interest motivate – and emerge from – their participation in EcoGrid 2.0....

  8. Flexible Capitalism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Approaching “work” as at heart a practice of exchange, this volume explores sociality in work environments marked by the kind of structural changes that have come to define contemporary “flexible” capitalism. It introduces anthropological exchange theory to a wider readership, and shows how...... the perspective offers new ways to enquire about the flexible capitalism’s social dimensions. The essays contribute to a trans-disciplinary scholarship on contemporary economic practice and change by documenting how, across diverse settings, “gift-like” socialities proliferate, and even sustain the intensified...

  9. Of mice, birds, and men: the mouse ultrasonic song system has some features similar to humans and song-learning birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Arriaga

    Full Text Available Humans and song-learning birds communicate acoustically using learned vocalizations. The characteristic features of this social communication behavior include vocal control by forebrain motor areas, a direct cortical projection to brainstem vocal motor neurons, and dependence on auditory feedback to develop and maintain learned vocalizations. These features have so far not been found in closely related primate and avian species that do not learn vocalizations. Male mice produce courtship ultrasonic vocalizations with acoustic features similar to songs of song-learning birds. However, it is assumed that mice lack a forebrain system for vocal modification and that their ultrasonic vocalizations are innate. Here we investigated the mouse song system and discovered that it includes a motor cortex region active during singing, that projects directly to brainstem vocal motor neurons and is necessary for keeping song more stereotyped and on pitch. We also discovered that male mice depend on auditory feedback to maintain some ultrasonic song features, and that sub-strains with differences in their songs can match each other's pitch when cross-housed under competitive social conditions. We conclude that male mice have some limited vocal modification abilities with at least some neuroanatomical features thought to be unique to humans and song-learning birds. To explain our findings, we propose a continuum hypothesis of vocal learning.

  10. Is laughter a better vocal change detector than a growl? (United States)

    Pinheiro, Ana P; Barros, Carla; Vasconcelos, Margarida; Obermeier, Christian; Kotz, Sonja A


    The capacity to predict what should happen next and to minimize any discrepancy between an expected and an actual sensory input (prediction error) is a central aspect of perception. Particularly in vocal communication, the effective prediction of an auditory input that informs the listener about the emotionality of a speaker is critical. What is currently unknown is how the perceived valence of an emotional vocalization affects the capacity to predict and detect a change in the auditory input. This question was probed in a combined event-related potential (ERP) and time-frequency analysis approach. Specifically, we examined the brain response to standards (Repetition Positivity) and to deviants (Mismatch Negativity - MMN), as well as the anticipatory response to the vocal sounds (pre-stimulus beta oscillatory power). Short neutral, happy (laughter), and angry (growls) vocalizations were presented both as standard and deviant stimuli in a passive oddball listening task while participants watched a silent movie and were instructed to ignore the vocalizations. MMN amplitude was increased for happy compared to neutral and angry vocalizations. The Repetition Positivity was enhanced for happy standard vocalizations. Induced pre-stimulus upper beta power was increased for happy vocalizations, and predicted the modulation of the standard Repetition Positivity. These findings indicate enhanced sensory prediction for positive vocalizations such as laughter. Together, the results suggest that positive vocalizations are more effective predictors in social communication than angry and neutral ones, possibly due to their high social significance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Vocal quality in university teachers: a pilot study. (United States)

    D'haeseleer, E; Claeys, S; Wuyts, F; Van Lierde, K M


    The main purpose of this study was to determine the vocal quality of 20 male and 9 female university teachers using a multi-parameter approach. Secondly, the effect of an academic lecture on the voice profiles of the university teachers was measured. All groups underwent subjective voice evaluations (perceptual evaluation, Voice Handicap Index, anamnesis of vocal complaints and vocal abuse) and objective voice evaluations (aerodynamic and acoustic parameters, vocal performance, and the Dysphonia Severity Index). The same voice assessment was performed after an academic lecture with a mean length of one and a half hours. The mean DSI score was + 2.2 for the male teachers and + 4.0 for the female teachers. The mean VHI score was 13. Perceptually, all voice parameters were rated as normal. The questionnaire revealed a relatively high amount of vocal abuse. No changes in the objective vocal parameters were found after the lecture. Perceptually, however, the voices of the university teachers were significantly less instable after the lecture. Although no negative changes in objective vocal quality were observed, 48% of the university teachers experienced subjective vocal changes. The authors concluded that university teachers are professional voice users with good vocal quality who suffer no handicapping effect from possible voice disorders. No important changes in the vocal profile after a teaching activity of one and a half hours were found, despite the high prevalence of voice complaints.

  12. Vocal fold paresis - a debilitating and underdiagnosed condition. (United States)

    Harris, G; O'Meara, C; Pemberton, C; Rough, J; Darveniza, P; Tisch, S; Cole, I


    To review the clinical signs of vocal fold paresis on laryngeal videostroboscopy, to quantify its impact on patients' quality of life and to confirm the benefit of laryngeal electromyography in its diagnosis. Twenty-nine vocal fold paresis patients were referred for laryngeal electromyography. Voice Handicap Index 10 results were compared to 43 patients diagnosed with vocal fold paralysis. Laryngeal videostroboscopy analysis was conducted to determine side of paresis. Blinded laryngeal electromyography confirmed vocal fold paresis in 92.6 per cent of cases, with vocal fold lag being the most common diagnostic sign. The laryngology team accurately predicted side of paresis in 76 per cent of cases. Total Voice Handicap Index 10 responses were not significantly different between vocal fold paralysis and vocal fold paresis groups (26.08 ± 0.21 and 22.93 ± 0.17, respectively). Vocal fold paresis has a significant impact on quality of life. This study shows that laryngeal electromyography is an important diagnostic tool. Patients with persisting dysphonia and apparently normal vocal fold movement, who fail to respond to appropriate speech therapy, should be investigated for a diagnosis of vocal fold paresis.

  13. Quantitative electromyographic characteristics of idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis. (United States)

    Chang, Wei-Han; Fang, Tuan-Jen; Li, Hsueh-Yu; Jaw, Fu-Shan; Wong, Alice M K; Pei, Yu-Cheng


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis with no preceding causes is diagnosed as idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis. However, comprehensive guidelines for evaluating the defining characteristics of idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis are still lacking. In the present study, we hypothesized that idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis may have different clinical and neurologic characteristics from unilateral vocal fold paralysis caused by surgical trauma. Retrospective, case series study. Patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis were evaluated using quantitative laryngeal electromyography, videolaryngostroboscopy, voice acoustic analysis, the Voice Outcome Survey, and the Short Form-36 Health Survey quality-of-life questionnaire. Patients with idiopathic and iatrogenic vocal fold paralysis were compared. A total of 124 patients were recruited. Of those, 17 with no definite identified causes after evaluation and follow-up were assigned to the idiopathic group. The remaining 107 patients with surgery-induced vocal fold paralysis were assigned to the iatrogenic group. Patients in the idiopathic group had higher recruitment of the thyroarytenoid-lateral cricoarytenoid muscle complex and better quality of life compared with the iatrogenic group. Idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis has a distinct clinical presentation, with relatively minor denervation changes in the involved laryngeal muscles, and less impact on quality of life compared with iatrogenic vocal fold paralysis. 4. Laryngoscope, 126:E362-E368, 2016. © 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  14. Improvement of Vocal Pathologies Diagnosis Using High-Speed Videolaryngoscopy (United States)

    Tsuji, Domingos Hiroshi; Hachiya, Adriana; Dajer, Maria Eugenia; Ishikawa, Camila Cristina; Takahashi, Marystella Tomoe; Montagnoli, Arlindo Neto


    Introduction The study of the dynamic properties of vocal fold vibration is important for understanding the vocal production mechanism and the impact of organic and functional changes. The advent of high-speed videolaryngoscopy (HSV) has provided the possibility of seeing the real cycle of vocal fold vibration in detail through high sampling rate of successive frames and adequate spatial resolution. Objective To describe the technique, advantages, and limitations of using HSV and digital videokymography in the diagnosis of vocal pathologies. Methods We used HSV and digital videokymography to evaluate one normophonic individual and four patients with vocal fold pathologies (nodules, unilateral paralysis of the left vocal fold, intracordal cyst, and adductor spasmodic dysphonia). The vocal fold vibration parameters (glottic closure, vibrational symmetry, periodicity, mucosal wave, amplitude, and glottal cycle phases) were assessed. Results Differences in the vocal vibration parameters were observed and correlated with the pathophysiology. Conclusion HSV is the latest diagnostic tool in visual examination of vocal behavior and has considerable potential to refine our knowledge regarding the vocal fold vibration and voice production, as well as regarding the impact of pathologic conditions have on the mechanism of phonation. PMID:25992109

  15. Improvement of Vocal Pathologies Diagnosis Using High-Speed Videolaryngoscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuji, Domingos Hiroshi


    Full Text Available Introduction The study of the dynamic properties of vocal fold vibration is important for understanding the vocal production mechanism and the impact of organic and functional changes. The advent of high-speed videolaryngoscopy (HSV has provided the possibility of seeing the real cycle of vocal fold vibration in detail through high sampling rate of successive frames and adequate spatial resolution. Objective To describe the technique, advantages, and limitations of using HSV and digital videokymography in the diagnosis of vocal pathologies. Methods We used HSV and digital videokymography to evaluate one normophonic individual and four patients with vocal fold pathologies (nodules, unilateral paralysis of the left vocal fold, intracordal cyst, and adductor spasmodic dysphonia. The vocal fold vibration parameters (glottic closure, vibrational symmetry, periodicity, mucosal wave, amplitude, and glottal cycle phases were assessed. Results Differences in the vocal vibration parameters were observed and correlated with the pathophysiology. Conclusion HSV is the latest diagnostic tool in visual examination of vocal behavior and has considerable potential to refine our knowledge regarding the vocal fold vibration and voice production, as well as regarding the impact of pathologic conditions have on the mechanism of phonation.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anatolii Kuzmenko


    Full Text Available The article reveals the basic approaches to the school music teacher’s creative and educational interaction with vocal and choral group. The significance of singing in the national artistic culture of Ukraine is singled out. Students’ practical work on study singing is generalized, it allows to form a vocal and choral musical education system that recreates the natural child’s sound and provides euphonious cantilena voice sounding and availability of mastering this kind of activity. The author also singles out some components such as orientation (it involves goals, content, tasks, volume of learning information; competence one (it is defined as musical and educational complex which includes the high level of knowledge, skills in sound production and psychological peculiarities of learning children of different ages to sing; communication one (it is the process of teacher and pupils’ interaction with the help of different communication means, sharing learning information and its discussion using different technical tools; executive one ( it provides the level of students’ performance skills and creative interpretation of vocal and choral works. The main attention is paid to proper planning and practices at school music lessons, rehearsals, vocal choirs, ensembles, presentations, concerts. It is proved that efficient using methods of achieving content filling of creative and educational interaction of the conductor with a school choral group is due to defining necessary principles that determine his experience. They include effective mastering choirmaster skills, accurate diagnostics and analysis of information and problem material, that sounds jarringly; paying attention to those imperfections which should be corrected in each case for getting positive results.

  17. Responses of primate frontal cortex neurons during natural vocal communication. (United States)

    Miller, Cory T; Thomas, A Wren; Nummela, Samuel U; de la Mothe, Lisa A


    The role of primate frontal cortex in vocal communication and its significance in language evolution have a controversial history. While evidence indicates that vocalization processing occurs in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex neurons, vocal-motor activity has been conjectured to be primarily subcortical and suggestive of a distinctly different neural architecture from humans. Direct evidence of neural activity during natural vocal communication is limited, as previous studies were performed in chair-restrained animals. Here we recorded the activity of single neurons across multiple regions of prefrontal and premotor cortex while freely moving marmosets engaged in a natural vocal behavior known as antiphonal calling. Our aim was to test whether neurons in marmoset frontal cortex exhibited responses during vocal-signal processing and/or vocal-motor production in the context of active, natural communication. We observed motor-related changes in single neuron activity during vocal production, but relatively weak sensory responses for vocalization processing during this natural behavior. Vocal-motor responses occurred both prior to and during call production and were typically coupled to the timing of each vocalization pulse. Despite the relatively weak sensory responses a population classifier was able to distinguish between neural activity that occurred during presentations of vocalization stimuli that elicited an antiphonal response and those that did not. These findings are suggestive of the role that nonhuman primate frontal cortex neurons play in natural communication and provide an important foundation for more explicit tests of the functional contributions of these neocortical areas during vocal behaviors. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Bilateral vocal fold paralysis and dysphagia secondary to diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. (United States)

    Allensworth, Jordan J; O'Dell, Karla D; Schindler, Joshua S


    Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is an idiopathic spinal disease common in the elderly and characterized by flowing ossification and osteophyte formation along the spinal column. Cervical hyperostosis is capable of producing dysphagia, stridor, and airway obstruction; however, there are no extant reports of true paralysis of bilateral vocal folds in patients fulfilling the criteria for DISH. We report a case of a 61-year-old man presenting with dysphagia and dyspnea. Flexible laryngoscopy revealed bilateral true vocal fold paralysis. Cervical radiograph showed flowing ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament with preservation of intervertebral disc height. Tracheotomy and cervical osteophytectomy were performed, after which the patient showed improved swallowing and speaking ability and was decannulated without complication. In the case presented, cervical osteophytectomy dramatically reversed bilateral vocal fold paralysis and dysphagia secondary to hyperostosis, thus negating the need for prolonged tracheostomy and feeding tube dependence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: E1-E3, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Acromegaly Presenting With Bilateral Vocal Fold Immobility: Case Report and Review of the Literature. (United States)

    Cooper, Timothy; Dziegielewski, Peter T; Singh, Praby; Seemann, Robert


    To present a case of bilateral vocal fold immobility (BVCI) in a patient with acromegaly and review the current literature describing this presentation. Case report and literature review. Academic tertiary care center. English language literature search of online journal databases. A 56-year-old man presented with 3 months of progressive stridor and shortness of breath. Transnasal flexible endoscopy revealed BVCI. A tracheostomy was performed to secure his airway. Further history was suggestive of acromegaly and imaging demonstrated a pituitary macroadenoma. The diagnosis of acromegaly was made. The patient was treated with octreotide followed by an endoscopic trans sphenoidal resection of the pituitary adenoma. Sixteen months after his initial presentation, a right laser arytenoidectomy was performed and the patient was subsequently decannulated. In the literature to date, 11 cases of BVCI in acromegaly have been reported. These patients often present with stridor and require a tracheostomy. With treatment of their acromegaly, these patients may regain vocal fold mobility and may be decannulated. Acromegaly with BVCI is a rare presentation. Acute management of the airway of patients with acromegaly presenting with BVCI typically requires a tracheostomy. A period of 15 months should be allowed for restoration of vocal fold mobility before airway opening procedures are considered. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Flexible nanovectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pugno, Nicola M


    In this paper we show that the control of adhesion in highly flexible (a property that could be crucial for smart drug delivery but which is still ignored in the literature) nanovectors can help in smartly targeting and delivering the drug. The existence of and the conditions for activating and controlling a super-adhesive state are addressed. Even if such a state has never been observed in nanovectors, our calculations, as well as observations in spiders and geckos, suggest its existence and feasible control. Control of the competition between the drag and the adhesive force is exploited to improve the targeting ability and a hierarchical model is applied to describe a real vasculature. The high flexibility of the nanovector is used to smartly deliver the drug only during adhesion by nanopumping or, as a limiting case, by the new concept of 'adhesion induced nanovector implosion'; a liquid drop analogy is utilized for the calculations. Fast (pumping) and slow (diffusion) drug deliveries can thus be separately controlled by controlling the size and shape of the nanovector. Multiple stage nanovectors are also briefly discussed, mimicking aerospace vector strategies.

  1. Flexible nanovectors (United States)

    Pugno, Nicola M.


    In this paper we show that the control of adhesion in highly flexible (a property that could be crucial for smart drug delivery but which is still ignored in the literature) nanovectors can help in smartly targeting and delivering the drug. The existence of and the conditions for activating and controlling a super-adhesive state are addressed. Even if such a state has never been observed in nanovectors, our calculations, as well as observations in spiders and geckos, suggest its existence and feasible control. Control of the competition between the drag and the adhesive force is exploited to improve the targeting ability and a hierarchical model is applied to describe a real vasculature. The high flexibility of the nanovector is used to smartly deliver the drug only during adhesion by nanopumping or, as a limiting case, by the new concept of 'adhesion induced nanovector implosion'; a liquid drop analogy is utilized for the calculations. Fast (pumping) and slow (diffusion) drug deliveries can thus be separately controlled by controlling the size and shape of the nanovector. Multiple stage nanovectors are also briefly discussed, mimicking aerospace vector strategies.

  2. A retrospective study of long-term treatment outcomes for reduced vocal intensity in hypokinetic dysarthria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R. Watts


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reduced vocal intensity is a core impairment of hypokinetic dysarthria in Parkinson’s disease (PD. Speech treatments have been developed to rehabilitate the vocal subsystems underlying this impairment. Intensive treatment programs requiring high-intensity voice and speech exercises with clinician-guided prompting and feedback have been established as effective for improving vocal function. Less is known, however, regarding long-term outcomes of clinical benefit in speakers with PD who receive these treatments. Methods A retrospective cohort design was utilized. Data from 78 patient files across a three year period were analyzed. All patients received a structured, intensive program of voice therapy focusing on speaking intent and loudness. The dependent variable for all analyses was vocal intensity in decibels (dBSPL. Vocal intensity during sustained vowel production, reading, and novel conversational speech was compared at pre-treatment, post-treatment, six month follow-up, and twelve month follow-up periods. Results Statistically significant increases in vocal intensity were found at post-treatment, 6 months, and 12 month follow-up periods with intensity gains ranging from 5 to 17 dB depending on speaking condition and measurement period. Significant treatment effects were found in all three speaking conditions. Effect sizes for all outcome measures were large, suggesting a strong degree of practical significance. Conclusions Significant increases in vocal intensity measured at 6 and 12 moth follow-up periods suggested that the sample of patients maintained treatment benefit for up to a year. These findings are supported by outcome studies reporting treatment outcomes within a few months post-treatment, in addition to prior studies that have reported long-term outcome results. The positive treatment outcomes experienced by the PD cohort in this study are consistent with treatment responses subsequent to other treatment

  3. Desvantagem vocal em cantores de igreja Vocal handicap of church singers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Prestes


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: avaliar a desvantagem vocal de cantores amadores de coros de igreja. MÉTODO: participaram 42 cantores de coros amadores de igrejas, sendo 20 homens e 22 mulheres, com idades entre 18 e 59 anos. Todos responderam a um questionário contendo perguntas sobre autopercepção vocal e práticas de canto, e ao protocolo Índice de Desvantagem para o Canto Moderno (IDCM, composto por 30 questões referentes às subescalas incapacidade, desvantagem e defeito. Foi realizada triagem perceptivo-auditiva para classificação das vozes em adaptadas ou alteradas e mensuração dos graus De alteração. RESULTADOS: a pontuação total média obtida no IDCM foi 23 pontos. Os maiores escores foram obtidos na subescala "defeito" (10,9, seguido por "incapacidade" (7,6 e "desvantagem" (4,5, com diferença entre elas (p= 0,001. Cantores que nunca realizaram aula de canto apresentaram maiores escores no domínio "desvantagem" (p=0,003. À medida que o escore total do IDCM aumentou, a nota atribuída pelo cantor em relação à própria voz diminuiu (p= 0,046. Participantes com qualidade vocal alterada apresentaram maiores escores nas subescalas incapacidade e desvantagem e no domínio total do IDCM quando comparados aos que apresentavam qualidade vocal adaptada (p=0,012, p=0,049 e p=0,015, respectivamente. Além disso, quanto maior o grau de alteração vocal, maiores foram os escores referentes à subescala incapacidade (p=0,022. CONCLUSÃO: cantores de igreja apresentam desvantagem vocal importante. Quando apresentam alterações vocais, esta desvantagem é ainda maior. Quanto maior o grau de alteração vocal, maiores as limitações referentes à voz cantada. Aulas de canto parecem minimizar a desvantagem vocal nessa população.PURPOSE: to evaluate the vocal handicap of amateur singers of church choirs. METHOD: we interviewed 42 amateur singers from church choirs, 20 men, and 22 women, between 18 and 59 year old. Everybody answered a questionnaire

  4. Effect of Vocal Fold Medialization on Dysphagia in Patients with Unilateral Vocal Fold Immobility. (United States)

    Cates, Daniel J; Venkatesan, Naren N; Strong, Brandon; Kuhn, Maggie A; Belafsky, Peter C


    The effect of vocal fold medialization (VFM) on vocal improvement in persons with unilateral vocal fold immobility (UVFI) is well established. The effect of VFM on the symptom of dysphagia is uncertain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate dysphagia symptoms in patients with UVFI pre- and post-VFM. Case series with chart review. Academic tertiary care medical center. The charts of 44 persons with UVFI who underwent VFM between June 1, 2013, and December 31, 2014, were abstracted from a prospectively maintained database at the University of California, Davis, Voice and Swallowing Center. Patient demographics, indications, and type of surgical procedure were recorded. Self-reported swallowing impairment was assessed with the validated 10-item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) before and after surgery. A paired samples t test was used to compare pre- and postmedialization EAT-10 scores. Forty-four patients met criteria and underwent either vocal fold injection (73%) or thyroplasty (27%). Etiologies of vocal fold paralysis were iatrogenic (55%), idiopathic (29%), benign or malignant neoplastic (9%), traumatic (5%), or related to the late effects of radiation (2%). EAT-10 (mean ± SD) scores improved from 12.2 ± 11.1 to 7.7 ± 7.2 after medialization (P dysphagia and report significant improvement in swallowing symptoms following VFM. The symptomatic improvement appears to be durable over time. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2016.

  5. The Vocal Tract Organ: A New Musical Instrument Using 3-D Printed Vocal Tracts. (United States)

    Howard, David M


    The advent and now increasingly widespread availability of 3-D printers is transforming our understanding of the natural world by enabling observations to be made in a tangible manner. This paper describes the use of 3-D printed models of the vocal tract for different vowels that are used to create an acoustic output when stimulated with an appropriate sound source in a new musical instrument: the Vocal Tract Organ. The shape of each printed vocal tract is recovered from magnetic resonance imaging. It sits atop a loudspeaker to which is provided an acoustic L-F model larynx input signal that is controlled by the notes played on a musical instrument digital interface device such as a keyboard. The larynx input is subject to vibrato with extent and frequency adjustable as desired within the ranges usually found for human singing. Polyphonic inputs for choral singing textures can be applied via a single loudspeaker and vocal tract, invoking the approximation of linearity in the voice production system, thereby making multiple vowel stops a possibility while keeping the complexity of the instrument in reasonable check. The Vocal Tract Organ offers a much more human and natural sounding result than the traditional Vox Humana stops found in larger pipe organs, offering the possibility of enhancing pipe organs of the future as well as becoming the basis for a "multi-vowel" chamber organ in its own right. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Vocal caricatures reveal signatures of speaker identity (United States)

    López, Sabrina; Riera, Pablo; Assaneo, María Florencia; Eguía, Manuel; Sigman, Mariano; Trevisan, Marcos A.


    What are the features that impersonators select to elicit a speaker's identity? We built a voice database of public figures (targets) and imitations produced by professional impersonators. They produced one imitation based on their memory of the target (caricature) and another one after listening to the target audio (replica). A set of naive participants then judged identity and similarity of pairs of voices. Identity was better evoked by the caricatures and replicas were perceived to be closer to the targets in terms of voice similarity. We used this data to map relevant acoustic dimensions for each task. Our results indicate that speaker identity is mainly associated with vocal tract features, while perception of voice similarity is related to vocal folds parameters. We therefore show the way in which acoustic caricatures emphasize identity features at the cost of loosing similarity, which allows drawing an analogy with caricatures in the visual space.

  7. Botulinum toxin in the treatment of vocal fold nodules. (United States)

    Allen, Jacqui E; Belafsky, Peter C


    Promising new techniques in the management of vocal fold nodules have been developed in the past 2 years. Simultaneously, the therapeutic use of botulinum toxin has rapidly expanded. This review explores the use of botulinum toxin in treatment of vocal nodules and summarizes current therapeutic concepts. New microsurgical instruments and techniques, refinements in laser technology, radiosurgical excision and steroid intralesional injections are all promising new techniques in the management of vocal nodules. Botulinum toxin-induced 'voice rest' is a new technique we have employed in patients with recalcitrant nodules. Successful resolution of nodules is possible with this technique, without the risk of vocal fold scarring inherent in dissection/excision techniques. Botulinum toxin usage is exponentially increasing, and large-scale, long-term studies demonstrate its safety profile. Targeted vocal fold temporary paralysis induced by botulinum toxin injection is a new, well tolerated and efficacious treatment in patients with persistent vocal fold nodules.

  8. The voice conveys specific emotions: evidence from vocal burst displays. (United States)

    Simon-Thomas, Emiliana R; Keltner, Dacher J; Sauter, Disa; Sinicropi-Yao, Lara; Abramson, Anna


    Studies of emotion signaling inform claims about the taxonomic structure, evolutionary origins, and physiological correlates of emotions. Emotion vocalization research has tended to focus on a limited set of emotions: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, and for the voice, also tenderness. Here, we examine how well brief vocal bursts can communicate 22 different emotions: 9 negative (Study 1) and 13 positive (Study 2), and whether prototypical vocal bursts convey emotions more reliably than heterogeneous vocal bursts (Study 3). Results show that vocal bursts communicate emotions like anger, fear, and sadness, as well as seldom-studied states like awe, compassion, interest, and embarrassment. Ancillary analyses reveal family-wise patterns of vocal burst expression. Errors in classification were more common within emotion families (e.g., 'self-conscious,' 'pro-social') than between emotion families. The three studies reported highlight the voice as a rich modality for emotion display that can inform fundamental constructs about emotion.

  9. Imaging evaluation of vocal cord paralysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Marcelo de Mattos; Magalhaes, Fabiana Pizanni; Dadalto, Gabriela Bijos; Moura, Marina Vimieiro Timponi de [Axial Centro de Imagem, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)], e-mail:, e-mail:


    Vocal cord paralysis is a common cause of hoarseness. It may be secondary to many types of lesions along the cranial nerve X pathway and its branches, particularly the laryngeal recurrent nerves. Despite the idiopathic nature of a great number of cases, imaging methods play a very significant role in the investigation of etiologic factors, such as thyroid and esophagus neoplasias with secondary invasion of the laryngeal recurrent nerves. Other conditions such as aortic and right subclavian artery aneurysms also may be found. The knowledge of local anatomy and related diseases is of great importance for the radiologist, so that he can tailor the examination properly to allow an appropriate diagnosis and therapy planning. Additionally, considering that up to 35% of patients with vocal cord paralysis are asymptomatic, the recognition of radiological findings indicative of this condition is essential for the radiologist who must warn the referring physician on the imaging findings. In the present study, the authors review the anatomy and main diseases related to vocal cord paralysis, demonstrating them through typical cases evaluated by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, besides describing radiological findings of laryngeal abnormalities indicative of this condition. (author)

  10. Hierarchical Diagnosis of Vocal Fold Disorders (United States)

    Nikkhah-Bahrami, Mansour; Ahmadi-Noubari, Hossein; Seyed Aghazadeh, Babak; Khadivi Heris, Hossein

    This paper explores the use of hierarchical structure for diagnosis of vocal fold disorders. The hierarchical structure is initially used to train different second-level classifiers. At the first level normal and pathological signals have been distinguished. Next, pathological signals have been classified into neurogenic and organic vocal fold disorders. At the final level, vocal fold nodules have been distinguished from polyps in organic disorders category. For feature selection at each level of hierarchy, the reconstructed signal at each wavelet packet decomposition sub-band in 5 levels of decomposition with mother wavelet of (db10) is used to extract the nonlinear features of self-similarity and approximate entropy. Also, wavelet packet coefficients are used to measure energy and Shannon entropy features at different spectral sub-bands. Davies-Bouldin criterion has been employed to find the most discriminant features. Finally, support vector machines have been adopted as classifiers at each level of hierarchy resulting in the diagnosis accuracy of 92%.

  11. A validated battery of vocal emotional expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Maurage


    Full Text Available For a long time, the exploration of emotions focused on facial expression, and vocal expression of emotion has only recently received interest. However, no validated battery of emotional vocal expressions has been published and made available to the researchers’ community. This paper aims at validating and proposing such material. 20 actors (10 men recorded sounds (words and interjections expressing six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, neutral and sadness. These stimuli were then submitted to a double validation phase: (1 preselection by experts; (2 quantitative and qualitative validation by 70 participants. 195 stimuli were selected for the final battery, each one depicting a precise emotion. The ratings provide a complete measure of intensity and specificity for each stimulus. This paper provides, to our knowledge, the first validated, freely available and highly standardized battery of emotional vocal expressions (words and intonations. This battery could constitute an interesting tool for the exploration of prosody processing among normal and pathological populations, in neuropsychology as well as psychiatry. Further works are nevertheless needed to complement the present material.

  12. Acoustic vocal tract model of one-year-old children


    Vojnović, Milan; Bogavac, Ivana; Dobrijević, Ljiljana


    The physical shape of vocal tract and its formant (resonant) frequencies are directly related. The study of this functional connectivity is essential in speech therapy practice with children. Most of the perceived children’s speech anomalies can be explained on a physical level: malfunctioning movement of articulation organs. The current problem is that there is no enough data on the anatomical shape of children’s vocal tract to create its acoustic model. Classical techniques for vocal tract...

  13. Current Understanding and Future Directions for Vocal Fold Mechanobiology (United States)

    Li, Nicole Y.K.; Heris, Hossein K.; Mongeau, Luc


    The vocal folds, which are located in the larynx, are the main organ of voice production for human communication. The vocal folds are under continuous biomechanical stress similar to other mechanically active organs, such as the heart, lungs, tendons and muscles. During speech and singing, the vocal folds oscillate at frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 3 kHz with amplitudes of a few millimeters. The biomechanical stress associated with accumulated phonation is believed to alter vocal fold cell activity and tissue structure in many ways. Excessive phonatory stress can damage tissue structure and induce a cell-mediated inflammatory response, resulting in a pathological vocal fold lesion. On the other hand, phonatory stress is one major factor in the maturation of the vocal folds into a specialized tri-layer structure. One specific form of vocal fold oscillation, which involves low impact and large amplitude excursion, is prescribed therapeutically for patients with mild vocal fold injuries. Although biomechanical forces affect vocal fold physiology and pathology, there is little understanding of how mechanical forces regulate these processes at the cellular and molecular level. Research into vocal fold mechanobiology has burgeoned over the past several years. Vocal fold bioreactors are being developed in several laboratories to provide a biomimic environment that allows the systematic manipulation of physical and biological factors on the cells of interest in vitro. Computer models have been used to simulate the integrated response of cells and proteins as a function of phonation stress. The purpose of this paper is to review current research on the mechanobiology of the vocal folds as it relates to growth, pathogenesis and treatment as well as to propose specific research directions that will advance our understanding of this subject. PMID:24812638

  14. The voice conveys specific emotions: Evidence from vocal burst displays


    Simon-Thomas, E.; Keltner, D.; Sauter, D.; Sinicropi-Yao, L.; Abramson, A.


    Studies of emotion signaling inform claims about the taxonomic structure, evolutionary origins, and physiological correlates of emotions. Emotion vocalization research has tended to focus on a limited set of emotions: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, and for the voice, also tenderness. Here, we examine how well brief vocal bursts can communicate 22 different emotions: 9 negative (Study 1) and 13 positive (Study 2), and whether prototypical vocal bursts convey emotions more ...

  15. Production and survival of projection neurons in a forebrain vocal center of adult male canaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirn, J.R.; Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Nottebohm, F.


    Neurons are produced in the adult canary telencephalon. Many of these cells are incorporated into the high vocal center (nucleus HVC), which participates in the control of learned song. In the present work, 3H-thymidine and fluorogold were employed to follow the differentiation and survival of HVC neurons born in adulthood. We found that many HVC neurons born in September grow long axons to the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (nucleus RA) and thus become part of the efferent pathway for song control. Many of these new neurons have already established their connections with RA by 30 d after their birth. By 240 d, 75-80% of the September-born HVC neurons project to RA. Most of these new projection neurons survive at least 8 months. The longevity of HVC neurons born in September suggests that these cells remain part of the vocal control circuit long enough to participate in the yearly renewal of the song repertoire

  16. Requirements for flexible learner monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glahn, Christian; Specht, Marcus; Koper, Rob


    Glahn, C., Specht, M., & Koper, R. (2007). Requirements for flexible learner monitoring. In T. Navarette, J. Blat & R. Koper (Eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd TENCompetence Open Workshop 'Current Research on IMS Learning Design and Lifelong Competence Development Infrastructures' (pp. 89-96). June,

  17. Defects in ultrasonic vocalization of cadherin-6 knockout mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryoko Nakagawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although some molecules have been identified as responsible for human language disorders, there is still little information about what molecular mechanisms establish the faculty of human language. Since mice, like songbirds, produce complex ultrasonic vocalizations for intraspecific communication in several social contexts, they can be good mammalian models for studying the molecular basis of human language. Having found that cadherins are involved in the vocal development of the Bengalese finch, a songbird, we expected cadherins to also be involved in mouse vocalizations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To examine whether similar molecular mechanisms underlie the vocalizations of songbirds and mammals, we categorized behavioral deficits including vocalization in cadherin-6 knockout mice. Comparing the ultrasonic vocalizations of cadherin-6 knockout mice with those of wild-type controls, we found that the peak frequency and variations of syllables were differed between the mutant and wild-type mice in both pup-isolation and adult-courtship contexts. Vocalizations during male-male aggression behavior, in contrast, did not differ between mutant and wild-type mice. Open-field tests revealed differences in locomotors activity in both heterozygote and homozygote animals and no difference in anxiety behavior. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that cadherin-6 plays essential roles in locomotor activity and ultrasonic vocalization. These findings also support the idea that different species share some of the molecular mechanisms underlying vocal behavior.

  18. Sex Hormone Receptor Expression in the Human Vocal Fold Subunits. (United States)

    Kirgezen, Tolga; Sunter, Ahmet Volkan; Yigit, Ozgur; Huq, Gulben Erdem


    The study aimed to evaluate the existence of sex hormone receptors in the subunits of vocal fold. This is a cadaver study. The androgen, estrogen, and progesterone receptors were examined in the epithelium (EP), superficial layer of the lamina propria (SLP), vocal ligament (VL), and macula flava (MF) of the vocal folds from 42 human cadavers (21 male, 21 female) by immunohistochemical methods. Their staining ratios were scored and statistically compared. The androgen receptor score was significantly higher for the MF than for the EP and SLP (P vocal fold, mostly in the MF and VLs. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The influence of thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid muscle activation on vocal fold stiffness and eigenfrequencies


    Yin, Jun; Zhang, Zhaoyan


    The influence of the thyroarytenoid (TA) and cricothyroid (CT) muscle activation on vocal fold stiffness and eigenfrequencies was investigated in a muscularly controlled continuum model of the vocal folds. Unlike the general understanding that vocal fold fundamental frequency was determined by vocal fold tension, this study showed that vocal fold eigenfrequencies were primarily determined by vocal fold stiffness. This study further showed that, with reference to the resting state of zero stra...

  20. The influence of thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid muscle activation on vocal fold stiffness and eigenfrequencies (United States)

    Yin, Jun; Zhang, Zhaoyan


    The influence of the thyroarytenoid (TA) and cricothyroid (CT) muscle activation on vocal fold stiffness and eigenfrequencies was investigated in a muscularly controlled continuum model of the vocal folds. Unlike the general understanding that vocal fold fundamental frequency was determined by vocal fold tension, this study showed that vocal fold eigenfrequencies were primarily determined by vocal fold stiffness. This study further showed that, with reference to the resting state of zero strain, vocal fold stiffness in both body and cover layers increased with either vocal fold elongation or shortening. As a result, whether vocal fold eigenfrequencies increased or decreased with CT/TA activation depended on how the CT/TA interaction influenced vocal fold deformation. For conditions of strong CT activation and thus an elongated vocal fold, increasing TA contraction reduced the degree of vocal fold elongation and thus reduced vocal fold eigenfrequencies. For conditions of no CT activation and thus a resting or slightly shortened vocal fold, increasing TA contraction increased the degree of vocal fold shortening and thus increased vocal fold eigenfrequencies. In the transition region of a slightly elongated vocal fold, increasing TA contraction first decreased and then increased vocal fold eigenfrequencies. PMID:23654401

  1. Gender Differences in the Reporting of Vocal Fatigue in Teachers as Quantified by the Vocal Fatigue Index. (United States)

    Hunter, Eric J; Banks, Russell E


    Occupational voice users report higher instances of vocal health problems. Women, who are more likely than men to report voice problems, are the largest members of some occupational voice users, such as teachers. While a common complaint among this population is vocal fatigue, it has been difficult to quantify. Therefore, the goal of this study is to quantify vocal fatigue generally in school teachers and investigate any related gender differences. Six hundred forty (518 female, 122 male) teachers were surveyed using an online questionnaire consisting in part of the Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI), an index specifically designed to quantify vocal fatigue. Compared to vocally healthy adults, the teachers surveyed were 3 times as likely to report vocal tiredness or vocal avoidance and over 3 times as likely to report physical voice discomfort. Additionally, female teachers were more likely to have scores approaching those with dysphonia. The VFI quantified elevated levels of vocal fatigue in teachers, with a significant prevalence of symptoms reported among females compared to males. Further, because the VFI indicated elevated complaints (between normal and dysphonic) in a population likely to be elevated, the VFI might be used to identify early indications of voice problems and/or track recovery.

  2. Incidence of vocal fold immobility in patients with dysphagia. (United States)

    Leder, Steven B; Ross, Douglas A


    This study prospectively investigated the incidence of vocal fold immobility, unilateral and bilateral, and its influence on aspiration status in a referred population of 1452 patients for a dysphagia evaluation from a large, urban, tertiary-care, teaching hospital. Main outcome measures included overall incidence of vocal fold immobility and aspiration status, with specific emphasis on age, etiology, and side of vocal fold immobility, i.e., right, left, or bilateral. Overall incidence of vocal fold immobility was 5.6% (81 of 1452 patients), including 47 males (mean age 55.7 yr) and 34 females (mean age 59.7 yr). In the subgroup of patients with vocal fold immobility, 31% (25 of 81) exhibited unilateral right, 60% (49 of 81) unilateral left, and 9% (7 of 81) bilateral impairment. Overall incidence of aspiration was found to be 29% (426 of 1452) of all patients referred for a swallow evaluation. Aspiration was observed in 44% (36 of 81) of patients presenting with vocal fold immobility, i.e., 44% (11 of 25) unilateral right, 43% (21 of 49) unilateral left, and 57% (4 of 7) bilateral vocal fold immobility. Left vocal fold immobility occurred most frequently due to surgical trauma. A liquid bolus was aspirated more often than a puree bolus. Side of vocal fold immobility and age were not factors that increased incidence of aspiration. In conclusion, vocal fold immobility, with an incidence of 5.6%, is not an uncommon finding in patients referred for a dysphagia evaluation in the acute-care setting, and vocal fold immobility, when present, was associated with a 15% increased incidence of aspiration when compared with a population already being evaluated for dysphagia.

  3. In vivo measurement of vocal fold surface resistance. (United States)

    Mizuta, Masanobu; Kurita, Takashi; Dillon, Neal P; Kimball, Emily E; Garrett, C Gaelyn; Sivasankar, M Preeti; Webster, Robert J; Rousseau, Bernard


    A custom-designed probe was developed to measure vocal fold surface resistance in vivo. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate proof of concept of using vocal fold surface resistance as a proxy of functional tissue integrity after acute phonotrauma using an animal model. Prospective animal study. New Zealand White breeder rabbits received 120 minutes of airflow without vocal fold approximation (control) or 120 minutes of raised intensity phonation (experimental). The probe was inserted via laryngoscope and placed on the left vocal fold under endoscopic visualization. Vocal fold surface resistance of the middle one-third of the vocal fold was measured after 0 (baseline), 60, and 120 minutes of phonation. After the phonation procedure, the larynx was harvested and prepared for transmission electron microscopy. In the control group, vocal fold surface resistance values remained stable across time points. In the experimental group, surface resistance (X% ± Y% relative to baseline) was significantly decreased after 120 minutes of raised intensity phonation. This was associated with structural changes using transmission electron microscopy, which revealed damage to the vocal fold epithelium after phonotrauma, including disruption of the epithelium and basement membrane, dilated paracellular spaces, and alterations to epithelial microprojections. In contrast, control vocal fold specimens showed well-preserved stratified squamous epithelia. These data demonstrate the feasibility of measuring vocal fold surface resistance in vivo as a means of evaluating functional vocal fold epithelial barrier integrity. Device prototypes are in development for additional testing, validation, and for clinical applications in laryngology. NA Laryngoscope, 127:E364-E370, 2017. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  4. An analysis of true- and false-positive results of vocal fold uptake in positron emission tomography-computed tomography imaging. (United States)

    Seymour, N; Burkill, G; Harries, M


    Positron emission tomography-computed tomography with fluorine-18 fluorodeoxy-D-glucose has a major role in the investigation of head and neck cancers. Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxy-D-glucose is not a tumour-specific tracer and can also accumulate in benign pathology. Therefore, positron emission tomography-computed tomography scan interpretation difficulties are common in the head and neck, which can produce false-positive results. This study aimed to investigate patients detected as having abnormal vocal fold uptake on fluorine-18 fluorodeoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography scans were identified over a 15-month period where reports contained evidence of unilateral vocal fold uptake or vocal fold pathology. Patients' notes and laryngoscopy results were analysed. Forty-six patients were identified as having abnormal vocal fold uptake on positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Twenty-three patients underwent positron emission tomography-computed tomography and flexible laryngoscopy: 61 per cent of patients had true-positive positron emission tomography-computed tomography scans and 39 per cent had false-positive scan results. Most patients referred to ENT for abnormal findings on positron emission tomography-computed tomography scans had true-positive findings. Asymmetrical fluorine-18 fluorodeoxy-D-glucose uptake should raise suspicion of vocal fold pathology, accepting a false-positive rate of approximately 40 per cent.

  5. Low frequency mechanical resonance of the vocal tract in vocal exercises that apply tubes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Horáček, Jaromír; Radolf, Vojtěch; Laukkanen, A. M.


    Roč. 37, August (2017), s. 39-49 ISSN 1746-8094 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-01246S Institutional support: RVO:61388998 Keywords : biomechanics of voice * vocal tract acoustics * phonation into tubes * water resistance voice therapy * bubbling frequency * formant frequencies Subject RIV: BI - Acoustics OBOR OECD: Acoustics Impact factor: 2.214, year: 2016

  6. Modeling the Pathophysiology of Phonotraumatic Vocal Hyperfunction with a Triangular Glottal Model of the Vocal Folds (United States)

    Galindo, Gabriel E.; Peterson, Sean D.; Erath, Byron D.; Castro, Christian; Hillman, Robert E.; Zañartu, Matías


    Purpose: Our goal was to test prevailing assumptions about the underlying biomechanical and aeroacoustic mechanisms associated with phonotraumatic lesions of the vocal folds using a numerical lumped-element model of voice production. Method: A numerical model with a triangular glottis, posterior glottal opening, and arytenoid posturing is…

  7. Characteristics of Vocal Fold Vibrations in Vocally Healthy Subjects: Analysis with Multi-Line Kymography (United States)

    Yamauchi, Akihito; Imagawa, Hiroshi; Sakakibara, Ken-Ichi; Yokonishi, Hisayuki; Nito, Takaharu; Yamasoba, Tatsuya; Tayama, Niro


    Purpose: In this study, the authors aimed to analyze longitudinal data from high-speed digital images in normative subjects using multi-line kymography. Method: Vocally healthy subjects were divided into young (9 men and 17 women; M[subscript age] = 27 years) and older groups (8 men and 12 women; M[subscript age] = 73 years). From high-speed…

  8. Vocal cord paralysis associated with Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Eva Rye; Mey, Kristianna


    Ramsay Hunt syndrome is defined by herpes zoster oticus and peripheral facial nerve palsy which is often associated with otalgia. The syndrome is, in rare cases, associated with other cranial nerve paralyses including the vagal nerve causing unilateral vocal cord paralysis. Vocal cord paralysis...

  9. Prevalence and correlates of auditory vocal hallucinations in middle childhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartels-Velthuis, A.A.; Jenner, J.A.; van de Willige, G.; van Os, J.; Wiersma, D.

    Background Hearing voices occurs in middle childhood, but little is known about prevalence, aetiology and immediate consequences. Aims To investigate prevalence, developmental risk factors and behavioural correlates of auditory vocal hallucinations in 7- and 8-year-olds. Method Auditory vocal

  10. The Effect of Vocalization on Melodic Memory Conservation. (United States)

    Pembrook, Randall G.


    Reports on a study which reinforces prior findings on melodic memory that show a majority of students do not sing accurately enough after only one hearing of a melody to benefit from vocalization memory techniques. Questions whether vocalization can be a memory reinforcer in melodies that are shorter and simpler than those used in this research.…

  11. The Infant Monitor of Vocal Production: Simple Beginnings (United States)

    Moore, Robyn Cantle


    The Infant Monitor of vocal Production (IMP) was conceived as an educational strategy to help parents understand the nature and pace of their baby's vocal development following neonatal diagnosis and amplification for hearing loss. The potential for other clinical applications emerged with use. The instrument presents as a series of…

  12. Assessing vocal performance in complex birdsong: a novel approach. (United States)

    Geberzahn, Nicole; Aubin, Thierry


    Vocal performance refers to the ability to produce vocal signals close to physical limits. Such motor skills can be used by conspecifics to assess a signaller's competitive potential. For example it is difficult for birds to produce repeated syllables both rapidly and with a broad frequency bandwidth. Deviation from an upper-bound regression of frequency bandwidth on trill rate has been widely used to assess vocal performance. This approach is, however, only applicable to simple trilled songs, and even then may be affected by differences in syllable complexity. Using skylarks (Alauda arvensis) as a birdsong model with a very complex song structure, we detected another performance trade-off: minimum gap duration between syllables was longer when the frequency ratio between the end of one syllable and the start of the next syllable (inter-syllable frequency shift) was large. This allowed us to apply a novel measure of vocal performance ¿ vocal gap deviation: the deviation from a lower-bound regression of gap duration on inter-syllable frequency shift. We show that skylarks increase vocal performance in an aggressive context suggesting that this trait might serve as a signal for competitive potential. We suggest using vocal gap deviation in future studies to assess vocal performance in songbird species with complex structure.

  13. The vocal load of Reform Jewish cantors in the USA. (United States)

    Hapner, Edie; Gilman, Marina


    Jewish cantors comprise a subset of vocal professionals that is not well understood by vocal health professionals. This study aimed to document the vocal demands, vocal training, reported incidence of voice problems, and treatment-seeking behavior of Reform Jewish cantors. The study used a prospective observational design to anonymously query Reform Jewish cantors using a 35-item multiple-choice survey distributed online. Demographic information, medical history, vocal music training, cantorial duties, history of voice problems, and treatment-seeking behavior were addressed. Results indicated that many of the commonly associated risk factors for developing voice disorders were present in this population, including high vocal demands, reduced vocal downtime, allergies, and acid reflux. Greater than 65% of the respondents reported having had a voice problem that interfered with their ability to perform their duties at some time during their careers. Reform Jewish cantors are a population of occupational voice users who may be currently unidentified and underserved by vocal health professionals. The results of the survey suggest that Reform Jewish cantors are occupational voice users and are at high risk for developing voice disorders. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The Relations of Mothers' Controlling Vocalizations to Children's Intrinsic Motivation. (United States)

    Deci, Edward L.; And Others


    Coded maternal vocalizations during videotaped play sessions of mothers and their six- or seven-year-old children. Children's intrinsic motivation was assessed by observing children's play when they were alone in a room. Found a negative relationship between maternal controlling vocalizations and children's intrinsic motivation. (MM)

  15. The effect of surface electrical stimulation on vocal fold position. (United States)

    Humbert, Ianessa A; Poletto, Christopher J; Saxon, Keith G; Kearney, Pamela R; Ludlow, Christy L


    Closure of the true and false vocal folds is a normal part of airway protection during swallowing. Individuals with reduced or delayed true vocal fold closure can be at risk for aspiration and may benefit from intervention to ameliorate the problem. Surface electrical stimulation is currently used during therapy for dysphagia, despite limited knowledge of its physiological effects. Prospective single effects study. The immediate physiological effect of surface stimulation on true vocal fold angle was examined at rest in 27 healthy adults using 10 different electrode placements on the submental and neck regions. Fiberoptic nasolaryngoscopic recordings during passive inspiration were used to measure change in true vocal fold angle with stimulation. Vocal fold angles changed only to a small extent during two electrode placements (P vocal fold abduction was 2.4 degrees; while horizontal placements of electrodes in the submental region produced a mean adduction of 2.8 degrees (P = .03). Surface electrical stimulation to the submental and neck regions does not produce immediate true vocal fold adduction adequate for airway protection during swallowing, and one position may produce a slight increase in true vocal fold opening.

  16. Visual classification of feral cat Felis silvestris catus vocalizations. (United States)

    Owens, Jessica L; Olsen, Mariana; Fontaine, Amy; Kloth, Christopher; Kershenbaum, Arik; Waller, Sara


    Cat vocal behavior, in particular, the vocal and social behavior of feral cats, is poorly understood, as are the differences between feral and fully domestic cats. The relationship between feral cat social and vocal behavior is important because of the markedly different ecology of feral and domestic cats, and enhanced comprehension of the repertoire and potential information content of feral cat calls can provide both better understanding of the domestication and socialization process, and improved welfare for feral cats undergoing adoption. Previous studies have used conflicting classification schemes for cat vocalizations, often relying on onomatopoeic or popular descriptions of call types (e.g., "miow"). We studied the vocalizations of 13 unaltered domestic cats that complied with our behavioral definition used to distinguish feral cats from domestic. A total of 71 acoustic units were extracted and visually analyzed for the construction of a hierarchical classification of vocal sounds, based on acoustic properties. We identified 3 major categories (tonal, pulse, and broadband) that further breakdown into 8 subcategories, and show a high degree of reliability when sounds are classified blindly by independent observers (Fleiss' Kappa K  = 0.863). Due to the limited behavioral contexts in this study, additional subcategories of cat vocalizations may be identified in the future, but our hierarchical classification system allows for the addition of new categories and new subcategories as they are described. This study shows that cat vocalizations are diverse and complex, and provides an objective and reliable classification system that can be used in future studies.

  17. Genetic and Environmental Effects on Vocal Symptoms and Their Intercorrelations (United States)

    Nybacka, Ida; Simberg, Susanna; Santtila, Pekka; Sala, Eeva; Sandnabba, N. Kenneth


    Purpose: Recently, Simberg et al. (2009) found genetic effects on a composite variable consisting of 6 vocal symptom items measuring dysphonia. The purpose of the present study was to determine genetic and environmental effects on the individual vocal symptoms in a population-based sample of Finnish twins. Method: The sample comprised 1,728 twins…

  18. Vocal Fold Mucus Aggregation in Persons with Voice Disorders (United States)

    Bonilha, Heather Shaw; White, Lisa; Kuckhahn, Kelsey; Gerlach, Terri Treman; Deliyski, Dimitar D.


    Mucus aggregation on the vocal folds is a common finding from laryngeal endoscopy. Patients with voice disorders report the presence of mucus aggregation. Patients also report that mucus aggregation causes them to clear their throat, a behavior believed to be harmful to vocal fold mucosa. Even though clinicians and patients report and discuss…

  19. Alternative measures to observe and record vocal fold vibrations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schutte, HK; McCafferty, G; Coman, W; Carroll, R


    Vocal fold vibration patterns form the basis for the production of vocal sound. Over the years much effort has been spend to optimize the ways to visualize and give a description of these patterns. Before video possibilities became available the description of the patterns was Very time-consuming.

  20. Bupropion XL-induced motor and vocal tics. (United States)

    Kayhan, Fatih; Uguz, Faruk; Kayhan, Ayşegül; Toktaş, Fikriye Ilay


    Tics are stereotypical repetitive involuntary movements (motor tics) or sounds (vocal tics). Although the emergence of tics were reported in a few cases with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, there was no case with bupropion extended-release (Bupropion XL). The current case report presents a male patient developing motor and vocal tics with the use of bupropion XL.

  1. Acute vocal fold hemorrhage caught on video during office exam. (United States)

    Carroll, Thomas L; Smith, Libby J


    This article presents a unique video of a laryngeal exam during which a vocal fold hemorrhage occurs. This patient had likely been suffering from intermittent vocal fold hemorrhages for the last decade due to a persistent vascular lesion and an underlying chronic cough.

  2. North Indian Classical Vocal Music for the Classroom (United States)

    Arya, Divya D.


    This article offers information that will allow music educators to incorporate North Indian classical vocal music into a multicultural music education curriculum. Obstacles to teaching North Indian classical vocal music are acknowledged, including lack of familiarity with the cultural/structural elements and challenges in teaching ear training and…

  3. Vocal tract and glottal function during and after vocal exercising with resonance tube and straw. (United States)

    Guzman, Marco; Laukkanen, Anne-Maria; Krupa, Petr; Horáček, Jaromir; Švec, Jan G; Geneid, Ahmed


    The present study aimed to investigate the vocal tract and glottal function during and after phonation into a tube and a stirring straw. A male classically trained singer was assessed. Computerized tomography (CT) was performed when the subject produced [a:] at comfortable speaking pitch, phonated into the resonance tube and when repeating [a:] after the exercise. Similar procedure was performed with a narrow straw after 15 minutes silence. Anatomic distances and area measures were obtained from CT midsagittal and transversal images. Acoustic, perceptual, electroglottographic (EGG), and subglottic pressure measures were also obtained. During and after phonation into the tube or straw, the velum closed the nasal passage better, the larynx position lowered, and hypopharynx area widened. Moreover, the ratio between the inlet of the lower pharynx and the outlet of the epilaryngeal tube became larger during and after tube/straw phonation. Acoustic results revealed a stronger spectral prominence in the singer/speaker's formant cluster region after exercising. Listening test demonstrated better voice quality after straw/tube than before. Contact quotient derived from EGG decreased during both tube and straw and remained lower after exercising. Subglottic pressure increased during straw and remained somewhat higher after it. CT and acoustic results indicated that vocal exercises with increased vocal tract impedance lead to increased vocal efficiency and economy. One of the major changes was the more prominent singer's/speaker's formant cluster. Vocal tract and glottal modifications were more prominent during and after straw exercising compared with tube phonation. Copyright © 2013 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Observational Learning in the Music Masterclass (United States)

    Haddon, Elizabeth


    This article contributes to research on music masterclasses through examining learning through observation. It investigates how students are learning as observers in this context; whether and how they will transfer their masterclass learning to their own instrumental/vocal development, and whether they have discussed learning through observation.…

  5. Measurement of vocal doses in virtual classrooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Pelegrin Garcia, David


    This work shows the results of a preliminary study about the determination of the optimal acoustical conditions for speakers in small classrooms. An experiment was carried out in a laboratory facility with 22 untrained talkers, who read a text passage from “Goldilocks” during two minutes under 13...... different acoustical conditions, that combined different kind of background noise and virtual classroom acoustics. Readings from the vocal fold vibrations were registered with an Ambulatory Phonation Monitor device. The speech signal from the talker in the center of the facility was picked up with a head...

  6. Ejnell surgery under nasal flexible fiber for a patient who is unable to undergo direct laryngoscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hara, Natsuki; Umezaki, Toshiro; Adachi, Kazuo; Toh, Satoshi; Kiyohara, Hideyuki; Komune, Shizuo


    The Ejnell method used to treat bilateral vocal cord paralysis without damaging the laryngeal framework. It is the first-line option for laterofixation of the vocal fold, because it is reversible and requires no tracheotomy. The Ejnell method normally requires direct laryngoscopy. It was applied without direct laryngoscopy in one patient, because a patient had difficulty extending the neck after radiation therapy. Nasal ENDO CLOSE TM was effective under flexible fiberscopy. Therefore, this could be an effective method a patient cannot undergo direct laryngoscopy. (author)

  7. Vocal effort modulates the motor planning of short speech structures (United States)

    Taitz, Alan; Shalom, Diego E.; Trevisan, Marcos A.


    Speech requires programming the sequence of vocal gestures that produce the sounds of words. Here we explored the timing of this program by asking our participants to pronounce, as quickly as possible, a sequence of consonant-consonant-vowel (CCV) structures appearing on screen. We measured the delay between visual presentation and voice onset. In the case of plosive consonants, produced by sharp and well defined movements of the vocal tract, we found that delays are positively correlated with the duration of the transition between consonants. We then used a battery of statistical tests and mathematical vocal models to show that delays reflect the motor planning of CCVs and transitions are proxy indicators of the vocal effort needed to produce them. These results support that the effort required to produce the sequence of movements of a vocal gesture modulates the onset of the motor plan.

  8. IMPAIRED MOBILITY OF VOCAL FOLDS - etiology and symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karlo Pintarić


    Full Text Available Paresis or paralysis of one or both vocal cords affects some significant aspects of a human life: breathing, swallowing and speech. The major causes for reduced mobility or even immobility are innervation damage, less often fixation of vocal cord or impaired mobility of crycoarytenoid joint. An injury of the superior or/and inferior laryngeal nerve can be a consequence of different medical procedures, tumor growth, trauma, infection, neurological disorders, radiation exposure, toxic damage, impaired circulation of the area or it is idiopathic. The symptoms are different in the case of unilateral and bilateral paresis of the vocal folds. They also depend on the cause for the impaired mobility. In the patients with unilateral vocal fold paresis, hoarseness and aspiration during swallowing are the leading symptoms. In the bilateral vocal fold paralysis, dyspnea prevails. 

  9. Imaging auditory representations of song and syllables in populations of sensorimotor neurons essential to vocal communication. (United States)

    Peh, Wendy Y X; Roberts, Todd F; Mooney, Richard


    Vocal communication depends on the coordinated activity of sensorimotor neurons important to vocal perception and production. How vocalizations are represented by spatiotemporal activity patterns in these neuronal populations remains poorly understood. Here we combined intracellular recordings and two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine how learned birdsong and its component syllables are represented in identified projection neurons (PNs) within HVC, a sensorimotor region important for song perception and production. These experiments show that neighboring HVC PNs can respond at markedly different times to song playback and that different syllables activate spatially intermingled PNs within a local (~100 μm) region of HVC. Moreover, noise correlations were stronger between PNs that responded most strongly to the same syllable and were spatially graded within and between classes of PNs. These findings support a model in which syllabic and temporal features of song are represented by spatially intermingled PNs functionally organized into cell- and syllable-type networks within local spatial scales in HVC. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355589-17$15.00/0.

  10. Gender and vocal production mode discrimination using the high frequencies for speech and singing (United States)

    Monson, Brian B.; Lotto, Andrew J.; Story, Brad H.


    Humans routinely produce acoustical energy at frequencies above 6 kHz during vocalization, but this frequency range is often not represented in communication devices and speech perception research. Recent advancements toward high-definition (HD) voice and extended bandwidth hearing aids have increased the interest in the high frequencies. The potential perceptual information provided by high-frequency energy (HFE) is not well characterized. We found that humans can accomplish tasks of gender discrimination and vocal production mode discrimination (speech vs. singing) when presented with acoustic stimuli containing only HFE at both amplified and normal levels. Performance in these tasks was robust in the presence of low-frequency masking noise. No substantial learning effect was observed. Listeners also were able to identify the sung and spoken text (excerpts from “The Star-Spangled Banner”) with very few exposures. These results add to the increasing evidence that the high frequencies provide at least redundant information about the vocal signal, suggesting that its representation in communication devices (e.g., cell phones, hearing aids, and cochlear implants) and speech/voice synthesizers could improve these devices and benefit normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. PMID:25400613

  11. Complex coevolution of wing, tail, and vocal sounds of courting male bee hummingbirds. (United States)

    Clark, Christopher J; McGuire, Jimmy A; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Berv, Jacob S; Prum, Richard O


    Phenotypic characters with a complex physical basis may have a correspondingly complex evolutionary history. Males in the "bee" hummingbird clade court females with sound from tail-feathers, which flutter during display dives. On a phylogeny of 35 species, flutter sound frequency evolves as a gradual, continuous character on most branches. But on at least six internal branches fall two types of major, saltational changes: mode of flutter changes, or the feather that is the sound source changes, causing frequency to jump from one discrete value to another. In addition to their tail "instruments," males also court females with sound from their syrinx and wing feathers, and may transfer or switch instruments over evolutionary time. In support of this, we found a negative phylogenetic correlation between presence of wing trills and singing. We hypothesize this transference occurs because wing trills and vocal songs serve similar functions and are thus redundant. There are also three independent origins of self-convergence of multiple signals, in which the same species produces both a vocal (sung) frequency sweep, and a highly similar nonvocal sound. Moreover, production of vocal, learned song has been lost repeatedly. Male bee hummingbirds court females with a diverse, coevolving array of acoustic traits. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Detailed vocalic information in Danish 20-month-olds' novel words

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry


    results were found at 16 months with a simplified word-learning task (Havy & Nazzi, 2009). This indicated that vocalic information is given less weight than consonantal information when learning novel words. On the other hand, English 14- or 18-month-olds were sensitive to vowel mispronunciations of three......  Infants are endowed with an amazing capacity to perceive speech sounds. However, when learning new words, infants appear to not always use their perceptual capacities to their fullest. Recent research has provided conflicting evidence regarding the extent to which infants form new lexical...... representations with fully specified vowels. In a recent study, French 20-month-olds were able to learn two new words that differed by a single consonant but not words that differed by a single vowel, even when changing two or more phonetic features, in a name-based categorization task (Nazzi, 2005); similar...

  13. Vocal fold contact patterns based on normal modes of vibration. (United States)

    Smith, Simeon L; Titze, Ingo R


    The fluid-structure interaction and energy transfer from respiratory airflow to self-sustained vocal fold oscillation continues to be a topic of interest in vocal fold research. Vocal fold vibration is driven by pressures on the vocal fold surface, which are determined by the shape of the glottis and the contact between vocal folds. Characterization of three-dimensional glottal shapes and contact patterns can lead to increased understanding of normal and abnormal physiology of the voice, as well as to development of improved vocal fold models, but a large inventory of shapes has not been directly studied previously. This study aimed to take an initial step toward characterizing vocal fold contact patterns systematically. Vocal fold motion and contact was modeled based on normal mode vibration, as it has been shown that vocal fold vibration can be almost entirely described by only the few lowest order vibrational modes. Symmetric and asymmetric combinations of the four lowest normal modes of vibration were superimposed on left and right vocal fold medial surfaces, for each of three prephonatory glottal configurations, according to a surface wave approach. Contact patterns were generated from the interaction of modal shapes at 16 normalized phases during the vibratory cycle. Eight major contact patterns were identified and characterized by the shape of the flow channel, with the following descriptors assigned: convergent, divergent, convergent-divergent, uniform, split, merged, island, and multichannel. Each of the contact patterns and its variation are described, and future work and applications are discussed. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The Effect of Teaching Experience and Specialty (Vocal or Instrumental) on Vocal Health Ratings of Music Teachers (United States)

    Hackworth, Rhonda S.


    The current study sought to determine the relationship among music teachers' length of teaching experience, specialty (vocal or instrumental), and ratings of behaviors and teaching activities related to vocal health. Participants (N = 379) were experienced (n = 208) and preservice (n = 171) music teachers, further categorized by specialty, either…

  15. The Effects of Vocal Register Use and Age on the Perceived Vocal Health of Male Elementary Music Teachers (United States)

    Fisher, Ryan A.; Scott, Julie K.


    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of vocal register use and age on the perceived vocal health of male elementary music teachers. Participants (N = 160) consisted of male elementary music teachers from two neighboring states in the south-central region of the United States. Participants responded to various demographic questions…

  16. Flexible Electronics Research Facility (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Flexible Electronics Research Facility designs, synthesizes, tests, and fabricates materials and devices compatible with flexible substrates for Army information...

  17. Communication impairments in mice lacking Shank1: reduced levels of ultrasonic vocalizations and scent marking behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Wöhr

    Full Text Available Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a strong genetic component. Core symptoms are abnormal reciprocal social interactions, qualitative impairments in communication, and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior with restricted interests. Candidate genes for autism include the SHANK gene family, as mutations in SHANK2 and SHANK3 have been detected in several autistic individuals. SHANK genes code for a family of scaffolding proteins located in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. To test the hypothesis that a mutation in SHANK1 contributes to the symptoms of autism, we evaluated Shank1(-/- null mutant mice for behavioral phenotypes with relevance to autism, focusing on social communication. Ultrasonic vocalizations and the deposition of scent marks appear to be two major modes of mouse communication. Our findings revealed evidence for low levels of ultrasonic vocalizations and scent marks in Shank1(-/- mice as compared to wildtype Shank1(+/+ littermate controls. Shank1(-/- pups emitted fewer vocalizations than Shank1(+/+ pups when isolated from mother and littermates. In adulthood, genotype affected scent marking behavior in the presence of female urinary pheromones. Adult Shank1(-/- males deposited fewer scent marks in proximity to female urine than Shank1(+/+ males. Call emission in response to female urinary pheromones also differed between genotypes. Shank1(+/+ mice changed their calling pattern dependent on previous female interactions, while Shank1(-/- mice were unaffected, indicating a failure of Shank1(-/- males to learn from a social experience. The reduced levels of ultrasonic vocalizations and scent marking behavior in Shank1(-/- mice are consistent with a phenotype relevant to social communication deficits in autism.

  18. Communication Impairments in Mice Lacking Shank1: Reduced Levels of Ultrasonic Vocalizations and Scent Marking Behavior (United States)

    Wöhr, Markus; Roullet, Florence I.; Hung, Albert Y.; Sheng, Morgan; Crawley, Jacqueline N.


    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a strong genetic component. Core symptoms are abnormal reciprocal social interactions, qualitative impairments in communication, and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior with restricted interests. Candidate genes for autism include the SHANK gene family, as mutations in SHANK2 and SHANK3 have been detected in several autistic individuals. SHANK genes code for a family of scaffolding proteins located in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. To test the hypothesis that a mutation in SHANK1 contributes to the symptoms of autism, we evaluated Shank1 −/− null mutant mice for behavioral phenotypes with relevance to autism, focusing on social communication. Ultrasonic vocalizations and the deposition of scent marks appear to be two major modes of mouse communication. Our findings revealed evidence for low levels of ultrasonic vocalizations and scent marks in Shank1 −/− mice as compared to wildtype Shank1 +/+ littermate controls. Shank1 −/− pups emitted fewer vocalizations than Shank1+/+ pups when isolated from mother and littermates. In adulthood, genotype affected scent marking behavior in the presence of female urinary pheromones. Adult Shank1 −/− males deposited fewer scent marks in proximity to female urine than Shank1+/+ males. Call emission in response to female urinary pheromones also differed between genotypes. Shank1+/+ mice changed their calling pattern dependent on previous female interactions, while Shank1 −/− mice were unaffected, indicating a failure of Shank1 −/− males to learn from a social experience. The reduced levels of ultrasonic vocalizations and scent marking behavior in Shank1 −/− mice are consistent with a phenotype relevant to social communication deficits in autism. PMID:21695253

  19. Comparative analysis of perceptual evaluation, acoustic analysis and indirect laryngoscopy for vocal assessment of a population with vocal complaint. (United States)

    Nemr, Kátia; Amar, Ali; Abrahão, Marcio; Leite, Grazielle Capatto de Almeida; Köhle, Juliana; Santos, Alexandra de O; Correa, Luiz Artur Costa


    As a result of technology evolution and development, methods of voice evaluation have changed both in medical and speech and language pathology practice. To relate the results of perceptual evaluation, acoustic analysis and medical evaluation in the diagnosis of vocal and/or laryngeal affections of the population with vocal complaint. Clinical prospective. 29 people that attended vocal health protection campaign were evaluated. They were submitted to perceptual evaluation (AFPA), acoustic analysis (AA), indirect laryngoscopy (LI) and telelaryngoscopy (TL). Correlations between medical and speech language pathology evaluation methods were established, verifying possible statistical signification with the application of Fischer Exact Test. There were statistically significant results in the correlation between AFPA and LI, AFPA and TL, LI and TL. This research study conducted in a vocal health protection campaign presented correlations between speech language pathology evaluation and perceptual evaluation and clinical evaluation, as well as between vocal affection and/or laryngeal medical exams.

  20. An Investigation of Vocal Tract Characteristics for Acoustic Discrimination of Pathological Voices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Won Lee


    Full Text Available This paper investigates the effectiveness of measures related to vocal tract characteristics in classifying normal and pathological speech. Unlike conventional approaches that mainly focus on features related to the vocal source, vocal tract characteristics are examined to determine if interaction effects between vocal folds and the vocal tract can be used to detect pathological speech. Especially, this paper examines features related to formant frequencies to see if vocal tract characteristics are affected by the nature of the vocal fold-related pathology. To test this hypothesis, stationary fragments of vowel /aa/ produced by 223 normal subjects, 472 vocal fold polyp subjects, and 195 unilateral vocal cord paralysis subjects are analyzed. Based on the acoustic-articulatory relationships, phonation for pathological subjects is found to be associated with measures correlated with a raised tongue body or an advanced tongue root. Vocal tract-related features are also found to be statistically significant from the Kruskal-Wallis test in distinguishing normal and pathological speech. Classification results demonstrate that combining the formant measurements with vocal fold-related features results in improved performance in differentiating vocal pathologies including vocal polyps and unilateral vocal cord paralysis, which suggests that measures related to vocal tract characteristics may provide additional information in diagnosing vocal disorders.

  1. Vocal fold ion transport and mucin expression following acrolein exposure. (United States)

    Levendoski, Elizabeth Erickson; Sivasankar, M Preeti


    The vocal fold epithelium is exposed to inhaled particulates including pollutants during breathing in everyday environments. Yet, our understanding of the effects of pollutants on vocal fold epithelial function is extremely limited. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the pollutant acrolein on two vocal fold epithelial mechanisms: ion transport and mucin (MUC) synthesis. These mechanisms were chosen as each plays a critical role in vocal defense and in maintaining surface hydration which is necessary for optimal voice production. Healthy, native porcine vocal folds (N = 85) were excised and exposed to an acrolein or sham challenge. A 60-min acrolein, but not sham challenge significantly reduced ion transport and inhibited cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent, increases in ion transport. Decreases in ion transport were associated with reduced sodium absorption. Within the same timeline, no significant acrolein-induced changes in MUC gene or protein expression were observed. These results improve our understanding of the effects of acrolein on key vocal fold epithelial functions and inform the development of future investigations that seek to elucidate the impact of a wide range of pollutant exposures on vocal fold health.

  2. The Neural Basis of Vocal Pitch Imitation in Humans. (United States)

    Belyk, Michel; Pfordresher, Peter Q; Liotti, Mario; Brown, Steven


    Vocal imitation is a phenotype that is unique to humans among all primate species, and so an understanding of its neural basis is critical in explaining the emergence of both speech and song in human evolution. Two principal neural models of vocal imitation have emerged from a consideration of nonhuman animals. One hypothesis suggests that putative mirror neurons in the inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis of Broca's area may be important for imitation. An alternative hypothesis derived from the study of songbirds suggests that the corticostriate motor pathway performs sensorimotor processes that are specific to vocal imitation. Using fMRI with a sparse event-related sampling design, we investigated the neural basis of vocal imitation in humans by comparing imitative vocal production of pitch sequences with both nonimitative vocal production and pitch discrimination. The strongest difference between these tasks was found in the putamen bilaterally, providing a striking parallel to the role of the analogous region in songbirds. Other areas preferentially activated during imitation included the orofacial motor cortex, Rolandic operculum, and SMA, which together outline the corticostriate motor loop. No differences were seen in the inferior frontal gyrus. The corticostriate system thus appears to be the central pathway for vocal imitation in humans, as predicted from an analogy with songbirds.

  3. Vocal cord palsy: An uncommon presenting feature of myasthenia gravis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sethi Prahlad


    Full Text Available Vocal cord palsy can have myriad causes. Unilateral vocal cord palsy is common and frequently asymptomatic. Trauma, head, neck and mediastinal tumors as well as cerebrovascular accidents have been implicated in causing unilateral vocal cord palsy. Viral neuronitis accounts for most idiopathic cases. Bilateral vocal cord palsy, on the other hand, is much less common and is a potentially life-threatening condition. Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies targeting the post-synaptic acetylcholine receptor, has been infrequently implicated in its causation. We report here a case of bilateral vocal cord palsy developing in a 68-year-old man with no prior history of myasthenia gravis 2 months after he was operated on for diverticulitis of the large intestine. Delay in considering the diagnosis led to endotracheal intubation and prolonged mechanical ventilation with attendant complications. Our case adds to the existing literature implicating myasthenia gravis as an infrequent cause of bilateral vocal cord palsy. Our case is unusual as, in our patient, acute-onset respiratory distress and stridor due to bilateral vocal cord palsy was the first manifestation of a myasthenic syndrome.

  4. Responses of prefrontal multisensory neurons to mismatching faces and vocalizations. (United States)

    Diehl, Maria M; Romanski, Lizabeth M


    Social communication relies on the integration of auditory and visual information, which are present in faces and vocalizations. Evidence suggests that the integration of information from multiple sources enhances perception compared with the processing of a unimodal stimulus. Our previous studies demonstrated that single neurons in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) respond to and integrate conspecific vocalizations and their accompanying facial gestures. We were therefore interested in how VLPFC neurons respond differentially to matching (congruent) and mismatching (incongruent) faces and vocalizations. We recorded VLPFC neurons during the presentation of movies with congruent or incongruent species-specific facial gestures and vocalizations as well as their unimodal components. Recordings showed that while many VLPFC units are multisensory and respond to faces, vocalizations, or their combination, a subset of neurons showed a significant change in neuronal activity in response to incongruent versus congruent vocalization movies. Among these neurons, we typically observed incongruent suppression during the early stimulus period and incongruent enhancement during the late stimulus period. Incongruent-responsive VLPFC neurons were both bimodal and nonlinear multisensory, fostering their ability to respond to changes in either modality of a face-vocalization stimulus. These results demonstrate that ventral prefrontal neurons respond to changes in either modality of an audiovisual stimulus, which is important in identity processing and for the integration of multisensory communication information. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411233-11$15.00/0.

  5. Acoustic Vocal Tract Model of One-year-old Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Vojnović


    Full Text Available The physical shape of vocal tract and its formant (resonant frequencies are directly related. The study of this functional connectivity is essential in speech therapy practice with children. Most of the perceived children’s speech anomalies can be explained on a physical level: malfunctioning movement of articulation organs. The current problem is that there is no enough data on the anatomical shape of children’s vocal tract to create its acoustic model. Classical techniques for vocal tract shape imaging (X-ray, magnetic resonance, etc. are not appropriate for children. One possibility is to start from the shape of the adult vocal tract and correct it based on anatomical, morphological and articulatory differences between children and adults. This paper presents a method for vocal tract shape estimation of the child aged one year. The initial shapes of the vocal tract refer to the Russian vowels spoken by an adult male. All the relevant anatomical and articulation parameters, that influence the formant frequencies, are analyzed. Finally, the hypothetical configurations of the children’s vocal tract, for the five vowels, are presented.

  6. Social vocalizations of big brown bats vary with behavioral context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie A Gadziola

    Full Text Available Bats are among the most gregarious and vocal mammals, with some species demonstrating a diverse repertoire of syllables under a variety of behavioral contexts. Despite extensive characterization of big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus biosonar signals, there have been no detailed studies of adult social vocalizations. We recorded and analyzed social vocalizations and associated behaviors of captive big brown bats under four behavioral contexts: low aggression, medium aggression, high aggression, and appeasement. Even limited to these contexts, big brown bats possess a rich repertoire of social vocalizations, with 18 distinct syllable types automatically classified using a spectrogram cross-correlation procedure. For each behavioral context, we describe vocalizations in terms of syllable acoustics, temporal emission patterns, and typical syllable sequences. Emotion-related acoustic cues are evident within the call structure by context-specific syllable types or variations in the temporal emission pattern. We designed a paradigm that could evoke aggressive vocalizations while monitoring heart rate as an objective measure of internal physiological state. Changes in the magnitude and duration of elevated heart rate scaled to the level of evoked aggression, confirming the behavioral state classifications assessed by vocalizations and behavioral displays. These results reveal a complex acoustic communication system among big brown bats in which acoustic cues and call structure signal the emotional state of a caller.

  7. Vocal evaluation in teachers with or without symptoms. (United States)

    Tavares, Elaine L M; Martins, Regina H G


    The aim of this study was to perform voice evaluation in teachers with and without vocal symptoms, identifying etiologic factors of dysphonia, voice symptoms, vocal qualities, and laryngeal lesions. Eighty teachers were divided into two groups: GI (without or sporadic symptoms, 40) and GII (with frequent vocal symptoms, 40). They answered a specific questionnaire, and were subject to a perceptual vocal assessment (maximum phonation time, glottal attack, resonance, coordination of breathing and voicing, pitch, and loudness), GIRBAS scale, and to videolaryngoscopy. Females were predominant in both groups, and the age range was from 36 to 50 years. Elementary teachers predominated, working in classes with 31-40 students. Voice symptoms and alterations in the perceptual vocal analysis and in the GIRBAS scale were more frequent in GII. In 46 teachers (GI-16; GII-30), videolaryngoscopy exams were abnormal with the vocal nodules being the most frequent lesions. These results indicate that a teacher's voice is compromised, and requires more attention including control of environmental factors and associated diseases, preventive vocal hygiene, periodic laryngeal examinations, and access to adequate specialist treatment.

  8. Possible association between Helicobacter pylori infection and vocal fold leukoplakia. (United States)

    Chen, Min; Chen, Jian; Yang, Yue; Cheng, Lei; Wu, Hai-Tao


    Several studies have indicated the larynx as possible Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) reservoirs. This study explored the association between H. pylori and vocal fold leukoplakia. The case-control study involved 51 patients with vocal fold leukoplakia and 35 control patients with vocal polyps. Helicobacter pylori was detected in tissues by the rapid urease test, nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and single-step PCR. The H. pylori-specific immunoglobulin antibodies were detected in plasma by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Helicobacter pylori-positive rate of vocal fold leukoplakia and vocal polyps was 23.5% versus 11.4% (P = .157), 37.2% versus 14.3% (P = .020), 27.5% versus 8.6% (P = .031), and 70.6% versus 68.6% (P = .841) detected by rapid urease test, nested PCR, single-step PCR, and ELISA, respectively. Regression analysis indicated that H. pylori infection (P = .044) was the independent risk factor for vocal fold leukoplakia. Helicobacter pylori infection exists in the larynx and may be associated with vocal fold leukoplakia. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Specific features of vocal fold paralysis in functional computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laskowska, K.; Mackiewicz-Nartowicz, H.; Serafin, Z.; Nawrocka, E.


    Vocal fold paralysis is usually recognized in laryngological examination, and detailed vocal fold function may be established based on laryngovideostroboscopy. Additional imaging should exclude any morphological causes of the paresis, which should be treated pharmacologically or surgically. The aim of this paper was to analyze the computed tomography (CT) images of the larynx in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis. CT examinations of the larynx were performed in 10 patients with clinically defined unilateral vocal fold paralysis. The examinations consisted of unenhanced acquisition and enhanced 3-phased acquisition: during free breathing, Valsalva maneuver, and phonation. The analysis included the following morphologic features of the paresis.the deepened epiglottic vallecula, the deepened piriform recess, the thickened and medially positioned aryepiglottic fold, the widened laryngeal pouch, the anteriorly positioned arytenoid cartilage, the thickened vocal fold, and the filled infraglottic space in frontal CT reconstruction. CT images were compared to laryngovideostroboscopy. The most common symptoms of vocal cord paralysis in CT were the deepened epiglottic vallecula and piriform recess, the widened laryngeal pouch with the filled infraglottic space, and the thickened aryepiglottic fold. Regarding the efficiency of the paralysis determination, the three functional techniques of CT larynx imaging used did not differ significantly, and laryngovideostroboscopy demonstrated its advantage over CT. CT of the larynx is a supplementary examination in the diagnosis of vocal fold paralysis, which may enable topographic analysis of the fold dysfunction. The knowledge of morphological CT features of the paralysis may help to prevent false-positive diagnosis of laryngeal cancer. (author)

  10. Repeated imitation makes human vocalizations more word-like. (United States)

    Edmiston, Pierce; Perlman, Marcus; Lupyan, Gary


    People have long pondered the evolution of language and the origin of words. Here, we investigate how conventional spoken words might emerge from imitations of environmental sounds. Does the repeated imitation of an environmental sound gradually give rise to more word-like forms? In what ways do these forms resemble the original sounds that motivated them (i.e. exhibit iconicity)? Participants played a version of the children's game 'Telephone'. The first generation of participants imitated recognizable environmental sounds (e.g. glass breaking, water splashing). Subsequent generations imitated the previous generation of imitations for a maximum of eight generations. The results showed that the imitations became more stable and word-like, and later imitations were easier to learn as category labels. At the same time, even after eight generations, both spoken imitations and their written transcriptions could be matched above chance to the category of environmental sound that motivated them. These results show how repeated imitation can create progressively more word-like forms while continuing to retain a resemblance to the original sound that motivated them, and speak to the possible role of human vocal imitation in explaining the origins of at least some spoken words. © 2018 The Author(s).

  11. Efeito imediato de técnicas vocais em mulheres sem queixa vocal Immediate effect of vocal techniques in women without vocal complaint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Cristina Pereira


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: verificar o efeito imediato das técnicas vocais vibração, som nasal e sobrearticulação na voz e na laringe de mulheres sem queixas vocais. MÉTODO: participaram da pesquisa 32 sujeitos do sexo feminino, com idades entre 20 e 45 anos, sem queixas vocais, com qualidade vocal avaliada entre normal e alteração de grau leve Os sujeitos foram submetidos à análise perceptivo-auditiva pela escala visual analógica da vogal /ε/ e fala espontânea, análise acústica e laringoestroboscopia antes e após a realização das técnicas. RESULTADOS: a análise perceptivo-auditiva revelou melhora significante dos parâmetros impressão global da voz, rouquidão e estabilidade na vogal /ε/ e articulação na fala espontânea. A análise acústica evidenciou melhora significante do jitter e shimmer. A laringoestroboscopia evidenciou significante melhora no fechamento glótico e melhora na movimentação muco-ondulatória das pregas vocais. CONCLUSÃO: as técnicas vocais estudadas são capazes de proporcionar melhora imediata significante da qualidade vocal e da configuração laríngea.PURPOSE: to check the immediate effect of vocal techniques: vibration, nasal sound and overarticulation. METHOD: 32 female subjects with normal to mild dysphonia took part in the study, with ages from 20 to 45 years. Subjects were submitted to perceptual analysis and laryngostroboscopic exams before and after the use of vocal techniques. RESULTS: subjects' vocal classification in perceptual analysis after accomplishing the vocal techniques showed significant improvement on parameters voice global impression, hoarseness and stability; and, in spontaneous speech, one showed a significant improvement on the parameter articulation. The acoustic analysis evidenced significant improvement of the jitter and shimmer. Laryngostroboscopic examination evidenced a significant increase in the glottic closing and an increase in the mucondulatory movement of the vocal folds

  12. A nomenclature paradigm for benign midmembranous vocal fold lesions. (United States)

    Rosen, Clark A; Gartner-Schmidt, Jackie; Hathaway, Bridget; Simpson, C Blake; Postma, Gregory N; Courey, Mark; Sataloff, Robert T


    There is a significant lack of uniform agreement regarding nomenclature for benign vocal fold lesions (BVFLs). This confusion results in difficulty for clinicians communicating with their patients and with each other. In addition, BVFL research and comparison of treatment methods are hampered by the lack of a detailed and uniform BVFL nomenclature. Clinical consensus conferences were held to develop an initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm. Perceptual video analysis was performed to validate the stroboscopy component of the paradigm. The culmination of the consensus conferences and the video-perceptual analysis was used to evaluate the BVFL nomenclature paradigm using a retrospective review of patients with BVFL. An initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm was proposed utilizing detailed definitions relating to vocal fold lesion morphology, stroboscopy, response to voice therapy and intraoperative findings. Video-perceptual analysis of stroboscopy demonstrated that the proposed binary stroboscopy system used in the BVFL nomenclature paradigm was valid and widely applicable. Retrospective review of 45 patients with BVFL followed to the conclusion of treatment demonstrated that slight modifications of the initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm were required. With the modified BVFL nomenclature paradigm, 96% of the patients fit into the predicted pattern and definitions of the BVFL nomenclature system. This study has validated a multidimensional BVFL nomenclature paradigm. This vocal fold nomenclature paradigm includes nine distinct vocal fold lesions: vocal fold nodules, vocal fold polyp, pseudocyst, vocal fold cyst (subepithelial or ligament), nonspecific vocal fold lesion, vocal fold fibrous mass (subepithelial or ligament), and reactive lesion. Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

  13. Radiation Fibrosis of the Vocal Fold: From Man to Mouse (United States)

    Johns, Michael M.; Kolachala, Vasantha; Berg, Eric; Muller, Susan; Creighton, Frances X.; Branski, Ryan C.


    Objectives To characterize fundamental late tissue effects in the human vocal fold following radiation therapy. To develop a murine model of radiation fibrosis to ultimately develop both treatment and prevention paradigms. Design Translational study using archived human and fresh murine irradiated vocal fold tissue. Methods 1) Irradiated vocal fold tissue from patients undergoing laryngectomy for loss of function from radiation fibrosis were identified from pathology archives. Histomorphometry, immunohistochemistry, and whole-genome microarray as well as real-time transcriptional analyses was performed. 2) Focused radiation to the head and neck was delivered to mice in a survival fashion. One month following radiation, vocal fold tissue was analyzed with histomorphometry, immunohistochemistry, and real-time PCR transcriptional analysis for selected markers of fibrosis. Results Human irradiated vocal folds demonstrated increased collagen transcription with increased deposition and disorganization of collagen in both the thyroarytenoid muscle and the superficial lamina propria. Fibronectin were increased in the superficial lamina propria. Laminin decreased in the thyroarytenoid muscle. Whole genome microarray analysis demonstrated increased transcription of markers for fibrosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, glycosaminoglycan production and apoptosis. Irradiated murine vocal folds demonstrated increases in collagen and fibronectin transcription and deposition in the lamina propria. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β increased in the lamina propria. Conclusion Human irradiated vocal folds demonstrate molecular changes leading to fibrosis that underlie loss of vocal fold pliability that occurs in patients following laryngeal irradiation. Irradiated murine tissue demonstrates similar findings, and this mouse model may have utility in creating prevention and treatment strategies for vocal fold radiation fibrosis. PMID:23242839

  14. Vocal mechanisms in birds and bats: a comparative view

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suthers Roderick A.


    Full Text Available Vocal signals play a very important role in the life of both birds and echolocating bats, but these two unrelated groups of flying vertebrates have very different vocal systems. They nevertheless must solve many of the same problems in producing sound. This brief review examines avian and microchiropteran motor mechanisms for: 1 coordinating the timing of phonation with the vocal motor pattern that controls its acoustic properties, and 2 achieving respiratory strategies that provide adequate ventilation for pulmonary gas exchange, while also facilitating longer duration songs or trains of sonar pulses.

  15. Comment on "Monkey vocal tracts are speech-ready". (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip


    Monkey vocal tracts are capable of producing monkey speech, not the full range of articulate human speech. The evolution of human speech entailed both anatomy and brains. Fitch, de Boer, Mathur, and Ghazanfar in Science Advances claim that "monkey vocal tracts are speech-ready," and conclude that "…the evolution of human speech capabilities required neural change rather than modifications of vocal anatomy." Neither premise is consistent either with the data presented and the conclusions reached by de Boer and Fitch themselves in their own published papers on the role of anatomy in the evolution of human speech or with the body of independent studies published since the 1950s.

  16. Endoscopic vocal fold injection using a 25-gauge butterfly needle. (United States)

    Buchanan, M A; Riffat, F; Palme, C E


    To describe a useful technique for infiltrating a bulking agent using a butterfly needle, as part of a transoral endoscopic vocal fold medialisation procedure. This paper describes the procedure of grasping the needle with phonosurgery forceps and administering the injectate to the vocal fold through careful application of the syringe plunger via a length of rubber tubing from outside the mouth. This procedure is performed routinely in our institution without complication. The advantages of this technique are discussed. This is a safe and easy method of injecting into a vocal fold.

  17. Balance and flexibility. (United States)


    The 'work-life balance' and flexible working are currently key buzz terms in the NHS. Those looking for more information on these topics should visit Flexibility at for a host of resources designed to support new ways of working, including information on flexible workers and flexible rostering, the legal balancing act for work-life balance and home working.

  18. Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Regeneration of Vocal Folds: A Study on a Chronic Vocal Fold Scar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelou Valerie


    Full Text Available Background. The aim of the study was to assess the histological effects of autologous infusion of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC on a chronic vocal fold scar in a rabbit model as compared to an untreated scar as well as in injection of hyaluronic acid. Study Design. Animal experiment. Method. We used 74 New Zealand rabbits. Sixteen of them were used as control/normal group. We created a bilateral vocal fold wound in the remaining 58 rabbits. After 18 months we separated our population into three groups. The first group served as control/scarred group. The second one was injected with hyaluronic acid in the vocal folds, and the third received an autologous adipose-derived stem cell infusion in the scarred vocal folds (ADSC group. We measured the variation of thickness of the lamina propria of the vocal folds and analyzed histopathologic changes in each group after three months. Results. The thickness of the lamina propria was significantly reduced in the group that received the ADSC injection, as compared to the normal/scarred group. The collagen deposition, the hyaluronic acid, the elastin levels, and the organization of elastic fibers tend to return to normal after the injection of ADSC. Conclusions. Autologous injection of adipose-derived stem cells on a vocal fold chronic scar enhanced the healing of the vocal folds and the reduction of the scar tissue, even when compared to other treatments.

  19. Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Regeneration of Vocal Folds: A Study on a Chronic Vocal Fold Scar (United States)

    Vassiliki, Kalodimou; Irini, Messini; Nikolaos, Psychalakis; Karampela, Eleftheria; Apostolos, Papalois


    Background. The aim of the study was to assess the histological effects of autologous infusion of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) on a chronic vocal fold scar in a rabbit model as compared to an untreated scar as well as in injection of hyaluronic acid. Study Design. Animal experiment. Method. We used 74 New Zealand rabbits. Sixteen of them were used as control/normal group. We created a bilateral vocal fold wound in the remaining 58 rabbits. After 18 months we separated our population into three groups. The first group served as control/scarred group. The second one was injected with hyaluronic acid in the vocal folds, and the third received an autologous adipose-derived stem cell infusion in the scarred vocal folds (ADSC group). We measured the variation of thickness of the lamina propria of the vocal folds and analyzed histopathologic changes in each group after three months. Results. The thickness of the lamina propria was significantly reduced in the group that received the ADSC injection, as compared to the normal/scarred group. The collagen deposition, the hyaluronic acid, the elastin levels, and the organization of elastic fibers tend to return to normal after the injection of ADSC. Conclusions. Autologous injection of adipose-derived stem cells on a vocal fold chronic scar enhanced the healing of the vocal folds and the reduction of the scar tissue, even when compared to other treatments. PMID:26933440

  20. Voz e posição de prega vocal em homens com paralisia unilateral de prega vocal Voice and vocal fold position in men with unilateral vocal fold paralysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Schwarz


    Full Text Available O posicionamento da prega vocal paralisada e o grau de disfonia são fatores importantes para decidir as opções de tratamento na paralisia de prega vocal unilateral (PPVU. OBJETIVO: Verificar as características perceptivo-auditivas da voz e a posição da prega vocal paralisada, em homens, com PPVU. MATERIAIS E MÉTODOS: Estudo retrospectivo, coorte histórica, com corte transversal, com dados de 24 homens com PPVU, com média de 60,7 anos, submetidos à avaliação vocal perceptivo-auditiva da voz, por três juízas fonoaudiólogas e perceptivo-visual das imagens laríngeas, com a classificação da posição da prega vocal paralisada, por três juízes otorrinolaringologistas. RESULTADOS: A prega vocal paralisada em posição paramediana ocorreu em 45,83% dos casos; a intermediária, em 25%; a lateral, em 20,83%, e a mediana, em 4,16%; a disfonia resultante da PPVU foi caracterizada pela rouquidão, aspereza e tensão, de grau moderado; soprosidade (maior frequência do grau grave; astenia e instabilidade (maior frequência do grau leve; a posição da prega vocal paralisada influenciou significativamente o grau geral de desvio vocal. CONCLUSÃO: O grau geral de disfonia está relacionado com a posição da prega vocal paralisada; a disfonia é caracterizada pela presença de rouquidão, soprosidade, aspereza e tensão de grau moderado a grave.The paralyzed vocal fold positioning and the degree of dysphonia are important inputs when one is deciding upon treatment options for unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP. OBJECTIVE: To check voice characteristics and paralyzed vocal fold position in men with UVFP. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective historical cross-sectional cohort study, with data from 24 men with UVFP with mean age of 60.7 years, submitted to voice assessment by three speech therapists and three ENT physicians used laryngeal images to classify the position of the paralyzed vocal fold. RESULTS: The paralyzed vocal fold

  1. When internal communication becomes multi-vocal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Vibeke Thøis

    The aim of this paper is to present the findings of an exploratory case study of communication on internal social media within the Danish bank, Jyske Bank. The study involved an analysis of staff interaction on internal social media over three months, as well as interviews with 17 of the bank......’s employees. The study not only answers questions about who participates in internal social media and the content of their communication, it also shows that when organizational culture and management support coworker communication, internal social media becomes a multi-vocal rhetorical arena where coworkers...... are likely to converse about how to solve product and customer-related challenges, and to discuss working conditions. In addition, this study shows that coworkers co-construct organizational identity when they discuss questions such as: Who are we as an organization? Which products should we provide...

  2. Cultural relativity in perceiving emotion from vocalizations. (United States)

    Gendron, Maria; Roberson, Debi; van der Vyver, Jacoba Marieta; Barrett, Lisa Feldman


    A central question in the study of human behavior is whether certain emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness, are recognized in nonverbal cues across cultures. We predicted and found that in a concept-free experimental task, participants from an isolated cultural context (the Himba ethnic group from northwestern Namibia) did not freely label Western vocalizations with expected emotion terms. Responses indicate that Himba participants perceived more basic affective properties of valence (positivity or negativity) and to some extent arousal (high or low activation). In a second, concept-embedded task, we manipulated whether the target and foil on a given trial matched in both valence and arousal, neither valence nor arousal, valence only, or arousal only. Himba participants achieved above-chance accuracy only when foils differed from targets in valence only. Our results indicate that the voice can reliably convey affective meaning across cultures, but that perceptions of emotion from the voice are culturally variable.

  3. Vocal dose in teachers: correlation with dysphonia. (United States)

    Gama, Ana Cristina Côrtes; Santos, Juliana Nunes; Pedra, Elisângela de Fátima Pereira; Rabelo, Alessandra Terra Vasconcelos; Magalhães, Max de Castro; Casas, Estevam Barbosa de Las


    Teachers are professionals with high prevalence of dysphonia, whose main risk factors are the large work hours in classrooms with the presence of background noise. The purpose of the study was to calculate the phonation time and the cycle dose of teachers with dysphonia and teachers without voice disorders during the class. There were two groups analyzed: five teachers with functional dysphonia were the first group and five teachers without voice disorders were the second group. For the data was used the VoxLog® dosimeter and the parameters were: intensity; fundamental frequency; phonation time and cycle dose. The statistical analysis used ANOVA, Student's T-test, and Kruskal-Wallis test. Dysphonic teachers showed major values of phonation time and cycle dose compared with teachers without voice disorders. The dysphonia is related to extended period of speech time and greater exposure of the tissue of the vocal fold to phonotrauma.

  4. Differentiating vocal cord dysfunction from asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fretzayas A


    Full Text Available Andrew Fretzayas,1,2 Maria Moustaki,3 Ioanna Loukou,3 Konstantinos Douros4 1Third Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, “Attikon” University Hospital, Haidari, Greece; 2Athens Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Marousi, Greece; 3Department of Cystic Fibrosis, “Aghia Sofia”, Children’s Hospital, Athens, Greece; 4Respiratory Unit, Third Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, “Attikon” University Hospital, Haidari, Greece Abstract: Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD-associated symptoms are not rare in pediatric patients. Dyspnea, wheezing, stridor, chest pain or tightness and throat discomfort are the most commonly encountered symptoms. They may occur either at rest or more commonly during exercise in patients with VCD, as well as in asthmatic subjects. The phase of respiration (inspiration rather than expiration, the location of the wheezing origin, the rapid resolution of symptoms, and the timing occurring in relation to exercise, when VCD is exercise induced, raise the suspicion of VCD in patients who may have been characterized as merely asthmatics and, most importantly, had not responded to the appropriate treatment. The gold standard method for the diagnosis of VCD is fiberoptic laryngoscopy, which may also identify concomitant laryngeal abnormalities other than VCD. However, as VCD is an intermittent phenomenon, the procedure should be performed while the patient is symptomatic. For this reason, challenges that induce VCD symptoms should be performed, such as exercise tests. Recently, for the evaluation of patients with exercise-induced VCD, continuous laryngoscopy during exercise (such as treadmill, bicycle ergometer, swimming was used. A definite diagnosis of VCD is of importance, especially for those patients who have been erroneously characterized as asthmatics, without adequate response to treatment. In these cases, another therapeutic approach is necessary, which will depend on

  5. Singers' and Nonsingers' Perception of Vocal Vibrato. (United States)

    Reddy, A Anita; Subramanian, Uma


    Vibrato, a small, nevertheless an important component in the singing voice is known to enrich the overall singing voice quality. However, in the perception of overall performance, it is often neglected. Singing performance is often appreciated by a mixed audience of those who love music, but not necessarily sing and other singers who may or may not be teachers of singing. The objectives of the present study were aimed at investigating singers' and nonsingers' perception of vocal vibrato and its effect on the ratings of singer's overall performance. Prerecorded audio samples of the chorus of a hymn (How Great Thou Art) as sung by 10 singers (both men and women) were played via a speaker to two groups of judges which consisted of three experienced singers and three experienced nonsingers. The singer judges (SJs) were vocal instructors in Western classical, music theater, pop, and contemporary styles. Seven parameters (presence of vibrato, rate, extent, conspicuousness, quality, periodicity, and type) related to vibrato were evaluated through auditory perception by these two groups of judges on a rating scale developed specifically for the study, and one parameter evaluated singer's overall performance. Cohen's Kappa statistical analysis was used for inter-rater reliability within groups. Nonsinger judges (NSJs) within the group showed varied ratings as did SJs, yet SJs did have higher agreement than NSJs. Chi-square analysis was used across groups. Both groups were distinct from each other in their perception of vibrato. Ratings of singer's overall performance were not affected for NSJs, but certainly affected for SJ. It could not be concluded that ratings on singer's overall performance was affected as a result of vibrato. Since vibrato is often over-ridden by the singer's voice. But a rare occasion can arise where a vibrato may not sound pleasant and can affect the listener's perception of the singer's performance. Often a feedback from listeners would help monitor

  6. Irritant-Induced Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion Disorder: Diagnosis and Management. (United States)

    Marcinow, Anna M; Thompson, Jennifer; Forrest, L Arick; deSilva, Brad W


    To review our experience with the diagnosis and treatment of irritant-induced paradoxical vocal fold motion disorder (IPVFMD). Retrospective chart review. Tertiary academic referral center. Thirty-four cases that met IPVFMD criteria and 76 cases of non-IPVFMD were selected from a database of patients with paradoxical vocal fold motion disorder-the diagnosis of which was made on the basis of flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy and augmented by an odor challenge. Clinical charts were reviewed to document history of environmental allergies, pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux, psychiatric disorder, fibromyalgia, tobacco use, alcohol use, dysphonia, cough, dysphagia, and treatment outcomes. There were no statistical differences between the IPVFMD and non-IPVFMD groups. Of the patients who were assigned and attended laryngeal control therapy, 13 (65%) reported improvement of symptoms. Symptom improvement increased to 100% in those patients who attended at least 2 laryngeal control therapy sessions. IPVFMD should be considered in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms after irritant exposure. Sensitivity of diagnosis can be improved via a standardized approach consisting of a careful history and physical examination, including laryngoscopy in the presence of triggers. Laryngeal control therapy is a well-tolerated and effective method of managing IPVFMD. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2015.

  7. Vocal pedagogy and contemporary commercial music : reflections on higher education non-classical vocal pedagogy in the United States and Finland


    Keskinen, Anu Katri


    This study is focused on the discipline of higher education contemporary commercial music (CCM) vocal pedagogy through the experiences of two vocal pedagogy teachers, the other in the USA and the other in Finland. The aim of this study has been to find out how the discipline presently looks from a vocal pedagogy teacher's viewpoint, what has the process of building higher education CCM vocal pedagogy courses been like, and where is the field headed. The discussion on CCM pedagogy, also kn...

  8. Importance of flexible bronchoscopy in decannulation of tracheostomy patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Brand Rodrigues

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the importance of flexible bronchoscopy in tracheostomy patients in the process of decannulation to assess the incidence and types of laryngotracheal injury and compare the presence of such lesions with clinical criteria used for decannulation. METHODS: We studied 51 tracheostomized patients aged between 19 and 87 years, with tracheal stent for a mean of 46 ± 28 days and with clinical criteria for decannulation. They were submitted to tracheostomy tube occlusion tolerance testfor 24 hours, and then to flexible bronchoscopy. We described and classified the diagnosed laryngotracheal changes. We compared the clinical criteria for decannulation indication with the bronchoscopy-diagnosed laryngotracheal injuries that contraindicated decannulation. We identified the factors that could interfere in decannulation and evaluated the importance of bronchoscopy as part of the process. RESULTS: Forty (80.4% patients had laryngotracheal alterations. Of the 40 patients considered clinically fit to decannulation, eight (20% (p = 0.0007 presented with laryngotracheal injuries at bronchoscopy that contraindicated the procedure. The most frequent laryngeal alteration was vocal cords lesion, in 15 (29% individuals, and granuloma, the most prevalent tracheal lesion, in 14 (27.5% patients. CONCLUSION: flexible bronchoscopy showed a large number of laryngotracheal injuries, the most frequent being the vocal cords injury in the larynx and the granuloma in the trachea, which contributed to increase the decannulation procedure safety.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available This article presents the author’s reflections on the methodical problems of vocal respiration treated by Ludmila Aga as one of the essential elements of vocal technique. Based on her own rich experience as opera soloist and vocal teacher, the author reviews some theoretical principles which treat this problem. Besides, L. Aga proposes some helpful exercises for developing vocal respiration abilities. The article combines data from physiology, history and the theory of performing arts, methods of singing. Having an applied character, this work might be helpful for the singing teachers from the colleges and higher instituti­ons of music proile, as well as for the students of the Academic Singing Department.

  10. Trends in Utilization of Vocal Fold Injection Procedures. (United States)

    Rosow, David E


    Office-based vocal fold injections have become increasingly popular over the past 15 years. Examination of trends in procedure coding for vocal fold injections in the United States from 2000 to 2012 was undertaken to see if they reflect this shift. The US Part B Medicare claims database was queried from 2000 through 2012 for multiple Current Procedural Terminology codes. Over the period studied, the number of nonoperative laryngoscopic injections (31513, 31570) and operative medialization laryngoplasties (31588) remained constant. Operative vocal fold injection (31571) demonstrated marked linear growth over the 12-year study period, from 744 procedures in 2000 to 4788 in 2012-an increase >640%. The dramatic increased incidence in the use of code 31571 reflects an increasing share of vocal fold injections being performed in the operating room and not in an office setting, running counter to the prevailing trend toward awake, office-based injection procedures. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2015.

  11. Phonosurgery of the vocal folds : a classification proposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remacle, M; Friedrich, G; Dikkers, FG; de Jong, F

    The Phonosurgery Committee of the European Laryngological Society (ELS) has examined the definition and technical description of phonosurgical procedures. Based on this review, the committee has proposed a working classification. The current presentation is restricted to vocal fold surgery (VFS)

  12. Corrigendum: Cultural Relativity in Perceiving Emotion From Vocalizations. (United States)


    Gendron, M., Roberson, D., van der Vyver, J. M., & Barrett, L. F. (2014). Cultural relativity in perceiving emotion from vocalizations. Psychological Science, 25, 911-920. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0956797613517239 ).

  13. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings. (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel


    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The Effect of Vocal Hygiene and Behavior Modification Instruction on the Self-Reported Vocal Health Habits of Public School Music Teachers (United States)

    Hackworth, Rhonda S.


    This study examined the effects of vocal hygiene and behavior modification instruction on self-reported behaviors of music teachers. Subjects (N = 76) reported daily behaviors for eight weeks: water consumption, warm-up, talking over music/noise, vocal rest, nonverbal commands, and vocal problems. Subjects were in experimental group 1 or 2, or the…

  15. Morphometric Study of Vocal Folds in Indian Cadavers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rawal J.D.


    Full Text Available Introduction: -The larynx is an air passage and a sphincteric device used in respiration and phonation. The larynx, from inside outwards has a framework of mucosa surrounded by fibro-elastic membrane which in turn is surrounded by cartilages and then a layer of muscles. Vocal folds are intrinsic ligament of larynx covered by mucosal folds. Larynx generates sound through rhythmic opening and closing of the vocal folds. The perceived pitch of human voice mainly depends upon fundamental frequency of sound generated by larynx. Aim: - The aim of present study is to measure various dimensions of vocal folds in Indian cadavers. Material & Methods: - 50 larynx were obtained from embalmed cadavers, of which 10 larynx were of females. Vocal cords were dissected from the larynx and morphometric analysis was done. Results and Conclusions: - The average total length of the vocal folds was found to be 16.11 mm. ± 2.62 mm. in male and 14.10 mm. ± 1.54 mm. in female cadavers. The average width of the vocal folds was found to be 4.38 mm. ± 0.74 mm. in male and 3.60 mm. ± 0.64 mm. in female cadavers. The average total length of the membranous part of the vocal folds was found to be 11.90 mm. ± 1.86 mm. in male and 10.45 mm. ± 1.81 mm. in female cadavers. The average ratio of the length of the membranous and the cartilaginous parts of the vocal folds was calculated to be 3.10 ± 0.96in male and 2.85 ± 0.73in female cadavers.

  16. Cervical osteophytes presenting as unilateral vocal fold paralysis and dysphagia. (United States)

    Yoskovitch, A; Kantor, S


    Any process involving either the vagus nerve, its recurrent laryngeal branch or the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve may cause paralysis of the vocal fold. The most common cause is neoplasm. Clinically, the patients often present with a hoarse, breathy voice as well as symptoms of aspiration. The following represents a unique case of unilateral vocal fold paralysis and dysphagia caused by a degenerative disease of the cervical spine, resluting in extrinsic compression of the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

  17. Time course of recovery of idiopathic vocal fold paralysis. (United States)

    Husain, Solomon; Sadoughi, Babak; Mor, Niv; Levin, Ariana M; Sulica, Lucian


    To clarify the time course of recovery in patients with idiopathic vocal fold paralysis. Retrospective chart review. Medical records for all patients with idiopathic vocal fold paralysis over a 10-year period were reviewed to obtain demographic and clinical information, including onset of disease and recovery of vocal function. Stroboscopic exams of patients who recovered voice were reviewed blindly to assess return of vocal fold motion. Thirty-eight of 55 patients (69%) recovered vocal function. Time course of recovery could be assessed in 34 patients who did not undergo injection augmentation. The mean time to recovery was 152.8 ± 109.3 days (left, 179.8 ± 111.3 days; right, 105.3 ± 93.7 days; P = .088). Two-thirds of patients recovered within 6 months. Probability of recovery declined over time. Five of 22 patients who recovered voice had return of vocal fold motion; 17 did not. The mean time to recovery did not differ between these groups (return of motion, 127.4 ± 132.3 days; no return of motion, 160.1 ± 105.1 days; P = .290). Sixty-nine percent of patients with idiopathic vocal fold paralysis recovered vocal function, two-thirds doing so within 6 months of onset. Age, gender, laterality, use of injection augmentation did not influence recovery rate. Declining probability of recovery over time leads us to consider framework surgery after 6 months in patients with idiopathic paralysis. 4. Laryngoscope, 128:148-152, 2018. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  18. A duetting perspective on avian song learning. (United States)

    Rivera-Cáceres, Karla D; Templeton, Christopher N


    Avian song learning has a rich history of study and has become the preeminent system for understanding the ontogeny of vocal communication in animals. Song learning in birds has many parallels with human language learning, ranging from the neural mechanisms involved to the importance of social factors in shaping signal acquisition. While much has been learned about the process of song learning, virtually all of the research done to date has focused on temperate species, where often only one sex (the male) sings. Duetting species, in which both males and females learn to sing and learn to combine their songs into temporally coordinated joint displays, could provide many insights into the processes by which vocal learning takes place. Here we highlight three key features of song learning-neuroendocrine control mechanisms, timing and life history stages of song acquisition, and the role of social factors in song selection and use-that have been elucidated from species where only males sing, and compare these with duetting species. We summarize what is known about song learning in duetting species and then provide several suggestions for fruitful directions for future research. We suggest that focusing research efforts on duetting species could significantly advance our understanding of vocal learning in birds and further cement the importance of avian species as models for understanding human conversations and the processes of vocal learning more broadly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations are bound to active sniffing behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yevgeniy B Sirotin


    Full Text Available During rodent active behavior, multiple orofacial sensorimotor behaviors, including sniffing and whisking, display rhythmicity in the theta range (~5-10 Hz. During specific behaviors, these rhythmic patterns interlock, such that execution of individual motor programs becomes dependent on the state of the others. Here we performed simultaneous recordings of the respiratory cycle and ultrasonic vocalization emission by adult rats and mice in social settings. We used automated analysis to examine the relationship between breathing patterns and vocalization over long time periods. Rat ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs, ’50 kHz’ were emitted within stretches of active sniffing (5−10 Hz and were largely absent during periods of passive breathing (1-4 Hz. Because ultrasound was tightly linked to the exhalation phase, the sniffing cycle segmented vocal production into discrete calls and imposed its theta rhythmicity on their timing. In turn, calls briefly prolonged exhalations, causing an immediate drop in sniffing rate. Similar results were obtained in mice. Our results show that ultrasonic vocalizations are an integral part of the rhythmic orofacial behavioral ensemble. This complex behavioral program is thus involved not only in active sensing but also in the temporal structuring of social communication signals. Many other social signals of mammals, including monkey calls and human speech, show structure in the theta range. Our work points to a mechanism for such structuring in rodent ultrasonic vocalizations.

  20. Distress vocalization sequences broadcasted by bats carry redundant information. (United States)

    Hechavarría, Julio C; Beetz, M Jerome; Macias, Silvio; Kössl, Manfred


    Distress vocalizations (also known as alarm or screams) are an important component of the vocal repertoire of a number of animal species, including bats, humans, monkeys and birds, among others. Although the behavioral relevance of distress vocalizations is undeniable, at present, little is known about the rules that govern vocalization production when in alarmful situations. In this article, we show that when distressed, bats of the species Carollia perspicillata produce repetitive vocalization sequences in which consecutive syllables are likely to be similar to one another regarding their physical attributes. The uttered distress syllables are broadband (12-73 kHz) with most of their energy focussing at 23 kHz. Distress syllables are short (~4 ms), their average sound pressure level is close to 70 dB SPL, and they are produced at high repetition rates (every 14 ms). We discuss that, because of their physical attributes, bat distress vocalizations could serve a dual purpose: (1) advertising threatful situations to conspecifics, and (2) informing the threatener that the bats are ready to defend themselves. We also discuss possible advantages of advertising danger/discomfort using repetitive utterances, a calling strategy that appears to be ubiquitous across the animal kingdom.

  1. Recurrence of vocal fold leukoplakia after carbon dioxide laser therapy. (United States)

    Chen, Min; Chen, Jian; Cheng, Lei; Wu, Haitao


    This work aims to analyze the recurrence of vocal fold leukoplakia after carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) laser resection. In this retrospective study, all patients undergoing CO 2 laser resection of vocal fold leukoplakia were followed up for at least 2 years. Recurrence was diagnosed as any presence of leukoplakia in the vocal cord subsequent to previous successful complete resection. A total of 326 patients with complete resection of vocal fold leukoplakia and follow-up subsequent surveillance laryngoscopy were studied. The recurrence rate, the recurrence time, and risk factors were evaluated. Of these, 52 (16.0%) patients experienced recurrence with a mean follow-up time of 50.5 ± 15.4 months. The mean time to recurrence was 16.2 ± 14.1 months. Univariate analysis showed that the size of lesion (P vocal fold leukoplakia, long-term follow-up is required after CO 2 laser resection. In conclusion, the size of lesion combined with the pathological grade are important risk factors that predict vocal fold leukoplakia recurrence.

  2. Idiopathic unilateral vocal-fold paralysis in the adult. (United States)

    Rubin, F; Villeneuve, A; Alciato, L; Slaïm, L; Bonfils, P; Laccourreye, O


    To analyze the characteristics of adult idiopathic unilateral vocal-fold paralysis. Retrospective study of diagnostic problems, clinical data and recovery in an inception cohort of 100 adult patients with idiopathic unilateral vocal-fold paralysis (Group A) and comparison with a cohort of 211 patients with isolated non-idiopathic non-traumatic unilateral vocal-fold paralysis (Group B). Diagnostic problems were noted in 24% of cases in Group A: eight patients with concomitant common upper aerodigestive tract infection, five patients with a concomitant condition liable to induce immunodepression and 11 patients in whom a malignant tumor occurred along the path of the ipsilateral vagus and inferior laryngeal nerves or in the ipsilateral paralyzed larynx. There was no recovery of vocal-fold motion beyond 51 months after onset of paralysis. The 5-year actuarial estimate for recovery differed significantly (Pvocal-fold paralysis. In non-traumatic vocal-fold paralysis in adult patients, without recovery of vocal-fold motion, a minimum three years' regular follow-up is recommended. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches. (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G


    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Vocal cord paralysis due to extralaryngeal causes : evaluation with CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jong Hwa; Mo, Jong Hyun; Moon, Sung Hee; Na, Dong Gyu; Byun, Hong Sik; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung; Son, Young Ik; Baek, Chung Whan


    To evaluate the use of CT in patients with vocal cord paralysis due to extralaryngeal causes, and to use CT for the assessment of extralaryngeal diseases causing vocal cord paralysis. We prospectively studied the results of CT in 41 patients with vocal cord paralysis in whom laryngoscopy revealed no laryngeal cause and physical examination demonstrated no definite extralaryngeal cause. The extralaryngeal cause of vocal cord palsy was determined after comprehensive clinical diagnosis. Enhanced CT scans were acquired from the skull base and continued to the level of the aorticopulmonary window. We used CT to assess the detection rate for extralaryngeal causes and to extimate the extent of extralaryngeal disease and the distribution of lesions. CT revealed that in 20 of 41 patients(49%) the extralarygeal causes of vocal paralysis were as follows : thyroid cancer(n=10), nodal disease(n=6), esophageal cancer(n=2), neurogenic tumor(n=1), aortic aneurysm(n=1). Lesions were located on the left side in 13 patients(65%), and in the tracheoesophageal groove in 15(75%). In patients with vocal cord paralysis in whom no definite lesion is seen on physical examination , CT could be a useful primary imaging method for the assessment of extralaryngeal causes

  5. The vocal quality in female student teachers during the 3 years of study. (United States)

    Van Lierde, K M; Claeys, S; Dhaeseleer, E; Deley, S; Derde, K; Herregods, I; Strybol, I; Wuyts, F


    The purpose of the present cross-sectional study was to determine the objective vocal quality and the vocal characteristics (vocal risk factors, vocal and corporal complaints) in 143 female student teachers during the 3 years of study. The objective vocal quality was measured by means of the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI). Perceptual voice assessment, the Voice Handicap Index, questionnaires addressing vocal risks, and vocal and corporal complaints during and/or after voice usage were performed. Student teachers have a normal perceptual and objective vocal quality corresponding with a DSI% of 76. The analysis of variance revealed a significant improvement of the vocal quality between the first and the third year of study. No psychosocial handicapping effect of the voice was observed, though there are some vocal complaints and almost all student teachers reported the presence of corporal pain during and/or after speaking. Especially sore throat and headache were mentioned as the most present corporal pain symptoms. Due to the decreased awareness and the multifactorial genesis of the potential vocal risk factors, the student teachers are at risk for developing an occupational dysphonia during their teaching career. Because teaching is a high-risk profession for the development of voice problems, the incorporation of a direct vocal training technique to increase vocal endurance during teaching together with a vocal hygiene program, dietetics, and a stress management training program during the 3 years of study is needed to prevent occupational dysphonia. 2010 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Flexible magnetoimpedance sensor

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Bodong; Kavaldzhiev, Mincho; Kosel, Jü rgen


    Flexible magnetoimpedance (MI) sensors fabricated using a NiFe/Cu/NiFe tri-layer on Kapton substrate have been studied. A customized flexible microstrip transmission line was employed to investigate the MI sensors's magnetic field and frequency

  7. A Foxp2 mutation implicated in human speech deficits alters sequencing of ultrasonic vocalizations in adult male mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Chabout


    Full Text Available Development of proficient spoken language skills is disrupted by mutations of the FOXP2 transcription factor. A heterozygous missense mutation in the KE family causes speech apraxia, involving difficulty producing words with complex learned sequences of syllables. Manipulations in songbirds have helped to elucidate the role of this gene in vocal learning, but findings in non-human mammals have been limited or inconclusive. Here we performed a systematic study of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs of adult male mice carrying the KE family mutation. Using novel statistical tools, we found that Foxp2 heterozygous mice did not have detectable changes in USV syllable acoustic structure, but produced shorter sequences and did not shift to more complex syntax in social contexts where wildtype animals did. Heterozygous mice also displayed a shift in the position of their rudimentary laryngeal motor cortex layer-5 neurons. Our findings indicate that although mouse USVs are mostly innate, the underlying contributions of FoxP2 to sequencing of vocalizations are conserved with humans.

  8. Flexible Carpooling: Exploratory Study


    Dorinson, Diana; Gay, Deanna; Minett, Paul; Shaheen, Susan


    Energy consumption could be reduced if more people shared rides rather than driving alone yet carpooling represents a small proportion of all potential carpoolers. Prior research has found that many who might carpool were concerned about reduced flexibility with carpooling. If flexibility is one of the barriers how could carpooling be organized to be more flexible? In Northern Virginia a flexible system has evolved where there are 3,500 single-use carpools per day. In another example there ...

  9. Do Talkativeness and Vocal Loudness Correlate With Laryngeal Pathology? A Study of the Vocal Overdoer/Underdoer Continuum. (United States)

    Bastian, Robert W; Thomas, James P


    Assess the correlation between self-rating scales of talkativeness and loudness with various types of voice disorders. This is a retrospective study. A total of 974 patients were analyzed. The cohort study included 430 consecutive patients presenting to the senior author with voice complaints from December 1995 to December 1998. The case-control study added 544 consecutive patients referred to the same examiner from January 1988 to December 1998 for vocal fold examination before thyroid, parathyroid, and carotid surgery. Patient responses on seven-point Likert self-rating scales of talkativeness and loudness were compared with laryngeal disease. Mucosal lesions clearly associated with vibratory trauma are strongly associated with a high self-rating of talkativeness. Laryngeal deconditioning disorders were associated with a low self-rating of talkativeness. Use of a simple self-rating scale of vocal loudness and talkativeness during history taking can reliably orient the examiner to the types of voice disorders likely to be diagnosed subsequently during vocal capability testing and visual laryngeal examination. The high degree of talkativeness and loudness seen in vocal overdoers correlates well with mucosal disorders such as nodules, polyps, capillary ectasia, epidermoid inclusion cysts, and hemorrhage. A lower degree of talkativeness correlates with muscle deconditioning disorders such as vocal fold bowing, atrophy, presbyphonia, and vocal fatigue syndrome. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The Traditional/Acoustic Music Project: a study of vocal demands and vocal health. (United States)

    Erickson, Molly L


    The Traditional/Acoustic Music Project seeks to identify the musical and performance characteristics of traditional/acoustic musicians and determine the vocal demands they face with the goals of (1) providing information and outreach to this important group of singers and (2) providing information to physicians, speech-language pathologists, and singing teachers who will enable them to provide appropriate services. Descriptive cross-sectional study. Data have been collected through administration of a 53-item questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to artists performing at local venues in Knoxville, Tennessee and also to musicians attending the 2008 Folk Alliance Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Approximately 41% of the respondents have had no vocal training, whereas approximately 34% of the respondents have had some form of formal vocal training (private lessons or group instruction). About 41% of the participants had experienced a tired voice, whereas about 30% of the participants had experienced either a loss of the top range of the voice or a total loss of voice at least once in their careers. Approximately 31% of the respondents had no health insurance. Approximately 69% of the respondents reported that they get their information about healthy singing practices solely from fellow musicians or that they do not get any information at all. Traditional/acoustic musicians are a poorly studied population at risk for the development of voice disorders. Continued research is necessary with the goal of a large sample that can be analyzed for associations, identification of subpopulations, and formulation of specific hypotheses that lend themselves to experimental research. Appropriate models of information and service delivery tailored for the singer-instrumentalist are needed. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A.

    The underlying goal of this dissertation is to understand how the amygdala, a brain region involved in establishing the emotional significance of sensory input, contributes to the processing of complex sounds. The general hypothesis is that communication calls of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) transmit relevant information about social context that is reflected in the activity of amygdalar neurons. The first specific aim analyzed social vocalizations emitted under a variety of behavioral contexts, and related vocalizations to an objective measure of internal physiological state by monitoring the heart rate of vocalizing bats. These experiments revealed a complex acoustic communication system among big brown bats in which acoustic cues and call structure signal the emotional state of a sender. The second specific aim characterized the responsiveness of single neurons in the basolateral amygdala to a range of social syllables. Neurons typically respond to the majority of tested syllables, but effectively discriminate among vocalizations by varying the response duration. This novel coding strategy underscores the importance of persistent firing in the general functioning of the amygdala. The third specific aim examined the influence of acoustic context by characterizing both the behavioral and neurophysiological responses to natural vocal sequences. Vocal sequences differentially modify the internal affective state of a listening bat, with lower aggression vocalizations evoking the greatest change in heart rate. Amygdalar neurons employ two different coding strategies: low background neurons respond selectively to very few stimuli, whereas high background neurons respond broadly to stimuli but demonstrate variation in response magnitude and timing. Neurons appear to discriminate the valence of stimuli, with aggression sequences evoking robust population-level responses across all sound levels. Further, vocal sequences show improved discrimination among stimuli

  12. A new measure of child vocal reciprocity in children with autism spectrum disorder. (United States)

    Harbison, Amy L; Woynaroski, Tiffany G; Tapp, Jon; Wade, Joshua W; Warlaumont, Anne S; Yoder, Paul J


    Children's vocal development occurs in the context of reciprocal exchanges with a communication partner who models "speechlike" productions. We propose a new measure of child vocal reciprocity, which we define as the degree to which an adult vocal response increases the probability of an immediately following child vocal response. Vocal reciprocity is likely to be associated with the speechlikeness of vocal communication in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two studies were conducted to test the utility of the new measure. The first used simulated vocal samples with randomly sequenced child and adult vocalizations to test the accuracy of the proposed index of child vocal reciprocity. The second was an empirical study of 21 children with ASD who were preverbal or in the early stages of language development. Daylong vocal samples collected in the natural environment were computer analyzed to derive the proposed index of child vocal reciprocity, which was highly stable when derived from two daylong vocal samples and was associated with speechlikeness of vocal communication. This association was significant even when controlling for chance probability of child vocalizations to adult vocal responses, probability of adult vocalizations, or probability of child vocalizations. A valid measure of children's vocal reciprocity might eventually improve our ability to predict which children are on track to develop useful speech and/or are most likely to respond to language intervention. A link to a free, publicly-available software program to derive the new measure of child vocal reciprocity is provided. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Children and adults often engage in back-and-forth vocal exchanges. The extent to which they do so is believed to support children's early speech and language development. Two studies tested a new measure of child vocal reciprocity using computer-generated and real

  13. Resting-associated vocalization emitted by captive Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus: acoustic structure and variability in an unusual mammalian vocalization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Schneiderová

    Full Text Available Shrews have rich vocal repertoires that include vocalizations within the human audible frequency range and ultrasonic vocalizations. Here, we recorded and analyzed in detail the acoustic structure of a vocalization with unclear functional significance that was spontaneously produced by 15 adult, captive Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus while they were lying motionless and resting in their nests. This vocalization was usually emitted repeatedly in a long series with regular intervals. It showed some structural variability; however, the shrews most frequently emitted a tonal, low-frequency vocalization with minimal frequency modulation and a low, non-vocal click that was clearly noticeable at its beginning. There was no effect of sex, but the acoustic structure of the analyzed vocalizations differed significantly between individual shrews. The encoded individuality was low, but it cannot be excluded that this individuality would allow discrimination of family members, i.e., a male and female with their young, collectively resting in a common nest. The question remains whether the Asian house shrews indeed perceive the presence of their mates, parents or young resting in a common nest via the resting-associated vocalization and whether they use it to discriminate among their family members. Additional studies are needed to explain the possible functional significance of resting-associated vocalizations emitted by captive Asian house shrews. Our study highlights that the acoustic communication of shrews is a relatively understudied topic, particularly considering that they are highly vocal mammals.

  14. Flexible Pedagogies: New Pedagogical Ideas. Flexible Pedagogies: Preparing for the Future Series (United States)

    Ryan, Alex; Tilbury, Daniella


    This publication is part of our five-strand research project "Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future". It identifies six "new pedagogical ideas" offering new pathways for learning. These include: (1) actively involving students in learning development and processes of "co-creation" thereby challenging existing…

  15. Vocal handicap index in popular and erudite professional singers. (United States)

    Loiola-Barreiro, Camila Miranda; Silva, Marta Assumpção de Andrada E

    To compare the voice handicap index of popular and erudite professional singers according to gender, age, professional experience time, and presence or absence of self-reported vocal complaints. One hundred thirty-two professional singers, 74 popular and 58 erudite, who responded to a questionnaire with regards to identification, age, gender, professional experience time in singing, musical genres (for popular singers), vocal classification (for erudite singers), presence of self-reported vocal complaints, and the specific protocols for popular (Modern Singing Handicap Index - MSHI) and erudite (Classical Singing Handicap Index - CSHI) singing. Higher proportion of women and higher incidence of vocal complaints were observed in the popular singers compared with the erudite singers. Most of the popular singers belonged to the genre of Brazilian Popular Music. Regarding the classification of erudite singers, there was greater participation of sopranos and tenors. No statistical differences were observed with respect to age and professional experience time between the groups. Comparison of the MSHI and CSHI scores showed no statistically significant difference between these scores and genre or age in both groups of singers. Professional experience time was related to the total score and the subscales disability and impairment in the MSHI, only for popular singers with vocal complaints. There was no correlation between these variables and the CSHI for erudite singers. The impact of vocal difficulty/problem interferes differently in these two musical genres when related to vocal complaint and professional experience time. The MSHI and CSHI protocols proved to be important tools not only for the identification of problems, but also for the understanding of how these individuals relate their voices with this occupational activity.

  16. Finite element modelling of vocal tract changes after voice therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vampola T.


    Full Text Available Two 3D finite element (FE models were constructed, based on CT measurements of a subject phonating on [a:] before and after phonation into a tube. Acoustic analysis was performed by exciting the models with acoustic flow velocity at the vocal folds. The generated acoustic pressure of the response was computed in front of the mouth and inside the vocal tract for both FE models. Average amplitudes of the pressure oscillations inside the vocal tract and in front of the mouth were compared to display the cost-efficiency of sound energy transfer at different formant frequencies. The formants F1–F3 correspond to classical vibration modes also solvable by 1D vocal tract model. However, for higher formants, there occur more complicated transversal modes which require 3D modelling. A special attention is given to the higher frequency range (above 3.5 Hz where transversal modes exist between piriform sinuses and valleculae. Comparison of the pressure oscillation inside and outside the vocal tract showed that formants differ in their efficiency, F4 (at about 3.5 kHz, i.e. at the speaker’s or singer’s formant region being the most effective. The higher formants created a clear formant cluster around 4 kHz after the vocal exercise with the tube. Since the human ear is most sensitive to frequencies between 2 and 4 kHz concentration of sound energy in this frequency region (F4–F5 is effective for communication. The results suggest that exercising using phonation into tubes help in improving the vocal economy.

  17. Flexible input, dazzling output with IBM i

    CERN Document Server

    Victória-Pereira, Rafael


    Link your IBM i system to the modern business server world! This book presents easier and more flexible ways to get data into your IBM i system, along with rather surprising methods to export and present the vital business data it contains. You'll learn how to automate file transfers, seamlessly connect PC applications with your RPG programs, and much more. Input operations will become more flexible and user-proof, with self-correcting import processes and direct file transfers that require a minimum of user intervention. Also learn novel ways to present information: your DB2 data will look gr

  18. Is voice therapy effective for the treatment of dysphonic patients with benign vocal fold lesions? (United States)

    Ogawa, Makoto; Inohara, Hidenori


    To update our knowledge regarding the effectiveness of voice therapy for the treatment of vocal disturbance associated with benign vocal fold lesions, including vocal polyps, nodules and cysts, and for determining the utility of voice therapy in treating organic voice disorders, while highlighting problems for the future development of this clinical field. We conducted a review of the most recent literature on the therapeutic effects of voice therapy, vocal hygiene education or direct vocal training on vocal quality, the lesion appearance and discomfort felt by patients due to the clinical entity of benign vocal fold mass lesions. Although voice therapy is principally indicated for the treatment of functional dysphonia without any organic abnormalities in the vocal folds, a number of clinicians have attempted to perform voice therapy even in dysphonic patients with benign mass lesions in the vocal folds. The two major possible reasons for the effectiveness of voice therapy on vocal disturbance associated with benign vocal fold lesions are hypothesized to be the regression of lesions and the correction of excessive/inappropriate muscle contraction of the phonatory organs. According to the current literature, a substantial proportion of vocal polyps certainly tend to shrink after voice therapy, but whether or not the regression results from voice therapy, vocal hygiene education or a natural cure is unclear at present due to the lack of controlled studies comparing two groups with and without interventions. Regarding vocal nodules, no studies have investigated the effectiveness of voice therapy using proper experimental methodology. Vocal cysts are difficult to cure by voice therapy without surgical excision according to previous studies. Evidences remains insufficient to support the use of voice therapy against benign vocal fold lesions. Evidences at present is therefore still insufficient to support the use of voice therapy for the treatment of benign vocal fold

  19. Quantification of the vocal folds’ dynamic displacements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernández-Montes, María del Socorro; Muñoz, Silvino; De La Torre, Manuel; Flores, Mauricio; Pérez, Carlos; Mendoza-Santoyo, Fernando


    Fast dynamic data acquisition techniques are required to investigate the motional behavior of the vocal folds (VFs) when they are subjected to a steady air-flow through the trachea. High-speed digital holographic interferometry (DHI) is a non-invasive full-field-of-view technique that has proved its usefulness to study rapid and non-repetitive object movements. Hence it is an ideal technique used here to measure VF displacements and vibration patterns at 2000 fps. Analyses from a set of 200 displacement images showed that VFs’ vibration cycles are established along their width (y) and length (x). Furthermore, the maximum deformation for the right and left VFs’ area may be quantified from these images, which in itself represents an important result in the characterization of this structure. At a controlled air pressure, VF displacements fall within the range ∼100–1740 nm, with a calculated precision and accuracy that yields a variation coefficient of 1.91%. High-speed acquisition of full-field images of VFs and their displacement quantification are on their own significant data in the study of their functional and physiological behavior since voice quality and production depend on how they vibrate, i.e. their displacement amplitude and frequency. Additionally, the use of high speed DHI avoids prolonged examinations and represents a significant scientific and technological alternative contribution in advancing the knowledge and working mechanisms of these tissues. (paper)

  20. Quantification of the vocal folds’ dynamic displacements (United States)

    del Socorro Hernández-Montes, María; Muñoz, Silvino; De La Torre, Manuel; Flores, Mauricio; Pérez, Carlos; Mendoza-Santoyo, Fernando


    Fast dynamic data acquisition techniques are required to investigate the motional behavior of the vocal folds (VFs) when they are subjected to a steady air-flow through the trachea. High-speed digital holographic interferometry (DHI) is a non-invasive full-field-of-view technique that has proved its usefulness to study rapid and non-repetitive object movements. Hence it is an ideal technique used here to measure VF displacements and vibration patterns at 2000 fps. Analyses from a set of 200 displacement images showed that VFs’ vibration cycles are established along their width (y) and length (x). Furthermore, the maximum deformation for the right and left VFs’ area may be quantified from these images, which in itself represents an important result in the characterization of this structure. At a controlled air pressure, VF displacements fall within the range ~100-1740 nm, with a calculated precision and accuracy that yields a variation coefficient of 1.91%. High-speed acquisition of full-field images of VFs and their displacement quantification are on their own significant data in the study of their functional and physiological behavior since voice quality and production depend on how they vibrate, i.e. their displacement amplitude and frequency. Additionally, the use of high speed DHI avoids prolonged examinations and represents a significant scientific and technological alternative contribution in advancing the knowledge and working mechanisms of these tissues.

  1. Automatic Transcription of Polyphonic Vocal Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew McLeod


    Full Text Available This paper presents a method for automatic music transcription applied to audio recordings of a cappella performances with multiple singers. We propose a system for multi-pitch detection and voice assignment that integrates an acoustic and a music language model. The acoustic model performs spectrogram decomposition, extending probabilistic latent component analysis (PLCA using a six-dimensional dictionary with pre-extracted log-spectral templates. The music language model performs voice separation and assignment using hidden Markov models that apply musicological assumptions. By integrating the two models, the system is able to detect multiple concurrent pitches in polyphonic vocal music and assign each detected pitch to a specific voice type such as soprano, alto, tenor or bass (SATB. We compare our system against multiple baselines, achieving state-of-the-art results for both multi-pitch detection and voice assignment on a dataset of Bach chorales and another of barbershop quartets. We also present an additional evaluation of our system using varied pitch tolerance levels to investigate its performance at 20-cent pitch resolution.

  2. Facial biases on vocal perception and memory. (United States)

    Boltz, Marilyn G


    Does a speaker's face influence the way their voice is heard and later remembered? This question was addressed through two experiments where in each, participants listened to middle-aged voices accompanied by faces that were either age-appropriate, younger or older than the voice or, as a control, no face at all. In Experiment 1, participants evaluated each voice on various acoustical dimensions and speaker characteristics. The results showed that facial displays influenced perception such that the same voice was heard differently depending on the age of the accompanying face. Experiment 2 further revealed that facial displays led to memory distortions that were age-congruent in nature. These findings illustrate that faces can activate certain social categories and preconceived stereotypes that then influence vocal and person perception in a corresponding fashion. Processes of face/voice integration are very similar to those of music/film, indicating that the two areas can mutually inform one another and perhaps, more generally, reflect a centralized mechanism of cross-sensory integration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Recognizing vocal emotions in Mandarin Chinese: a validated database of Chinese vocal emotional stimuli. (United States)

    Liu, Pan; Pell, Marc D


    To establish a valid database of vocal emotional stimuli in Mandarin Chinese, a set of Chinese pseudosentences (i.e., semantically meaningless sentences that resembled real Chinese) were produced by four native Mandarin speakers to express seven emotional meanings: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, happiness, pleasant surprise, and neutrality. These expressions were identified by a group of native Mandarin listeners in a seven-alternative forced choice task, and items reaching a recognition rate of at least three times chance performance in the seven-choice task were selected as a valid database and then subjected to acoustic analysis. The results demonstrated expected variations in both perceptual and acoustic patterns of the seven vocal emotions in Mandarin. For instance, fear, anger, sadness, and neutrality were associated with relatively high recognition, whereas happiness, disgust, and pleasant surprise were recognized less accurately. Acoustically, anger and pleasant surprise exhibited relatively high mean f0 values and large variation in f0 and amplitude; in contrast, sadness, disgust, fear, and neutrality exhibited relatively low mean f0 values and small amplitude variations, and happiness exhibited a moderate mean f0 value and f0 variation. Emotional expressions varied systematically in speech rate and harmonics-to-noise ratio values as well. This validated database is available to the research community and will contribute to future studies of emotional prosody for a number of purposes. To access the database, please contact

  4. Arytenoid and posterior vocal fold surgery for bilateral vocal fold immobility. (United States)

    Young, VyVy N; Rosen, Clark A


    Many procedures exist to address the airway restriction often seen with bilateral vocal fold immobility. We review the most recent studies involving arytenoid and/or posterior vocal fold surgery to provide an update on the issues related to these procedures. Specific focus is placed on selection of the surgical approach and operative side, use of adjunctive therapies, and outcome measures including decannulation rate, revision and complication rate, and postoperative results. Ten studies were identified between 2004 and 2011. Modifications to the orginal transverse cordotomy and medial arytenoidectomy techniques continue to be investigated to seek improvement in dyspnea symptoms with minimal decline in voice and/or swallowing function. Decannulation rates for these approaches are high. Postoperative dysphagia appears to be less commonly observed but requires continued study. The use of mitomycin-C in these procedures has been poorly studied to date. Both transverse cordotomy and medial arytenoidectomy procedures result in high success rates. However, many questions related to these procedures remain unanswered, particularly with respect to preoperative and postoperative evaluations of voice quality, swallowing function, and pulmonary status. There is need for rigorous prospective clinical studies to address these many issues further.

  5. Behavioral flexibility and problem solving in an invasive bird. (United States)

    Logan, Corina J


    Behavioral flexibility is considered an important trait for adapting to environmental change, but it is unclear what it is, how it works, and whether it is a problem solving ability. I investigated behavioral flexibility and problem solving experimentally in great-tailed grackles, an invasive bird species and thus a likely candidate for possessing behavioral flexibility. Grackles demonstrated behavioral flexibility in two contexts, the Aesop's Fable paradigm and a color association test. Contrary to predictions, behavioral flexibility did not correlate across contexts. Four out of 6 grackles exhibited efficient problem solving abilities, but problem solving efficiency did not appear to be directly linked with behavioral flexibility. Problem solving speed also did not significantly correlate with reversal learning scores, indicating that faster learners were not the most flexible. These results reveal how little we know about behavioral flexibility, and provide an immense opportunity for future research to explore how individuals and species can use behavior to react to changing environments.

  6. Time to competency, reliability of flexible transnasal laryngoscopy by training level: a pilot study. (United States)

    Brook, Christopher D; Platt, Michael P; Russell, Kimberly; Grillone, Gregory A; Aliphas, Avner; Noordzij, J Pieter


    To determine the progression of flexible transnasal laryngoscopy reliability and competency in otolaryngology residency training. Prospective case control study. Academic otolaryngology department. Medical students, otolaryngology residents, and otolaryngology attending physicians. Fourteen otolaryngology residents from PGY-1 to PGY-5 and 3 attending otolaryngologists viewed 25 selected and digitally recorded flexible transnasal laryngoscopies. The evaluators were asked to rate 13 items relating to abnormalities in the oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, and subglottis. The level of concern and level of comfort with the diagnosis were assessed. Intraclass correlations were calculated for each topic and by level of training to determine reliability within each class and compare competency versus attending interpretations. Intraclass correlation of residents compared to attending physicians demonstrated significant improvements by year for left and right vocal fold immobility, subglottic stenosis, laryngeal mass, left and right vocal cord abnormalities, and level of concern. Additionally, pooled vocal cord mobility and pooled results in categories with good attending reliability demonstrated stepwise improvement as well. For these categories, resident reliability was found to be statistically similar to attending physicians in all categories by PGY-3. There were no trends for base of tongue abnormalities, pharyngeal abnormalities, and pharyngeal and hypopharyngeal masses. Resident competency for flexible transnasal laryngoscopy progresses during residency to reliability with attending otolaryngologists by the PGY-3 year over key facets of the examination. © American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2015.

  7. Single injection of basic fibroblast growth factor to treat severe vocal fold lesions and vocal fold paralysis. (United States)

    Kanazawa, Takeharu; Komazawa, Daigo; Indo, Kanako; Akagi, Yusuke; Lee, Yogaku; Nakamura, Kazuhiro; Matsushima, Koji; Kunieda, Chikako; Misawa, Kiyoshi; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Yusuke


    Severe vocal fold lesions such as vocal fold sulcus, scars, and atrophy induce a communication disorder due to severe hoarseness, but a treatment has not been established. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) therapies by either four-time repeated local injections or regenerative surgery for vocal fold scar and sulcus have previously been reported, and favorable outcomes have been observed. In this study, we modified bFGF therapy using a single of bFGF injection, which may potentially be used in office procedures. Retrospective chart review. Five cases of vocal fold sulcus, six cases of scars, seven cases of paralysis, and 17 cases of atrophy were treated by a local injection of bFGF. The injection regimen involved injecting 50 µg of bFGF dissolved in 0.5 mL saline only once into the superficial lamina propria using a 23-gauge injection needle. Two months to 3 months after the injection, phonological outcomes were evaluated. The maximum phonation time (MPT), mean airflow rate, pitch range, speech fundamental frequency, jitter, and voice handicap index improved significantly after the bFGF injection. Furthermore, improvement in the MPT was significantly greater in patients with (in increasing order) vocal fold atrophy, scar, and paralysis. The improvement in the MPT among all patients was significantly correlated with age; the MPT improved more greatly in younger patients. Regenerative treatments by bFGF injection—even a single injection—effectively improve vocal function in vocal fold lesions. 4 © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  8. Different Vocal Parameters Predict Perceptions of Dominance and Attractiveness. (United States)

    Hodges-Simeon, Carolyn R; Gaulin, Steven J C; Puts, David A


    Low mean fundamental frequency (F(0)) in men's voices has been found to positively influence perceptions of dominance by men and attractiveness by women using standardized speech. Using natural speech obtained during an ecologically valid social interaction, we examined relationships between multiple vocal parameters and dominance and attractiveness judgments. Male voices from an unscripted dating game were judged by men for physical and social dominance and by women in fertile and non-fertile menstrual cycle phases for desirability in short-term and long-term relationships. Five vocal parameters were analyzed: mean F(0) (an acoustic correlate of vocal fold size), F(0) variation, intensity (loudness), utterance duration, and formant dispersion (D(f), an acoustic correlate of vocal tract length). Parallel but separate ratings of speech transcripts served as controls for content. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the independent contributions of each of the predictors. Physical dominance was predicted by low F(0) variation and physically dominant word content. Social dominance was predicted only by socially dominant word content. Ratings of attractiveness by women were predicted by low mean F(0), low D(f), high intensity, and attractive word content across cycle phase and mating context. Low D(f) was perceived as attractive by fertile-phase women only. We hypothesize that competitors and potential mates may attend more strongly to different components of men's voices because of the different types of information these vocal parameters provide.

  9. Voice Disorders in Occupations with Vocal Load in Slovenia. (United States)

    Boltežar, Lučka; Šereg Bahar, Maja


    The aim of this paper is to compare the prevalence of voice disorders and the risk factors for them in different occupations with a vocal load in Slovenia. A meta-analysis of six different Slovenian studies involving teachers, physicians, salespeople, catholic priests, nurses and speech-and-language therapists (SLTs) was performed. In all six studies, similar questions about the prevalence of voice disorders and the causes for them were included. The comparison of the six studies showed that more than 82% of the 2347 included subjects had voice problems at some time during their career. The teachers were the most affected by voice problems. The prevalent cause of voice problems was the vocal load in teachers and salespeople and respiratory-tract infections in all the other occupational groups. When the occupational groups were compared, it was stated that the teachers had more voice problems and showed less care for their voices than the priests. The physicians had more voice problems and showed better consideration of vocal hygiene rules than the SLTs. The majority of all the included subjects did not receive instructions about voice care during education. In order to decrease the prevalence of voice disorders in vocal professionals, a screening program is recommended before the beginning of their studies. Regular courses on voice care and proper vocal technique should be obligatory for all professional voice users during their career. The inclusion of dysphonia in the list of occupational diseases should be considered in Slovenia as it is in some European countries.

  10. Modeling Vocal Fold Intravascular Flow using Synthetic Replicas (United States)

    Terry, Aaron D.; Ricks, Matthew T.; Thomson, Scott L.


    Vocal fold vibration that is induced by air flowing from the lungs is believed to decrease blood flow through the vocal folds. This is important due to the critical role of blood flow in maintaining tissue health. However, the precise mechanical relationships between vocal fold vibration and blood perfusion remain understudied. A platform for studying liquid perfusion in a synthetic, life-size, self-oscillating vocal fold replica has recently been developed. The replicas are fabricated using molded silicone with material properties comparable to those of human vocal fold tissues and that include embedded microchannels through which liquid is perfused. The replicas are mounted on an air flow supply tube to initiate flow-induced vibration. A liquid reservoir is attached to the microchannel to cause liquid to perfuse through replica in the anterior-posterior direction. As replica vibration is initiated and amplitude increases, perfusion flow rate decreases. In this presentation, the replica design will be presented, along with data quantifying the relationships between parameters such as replica vibration amplitude, stiffness, microchannel diameter, and perfusion flow rate. This work was supported by Grant NIDCD R01DC005788 from the National Institutes of Health.

  11. Recovery of Vocal Fold Epithelium after Acute Phonotrauma. (United States)

    Rousseau, Bernard; Kojima, Tsuyoshi; Novaleski, Carolyn K; Kimball, Emily E; Valenzuela, Carla V; Mizuta, Masanobu; Daniero, James J; Garrett, C Gaelyn; Sivasankar, M Preeti


    We investigated the timeline of tissue repair of vocal fold epithelium after acute vibration exposure using an in vivo rabbit model. Sixty-five New Zealand white breeder rabbits were randomized to 120 min of modal- or raised-intensity phonation. After the larynges were harvested at 0, 4, 8, and 24 h, and at 3 and 7 days, the vocal fold tissue was evaluated using electron microscopy and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. There was an immediate decrease in the microprojection depth and height following raised-intensity phonation, paired with upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2. This initial 24-h period was also characterized by the significant downregulation of junction proteins. Interleukin 1β and transforming growth factor β1 were upregulated for 3 and 7 days, respectively, followed by an increase in epithelial cell surface depth at 3 and 7 days. These data appear to demonstrate a shift from inflammatory response to the initiation of a restorative process in the vocal fold epithelium between 24 h and 3 days. Despite the initial damage from raised-intensity phonation, the vocal fold epithelium demonstrates a remarkable capacity for the expeditious recovery of structural changes from transient episodes of acute phonotrauma. While structurally intact, the return of functional barrier integrity may be delayed by repeated episodes of phonotrauma and may also play an important role in the pathophysiology of vocal fold lesions. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Acoustic correlate of vocal effort in spasmodic dysphonia. (United States)

    Eadie, Tanya L; Stepp, Cara E


    This study characterized the relationship between relative fundamental frequency (RFF) and listeners' perceptions of vocal effort and overall spasmodic dysphonia severity in the voices of 19 individuals with adductor spasmodic dysphonia. Twenty inexperienced listeners evaluated the vocal effort and overall severity of voices using visual analog scales. The squared correlation coefficients (R2) between average vocal effort and overall severity and RFF measures were calculated as a function of the number of acoustic instances used for the RFF estimate (from 1 to 9, of a total of 9 voiced-voiceless-voiced instances). Increases in the number of acoustic instances used for the RFF average led to increases in the variance predicted by the RFF at the first cycle of voicing onset (onset RFF) in the perceptual measures; the use of 6 or more instances resulted in a stable estimate. The variance predicted by the onset RFF for vocal effort (R2 range, 0.06 to 0.43) was higher than that for overall severity (R2 range, 0.06 to 0.35). The offset RFF was not related to the perceptual measures, irrespective of the sample size. This study indicates that onset RFF measures are related to perceived vocal effort in patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia. These results have implications for measuring outcomes in this population.

  13. Bilateral Vocal Fold Medialization: A Treatment for Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia. (United States)

    Dewan, Karuna; Berke, Gerald S


    Abductor spasmodic dysphonia, a difficult-to-treat laryngologic condition, is characterized by spasms causing the vocal folds to remain abducted despite efforts to adduct them during phonation. Traditional treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia-botulinum toxin injection into the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle-can be both technically challenging and uncomfortable. Due to the difficulty of needle placement, it is often unsuccessful. The purpose of this investigation is to present a previously undescribed treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia-bilateral vocal fold medialization. A retrospective case review of all cases of abductor spasmodic dysphonia treated in a tertiary care laryngology practice with bilateral vocal fold medialization over a 10-year period was performed. The Voice Handicap Index and the Voice-Related Quality of Life surveys were utilized to assess patient satisfaction with voice outcome. Six patients with abductor spasmodic dysphonia treated with bilateral vocal fold medialization were identified. Disease severity ranged from mild to severe. All six patients reported statistically significant improvement in nearly all Voice Handicap Index and Voice-Related Quality of Life parameters. They reported fewer voice breaks and greater ease of communication. Results were noted immediately and symptoms continue to be well controlled for many years following medialization. Bilateral vocal fold medialization is a safe and effective treatment for abductor spasmodic dysphonia. It is performed under local anesthesia and provides phonation improvement in the short and long term. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Understanding Vocalization Might Help to Assess Stressful Conditions in Piglets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Pereira Neves


    Full Text Available Assessing pigs’ welfare is one of the most challenging subjects in intensive pig farming. Animal vocalization analysis is a noninvasive procedure and may be used as a tool for assessing animal welfare status. The objective of this research was to identify stress conditions in piglets reared in farrowing pens through their vocalization. Vocal signals were collected from 40 animals under the following situations: normal (baseline, feeling cold, in pain, and feeling hunger. A unidirectional microphone positioned about 15 cm from the animals’ mouth was used for recording the acoustic signals. The microphone was connected to a digital recorder, where the signals were digitized at the 44,100 Hz frequency. The collected sounds were edited and analyzed. The J48 decision tree algorithm available at the Weka® data mining software was used for stress classification. It was possible to categorize diverse conditions from the piglets’ vocalization during the farrowing phase (pain, cold and hunger, with an accuracy rate of 81.12%. Results indicated that vocalization might be an effective welfare indicator, and it could be applied for assessing distress from pain, cold and hunger in farrowing piglets.

  15. Human vocal attractiveness as signaled by body size projection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Xu

    Full Text Available Voice, as a secondary sexual characteristic, is known to affect the perceived attractiveness of human individuals. But the underlying mechanism of vocal attractiveness has remained unclear. Here, we presented human listeners with acoustically altered natural sentences and fully synthetic sentences with systematically manipulated pitch, formants and voice quality based on a principle of body size projection reported for animal calls and emotional human vocal expressions. The results show that male listeners preferred a female voice that signals a small body size, with relatively high pitch, wide formant dispersion and breathy voice, while female listeners preferred a male voice that signals a large body size with low pitch and narrow formant dispersion. Interestingly, however, male vocal attractiveness was also enhanced by breathiness, which presumably softened the aggressiveness associated with a large body size. These results, together with the additional finding that the same vocal dimensions also affect emotion judgment, indicate that humans still employ a vocal interaction strategy used in animal calls despite the development of complex language.

  16. Viscous flow features in scaled-up physical models of normal and pathological vocal phonation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erath, Byron D., E-mail: berath@purdue.ed [School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 585 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Plesniak, Michael W., E-mail: plesniak@gwu.ed [Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, George Washington University, 801 22nd Street NW, Suite 739, Washington, DC 20052 (United States)


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis results when the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which innervates the muscles of the vocal folds becomes damaged. The loss of muscle and tension control to the damaged vocal fold renders it ineffectual. The mucosal wave disappears during phonation, and the vocal fold becomes largely immobile. The influence of unilateral vocal fold paralysis on the viscous flow development, which impacts speech quality within the glottis during phonation was investigated. Driven, scaled-up vocal fold models were employed to replicate both normal and pathological patterns of vocal fold motion. Spatial and temporal velocity fields were captured using particle image velocimetry, and laser Doppler velocimetry. Flow parameters were scaled to match the physiological values associated with human speech. Loss of motion in one vocal fold resulted in a suppression of typical glottal flow fields, including decreased spatial variability in the location of the flow separation point throughout the phonatory cycle, as well as a decrease in the vorticity magnitude.

  17. Transcervical fat injection laryngoplasty for unilateral vocal fold paralysis: an easy way to do the job. (United States)

    Elbadan, Hisham E M; Hussein, Wael K A; Elmaghraby, Riham M


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis resulting in glottic incompetence can cause impairment of laryngeal functions, including airway protection and phonation. The objective of this study is to present an easy new technique for harvesting and injection of abdominal fat into the vocal fold for patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis. This is a retrospective study of patients carried out on 16 patients suffering from unilateral vocal fold paralysis resulting from different etiologies. All patients were subjected to the protocol of voice assessment pre- and postoperatively. All patients were subjected to fat injection of the paralyzed vocal fold. There was a statistically significant difference between the pre- and postoperative grade of voice parameters. Vocal fold injection using fat medializes a paralyzed vocal fold by increasing vocal fold volume. Fat injections are safe and easily mastered; and in the absence of the standard settings for fat harvesting and injection, it could be performed with minimal equipment that are readily available in any operating room.

  18. Viscous flow features in scaled-up physical models of normal and pathological vocal phonation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erath, Byron D.; Plesniak, Michael W.


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis results when the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which innervates the muscles of the vocal folds becomes damaged. The loss of muscle and tension control to the damaged vocal fold renders it ineffectual. The mucosal wave disappears during phonation, and the vocal fold becomes largely immobile. The influence of unilateral vocal fold paralysis on the viscous flow development, which impacts speech quality within the glottis during phonation was investigated. Driven, scaled-up vocal fold models were employed to replicate both normal and pathological patterns of vocal fold motion. Spatial and temporal velocity fields were captured using particle image velocimetry, and laser Doppler velocimetry. Flow parameters were scaled to match the physiological values associated with human speech. Loss of motion in one vocal fold resulted in a suppression of typical glottal flow fields, including decreased spatial variability in the location of the flow separation point throughout the phonatory cycle, as well as a decrease in the vorticity magnitude.

  19. IDEPI: rapid prediction of HIV-1 antibody epitopes and other phenotypic features from sequence data using a flexible machine learning platform.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Lance Hepler


    Full Text Available Since its identification in 1983, HIV-1 has been the focus of a research effort unprecedented in scope and difficulty, whose ultimate goals--a cure and a vaccine--remain elusive. One of the fundamental challenges in accomplishing these goals is the tremendous genetic variability of the virus, with some genes differing at as many as 40% of nucleotide positions among circulating strains. Because of this, the genetic bases of many viral phenotypes, most notably the susceptibility to neutralization by a particular antibody, are difficult to identify computationally. Drawing upon open-source general-purpose machine learning algorithms and libraries, we have developed a software package IDEPI (IDentify EPItopes for learning genotype-to-phenotype predictive models from sequences with known phenotypes. IDEPI can apply learned models to classify sequences of unknown phenotypes, and also identify specific sequence features which contribute to a particular phenotype. We demonstrate that IDEPI achieves performance similar to or better than that of previously published approaches on four well-studied problems: finding the epitopes of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNab, determining coreceptor tropism of the virus, identifying compartment-specific genetic signatures of the virus, and deducing drug-resistance associated mutations. The cross-platform Python source code (released under the GPL 3.0 license, documentation, issue tracking, and a pre-configured virtual machine for IDEPI can be found at

  20. Ontogeny of swift fox Vulpes velox vocalizations: production, usage and response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Darden, Safi-Kirstine Klem; Dabelsteen, Torben


    Three processes, production, usage, and response, can be used to describe vocal ontogeny. They may develop independently of each other for a given vocalization and a given species as a result of the different selective pressures associated with each process. We have investigated vocal ontogeny in...... with their first appearance in the juvenile repertoire. The results indicate that there is variation in the degree (in terms of the number of vocal types) of modification over time among the three processes....

  1. Vocal effectiveness of speech-language pathology students: Before and after voice use during service delivery


    Couch, Stephanie; Zieba, Dominique; van der Linde, Jeannie; van der Merwe, Anita


    Background: As a professional voice user, it is imperative that a speech-language pathologist’s(SLP) vocal effectiveness remain consistent throughout the day. Many factors may contribute to reduced vocal effectiveness, including prolonged voice use, vocally abusive behaviours,poor vocal hygiene and environmental factors. Objectives: To determine the effect of service delivery on the perceptual and acoustic features of voice. Method: A quasi-experimental., pre-test–post-test research de...

  2. Caracterização vocal de pacientes com hipertireoidismo e hipotireoidismo Vocal characterization of patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Werlang Isolan-Cury


    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Caracterizar a qualidade vocal, por meio de análise computadorizada e perceptivo-auditiva, de pacientes com hipertireoidismo (grupo A e hipotireoidismo (grupo B. MÉTODOS: Vinte mulheres não fumantes, com idades entre 18 e 55 anos, atendidas no Ambulatório de Endocrinologia da instituição, foram avaliadas após o diagnóstico clínico e laboratorial de hipertireoidismo ou hipotireoidismo. Os parâmetros investigados foram: tempo da doença, presença de queixa vocal, tempos máximos de fonação /a/, /s/ e /z/, freqüência fundamental (F0, ruído glótico (GNE. Os aspectos avaliados na análise perceptivo-auditiva, foram: coordenação pneumo-fonoarticulatória (coordenada ou incoordenada, pitch, loudness, ataque vocal, ressonância, velocidade de fala e qualidade vocal, que poderia ter até duas das seguintes classificações: neutra, rouca, soprosa, áspera ou tensa, e grau: leve, moderado ou severo. Os dados foram tabulados e analisados estatisticamente através do programa EPI-INFO 6.04b, método qualitativo Fisher, com nível de significância menor do que 0.05. RESULTADOS: A análise perceptivo-auditiva mostrou que sete pacientes hipotireoideos e nove pacientes hipertireoideos apresentaram alteração na qualidade vocal. Oito pacientes em ambos os grupos apresentaram incoordenação pneumo-fonoarticulatória. Oito pacientes do grupo A e seis pacientes do grupo B referiam queixas vocais como rouquidão e voz grossa, respectivamente. Na análise acústica, nove pacientes apresentaram o ruído glótico alterado. CONCLUSÃO: Os resultados evidenciaram grande incidência de alteração vocal nos grupos estudados (grupos dos pacientes com hipertireoidismo e com hipotireoidismo, o que demonstra a relação entre disfonia e disfunções tireoideanas.PURPOSE: To characterize the vocal quality of subjects with hyperthyroidism (group A, and hypothyroidism (group B through a computer-aided and auditory-perceptive analysis. METHODS

  3. Toward Defining "Vocal Constriction": Practitioner Perspectives. (United States)

    Lemon-McMahon, Belinda; Hughes, Diane


    This research investigated the terminology used in relation to constriction of the singing voice from a range of practitioner perspectives. It focused on the locality, causes, consequences, management, trends, identification, and vocabulary of constriction. The research aimed to develop a holistic understanding of the term "vocal constriction" from participant experiences and perceptions (N = 10). Data collection occurred through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a range of voice care professionals. Participants included three professional groups: (1) Ear, Nose, and Throat medical specialists or laryngologists, (2) speech pathologists or speech therapists, and (3) singing teachers. Purposive sampling was used to ensure that the participants from groups 1 and 2 had extensive experience with singers in their practice. The singing teachers were experienced in either classical or contemporary styles, or both. Participant responses highlighted a discrepancy in preferred terminology, with "constriction" being less favored overall. Several anatomical locations were identified including postural, supraglottic (anteroposterior and false fold), articulatory, and in the intrinsic and extrinsic laryngeal musculature; psychological issues were also identified. Primary causes, secondary causes, and influencing factors were identified. Inefficient technique and poor posture or alignment were considered primary causes; similarly, emotion and anxiety or stress were identified as influencing factors by the majority of participants. There was less uniformity in responses regarding other causes. The major findings of this research are the respective participant group distinctions, an uncertainty regarding anteroposterior constriction, and that the location and effects of constriction are individual to the singer and must be considered contextually. A definition is offered, and areas for further research are identified. Copyright © 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by

  4. Vocal fold varices and risk of hemorrhage. (United States)

    Tang, Christopher Guan-Zhong; Askin, Gülce; Christos, Paul J; Sulica, Lucian


    To establish risk of hemorrhage in patients with varices compared to those without, determine additional risk factors, and make evidence-based treatment recommendations. Retrospective cohort study. Patients who were vocal performers presenting for care during a 24-month period were analyzed to determine incidence of hemorrhage. Patients with varices were compared to those without. Demographic information and examination findings (presence, location, character, and size of varices; presence of mucosal lesions or paresis) were analyzed to determine predictors of hemorrhage. A total of 513 patients (60.4% female, mean age 36.6 years ± 13.95 years) were evaluated; 14 patients presenting with hemorrhage were excluded. One hundred and twelve (22.4%) patients had varices; 387 (77.6%) did not. The rate of hemorrhage in patients with varices was 2.68% at 12 months compared to 0.8% in patients without. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis revealed a hazard ratio of 10.1 for patients with varix developing hemorrhage compared to nonvarix patients (P hemorrhage was 3.3 cases per 1,000 person-months for varix patients compared to 0.5 cases per 1,000 person-months in the nonvarix group. There was no significant difference in the incidence of paresis, mucosal lesions, location of varix (left or right side; medial or lateral), or varix morphology (pinpoint, linear, lake) between patients who hemorrhaged and those that did not. The presence of varices increases the risk of hemorrhage. Varix patients had 10 times the rate of hemorrhage compared to nonvarix patients, although the overall incidence is low. This data may be used to inform treatment of patients with varices. 4. Laryngoscope, 126:1163-1168, 2016. © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  5. Applicability of Cone Beam Computed Tomography to the Assessment of the Vocal Tract before and after Vocal Exercises in Normal Subjects. (United States)

    Garcia, Elisângela Zacanti; Yamashita, Hélio Kiitiro; Garcia, Davi Sousa; Padovani, Marina Martins Pereira; Azevedo, Renata Rangel; Chiari, Brasília Maria


    Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), which represents an alternative to traditional computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, may be a useful instrument to study vocal tract physiology related to vocal exercises. This study aims to evaluate the applicability of CBCT to the assessment of variations in the vocal tract of healthy individuals before and after vocal exercises. Voice recordings and CBCT images before and after vocal exercises performed by 3 speech-language pathologists without vocal complaints were collected and compared. Each participant performed 1 type of exercise, i.e., Finnish resonance tube technique, prolonged consonant "b" technique, or chewing technique. The analysis consisted of an acoustic analysis and tomographic imaging. Modifications of the vocal tract settings following vocal exercises were properly detected by CBCT, and changes in the acoustic parameters were, for the most part, compatible with the variations detected in image measurements. CBCT was shown to be capable of properly assessing the changes in vocal tract settings promoted by vocal exercises. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Rules of song development and their use in vocal interactions by birds with large repertoires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Geberzahn


    Full Text Available Songbirds are well known for settling their disputes by vocal signals, and their singing plays a dominant role. Most studies on this issue have concentrated on bird species that develop and use small vocal repertoires. In this article we will go farther and focus on examples of how species with large song repertoires make use of their vocal competence. In particular, we will outline the study of interaction rules which have been elucidated by examining time- and pattern-specific relationships between signals exchanged by territorial neighbors. First we present an inquiry into the rules of song learning and development. In birds with large song repertoires, the ontogeny of such rules proceeds along a number of trajectories which help in understanding the often remarkable accomplishments of adult birds. In both approaches, our model species will be the Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos that has been investigated intensively in the field and in the laboratory.Pássaros canoros são bem conhecidos por resolver suas brigas através de sinais vocais e seu canto tem um papel dominante. A maioria dos estudos sobre este assunto focalizou espécies de aves que desenvolvem e usam repertórios vocais pequenos. Neste artigo iremos mais longe, examinando como espécies com grandes repertórios fazem uso de suas capacidades. Descreveremos particularmente o estudo das regras de interação que foram desvendadas pelo exame das relações temporais e estruturais entre os sinais trocados por vizinhos. Inicialmente, investigamos as regras de aprendizagem e desenvolvimento do canto. Nas aves com grande repertório vocal, a ontogênese dessas regras segue certas trajetórias que ajudam a entender o desempenho dos adultos, geralmente notável. Em ambas abordagens, nossa espécie-modelo será o Rouxinol-comum Luscinia megarhynchos, que foi pesquisado intensamente no campo e no laboratório.

  7. Vocal changes in patients undergoing radiation therapy for glottic carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, S.; Harrison, L.B.; Solomon, B.; Sessions, R.B.


    A prospective evaluation of vocal changes in patients receiving radiation therapy for T1 and T2 (AJC) glottic carcinoma was undertaken in January 1987. Vocal analysis was performed prior to radiotherapy and at specific intervals throughout the radiation treatment program. The voicing ratio was extrapolated from a sustained vowel phonation using the Visipitch interfaced with the IBM-PC. Preliminary observations suggested three distinct patterns of vocal behavior: 1. reduced voicing ratio with precipitous improvement within the course of treatment, 2. high initial voicing ratio with reduction secondary to radiation induced edema, with rapid improvement in the voicing component after the edema subsided, and 3. fluctuating voicing ratio during and following treatment. Enrollment of new patients and a 2-year follow-up of current patients was undertaken

  8. Facial, Olfactory, and Vocal Cues to Female Reproductive Value

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Röder


    Full Text Available Facial, olfactory, and vocal cues may advertise women's fertility. However, most of the evidence for this proposal has come from studies of changes in young adult women's attractiveness over the menstrual cycle. By contrast with this emphasis on changes in attractiveness over the menstrual cycle, possible changes in women's attractiveness over their lifespan have received little attention. The present study investigated men's ratings of young girls' (11–15 years old, adult women's (19–30 years old and circum-menopausal women's (50–65 years old facial, body odor, and vocal attractiveness and femininity. Faces and voices, but not body odors, of young girls and adult women were perceived to be significantly more attractive and feminine than those of circum-menopausal women. These data suggest that facial and vocal cues may be cues to women's reproductive value, but that body odor cues do not necessarily advertise this information.

  9. Trial-Based Functional Analysis Informs Treatment for Vocal Scripting. (United States)

    Rispoli, Mandy; Brodhead, Matthew; Wolfe, Katie; Gregori, Emily


    Research on trial-based functional analysis has primarily focused on socially maintained challenging behaviors. However, procedural modifications may be necessary to clarify ambiguous assessment results. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the utility of iterative modifications to trial-based functional analysis on the identification of putative reinforcement and subsequent treatment for vocal scripting. For all participants, modifications to the trial-based functional analysis identified a primary function of automatic reinforcement. The structure of the trial-based format led to identification of social attention as an abolishing operation for vocal scripting. A noncontingent attention treatment was evaluated using withdrawal designs for each participant. This noncontingent attention treatment resulted in near zero levels of vocal scripting for all participants. Implications for research and practice are presented.

  10. Medical image of the week: bilateral vocal cord paralysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Hook CJ


    Full Text Available A 59-year-old morbidly obese woman with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure secondary to pulmonary emboli required emergency intubation. She was described by the anesthesiologist as having a difficult airway. The patient was liberated from the ventilator after two days. Following extubation she complained of hoarse voice and dyspnea. Physical exam revealed audible stridor. The upper airway was normal by CAT imaging. Flow-volume curve demonstrated marked flattening of both the inspiratory and expiratory limbs, consistent with a fixed extra-thoracic obstruction (Figure 1. Endoscopy revealed the vocal cords to be in the adducted position, with minimal movement throughout the respiratory cycle, consistent with bilateral vocal cord paralysis (Figure 2. Traumatic intubation follows thyroid surgery as the most common cause of bilateral vocal cord paralysis (1. In a minority of patients spontaneous recovery may occur. Surgical treatment options include cordotomy or tracheostomy. Nocturnal BIPAP has been used in patients who decline surgery (2.

  11. Vocal Cord Dysfunction Masquerading as Astma Like Symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Ozturk


    Full Text Available Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD is a nonorganic disorder of the larynx that involves unintentional paradoxical adduction of the vocal cords while breathing. VCD is a relatively rare condition that may mimic asthma or upper airway obstruction. VCD often coexists with asthma, and should be suspected in any patient in whom asthma treatment fails. Confirming the diagnosis involves direct visualization of abnormal vocal cord motion, and this usually only occurs during symptoms. In this report, we describe a 65-years-old male patient who has psychological problems due to a relative loss, and a military collage student who experiencing respiratory problems during vigorous exercises. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2007; 6(2.000: 148-150

  12. Spontaneous resolution of hemorrhagic polyps of the true vocal fold. (United States)

    Klein, Adam M; Lehmann, Marcus; Hapner, Edie R; Johns, Michael M


    Hemorrhagic polyps are the most common benign lesions surgically removed from the vocal folds. Although this modality does offer satisfactory results in most of the cases, there is a subset of polyps that seems to resolve with conservative therapy. This study was performed to examine this subset of polyps. Thirty-four consecutive subjects diagnosed with hemorrhagic polyps of the true vocal fold were retrospectively reviewed to determine the incidence of spontaneous resolution of the lesions with nonsurgical therapy. Sixteen subjects began conservative therapy, consisting of voice therapy and proper vocal hygiene, often while awaiting an optimal personal time for surgical intervention. Of these subjects, nine (56.3%) experienced a resolution of their lesion and symptoms without undergoing surgical therapy. Surgical removal of hemorrhagic polyps is often considered the standard of treatment for these benign lesions. However, these observations support a regimen of voice therapy and observation in select cases.

  13. Apoptosis and Vocal Fold Disease: Clinically Relevant Implications of Epithelial Cell Death (United States)

    Novaleski, Carolyn K.; Carter, Bruce D.; Sivasankar, M. Preeti; Ridner, Sheila H.; Dietrich, Mary S.; Rousseau, Bernard


    Purpose: Vocal fold diseases affecting the epithelium have a detrimental impact on vocal function. This review article provides an overview of apoptosis, the most commonly studied type of programmed cell death. Because apoptosis can damage epithelial cells, this article examines the implications of apoptosis on diseases affecting the vocal fold…

  14. Examination of vocal fold movement by ultra-short pulse X radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noscoe, N.J.; Berry, R.J.; Brown, N.J.


    Antero-posterior radiographs of the larynx lack spatial and temporal resolution, due to the movement of the vocal folds during phonation. By utilising the electrolaryngograph to monitor vocal fold movement, single X-ray pulses of 30 nanoseconds duration have been triggered at pre-determined points during the cycle of vocal fold movement to visualise these in normal phonation. (author)

  15. Quantitative Study of Vibrational Symmetry of Injured Vocal Folds via Digital Kymography in Excised Canine Larynges (United States)

    Krausert, Christopher R.; Ying, Di; Zhang, Yu; Jiang, Jack J.


    Purpose: Digital kymography and vocal fold curve fitting are blended with detailed symmetry analysis of kymograms to provide a comprehensive characterization of the vibratory properties of injured vocal folds. Method: Vocal fold vibration of 12 excised canine larynges was recorded under uninjured, unilaterally injured, and bilaterally injured…

  16. Characterization of Vocal Fold Vibration in Sulcus Vocalis Using High-Speed Digital Imaging (United States)

    Yamauchi, Akihito; Yokonishi, Hisayuki; Imagawa, Hiroshi; Sakakibara, Ken-Ichi; Nito, Takaharu; Tayama, Niro; Yamasoba, Tatsuya


    Purpose: The aim of the present study was to qualitatively and quantitatively characterize vocal fold vibrations in sulcus vocalis by high-speed digital imaging (HSDI) and to clarify the correlations between HSDI-derived parameters and traditional vocal parameters. Method: HSDI was performed in 20 vocally healthy subjects (8 men and 12 women) and…

  17. Effects of Surgery on the Phonation Threshold Pressure in Patients With Vocal Fold Polyps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyng-Guey Wang


    Conclusion: Laryngomicrosurgery can lower PTP in patients with vocal fold polyps and improve the ease of phonation. PTP is one of the objective measurements for assessing the effects of surgery in patients with vocal fold polyps. Use of an accelerometer to detect vocal fold vibration improved the measurement of PTP.

  18. Influence of Left-Right Asymmetries on Voice Quality in Simulated Paramedian Vocal Fold Paralysis (United States)

    Samlan, Robin A.; Story, Brad H.


    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the vocal fold structural and vibratory symmetries that are important to vocal function and voice quality in a simulated paramedian vocal fold paralysis. Method: A computational kinematic speech production model was used to simulate an exemplar "voice" on the basis of asymmetric…

  19. Vocal Function in Introverts and Extraverts during a Psychological Stress Reactivity Protocol (United States)

    Dietrich, Maria; Verdolini Abbott, Katherine


    Purpose: To examine the proposal that introversion predictably influences extralaryngeal and vocal behavior in vocally healthy individuals compared with individuals with extraversion and whether differences are of a nature that may support a risk hypothesis for primary muscle tension dysphonia. Method: Fifty-four vocally healthy female adults…

  20. Histopathologic study of human vocal fold mucosa unphonated over a decade. (United States)

    Sato, Kiminori; Umeno, Hirohito; Ono, Takeharu; Nakashima, Tadashi


    Mechanotransduction caused by vocal fold vibration could possibly be an important factor in the maintenance of extracellular matrices and layered structure of the human adult vocal fold mucosa as a vibrating tissue after the layered structure has been completed. Vocal fold stellate cells (VFSCs) in the human maculae flavae of the vocal fold mucosa are inferred to be involved in the metabolism of extracellular matrices of the vocal fold mucosa. Maculae flavae are also considered to be an important structure in the growth and development of the human vocal fold mucosa. Tension caused by phonation (vocal fold vibration) is hypothesized to stimulate the VFSCs to accelerate production of extracellular matrices. A human adult vocal fold mucosa unphonated over a decade was investigated histopathologically. Vocal fold mucosa unphonated for 11 years and 2 months of a 64-year-old male with cerebral hemorrhage was investigated by light and electron microscopy. The vocal fold mucosae (including maculae flavae) were atrophic. The vocal fold mucosa did not have a vocal ligament, Reinke's space or a layered structure. The lamina propria appeared as a uniform structure. Morphologically, the VFSCs synthesized fewer extracellular matrices, such as fibrous protein and glycosaminoglycan. Consequently, VFSCs appeared to decrease their level of activity.

  1. Evidence for cultural dialects in vocal emotion expression: acoustic classification within and across five nations. (United States)

    Laukka, Petri; Neiberg, Daniel; Elfenbein, Hillary Anger


    The possibility of cultural differences in the fundamental acoustic patterns used to express emotion through the voice is an unanswered question central to the larger debate about the universality versus cultural specificity of emotion. This study used emotionally inflected standard-content speech segments expressing 11 emotions produced by 100 professional actors from 5 English-speaking cultures. Machine learning simulations were employed to classify expressions based on their acoustic features, using conditions where training and testing were conducted on stimuli coming from either the same or different cultures. A wide range of emotions were classified with above-chance accuracy in cross-cultural conditions, suggesting vocal expressions share important characteristics across cultures. However, classification showed an in-group advantage with higher accuracy in within- versus cross-cultural conditions. This finding demonstrates cultural differences in expressive vocal style, and supports the dialect theory of emotions according to which greater recognition of expressions from in-group members results from greater familiarity with culturally specific expressive styles.

  2. Gender Differences in the Recognition of Vocal Emotions (United States)

    Lausen, Adi; Schacht, Annekathrin


    The conflicting findings from the few studies conducted with regard to gender differences in the recognition of vocal expressions of emotion have left the exact nature of these differences unclear. Several investigators have argued that a comprehensive understanding of gender differences in vocal emotion recognition can only be achieved by replicating these studies while accounting for influential factors such as stimulus type, gender-balanced samples, number of encoders, decoders, and emotional categories. This study aimed to account for these factors by investigating whether emotion recognition from vocal expressions differs as a function of both listeners' and speakers' gender. A total of N = 290 participants were randomly and equally allocated to two groups. One group listened to words and pseudo-words, while the other group listened to sentences and affect bursts. Participants were asked to categorize the stimuli with respect to the expressed emotions in a fixed-choice response format. Overall, females were more accurate than males when decoding vocal emotions, however, when testing for specific emotions these differences were small in magnitude. Speakers' gender had a significant impact on how listeners' judged emotions from the voice. The group listening to words and pseudo-words had higher identification rates for emotions spoken by male than by female actors, whereas in the group listening to sentences and affect bursts the identification rates were higher when emotions were uttered by female than male actors. The mixed pattern for emotion-specific effects, however, indicates that, in the vocal channel, the reliability of emotion judgments is not systematically influenced by speakers' gender and the related stereotypes of emotional expressivity. Together, these results extend previous findings by showing effects of listeners' and speakers' gender on the recognition of vocal emotions. They stress the importance of distinguishing these factors to explain

  3. Gender Differences in the Recognition of Vocal Emotions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adi Lausen


    Full Text Available The conflicting findings from the few studies conducted with regard to gender differences in the recognition of vocal expressions of emotion have left the exact nature of these differences unclear. Several investigators have argued that a comprehensive understanding of gender differences in vocal emotion recognition can only be achieved by replicating these studies while accounting for influential factors such as stimulus type, gender-balanced samples, number of encoders, decoders, and emotional categories. This study aimed to account for these factors by investigating whether emotion recognition from vocal expressions differs as a function of both listeners' and speakers' gender. A total of N = 290 participants were randomly and equally allocated to two groups. One group listened to words and pseudo-words, while the other group listened to sentences and affect bursts. Participants were asked to categorize the stimuli with respect to the expressed emotions in a fixed-choice response format. Overall, females were more accurate than males when decoding vocal emotions, however, when testing for specific emotions these differences were small in magnitude. Speakers' gender had a significant impact on how listeners' judged emotions from the voice. The group listening to words and pseudo-words had higher identification rates for emotions spoken by male than by female actors, whereas in the group listening to sentences and affect bursts the identification rates were higher when emotions were uttered by female than male actors. The mixed pattern for emotion-specific effects, however, indicates that, in the vocal channel, the reliability of emotion judgments is not systematically influenced by speakers' gender and the related stereotypes of emotional expressivity. Together, these results extend previous findings by showing effects of listeners' and speakers' gender on the recognition of vocal emotions. They stress the importance of distinguishing these

  4. Vocal problems among teachers: evaluation of a preventive voice program. (United States)

    Bovo, Roberto; Galceran, Marta; Petruccelli, Joseph; Hatzopoulos, Stavros


    Vocal education programs for teachers may prevent the emergence of vocal disorders; however, only a few studies have tried to evaluate the effectiveness of these preventive programs, particularly in the long term. Two hundred and sixty-four subjects, mostly kindergarten and primary school female teachers, participated in a course on voice care, including a theoretical seminar (120 minutes) and a short voice group therapy (180 minutes, small groups of 20 subjects). For 3 months, they had to either attend the vocal ergonomics norms and, as psychological reinforcement, they had to make out a daily report of vocal abuse, or to follow the given exercises for a more efficient vocal technique, reporting on whether the time scheduled was respected or not. The effectiveness of the course was assessed in a group of 21 female teachers through a randomized controlled study. Evaluation comprehended stroboscopy, perceptual and electro-acoustical voice analysis, Voice Handicap Index, and a course benefit questionnaire. A group of 20 teachers matched for age, working years, hoarseness grade, and vocal demand served as a control group. At 3 months evaluation, participants demonstrated amelioration in the global dysphonia rates (P=0.0003), jitter (P=0.0001), shimmer (P=0.0001), MPT (P=0.0001), and VHI (P=0.0001). Twelve months after the course, the positive effects remained, although they were slightly reduced. In conclusion, a course inclusive of two lectures, a short group voice therapy, home-controlled voice exercises, and hygiene, represents a feasible and cost-effective primary prevention of voice disorders in a homogeneous and well-motivated population of teachers.

  5. Modulating Phonation Through Alteration of Vocal Fold Medial Surface Contour (United States)

    Mau, Ted; Muhlestein, Joseph; Callahan, Sean; Chan, Roger W.


    Objectives 1. To test whether alteration of the vocal fold medial surface contour can improve phonation. 2. To demonstrate that implant material properties affect vibration even when implant is deep to the vocal fold lamina propria. Study Design Induced phonation of excised human larynges. Methods Thirteen larynges were harvested within 24 hours post-mortem. Phonation threshold pressure (PTP) and flow (PTF) were measured before and after vocal fold injections using either calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) or hyaluronic acid (HA). Small-volume injections (median 0.0625 mL) were targeted to the infero-medial aspect of the thyroarytenoid (TA) muscle. Implant locations were assessed histologically. Results The effect of implantation on PTP was material-dependent. CaHA tended to increase PTP, whereas HA tended to decrease PTP (Wilcoxon test P = 0.00013 for onset). In contrast, the effect of implantation on PTF was similar, with both materials tending to decrease PTF (P = 0.16 for onset). Histology confirmed implant presence in the inferior half of the vocal fold vertical thickness. Conclusions Taken together, these data suggested the implants may have altered the vocal fold medial surface contour, potentially resulting in a less convergent or more rectangular glottal geometry as a means to improve phonation. An implant with a closer viscoelastic match to vocal fold cover is desirable for this purpose, as material properties can affect vibration even when the implant is not placed within the lamina propria. This result is consistent with theoretical predictions and implies greater need for surgical precision in implant placement and care in material selection. PMID:22865592

  6. Oral and vocal fold diadochokinesis in dysphonic women. (United States)

    Louzada, Talita; Beraldinelle, Roberta; Berretin-Felix, Giédre; Brasolotto, Alcione Ghedini


    The evaluation of oral and vocal fold diadochokinesis (DDK) in individuals with voice disorders may contribute to the understanding of factors that affect the balanced vocal production. Scientific studies that make use of this assessment tool support the knowledge advance of this area, reflecting the development of more appropriate therapeutic planning. To compare the results of oral and vocal fold DDK in dysphonic women and in women without vocal disorders. For this study, 28 voice recordings of women from 19 to 54 years old, diagnosed with dysphonia and submitted to a voice assessment from speech pathologist and otorhinolaryngologist, were used. The control group included 30 nondysphonic women evaluated in prior research from normal adults. The analysis parameters like number and duration of emissions, as well as the regularity of the repetition of syllables "pa", "ta", "ka" and the vowels "a" and "i," were provided by the Advanced Motor Speech Profile program (MSP) Model-5141, version-2.5.2 (KayPentax). The DDK sequence "pataka" was analyzed quantitatively through the Sound Forge 7.0 program, as well as manually with the audio-visual help of sound waves. Average values of oral and vocal fold DDK dysphonic and nondysphonic women were compared using the "t Student" test and were considered significant when pwomen (CvP=10.42%, 12.79%, 12.05%; JittP=2.05%, 6.05%, 3.63%) compared to the control group (CvP=8.86%; 10.95%, 11.20%; JittP=1.82%, 2.98%, 3.15%). Although the results do not indicate any difficulties in oral and laryngeal motor control in the dysphonic group, the largest instability in vocal fold DDK in the experimental group should be considered, and studies of this ability in individuals with communication disorders must be intensified.

  7. Lecture Recording: Structural and Symbolic Information vs. Flexibility of Presentation (United States)

    Stolzenberg, Daniel; Pforte, Stefan


    Rapid eLearning is an ongoing trend which enables flexible and cost-effective creation of learning materials. Especially, lecture recording has turned out to be a lightweight method particularly suited for existing lectures and blended learning strategies. In order to not only sequentially play back but offer full fledged navigation, search and…

  8. Adaptive vocal behavior drives perception by echolocation in bats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moss, Cynthia F; Chiu, Chen; Surlykke, Annemarie


    Echolocation operates through adaptive sensorimotor systems that collectively enable the bat to localize and track sonar objects as it flies. The features of sonar signals used by a bat to probe its surroundings determine the information available to its acoustic imaging system. In turn, the bat......'s perception of a complex scene guides its active adjustments in the features of subsequent sonar vocalizations. Here, we propose that the bat's active vocal-motor behaviors play directly into its representation of a dynamic auditory scene....

  9. [Retention cysts of the vocal cords (author's transl)]. (United States)

    Grundmann, E W


    Present day knowledge in laryngology maintains that the free edge of the true cord mucosa is devoid of glands so that retention cysts should not occur in this tissue. When such cysts do occur, it is difficult to define their pathogenesis. Reference is made to the author's earlier study which found a regular occurrence of mucous glands in the squamous epithelial region of the vocal cords. A retention cyst in the true cord is described histologically in the present report. The glands responsible for these cysts are believed to function by moistening the mucous membrane of the vocal cords.

  10. Coding of vocalizations by single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. (United States)

    Plakke, Bethany; Diltz, Mark D; Romanski, Lizabeth M


    Neuronal activity in single prefrontal neurons has been correlated with behavioral responses, rules, task variables and stimulus features. In the non-human primate, neurons recorded in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) have been found to respond to species-specific vocalizations. Previous studies have found multisensory neurons which respond to simultaneously presented faces and vocalizations in this region. Behavioral data suggests that face and vocal information are inextricably linked in animals and humans and therefore may also be tightly linked in the coding of communication calls in prefrontal neurons. In this study we therefore examined the role of VLPFC in encoding vocalization call type information. Specifically, we examined previously recorded single unit responses from the VLPFC in awake, behaving rhesus macaques in response to 3 types of species-specific vocalizations made by 3 individual callers. Analysis of responses by vocalization call type and caller identity showed that ∼19% of cells had a main effect of call type with fewer cells encoding caller. Classification performance of VLPFC neurons was ∼42% averaged across the population. When assessed at discrete time bins, classification performance reached 70 percent for coos in the first 300 ms and remained above chance for the duration of the response period, though performance was lower for other call types. In light of the sub-optimal classification performance of the majority of VLPFC neurons when only vocal information is present, and the recent evidence that most VLPFC neurons are multisensory, the potential enhancement of classification with the addition of accompanying face information is discussed and additional studies recommended. Behavioral and neuronal evidence has shown a considerable benefit in recognition and memory performance when faces and voices are presented simultaneously. In the natural environment both facial and vocalization information is present simultaneously and

  11. Vocal fold composition and early glottic carcinoma infiltration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Qin


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current imaging techniques provide only limited information pertaining to the extent of infiltration of laryngeal carcinomas into vocal fold tissue layers. Therefore, it is needed to seek the contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding examination and characterization in laryngeal carcinoma infiltration. Methods Excised larynges were collected from 30 male laryngectomy patients with an average age of 43.5 years (ranging 36 to 55 years and history of smoking (≥10 years exhibiting T1, T2, or subglottal (normal vocal fold carcinomas. Vocal folds were preserved via freezing or immersion in paraffin. The depth of the mucosa, submucosa, and muscular layers in both normal vocal folds and tumor tissues of afflicted vocal folds was measured. Results The average depths of the mucosa, submucosa, and muscular layers in normal vocal folds were 0.15 ± 0.06 mm, 2.30 ± 0.59 mm, and 2.87 ± 0.88 mm, respectively. Infiltration measurements of T1 tumors showed a depth of 1.62 ± 0.51 mm and 1.32 ± 0.49 mm in frozen sections and paraffin-embedded samples, respectively. Similarly, T2 tumors showed a depth of 2.87 ± 0.68 mm and 2.58 ± 0.67 mm in frozen sections and paraffin-embedded samples, respectively. T1 and T2 tumors occupied 24.8 ± 10 and 48.5 ± 15 percent of the normal vocal fold depth, respectively. Conclusion This data provides a baseline for estimating infiltration of laryngeal carcinomas in vocal fold tissue layers, of particular interest to surgeons. This information may be used to assess typical depths of infiltration, thus allowing for more appropriate selection of surgical procedures based on individual patient assessment.

  12. Training Package Implementation: Innovative and Flexible Approaches. (United States)

    Meyers, Dave; Blom, Kaaren

    The implementation of training packages (TPs) in Australian workplaces was examined through case studies of the use of TPs in nontraditional trade areas by six innovative registered training organizations (RTOs) across Australia. The study focused on the extent to which new and flexible approaches to learning, training delivery, and assessment…

  13. Organizational flexibility estimation


    Komarynets, Sofia


    By the help of parametric estimation the evaluation scale of organizational flexibility and its parameters was formed. Definite degrees of organizational flexibility and its parameters for the Lviv region enterprises were determined. Grouping of the enterprises under the existing scale was carried out. Special recommendations to correct the enterprises behaviour were given.

  14. Reversibly Bistable Flexible Electronics

    KAUST Repository

    Alfaraj, Nasir


    Introducing the notion of transformational silicon electronics has paved the way for integrating various applications with silicon-based, modern, high-performance electronic circuits that are mechanically flexible and optically semitransparent. While maintaining large-scale production and prototyping rapidity, this flexible and translucent scheme demonstrates the potential to transform conventionally stiff electronic devices into thin and foldable ones without compromising long-term performance and reliability. In this work, we report on the fabrication and characterization of reversibly bistable flexible electronic switches that utilize flexible n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors. The transistors are fabricated initially on rigid (100) silicon substrates before they are peeled off. They can be used to control flexible batches of light-emitting diodes, demonstrating both the relative ease of scaling at minimum cost and maximum reliability and the feasibility of integration. The peeled-off silicon fabric is about 25 µm thick. The fabricated devices are transferred to a reversibly bistable flexible platform through which, for example, a flexible smartphone can be wrapped around a user’s wrist and can also be set back to its original mechanical position. Buckling and cyclic bending of such host platforms brings a completely new dimension to the development of flexible electronics, especially rollable displays.

  15. Flexible magnetoimpidence sensor

    KAUST Repository

    Kavaldzhiev, Mincho


    Recently, flexible electronic devices have attracted increasing interest, due to the opportunities they promise for new applications such as wearable devices, where the components are required to flex during normal use[1]. In this light, different magnetic sensors, like microcoil, spin valve, giant magnetoresistance (GMR), magnetoimpedance (MI), have been studied previously on flexible substrates.

  16. Flexibility within Fidelity (United States)

    Kendall, Philip C.; Gosch, Elizabeth; Furr, Jami M.; Sood, Erica


    The authors address concerns regarding manual-based treatments, highlighting the role of flexibility and creativity. A cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth anxiety called the Coping Cat program demonstrates the flexible application of manuals and emphasizes the importance of a child-centered, personalized approach that involves the child in the…

  17. Flexible position probe assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitz, J.J.


    The combination of a plurality of tubular transducer sections and a flexible supporting member extending through the tubular transducer sections forms a flexible elongated probe of a design suitable for monitoring the level of an element, such as a nuclear magnetically permeable control rod or liquid. 3 claims, 23 figures

  18. Correlation between vocal tract symptoms and modern singing handicap index in church gospel singers. (United States)

    Pinheiro, Joel; Silverio, Kelly Cristina Alves; Siqueira, Larissa Thaís Donalonso; Ramos, Janine Santos; Brasolotto, Alcione Ghedini; Zambon, Fabiana; Behlau, Mara


    To verify the correlation between vocal tract discomfort symptoms and perceived voice handicaps in gospel singers, analyzing possible differences according to gender. 100 gospel singers volunteered, 50 male and 50 female. All participants answered two questionnaires: Vocal Tract Discomfort (VTD) scale and the Modern Singing Handicap Index (MSHI) that investigates the vocal handicap perceived by singers, linking the results of both instruments (psinging. Female gospel singers present higher frequency and intensity of vocal tract discomfort symptoms, as well as higher voice handicap for singing than male gospel singers. The higher the frequency and intensity of the laryngeal symptoms, the higher the vocal handicap will be.

  19. Flexible Carbon Aerogels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Schwan


    Full Text Available Carbon aerogels are highly porous materials with a large inner surface area. Due to their high electrical conductivity they are excellent electrode materials in supercapacitors. Their brittleness, however, imposes certain limitations in terms of applicability. In that context, novel carbon aerogels with varying degree of flexibility have been developed. These highly porous, light aerogels are characterized by a high surface area and possess pore structures in the micrometer range, allowing for a reversible deformation of the aerogel network. A high ratio of pore size to particle size was found to be crucial for high flexibility. For dynamic microstructural analysis, compression tests were performed in-situ within a scanning electron microscope allowing us to directly visualize the microstructural flexibility of an aerogel. The flexible carbon aerogels were found to withstand between 15% and 30% of uniaxial compression in a reversible fashion. These findings might stimulate further research and new application fields directed towards flexible supercapacitors and batteries.

  20. Global Sourcing Flexibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørberg Jensen, Peter D.; Petersen, Bent


    the higher costs (but decreased risk for value chain disruption) embedded in a more flexible global sourcing model that allows the firm to replicate and/or relocate activities across multiple locations. We develop a model and propositions on facilitating and constraining conditions of global sourcing...... sourcing flexibility. Here we draw on prior research in the fields of organizational flexibility, international business and global sourcing as well as case examples and secondary studies. In the second part of the paper, we discuss the implications of global sourcing flexibility for firm strategy...... and operations against the backdrop of the theory-based definition of the construct. We discuss in particular the importance of global sourcing flexibility for operational performance stability, and the trade-off between specialization benefits, emerging from location and service provider specialization, versus...