WorldWideScience

Sample records for vocal pitch discrimination

  1. The relationship between pitch discrimination and vocal production: comparison of vocal and instrumental musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikjeh, Dee A; Lister, Jennifer J; Frisch, Stefan A

    2009-01-01

    Auditory pitch discrimination and vocal pitch accuracy are fundamental abilities and essential skills of a professional singer; yet, the relationship between these abilities, particularly in trained vocal musicians, has not been the subject of much research. Difference limens for frequency (DLFs) and pitch production accuracy (PPA) were examined among 20 vocalists, 21 instrumentalists, and 21 nonmusicians. All were right-handed young adult females with normal hearing. Stimuli were harmonic tone complexes simulating piano tones and represented the mid-frequency of the untrained female vocal range, F0=261.63-392 Hz (C4-G4). DLFs were obtained by an adaptive psychophysical paradigm. Vocal pitch recordings were analyzed to determine PPA. Musicians demonstrated superior pitch discrimination and production accuracy compared to nonmusicians. These abilities did not distinguish instrumentalists and vocalists. DLF and PPA were significantly correlated with each other only for musicians with instrumental training; however, PPA was most consistent with minimal variance for vocalists. It would appear that a relationship between DLF and PPA develops with musical training, and these abilities can be differentially influenced by the type of specialty training.

  2. Relations of pitch matching, pitch discrimination, and otoacoustic emission suppression in individuals not formally trained as musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Robert E; Estis, Julie M; Zhang, Fawen; Watts, Christopher; Marble, Elizabeth

    2007-06-01

    Research has yielded a relationship between pitch matching and pitch discrimination. Good pitch matchers tend to be good pitch discriminators and are often judged to be vocally talented. Otoacoustic emission suppression measures the function of the efferent auditory system which may affect accuracy for pitch matching and pitch discrimination. Formally trained musicians show pitch matching and pitch discrimination superior to those of nonmusicians and have greater efferent otoacoustic emission suppression than nonmusicians. This study investigated the relationship among pitch matching, pitch discrimination, and otoacoustic emission suppression in individuals with no formal musical training and who showed varied pitch matching and pitch discrimination. Analysis suggested a significant relationship between pitch matching and pitch discrimination but not between otoacoustic emission suppression and pitch matching and pitch discrimination. Findings are presented in the context of previous research indicating a significant relationship between otoacoustic emission suppression and musical talent in trained musicians.

  3. Vocal Pitch Shift in Congenital Amusia (Pitch Deafness)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Sean; Peretz, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    We tested whether congenital amusics, who exhibit pitch perception deficits, nevertheless adjust the pitch of their voice in response to a sudden pitch shift applied to vocal feedback. Nine amusics and matched controls imitated their own previously-recorded speech or singing, while the online feedback they received was shifted mid-utterance by 25…

  4. Vocal Pitch Shift in Congenital Amusia (Pitch Deafness)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Sean; Peretz, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    We tested whether congenital amusics, who exhibit pitch perception deficits, nevertheless adjust the pitch of their voice in response to a sudden pitch shift applied to vocal feedback. Nine amusics and matched controls imitated their own previously-recorded speech or singing, while the online feedback they received was shifted mid-utterance by 25…

  5. Vocal accuracy and neural plasticity following micromelody-discrimination training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Mary Zarate

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent behavioral studies report correlational evidence to suggest that non-musicians with good pitch discrimination sing more accurately than those with poorer auditory skills. However, other studies have reported a dissociation between perceptual and vocal production skills. In order to elucidate the relationship between auditory discrimination skills and vocal accuracy, we administered an auditory-discrimination training paradigm to a group of non-musicians to determine whether training-enhanced auditory discrimination would specifically result in improved vocal accuracy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We utilized micromelodies (i.e., melodies with seven different interval scales, each smaller than a semitone as the main stimuli for auditory discrimination training and testing, and we used single-note and melodic singing tasks to assess vocal accuracy in two groups of non-musicians (experimental and control. To determine if any training-induced improvements in vocal accuracy would be accompanied by related modulations in cortical activity during singing, the experimental group of non-musicians also performed the singing tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Following training, the experimental group exhibited significant enhancements in micromelody discrimination compared to controls. However, we did not observe a correlated improvement in vocal accuracy during single-note or melodic singing, nor did we detect any training-induced changes in activity within brain regions associated with singing. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Given the observations from our auditory training regimen, we therefore conclude that perceptual discrimination training alone is not sufficient to improve vocal accuracy in non-musicians, supporting the suggested dissociation between auditory perception and vocal production.

  6. Neural Networks Involved in Voluntary and Involuntary Vocal Pitch Regulation in Experienced Singers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarate, Jean Mary; Wood, Sean; Zatorre, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    In an fMRI experiment, we tested experienced singers with singing tasks to investigate neural correlates of voluntary and involuntary vocal pitch regulation. We shifted the pitch of auditory feedback (plus or minus 25 or 200 cents), and singers either: (1) ignored the shift and maintained their vocal pitch or (2) changed their vocal pitch to…

  7. Musical pitch discrimination by cochlear implant users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ping, Lichuan; Yuan, Meng; Feng, Haihong

    2012-05-01

    The main goal of this study was to investigate the effects of acoustic characteristics, including timbre and fundamental frequency (F0), on the musical pitch discrimination of cochlear implant users. Eight postlingually deafened cochlear implant users were recruited, along with 8 control subjects with normal hearing. Pitch discrimination tests were carried out using test stimuli from 4 musical instruments plus synthetic complex stimuli. Three reference tones with different F0s were used. The mean difference limens were 1.8 to 10.7 semitones in the just-noticeable difference task and 2.1 to 13.6 semitones in the pitch-direction discrimination task for different timbre and F0 combinations. Three-way analysis of variance showed that the acoustic characteristics of the musical stimuli, such as timbre and F0, significantly influenced pitch discrimination performance. Acoustic characteristics determine the complexity of the electrical stimulation pattern, which directly affects performance in pitch discrimination. A place pattern with a clear and regular low-order harmonic structure is most important for good pitch discrimination. A clear F0-related temporal pattern is also useful when the F0 is low. Pitch perception performance will worsen when there is interference in the high-frequency channels.

  8. Effects of harmonic roving on pitch discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; de Kérangal, Mathilde le Gal; Joshi, Suyash Narendra

    2015-01-01

    Performance in pitch discrimination tasks is limited by variability intrinsic to listeners which may arise from peripheral auditory coding limitations or more central noise sources. Perceptual limitations may be characterized by measuring an observer’s change in performance when introducting...... external noise in the physical stimulus (Lu and Dosher, 2008). The present study used this approach to attempt to quantify the “internal noise” involved in pitch coding of harmonic complex tones by estimating the amount of harmonic roving required to impair pitch discrimination performance. It remains...... a matter of debate whether pitch perception of natural complex sounds mostly relies on either spectral excitation-based information or temporal periodicity information. Comparing the way internal noise affects the internal representations of such information to how it affects pitch discrimination...

  9. Pitch discrimination associated with phonological awareness: Evidence from congenital amusia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yanan Sun; Xuejing Lu; Hao Tam Ho; William Forde Thompson

    2017-01-01

    .... However, eight amusics with severe pitch impairment, as identified by the pitch discrimination task, exhibited significantly worse performance than all other participants in phonological awareness...

  10. Effects of harmonic roving on pitch discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; de Kérangal, Mathilde le Gal; Joshi, Suyash Narendra

    2015-01-01

    Performance in pitch discrimination tasks is limited by variability intrinsic to listeners which may arise from peripheral auditory coding limitations or more central noise sources. The present study aimed at quantifying such “internal noise” by estimating the amount of harmonic roving required...... to impair pitch discrimination performance. Fundamental-frequency difference limens (F0DLs) were obtained in normal-hearing listeners with and without musical training for complex tones filtered between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz with F0s of 300 Hz (resolved harmonics) and 75 Hz (unresolved harmonics). The harmonicity...

  11. Difficulties with Pitch Discrimination Influences Pitch Memory Performance: Evidence from Congenital Amusia

    OpenAIRE

    Cunmei Jiang; Lim, Vanessa K.; Hang Wang; Hamm, Jeff P.

    2013-01-01

    Music processing is influenced by pitch perception and memory. Additionally these features interact, with pitch memory performance decreasing as the perceived distance between two pitches decreases. This study examined whether or not the difficulty of pitch discrimination influences pitch retention by testing individuals with congenital amusia. Pitch discrimination difficulty was equated by determining an individual's threshold with a two down one up staircase procedure and using this to crea...

  12. Sensorimotor control of vocal pitch production in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Zhu, Xiaoxia; Wang, Emily Q; Chen, Ling; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Zhaocong; Liu, Hanjun

    2013-08-21

    The present study was designed to investigate the sensorimotor control of voice fundamental frequency (F0) in individuals with Parkinson's diseases (PD). Fifteen Cantonese individuals with PD, and fifteen age- and sex-matched healthy Cantonese individuals participated in the experiment. Participants were asked to vocalize a vowel sound while hearing their voice auditory feedback unexpectedly pitch-shifted upwards or downwards through headphones. The size of pitch shifts varied from 50, 100, to 200 cents. One novel averaging method was used to categorize the individual trials such that only those trials that opposed the perturbation direction were averaged to generate an overall response. The results showed that Cantonese individuals with PD produced significantly larger magnitudes of vocal compensation for pitch perturbations than healthy participants. Both groups showed systematic changes in compensation magnitude as a function of perturbation size and direction: larger perturbation size or upward direction elicited greater compensation magnitude. Moreover, pitch variability indexed by the standard deviations of the baseline F0 was significantly correlated with the magnitude of vocal compensation in individuals with PD, whereas this correlation failed to reach significance for healthy participants. This study presents the first data demonstrating the abnormal processing of auditory feedback in the sensorimotor control of voice F0 for Cantonese individuals with PD. It is suggested that the abnormal sensorimotor integration of voice F0 control in PD may be caused by the increased weighting of auditory feedback control resulting from dysfunction of feedforward control and somatosensory feedback caused by the impairment of the basal ganglia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The Effects of Pitch Shifts on Delay-Induced Changes in Vocal Sequencing in a Songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Conor W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Like human speech, vocal behavior in songbirds depends critically on auditory feedback. In both humans and songbirds, vocal skills are acquired by a process of imitation whereby current vocal production is compared to an acoustic target. Similarly, performance in adulthood relies strongly on auditory feedback, and online manipulations of auditory signals can dramatically alter acoustic production even after vocalizations have been well learned. Artificially delaying auditory feedback can disrupt both speech and birdsong, and internal delays in auditory feedback have been hypothesized as a cause of vocal dysfluency in persons who stutter. Furthermore, in both song and speech, online shifts of the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback lead to compensatory changes in vocal pitch for small perturbations, but larger pitch shifts produce smaller changes in vocal output. Intriguingly, large pitch shifts can partially restore normal speech in some dysfluent speakers, suggesting that the effects of auditory feedback delays might be ameliorated by online pitch manipulations. Although birdsong provides a promising model system for understanding speech production, the interactions between sensory feedback delays and pitch shifts have not yet been assessed in songbirds. To investigate this, we asked whether the addition of a pitch shift modulates delay-induced changes in Bengalese finch song, hypothesizing that pitch shifts would reduce the effects of feedback delays. Compared with the effects of delays alone, combined delays and pitch shifts resulted in a significant reduction in behavioral changes in one type of sequencing (branch points) but not another (distribution of repeated syllables). PMID:28144622

  14. The Effects of Pitch Shifts on Delay-Induced Changes in Vocal Sequencing in a Songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, MacKenzie; Berthiaume, Emily A; Kelly, Conor W; Sober, Samuel J

    2017-01-01

    Like human speech, vocal behavior in songbirds depends critically on auditory feedback. In both humans and songbirds, vocal skills are acquired by a process of imitation whereby current vocal production is compared to an acoustic target. Similarly, performance in adulthood relies strongly on auditory feedback, and online manipulations of auditory signals can dramatically alter acoustic production even after vocalizations have been well learned. Artificially delaying auditory feedback can disrupt both speech and birdsong, and internal delays in auditory feedback have been hypothesized as a cause of vocal dysfluency in persons who stutter. Furthermore, in both song and speech, online shifts of the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback lead to compensatory changes in vocal pitch for small perturbations, but larger pitch shifts produce smaller changes in vocal output. Intriguingly, large pitch shifts can partially restore normal speech in some dysfluent speakers, suggesting that the effects of auditory feedback delays might be ameliorated by online pitch manipulations. Although birdsong provides a promising model system for understanding speech production, the interactions between sensory feedback delays and pitch shifts have not yet been assessed in songbirds. To investigate this, we asked whether the addition of a pitch shift modulates delay-induced changes in Bengalese finch song, hypothesizing that pitch shifts would reduce the effects of feedback delays. Compared with the effects of delays alone, combined delays and pitch shifts resulted in a significant reduction in behavioral changes in one type of sequencing (branch points) but not another (distribution of repeated syllables).

  15. Difficulties with pitch discrimination influences pitch memory performance: evidence from congenital amusia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cunmei Jiang

    Full Text Available Music processing is influenced by pitch perception and memory. Additionally these features interact, with pitch memory performance decreasing as the perceived distance between two pitches decreases. This study examined whether or not the difficulty of pitch discrimination influences pitch retention by testing individuals with congenital amusia. Pitch discrimination difficulty was equated by determining an individual's threshold with a two down one up staircase procedure and using this to create conditions where two pitches (the standard and the comparison tones differed by 1x, 2x, and 3x the threshold setting. For comparison with the literature a condition that employed a constant pitch difference of four semitones was also included. The results showed that pitch memory performance improved as the discrimination between the standard and the comparison tones was made easier for both amusic and control groups, and more importantly, that amusics did not show any pitch retention deficits when the discrimination difficulty was equated. In contrast, consistent with previous literature, amusics performed worse than controls when the physical pitch distance was held constant at four semitones. This impaired performance has been interpreted as evidence for pitch memory impairment in the past. However, employing a constant pitch distance always makes the difference closer to the discrimination threshold for the amusic group than for the control group. Therefore, reduced performance in this condition may simply reflect differences in the perceptual difficulty of the discrimination. The findings indicate the importance of equating the discrimination difficulty when investigating memory.

  16. Difficulties with pitch discrimination influences pitch memory performance: evidence from congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Cunmei; Lim, Vanessa K; Wang, Hang; Hamm, Jeff P

    2013-01-01

    Music processing is influenced by pitch perception and memory. Additionally these features interact, with pitch memory performance decreasing as the perceived distance between two pitches decreases. This study examined whether or not the difficulty of pitch discrimination influences pitch retention by testing individuals with congenital amusia. Pitch discrimination difficulty was equated by determining an individual's threshold with a two down one up staircase procedure and using this to create conditions where two pitches (the standard and the comparison tones) differed by 1x, 2x, and 3x the threshold setting. For comparison with the literature a condition that employed a constant pitch difference of four semitones was also included. The results showed that pitch memory performance improved as the discrimination between the standard and the comparison tones was made easier for both amusic and control groups, and more importantly, that amusics did not show any pitch retention deficits when the discrimination difficulty was equated. In contrast, consistent with previous literature, amusics performed worse than controls when the physical pitch distance was held constant at four semitones. This impaired performance has been interpreted as evidence for pitch memory impairment in the past. However, employing a constant pitch distance always makes the difference closer to the discrimination threshold for the amusic group than for the control group. Therefore, reduced performance in this condition may simply reflect differences in the perceptual difficulty of the discrimination. The findings indicate the importance of equating the discrimination difficulty when investigating memory.

  17. Pitch discrimination associated with phonological awareness: Evidence from congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yanan; Lu, Xuejing; Ho, Hao Tam; Thompson, William Forde

    2017-03-13

    Research suggests that musical skills are associated with phonological abilities. To further investigate this association, we examined whether phonological impairments are evident in individuals with poor music abilities. Twenty individuals with congenital amusia and 20 matched controls were assessed on a pure-tone pitch discrimination task, a rhythm discrimination task, and four phonological tests. Amusic participants showed deficits in discriminating pitch and discriminating rhythmic patterns that involve a regular beat. At a group level, these individuals performed similarly to controls on all phonological tests. However, eight amusics with severe pitch impairment, as identified by the pitch discrimination task, exhibited significantly worse performance than all other participants in phonological awareness. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that pitch discrimination thresholds predicted phonological awareness beyond that predicted by phonological short-term memory and rhythm discrimination. In contrast, our rhythm discrimination task did not predict phonological awareness beyond that predicted by pitch discrimination thresholds. These findings suggest that accurate pitch discrimination is critical for phonological processing. We propose that deficits in early-stage pitch discrimination may be associated with impaired phonological awareness and we discuss the shared role of pitch discrimination for processing music and speech.

  18. Voice fundamental frequency modulates vocal response to pitch perturbations during English speech

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Hanjun; Auger, James; Charles R Larson

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated task-dependent vocal responses to pitch perturbations during speech production. The present study investigated the effect of voice fundamental frequency (F0) on the modulation of vocal responses during English speech. Randomized pitch shifts of ±100 or 200 cents during speaking were presented to English speakers. Results indicated larger vocal responses and shorter latencies at a high voice F0 than at a low voice F0, but no significance differences were obse...

  19. Low vocal pitch preference drives first impressions of trustworthiness and dominance in non- contextual scenarios

    OpenAIRE

    Tsantani, Maria S.; Belin, Pascal; Paterson, Helena M.; McAleer, Philip

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Vocal pitch has been found to influence judgments of perceived trustworthiness and dominance from a novel voice. However, the majority of findings arise from using only male voices and in context-specific scenarios. In two experiments, we first explore the influence of average vocal pitch on first-impression judgments of perceived trustworthiness and dominance, before establishing the existence of an overall preference for high or low pitch across genders. In Experimen...

  20. Singing ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch.

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    Hutchins, Sean; Larrouy-Maestri, Pauline; Peretz, Isabelle

    2014-11-01

    The inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and vocal production, they have failed to control for the timbre of the target to be matched. In the present study, we compare pitch-matching accuracy with an unfamiliar instrument (the slider) and with the voice, designed such that the slider plays back recordings of the participant's own voice. We also measured pitch accuracy in singing a familiar melody ("Happy Birthday") to assess the relationship between single-pitch-matching tasks and melodic singing. Our results showed that participants (all nonmusicians) were significantly better at matching recordings of their own voices with the slider than with their voice, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. We also found significant correlations between the ability to sing a melody in tune and vocal pitch matching, but not pitch matching on the slider. Better melodic singers also tended to have higher quality voices (as measured by acoustic variables). These results provide important evidence about the role of vocal-motor control in poor singing ability and demonstrate that single-pitch-matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities.

  1. Voice fundamental frequency modulates vocal response to pitch perturbations during English speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hanjun; Auger, James; Larson, Charles R

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated task-dependent vocal responses to pitch perturbations during speech production. The present study investigated the effect of voice fundamental frequency (F(0)) on the modulation of vocal responses during English speech. Randomized pitch shifts of +/-100 or 200 cents during speaking were presented to English speakers. Results indicated larger vocal responses and shorter latencies at a high voice F(0) than at a low voice F(0), but no significance differences were observed for stimulus magnitude or direction. These findings suggest that the pitch-shift reflex during speech can be modulated as a function of voice F(0).

  2. A Bayesian Account of Vocal Adaptation to Pitch-Shifted Auditory Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahnloser, Richard H. R.

    2017-01-01

    Motor systems are highly adaptive. Both birds and humans compensate for synthetically induced shifts in the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback stemming from their vocalizations. Pitch-shift compensation is partial in the sense that large shifts lead to smaller relative compensatory adjustments of vocal pitch than small shifts. Also, compensation is larger in subjects with high motor variability. To formulate a mechanistic description of these findings, we adapt a Bayesian model of error relevance. We assume that vocal-auditory feedback loops in the brain cope optimally with known sensory and motor variability. Based on measurements of motor variability, optimal compensatory responses in our model provide accurate fits to published experimental data. Optimal compensation correctly predicts sensory acuity, which has been estimated in psychophysical experiments as just-noticeable pitch differences. Our model extends the utility of Bayesian approaches to adaptive vocal behaviors. PMID:28135267

  3. Auditory feedback control of vocal pitch during sustained vocalization: a cross-sectional study of adult aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Auditory feedback has been demonstrated to play an important role in the control of voice fundamental frequency (F(0, but the mechanisms underlying the processing of auditory feedback remain poorly understood. It has been well documented that young adults can use auditory feedback to stabilize their voice F(0 by making compensatory responses to perturbations they hear in their vocal pitch feedback. However, little is known about the effects of aging on the processing of audio-vocal feedback during vocalization. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we recruited adults who were between 19 and 75 years of age and divided them into five age groups. Using a pitch-shift paradigm, the pitch of their vocal feedback was unexpectedly shifted ±50 or ±100 cents during sustained vocalization of the vowel sound/u/. Compensatory vocal F(0 response magnitudes and latencies to pitch feedback perturbations were examined. A significant effect of age was found such that response magnitudes increased with increasing age until maximal values were reached for adults 51-60 years of age and then decreased for adults 61-75 years of age. Adults 51-60 years of age were also more sensitive to the direction and magnitude of the pitch feedback perturbations compared to younger adults. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that the pitch-shift reflex systematically changes across the adult lifespan. Understanding aging-related changes to the role of auditory feedback is critically important for our theoretical understanding of speech production and the clinical applications of that knowledge.

  4. Selective and divided attention modulates auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors.

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    Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-08-01

    Speakers rapidly adjust their ongoing vocal productions to compensate for errors they hear in their auditory feedback. It is currently unclear what role attention plays in these vocal compensations. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the influence of selective and divided attention on the vocal and cortical responses to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback regarding ongoing vocalisations. During the production of a sustained vowel, participants briefly heard their vocal pitch shifted up two semitones while they actively attended to auditory or visual events (selective attention), or both auditory and visual events (divided attention), or were not told to attend to either modality (control condition). The behavioral results showed that attending to the pitch perturbations elicited larger vocal compensations than attending to the visual stimuli. Moreover, ERPs were likewise sensitive to the attentional manipulations: P2 responses to pitch perturbations were larger when participants attended to the auditory stimuli compared to when they attended to the visual stimuli, and compared to when they were not explicitly told to attend to either the visual or auditory stimuli. By contrast, dividing attention between the auditory and visual modalities caused suppressed P2 responses relative to all the other conditions and caused enhanced N1 responses relative to the control condition. These findings provide strong evidence for the influence of attention on the mechanisms underlying the auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors. In addition, selective attention and divided attention appear to modulate the neurobehavioral processing of pitch feedback errors in different ways.

  5. High-pitched notes during vocal contests signal genetic diversity in ocellated antbirds.

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    Yi-Men Araya-Ajoy

    Full Text Available Animals use honest signals to assess the quality of competitors during aggressive interactions. Current theory predicts that honest signals should be costly to produce and thus reveal some aspects of the phenotypic or genetic quality of the sender. In songbirds, research indicates that biomechanical constraints make the production of some acoustic features costly. Furthermore, recent studies have found that vocal features are related to genetic diversity. We linked these two lines of research by evaluating if constrained acoustic features reveal male genetic diversity during aggressive interactions in ocellated antbirds (Phaenostictus mcleannani. We recorded the aggressive vocalizations of radiotagged males at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, and found significant variation in the highest frequency produced among individuals. Moreover, we detected a negative relationship between the frequency of the highest pitched note and vocalization duration, suggesting that high pitched notes might constrain the duration of vocalizations through biomechanical and/or energetic limitations. When we experimentally exposed wild radiotagged males to simulated acoustic challenges, the birds increased the pitch of their vocalization. We also found that individuals with higher genetic diversity (as measured by zygosity across 9 microsatellite loci produced notes of higher pitch during aggressive interactions. Overall, our results suggest that the ability to produce high pitched notes is an honest indicator of male genetic diversity in male-male aggressive interactions.

  6. Memory for pitch in congenital amusia: beyond a fine-grained pitch discrimination problem.

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    Williamson, Victoria Jane; Stewart, Lauren

    2010-08-01

    Congenital amusia is a disorder that affects the perception and production of music. While amusia has been associated with deficits in pitch discrimination, several reports suggest that memory deficits also play a role. The present study investigated short-term memory span for pitch-based and verbal information in 14 individuals with amusia and matched controls. Analogous adaptive-tracking procedures were used to generate tone and digit spans using stimuli that exceeded psychophysically measured pitch perception thresholds. Individuals with amusia had significantly smaller tone spans, whereas their digits spans were a similar size to those of controls. An automated operation span task was used to determine working memory capacity. Working memory deficits were seen in only a small subgroup of individuals with amusia. These findings support the existence of a pitch-specific component within short-term memory and suggest that congenital amusia is more than a disorder of fine-grained pitch discrimination.

  7. Discrimination of ultrasonic vocalizations by CBA/CaJ mice (Mus musculus is related to spectrotemporal dissimilarity of vocalizations.

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    Erikson G Neilans

    Full Text Available The function of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs produced by mice (Mus musculus is a topic of broad interest to many researchers. These USVs differ widely in spectrotemporal characteristics, suggesting different categories of vocalizations, although this has never been behaviorally demonstrated. Although electrophysiological studies indicate that neurons can discriminate among vocalizations at the level of the auditory midbrain, perceptual acuity for vocalizations has yet to be determined. Here, we trained CBA/CaJ mice using operant conditioning to discriminate between different vocalizations and between a spectrotemporally modified vocalization and its original version. Mice were able to discriminate between vocalization types and between manipulated vocalizations, with performance negatively correlating with spectrotemporal similarity. That is, discrimination performance was higher for dissimilar vocalizations and much lower for similar vocalizations. The behavioral data match previous neurophysiological results in the inferior colliculus (IC, using the same stimuli. These findings suggest that the different vocalizations could carry different meanings for the mice. Furthermore, the finding that behavioral discrimination matched neural discrimination in the IC suggests that the IC plays an important role in the perceptual discrimination of vocalizations.

  8. Discriminating male and female voices: differentiating pitch and gender.

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    Latinus, Marianne; Taylor, Margot J

    2012-04-01

    Gender is salient, socially critical information obtained from faces and voices, yet the brain processes underlying gender discrimination have not been well studied. We investigated neural correlates of gender processing of voices in two ERP studies. In the first, ERP differences were seen between female and male voices starting at 87 ms, in both spatial-temporal and peak analyses, particularly the fronto-central N1 and P2. As pitch differences may drive gender differences, the second study used normal, high- and low-pitch voices. The results of these studies suggested that differences in pitch produced early effects (27-63 ms). Gender effects were seen on N1 (120 ms) with implicit pitch processing (study 1), but were not seen with manipulations of pitch (study 2), demonstrating that N1 was modulated by attention. P2 (between 170 and 230 ms) discriminated male from female voices, independent of pitch. Thus, these data show that there are two stages in voice gender processing; a very early pitch or frequency discrimination and a later more accurate determination of gender at the P2 latency.

  9. The role of harmonic resolvability in pitch perception in a vocal nonhuman primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).

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    Osmanski, Michael S; Song, Xindong; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2013-05-22

    Pitch is one of the most fundamental percepts in the auditory system and can be extracted using either spectral or temporal information in an acoustic signal. Although pitch perception has been extensively studied in human subjects, it is far less clear how nonhuman primates perceive pitch. We have addressed this question in a series of behavioral studies in which marmosets, a vocal nonhuman primate species, were trained to discriminate complex harmonic tones differing in either spectral (fundamental frequency [f0]) or temporal envelope (repetition rate) cues. We found that marmosets used temporal envelope information to discriminate pitch for acoustic stimuli with higher-order harmonics and lower f0 values and spectral information for acoustic stimuli with lower-order harmonics and higher f0 values. We further measured frequency resolution in marmosets using a psychophysical task in which pure tone thresholds were measured as a function of notched noise masker bandwidth. Results show that only the first four harmonics are resolved at low f0 values and up to 16 harmonics are resolved at higher f0 values. Resolvability in marmosets is different from that in humans, where the first five to nine harmonics are consistently resolved across most f0 values, and is likely the result of a smaller marmoset cochlea. In sum, these results show that marmosets use two mechanisms to extract pitch (harmonic templates [spectral] for resolved harmonics, and envelope extraction [temporal] for unresolved harmonics) and that species differences in stimulus resolvability need to be taken into account when investigating and comparing mechanisms of pitch perception across animals.

  10. Attentional demands influence vocal compensations to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback.

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    Anupreet K Tumber

    Full Text Available Auditory feedback is required to maintain fluent speech. At present, it is unclear how attention modulates auditory feedback processing during ongoing speech. In this event-related potential (ERP study, participants vocalized/a/, while they heard their vocal pitch suddenly shifted downward a ½ semitone in both single and dual-task conditions. During the single-task condition participants passively viewed a visual stream for cues to start and stop vocalizing. In the dual-task condition, participants vocalized while they identified target stimuli in a visual stream of letters. The presentation rate of the visual stimuli was manipulated in the dual-task condition in order to produce a low, intermediate, and high attentional load. Visual target identification accuracy was lowest in the high attentional load condition, indicating that attentional load was successfully manipulated. Results further showed that participants who were exposed to the single-task condition, prior to the dual-task condition, produced larger vocal compensations during the single-task condition. Thus, when participants' attention was divided, less attention was available for the monitoring of their auditory feedback, resulting in smaller compensatory vocal responses. However, P1-N1-P2 ERP responses were not affected by divided attention, suggesting that the effect of attentional load was not on the auditory processing of pitch altered feedback, but instead it interfered with the integration of auditory and motor information, or motor control itself.

  11. On drawing a line through the spectrogram: How do we understand deficits of vocal pitch imitation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter ePfordresher

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there has been a remarkable increase in research focusing on deficits of pitch production in singing. A critical concern has been the identification of poor pitch singers, which we refer to more generally as individuals having a vocal pitch imitation deficit (VPID. The present paper includes a critical assessment of the assumption that vocal pitch imitation abilities can be treated as a dichotomy. Though this practice may be useful for data analysis and may be necessary within educational practice, we argue that this approach is complicated by a series of problems. Moreover, we argue that a more informative (and less problematic approach comes from analyzing vocal pitch imitation abilities on a continuum, referred to as effect magnitude regression, and offer examples concerning how researchers may analyze data using this approach. We also argue that the understanding of this deficit may be better served by focusing on the effects of experimental manipulations on different individuals, rather than attempt to treat values of individual measures, and isolated tasks, as absolute measures of ability.

  12. On drawing a line through the spectrogram: how do we understand deficits of vocal pitch imitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Larrouy-Maestri, Pauline

    2015-01-01

    In recent years there has been a remarkable increase in research focusing on deficits of pitch production in singing. A critical concern has been the identification of “poor pitch singers,” which we refer to more generally as individuals having a “vocal pitch imitation deficit.” The present paper includes a critical assessment of the assumption that vocal pitch imitation abilities can be treated as a dichotomy. Though this practice may be useful for data analysis and may be necessary within educational practice, we argue that this approach is complicated by a series of problems. Moreover, we argue that a more informative (and less problematic) approach comes from analyzing vocal pitch imitation abilities on a continuum, referred to as effect magnitude regression, and offer examples concerning how researchers may analyze data using this approach. We also argue that the understanding of this deficit may be better served by focusing on the effects of experimental manipulations on different individuals, rather than attempt to treat values of individual measures, and isolated tasks, as absolute measures of ability. PMID:26029088

  13. Low Vocal Pitch Preference Drives First Impressions Irrespective of Context in Male Voices but Not in Female Voices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsantani, Maria S; Belin, Pascal; Paterson, Helena M; McAleer, Phil

    2016-08-01

    Vocal pitch has been found to influence judgments of perceived trustworthiness and dominance from a novel voice. However, the majority of findings arise from using only male voices and in context-specific scenarios. In two experiments, we first explore the influence of average vocal pitch on first-impression judgments of perceived trustworthiness and dominance, before establishing the existence of an overall preference for high or low pitch across genders. In Experiment 1, pairs of high- and low-pitched temporally reversed recordings of male and female vocal utterances were presented in a two-alternative forced-choice task. Results revealed a tendency to select the low-pitched voice over the high-pitched voice as more trustworthy, for both genders, and more dominant, for male voices only. Experiment 2 tested an overall preference for low-pitched voices, and whether judgments were modulated by speech content, using forward and reversed speech to manipulate context. Results revealed an overall preference for low pitch, irrespective of direction of speech, in male voices only. No such overall preference was found for female voices. We propose that an overall preference for low pitch is a default prior in male voices irrespective of context, whereas pitch preferences in female voices are more context- and situation-dependent. The present study confirms the important role of vocal pitch in the formation of first-impression personality judgments and advances understanding of the impact of context on pitch preferences across genders.

  14. Functional role of delta and theta band oscillations for auditory feedback processing during vocal pitch motor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behroozmand, Roozbeh; Ibrahim, Nadine; Korzyukov, Oleg; Robin, Donald A; Larson, Charles R

    2015-01-01

    The answer to the question of how the brain incorporates sensory feedback and links it with motor function to achieve goal-directed movement during vocalization remains unclear. We investigated the mechanisms of voice pitch motor control by examining the spectro-temporal dynamics of EEG signals when non-musicians (NM), relative pitch (RP), and absolute pitch (AP) musicians maintained vocalizations of a vowel sound and received randomized ± 100 cents pitch-shift stimuli in their auditory feedback. We identified a phase-synchronized (evoked) fronto-central activation within the theta band (5-8 Hz) that temporally overlapped with compensatory vocal responses to pitch-shifted auditory feedback and was significantly stronger in RP and AP musicians compared with non-musicians. A second component involved a non-phase-synchronized (induced) frontal activation within the delta band (1-4 Hz) that emerged at approximately 1 s after the stimulus onset. The delta activation was significantly stronger in the NM compared with RP and AP groups and correlated with the pitch rebound error (PRE), indicating the degree to which subjects failed to re-adjust their voice pitch to baseline after the stimulus offset. We propose that the evoked theta is a neurophysiological marker of enhanced pitch processing in musicians and reflects mechanisms by which humans incorporate auditory feedback to control their voice pitch. We also suggest that the delta activation reflects adaptive neural processes by which vocal production errors are monitored and used to update the state of sensory-motor networks for driving subsequent vocal behaviors. This notion is corroborated by our findings showing that larger PREs were associated with greater delta band activity in the NM compared with RP and AP groups. These findings provide new insights into the neural mechanisms of auditory feedback processing for vocal pitch motor control.

  15. Functional role of delta and theta band oscillations for auditory feedback processing during vocal pitch motor control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roozbeh eBehroozmand

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The answer to the question of how the brain incorporates sensory feedback and links it with motor function to achieve goal-directed movement during vocalization remains unclear. We investigated the mechanisms of voice pitch motor control by examining the spectro-temporal dynamics of EEG signals when non-musicians (NM, relative pitch (RP and absolute pitch (AP musicians maintained vocalizations of a vowel sound and received randomized ±100 cents pitch-shift stimuli in their auditory feedback. We identified a phase-synchronized (evoked fronto-central activation within the theta band (5-8 Hz that temporally overlapped with compensatory vocal responses to pitch-shifted auditory feedback and was significantly stronger in RP and AP musicians compared with non-musicians. A second component involved a non-phase-synchronized (induced frontal activation within the delta band (1-4 Hz that emerged at approximately 1 second after the stimulus onset. The delta activation was significantly stronger in the NM compared with RP and AP groups and correlated with the pitch rebound error (PRE, indicating the degree to which subjects failed to re-adjust their voice pitch to baseline after the stimulus offset. We propose that the evoked theta is a neurophysiological marker of enhanced pitch processing in musicians and reflects mechanisms by which humans incorporate auditory feedback to control their voice pitch. We also suggest that the delta activation reflects adaptive neural processes by which vocal production errors are monitored and used to update the state of sensory-motor networks for driving subsequent vocal behaviors. This notion is corroborated by our findings showing that larger PREs were associated with greater delta band activity in the NM compared with RP and AP groups. These findings provide new insights into the neural mechanisms of auditory feedback processing for vocal pitch motor control.

  16. Pitch discrimination in cerebellar patients: evidence for a sensory deficit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Lawrence M; Petacchi, Augusto; Schmahmann, Jeremy D; Bower, James M

    2009-12-15

    In the last two decades, a growing body of research showing cerebellar involvement in an increasing number of nonmotor tasks and systems has prompted an expansion of speculations concerning the function of the cerebellum. Here, we tested the predictions of a hypothesis positing cerebellar involvement in sensory data acquisition. Specifically, we examined the effect of global cerebellar degeneration on primary auditory sensory function by means of a pitch discrimination task. The just noticeable difference in pitch between two tones was measured in 15 healthy controls and in 15 high functioning patients afflicted with varying degrees of global cerebellar degeneration caused by hereditary, idiopathic, paraneoplastic, or postinfectious pancerebellitis. Participants also performed an auditory detection task assessing sustained attention, a test of verbal auditory working memory, and an audiometric test. Patient pitch discrimination thresholds were on average five and a half times those of controls and were proportional to the degree of cerebellar ataxia assessed independently. Patients and controls showed normal hearing thresholds and similar performance in control tasks in sustained attention and verbal auditory working memory. These results suggest there is an effect of cerebellar degeneration on primary auditory function. The findings are consistent with other recent demonstrations of cerebellar-related sensory impairments, and with robust cerebellar auditorily evoked activity, confirmed by quantitative meta-analysis, across a range of functional neuroimaging studies dissociated from attention, motor, affective, and cognitive variables. The data are interpreted in the context of a sensory hypothesis of cerebellar function.

  17. A lover or a fighter? Opposing sexual selection pressures on men's vocal pitch and facial hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxton, Tamsin K; Mackey, Lauren L; McCarty, Kristofor; Neave, Nick

    2016-01-01

    The traditional assumption within the research literature on human sexually dimorphic traits has been that many sex differences have arisen from intersexual selection. More recently, however, there has been a shift toward the idea that many male features, including male lower-pitched voices and male beard growth, might have arisen predominantly through intrasexual selection: that is, to serve the purpose of male-male competition instead of mate attraction. In this study, using a unique set of video stimuli, we measured people's perceptions of the dominance and attractiveness of men who differ both in terms of voice pitch (4 levels from lower to higher pitched) and beard growth (4 levels from clean shaven to a month's hair growth). We found a nonlinear relationship between lower pitch and increased attractiveness; men's vocal attractiveness peaked at around 96 Hz. Beard growth had equivocal effects on attractiveness judgments. In contrast, perceptions of men's dominance simply increased with increasing masculinity (i.e., with lower-pitched voices and greater beard growth). Together, these results suggest that the optimal level of physical masculinity might differ depending on whether the outcome is social dominance or mate attraction. These dual selection pressures might maintain some of the documented variability in male physical and behavioral masculinity that we see today.

  18. The Effect of Timbre and Vibrato on Vocal Pitch Matching Accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvvuru, Sirisha

    Research has shown that singers are better able to match pitch when the target stimulus has a timbre close to their own voice. This study seeks to answer the following questions: (1) Do classically trained female singers more accurately match pitch when the target stimulus is more similar to their own timbre? (2) Does the ability to match pitch vary with increasing pitch? (3) Does the ability to match pitch differ depending on whether the target stimulus is produced with or without vibrato? (4) Are mezzo sopranos less accurate than sopranos? Stimuli. Source signals were synthesized with a source slope of -12dB/octave using vibrato and without vibrato at each of the frequencies, C4, B4 and F5. These source signals were filtered using 5 formant patterns (A-E) of vowel /a/ constituting a total of 30 stimuli (5 formant patterns*3pitches*2 vibrato conditions). Procedure. Ten sopranos and 10 mezzo-sopranos with at least 3 years of individual voice training were recruited from the University Of Tennessee School Of Music and the Knoxville Opera Company. Each singer attempted to vocally match the pitch of all 30 stimuli presented twice in a random order. Analysis and results. Pitch matching accuracy was measured in terms of the difference in cents between the target and the experimental productions at two locations, (1) pre-phonatory set (2) mid-point of the vowel. Accuracy of pitch matching was compared across vibrato and non-vibrato conditions. Results indicated that there was no significant effect of formant pattern on pitch matching accuracy. With increasing pitch from C4 to F5, pitch matching accuracy increased in mid-point of the vowel condition but not in pre-phonatory set condition. Mezzo-sopranos moved towards being in tune from pre-phonatory to mid-point of the vowel. However, sopranos at C4, sang closer to being in tune at pre-phonatory, but lowered the pitch at the mid-point of the vowel. Presence or absence of vibrato did not affect the pitch matching accuracy

  19. Child vocalization composition as discriminant information for automatic autism detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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.

  20. Koalas use a novel vocal organ to produce unusually low-pitched mating calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton, Benjamin D; Frey, Roland; McKinnon, Allan J; Fritsch, Guido; Fitch, W Tecumseh; Reby, David

    2013-12-02

    During the breeding season, male koalas produce 'bellow' vocalisations that are characterised by a continuous series of inhalation and exhalation sections, and an extremely low fundamental frequency (the main acoustic correlate of perceived pitch) [1]. Remarkably, the fundamental frequency (F0) of bellow inhalation sections averages 27.1 Hz (range: 9.8-61.5 Hz [1]), which is 20 times lower than would be expected for an animal weighing 8 kg [2] and more typical of an animal the size of an elephant (Supplemental figure S1A). Here, we demonstrate that koalas use a novel vocal organ to produce their unusually low-pitched mating calls. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Subcortical and cortical correlates of pitch discrimination: Evidence for two levels of neuroplasticity in musicians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Hjortkjær, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien

    2017-01-01

    in pitch discrimination across all participants, but not within the musicians group alone. Only neural activity in the right auditory cortex scaled with the fine pitch-discrimination thresholds within the musicians. These findings suggest two levels of neuroplasticity in musicians, whereby training...

  2. Native experience with a tone language enhances pitch discrimination and the timing of neural responses to pitch change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan J Giuliano

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Native tone language experience has been linked with alterations in the production and perception of pitch in language, as well as with the brain response to linguistic and non-linguistic tones. Here we use two experiments to address whether these changes apply to the discrimination of simple pitch changes and pitch intervals. ERPs were recorded from native Mandarin speakers and a control group during a same/different task with pairs of pure tones differing only in pitch height, and with pure tone pairs differing only in interval distance. Behaviorally, Mandarin speakers were more accurate than controls at detecting both pitch and interval changes, showing a sensitivity to small pitch changes and interval distances that was absent in the control group. Converging evidence from ERPs obtained during the same tasks revealed an earlier response to change relative to no-change trials in Mandarin speakers, as well as earlier differentiation of trials by change direction relative to controls. These findings illustrate the cross-domain influence of language experience on the perception of pitch, suggesting that the native use of tonal pitch contours in language leads to a general enhancement in the acuity of pitch representations.

  3. Pitch characteristics of infant-directed speech affect infants' ability to discriminate vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trainor, Laurel J; Desjardins, Renée N

    2002-06-01

    "Baby talk" or speech directed to prelinguistic infants is high in pitch and has exaggerated pitch contours (up/down patterns of pitch change) across languages and cultures. Using an acoustic model, we predicted that the large pitch contours of infant-directed speech should improve infants' ability to discriminate vowels. On the other hand, the same model predicted that high pitch would not benefit, and might actually impair, infants' ability to discriminate vowels. We then confirmed these predictions experimentally. We conclude that the exaggerated pitch contours of infant-directed speech aid infants' acquisition of vowel categories but that the high pitch of infant-directed speech must serve another function, such as attracting infants' attention or aiding emotional communication.

  4. Auditory imagery and the poor-pitch singer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfordresher, Peter Q; Halpern, Andrea R

    2013-08-01

    The vocal imitation of pitch by singing requires one to plan laryngeal movements on the basis of anticipated target pitch events. This process may rely on auditory imagery, which has been shown to activate motor planning areas. As such, we hypothesized that poor-pitch singing, although not typically associated with deficient pitch perception, may be associated with deficient auditory imagery. Participants vocally imitated simple pitch sequences by singing, discriminated pitch pairs on the basis of pitch height, and completed an auditory imagery self-report questionnaire (the Bucknell Auditory Imagery Scale). The percentage of trials participants sung in tune correlated significantly with self-reports of vividness for auditory imagery, although not with the ability to control auditory imagery. Pitch discrimination was not predicted by auditory imagery scores. The results thus support a link between auditory imagery and vocal imitation.

  5. Effects of spectral resolution and temporal envelope periodicity to musical pitch discrimination

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PING Lichuan; YUAN Meng; TANG Guofang; FENG Haihong

    2012-01-01

    The main goal of this study was to systematically investigate the relative contribu- tion of spectral resolution and temporal envelope periodicity to musical pitch discrimination. Stimuli from four instruments (clarinet, trumpet, piano and violin) and synthetic complex tone were utilized. A noise-excited vocoder was used to control the spectral resolution and temporal envelope periodicity of the musical stimuli. Ten normal-hearing subjects were recruited for the study. Psychoacoustic experiments on pitch discrimination were carried out. Results showed that the spectral cue was important for musical pitch discrimination. Relative good perfor- mance could be achieved when there were 16 frequency channels. No clear effect was found for the temporal envelope periodicity to pitch discrimination.

  6. Pitch Discrimination in Musicians and Non-Musicians: Effects of Harmonic Resolvability and Processing Effort

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Santurette, Sébastien; Wendt, Dorothea

    2016-01-01

    Musicians typically show enhanced pitch discrimination abilities compared to non-musicians. The present study investigated this perceptual enhancement behaviorally and objectively for resolved and unresolved complex tones to clarify whether the enhanced performance in musicians can be ascribed to...

  7. Sensorimotor control of vocal pitch and formant frequencies in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollaei, Fatemeh; Shiller, Douglas M; Baum, Shari R; Gracco, Vincent L

    2016-09-01

    Auditory feedback reflects information on multiple speech parameters including fundamental frequency (pitch) and formant properties. Inducing auditory errors in these acoustic parameters during speech production has been used to examine the manner in which auditory feedback is integrated with ongoing speech motor processes. This integration has been shown to be impaired in disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), in which individuals exhibit difficulty adjusting to altered sensory-motor relationships. The current investigation examines whether such sensorimotor impairments affect fundamental frequency and formant parameters of speech differentially. We employed a sensorimotor compensation paradigm to investigate the mechanisms underlying the control of vocal pitch and formant parameters. Individuals with PD and age-matched controls prolonged a speech vowel in the context of a word while the fundamental or first formant frequency of their auditory feedback was altered unexpectedly on random trials, using two magnitudes of perturbation. Compared with age-matched controls, individuals with PD exhibited a larger compensatory response to fundamental frequency perturbations, in particular in response to the smaller magnitude alteration. In contrast, the group with PD showed reduced compensation to first formant frequency perturbations. The results demonstrate that the neural processing impairment of PD differentially affects the processing of auditory feedback for the control of fundamental and formant frequency. The heightened modulation of fundamental frequency in response to auditory perturbations may reflect a change in sensory weighting due to somatosensory deficits associated with the larynx, while the reduced ability to modulate vowel formants may result from impaired activation of the oral articulatory musculature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Reaction time of voluntary modulations in voice F0 during sustained pitch vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Jay J.; Larson, Charles R.; Eckstein, Kathryn C.

    2002-05-01

    In an attempt to more clearly understand the neural control of voice, a reaction time study was designed to investigate how rapidly normal subjects, i.e., nontrained singers, can voluntarily increase or decrease their voice fundamental frequency (F0) during sustained vocalizations when cued with a 1000-Hz auditory tone stimulus. Results revealed that overall reaction times (RTs) (F=21.9, df=2, 150, p=0.01) for upward F0 modulations occurred faster (range: 138-176 ms) than downward responses (range: 196-234 ms). In contrast to the reaction time findings, slightly higher peak velocities were observed for downward responses compared to upward responses. Shorter RTs observed for F0 elevation are therefore possibly related to central mechanisms involved in the planning of or execution of the direction in which F0 is to be modulated instead of muscle biomechanics. The fastest RTs obtained from the present study (138 ms) are slightly longer than the reflex latencies of the initial pitch-shift reflex response (100-130 ms) [Burnett, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 103 (1998)], and provide additional evidence that subjects normally respond to inadvertent changes in their voice F0 with a fast, but limited reflex, followed by a secondary voluntary response. [Research supported by NIH Grant No. DC07264.

  9. Complex-Tone Pitch Discrimination in Listeners With Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Fereczkowski, Michal; Zaar, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Physiological studies have shown that noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) enhances the amplitude of envelope coding in auditory-nerve fibers. As pitch coding of unresolved complex tones is assumed to rely on temporal envelope coding mechanisms, this study investigated pitch-discrimination...... performance in listeners with SNHL. Pitch-discrimination thresholds were obtained for 14 normal-hearing (NH) and 10 hearing-impaired (HI) listeners for sine-phase (SP) and random-phase (RP) complex tones. When all harmonics were unresolved, the HI listeners performed, on average, worse than NH listeners...... in the RP condition but similarly to NH listeners in the SP condition. The increase in pitch-discrimination performance for the SP relative to the RP condition (F0DL ratio) was significantly larger in the HI as compared with the NH listeners. Cochlear compression and auditory-filter bandwidths were...

  10. Pitch ranking, electrode discrimination, and physiological spread-of-excitation using Cochlear's dual-electrode mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goehring, Jenny L; Neff, Donna L; Baudhuin, Jacquelyn L; Hughes, Michelle L

    2014-08-01

    This study compared pitch ranking, electrode discrimination, and electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) spatial excitation patterns for adjacent physical electrodes (PEs) and the corresponding dual electrodes (DEs) for newer-generation Cochlear devices (Cochlear Ltd., Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia). The first goal was to determine whether pitch ranking and electrode discrimination yield similar outcomes for PEs and DEs. The second goal was to determine if the amount of spatial separation among ECAP excitation patterns (separation index, Σ) between adjacent PEs and the PE-DE pairs can predict performance on the psychophysical tasks. Using non-adaptive procedures, 13 subjects completed pitch ranking and electrode discrimination for adjacent PEs and the corresponding PE-DE pairs (DE versus each flanking PE) from the basal, middle, and apical electrode regions. Analysis of d' scores indicated that pitch-ranking and electrode-discrimination scores were not significantly different, but rather produced similar levels of performance. As expected, accuracy was significantly better for the PE-PE comparison than either PE-DE comparison. Correlations of the psychophysical versus ECAP Σ measures were positive; however, not all test/region correlations were significant across the array. Thus, the ECAP separation index is not sensitive enough to predict performance on behavioral tasks of pitch ranking or electrode discrimination for adjacent PEs or corresponding DEs.

  11. The Effect of Pitch and Rhythm Difficulty on Vocal Sight-Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Michele L.

    2011-01-01

    Singing music at sight is a complex skill, requiring the singer to perform pitch and rhythm simultaneously. Previous research has identified difficulty levels for pitch and rhythm skills individually but not in combination. In this study, the author sought to determine the relationship between pitch and rhythm tasks occurring concurrently. High…

  12. The Effect of Pitch and Rhythm Difficulty on Vocal Sight-Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Michele L.

    2011-01-01

    Singing music at sight is a complex skill, requiring the singer to perform pitch and rhythm simultaneously. Previous research has identified difficulty levels for pitch and rhythm skills individually but not in combination. In this study, the author sought to determine the relationship between pitch and rhythm tasks occurring concurrently. High…

  13. Facial expression and vocal pitch height: Evidence of an intermodal association

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huron, David; Dahl, Sofia; Johnson, Randolph

    2009-01-01

    Forty-four participants were asked to sing moderate, high, and low  pitches while their faces were photographed. In a two-alternative forced choice task,  independent judges selected the high-pitch faces as more friendly than the low-pitch  faces. When photographs were cropped to show only the ey...

  14. Activation of Premotor Vocal Areas during Musical Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Steven; Martinez, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Two same/different discrimination tasks were performed by amateur-musician subjects in this functional magnetic resonance imaging study: Melody Discrimination and Harmony Discrimination. Both tasks led to activations not only in classic working memory areas--such as the cingulate gyrus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex--but in a series of…

  15. Effect of tonal native language on voice fundamental frequency responses to pitch feedback perturbations during sustained vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hanjun; Wang, Emily Q; Chen, Zhaocong; Liu, Peng; Larson, Charles R; Huang, Dongfeng

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this cross-language study was to examine whether the online control of voice fundamental frequency (F(0)) during vowel phonation is influenced by language experience. Native speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin, both tonal languages spoken in China, participated in the experiments. Subjects were asked to vocalize a vowel sound /u/at their comfortable habitual F(0), during which their voice pitch was unexpectedly shifted (± 50, ± 100, ± 200, or ± 500 cents, 200 ms duration) and fed back instantaneously to them over headphones. The results showed that Cantonese speakers produced significantly smaller responses than Mandarin speakers when the stimulus magnitude varied from 200 to 500 cents. Further, response magnitudes decreased along with the increase in stimulus magnitude in Cantonese speakers, which was not observed in Mandarin speakers. These findings suggest that online control of voice F(0) during vocalization is sensitive to language experience. Further, systematic modulations of vocal responses across stimulus magnitude were observed in Cantonese speakers but not in Mandarin speakers, which indicates that this highly automatic feedback mechanism is sensitive to the specific tonal system of each language.

  16. Pre-attentive auditory discrimination skill in Indian classical vocal musicians and non-musicians

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Himanshu Kumar Sanju; Prawin Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Objective:To test for pre-attentive auditory discrimination skills in Indian classical vocal musicians and non-musicians. Design:Mismatch negativity (MMN) was recorded to test for pre-attentive auditory discrimination skills with a pair of stimuli of/1000 Hz/and/1100 Hz/, with/1000 Hz/as the frequent stimulus and/1100 Hz/as the infrequent stimulus. Onset, offset and peak latencies were the considered latency parameters, whereas peak amplitude and area under the curve were considered for amplitude analysis. Study sample:Exactly 50 participants, out of which the experimental group had 25 adult Indian classical vocal musicians and 25 age-matched non-musicians served as the control group, were included in the study. Experimental group participants had a minimum professional music experience in Indian classic vocal music of 10 years. However, control group participants did not have any formal training in music. Results:Descriptive statistics showed better waveform morphology in the experimental group as compared to the control. MANOVA showed significantly better onset latency, peak amplitude and area under the curve in the experimental group but no significant difference in the offset and peak latencies between the two groups. Conclusion:The present study probably points towards the enhancement of pre-attentive auditory discrimination skills in Indian classical vocal musicians compared to non-musicians. It indicates that Indian classical musical training enhances pre-attentive auditory discrimination skills in musicians, leading to higher peak amplitude and a greater area under the curve compared to non-musicians. Copyright © 2016, PLA General Hospital Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Production and hosting by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

  17. Pitch discrimination: are professional musicians better than non-musicians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishon-Rabin, L; Amir, O; Vexler, Y; Zaltz, Y

    2001-01-01

    Musicians are typically considered to exhibit exceptional auditory skills. Only few studies, however, have substantiated this in basic psychoacoustic tasks. The purpose of the present investigation was to expand our knowledge on basic auditory abilities of musicians compared to non-musicians. Specific goals were: (1) to compare frequency discrimination thresholds (difference limen for frequency [DLF]) of non-musical pure tones in controlled groups of professional musicians and non-musicians; (2) to relate DLF performance to musical background; and (3) to compare DLF thresholds obtained with two threshold estimation procedures: 2- and 3- interval forced choice procedures (2IFC and 3IFC). Subjects were 16 professional musicians and 14 non-musicians. DLFs were obtained for three frequencies (0.25, 1 and 1.5 kHz) using the 3IFC adaptive procedure, and for one frequency (1 kHz) also using the 2IFC. Three threshold estimates were obtained for each frequency, procedure and subject. The results of the present study support five major findings: (a) mean DLFs for musicians were approximately half the values of the non-musicians; (b) significant learning for both groups during the three threshold estimations; (c) classical musicians performed better than those with contemporary musical background; (d) performance was influenced by years of musical experience; and (e) both groups showed better DLF in a 2IFC paradigm compared to the 3IFC. These data highlight the importance of short-term training on an auditory task, auditory memory and factors related to musical background (such as musical genre and years of experience) on auditory performance.

  18. Activation in the Right Inferior Parietal Lobule Reflects the Representation of Musical Structure beyond Simple Pitch Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royal, Isabelle; Vuvan, Dominique T.; Zendel, Benjamin Rich; Robitaille, Nicolas; Schönwiesner, Marc; Peretz, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Pitch discrimination tasks typically engage the superior temporal gyrus and the right inferior frontal gyrus. It is currently unclear whether these regions are equally involved in the processing of incongruous notes in melodies, which requires the representation of musical structure (tonality) in addition to pitch discrimination. To this aim, 14 participants completed two tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, one in which they had to identify a pitch change in a series of non-melodic repeating tones and a second in which they had to identify an incongruous note in a tonal melody. In both tasks, the deviants activated the right superior temporal gyrus. A contrast between deviants in the melodic task and deviants in the non-melodic task (melodic > non-melodic) revealed additional activity in the right inferior parietal lobule. Activation in the inferior parietal lobule likely represents processes related to the maintenance of tonal pitch structure in working memory during pitch discrimination. PMID:27195523

  19. Discriminating between the vocalizations of Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins in Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg Soto, Alvaro; Marsh, Helene; Everingham, Yvette; Smith, Joshua N; Parra, Guido J; Noad, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins co-occur throughout most of their range in coastal waters of tropical Australia. Little is known of their ecology or acoustic repertoires. Vocalizations from humpback and snubfin dolphins were recorded in two locations along the Queensland coast during 2008 and 2010 to describe their vocalizations and evaluate the acoustic differences between these two species. Broad vocalization types were categorized qualitatively. Both species produced click trains burst pulses and whistles. Principal component analysis of the nine acoustic variables extracted from the whistles produced nine principal components that were input into discriminant function analyses to classify 96% of humpback dolphin whistles and about 78% of snubfin dolphin calls correctly. Results indicate clear acoustic differences between the vocal whistle repertoires of these two species. A stepwise routine identified two principal components as significantly distinguishable between whistles of each species: frequency parameters and frequency trend ratio. The capacity to identify these species using acoustic monitoring techniques has the potential to provide information on presence/absence, habitat use and relative abundance for each species.

  20. Gender and vocal production mode discrimination using the high frequencies for speech and singing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monson, Brian B; Lotto, Andrew J; Story, Brad H

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Gender and vocal production mode discrimination using the high frequencies for speech and singing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian B Monson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Humans routinely create 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 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.

  2. Role of vocal tract characteristics in individual discrimination by Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuyama, Takafumi; Kobayasi, Kohta I.; Riquimaroux, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) exhibits a species-specific communication sound called the “coo call” to locate group members and maintain within-group contact. Monkeys have been demonstrated to be capable of discriminating between individuals based only on their voices, but there is still debate regarding how the fundamental frequencies (F0) and filter properties of the vocal tract characteristics (VTC) contribute to individual discrimination in nonhuman primates. This study was performed to investigate the acoustic keys used by Japanese macaques in individual discrimination. Two animals were trained with standard Go/NoGo operant conditioning to distinguish the coo calls of two unfamiliar monkeys. The subjects were required to continue depressing a lever until the stimulus changed from one monkey to the other. The test stimuli were synthesized by combining the F0s and VTC from each individual. Both subjects released the lever when the VTC changed, whereas they did not when the F0 changed. The reaction times to the test stimuli were not significantly different from that to the training stimuli that shared the same VTC. Our data suggest that vocal tract characteristics are important for the identification of individuals by Japanese macaques. PMID:27550840

  3. An Investigation of Vocal Tract Characteristics for Acoustic Discrimination of Pathological Voices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Won Lee

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Relation between temporal envelope coding, pitch discrimination, and compression estimates in listeners with sensorineural hearing loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Santurette, Sébastien; Fereczkowski, Michal

    2015-01-01

    Recent physiological studies in animals showed that noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) increased the amplitude of envelope coding in single auditory-nerve fibers. The present study investigated whether SNHL in human listeners was associated with enhanced temporal envelope coding......, whether this enhancement affected pitch discrimination performance, and whether loss of compression following SNHL was a potential factor in envelope coding enhancement. Envelope processing was assessed in normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners in a behavioral amplitude...... resolvability. For the unresolved conditions, all five HI listeners performed as good as or better than NH listeners with matching musical experience. Two HI listeners showed lower amplitude-modulation detection thresholds than NH listeners for low modulation rates, and one of these listeners also showed a loss...

  5. Modificações vocais acústicas produzidas pelo som hiperagudo Acoustic vocal modifications produced by high-pitched sound

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geise Roman-Niehues

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: descrever as modificações vocais acústicas após a produção da técnica vocal do som hiperagudo em mulheres adultas jovens, sem queixas vocais e com laringe normal. MÉTODOS: participaram do estudo 23 sujeitos que assinaram o Termo de Consentimento Livre e Esclarecido, preencheram um questionário, realizaram avaliação otorrinolaringológica com laringoscopia indireta, exame dos órgãos fonoarticulatórios e funções estomatognáticas e triagem auditiva. Realizaram o som hiperagudo em três séries de 15 repetições, em tempo máximo de fonação com intervalos de 30 segundos de repouso passivo entre cada série. A análise vocal acústica foi realizada através do Multi-Dimensional Voice Program, Modelo 5105, da Kay Pentax. RESULTADOS: na avaliação acústica vocal, após o som hiperagudo, constatou-se o aumento das medidas de frequência fundamental e das medidas de perturbação da frequência fundamental, diminuição das medidas de perturbação da intensidade, ruído, quebra de voz, irregularidade da voz e tremor, mas não houve significância estatística em todas as medidas oferecidas pelo programa. CONCLUSÃO: neste grupo, os sons hiperagudos não produziram efeitos acústicos estatisticamente significantes sobre o sinal vocal.PURPOSE: to describe acoustic vocal modifications that may occur after the vocal technique production of high-pitched sound in young adult women without voice complaints and with normal larynx. METHODS: 23 subjects participated in the study and signed the Free and Clarified Consent, completed a questionnaire, the ear, nose and throat evaluation was performed with indirect laryngoscopy; stomatognathic system evaluation, and hearing screening. They produced the high-pitched sound in three series of fifteen repetitions, maximum time speech with intervals of 30-second rest between each series. Vocal acoustic analysis was carried out using the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program Model 5105, of Kay

  6. A Psychophysics experimental software to evaluate electrical pitch discrimination in Nucleus cochlear implanted patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Zaballos, M. T.; Ramos de Miguel, A.; Killian, M.; Ramos Macías, A.

    2016-02-01

    Multichannel electrode array design in cochlear implants has evolved into two major categories: straight and perimodiolar electrodes. When implanted, the former lies along the outer wall of the scala tympani, while the later are located closer to the modiolus, where the neural ends are. Therefore, a perimodiolar position of the electrode array could be expected to result in reduced stimulus thresholds and stimulating currents, increased dynamic range, and more localized stimulation of the neural elements. However, their advantage for pitch discrimination has not been conclusively stated. Therefore, in order to study electrode independence, a psychophysical software has been developed, making use of Nucleus Implant Communicator tools provided by Cochlear company under a research agreement. The application comprises a graphical interface to facilitate its use, since previous software has always required some type of computer language skills. It allows for customization of electrical pulse parameters, measurement of threshold and comfort levels, loudness balancing and alternative forced choice experiments to determine electrode discrimination in Nucleus© users.

  7. Pitch-matching accuracy in trained singers and untrained individuals: the impact of musical interference and noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estis, Julie M; Dean-Claytor, Ashli; Moore, Robert E; Rowell, Thomas L

    2011-03-01

    The effects of musical interference and noise on pitch-matching accuracy were examined. Vocal training was explored as a factor influencing pitch-matching accuracy, and the relationship between pitch matching and pitch discrimination was examined. Twenty trained singers (TS) and 20 untrained individuals (UT) vocally matched tones in six conditions (immediate, four types of chords, noise). Fundamental frequencies were calculated, compared with the frequency of the target tone, and converted to semitone difference scores. A pitch discrimination task was also completed. TS showed significantly better pitch matching than UT across all conditions. Individual performances for UT were highly variable. Therefore, untrained participants were divided into two groups: 10 untrained accurate and 10 untrained inaccurate. Comparison of TS with untrained accurate individuals revealed significant differences between groups and across conditions. Compared with immediate vocal matching of target tones, pitch-matching accuracy was significantly reduced, given musical chord and noise interference unless the target tone was presented in the musical chord. A direct relationship between pitch matching and pitch discrimination was revealed. Across pitch-matching conditions, TS were consistently more accurate than UT. Pitch-matching accuracy diminished when auditory interference consisted of chords that did not contain the target tone and noise.

  8. Pitch Discrimination and Melodic Memory in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanutz, Sandy; Wapnick, Joel; Burack, Jacob A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Pitch perception is enhanced among persons with autism. We extended this finding to memory for pitch and melody among school-aged children. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate pitch memory in musically untrained children with autism spectrum disorders, aged 7-13 years, and to compare it to that of age- and…

  9. Pitch Discrimination and Melodic Memory in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanutz, Sandy; Wapnick, Joel; Burack, Jacob A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Pitch perception is enhanced among persons with autism. We extended this finding to memory for pitch and melody among school-aged children. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate pitch memory in musically untrained children with autism spectrum disorders, aged 7-13 years, and to compare it to that of age- and…

  10. A cross-cultural comparison of tonal synchrony and pitch imitation in the vocal dialogs of Belgian Flemish-speaking and Mexican Spanish-speaking mother-infant dyads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Puyvelde, Martine; Loots, Gerrit; Gillisjans, Lobcke; Pattyn, Nathalie; Quintana, Carmen

    2015-08-01

    This study reports a cross-cultural comparison of the vocal pitch patterns of 15 Mexican Spanish-speaking and 15 Belgian Flemish-speaking dyads, recorded during 5min of free-play in a laboratory setting. Both cultures have a tradition of dyadic face-to-face interaction but differ in language origins (i.e., Romanic versus Germanic). In total, 374 Mexican and 558 Flemish vocal exchanges were identified, analyzed and compared for their incidence of tonal synchrony (harmonic/pentatonic series), non-tonal synchrony (with/without imitations) and pitch and/or interval imitations. The main findings revealed that dyads in both cultures rely on tonal synchrony using similar pitch ratios and timing patterns. However, there were significant differences in the infants' vocal pitch imitation behavior. Additional video-analyzes on the contingency patterns involved in pitch imitation showed a cross-cultural difference in the maternal selective reinforcement of pitch imitation. The results are interpreted with regard to linguistic, developmental and cultural aspects and the 'musilanguage' model.

  11. Effect of Noise on Vocal Loudness and Pitch in Natural Environments: An Accelerometer (Ambulatory Phonation Monitor) Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yiu, Edwin M-L; Yip, Priscilla P S

    2016-07-01

    This study investigated the effects of environmental noise on the production of vocal intensity and fundamental frequency using an accelerometer. Twenty-four vocally healthy young adults (12 men and 12 women, aged 19-22 years) recorded a monologue passage using KayPENTAX (Montvale, NJ, USA) Ambulatory Phonation Monitor (model 3200) under three natural environmental conditions in a randomized order: a quiet room (mean noise, 35.5 dBA), room with moderate level of noise (mean noise, 54.5 dBA), and a room with high noise (mean noise, 67.5 dBA). Both gender groups showed significant increases in the mean vocal intensity, fundamental frequency, and perceived vocal effort in the high-noise environment than in the other two conditions. No significant difference was found in the vocal intensity between the quiet and moderately noisy environment except in the fundamental frequency in the female group. This study showed that the use of accelerometer for laryngeal signal recordings could be a useful tool for measuring phonation without being affected by the background noise. The findings also support the recommendation that noise levels for conversation should be kept <50-55 dB to maintain speech intelligibility. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals: a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which human speech perception evolved by taking advantage of predispositions and pre-existing features of vertebrate auditory and cognitive systems remains a central question in the evolution of speech. This paper reviews asymmetries in vowel perception, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization in non-human animals – topics that have not been thoroughly discussed in relation to the abilities of non-human animals, but are nonetheless important aspects of vocal perception. Throughout this paper we demonstrate that addressing these issues in non-human animals is relevant and worthwhile because many non-human animals must deal with similar issues in their natural environment. That is, they must also discriminate between similar-sounding vocalizations, determine signaler identity from vocalizations, and resolve signaler-dependent variation in vocalizations from conspecifics. Overall, we find that, although plausible, the current evidence is insufficiently strong to conclude that directional asymmetries in vowel perception are specific to humans, or that non-human animals can use voice characteristics to recognize human individuals. However, we do find some indication that non-human animals can normalize speaker differences. Accordingly, we identify avenues for future research that would greatly improve and advance our understanding of these topics.

  13. The effect of superior auditory skills on vocal accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amir, Ofer; Amir, Noam; Kishon-Rabin, Liat

    2003-02-01

    The relationship between auditory perception and vocal production has been typically investigated by evaluating the effect of either altered or degraded auditory feedback on speech production in either normal hearing or hearing-impaired individuals. Our goal in the present study was to examine this relationship in individuals with superior auditory abilities. Thirteen professional musicians and thirteen nonmusicians, with no vocal or singing training, participated in this study. For vocal production accuracy, subjects were presented with three tones. They were asked to reproduce the pitch using the vowel /a/. This procedure was repeated three times. The fundamental frequency of each production was measured using an autocorrelation pitch detection algorithm designed for this study. The musicians' superior auditory abilities (compared to the nonmusicians) were established in a frequency discrimination task reported elsewhere. Results indicate that (a) musicians had better vocal production accuracy than nonmusicians (production errors of 1/2 a semitone compared to 1.3 semitones, respectively); (b) frequency discrimination thresholds explain 43% of the variance of the production data, and (c) all subjects with superior frequency discrimination thresholds showed accurate vocal production; the reverse relationship, however, does not hold true. In this study we provide empirical evidence to the importance of auditory feedback on vocal production in listeners with superior auditory skills.

  14. Pitch expertise is not created equal: Cross-domain effects of musicianship and tone language experience on neural and behavioural discrimination of speech and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutka, Stefanie; Bidelman, Gavin M; Moreno, Sylvain

    2015-05-01

    Psychophysiological evidence supports a music-language association, such that experience in one domain can impact processing required in the other domain. We investigated the bidirectionality of this association by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) in native English-speaking musicians, native tone language (Cantonese) nonmusicians, and native English-speaking nonmusician controls. We tested the degree to which pitch expertise stemming from musicianship or tone language experience similarly enhances the neural encoding of auditory information necessary for speech and music processing. Early cortical discriminatory processing for music and speech sounds was characterized using the mismatch negativity (MMN). Stimuli included 'large deviant' and 'small deviant' pairs of sounds that differed minimally in pitch (fundamental frequency, F0; contrastive musical tones) or timbre (first formant, F1; contrastive speech vowels). Behavioural F0 and F1 difference limen tasks probed listeners' perceptual acuity for these same acoustic features. Musicians and Cantonese speakers performed comparably in pitch discrimination; only musicians showed an additional advantage on timbre discrimination performance and an enhanced MMN responses to both music and speech. Cantonese language experience was not associated with enhancements on neural measures, despite enhanced behavioural pitch acuity. These data suggest that while both musicianship and tone language experience enhance some aspects of auditory acuity (behavioural pitch discrimination), musicianship confers farther-reaching enhancements to auditory function, tuning both pitch and timbre-related brain processes.

  15. Vocal neighbour-mate discrimination in female great tits despite high song similarity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blumenrath, Sandra H.; Dabelsteen, Torben; Pedersen, Simon Boel

    2007-01-01

    Discrimination between conspecifics is important in mediating social interactions between several individuals in a network environment. In great tits, Parus major, females readily distinguish between the songs of their mate and those of a stranger. The high degree of song sharing among neighbouring...... males, however, raises the question of whether females are also able to perceive differences between songs shared by their mate and a neighbour. The great tit is a socially monogamous, hole-nesting species with biparental care. Pair bond maintenance and coordination of the pair's reproductive efforts...... are important, and the female's ability to recognize her mate's song should therefore be adaptive. In a neighbour-mate discrimination playback experiment, we presented 13 incubating great tit females situated inside nestboxes with a song of their mate and the same song type from a neighbour. Each female...

  16. Sex differences in the acoustic structure of vowel-like grunt vocalizations in baboons and their perceptual discrimination by baboon listeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendall, Drew; Owren, Michael J.; Weerts, Elise; Hienz, Robert D.

    2004-01-01

    This study quantifies sex differences in the acoustic structure of vowel-like grunt vocalizations in baboons (Papio spp.) and tests the basic perceptual discriminability of these differences to baboon listeners. Acoustic analyses were performed on 1028 grunts recorded from 27 adult baboons (11 males and 16 females) in southern Africa, focusing specifically on the fundamental frequency (F0) and formant frequencies. The mean F0 and the mean frequencies of the first three formants were all significantly lower in males than they were in females, more dramatically so for F0. Experiments using standard psychophysical procedures subsequently tested the discriminability of adult male and adult female grunts. After learning to discriminate the grunt of one male from that of one female, five baboon subjects subsequently generalized this discrimination both to new call tokens from the same individuals and to grunts from novel males and females. These results are discussed in the context of both the possible vocal anatomical basis for sex differences in call structure and the potential perceptual mechanisms involved in their processing by listeners, particularly as these relate to analogous issues in human speech production and perception.

  17. Pitch (F0) and formant profiles of human vowels and vowel-like baboon grunts: The role of vocalizer body size and voice-acoustic allometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendall, Drew; Kollias, Sophie; Ney, Christina; Lloyd, Peter

    2005-02-01

    Key voice features-fundamental frequency (F0) and formant frequencies-can vary extensively between individuals. Much of the variation can be traced to differences in the size of the larynx and vocal-tract cavities, but whether these differences in turn simply reflect differences in speaker body size (i.e., neutral vocal allometry) remains unclear. Quantitative analyses were therefore undertaken to test the relationship between speaker body size and voice F0 and formant frequencies for human vowels. To test the taxonomic generality of the relationships, the same analyses were conducted on the vowel-like grunts of baboons, whose phylogenetic proximity to humans and similar vocal production biology and voice acoustic patterns recommend them for such comparative research. For adults of both species, males were larger than females and had lower mean voice F0 and formant frequencies. However, beyond this, F0 variation did not track body-size variation between the sexes in either species, nor within sexes in humans. In humans, formant variation correlated significantly with speaker height but only in males and not in females. Implications for general vocal allometry are discussed as are implications for speech origins theories, and challenges to them, related to laryngeal position and vocal tract length. .

  18. Representation of complex vocalizations in the Lusitanian toadfish auditory system: evidence of fine temporal, frequency and amplitude discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Raquel O; Fonseca, Paulo J; Amorim, M Clara P; Ladich, Friedrich

    2011-03-22

    Many fishes rely on their auditory skills to interpret crucial information about predators and prey, and to communicate intraspecifically. Few studies, however, have examined how complex natural sounds are perceived in fishes. We investigated the representation of conspecific mating and agonistic calls in the auditory system of the Lusitanian toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus, and analysed auditory responses to heterospecific signals from ecologically relevant species: a sympatric vocal fish (meagre Argyrosomus regius) and a potential predator (dolphin Tursiops truncatus). Using auditory evoked potential (AEP) recordings, we showed that both sexes can resolve fine features of conspecific calls. The toadfish auditory system was most sensitive to frequencies well represented in the conspecific vocalizations (namely the mating boatwhistle), and revealed a fine representation of duration and pulsed structure of agonistic and mating calls. Stimuli and corresponding AEP amplitudes were highly correlated, indicating an accurate encoding of amplitude modulation. Moreover, Lusitanian toadfish were able to detect T. truncatus foraging sounds and A. regius calls, although at higher amplitudes. We provide strong evidence that the auditory system of a vocal fish, lacking accessory hearing structures, is capable of resolving fine features of complex vocalizations that are probably important for intraspecific communication and other relevant stimuli from the auditory scene.

  19. Representation of complex vocalizations in the Lusitanian toadfish auditory system: evidence of fine temporal, frequency and amplitude discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Raquel O.; Fonseca, Paulo J.; Amorim, M. Clara P.; Ladich, Friedrich

    2011-01-01

    Many fishes rely on their auditory skills to interpret crucial information about predators and prey, and to communicate intraspecifically. Few studies, however, have examined how complex natural sounds are perceived in fishes. We investigated the representation of conspecific mating and agonistic calls in the auditory system of the Lusitanian toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus, and analysed auditory responses to heterospecific signals from ecologically relevant species: a sympatric vocal fish (meagre Argyrosomus regius) and a potential predator (dolphin Tursiops truncatus). Using auditory evoked potential (AEP) recordings, we showed that both sexes can resolve fine features of conspecific calls. The toadfish auditory system was most sensitive to frequencies well represented in the conspecific vocalizations (namely the mating boatwhistle), and revealed a fine representation of duration and pulsed structure of agonistic and mating calls. Stimuli and corresponding AEP amplitudes were highly correlated, indicating an accurate encoding of amplitude modulation. Moreover, Lusitanian toadfish were able to detect T. truncatus foraging sounds and A. regius calls, although at higher amplitudes. We provide strong evidence that the auditory system of a vocal fish, lacking accessory hearing structures, is capable of resolving fine features of complex vocalizations that are probably important for intraspecific communication and other relevant stimuli from the auditory scene. PMID:20861044

  20. An Evaluation of a Treatment Package Consisting of Discrimination Training and Differential Reinforcement with Response Cost and a Social Story on Vocal Stereotypy for a Preschooler with Autism in a Preschool Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laprime, Amanda P.; Dittrich, Gretchen A.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the use of a treatment package comprised of a social story, discrimination training, and differential reinforcement with response cost on the vocal stereotypy of one preschooler diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study took place in a preschool classroom of a public school and was implemented…

  1. An Evaluation of a Treatment Package Consisting of Discrimination Training and Differential Reinforcement with Response Cost and a Social Story on Vocal Stereotypy for a Preschooler with Autism in a Preschool Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laprime, Amanda P.; Dittrich, Gretchen A.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the use of a treatment package comprised of a social story, discrimination training, and differential reinforcement with response cost on the vocal stereotypy of one preschooler diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study took place in a preschool classroom of a public school and was implemented…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerkvist, Finn T.; Selamtzis, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    , which is the mode that is most limited in pitch range, was tested at its pitch limit C5 (523 Hz) under normal conditions and when the singer has inhaled Helium. When inhaling Helium the acoustic impedance of the vocal tract is reduced in magnitude and the resonances are scaled upwards in frequency due...... to different density and speed of sound in Helium. The electroglottograph shows a change in waveform when the singer inhales helium. The percentage of the glottal cycle when the vocal cords are open, the so-called open quotient, increases from 40 to 55%. When inhaling helium the male singer was able reach Eb5...

  3. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Lautenbacher

    2017-06-01

    Conclusion:. Vocalization characteristics of pain seem to be best described by an increase in pitch and in loudness. Future studies using more specific and comprehensive phonetic analyses will surely help to provide an even more precise characterization of vocalizations because of pain.

  4. Pitch deviation analysis of pathological voice in connected speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laflen, J Brandon; Lazarus, Cathy L; Amin, Milan R

    2008-02-01

    This study compares normal and pathologic voices using a novel voice analysis algorithm that examines pitch deviation during connected speech. The study evaluates the clinical potential of the algorithm as a mechanism to distinguish between normal and pathologic voices using connected speech. Adult vocalizations from normal subjects and patients with known benign free-edge vocal fold lesions were analyzed. Recordings had been previously obtained in quiet under controlled conditions. Two phrases and sustained /a/ were recorded per subject. The subject populations consisted of 10 normal and 31 abnormal subjects. The voice analysis algorithm generated 2-dimensional patterns that represent pitch deviation in time and under variable window widths. Measures were collected from these patterns for window widths between 10 and 250 ms. For comparison, jitter and shimmer measures were collected from sustained /a/ by means of the Computerized Speech Lab (CSL). A t-test and tests of sensitivity and specificity assessed discrimination between normal and abnormal populations. More than 58% of the measures collected from connected speech outperformed the CSL jitter and shimmer measures in population discrimination. Twenty-five percent of the experimental measures (including /a/) indicated significantly different populations (p connected speech.

  5. Perceptual cues in nonverbal vocal expressions of emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauter, Disa A; Eisner, Frank; Calder, Andrew J; Scott, Sophie K

    2010-11-01

    Work on facial expressions of emotions (Calder, Burton, Miller, Young, & Akamatsu, [2001]) and emotionally inflected speech (Banse & Scherer, [1996]) has successfully delineated some of the physical properties that underlie emotion recognition. To identify the acoustic cues used in the perception of nonverbal emotional expressions like laugher and screams, an investigation was conducted into vocal expressions of emotion, using nonverbal vocal analogues of the "basic" emotions (anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and surprise; Ekman & Friesen, [1971]; Scott et al., [1997]), and of positive affective states (Ekman, [1992], [2003]; Sauter & Scott, [2007]). First, the emotional stimuli were categorized and rated to establish that listeners could identify and rate the sounds reliably and to provide confusion matrices. A principal components analysis of the rating data yielded two underlying dimensions, correlating with the perceived valence and arousal of the sounds. Second, acoustic properties of the amplitude, pitch, and spectral profile of the stimuli were measured. A discriminant analysis procedure established that these acoustic measures provided sufficient discrimination between expressions of emotional categories to permit accurate statistical classification. Multiple linear regressions with participants' subjective ratings of the acoustic stimuli showed that all classes of emotional ratings could be predicted by some combination of acoustic measures and that most emotion ratings were predicted by different constellations of acoustic features. The results demonstrate that, similarly to affective signals in facial expressions and emotionally inflected speech, the perceived emotional character of affective vocalizations can be predicted on the basis of their physical features.

  6. Short-Term Memory Performance in 7- and 8-Year-Old Children: The Relationship Between Phonological and Pitch Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flagge, Ashley Gaal; Estis, Julie M; Moore, Robert E

    2016-10-01

    The relationship between short-term memory for phonology and pitch was explored by examining accuracy scores for typically developing children for 5 experimental tasks: immediate nonword repetition (NWR), nonword repetition with an 8-s silent interference (NWRS), pitch discrimination (PD), pitch discrimination with an 8-s silent interference (PDS), and pitch matching (PM). Thirty-six 7- and 8-year-old children (21 girls, 15 boys) with normal hearing, language, and cognition were asked to listen to and repeat nonsense words (NWR, NWRS), make a same versus different decision between 2 tones (PD, PDS), and listen to and then vocally reproduce a tone (PM). Results showed no significant correlations between tasks of phonological memory and tests of pitch memory, that participants scored significantly better on nonword repetition tasks than PD and PM tasks, and that participants performed significantly better on tasks with no silent interference. These findings suggest that, for typically developing children, pitch may be stored and rehearsed in a separate location than phonological information. Because of fundamental task differences, further research is needed to corroborate these data and determine the presence of developmental effects and neuroanatomical locations where a potential language/music overlap is occurring in children.

  7. Lower pitch is larger, yet falling pitches shrink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eitan, Zohar; Schupak, Asi; Gotler, Alex; Marks, Lawrence E

    2014-01-01

    Experiments using diverse paradigms, including speeded discrimination, indicate that pitch and visually-perceived size interact perceptually, and that higher pitch is congruent with smaller size. While nearly all of these studies used static stimuli, here we examine the interaction of dynamic pitch and dynamic size, using Garner's speeded discrimination paradigm. Experiment 1 examined the interaction of continuous rise/fall in pitch and increase/decrease in object size. Experiment 2 examined the interaction of static pitch and size (steady high/low pitches and large/small visual objects), using an identical procedure. Results indicate that static and dynamic auditory and visual stimuli interact in opposite ways. While for static stimuli (Experiment 2), higher pitch is congruent with smaller size (as suggested by earlier work), for dynamic stimuli (Experiment 1), ascending pitch is congruent with growing size, and descending pitch with shrinking size. In addition, while static stimuli (Experiment 2) exhibit both congruence and Garner effects, dynamic stimuli (Experiment 1) present congruence effects without Garner interference, a pattern that is not consistent with prevalent interpretations of Garner's paradigm. Our interpretation of these results focuses on effects of within-trial changes on processing in dynamic tasks and on the association of changes in apparent size with implied changes in distance. Results suggest that static and dynamic stimuli can differ substantially in their cross-modal mappings, and may rely on different processing mechanisms.

  8. Music Lessons, Pitch Processing, and "g"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schellenberg, E. Glenn; Moreno, Sylvain

    2010-01-01

    Musically trained and untrained participants were administered tests of pitch processing and general intelligence ("g"). Trained participants exhibited superior performance on tests of pitch-processing speed and relative pitch. They were also better at frequency discrimination with tones at 400 Hz but not with very high tones (4000 Hz). The two…

  9. Frequency discrimination in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmanski, Michael S; Song, Xindong; Guo, Yueqi; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2016-11-01

    The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a highly vocal New World primate species that has emerged in recent years as a promising model system for studies of auditory and vocal processing. Our recent studies have examined perceptual mechanisms related to the pitch of harmonic complex tones in this species. However, no previous psychoacoustic work has measured marmosets' frequency discrimination abilities for pure tones across a broad frequency range. Here we systematically examined frequency difference limens (FDLs), which measure the minimum discriminable frequency difference between two pure tones, in marmosets across most of their hearing range. Results show that marmosets' FDLs are comparable to other New World primates, with lowest values in the frequency range of ∼3.5-14 kHz. This region of lowest FDLs corresponds with the region of lowest hearing thresholds in this species measured in our previous study and also with the greatest concentration of spectral energy in the major types of marmoset vocalizations. These data suggest that frequency discrimination in the common marmoset may have evolved to match the hearing sensitivity and spectral characteristics of this species' vocalizations.

  10. Modal locking between vocal fold and vocal tract oscillations

    CERN Document Server

    Aalto, Atte; Malinen, Jarmo; Vainio, Martti

    2012-01-01

    The human vocal folds are known to interact with the vocal tract acoustics during voiced speech production; namely a nonlinear source-filter coupling has been observed both by using models and in \\emph{in vivo} phonation. These phenomena are approached from two directions in this article. We first present a computational dynamical model of the speech apparatus that contains an explicit filter-source feedback mechanism from the vocal tract acoustics back to the vocal folds oscillations. The model was used to simulate vocal pitch glideswhere the trajectory was forced to cross the lowest vocal tract resonance, i.e., the lowest formant $F_1$. Similar patterns produced by human participants were then studied. Both the simulations and the experimental results reveal an effect when the glides cross the first formant (as may happen in \\textipa{[i]}). Conversely, this effect is not observed if there is no formant within the glide range (as is the case in \\textipa{[\\textscripta]}). The experiments show smaller effect c...

  11. Discrimination

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Midtbøen, Arnfinn H; Rogstad, Jon

    2012-01-01

    ... of discrimination in the labour market as well as to the mechanisms involved in discriminatory hiring practices. The design has several advantages compared to -‘single-method’ approaches and provides a more substantial understanding of the processes leading to ethnic inequality in the labour market.

  12. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa C Miller-Sims

    Full Text Available Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult "tutors", and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning.

  13. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-01-01

    Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult "tutors", and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning.

  14. Do ferrets perceive relative pitch?

    OpenAIRE

    Yin, Pingbo; Fritz, Jonathan B.; Shamma, Shihab A.

    2010-01-01

    The existence of relative pitch perception in animals is difficult to demonstrate, since unlike humans, animals often attend to absolute rather than relative properties of sound elements. However, the results of the present study show that ferrets can be trained using relative pitch to discriminate two-tone sequences (rising vs. falling). Three ferrets were trained using a positive-reinforcement paradigm in which sequences of reference (one to five repeats) and target stimuli were presented, ...

  15. Vocal attractiveness increases by averaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckert, Laetitia; Bestelmeyer, Patricia; Latinus, Marianne; Rouger, Julien; Charest, Ian; Rousselet, Guillaume A; Kawahara, Hideki; Belin, Pascal

    2010-01-26

    Vocal attractiveness has a profound influence on listeners-a bias known as the "what sounds beautiful is good" vocal attractiveness stereotype [1]-with tangible impact on a voice owner's success at mating, job applications, and/or elections. The prevailing view holds that attractive voices are those that signal desirable attributes in a potential mate [2-4]-e.g., lower pitch in male voices. However, this account does not explain our preferences in more general social contexts in which voices of both genders are evaluated. Here we show that averaging voices via auditory morphing [5] results in more attractive voices, irrespective of the speaker's or listener's gender. Moreover, we show that this phenomenon is largely explained by two independent by-products of averaging: a smoother voice texture (reduced aperiodicities) and a greater similarity in pitch and timbre with the average of all voices (reduced "distance to mean"). These results provide the first evidence for a phenomenon of vocal attractiveness increases by averaging, analogous to a well-established effect of facial averaging [6, 7]. They highlight prototype-based coding [8] as a central feature of voice perception, emphasizing the similarity in the mechanisms of face and voice perception.

  16. Imperfect pitch: Gabor's uncertainty principle and the pitch of extremely brief sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, I-Hui; Saberi, Kourosh

    2016-02-01

    How brief must a sound be before its pitch is no longer perceived? The uncertainty tradeoff between temporal and spectral resolution (Gabor's principle) limits the minimum duration required for accurate pitch identification or discrimination. Prior studies have reported that pitch can be extracted from sinusoidal pulses as brief as half a cycle. This finding has been used in a number of classic papers to develop models of pitch encoding. We have found that phase randomization, which eliminates timbre confounds, degrades this ability to chance, raising serious concerns over the foundation on which classic pitch models have been built. The current study investigated whether subthreshold pitch cues may still exist in partial-cycle pulses revealed through statistical integration in a time series containing multiple pulses. To this end, we measured frequency-discrimination thresholds in a two-interval forced-choice task for trains of partial-cycle random-phase tone pulses. We found that residual pitch cues exist in these pulses but discriminating them requires an order of magnitude (ten times) larger frequency difference than that reported previously, necessitating a re-evaluation of pitch models built on earlier findings. We also found that as pulse duration is decreased to less than two cycles its pitch becomes biased toward higher frequencies, consistent with predictions of an auto-correlation model of pitch extraction.

  17. Comparison of electroglottographic and acoustic analysis of pitch perturbation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBlance, G R; Maves, M D; Scialfa, T M; Eitnier, C M; Steckol, K F

    1992-11-01

    Pitch perturbation is a measure of the cycle-to-cycle variation in vocal fold vibration. Perturbation can be assessed by means of electroglottographic or acoustic signals. The purpose of this study was to determine if these two analysis techniques are equivalent measures. The Laryngograph, an electroglottograph, and the Visi-Pitch, an acoustic analyzer, were used to measure pitch perturbation in 80 dysphonic subjects. Both instruments use Koike's formula to calculate relative average perturbation. While intra-subject variability appeared erratic, statistical analysis of intersubject data indicated that the two instruments provided an equivalent measure of pitch perturbation.

  18. Reinforcement of vocalizations through contingent vocal imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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 reinforcing effect of maternal vocal imitation of infant vocalizations using a reversal probe BAB design. Eleven 3- to 8-month-old infants at high risk for developmental delays experienced contingent maternal vocal imitation during reinforcement conditions. Differential reinforcement of other behavior served as the control condition. The behavior of 10 infants showed evidence of a reinforcement effect. Results indicated that vocal imitations can serve to reinforce early infant vocalizations.

  19. Context effects on pitch perception in musicians and nonmusicians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brattico, E; Naatanen, R; Tervaniemi, M

    2001-01-01

    Behavioral evidence indicates that musical context facilitates pitch discrimination. In the present study, we sought to determine whether pitch context and its familiarity might affect brain responses to pitch change even at the preattentive level. Ten musicians and 10 nonmusicians, while...

  20. Normal-Hearing Listeners’ and Cochlear Implant Users’ Perception of Pitch Cues in Emotional Speech

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilbers, Steven; Fuller, Christina; Gilbers, Dicky; Broersma, Mirjam; Goudbeek, Martijn; Free, Rolien; Başkent, Deniz

    2015-01-01

    .... This study’s aim is to assess whether due to degraded pitch cues, normal-hearing listeners and CI users employ different perceptual strategies to recognize vocal emotions, and, if so, how these differ...

  1. Effects of pitch on auditory number comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Jamie I D; Scheepers, Florence

    2015-05-01

    Three experiments investigated interactions between auditory pitch and the numerical quantities represented by spoken English number words. In Experiment 1, participants heard a pair of sequential auditory numbers in the range zero to ten. They pressed a left-side or right-side key to indicate if the second number was lower or higher in numerical value. The vocal pitches of the two numbers either ascended or descended so that pitch change was congruent or incongruent with number change. The error rate was higher when pitch and number were incongruent relative to congruent trials. The distance effect on RT (i.e., slower responses for numerically near than far number pairs) occurred with pitch ascending but not descending. In Experiment 2, to determine if these effects depended on the left/right spatial mapping of responses, participants responded "yes" if the second number was higher and "no" if it was lower. Again, participants made more number comparison errors when number and pitch were incongruent, but there was no distance × pitch order effect. To pursue the latter, in Experiment 3, participants were tested with response buttons assigned left-smaller and right-larger ("normal" spatial mapping) or the reverse mapping. Participants who received normal mapping first presented a distance effect with pitch ascending but not descending as in Experiment 1, whereas participants who received reverse mapping first presented a distance effect with pitch descending but not ascending. We propose that the number and pitch dimensions of stimuli both activated spatial representations and that strategy shifts from quantity comparison to order processing were induced by spatial incongruities.

  2. Advances in non-invasive measures of vocal acoustics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBlance, G R; Steckol, K F; Cooper, M H

    1991-10-01

    Objective assessment of vocal pitch, loudness, and quality is a crucial adjunct to endoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of vocal pathology. Historically, this assessment was made through subjective, perceptual measures that were questionable in terms of validity and reliability. Recent advances in electronic technology now permit objective analysis of the acoustic characteristics of voice. Kay Elemetric's Visi-Pitch, DSP 5500 Digital Spectrograph, and Nasometer are representative of these new instruments and are used as illustrations in the discussion of the assessment of speech acoustics.

  3. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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......” (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...... (no-stimulation). The phonetic parameters extracted were pitch (mean F0), phonatory fluctuations (range F0) and loudness (acoustic energy level). Results: Only for the vowels “u” and “schwa,” which might be considered best approximations to moaning and groaning, did pitch and loudness increase during...

  4. 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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  5. Pitch Perception in the First Year of Life, a Comparison of Lexical Tones and Musical Pitch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ao; Stevens, Catherine J.; Kager, René

    2017-01-01

    Pitch variation is pervasive in speech, regardless of the language to which infants are exposed. Lexical tone is influenced by general sensitivity to pitch. We examined whether the development in lexical tone perception may develop in parallel with perception of pitch in other cognitive domains namely music. Using a visual fixation paradigm, 100 and one 4- and 12-month-old Dutch infants were tested on their discrimination of Chinese rising and dipping lexical tones as well as comparable three-note musical pitch contours. The 4-month-old infants failed to show a discrimination effect in either condition, whereas the 12-month-old infants succeeded in both conditions. These results suggest that lexical tone perception may reflect and relate to general pitch perception abilities, which may serve as a basis for developing more complex language and musical skills. PMID:28337157

  6. A perceptual pitch boundary in a non-human primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier eJoly

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Pitch is an auditory percept critical to the perception of music and speech, and for these harmonic sounds, pitch is closely related to the repetition rate of the acoustic wave. This paper reports a test of the assumption that non-human primates and especially rhesus monkeys perceive the pitch of these harmonic sounds much as humans do. A new procedure was developed to train macaques to discriminate the pitch of harmonic sounds and thereby demonstrate that the lower limit for pitch perception in macaques is close to 30 Hz, as it is in humans. Moreover, when the phases of successive harmonics are alternated to cause a pseudo-doubling of the repetition rate, the lower pitch boundary in macaques decreases substantially, as it does in humans. The results suggest that both species use neural firing times to discriminate pitch, at least for sounds with relatively low repetition rates.

  7. Neural Correlates of Vocal Production and Motor Control in Human Heschl's Gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behroozmand, Roozbeh; Oya, Hiroyuki; Nourski, Kirill V; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Larson, Charles R; Brugge, John F; Howard, Matthew A; Greenlee, Jeremy D W

    2016-02-17

    The present study investigated how pitch frequency, a perceptually relevant aspect of periodicity in natural human vocalizations, is encoded in Heschl's gyrus (HG), and how this information may be used to influence vocal pitch motor control. We recorded local field potentials from multicontact depth electrodes implanted in HG of 14 neurosurgical epilepsy patients as they vocalized vowel sounds and received brief (200 ms) pitch perturbations at 100 Cents in their auditory feedback. Event-related band power responses to vocalizations showed sustained frequency following responses that tracked voice fundamental frequency (F0) and were significantly enhanced in posteromedial HG during speaking compared with when subjects listened to the playback of their own voice. In addition to frequency following responses, a transient response component within the high gamma frequency band (75-150 Hz) was identified. When this response followed the onset of vocalization, the magnitude of the response was the same for the speaking and playback conditions. In contrast, when this response followed a pitch shift, its magnitude was significantly enhanced during speaking compared with playback. We also observed that, in anterolateral HG, the power of high gamma responses to pitch shifts correlated with the magnitude of compensatory vocal responses. These findings demonstrate a functional parcellation of HG with neural activity that encodes pitch in natural human voice, distinguishes between self-generated and passively heard vocalizations, detects discrepancies between the intended and heard vocalization, and contains information about the resulting behavioral vocal compensations in response to auditory feedback pitch perturbations. The present study is a significant contribution to our understanding of sensor-motor mechanisms of vocal production and motor control. The findings demonstrate distinct functional parcellation of core and noncore areas within human auditory cortex on Heschl

  8. Complex-tone pitch representations in the human auditory system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Dau, Torsten; Santurette, Sébastien;

    , specifically those showing enhanced pitch cues (i.e., musicians) and those typically having disrupted pitch cues (i.e., hearing-impaired listeners). In particular, two main topics were addressed: the relative importance of resolved and unresolved harmonics for normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI......) listeners and the effect of musical training for pitch discrimination of complex tones with resolved and unresolved harmonics. Concerning the first topic, behavioral and modeling results in listeners with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) indicated that temporal envelope cues of complex tones...... discrimination to that of NH listeners. In the second part of this work, behavioral and objective measures of pitch discrimination were carried out in musicians and non-musicians. Musicians showed an increased pitch-discrimination performance relative to non-musicians for both resolved and unresolved harmonics...

  9. Perceptual Grouping Affects Pitch Judgments across Time and Frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borchert, Elizabeth M. O.; Micheyl, Christophe; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Pitch, the perceptual correlate of fundamental frequency (F0), plays an important role in speech, music, and animal vocalizations. Changes in F0 over time help define musical melodies and speech prosody, while comparisons of simultaneous F0 are important for musical harmony, and for segregating competing sound sources. This study compared…

  10. Perceptual Grouping Affects Pitch Judgments across Time and Frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borchert, Elizabeth M. O.; Micheyl, Christophe; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Pitch, the perceptual correlate of fundamental frequency (F0), plays an important role in speech, music, and animal vocalizations. Changes in F0 over time help define musical melodies and speech prosody, while comparisons of simultaneous F0 are important for musical harmony, and for segregating competing sound sources. This study compared…

  11. Accuracy of pitch matching significantly improved by live voice model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Roni Y; Israel-Kolatt, Rona; Gilboa, Avi; Kolatt, Tsafrir

    2013-05-01

    Singing is, undoubtedly, the most fundamental expression of our musical capacity, yet an estimated 10-15% of Western population sings "out-of-tune (OOT)." Previous research in children and adults suggests, albeit inconsistently, that imitating a human voice can improve pitch matching. In the present study, we focus on the potentially beneficial effects of the human voice and especially the live human voice. Eighteen participants varying in their singing abilities were required to imitate in singing a set of nine ascending and descending intervals presented to them in five different randomized blocked conditions: live piano, recorded piano, live voice using optimal voice production, recorded voice using optimal voice production, and recorded voice using artificial forced voice production. Pitch and interval matching in singing were much more accurate when participants repeated sung intervals as compared with intervals played to them on the piano. The advantage of the vocal over the piano stimuli was robust and emerged clearly regardless of whether piano tones were played live and in full view or were presented via recording. Live vocal stimuli elicited higher accuracy than recorded vocal stimuli, especially when the recorded vocal stimuli were produced in a forced vocal production. Remarkably, even those who would be considered OOT singers on the basis of their performance when repeating piano tones were able to pitch match live vocal sounds, with deviations well within the range of what is considered accurate singing (M=46.0, standard deviation=39.2 cents). In fact, those participants who were most OOT gained the most from the live voice model. Results are discussed in light of the dual auditory-motor encoding of pitch analogous to that found in speech. Copyright © 2013 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Singing with yourself: evidence for an inverse modeling account of poor-pitch singing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfordresher, Peter Q; Mantell, James T

    2014-05-01

    Singing is a ubiquitous and culturally significant activity that humans engage in from an early age. Nevertheless, some individuals - termed poor-pitch singers - are unable to match target pitches within a musical semitone while singing. In the experiments reported here, we tested whether poor-pitch singing deficits would be reduced when individuals imitate recordings of themselves as opposed to recordings of other individuals. This prediction was based on the hypothesis that poor-pitch singers have not developed an abstract "inverse model" of the auditory-vocal system and instead must rely on sensorimotor associations that they have experienced directly, which is true for sequences an individual has already produced. In three experiments, participants, both accurate and poor-pitch singers, were better able to imitate sung recordings of themselves than sung recordings of other singers. However, this self-advantage was enhanced for poor-pitch singers. These effects were not a byproduct of self-recognition (Experiment 1), vocal timbre (Experiment 2), or the absolute pitch of target recordings (i.e., the advantage remains when recordings are transposed, Experiment 3). Results support the conceptualization of poor-pitch singing as an imitative deficit resulting from a deficient inverse model of the auditory-vocal system with respect to pitch. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Techniques for Vocal Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiest, Lori

    1997-01-01

    Outlines a series of simple yet effective practices, techniques, and tips for improving the singing voice and minimizing stress on the vocal chords. Describes the four components for producing vocal sound: respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation. Provides exercises for each and lists symptoms of sickness and vocal strain. (MJP)

  14. Preferences for very low and very high voice pitch in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Re

    Full Text Available Manipulations of voice pitch have been shown to alter attractiveness ratings, but whether preferences extend to very low or very high voice pitch is unknown. Here, we manipulated voice pitch in averaged men's and women's voices by 2 Hz intervals to create a range of male and female voices speaking monopthong vowel sounds and spanning a range of frequencies from normal to very low and very high pitch. With these voices, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure preferences for voice. Nineteen university students (ages: 20-25 participated in three experiments. On average, men preferred high-pitched women's voices to low-pitched women's voices across all frequencies tested. On average, women preferred men's voices lowered in pitch, but did not prefer very low men's voices. The results of this study may reflect selection pressures for men's and women's voices, and shed light on a perceptual link between voice pitch and vocal attractiveness.

  15. Vocally mediated social recognition in anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee, Mark A.

    2005-09-01

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) are among the most vocal of vertebrates and have long served as model systems for investigating the mechanisms and evolution of acoustic communication. Compared to higher vertebrates, however, the role of cognition in anuran communication has received less attention, at least in part due to the lack of evidence that juvenile anurans learn to produce signals or associate them with particular social contexts. Recent studies of social recognition in two anuran families indicate that territorial male frogs in some species are able to learn about and recognize the individually distinctive properties of the calls of nearby neighbors. For example, male bullfrogs (ranidae) learn about the pitch of a neighbor's vocalizations (an individually distinct voice property) and associate a familiar pitch with the location of the neighbor's territory. As in songbirds, this form of vocally mediated social recognition allows territory holders to direct low levels of aggression toward well-established neighbors, while maintaining a readiness to respond aggressively to more threatening strangers that may attempt a territory takeover. A brief review of currently available data will be used to illustrate how anurans can serve as model systems for investigating the role of cognition in acoustic communication.

  16. Sensory Processing: Advances in Understanding Structure and Function of Pitch-Shifted Auditory Feedback in Voice Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R Larson

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The pitch-shift paradigm has become a widely used method for studying the role of voice pitch auditory feedback in voice control. This paradigm introduces small, brief pitch shifts in voice auditory feedback to vocalizing subjects. The perturbations trigger a reflexive mechanism that counteracts the change in pitch. The underlying mechanisms of the vocal responses are thought to reflect a negative feedback control system that is similar to constructs developed to explain other forms of motor control. Another use of this technique requires subjects to voluntarily change the pitch of their voice when they hear a pitch shift stimulus. Under these conditions, short latency responses are produced that change voice pitch to match that of the stimulus. The pitch-shift technique has been used with magnetoencephalography (MEG and electroencephalography (EEG recordings, and has shown that at vocal onset there is normally a suppression of neural activity related to vocalization. However, if a pitch-shift is also presented at voice onset, there is a cancellation of this suppression, which has been interpreted to mean that one way in which a person distinguishes self-vocalization from vocalization of others is by a comparison of the intended voice and the actual voice. Studies of the pitch shift reflex in the fMRI environment show that the superior temporal gyrus (STG plays an important role in the process of controlling voice F0 based on auditory feedback. Additional studies using fMRI for effective connectivity modeling show that the left and right STG play critical roles in correcting for an error in voice production. While both the left and right STG are involved in this process, a feedback loop develops between left and right STG during perturbations, in which the left to right connection becomes stronger, and a new negative right to left connection emerges along with the emergence of other feedback loops within the cortical network tested.

  17. 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.

  18. Pitch memory, labelling and disembedding in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Pamela

    2003-05-01

    Autistic musical savants invariably possess absolute pitch ability and are able to disembed individual musical tones from chords. Enhanced pitch discrimination and memory has been found in non-savant individuals with autism who also show superior performance on visual disembedding tasks. These experiments investigate the extent that enhanced disembedding ability will be found within the musical domain in autism. High-functioning children with autism, together with age- and intelligence-matched controls, participated in three experiments testing pitch memory, labelling and chord disembedding. The findings from experiment 1 showed enhanced pitch memory and labelling in the autism group. In experiment 2, when subjects were pre-exposed to labelled individual tones, superior chord segmentation was also found. However, in experiment 3, when disembedding performance was less reliant on pitch memory, no group differences emerged and the children with autism, like controls, perceived musical chords holistically. These findings indicate that pitch memory and labelling is superior in autism and can facilitate performance on musical disembedding tasks. However, when task performance does not rely on long-term pitch memory, autistic children, like controls, succumb to the Gestalt qualities of chords.

  19. Pitch Processing in Children with Williams Syndrome: Relationships between Music and Prosody Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Castilla, Pastora; Sotillo, María

    2014-05-15

    Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder, has been taken as evidence that music and language constitute separate modules. This research focused on the linguistic component of prosody and aimed to assess whether relationships exist between the pitch processing mechanisms for music and prosody in WS. Children with WS and typically developing individuals were presented with a musical pitch and two prosody discrimination tasks. In the musical pitch discrimination task, participants were required to distinguish whether two musical tones were the same or different. The prosody discrimination tasks evaluated participants' skills for discriminating pairs of prosodic contours based on pitch or pitch, loudness and length, jointly. In WS, musical pitch discrimination was significantly correlated with performance on the prosody task assessing the discrimination of prosodic contours based on pitch only. Furthermore, musical pitch discrimination skills predicted performance on the prosody task based on pitch, and this relationship was not better explained by chronological age, vocabulary or auditory memory. These results suggest that children with WS process pitch in music and prosody through shared mechanisms. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of cognitive modularity. The implications of these results for intervention programs for individuals with WS are also discussed.

  20. Pitch Processing in Children with Williams Syndrome: Relationships between Music and Prosody Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pastora Martínez-Castilla

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Williams syndrome (WS, a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder, has been taken as evidence that music and language constitute separate modules. This research focused on the linguistic component of prosody and aimed to assess whether relationships exist between the pitch processing mechanisms for music and prosody in WS. Children with WS and typically developing individuals were presented with a musical pitch and two prosody discrimination tasks. In the musical pitch discrimination task, participants were required to distinguish whether two musical tones were the same or different. The prosody discrimination tasks evaluated participants’ skills for discriminating pairs of prosodic contours based on pitch or pitch, loudness and length, jointly. In WS, musical pitch discrimination was significantly correlated with performance on the prosody task assessing the discrimination of prosodic contours based on pitch only. Furthermore, musical pitch discrimination skills predicted performance on the prosody task based on pitch, and this relationship was not better explained by chronological age, vocabulary or auditory memory. These results suggest that children with WS process pitch in music and prosody through shared mechanisms. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of cognitive modularity. The implications of these results for intervention programs for individuals with WS are also discussed.

  1. Perceived pitch class of isolated musical triads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, J R; Racine, R J

    1990-05-01

    A paired-comparisons task was used to determine which note of a pure-tone triad sounded most similar to the triad. Musically inexperienced Ss showed no systematic preference, experienced Ss consistently preferred the highest note in the triad, and professional musicians split equally between preferring the highest note and the root note. Preference for the root note shifted to preference for the highest note as the triad type became increasingly inharmonic, suggesting that the former depended on inference of a missing fundamental. When Ss were asked to vocally reproduce the pitch they heard when listening to a triad, similar results were obtained, except that a root-note preference was not detectable in Ss with less musical experience. Preference for the root note was also facilitated by use of octave-replicated tones, and this increase was shown to be due to obscuring of pitch-height cues, rather than harmonic complexity.

  2. Modal locking between vocal fold and vocal tract oscillations: Simulations in time domain

    CERN Document Server

    Aalto, Atte; Malinen, Jarmo; Aalto, Daniel; Vainio, Martti

    2015-01-01

    It is well known that during voiced speech, the human vocal folds interact with the vocal tract acoustics. The resulting source-filter coupling has been observed using mathematical and physical models as well as in in vivo phonation. We propose a computational time-domain model of the full speech apparatus that, in particular, contains a feedback mechanism from the vocal tract acoustics to the vocal fold oscillations. It is based on numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations defined on vocal tract geometries that have been obtained by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The model is used to simulate rising and falling pitch glides of [a, i] in the fundamental frequency (f_0) interval [180 Hz, 360 Hz]. The interval contains the first formant F1 of [i] as well as the subformants F1/4 and F1/3 of [a]. The simulations reveal a locking pattern of the f_0-trajectory at F1 of [i] in falling and rising glides. The subformants of [a] produce perturbations in the waveforms of glottal signals but no locki...

  3. Complex-tone pitch representations in the human auditory system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica

    ) listeners and the effect of musical training for pitch discrimination of complex tones with resolved and unresolved harmonics. Concerning the first topic, behavioral and modeling results in listeners with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) indicated that temporal envelope cues of complex tones...... for the individual pitch-discrimination abilities, the musically trained listeners still allocated lower processing effort than did the non-musicians to perform the task at the same performance level. This finding suggests an enhanced pitch representation along the auditory system in musicians, possibly as a result......Understanding how the human auditory system processes the physical properties of an acoustical stimulus to give rise to a pitch percept is a fascinating aspect of hearing research. Since most natural sounds are harmonic complex tones, this work focused on the nature of pitch-relevant cues...

  4. Binaural pitch perception in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2007-01-01

    -pitch perception and performance in measures of spectral and temporal resolution. Reduced frequency discrimination appeared to be linked to poorer melody recognition skills. Reduced frequency selectivity was also found to impede the perception of binaural-pitch stimuli. Overall, binaural-pitch stimuli might......The effects of hearing impairment on the perception of binaural-pitch stimuli were investigated. Several experiments were performed with normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners, including detection and discrimination of binaural pitch, and melody recognition using different types of binaural...

  5. Impaired short-term memory for pitch in congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillmann, Barbara; Lévêque, Yohana; Fornoni, Lesly; Albouy, Philippe; Caclin, Anne

    2016-06-01

    Congenital amusia is a neuro-developmental disorder of music perception and production. The hypothesis is that the musical deficits arise from altered pitch processing, with impairments in pitch discrimination (i.e., pitch change detection, pitch direction discrimination and identification) and short-term memory. The present review article focuses on the deficit of short-term memory for pitch. Overall, the data discussed here suggest impairments at each level of processing in short-term memory tasks; starting with the encoding of the pitch information and the creation of the adequate memory trace, the retention of the pitch traces over time as well as the recollection and comparison of the stored information with newly incoming information. These impairments have been related to altered brain responses in a distributed fronto-temporal network, associated with decreased connectivity between these structures, as well as in abnormalities in the connectivity between the two auditory cortices. In contrast, amusic participants׳ short-term memory abilities for verbal material are preserved. These findings show that short-term memory deficits in congenital amusia are specific to pitch, suggesting a pitch-memory system that is, at least partly, separated from verbal memory. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. When speech enhances Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes: Joint spatial associations of pitch and timbre in nonmusicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weis, Tina; Estner, Barbara; Lachmann, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the effect of the Spatial Musical Association of Response Codes (SMARC) depends on various features, such as task conditions (whether pitch height is implicit or explicit), response dimension (horizontal vs. vertical), presence or absence of a reference tone, and former musical training of the participants. In the present study, we investigated the effects of pitch range and timbre: in particular, how timbre (piano vs. vocal) contributes to the horizontal and vertical SMARC effect in nonmusicians under varied pitch range conditions. Nonmusicians performed a timbre judgement task in which the pitch range was either small (6 or 8 semitone steps) or large (9 or 12 semitone steps) in a horizontal and a vertical response setting. For piano sounds, SMARC effects were observed in all conditions. For the vocal sounds, in contrast, SMARC effects depended on pitch range. We concluded that the occurrence of the SMARC effect, especially in horizontal response settings, depends on the interaction of the timbre (vocal and piano) and pitch range if vocal and instrumental sounds are combined in one experiment: the human voice enhances the attention, both to the vocal and the instrumental sounds.

  7. Timbre-independent extraction of pitch in newborn infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Háden, Gábor P; Stefanics, Gábor; Vestergaard, Martin D; Denham, Susan L; Sziller, István; Winkler, István

    2009-01-01

    The ability to separate pitch from other spectral sound features, such as timbre, is an important prerequisite of veridical auditory perception underlying speech acquisition and music cognition. The current study investigated whether or not newborn infants generalize pitch across different timbres. Perceived resonator size is an aspect of timbre that informs the listener about the size of the sound source, a cue that may be important already at birth. Therefore, detection of infrequent pitch changes was tested by recording event-related brain potentials in healthy newborn infants to frequent standard and infrequent pitch-deviant sounds while the perceived resonator size of all sounds was randomly varied. The elicitation of an early negative and a later positive discriminative response by deviant sounds demonstrated that the neonate auditory system represents pitch separately from timbre, thus showing advanced pitch processing capabilities.

  8. Sensory Discrimination as Related to General Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acton, G. Scott; Schroeder, David H.

    2001-01-01

    Attempted to replicate the pitch discrimination findings of previous research and expand them to the modality of color discrimination in a sample of 899 teenagers and adults by correlating 2 sensory discrimination measures with the general factor from a battery of 13 cognitive ability tests. Results suggest that sensory discrimination is…

  9. Reinforcement of Infant Vocalizations through Contingent Vocal Imitation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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…

  10. The role of vocal individuality in conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    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...... 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....

  11. High coking value pitch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Douglas J.; Chang, Ching-Feng; Lewis, Irwin C.; Lewis, Richard T.

    2014-06-10

    A high coking value pitch prepared from coal tar distillate and has a low softening point and a high carbon value while containing substantially no quinoline insolubles is disclosed. The pitch can be used as an impregnant or binder for producing carbon and graphite articles.

  12. Consonance and pitch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, Neil; Marco, David; Light, Maria; Wilson, Sarah

    2013-11-01

    To date, no consensus exists in the literature as to theories of consonance and dissonance. Experimental data collected over the last century have raised questions about the dominant theories that are based on frequency relationships between the harmonics of music chords. This study provides experimental evidence that strongly challenges these theories and suggests a new theory of dissonance based on relationships between pitch perception and recognition. Experiment 1 shows that dissonance does not increase with increasing numbers of harmonics in chords as predicted by Helmholtz's (1863/1954) roughness theory, nor does it increase with fewer pitch-matching errors as predicted by Stumpf's (1898) tonal fusion theory. Dissonance was strongly correlated with pitch-matching error for chords, which in turn was reduced by chord familiarity and greater music training. This led to the proposition that long-term memory templates for common chords assist the perception of pitches in chords by providing an estimate of the chord intervals from spectral information. When recognition mechanisms based on these templates fail, the spectral pitch estimate is inconsistent with the period of the waveform, leading to cognitive incongruence and the negative affect of dissonance. The cognitive incongruence theory of dissonance was rigorously tested in Experiment 2, in which nonmusicians were trained to match the pitches of a random selection of 2-pitch chords. After 10 training sessions, they rated the chords they had learned to pitch match as less dissonant than the unlearned chords, irrespective of their tuning, providing strong support for a cognitive mechanism of dissonance.

  13. The Value of Vocal Extent Measure (VEM) Assessing Phonomicrosurgical Outcomes in Vocal Fold Polyps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmen, Tatjana; Ermakova, Tatiana; Möller, Andreas; Seipelt, Matthias; Weikert, Sebastian; Rummich, Julius; Gross, Manfred; Nawka, Tadeus; Caffier, Philipp P

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to present vocal extent measure (VEM), demonstrate its changes with phonomicrosurgical treatment in patients with vocal fold polyps (VFPs), and to compare its performance to that of established vocal parameters. This is an individual cohort study. Microlaryngoscopic ablation was executed in 61 patients with manifestation of VFP (28 male, 33 female; 45 ± 13 years [mean ± SD]). Analysis of treatment outcome was based on pre- and postoperative voice function diagnostics and videolaryngostroboscopy. Examination instruments were: auditory-perceptual voice assessment (roughness, breathiness, and overall hoarseness [RBH]-status), voice range profile (VRP), acoustic-aerodynamic analysis, and patients' self-assessment of voice using the voice handicap index. The VEM, a parameter not yet commonly established in phoniatric diagnostics, was calculated from area and shape of the VRP to be compared with the dysphonia severity index (DSI) concerning diagnostic suitability. All polyps were completely excised. Three months postoperatively, mucosal wave propagation had recovered. All subjective and most objective acoustic and aerodynamic parameters showed highly significant improvement. The VHI-9i-score decreased from 15 ± 8 to 6 ± 7 points. The average total vocal range extended by 4 ± 5 semitones, the mean speaking pitch decreased by 1 ± 2 semitones. The DSI increased on average from 2.6 ± 2.1 to 4.0 ± 2.2, VEM from 83 ± 28 to 107 ± 21 (P VRP evaluation. This positive measure of vocal function seems to be a compelling diagnostic addition for objective quantification of vocal performance. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Objective correlates of pitch salience using pupillometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Santurette, Sébastien; Wendt, Dorothea;

    2014-01-01

    with increasing effort in performing the task and thus with decreasing pitch salience. A group of normal-hearing listeners first performed a behavioral pitch-discrimination experiment, where fundamental frequency difference limens ( F 0 DLs ) were measured as a function of F 0 . Results showed that pitch salience...... the frequency region and F 0 , were considered. Pupil size was measured for each condition, while the subjects’ task was to detect the deviants by pressing a response button. The expected trend was that pupil size would increase with decreasing salience. Results for musically trained listeners showed...... the expected trend, whereby pupil size significantly increased with decreasing salience of the stimuli. Non-musically trained listeners showed, however, a smaller pupil size for the least salient condition as compared to a medium salient condition, probably due to a too demanding task...

  15. Dissociation of procedural and semantic memory in absolute-pitch processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, I-Hui; Saberi, Kourosh

    2008-06-01

    We describe two memory-retrieval systems in absolute-pitch (AP) processing and propose existence of a universal internal pitch template to which subpopulations of musicians selectively gain access through the two systems. In Experiment I, AP and control musicians adjusted the frequency of a pure tone to match the pitch of a visually displayed randomly selected musical note. In Experiment II the same subjects vocally produced within 2s the pitch associated with a randomly selected musical note label. AP musicians, but not controls, were highly accurate in frequency matching. Surprisingly, both AP and non-AP groups were extremely accurate in voicing the target pitch as determined from an FFT of the recorded voiced notes (i.e., sigma=0.97, 0.90 semitones, respectively). Spectrogram analysis showed that notes voiced by non-AP musicians are accurate from onset of voicing suggesting that pitch accuracy does not result from an auditory-motor feedback loop. Findings support existence of two memory-retrieval systems for musical pitch: a semantic associative form of memory used by AP musicians, and a more widespread form of procedural memory which allows precise access to internal pitch representations through the vocal-motor system.

  16. Multi-pitch estimation

    CERN Document Server

    Christensen, Mads

    2009-01-01

    Periodic signals can be decomposed into sets of sinusoids having frequencies that are integer multiples of a fundamental frequency. The problem of finding such fundamental frequencies from noisy observations is important in many speech and audio applications, where it is commonly referred to as pitch estimation. These applications include analysis, compression, separation, enhancement, automatic transcription and many more. In this book, an introduction to pitch estimation is given and a number of statistical methods for pitch estimation are presented. The basic signal models and associated es

  17. Fine-grained pitch processing of music and speech in congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillmann, Barbara; Rusconi, Elena; Traube, Caroline; Butterworth, Brian; Umiltà, Carlo; Peretz, Isabelle

    2011-12-01

    Congenital amusia is a lifelong disorder of music processing that has been ascribed to impaired pitch perception and memory. The present study tested a large group of amusics (n=17) and provided evidence that their pitch deficit affects pitch processing in speech to a lesser extent: Fine-grained pitch discrimination was better in spoken syllables than in acoustically matched tones. Unlike amusics, control participants performed fine-grained pitch discrimination better for musical material than for verbal material. These findings suggest that pitch extraction can be influenced by the nature of the material (music vs speech), and that amusics' pitch deficit is not restricted to musical material, but extends to segmented speech events. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

  18. Motor planning for vocal production in common marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Cory T; Eliades, Steven J; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2009-11-01

    The vocal motor plan is one of the most fundamental and poorly understood elements of primate vocal production. Here we tested whether a single vocal motor plan comprises the full length of a vocalization. We hypothesized that if a single motor plan was determined at vocal onset, the acoustic features early in the call should be predictive of the subsequent call structure. Analyses were performed on two classes of features in marmoset phee calls: continuous and discrete. We first generated correlation matrices of all the continuous features of phee calls. Results showed that the start frequency of a phee's first pulse significantly correlated with all subsequent spectral features. Moreover, significant correlations were evident within the spectral features as well as within the temporal features, but there was little relationship between these measures. Using a discrete feature, 'the number of pulses in the phee call', a discriminant function was able to correctly classify the number of pulses in the calls well above chance based solely on the acoustic structure of the call's first pulse. Together, these data suggest that a vocal motor plan for the complete call structure is established at call onset. These findings provide a key insight into the mechanisms underlying vocal production in nonhuman primates.

  19. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations

    Science.gov (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

  20. Impacto vocal de professores Teachers' vocal impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Ricarte

    2011-08-01

    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

  1. Vocal learning is constrained by the statistics of sensorimotor experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sober, Samuel J; Brainard, Michael S

    2012-12-18

    The brain uses sensory feedback to correct behavioral errors. Larger errors by definition require greater corrections, and many models of learning assume that larger sensory feedback errors drive larger motor changes. However, an alternative perspective is that larger errors drive learning less effectively because such errors fall outside the range of errors normally experienced and are therefore unlikely to reflect accurate feedback. This is especially crucial in vocal control because auditory feedback can be contaminated by environmental noise or sensory processing errors. A successful control strategy must therefore rely on feedback to correct errors while disregarding aberrant auditory signals that would lead to maladaptive vocal corrections. We hypothesized that these constraints result in compensation that is greatest for smaller imposed errors and least for larger errors. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the pitch of auditory feedback in singing Bengalese finches. We found that learning driven by larger sensory errors was both slower than that resulting from smaller errors and showed less complete compensation for the imposed error. Additionally, we found that a simple principle could account for these data: the amount of compensation was proportional to the overlap between the baseline distribution of pitch production and the distribution experienced during the shift. Correspondingly, the fraction of compensation approached zero when pitch was shifted outside of the song's baseline pitch distribution. Our data demonstrate that sensory errors drive learning best when they fall within the range of production variability, suggesting that learning is constrained by the statistics of sensorimotor experience.

  2. Investigation of habitual pitch during free play activities for preschool-aged children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yang; Kimelman, Mikael D Z; Micco, Katie

    2009-01-01

    This study is designed to compare the habitual pitch measured in two different speech activities (free play activity and traditionally used structured speech activity) for normally developing preschool-aged children to explore to what extent preschoolers vary their vocal pitch among different speech environments. Habitual pitch measurements were conducted for 10 normally developing children (2 boys, 8 girls) between the ages of 31 months and 71 months during two different activities: (1) free play; and (2) structured speech. Speech samples were recorded using a throat microphone connected with a wireless transmitter in both activities. The habitual pitch (in Hz) was measured for all collected speech samples by using voice analysis software (Real-Time Pitch). Significantly higher habitual pitch is found during free play in contrast to structured speech activities. In addition, there is no showing of significant difference of habitual pitch elicited across a variety of structured speech activities. Findings suggest that the vocal usage of preschoolers appears to be more effortful during free play than during structured activities. It is recommended that a comprehensive evaluation for young children's voice needs to be based on the speech/voice samples collected from both free play and structured activities.

  3. Effect of Vocal Fry on Voice and on Velopharyngeal Sphincter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elias, Vanessa Santos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction It is known that the basal sound promotes shortening and adduction of the vocal folds and leaves the mucosa looser. However there are few studies that address the supralaryngeal physiological findings obtained using the technique. Objective To check the effectiveness of using vocal fry on the voice and velopharingeal port closure of five adult subjects, whose cleft palate has been corrected with surgery. Methods Case study with five subjects who underwent otolaryngology examination by means of nasopharyngoscopy for imaging and measurement of the region of velopharyngeal port closure before and after using the vocal fry technique for three minutes. During the exam, the subjects sustained the isolated vowel /a:/ in their usual pitch and loudness. The emission of the vowel /a:/ was also used for perceptual analysis and spectrographic evaluation of their voices. Results Four subjects had an improvement in the region of velopharyngeal port closure; the results of the spectrographic evaluation were indicative of decreased hypernasality, and the results of the auditory-perceptual analysis suggested improved overall vocal quality, adequacy of loudness, decreased hypernasality, improvement of type of voice and decreased hoarseness. Conclusion This study showed a positive effect of vocal fry on voice and greater velopharyngeal port closure.

  4. Vocal coordination and vocal imitation: a role for mirror neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, John D

    2014-04-01

    Some birds and mammals have vocal communication systems in which coordination between individuals is important. Examples would include duetting or antiphonal calling in some birds and mammals, rapid exchanges of the same vocalization, and vocal exchanges between paired individuals and other nearby pairs. Mirror neurons may play a role in such systems but become functional only after experience.

  5. Vocal communication in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltis, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Research on vocal communication in African elephants has increased in recent years, both in the wild and in captivity, providing an opportunity to present a comprehensive review of research related to their vocal behavior. Current data indicate that the vocal repertoire consists of perhaps nine acoustically distinct call types, "rumbles" being the most common and acoustically variable. Large vocal production anatomy is responsible for the low-frequency nature of rumbles, with fundamental frequencies in the infrasonic range. Additionally, resonant frequencies of rumbles implicate the trunk in addition to the oral cavity in shaping the acoustic structure of rumbles. Long-distance communication is thought possible because low-frequency sounds propagate more faithfully than high-frequency sounds, and elephants respond to rumbles at distances of up to 2.5 km. Elephant ear anatomy appears designed for detecting low frequencies, and experiments demonstrate that elephants can detect infrasonic tones and discriminate small frequency differences. Two vocal communication functions in the African elephant now have reasonable empirical support. First, closely bonded but spatially separated females engage in rumble exchanges, or "contact calls," that function to coordinate movement or reunite animals. Second, both males and females produce "mate attraction" rumbles that may advertise reproductive states to the opposite sex. Additionally, there is evidence that the structural variation in rumbles reflects the individual identity, reproductive state, and emotional state of callers. Growth in knowledge about the communication system of the African elephant has occurred from a rich combination of research on wild elephants in national parks and captive elephants in zoological parks.

  6. Automatic Classification of Cetacean Vocalizations Using an Aural Classifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    were inspired by research directed at discriminating the timbre of different musical instruments – a passive classification problem – which suggests...the method should be able to classify marine mammal vocalizations since these calls possess many of the acoustic attributes of music . APPROACH

  7. Individual Pitch Control. Inventory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Engelen, T.G.; Van der Hooft, E.L. [ECN Wind Energy, Petten (Netherlands)

    2005-06-15

    The loads on the rotor blades, drive-train and tower of horizontal axis wind turbines are caused for a significant part by the rotational sampling of turbulence, the tower shadow and the windshear. These loads depend on the azimuthal blade position and are approximately periodic in (multiples of) the rotational speed. It seems attractive to just add pure azimuth dependent variations to the pitch angle of the individual blades. However, a small phase mismatch with respect to the tower shadow and windshear effect will cause higher instead of lower loads. Besides, the stochastic loads from the torationally sampled turbulence are not reduced at all. This inventory study concerns the design and potential of individual feedback pitch control for 3 bladed wind turbines. In this approach the danger of mismatch is avoided and the stochastic blade loads are also reduced. A simple design model is derived for the parametrisation of the feedback loops for individual pitch control around one time the rotational frequency (1p). Rainflow counts and power spectra obtained from time-domain simulations give an indication of the achievable reduction of loads. In addition, the concept of individual pitch control is extended to multiples of the rotational frequency (2p, 3p; multi-mode pitch control). Scoping calculations show a significant further reduction of blade loads as well as a reduction of 3p harmonics in tilt and yaw loads in the nacelle.

  8. A Vowel-Based Method for Vocal Tract Control in Clarinet Pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Darleny; Payri, Blas

    2017-01-01

    Our review of scientific literature shows that the activity inside the clarinetist's vocal tract (VT) affects pitch and timbre, while also facilitating technical exercises. Clarinetists adapt their VT intuitively and, in some cases, may compensate an inadequate VT configuration through unnecessary pressure, resulting in technical blockage,…

  9. Binaural Pitch Fusion in Bilateral Cochlear Implant Users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Lina A J; Fowler, Jennifer R; Hartling, Curtis L; Oh, Yonghee

    2017-09-22

    Binaural pitch fusion is the fusion of stimuli that evoke different pitches between the ears into a single auditory image. Individuals who use hearing aids or bimodal cochlear implants (CIs) experience abnormally broad binaural pitch fusion, such that sounds differing in pitch by as much as 3-4 octaves are fused across ears, leading to spectral averaging and speech perception interference. The goal of this study was to determine if adult bilateral CI users also experience broad binaural pitch fusion. Stimuli were pulse trains delivered to individual electrodes. Fusion ranges were measured using simultaneous, dichotic presentation of reference and comparison stimuli in opposite ears, and varying the comparison stimulus to find the range that fused with the reference stimulus. Bilateral CI listeners had binaural pitch fusion ranges varying from 0 to 12 mm (average 6.1 ± 3.9 mm), where 12 mm indicates fusion over all electrodes in the array. No significant correlations of fusion range were observed with any subject factors related to age, hearing loss history, or hearing device history, or with any electrode factors including interaural electrode pitch mismatch, pitch match bandwidth, or within-ear electrode discrimination abilities. Bilateral CI listeners have abnormally broad fusion, similar to hearing aid and bimodal CI listeners. This broad fusion may explain the variability of binaural benefits for speech perception in quiet and in noise in bilateral CI users.

  10. Pitch Based Sound Classification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Andreas Brinch; Hansen, Lars Kai; Kjems, U

    2006-01-01

    A sound classification model is presented that can classify signals into music, noise and speech. The model extracts the pitch of the signal using the harmonic product spectrum. Based on the pitch estimate and a pitch error measure, features are created and used in a probabilistic model with soft......-max output function. Both linear and quadratic inputs are used. The model is trained on 2 hours of sound and tested on publicly available data. A test classification error below 0.05 with 1 s classification windows is achieved. Further more it is shown that linear input performs as well as a quadratic......, and that even though classification gets marginally better, not much is achieved by increasing the window size beyond 1 s....

  11. The relation between tongue shape and pitch in clarinet playing using ultrasound measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lulich, Steven M; Charles, Sherman; Lulich, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

    Tongue shapes during clarinet performances of chromatic scale, portamento and pitch bending exercises were imaged using an ultrasound machine while audio and video were recorded synchronously. Analysis of the data from four participants revealed that tongue position varies non-monotically with note frequency in the lowest register (up to ≈ 440 Hz) and then descends monotonically as note frequencies rise through the upper registers. The descent of the tongue results in an expansion of the vocal tract's posterior oral cavity, resulting in a vocal tract input impedance maximum tuned to high frequency. Portamento and pitch bending were found to involve a raising of the tongue and concomitant contraction of the posterior oral cavity. The degree of contraction was similar in both portamento and pitch bending, suggesting a common acoustic mechanism.

  12. Vocal Features of Song and Speech: Insights from Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Merrill

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Similarities and differences between speech and song are often examined. However, the perceptual definition of these two types of vocalization is challenging. Indeed, the prototypical characteristics of speech or song support top-down processes, which influence listeners' perception of acoustic information. In order to examine vocal features associated with speaking and singing, we propose an innovative approach designed to facilitate bottom-up mechanisms in perceiving vocalizations by using material situated between speech and song: Speechsong. 25 participants were asked to evaluate 20 performances of a speechsong composition by Arnold Schoenberg, “Pierrot lunaire” op. 21 from 1912, evaluating 20 features of vocal-articulatory expression. Raters provided reliable judgments concerning the vocal features used by the performers and did not show strong appeal or specific expectations in reference to Schoenberg's piece. By examining the relationship between the vocal features and the impression of song or speech, the results confirm the importance of pitch (height, contour, range, but also point to the relevance of register, timbre, tension and faucal distance. Besides highlighting vocal features associated with speech and song, this study supports the relevance of the present approach of focusing on a theoretical middle category in order to better understand vocal expression in song and speech.

  13. Effective Connectivity Associated With Auditory Error Detection In Musicians With Absolute Pitch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L Parkinson

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available It is advantageous to study a wide range of vocal abilities in order to fully understand how vocal control measures vary across the full spectrum. Individuals with absolute pitch (AP are able to assign a verbal label to musical notes and have enhanced abilities in pitch identification without reliance on an external referent. In this study we used dynamic causal modeling (DCM to model effective connectivity of ERP responses to pitch perturbation in voice auditory feedback in musicians with relative pitch (RP, absolute pitch and non-musician controls. We identified a network compromising left and right hemisphere superior temporal gyrus (STG, primary motor cortex (M1 and premotor cortex (PM. We specified nine models and compared two main factors examining various combinations of STG involvement in feedback pitch error detection/correction process. Our results suggest that modulation of left to right STG connections are important in the identification of self-voice error and sensory motor integration in AP musicians. We also identify reduced connectivity of left hemisphere PM to STG connections in AP and RP groups during the error detection and corrections process relative to non-musicians. We suggest that this suppression may allow for enhanced connectivity relating to pitch identification in the right hemisphere in those with more precise pitch matching abilities. Musicians with enhanced pitch identification abilities likely have an improved auditory error detection and correction system involving connectivity of STG regions. Our findings here also suggest that individuals with AP are more adept at using feedback related to pitch from the right hemisphere.

  14. Vocal Fold Collision Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...... of the vocal fold collision is proposed, which incorporates different procedures used in contact mechanics and mathematical optimization theories. The penalty approach and the Lagrange multiplier method are investigated. The contact force solution obtained by the penalty formulation is highly dependent...

  15. Absolute pitch: effects of timbre on note-naming ability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Vanzella

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Absolute pitch (AP is the ability to identify or produce isolated musical tones. It is evident primarily among individuals who started music lessons in early childhood. Because AP requires memory for specific pitches as well as learned associations with verbal labels (i.e., note names, it represents a unique opportunity to study interactions in memory between linguistic and nonlinguistic information. One untested hypothesis is that the pitch of voices may be difficult for AP possessors to identify. A musician's first instrument may also affect performance and extend the sensitive period for acquiring accurate AP. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A large sample of AP possessors was recruited on-line. Participants were required to identity test tones presented in four different timbres: piano, pure tone, natural (sung voice, and synthesized voice. Note-naming accuracy was better for non-vocal (piano and pure tones than for vocal (natural and synthesized voices test tones. This difference could not be attributed solely to vibrato (pitch variation, which was more pronounced in the natural voice than in the synthesized voice. Although starting music lessons by age 7 was associated with enhanced note-naming accuracy, equivalent abilities were evident among listeners who started music lessons on piano at a later age. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Because the human voice is inextricably linked to language and meaning, it may be processed automatically by voice-specific mechanisms that interfere with note naming among AP possessors. Lessons on piano or other fixed-pitch instruments appear to enhance AP abilities and to extend the sensitive period for exposure to music in order to develop accurate AP.

  16. Absolute pitch: effects of timbre on note-naming ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanzella, Patrícia; Schellenberg, E Glenn

    2010-11-11

    Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify or produce isolated musical tones. It is evident primarily among individuals who started music lessons in early childhood. Because AP requires memory for specific pitches as well as learned associations with verbal labels (i.e., note names), it represents a unique opportunity to study interactions in memory between linguistic and nonlinguistic information. One untested hypothesis is that the pitch of voices may be difficult for AP possessors to identify. A musician's first instrument may also affect performance and extend the sensitive period for acquiring accurate AP. A large sample of AP possessors was recruited on-line. Participants were required to identity test tones presented in four different timbres: piano, pure tone, natural (sung) voice, and synthesized voice. Note-naming accuracy was better for non-vocal (piano and pure tones) than for vocal (natural and synthesized voices) test tones. This difference could not be attributed solely to vibrato (pitch variation), which was more pronounced in the natural voice than in the synthesized voice. Although starting music lessons by age 7 was associated with enhanced note-naming accuracy, equivalent abilities were evident among listeners who started music lessons on piano at a later age. Because the human voice is inextricably linked to language and meaning, it may be processed automatically by voice-specific mechanisms that interfere with note naming among AP possessors. Lessons on piano or other fixed-pitch instruments appear to enhance AP abilities and to extend the sensitive period for exposure to music in order to develop accurate AP.

  17. Pitch memory and exposure effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Haim, Moshe Shay; Eitan, Zohar; Chajut, Eran

    2014-02-01

    Recent studies indicate that the ability to represent absolute pitch values in long-term memory, long believed to be the possession of a small minority of trained musicians endowed with "absolute pitch," is in fact shared to some extent by a considerable proportion of the population. The current study examined whether this newly discovered ability affects aspects of music and auditory cognition, particularly pitch learning and evaluation. Our starting points are two well-established premises: (1) frequency of occurrence has an influence on the way we process stimuli; (2) in Western music, some pitches and musical keys are much more frequent than others. Based on these premises, we hypothesize that if absolute pitch values are indeed represented in long-term memory, pitch frequency of occurrence in music would significantly affect cognitive processes, in particular pitch learning and evaluation. Two experiments were designed to test this hypothesis in participants with no absolute pitch, most with little or no musical training. Experiment 1 demonstrated a faster response and a learning advantage for frequent pitches over infrequent pitches in an identification task. In Experiment 2, participants evaluated infrequent pitches as more pleasing than frequent pitches when presented in isolation. These results suggest that absolute pitch representation in memory may play a substantial, hitherto unacknowledged role in auditory (and specifically musical) cognition. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Pitch features of environmental sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ming; Kang, Jian

    2016-07-01

    A number of soundscape studies have suggested the need for suitable parameters for soundscape measurement, in addition to the conventional acoustic parameters. This paper explores the applicability of pitch features that are often used in music analysis and their algorithms to environmental sounds. Based on the existing alternative pitch algorithms for simulating the perception of the auditory system and simplified algorithms for practical applications in the areas of music and speech, the applicable algorithms have been determined, considering common types of sound in everyday soundscapes. Considering a number of pitch parameters, including pitch value, pitch strength, and percentage of audible pitches over time, different pitch characteristics of various environmental sounds have been shown. Among the four sound categories, i.e. water, wind, birdsongs, and urban sounds, generally speaking, both water and wind sounds have low pitch values and pitch strengths; birdsongs have high pitch values and pitch strengths; and urban sounds have low pitch values and a relatively wide range of pitch strengths.

  19. 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

    2007-06-01

    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

  20. Norwegian Pitched Roof Defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Gullbrekken

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The building constructions investigated in this work are pitched wooden roofs with exterior vertical drainpipes and wooden load-bearing system. The aim of this research is to further investigate the building defects of pitched wooden roofs and obtain an overview of typical roof defects. The work involves an analysis of the building defect archive from the research institute SINTEF Building and Infrastructure. The findings from the SINTEF archive show that moisture is a dominant exposure factor, especially in roof constructions. In pitched wooden roofs, more than half of the defects are caused by deficiencies in design, materials, or workmanship, where these deficiencies allow moisture from precipitation or indoor moisture into the structure. Hence, it is important to increase the focus on robust and durable solutions to avoid defects both from exterior and interior moisture sources in pitched wooden roofs. Proper design of interior ventilation and vapour retarders seem to be the main ways to control entry from interior moisture sources into attic and roof spaces.

  1. The musical environment and auditory plasticity: Hearing the pitch of percussion

    OpenAIRE

    McLachlan, Neil M.; David J. T. Marco; Wilson, Sarah J

    2013-01-01

    Although musical skills clearly improve with training, pitch processing has generally been believed to be biologically determined by the behavior of brain stem neural mechanisms. Two main classes of pitch models have emerged over the last 50 years. Harmonic template models have been used to explain cross-channel integration of frequency information, and waveform periodicity models have been used to explain pitch discrimination that is much finer than the resolution of the auditory nerve. It h...

  2. Effect of hydration and vocal rest on the vocal fatigue in amateur karaoke singers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yiu, Edwin M L; Chan, Rainy M M

    2003-06-01

    Karaoke singing is a very popular entertainment among young people in Asia. It is a leisure singing activity with the singer's voice amplified with special acoustic effects in the backdrop of music. Music video and song captions are shown on television screen to remind the singers during singing. It is not uncommon to find participants singing continuously for four to five hours each time. As most of the karaoke singers have no formal training in singing, these amateur singers are more vulnerable to developing voice problems under these intensive singing activities. This study reports the performance of 20 young amateur singers (10 males and 10 females, aged between 20-25 years) on a series of phonatory function tasks carried out during continuous karaoke singing. Half of the singers were given water to drink and short duration of vocal rests at regular intervals during singing and the other half sang continuously without taking any water or rest. The subjects who were given hydration and vocal rests sang significantly longer than those who did not take any water or rest. The voice quality, as measured by perceptual and acoustic measures, and vocal function, as measured by phonetogram, did not show any significant changes during singing in the subjects who were given water and rest during the singing. However, subjects who sang continuously without drinking water and taking rests showed significant changes in the jitter measure and the highest pitch they could produce during singing. These results suggest that hydration and vocal rests are useful strategies to preserve voice function and quality during karaoke singing. This information is useful educational information for karaoke singers.

  3. Effects of Music and Tonal Language Experience on Relative Pitch Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngo, Mary Kim; Vu, Kim-Phuong L; Strybel, Thomas Z

    2016-01-01

    We examined the interaction between music and tone language experience as related to relative pitch processing by having participants judge the direction and magnitude of pitch changes in a relative pitch task. Participants' performance on this relative pitch task was assessed using the Cochran-Weiss-Shanteau (CWS) index of expertise, based on a ratio of discrimination over consistency in participants' relative pitch judgments. Testing took place in 2 separate sessions on different days to assess the effects of practice on participants' performance. Participants also completed the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA), an existing measure comprising subtests aimed at evaluating relative pitch processing abilities. Musicians outperformed nonmusicians on both the relative pitch task, as measured by the CWS index, and the MBEA, but tonal language speakers outperformed non-tonal language speakers only on the MBEA. A closer look at the discrimination and consistency component scores of the CWS index revealed that musicians were better at discriminating different pitches and more consistent in their assessments of the direction and magnitude of relative pitch change.

  4. Absolute Pitch in Boreal Chickadees and Humans: Exceptions that Test a Phylogenetic Rule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisman, Ronald G.; Balkwill, Laura-Lee; Hoeschele, Marisa; Moscicki, Michele K.; Bloomfield, Laurie L.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2010-01-01

    This research examined generality of the phylogenetic rule that birds discriminate frequency ranges more accurately than mammals. Human absolute pitch chroma possessors accurately tracked transitions between frequency ranges. Independent tests showed that they used note naming (pitch chroma) to remap the tones into ranges; neither possessors nor…

  5. Nonlinear Bayesian cue integration explains the dynamics of vocal learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Baohua; Sober, Samuel; Nemenman, Ilya

    The acoustics of vocal production in songbirds is tightly regulated during both development and adulthood as birds progressively refine their song using sensory feedback to match an acoustic target. Here, we perturb this sensory feedback using headphones to shift the pitch (fundamental frequency) of song. When the pitch is shifted upwards (downwards), birds eventually learn to compensate and sing lower (higher), bringing the experienced pitch closer to the target. Paradoxically, the speed and amplitude of this motor learning decrease with increases in the introduced error size, so that birds respond rapidly to a small sensory perturbation, while seemingly never correcting a much bigger one. Similar results are observed broadly across the animal kingdom, and they do not derive from a limited plasticity of the adult brain since birds can compensate for a large error as long as the error is imposed gradually. We develop a mathematical model based on nonlinear Bayesian integration of two sensory modalities (one perturbed and the other not) that quantitatively explains all of these observations. The model makes predictions about the structure of the probability distribution of the pitches sung by birds during the pitch shift experiments, which we confirm using experimental data. This work was supported in part by James S. McDonnell Foundation Grant # 220020321, NSF Grant # IOS/1208126, NSF Grant # IOS/1456912 and NIH Grants # R01NS084844.

  6. A temporal predictive code for voice motor control: Evidence from ERP and behavioral responses to pitch-shifted auditory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behroozmand, Roozbeh; Sangtian, Stacey; Korzyukov, Oleg; Larson, Charles R

    2016-04-01

    The predictive coding model suggests that voice motor control is regulated by a process in which the mismatch (error) between feedforward predictions and sensory feedback is detected and used to correct vocal motor behavior. In this study, we investigated how predictions about timing of pitch perturbations in voice auditory feedback would modulate ERP and behavioral responses during vocal production. We designed six counterbalanced blocks in which a +100 cents pitch-shift stimulus perturbed voice auditory feedback during vowel sound vocalizations. In three blocks, there was a fixed delay (500, 750 or 1000 ms) between voice and pitch-shift stimulus onset (predictable), whereas in the other three blocks, stimulus onset delay was randomized between 500, 750 and 1000 ms (unpredictable). We found that subjects produced compensatory (opposing) vocal responses that started at 80 ms after the onset of the unpredictable stimuli. However, for predictable stimuli, subjects initiated vocal responses at 20 ms before and followed the direction of pitch shifts in voice feedback. Analysis of ERPs showed that the amplitudes of the N1 and P2 components were significantly reduced in response to predictable compared with unpredictable stimuli. These findings indicate that predictions about temporal features of sensory feedback can modulate vocal motor behavior. In the context of the predictive coding model, temporally-predictable stimuli are learned and reinforced by the internal feedforward system, and as indexed by the ERP suppression, the sensory feedback contribution is reduced for their processing. These findings provide new insights into the neural mechanisms of vocal production and motor control.

  7. Cortical pitch representations of complex tones in musicians and non-musicians

    OpenAIRE

    Bianchi, Federica; Hjortkjær, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien; Siebner, Hartwig; Zatorre, Robert; Dau, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    Musicians typically show enhanced pitch-discrimination ability compared to non-musicians, consistent with the fact that musicians are more sensitive to some acoustic features critical for both speech and music processing. However, it is still unclear which mechanisms underlie this perceptual enhancement. In a previous behavioral study, musicians showed an increased pitch-discrimination performance for both resolved and unresolved complex tones suggesting an enhanced neural representation of p...

  8. Pitch Analysis of Ukulele

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suphattharachai Chomphan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: The ukulele is a trendy instrument in the present day. It is a member of the guitar family of instruments which employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings. However, a statistical analysis of the pitch of this instrument has not been conducted. To analysis pitch or fundamental frequency of its main cords should be performed in an appropriate way. This study brings about its effective sound synthesis which is an important issue in the future. Approach: An efficient technique for the analysis of the fundamental frequency (F0 of the human speech had been applied to the analysis of main cords of the ukulele. The autocorrelation-based technique was used with the signal waveform to extract the optimal period or pitch for the corresponding analyzed frame in time domain. Then the corresponding fundamental frequency was calculated in the frequency domain. Results: The 21 main cords were chosen in the study. It had been seen that the existing fundamental frequency values were varied from one to three values. The value was ranging from 65.42 Hz-329.93 Hz. Conclusion: By using the analysis technique of fundamental frequency of the human speech, the output frequencies of all main cords can be extracted. It can be empirically seen that they have their unique values from each others."

  9. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia

    OpenAIRE

    Mumović Gordana; Veselinović Mila; Arbutina Tanja; Škrbić Renata

    2014-01-01

    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...

  10. Dynamics of vocalization-induced modulation of auditory cortical activity at mid-utterance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaocong Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent research has addressed the suppression of cortical sensory responses to altered auditory feedback that occurs at utterance onset regarding speech. However, there is reason to assume that the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor processing at mid-utterance are different than those involved in sensorimotor control at utterance onset. The present study attempted to examine the dynamics of event-related potentials (ERPs to different acoustic versions of auditory feedback at mid-utterance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Subjects produced a vowel sound while hearing their pitch-shifted voice (100 cents, a sum of their vocalization and pure tones, or a sum of their vocalization and white noise at mid-utterance via headphones. Subjects also passively listened to playback of what they heard during active vocalization. Cortical ERPs were recorded in response to different acoustic versions of feedback changes during both active vocalization and passive listening. The results showed that, relative to passive listening, active vocalization yielded enhanced P2 responses to the 100 cents pitch shifts, whereas suppression effects of P2 responses were observed when voice auditory feedback was distorted by pure tones or white noise. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The present findings, for the first time, demonstrate a dynamic modulation of cortical activity as a function of the quality of acoustic feedback at mid-utterance, suggesting that auditory cortical responses can be enhanced or suppressed to distinguish self-produced speech from externally-produced sounds.

  11. Paradoxical vocal changes in a trained singer by focally cooling the right superior temporal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katlowitz, Kalman A; Oya, Hiroyuki; Howard, Matthew A; Greenlee, Jeremy D W; Long, Michael A

    2017-04-01

    The production and perception of music is preferentially mediated by cortical areas within the right hemisphere, but little is known about how these brain regions individually contribute to this process. In an experienced singer undergoing awake craniotomy, we demonstrated that direct electrical stimulation to a portion of the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) selectively interrupted singing but not speaking. We then focally cooled this region to modulate its activity during vocalization. In contrast to similar manipulations in left hemisphere speech production regions, pSTG cooling did not elicit any changes in vocal timing or quality. However, this manipulation led to an increase in the pitch of speaking with no such change in singing. Further analysis revealed that all vocalizations exhibited a cooling-induced increase in the frequency of the first formant, raising the possibility that potential pitch offsets may have been actively avoided during singing. Our results suggest that the right pSTG plays a key role in vocal sensorimotor processing whose impact is dependent on the type of vocalization produced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The relationship between vocal accuracy and variability to the level of compensation to altered auditory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheerer, Nichole E; Jones, Jeffery A

    2012-11-07

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in monitoring vocal output and determining when adjustments are necessary. In this study a group of untrained singers participated in a frequency altered feedback experiment to examine if accuracy at matching a note could predict the degree of compensation to auditory feedback that was shifted in frequency. Participants were presented with a target note and instructed to match the note in pitch and duration. Following the onset of the participants' vocalizations their vocal pitch was shifted down one semi-tone at a random time during their utterance. This altered auditory feedback was instantaneously presented back to them through headphones. Results indicated that note matching accuracy did not correlate with compensation magnitude, however, a significant correlation was found between baseline variability and compensation magnitude. These results suggest that individuals with a more stable baseline fundamental frequency rely more on feedforward control mechanisms than individuals with more variable vocal production. This increased weighting of feedforward control means they are less sensitive to mismatches between their intended vocal production and auditory feedback. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Vocal characteristics of congenital anterior glottic webs in children: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Jay; White, Katherine; Dohar, Joseph

    2015-06-01

    This case report describes a 5-year-old girl with chronic dysphonia and high-pitched voice since birth. Vocal quality was noted to be harsh. Videostroboscopy revealed significant hyperfunction and a Type II congenital anterior glottic web. Endoscopic division of the anterior glottic web was performed with significant improvement in vocal quality and quality of life. This paper describes methods of analyzing, diagnosing, and treating anterior glottic web with a focus on quality of life. Also, unique acoustic and aerodynamic voice features are identified. No other descriptions of a voice characteristic for anterior glottic web currently exist in the literature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Abnormal pitch perception produced by cochlear implant stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan-Gang Zeng

    Full Text Available Contemporary cochlear implants with multiple electrode stimulation can produce good speech perception but poor music perception. Hindered by the lack of a gold standard to quantify electric pitch, relatively little is known about the nature and extent of the electric pitch abnormalities and their impact on cochlear implant performance. Here we overcame this obstacle by comparing acoustic and electric pitch perception in 3 unilateral cochlear-implant subjects who had functionally usable acoustic hearing throughout the audiometric frequency range in the non-implant ear. First, to establish a baseline, we measured and found slightly impaired pure tone frequency discrimination and nearly perfect melody recognition in all 3 subjects' acoustic ear. Second, using pure tones in the acoustic ear to match electric pitch induced by an intra-cochlear electrode, we found that the frequency-electrode function was not only 1-2 octaves lower, but also 2 times more compressed in frequency range than the normal cochlear frequency-place function. Third, we derived frequency difference limens in electric pitch and found that the equivalent electric frequency discrimination was 24 times worse than normal-hearing controls. These 3 abnormalities are likely a result of a combination of broad electric field, distant intra-cochlear electrode placement, and non-uniform spiral ganglion cell distribution and survival, all of which are inherent to the electrode-nerve interface in contemporary cochlear implants. Previous studies emphasized on the "mean" shape of the frequency-electrode function, but the present study indicates that the large "variance" of this function, reflecting poor electric pitch discriminability, is the main factor limiting contemporary cochlear implant performance.

  15. Knowledge-Based Pitch Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-06-01

    From the lungs, a single passage passes through the vocal folds of the glottis and up to the velum . There it branches with one passage going past the vel...tin to the nose and the other passage going past the tongue to the mouth. The velum can be used to close off the passage through the nose (the nasal...the passage through the mouth (the vocal tract). By con- trolling the topology of the passages with the velum and the geometry of the vocal tract with

  16. Relative saliency of pitch versus phonetic cues in infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardillo, Gina; Kuhl, Patricia; Sundara, Megha

    2005-09-01

    Infants in their first year are highly sensitive to different acoustic components of speech, including phonetic detail and pitch information. The present investigation examined whether relative sensitivity to these two dimensions changes during this period, as the infant acquires language-specific phonetic categories. If pitch and phonetic discrimination are hierarchical, then the relative salience of pitch and phonetic change may become reversed between 8 and 12 months of age. Thirty-two- and 47-week-old infants were tested using an auditory preference paradigm in which they first heard a recording of a person singing a 4-note song (i.e., ``go-bi-la-tu'') and were then presented with both the familiar and an unfamiliar, modified version of that song. Modifications were either a novel pitch order (keeping syllables constant) or a novel syllable order (keeping melody constant). Compared to the younger group, older infants were predicted to show greater relative sensitivity to syllable order than pitch order, in accordance with an increased tendency to attend to linguistically relevant information (phonetic patterns) as opposed to cues that are initially more salient (pitch patterns). Preliminary data show trends toward the predicted interaction, with preference patterns commensurate with previously reported data. [Work supported by the McDonnell Foundation and NIH.

  17. Abnormal electrical brain responses to pitch in congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretz, Isabelle; Brattico, Elvira; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2005-09-01

    Congenital amusia is a lifelong disability that prevents afflicted individuals from enjoying music as ordinary people do. The deficit is limited to music and cannot be explained by prior brain lesion, hearing loss, or any cognitive or socio-affective disturbance. Recent behavioral results suggest that this disorder is critically dependent on fine-grained pitch discrimination. Here, we present novel electrophysiological evidence that this disorder can be traced down to a right-lateralized N2-P3 response elicited by pitch changes. This abnormal brain response begins as early as 200 milliseconds after tone onset and may serve as a marker of an anomaly in music acquisition.

  18. Inhibition does not affect the timing code for vocalizations in the mouse auditory midbrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander G Dimitrov

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Many animals use a diverse repertoire of complex acoustic signals to convey different types of information to other animals. The information in each vocalization therefore must be coded by neurons in the auditory system. One way in which the auditory system may discriminate among different vocalizations is by having highly selective neurons, where only one or two different vocalizations evoke a strong response from a single neuron. Another strategy is to have specific spike timing patterns for particular vocalizations such that each neural response can be matched to a specific vocalization. Both of these strategies may occur in the auditory midbrain of mice. However, the neural mechanisms underlying rate and time coding are unclear, but it is likely that inhibition plays a role. Here, we examined whether inhibition is involved in creating neural selectivity to vocalizations via rate and/or time coding in the mouse inferior colliculus. We examined extracellular single unit responses to vocalizations before and after iontophoretically blocking GABA_A and glycine receptors in the IC of awake mice. In general, we found that pharmacologically blocking inhibitory receptors in the IC increased response rate to vocalizations but did not dramatically affect spike timing. We observed two main effects when inhibition was locally blocked: 1 Highly selective neurons maintained their selectivity and the information about the stimuli did not change, but response rate increased slightly. 2 Neurons that responded to vocalizations in the control condition, also responded to the same stimuli in the test condition, with similar timing and pattern, but with a greater number of spikes, and, in some cases, greater reliability. Interestingly, in some neurons, blocking inhibition had no effect on vocalization-evoked responses. Overall, we found that inhibition in the IC does not play a substantial role in creating the reliable neuronal temporal patterns in response to

  19. Envelhecimento vocal em idosos instucionalizados Vocal aging of institutionalized elderly people

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letícia Neiva de Menezes

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: avaliar de forma perceptivo-auditiva as características vocais de idosos institucionalizados, identificar se essas características interferem no processo de comunicação e correlacioná-las com a avaliação das estruturas do sistema estomatognático e do padrão de fala. MÉTODOS: estudo clínico do tipo transversal, no qual foram realizadas anamneses e avaliações fonoaudiológicas em uma amostra aleatória de 48 indivíduos idosos, residentes na Casa do Ancião Francisco Azevedo - Belo Horizonte/MG, que não apresentavam nenhum tipo de alteração neurológica, uma vez que, buscou-se traçar as manifestações fonoaudiológicas de idosos em processo de envelhecimento sadio. Utilizou-se protocolos específicos, desenvolvidos pelas autoras, de acordo com os aspectos pertinentes aos objetivos do presente estudo. RESULTADOS: na avaliação perceptivo-auditiva da qualidade vocal, constatou-se predominantemente qualidade vocal rouca (70,8%, em grau moderado (33,3%, loudness reduzida (56,2%, pitch grave (62,5% e tempos máximos de fonação reduzidos (81,2%. Dos 48 participantes, 85,4% relataram que a voz não interfere no processo de comunicação. Em relação aos padrões de fala, predominaram inteligibilidade preservada (83,3%, articulação preservada (72,9% e precisão articulatória preservada (83,3%. CONCLUSÕES: existem alterações nos parâmetros referentes à voz decorrentes da idade, sendo que elas não interferem na comunicação e mantêm relação diversa com outras mudanças nas estruturas do sistema estomatognático. Este estudo veio complementar as pesquisas na área de voz envolvendo indivíduos da terceira idade, sob processo de envelhecimento sadio e residentes em instituições de longa permanência.PURPOSES: to investigate vocal aspects related to healthy aging in the institutionalized elderly people, and to identify if these aspects interfer with communication and correlate vocal changes with motor oral system

  20. Vocal cord dysfunction in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noyes, Blakeslee E; Kemp, James S

    2007-06-01

    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.

  1. Vocal production and playback of altered song do not affect ZENK expression in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roach, Sean P; Lockyer, Ashley C; Yousef, Tareq; Mennill, Daniel J; Phillmore, Leslie S

    2016-02-01

    The two-note fee bee song of the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is sung at many different absolute frequencies, but the relative frequencies between the start and end of the fee note (the glissando) and between the fee and the bee notes (the inter-note ratio) are preserved regardless of absolute frequency. If these relative frequencies are experimentally manipulated, birds exhibit reduced behavioural responses to playback of altered songs both in field studies and laboratory studies. Interestingly, males appear to be sensitive to alterations in the glissando, while females appear to be sensitive to alterations in both the glissando and the inter-note ratio. In this study, we sought to determine whether the behaviour of male and female chickadees corresponds to differences in zenk protein immunoreactivity (ZENK-ir) in auditory perceptual regions following playback of fee bee songs with typical and altered pitch ratios. Overall, there was a small but significant sex difference in ZENK-ir (females>males), but altering relative frequencies did not reduce ZENK-ir compared to typical song. Birds did vocalize less in response to playback of songs that lacked an inter-note interval, but amount of singing fee bee song, chick-a-dee calls, or gargles was not correlated with ZENK-ir in perceptual regions (caudomedial nidopallium, NCM and caudomedial mesopallium, CMM) or in HVC, which is part of the song system. Our results confirm that ZENK-ir in NCM and CMM is not involved in fine-grain perceptual discrimination, however it did not support the idea that increased vocalizing increases ZENK-ir in HVC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Sounds like a winner: voice pitch influences perception of leadership capacity in both men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klofstad, Casey A; Anderson, Rindy C; Peters, Susan

    2012-07-01

    It is well known that non-human animals respond to information encoded in vocal signals, and the same can be said of humans. Specifically, human voice pitch affects how speakers are perceived. As such, does voice pitch affect how we perceive and select our leaders? To answer this question, we recorded men and women saying 'I urge you to vote for me this November'. Each recording was manipulated digitally to yield a higher- and lower-pitched version of the original. We then asked men and women to vote for either the lower- or higher-pitched version of each voice. Our results show that both men and women select male and female leaders with lower voices. These findings suggest that men and women with lower-pitched voices may be more successful in obtaining positions of leadership. This might also suggest that because women, on average, have higher-pitched voices than men, voice pitch could be a factor that contributes to fewer women holding leadership roles than men. Additionally, while people are free to choose their leaders, these results clearly demonstrate that these choices cannot be understood in isolation from biological influences.

  3. Descrição da qualidade vocal de personagens idosos dos filmes de Hollywood Vocal quality description of senile characters from Hollywood movies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele Oliveira

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: descrever a qualidade vocal de personagens idosos dos filmes de Hollywood. MÉTODOS: foram colhidas 50 amostras de fala de personagens idosos, 11 do sexo feminino e 39 do masculino, de 38 filmes hollywoodianos dos anos de 1993 a 2001. Através da análise perceptivo-auditiva das amostras de fala, 20 fonoaudiólogos treinados classificaram cada personagem em idoso e não idoso, além de avaliarem as vozes quanto aos seguintes parâmetros citados pela literatura como mais alterados: rouquidão, crepitação, soprosidade, tensão, aspereza, astenia, nasalidade, tremor, modulação, pitch e estabilidade da frequência fundamental. RESULTADOS: após a análise perceptivo-auditiva, foi observado que a grande maioria dos atores (82% utilizou voz de idoso para representar seus papéis. O marcador mais evidente nas vozes foi alteração na qualidade vocal (92%, demonstrada por crepitação (80%, soprosidade (54%, tensão (38%, rouquidão (30% e astenia (28%. O segundo marcador mais utilizado pelos atores nas suas representações foi a modulação vocal ampla e variada (44%. Também foram observadas alterações no controle da voz (36% e instabilidade da frequência fundamental (38%. CONCLUSÃO: a partir dos resultados obtidos pode-se concluir que os filmes de Hollywood caracterizam o idoso através de desvios evidentes na qualidade e modulação da voz, utilizando tipos de vozes alteradas e modulação vocal ampla e instável.PURPOSE: to describe the vocal quality of Hollywood movies characters playing elderly people roles. METHODS: a total of 50 aged character voice samples were used, 11 female and 39 male, from 38 Hollywood movies from the period between 1993 and 2001. Twenty speech therapists performed a perceptual auditory analysis. The listener's task required classifying each character either as elderly or as adult by their speech features, and also assessing their voices following the parameters that are most frequently addressed in the

  4. Vocal similarity and familiarity determine response to potential flockmates in orange-fronted conures (Psittacidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten Johannes Skovbjerg; Adams, Danielle M.

    2011-01-01

    to discriminate others based on their vocalizations and associate knowledge with their vocal identity. Alternatively, this decision may be determined solely by the current interaction. In a playback experiment, we tested the ability of orange-fronted conures, Aratinga canicularis to discriminate between calls...... of familiar and unfamiliar females. Males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar calls from different females. Furthermore, test birds seemed to associate experience from the previous interaction with the vocal characteristics of the familiar call, but this result was marginally...... nonsignificant. The success of the playback in imitating the test bird’s contact call in the current interaction proved important, as high similarity between playback and the test bird’s contact calls elicited a stronger response from it. The importance of call imitation during current interactions probably...

  5. Vocal similarity and familiarity determine response to potential flockmates in orange-fronted conures (Psittacidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten Johannes Skovbjerg; Adams, Danielle M.

    2011-01-01

    to discriminate others based on their vocalizations and associate knowledge with their vocal identity. Alternatively, this decision may be determined solely by the current interaction. In a playback experiment, we tested the ability of orange-fronted conures, Aratinga canicularis to discriminate between calls...... of familiar and unfamiliar females. Males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar calls from different females. Furthermore, test birds seemed to associate experience from the previous interaction with the vocal characteristics of the familiar call, but this result was marginally...... nonsignificant. The success of the playback in imitating the test bird’s contact call in the current interaction proved important, as high similarity between playback and the test bird’s contact calls elicited a stronger response from it. The importance of call imitation during current interactions probably...

  6. Multivariate Analysis of Risk Factors in the Development of a Lower-Pitched Voice After Thyroidectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jun-Ook; Bae, Ja-Sung; Lee, So-Hee; Shim, Mi-Ran; Hwang, Yeon-Shin; Joo, Young-Hoon; Park, Young Hak; Sun, Dong-Il

    2017-02-01

    Thyroid surgeons frequently encounter outpatients with mobile vocal cords complaining of lower-pitched voices following thyroidectomy. This study investigated the clinical and pathological parameters affecting voice pitch following thyroid surgery. We analyzed the data of 393 patients with mobile vocal cords and who also underwent thyroid surgery. Speaking fundamental frequency (SFF) and fundamental frequency (F0) were compared before and after surgery. Approximately 26.7% of patients had significantly lowered SFFs (ΔSFF ≥ 12 Hz), and 30.2% exhibited significantly lower sustained vowel F0s (ΔF0 ≥ 12 Hz) following thyroid surgery. On multivariate analysis, only gender: female remained a significant predictor of a clinically significant change in SFF following thyroid surgery ( P < .001). Gender: female and extent of surgery: total remained significant predictors of a clinically significant change in F0 after surgery ( P = .006 and P = .007, respectively). Appreciable proportions of patients experience lower-pitched voice and related vocal symptoms early after thyroid surgery. Such problems develop more frequently in females who underwent total thyroidectomy.

  7. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mumović Gordana

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. An examination of slo-pitch pitching trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tom; Gervais, Pierre

    2008-01-01

    Many slo-pitch coaches and players believe that generating spin on a ball can affect its trajectory. The influence of air resistance on a ball that is thrown at a moderate speed and spin is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of spin on the ball's trajectory in slo-pitch pitching using both experimental results and ball flight simulations. Fourteen pitchers participated in the study, each of whom threw five backspin and topspin pitches each. Data were collected using standard three-dimensional videography. The horizontal velocity, vertical velocity, angular velocity, release height, and horizontal displacement of the backspin pitches were significantly higher than those of the topspin pitches. The ball flight simulations were developed to examine the influence of the ball spin, and it was concluded that the spin of the ball had a significant effect on the ball's vertical and horizontal displacements. Furthermore, our results suggest that a backspin pitch that reaches the maximum height allowable and lands in the front edge of the strike zone has the steepest slope. The present results add to our understanding of projectile motion and aerodynamics.

  9. Physiologically driven avian vocal synthesizer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Jacobo D.; Arneodo, Ezequiel M.; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2010-03-01

    In this work, we build an electronic syrinx, i.e., a programmable electronic device capable of integrating biomechanical model equations for the avian vocal organ in order to synthesize song. This vocal prosthesis is controlled by the bird’s neural instructions to respiratory and the syringeal motor systems, thus opening great potential for studying motor control and its modification by sensory feedback mechanisms. Furthermore, a well-functioning subject-controlled vocal prosthesis can lay the foundation for similar devices in humans and thus provide directly health-related data and procedures.

  10. Pitch and loudness matching of unmodulated and modulated stimuli in cochlear implantees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandali, Andrew; Sly, David; Cowan, Robert; van Hoesel, Richard

    2013-08-01

    The pitch elicited by unmodulated and amplitude modulated electrical pulse trains was examined with six adult cochlear implantees. In addition, for three of those subjects who had some hearing in their contralateral ear, the pitch of unmodulated electrical pulse trains was compared to that of complex harmonic acoustic tones. In the first experiment, pulse rate discrimination and the effects of place and level differences on pitch were examined for unmodulated pulse trains. General results were consistent with previous studies showing that variations in pulse rate, while holding loudness fixed, elicit changes in pitch at low rates, but become progressively harder to discriminate as rates approach approximately 300 pulses-per-second. Variations in place or level of stimulation generally produced changes in pitch consistent with tonotopic place and spread of excitation. In the second experiment, pitch and loudness of unmodulated pulse trains were compared with those of amplitude modulated stimuli as a function of modulation depth, rate, and shape, and presentation level. The pitch elicited by an amplitude modulated pulse train was generally higher than that of an unmodulated pulse train with a pulse rate equal to the modulation rate, and generally decreased toward that of the unmodulated pulse train as modulation depth or rate increased, or as presentation level decreased. Sharper/narrower modulation produced lower pitch. In the final experiment, the pitch heights of acoustic complex harmonic tones and unmodulated pulse trains were compared. When electrical pulse rate was equal to the fundamental frequency of the acoustic tone, similar pitch heights were elicited. The results from these experiments indicate that F0 rate pitch derived from the temporal envelope in existing clinical cochlear implant strategies may often be higher than that of acoustic harmonic tones at the same F0 in normal hearing, and that pitch growth with increasing F0 may be shallower. The

  11. The Linked Dual Representation model of vocal perception and production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean eHutchins

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The voice is one of the most important media for communication, yet there is a wide range of abilities in both the perception and production of the voice. In this article, we review this range of abilities, focusing on pitch accuracy as a particularly informative case, and look at the factors underlying these abilities. Several classes of models have been posited describing the relationship between vocal perception and production, and we review the evidence for and against each class of model. We look at how the voice is different from other musical instruments and review evidence about both the association and the dissociation between vocal perception and production abilities. Finally, we introduce the Linked Dual Representation model, a new approach which can account for the broad patterns in prior findings, including trends in the data which might seem to be countervailing. We discuss how this model interacts with higher-order cognition and examine its predictions about several aspects of vocal perception and production.

  12. Natural vocalizations in the mammalian inferior colliculus are broadly encoded by a small number of independent multi-unit clusters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominika eLyzwa

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available How complex natural sounds are represented by the main converging center of the auditory midbrain, the central inferior colliculus, is an open question. We applied neural discrimination to determine the variation of detailed encoding of individual vocalizations across the best frequency gradient of the central inferior colliculus. The analysis was based on collective responses from several neurons. These multi-unit spike trains were recorded from guinea pigs exposed to a spectrotemporally rich set of eleven species-specific vocalizations. Spike trains of disparate units from the same recording were combined in order to investigate whether groups of multi-unit clusters represent the whole set of vocalizations more reliably than only one unit, and whether temporal response correlations between them facilitate an unambiguous neural representation of the vocalizations. We found a spatial distribution of the capability to accurately encode groups of vocalizations across the best frequency gradient. Different vocalizations are optimally discriminated at different locations of the best frequency gradient. Furthermore, groups of a few multi-unit clusters yield improved discrimination over only one multi-unit cluster betweenall tested vocalizations. However, temporal response correlations between units do not yield better discrimination. Our study is based on a large set of units of simultaneously recorded responses from several guinea pigs and electrode insertion positions. Our findings suggest abroadly distributed code for behaviorally relevant vocalizations in the mammalian inferior colliculus.Responses from a few non-interacting units are sufficient to faithfully represent the whole set of studied vocalizations with diverse spectrotemporal properties.

  13. Symmetric interactions and interference between pitch and timbre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Emily J; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    Variations in the spectral shape of harmonic tone complexes are perceived as timbre changes and can lead to poorer fundamental frequency (F0) or pitch discrimination. Less is known about the effects of F0 variations on spectral shape discrimination. The aims of the study were to determine whether the interactions between pitch and timbre are symmetric, and to test whether musical training affects listeners' ability to ignore variations in irrelevant perceptual dimensions. Difference limens (DLs) for F0 were measured with and without random, concurrent, variations in spectral centroid, and vice versa. Additionally, sensitivity was measured as the target parameter and the interfering parameter varied by the same amount, in terms of individual DLs. Results showed significant and similar interference between pitch (F0) and timbre (spectral centroid) dimensions, with upward spectral motion often confused for upward F0 motion, and vice versa. Musicians had better F0DLs than non-musicians on average, but similar spectral centroid DLs. Both groups showed similar interference effects, in terms of decreased sensitivity, in both dimensions. Results reveal symmetry in the interference effects between pitch and timbre, once differences in sensitivity between dimensions and subjects are controlled. Musical training does not reliably help to overcome these effects.

  14. Vocal Improvisation for Elementary Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Keith P.

    1980-01-01

    The author describes the three-phase process of musical creativity (exploratory, invention, organizational), identifying activities in each of the creative phases. Included are vocal impression, picture sounds, chord tones, and name improvisation. Selected readings and recordings are included. (KC)

  15. Pitch perception beyond the traditional existence region of pitch

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oxenham, Andrew J.; Micheyl, Christophe; Keebler, Michael V.

    2011-01-01

    Humans’ ability to recognize musical melodies is generally limited to pure-tone frequencies below 4 or 5 kHz. This limit coincides with the highest notes on modern musical instruments and is widely believed to reflect the upper limit of precise stimulusdriven spike timing in the auditory nerve. We...... tested the upper limits of pitch and melody perception in humans using pure and harmonic complex tones, such as those produced by the human voice and musical instruments, in melody recognition and pitchmatching tasks. We found that robust pitch perception can be elicited by harmonic complex tones...... with fundamental frequencies below 2 kHz, even when all of the individual harmonics are above 6 kHz—well above the currently accepted existence region of pitch and above the currently accepted limits of neural phase locking. The results suggest that the perception of musical pitch at high frequencies...

  16. Pitch Perfect: How Fruit Flies Control their Body Pitch Angle

    CERN Document Server

    Whitehead, Samuel C; Canale, Luca; Cohen, Itai

    2015-01-01

    Flapping insect flight is a complex and beautiful phenomenon that relies on fast, active control mechanisms to counter aerodynamic instability. To directly investigate how freely-flying D. melanogaster control their body pitch angle against such instability, we perturb them using impulsive mechanical torques and film their corrective maneuvers with high-speed video. Combining experimental observations and numerical simulation, we find that flies correct for pitch deflections of up to 40 degrees in 29 +/- 8 ms by bilaterally modulating their wings' front-most stroke angle in a manner well-described by a linear proportional-integral (PI) controller. Flies initiate this corrective process after only 10 +/- 2 ms, indicating that pitch stabilization involves a fast reflex response. Remarkably, flies can also correct for very large-amplitude pitch perturbations--greater than 150 degrees--providing a regime in which to probe the limits of the linear-response framework. Together with previous studies regarding yaw an...

  17. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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 (pdysphonia 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 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 (pdysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules in both adults and children, affectinq diverse acoustic parameters.

  18. Pitch perception and production in congenital amusia: Evidence from Cantonese speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H D; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C M

    2016-07-01

    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses. Relative to controls, amusics showed impaired discrimination of lexical tones in both speech and non-speech conditions. They also received lower ratings for singing proficiency, producing larger pitch interval deviations and making more pitch interval errors compared to controls. Demonstrating higher pitch direction identification thresholds than controls for both speech syllables and piano tones, amusics nevertheless produced native lexical tones with comparable pitch trajectories and intelligibility as controls. Significant correlations were found between pitch threshold and lexical tone perception, music perception and production, but not between lexical tone perception and production for amusics. These findings provide further evidence that congenital amusia is a domain-general language-independent pitch-processing deficit that is associated with severely impaired music perception and production, mildly impaired speech perception, and largely intact speech production.

  19. Relating Pitch Awareness to Phonemic Awareness in Children: Implications for Tone-Deafness and Dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Psyche eLoui

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Language and music are complex cognitive and neural functions that rely on awareness of one’s own sound productions. Information on the awareness of vocal pitch, and its relation to phonemic awareness which is crucial for learning to read, will be important for understanding the relationship between tone-deafness and developmental language disorders such as dyslexia. Here we show that phonemic awareness skills are positively correlated with pitch perception-production skills in children. Children between the ages of 7 and 9 were tested on pitch perception and production, phonemic awareness, and IQ. Results showed a significant positive correlation between pitch perception-production and phonemic awareness, suggesting that the relationship between musical and linguistic sound processing is intimately linked to awareness at the level of pitch and phonemes. Since tone-deafness is a pitch-related impairment and dyslexia is a deficit of phonemic awareness, we suggest that dyslexia and tone-deafness may have a shared and/or common neural basis.

  20. Emotions in freely varying and mono-pitched vowels, acoustic and EGG analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija; Palo, Pertti; Kankare, Elina

    2015-12-01

    Vocal emotions are expressed either by speech or singing. The difference is that in singing the pitch is predetermined while in speech it may vary freely. It was of interest to study whether there were voice quality differences between freely varying and mono-pitched vowels expressed by professional actors. Given their profession, actors have to be able to express emotions both by speech and singing. Electroglottogram and acoustic analyses of emotional utterances embedded in expressions of freely varying vowels [a:], [i:], [u:] (96 samples) and mono-pitched protracted vowels (96 samples) were studied. Contact quotient (CQEGG) was calculated using 35%, 55%, and 80% threshold levels. Three different threshold levels were used in order to evaluate their effects on emotions. Genders were studied separately. The results suggested significant gender differences for CQEGG 80% threshold level. SPL, CQEGG, and F4 were used to convey emotions, but to a lesser degree, when F0 was predetermined. Moreover, females showed fewer significant variations than males. Both genders used more hypofunctional phonation type in mono-pitched utterances than in the expressions with freely varying pitch. The present material warrants further study of the interplay between CQEGG threshold levels and formant frequencies, and listening tests to investigate the perceptual value of the mono-pitched vowels in the communication of emotions.

  1. Genetic Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in Genetics Archive Regulation of Genetic Tests Genetic Discrimination Overview Many Americans fear that participating in research ... I) and employment (Title II). Read more Genetic Discrimination and Other Laws Genetic Discrimination and Other Laws ...

  2. Perceptions of Competence, Strength, and Age Influence Voters to Select Leaders with Lower-Pitched Voices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey A Klofstad

    Full Text Available Voters prefer leaders with lower-pitched voices because they are perceived as stronger, having greater physical prowess, more competent, and having greater integrity. An alternative hypothesis that has yet to be tested is that lower-pitched voices are perceived as older and thus wiser and more experienced. Here the relationships between candidate voice pitch, candidate age, and electoral success are examined with two experiments. Study 1 tests whether voters discriminate on candidate age. The results show that male and female candidates in their 40s and 50s, the time in the lifecycle when voice pitch is at its lowest, are preferred over candidates in their 30s, 60s, and 70s. Study 2 shows that the preference for leaders with lower-pitched voices correlates with the perception that speakers with lower voices are stronger, more competent, and older, but the influence of perception of age on vote choice is the weakest of the three.

  3. Speaking a tone language enhances musical pitch perception in 3-5-year-olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Sarah C; Weng, Mengxing; Fu, Genyue; Heyman, Gail D; Lee, Kang

    2017-01-16

    Young children learn multiple cognitive skills concurrently (e.g., language and music). Evidence is limited as to whether and how learning in one domain affects that in another during early development. Here we assessed whether exposure to a tone language benefits musical pitch processing among 3-5-year-old children. More specifically, we compared the pitch perception of Chinese children who spoke a tone language (i.e., Mandarin) with English-speaking American children. We found that Mandarin-speaking children were more advanced at pitch processing than English-speaking children but both groups performed similarly on a control music task (timbre discrimination). The findings support the Pitch Generalization Hypothesis that tone languages drive attention to pitch in nonlinguistic contexts, and suggest that language learning benefits aspects of music perception in early development. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/UY0kpGpPNA0.

  4. Considerações sobre modificações vocais e laríngeas ocasionadas pelo som basal em mulheres sem queixa vocal Considerations regarding vocal and laryngeal modifications caused by vocal fry in women without voice complaints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora Meurer Brum

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo deste estudo foi verificar as mudanças vocais e laríngeas ocasionadas pelo som basal em cinco indivíduos adultos do sexo feminino sem alterações vocais e laríngeas. Para isso, realizou-se gravação digital da emissão da vogal /a/ e do exame videolaringoestroboscópico. Em seguida, os sujeitos realizaram o som basal durante três séries de 15 repetições, com intervalo de 30 segundos entre cada série, e realizaram-se novamente o exame laríngeo e a gravação da vogal /a/ sustentada. Os dados laríngeos e vocais pré e pós-realização da técnica foram submetidos às análises acústica, perceptivo-auditiva e videolaringoestroboscópica. A análise acústica foi gerada pelo programa Multi Speech. Constatou-se, após o som basal: aumento da vibração da mucosa das pregas vocais; alteração ou manutenção do tipo de voz e do pitch; diminuição ou manutenção das medidas relacionadas ao jitter e shimmer e do índice que sugere ruído glótico; diminuição do índice de fonação suave; manutenção ou alteração da qualidade vocal e do foco ressonantal, com predomínio laringofaríngeo; diminuição da frequência fundamental; e aumento da variação da frequência e da amplitude. Concluiu-se que, nesta sequência de casos, o som basal promoveu efeito positivo sobre a vibração da mucosa das pregas vocais e sobre o ruído da voz, e efeito negativo sobre a ressonância e a estabilidade da voz.The aim of this study was to verify vocal and laryngeal modifications caused by vocal fry in five female subjects without vocal or laryngeal complaints. For this purpose, the sustained emission of the vowel /a/ was digitally recorded, as well as the recording of a videostroboscopic examination of the larynx. Subsequently, the subjects performed the vocal fry in three series of 15 repetitions, with a 30-second interval of passive rest between series, and carried out a second evaluation (recording of the sustained emission of the

  5. Musical Activity Tunes Up Absolute Pitch Ability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Anders; Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A.; Ribe, Lars Riisgaard

    2014-01-01

    Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify or produce pitches of musical tones without an external reference. Active AP (i.e., pitch production or pitch adjustment) and passive AP (i.e., pitch identification) are considered to not necessarily coincide, although no study has properly compared...... that APs generally undershoot when adjusting musical pitch, a tendency that decreases when musical activity increases. Finally, APs are less accurate when adjusting the pitch to black key targets than to white key targets. Hence, AP ability may be partly practice-dependent and we speculate that APs may...

  6. Musical Activity Tunes Up Absolute Pitch Ability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Anders; Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A.; Ribe, Lars Riisgaard

    2014-01-01

    Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify or produce pitches of musical tones without an external reference. Active AP (i.e., pitch production or pitch adjustment) and passive AP (i.e., pitch identification) are considered to not necessarily coincide, although no study has properly compared...... that APs generally undershoot when adjusting musical pitch, a tendency that decreases when musical activity increases. Finally, APs are less accurate when adjusting the pitch to black key targets than to white key targets. Hence, AP ability may be partly practice-dependent and we speculate that APs may...

  7. Effects of vocal training on singing and speaking voice characteristics in vocally healthy adults and children based on choral and nonchoral data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siupsinskiene, Nora; Lycke, Hugo

    2011-07-01

    This prospective cross-sectional study examines the effects of voice training on vocal capabilities in vocally healthy age and gender differentiated groups measured by voice range profile (VRP) and speech range profile (SRP). Frequency and intensity measurements of the VRP and SRP using standard singing and speaking voice protocols were derived from 161 trained choir singers (21 males, 59 females, and 81 prepubescent children) and from 188 nonsingers (38 males, 89 females, and 61 children). When compared with nonsingers, both genders of trained adult and child singers exhibited increased mean pitch range, highest frequency, and VRP area in high frequencies (PVRP area. The logistic regression analysis showed that VRP pitch range, highest frequency, maximum voice intensity, and maximum-minimum intensity range, and SRP slope of speaking curve were the key predictors of voice training. Age, gender, and voice training differentiated norms of VRP and SRP parameters are presented. Significant positive effect of voice training on vocal capabilities, mostly singing voice, was confirmed. The presented norms for trained singers, with key parameters differentiated by gender and age, are suggested for clinical practice of otolaryngologists and speech-language pathologists. Copyright © 2011 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The temporary effect of short-term endotracheal intubation on vocal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulauskiene, Iveta; Lesinskas, Eugenijus; Petrulionis, Mindaugas

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the study was to assess and perceive the vocal and pharyngeal symptoms and acoustic changes of voice after short-term endotracheal intubation and to evaluate the relation between these changes and the endotracheal tube parameters, number of intubation attempts, duration of anaesthesia, experience of anaesthesiologist. A total of 108 patients were evaluated preoperatively, 1-2 and 24 h after extubation. The vocal and pharyngeal symptoms, voice acoustic characteristics and maximum phonation time (MPT) were evaluated to find the relationship with endotracheal tube parameters, number of intubation attempts, duration of anaesthesia, experience of anaesthesiologist. All vocal and pharyngeal symptoms increased significantly at 24 h and remained significantly increased at 24 h after general anaesthesia. The vocal acoustic parameters changed significantly at 1-2 h: decrease of MPT and increase relative average perturbation were recorded. The day after the short-term intubation: only noise to harmony ratio and habitual pitch remains significantly changed. The most important endotracheal tube parameters that affect significantly (P value intubation attempts. In relation to the anaesthesia, the changes of the acoustic parameters did not associate significantly with the anaesthesia-related parameters. No statistically significant relationship between experience of an anaesthesiologist and changes of the voice after anaesthesia was detected. Though being short-term, endotracheal anaesthesia is an invasive procedure, and its temporary influence on vocal function is important.

  9. Peripheral androgen action helps modulate vocal production in a suboscine passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Heston, Jonathan B; Schlinger, Barney A

    2014-07-01

    Androgenic activation of intracellular androgen receptors (AR) influences avian vocal production, though this has largely been investigated at the level of the brain. We investigated the influence of predominantly peripheral AR on vocal output in wild Golden-collared Manakins (Manacus vitellinus). In this suboscine species, males court females by performing acrobatic displays and by producing relatively simple chee-poo vocalizations. To assess whether peripheral AR influences the acoustic structure of these vocal signals, we treated reproductively active adult males with the peripherally selective antiandrogen bicalutamide and then measured phonation performance. Inhibiting AR outside of the central nervous system increased the duration of the chee note and decreased the fundamental frequency of the poo note. This treatment caused no discernable change to chee-poo frequency modulation or entropy. Our results show that activation of peripheral AR mediates note-specific changes to temporal and pitch characteristics of the Golden-collared Manakin's main sexual call. Thus, our study provides one of the first demonstrations that androgenic action originating outside of the brain and likely on musculoskeletal targets can modulate avian vocal production.

  10. Efetividade de um programa de aprimoramento vocal para professores Effectiveness of a vocal improvement program for teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Fontes Luchesi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: analisar parâmetros fonoarticulatórios de professores, pré e pós-programa de aprimoramento vocal. MÉTODO: um programa de aprimoramento vocal foi oferecido numa escola estadual do município de Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil. Treze professores aceitaram participar do programa. Devido ao critério de exclusão, apenas cinco foram selecionados para as análises. Os sujeitos foram previamente submetidos à avaliação laringológica. Foram realizados 12 encontros semanais de 1 hora e 30 minutos na própria escola. No primeiro e no último encontro os sujeitos gravaram três "frases-veículo". As gravações foram submetidas à análise perceptivo-auditiva (para avaliação do pitch, da modulação e da articulação e acústica (para avaliação da freqüência fundamental, da extensão de freqüência e dos dois primeiros formantes. Os dados foram submetidos à análise estatística. RESULTADOS: mesmo com o pequeno número de sujeitos, os resultados do presente estudo, revelaram ampliação significante da extensão de freqüência, indicando maior uso deste recurso expressivo pós-aprimoramento, além do aumento estatisticamente significante de F1 nas vogais /i/ e /u/ pós-intervenção, sugerindo melhora no ajuste articulatório. CONCLUSÕES: não foram observadas modificações no pitch, modulação e articulação avaliados por meio da análise perceptivo-auditiva, bem como da freqüência fundamental pós-intervenção.PURPOSE: to analyze and correlate teachers' vocal and articulation parameters in a pre and post vocal improvement program. METHOD: a vocal improvement program was offered to a fundamental education state school, located in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Thirteen teachers agreed to take part in the program, however, due to the exclusion criterion, only five "subjects" were selected for the analysis. Teachers were previously submitted to a laryngologist evaluation. Twelve weekly meetings of one and a half hour each

  11. University Vocal Training and Vocal Health of Music Educators and Music Therapists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Vicki D.; Cohen, Nicki

    2017-01-01

    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%…

  12. The vocal monotony of monogamy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jeanette

    2003-04-01

    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.

  13. Discrimination of speaker size from syllable phrasesa)

    OpenAIRE

    Ives, D. Timothy; Smith, David R R; Patterson, Roy D.

    2005-01-01

    The length of the vocal tract is correlated with speaker size and, so, speech sounds have information about the size of the speaker in a form that is interpretable by the listener. A wide range of different vocal tract lengths exist in the population and humans are able to distinguish speaker size from the speech. Smith et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 305–318 (2005)] presented vowel sounds to listeners and showed that the ability to discriminate speaker size extends beyond the normal range o...

  14. Uncovering phenotypes of poor-pitch singing: The Sung Performance Battery (SPB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena eBerkowska

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Singing is as natural as speaking for humans. Increasing evidence shows that the layman can carry a tune (e.g., when asked to sing a well-known song or to imitate single pitches, intervals and short melodies. Yet, important individual differences exist in the general population with regard to singing proficiency. Some individuals are particularly inaccurate or imprecise in producing or imitating pitch information (poor-pitch singers, thus showing a variety of singing phenotypes. Unfortunately, so far there is not a standard set of tasks for assessing singing proficiency in the general population, allowing to uncover and characterize individual profiles of poor-pitch singing. Different tasks and analysis methods are typically used in various experiments, making the comparison of the results across studies arduous. To fill this gap we propose here a new tool for assessing singing proficiency (the Sung Performance Battery, SPB. The SPB starts from the assessment of participants’ vocal range followed by five tasks: 1 single-pitch matching, 2 pitch-interval matching, 3 novel-melody matching, 4 singing from memory of familiar melodies (with lyrics and on a syllable, and 5 singing of familiar melodies (with lyrics and on a syllable at a slow tempo indicated by a metronome. Data analysis via acoustical methods provides objective measures of pitch accuracy and precision in terms of absolute and relative pitch. The SPB has been tested in a group of 50 occasional singers. The results indicate that the battery is useful for characterizing proficient singing and for detecting cases of inaccurate and/or imprecise singing.

  15. Uncovering phenotypes of poor-pitch singing: the Sung Performance Battery (SPB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowska, Magdalena; Dalla Bella, Simone

    2013-01-01

    Singing is as natural as speaking for humans. Increasing evidence shows that the layman can carry a tune (e.g., when asked to sing a well-known song or to imitate single pitches, intervals and short melodies). Yet, important individual differences exist in the general population with regard to singing proficiency. Some individuals are particularly inaccurate or imprecise in producing or imitating pitch information (poor-pitch singers), thus showing a variety of singing phenotypes. Unfortunately, so far there is not a standard set of tasks for assessing singing proficiency in the general population, allowing to uncover and characterize individual profiles of poor-pitch singing. Different tasks and analysis methods are typically used in various experiments, making the comparison of the results across studies arduous. To fill this gap we propose here a new tool for assessing singing proficiency (the Sung Performance Battery, SPB). The SPB starts from the assessment of participants' vocal range followed by five tasks: (1) single-pitch matching, (2) pitch-interval matching, (3) novel-melody matching, (4) singing from memory of familiar melodies (with lyrics and on a syllable), and (5) singing of familiar melodies (with lyrics and on a syllable) at a slow tempo indicated by a metronome. Data analysis via acoustical methods provides objective measures of pitch accuracy and precision in terms of absolute and relative pitch. The SPB has been tested in a group of 50 occasional singers. The results indicate that the battery is useful for characterizing proficient singing and for detecting cases of inaccurate and/or imprecise singing. PMID:24151475

  16. Vocal power and pressure-flow relationships in excised tiger larynges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titze, Ingo R; Fitch, W Tecumseh; Hunter, Eric J; Alipour, Fariborz; Montequin, Douglas; Armstrong, Douglas L; McGee, Joann; Walsh, Edward J

    2010-11-15

    Despite the functional importance of loud, low-pitched vocalizations in big cats of the genus Panthera, little is known about the physics and physiology of the mechanisms producing such calls. We investigated laryngeal sound production in the laboratory using an excised-larynx setup combined with sound-level measurements and pressure-flow instrumentation. The larynges of five tigers (three Siberian or Amur, one generic non-pedigreed tiger with Bengal ancestry and one Sumatran), which had died of natural causes, were provided by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo over a five-year period. Anatomical investigation indicated the presence of both a rigid cartilaginous plate in the arytenoid portion of the glottis, and a vocal fold fused with a ventricular fold. Both of these features have been confusingly termed 'vocal pads' in the previous literature. We successfully induced phonation in all of these larynges. Our results showed that aerodynamic power in the glottis was of the order of 1.0 W for all specimens, acoustic power radiated (without a vocal tract) was of the order of 0.1 mW, and fundamental frequency ranged between 20 and 100 Hz when a lung pressure in the range of 0-2.0 kPa was applied. The mean glottal airflow increased to the order of 1.0 l s(-1) per 1.0 kPa of pressure, which is predictable from scaling human and canine larynges by glottal length and vibrational amplitude. Phonation threshold pressure was remarkably low, on the order of 0.3 kPa, which is lower than for human and canine larynges phonated without a vocal tract. Our results indicate that a vocal fold length approximately three times greater than that of humans is predictive of the low fundamental frequency, and the extraordinarily flat and broad medial surface of the vocal folds is predictive of the low phonation threshold pressure.

  17. An Investigation of Extinction-Induced Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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…

  18. Scatterometry-based metrology for SAQP pitch walking using virtual reference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagalwala, Taher; Vaid, Alok; Mahendrakar, Sridhar; Lenahan, Michael; Fang, Fang; Isbester, Paul; Shifrin, Michael; Etzioni, Yoav; Cepler, Aron; Yellai, Naren; Dasari, Prasad; Bozdog, Cornel

    2016-03-01

    Advanced technology nodes, 10nm and beyond, employing multi-patterning techniques for pitch reduction pose new process and metrology challenges in maintaining consistent positioning of structural features. Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) process is used to create the Fins in FinFET devices with pitch values well below optical lithography limits. The SAQP process bares compounding effects from successive Reactive Ion Etch (RIE) and spacer depositions. These processes induce a shift in the pitch value from one fin compared to another neighboring fin. This is known as pitch walking. Pitch walking affects device performance as well as later processes which work on an assumption that there is consistent spacing between fins. In SAQP there are 3 pitch walking parameters of interest, each linked to specific process steps in the flow. These pitch walking parameters are difficult to discriminate at a specific process step by singular evaluation technique or even with reference metrology such as Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). In this paper we will utilize a virtual reference to generate a scatterometry model to measure pitch walk for SAQP process flow.

  19. The musical environment and auditory plasticity: hearing the pitch of percussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, Neil M; Marco, David J T; Wilson, Sarah J

    2013-01-01

    Although musical skills clearly improve with training, pitch processing has generally been believed to be biologically determined by the behavior of brain stem neural mechanisms. Two main classes of pitch models have emerged over the last 50 years. Harmonic template models have been used to explain cross-channel integration of frequency information, and waveform periodicity models have been used to explain pitch discrimination that is much finer than the resolution of the auditory nerve. It has been proposed that harmonic templates are learnt from repeated exposure to voice, and so it may also be possible to learn inharmonic templates from repeated exposure to inharmonic music instruments. This study investigated whether pitch-matching accuracy for inharmonic percussion instruments was better in people who have trained on these instruments and could reliably recognize their timbre. We found that adults who had trained with Indonesian gamelan instruments were better at recognizing and pitch-matching gamelan instruments than people with similar levels of music training, but no prior exposure to these instruments. These findings suggest that gamelan musicians were able to use inharmonic templates to support accurate pitch processing for these instruments. We suggest that recognition mechanisms based on spectrotemporal patterns of afferent auditory excitation in the early stages of pitch processing allow rapid priming of the lowest frequency partial of inharmonic timbres, explaining how music training can adapt pitch processing to different musical genres and instruments.

  20. The musical environment and auditory plasticity: Hearing the pitch of percussion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil M Mclachlan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Although musical skills clearly improve with training, pitch processing has generally been believed to be biologically determined by the behavior of brain stem neural mechanisms. Two main classes of pitch models have emerged over the last 50 years. Harmonic template models have been used to explain cross-channel integration of frequency information, and waveform periodicity models have been used to explain pitch discrimination that is much finer than the resolution of the auditory nerve. It has been proposed that harmonic templates are learnt from repeated exposure to voice, and so it may also be possible to learn inharmonic templates from repeated exposure to inharmonic music instruments. This study investigated whether pitch-matching accuracy for inharmonic percussion instruments was better in people who have trained on these instruments and could reliably recognize their timbre. We found that adults who had trained with Indonesian gamelan instruments were better at recognizing and pitch-matching gamelan instruments than people with similar levels of music training, but no prior exposure to these instruments. These findings suggest that gamelan musicians were able to use inharmonic templates to support accurate pitch processing for these instruments. We suggest that recognition mechanisms based on spectrotemporal patterns of afferent auditory excitation in the early stages of pitch processing allow rapid priming of the lowest frequency partial of inharmonic timbres, explaining how music training can adapt pitch processing to different musical genres and instruments.

  1. Production of Mesophase Pitch from Coal Tar and Petroleum Pitches using Supercritical Fluid Extraction

    OpenAIRE

    ÖZEL, Mustafa Z.

    2002-01-01

    Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is currently being investigated as a possible technique in the production of high quality mesophase pitch from coal tar and petroleum pitches. Mesophase pitch is used to make high technology products, such as carbon fibre. The conventional production of mesophase pitch initially involves the removal of low molecular weight species from coal tar and petroleum pitches. The remaining residue is then transformed into a mesophase pitch through a polym...

  2. Cetacean vocal learning and communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janik, Vincent M

    2014-10-01

    The cetaceans are one of the few mammalian clades capable of vocal production learning. Evidence for this comes from synchronous changes in song patterns of baleen whales and experimental work on toothed whales in captivity. While baleen whales like many vocal learners use this skill in song displays that are involved in sexual selection, toothed whales use learned signals in individual recognition and the negotiation of social relationships. Experimental studies demonstrated that dolphins can use learned signals referentially. Studies on wild dolphins demonstrated how this skill appears to be useful in their own communication system, making them an interesting subject for comparative communication studies.

  3. Tinnitus pitch and acoustic trauma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cahani, M.; Paul, G.; Shahar, A.

    1983-01-01

    Fifty-six subjects complaining of tinnitus underwent an audiometric test and a test for identifying the analogous pitch of their tinnitus. All of the subjects reported that they had been exposed to noise in the past. The subjects were divided into two groups on the basis of their audiometric test results. Group P was composed of subjects who showed a sensorineural hearing loss typical of acoustic trauma. Group N was composed of subjects whose hearing was within normal limits. The pitch of the tinnitus in group P was concentrated in the high-frequency range, whereas in group N tinnitus pitch values were distributed over the low and mid-audiometric frequency spectrum. It was deduced that different processes are involved in the generation of tinnitus in the two groups.

  4. You Can’t Think and Hit at the Same Time: Neural Correlates of Baseball Pitch Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason eSherwin

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Hitting a baseball is often described as the most difficult thing to do in sports. A key aptitude of a good hitter is the ability to determine which pitch is coming. This rapid decision requires the batter to make a judgment in a fraction of a second based largely on the trajectory and spin of the ball. When does this decision occur relative to the ball’s trajectory and is it possible to identify neural correlates that represent how the decision evolves over a split second? Using single-trial analysis of electroencephalography (EEG we address this question within the context of subjects discriminating three types of pitches (fastball, curveball, slider based on pitch trajectories. We find clear neural signatures of pitch classification and, using signal detection theory, we identify the times of discrimination on a trial-to-trial basis. Based on these neural signatures we estimate neural discrimination distributions as a function of the distance the ball is from the plate. We find all three pitches yield unique distributions, namely the timing of the discriminating neural signatures relative to the position of the ball in its trajectory. For instance, fastballs are discriminated at the earliest points in their trajectory, relative to the two other pitches, which is consistent with the need for some constant time to generate and execute the motor plan for the swing (or inhibition of the swing. We also find incorrect discrimination of a pitch (errors yields neural sources in Brodmann Area 10 (BA 10, which has been implicated in prospective memory, recall and task difficulty. In summary, we show that single-trial analysis of EEG yields informative distributions of the relative point in a baseball’s trajectory when the batter makes a decision on which pitch is coming.

  5. High-frequency complex pitch

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    Harmonics in a complex tone are typically considered unresolved when they interact with neighboring harmonics in the cochlea and cannot be heard out separately. Recent studies have suggested that the low pitch evoked by unresolved high-frequency harmonics may be coded via temporal fine-structure ......Harmonics in a complex tone are typically considered unresolved when they interact with neighboring harmonics in the cochlea and cannot be heard out separately. Recent studies have suggested that the low pitch evoked by unresolved high-frequency harmonics may be coded via temporal fine...

  6. %159300 MUSICAL PERFECT PITCH [OMIM

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available e-recognition capacity and musical exposure and training, as well as demographic characteristics. The subjec...ts were selected from the musical communities of 4 large metropolitan areas. Perfect pitch was found to pred...fect pitch.) See 191200 for a discussion of a form of lack of musical ability, tune deafness. Schlaug et al....aterability in 30 healthy, right-handed professional musicians and compared the r...esults with those from nonmusicians matched for age, sex, and handedness. They found that musicians with per

  7. Perception of pitch height in lexical and musical tones by English-speaking musicians and nonmusicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chao-Yang; Lekich, Allison; Zhang, Yu

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the music-speech relationship by examining pitch height perception in lexical and musical tones. English-speaking musicians and nonmusicians identified multispeaker Taiwanese level tones without typical cues for speaker normalization. The musicians also identified note names of piano, viola, and pure tones without a reference pitch. In the Taiwanese task, both the musicians and nonmusicians were able to identify tone height above chance, but only for tones at the extremes of the speakers' overall vocal range. The musicians only had a slight advantage over the nonmusicians. In the music task, none of the musicians met the criterion for absolute pitch. Timbre did not affect how accurately the musical tones were identified. No correlations were found between performance in the Taiwanese task and that in the music task. It was concluded that musicians' advantage in lexical tone perception arose from the ability to track F0 contours. The ability to identify pitch height in lexical tones appears to involve calibrating acoustic input according to gender-specific, internally stored pitch templates.

  8. VOCALIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS OF THE SOMBRE HUMMINGBIRD (APHANTOCHROA CIRRHOCHLORIS) AND THE RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (GLAUCIS HIRSUTUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Adriana R. J.; Smulders, Tom V.; Sameshima, Koichi; Mello, Claudio V.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2008-01-01

    Vocal behavior in tropical hummingbirds is a new area of study. Here, we present findings on the vocalizations and associated behaviors of two species: Sombre Hummingbird (Aphantochroa cirrhochloris) and Rufous-breasted Hermit (Glaucis hirsutus). These are the only hummingbirds in which the brain areas activated by singing have been demonstrated. They are also among the basal species of their respective subfamilies, Trochilinae and Phaethornithinae and, thus, represent early stages in the evolution of hummingbird vocal communication. We found that the two species exhibit distinctive vocalizations and behaviors. Sombre Hummingbird calls had more modulation and were often used during agonistic interactions, whereas Rufous-breasted Hermit calls had higher pitch and purer tones and were produced in less aggressive interactions. Sombre Hummingbird song was highly stereotyped in syllable structure and syntax, whereas Rufous-breasted Hermit song was highly variable. Comparative analysis points to consistent similarities in use of vocalizations by the Sombre Hummingbird and other trochilines, and by the Rufous-breasted Hermit and other phaethornithines. We hypothesize that differences in vocal behavior between hummingbird lineages arise as adaptations to their foraging strategies. PMID:18802498

  9. High Source Levels and Small Active Space of High-Pitched Song in Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi M.; Christoffersen, Mads F.; Simon, Malene

    2012-01-01

    The low frequency, powerful vocalizations of blue and fin whales may potentially be detected by conspecifics across entire ocean basins. In contrast, humpback and bowhead whales produce equally loud, but more complex broadband vocalizations composed of higher frequencies that suffer from higher...... attenuation. Here we evaluate the active space of high-pitched song notes of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Western Greenland using measurements of song source levels and ambient noise. Four independent GPS-synchronized hydrophones were deployed through holes in the ice to localize vocalizing bowhead...... whales, estimate source levels and measure ambient noise. The song had a mean apparent source level of 185 ± 2 dB rms re 1µPa and a high mean centroid frequency of 444 ± 48 Hz. Using measured ambient noise levels in the area and Arctic sound spreading models, the estimated active space of these song...

  10. Voice Pitch Elicited Frequency Following Response in Chinese Elderlies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Wang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Perceptual and electrophysiological studies have found reduced speech discrimination in quiet and noisy environment, delayed neural timing, decreased neural synchrony, and decreased temporal processing ability in elderlies, even those with normal hearing. However, recent studies have also demonstrated that language experience and auditory training enhance the temporal dynamics of sound encoding in the auditory brainstem response. The purpose of this study was to explore the pitch processing ability at the brainstem level in an aging population that has a tonal language background.Method: Mandarin speaking younger (n=12 and older (n=12 adults were recruited for this study. All participants had normal audiometric test results and normal suprathreshold click-evoked auditory brainstem responses (ABR. To record Frequency Following Responses (FFR elicited by Mandarin lexical tones, two Mandarin Chinese syllables with different fundamental frequency pitch contours (Flat Tone and Falling Tone were presented at 70 dB SPL. Fundamental frequencies (f0 of both the stimulus and the responses were extracted and compared to individual brainstem responses. Two indices were used to examine different aspects of pitch processing ability at the brainstem level: Pitch Strength and Pitch Correlation. Results: Lexical tone elicited FFR were overall weaker in the older adult group compared to their younger adult counterpart. Measured by Pitch Strength and Pitch Correlation, statistically significant group differences were only found when the tone with a falling f0 (Falling Tone were used as the stimulus.Conclusion: Results of this study demonstrated that in a tonal language speaking population, pitch processing ability at the brainstem level of older adults are not as strong and robust as their younger counterparts. Findings of this study are consistent with previous reports on brainstem responses of older adults whose native language is English. On the

  11. Vocal Health for Physical Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout, Josh; McColl, Douglas

    2007-01-01

    Evidence suggests that teachers are often at risk for vocal disease and are more likely to change occupations because of their voice problems compared to non-teachers. Physical educators are especially at risk for voice problems due to the intense daily demands of voice projection. Chronic abuse can cause swelling and inflammation of the…

  12. A Different Pitch to Slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolbert, William

    2017-01-01

    The query "When are we ever going to use this?" is easily answered when discussing the slope of a line. The pitch of a roof, the grade of a road, and stair stringers are three applications of slope that are used extensively. The concept of slope, which is introduced fairly early in the mathematics curriculum has hands-on applications…

  13. Reliable Fluid Power Pitch Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liniger, Jesper; Pedersen, Henrik Clemmensen; Soltani, Mohsen

    2015-01-01

    The key objectives of wind turbine manufactures and buyers are to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership and Total Cost of Energy. Among others, low downtime of a wind turbine is important to increase the amount of energy produced during its lifetime. Historical data indicate that pitch systems...

  14. Price Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    Armstrong, Mark

    2008-01-01

    This paper surveys recent economic research on price discrimination, both in monopoly and oligopoly markets. Topics include static and dynamic forms of price discrimination, and both final and input markets are considered. Potential antitrust aspects of price discrimination are highlighted throughout the paper. The paper argues that the informational requirements to make accurate policy are very great, and with most forms of price discrimination a laissez-faire policy may be the best availabl...

  15. Vocal analysis of suicidal movie characters Análise vocal de personagens suicidas de filmes de cinema

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine Palinkas-Sanches

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the auditory-perceptive evaluation and the psychodynamic aspects of voice samples among suicidal movie characters. METHOD: Voice samples of 48 characters (27 male, 21 female, extracted from 36 movies produced between 1968 and 2006, were analyzed. The samples were evaluated through a specific protocol focusing on the auditory-perceptive evaluation (voice quality, resonance, pitch, loudness, modulation, pauses, articulation and rhythm and the psychodynamic aspects of voice. RESULTS: 85.5% of the samples exhibited abnormal findings in at least five parameters of the auditory-perceptive analysis, such as breathiness (n = 42; 87.5% of the samples, hoarseness (n = 39; 81.2% and strain (n = 29; 60.4%, as well as laryngopharingeal resonance (n = 39; 81.2%, either high pitch (n = 14; 29.2%, or decreased loudness (n = 31; 64.6%. With respect to the psychodynamic aspects, dismay was detected in 50% (n = 24 of the samples, hopelessness in 47.9% (n = 23, resignation in 37.5% (n = 18, and sadness in 33.3% (n = 16. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest the existence of specific patterns used by actors during the interpretation of suicidal characters. The replication of these findings among real patients may contribute to improvement in the evaluation of potential suicidal patients, as well as the implementation of preventive measures.OBJETIVO: O objetivo do presente estudo foi descrever a análise perceptivo-auditiva e de psicodinâmica vocal de amostras de fala de personagens suicidas em filmes de cinema. MÉTODO: Foram analisadas amostras de fala de 48 personagens suicidas (27 homens, 21 mulheres, extraídas de 36 filmes produzidos no período de 1968 a 2006. As amostras foram analisadas utilizando-se um protocolo especificamente produzido para o registro das características da voz por meio da análise perceptivo-auditiva (qualidade vocal, ressonância, pitch, loudness, modulação, pausas, articulação e ritmo

  16. Decomposition of vocal cycle length perturbations into vocal jitter and vocal microtremor, and comparison of their size in normophonic speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoentgen, J

    2003-06-01

    A statistical method that enables raw vocal cycle length perturbations to be decomposed into perturbations ascribed to vocal jitter and vocal tremor is presented, together with a comparison of the size of jitter and tremor. The method is based on a time series model that splits the vocal cycle length perturbations into uncorrelated cycle-to-cycle perturbations ascribed to vocal jitter and supra-cycle perturbations ascribed to vocal tremor. The corpus was composed of 114 vocal cycle length time series for sustained vowels [a], [i], and [u] produced by 22 male and 16 female normophonic speakers. The results were the following. First, 100 out of 114 time series were decomposed successfully by means of the time series model. Second, vocal perturbations ascribed to tremor were significantly larger than perturbations ascribed to jitter. Third, the correlation between vocal jitter and vocal tremor was moderate, but statistically significant. Fourth, small but statistically significant differences were observed among the three vowel timbres in the relative jitter and the arithmetic difference of jitter and tremor. Fifth, the differences between male and female speakers were not statistically significant in the relative raw perturbations, the relative jitter, or the modulation level owing to tremor.

  17. Mapping the Developmental Trajectory and Correlates of Enhanced Pitch Perception on Speech Processing in Adults with ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jennifer L; Hannent, Ian; Heaton, Pamela F

    2016-05-01

    Whilst enhanced perception has been widely reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), relatively little is known about the developmental trajectory and impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD. This paper presents data on perception of complex tones and speech pitch in adult participants with high-functioning ASD and typical development, and compares these with pre-existing data using the same paradigm with groups of children and adolescents with and without ASD. As perceptual processing abnormalities are likely to influence behavioural performance, regression analyses were carried out on the adult data set. The findings revealed markedly different pitch discrimination trajectories and language correlates across diagnostic groups. While pitch discrimination increased with age and correlated with receptive vocabulary in groups without ASD, it was enhanced in childhood and stable across development in ASD. Pitch discrimination scores did not correlate with receptive vocabulary scores in the ASD group and for adults with ASD superior pitch perception was associated with sensory atypicalities and diagnostic measures of symptom severity. We conclude that the development of pitch discrimination, and its associated mechanisms markedly distinguish those with and without ASD.

  18. The influence of vocal training and acting experience on measures of voice quality and emotional genuineness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Robert Livingstone

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Vocal training through singing and acting lessons is known to modify acoustic parameters of the voice. While the effects of singing training have been well documented, the role of acting experience on the singing voice remains unclear. In two experiments, we used linear mixed models to examine the relationships between the relative amounts of acting and singing experience on the acoustics and perception of the male singing voice. In Experiment 1, twelve male vocalists were recorded while singing with five different emotions, each with two intensities. Acoustic measures of pitch accuracy, jitter, and harmonics-to-noise (HNR ratio were examined. Decreased pitch accuracy and increased jitter, indicative of a lower ‘voice quality’, were associated with more years of acting experience, while increased pitch accuracy was associated with more years of singing lessons. We hypothesized that the acoustic deviations exhibited by more experienced actors was an intentional technique to increase the genuineness or truthfulness of their emotional expressions. In Experiment 2, listeners rated vocalists’ emotional genuineness. Vocalists with more years of acting experience were rated as more genuine than vocalists with less acting experience. No relationship was reported for singing training. Increased genuineness was associated with decreased pitch accuracy, increased jitter, and a higher harmonics-to-noise ratio. These effects may represent a shifting of priorities by male vocalists with acting experience to emphasize emotional genuineness over pitch accuracy or voice quality in their singing performances.

  19. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Pitch Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trehub, Sandra E.; Schellenberg, E. Glenn; Nakata, Takayuki

    2008-01-01

    We examined effects of age and culture on children's memory for the pitch level of familiar music. Canadian 9- and 10-year-olds distinguished the original pitch level of familiar television theme songs from foils that were pitch-shifted by one semitone, whereas 5- to 8-year-olds failed to do so (Experiment 1). In contrast, Japanese 5- and…

  20. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Pitch Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trehub, Sandra E.; Schellenberg, E. Glenn; Nakata, Takayuki

    2008-01-01

    We examined effects of age and culture on children's memory for the pitch level of familiar music. Canadian 9- and 10-year-olds distinguished the original pitch level of familiar television theme songs from foils that were pitch-shifted by one semitone, whereas 5- to 8-year-olds failed to do so (Experiment 1). In contrast, Japanese 5- and…

  1. Pitch and image quality in computed tomography; Pitch et qualite d'image en tomodensitometrie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boyer, B.; Le Marec, E.; Pharaboz, C. [Hopital d' Instruction des Armees Begin, 94 - Saint-Mande (France); Le Bruno, B. [Siemens SA, 92 - Saint-Denis (France)

    1999-10-01

    Pitch is a specific parameter in helical computed tomography. Once the definition of the pitch and its situation in parameters obtaining the image have been resumed, we propose to evaluate theoretic and experimental influence of the pitch on image quality. Best indications of pitch values greater than 1.0 are discussed. (author)

  2. Vocal responses to perturbations in voice auditory feedback in individuals with Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanjun Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: One of the most common symptoms of speech deficits in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD is significantly reduced vocal loudness and pitch range. The present study investigated whether abnormal vocalizations in individuals with PD are related to sensory processing of voice auditory feedback. Perturbations in loudness or pitch of voice auditory feedback are known to elicit short latency, compensatory responses in voice amplitude or fundamental frequency. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twelve individuals with Parkinson's disease and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects sustained a vowel sound (/α/ and received unexpected, brief (200 ms perturbations in voice loudness (±3 or 6 dB or pitch (±100 cents auditory feedback. Results showed that, while all subjects produced compensatory responses in their voice amplitude or fundamental frequency, individuals with PD exhibited larger response magnitudes than the control subjects. Furthermore, for loudness-shifted feedback, upward stimuli resulted in shorter response latencies than downward stimuli in the control subjects but not in individuals with PD. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The larger response magnitudes in individuals with PD compared with the control subjects suggest that processing of voice auditory feedback is abnormal in PD. Although the precise mechanisms of the voice feedback processing are unknown, results of this study suggest that abnormal voice control in individuals with PD may be related to dysfunctional mechanisms of error detection or correction in sensory feedback processing.

  3. The Research of the Relationship between Perceived Stress Level and Times of Vibration of Vocal Folds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin Zhigang

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Whether a syllable is perceived as stressed or not and whether the stress is strong or weak are hot issues in speech prosody research and speech recognition. A focus of the stress study is on the investigation of the acoustic factors which contribute to the perception of stress level. This study examined all possible acoustic/physiological cues to stress based on data from Annotated Chinese Speech Corpus and proposed that times of vibration of vocal folds (TVVF reflects stress level best. It is traditionally held that pitch and duration are the most important acoustic parameters to stress. But for Chinese which is a tone language and features special strong-weak pattern in prosody, these two parameters might not be the best ones to represent stress degree. This paper proposed that TVVF, reflected as the number of wave pulses of the vocalic part of a syllable, is the ideal parameter to stress level. Since number of pulses is the integral of pitch and duration (Pulse=?f(pitchdt, TVVF can embody the effect of stress on both pitch and duration. The analyses revealed that TVVF is most correlated with the grades of stress. Therefore, it can be a more effective parameter indicating stress level.

  4. Structural Discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Mira Skadegård

    In this article, I discuss structural discrimination, an underrepresented area of study in Danish discrimination and intercultural research. It is defined here as discursive and constitutive, and presented as a central element of my analytical approach. This notion is employed in the with which...... to understand and identify aspects of power and asymmetry in communication and interactions. With this as a defining term, I address how exclusion and discrimination exist, while also being indiscernible, within widely accepted societal norms. I introduce the concepts of microdiscrimination and benevolent...... discrimination as two ways of articulating particular, opaque forms of racial discrimination that occur in everyday Danish (and other) contexts, and have therefore become normalized. I present and discuss discrimination as it surfaces in data from my empirical studies of discrimination in Danish contexts...

  5. A cervid vocal fold model suggests greater glottal efficiency in calling at high frequencies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingo R Titze

    Full Text Available Male Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni produce loud and high fundamental frequency bugles during the mating season, in contrast to the male European Red Deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus who produces loud and low fundamental frequency roaring calls. A critical step in understanding vocal communication is to relate sound complexity to anatomy and physiology in a causal manner. Experimentation at the sound source, often difficult in vivo in mammals, is simulated here by a finite element model of the larynx and a wave propagation model of the vocal tract, both based on the morphology and biomechanics of the elk. The model can produce a wide range of fundamental frequencies. Low fundamental frequencies require low vocal fold strain, but large lung pressure and large glottal flow if sound intensity level is to exceed 70 dB at 10 m distance. A high-frequency bugle requires both large muscular effort (to strain the vocal ligament and high lung pressure (to overcome phonation threshold pressure, but at least 10 dB more intensity level can be achieved. Glottal efficiency, the ration of radiated sound power to aerodynamic power at the glottis, is higher in elk, suggesting an advantage of high-pitched signaling. This advantage is based on two aspects; first, the lower airflow required for aerodynamic power and, second, an acoustic radiation advantage at higher frequencies. Both signal types are used by the respective males during the mating season and probably serve as honest signals. The two signal types relate differently to physical qualities of the sender. The low-frequency sound (Red Deer call relates to overall body size via a strong relationship between acoustic parameters and the size of vocal organs and body size. The high-frequency bugle may signal muscular strength and endurance, via a 'vocalizing at the edge' mechanism, for which efficiency is critical.

  6. Effects of vocal intensity and vowel type on cepstral analysis of voice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Shaheen N; Giovinco, Ashley; Owens, Jennifer

    2012-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to specifically examine the effects of vocal loudness/intensity condition and vowel type on cepstral analysis measurements. Experimental, mixed design. Sustained vowel samples of /i/, /ɑ/, /u/, and /æ/ were elicited from 92 healthy male and female subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 years at three different vocal loudness conditions: (1) "Comfortable pitch and loudness," (2) "As softly as possible without whispering," and (3) "As loudly as possible, without screaming/straining the voice or tensing of the neck region." Recordings were made using a calibrated headset microphone and digitized to computer. Vowel samples were analyzed for vocal intensity (decibels), fundamental frequency (F0 in Hertzz), and relative amplitude of the smoothed cepstral peak prominence (CPPs in decibels). Significant main effects of loudness condition (with a significant increase in CPPs from quiet to comfortable to loud voice) and gender (males having significantly greater mean CPPs than females) were observed. In addition, results indicated that vowel type had a significant effect on the CPP (greater CPPs for low vowels [/ɑ/ and /æ/] vs high vowels [/i/ and /u/]). The results of this study indicate that both the loudness/intensity of vowel elicitation and vowel type should be monitored closely in both research and clinical situations. Changes in the mode of phonation, as well supraglottal changes that effect vocal tract resonances and vocal intensity, appear to combine to result in substantial differences in the CPPs for different vocal loudness/intensity conditions and vowel types. These results indicate that separate cepstral norms are necessary for vowel type, as well as for gender, when using cepstral analysis as a clinical tool. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Some aspects of vocal fold bowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, S; Hirano, M; Chijiwa, K

    1994-05-01

    Bowing of the vocal fold frequently occurs in patients with vocal fold paralysis (VFP), those with sulcus vocalis, and those who have had laser surgery. Additionally, there are vocal folds that present bowing with no noticeable organic lesion. For the purpose of investigating the causes and mechanisms of vocal fold bowing, consecutive fiberscopic videorecordings of 127 patients with VFP, 33 with sulcus vocalis, 33 with laser surgery, and 33 with dysphonia having no clinically noticeable organic lesion were reviewed. Sixty-nine percent of the paralyzed vocal folds had bowing, and the occurrence of bowing was significantly related to the activity of the thyroarytenoid muscle as measured by electromyography. The cricothyroid activity had no significant relationship to vocal fold bowing. All vocal folds with sulcus presented with bowing. Thirty-five percent of the vocal folds that had had laser surgery had bowing. The extent of tissue removal was closely related to the occurrence of bowing. Twelve cases with no organic lesion had vocal fold bowing. Of these 12 patients, 8 were male and 9 were older than 60 years. Some aging process in the mucosa was presumed to be the cause of the bowing in this age group of patients without clinically noticeable organic lesions. Causes of vocal fold bowing in the younger group of patients without organic lesions were not determined in this study.

  8. Teacher's voice: vocal tract discomfort symptoms, vocal intensity and noise in the classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Amanda Louize Félix; Lucena, Brunna Thaís Luckwu de; De Araújo, Aline Menezes Guedes Dias; Melo, Luciana Pimentel Fernandes de; Lopes, Leonardo Wanderley; Silva, Maria Fabiana Bonfim de Lima

    2016-04-01

    To identify a possible correlation between teachers vocal intensity and the noise in the classroom, as well as between vocal intensity and the symptoms of vocal tract discomfort before and after classes. 27 Elementary School I teachers participated in the study. We used the questionnaires "Vocal Production Condition of the Teacher" and "Vocal Tract Discomfort Scale - VTD" which were applied before and after the class. A properly calibrated noise meter was used for measuring noise in the classroom and the teachers' vocal intensity. There was a moderate positive correlation between vocal intensity and noise and also a significant difference between the VTD scale and the teachers with and without vocal complaint before and after classes. When compared separately on both occasions, there was an increase in the group's scores for both groups and with and without complaints. We found association of the vocal tract symptoms before and after classes, frequency of burning, itching, sore throat and sensitive throat were observed. The intensity of symptoms was significant for sore throat, itching and feeling of lump in the throat. We observed significant values of vocal intensity and frequency and intensity of symptoms for sensitive throat and lump in the throat before the class, and sore throat and lump in the throat after the. The increase in teacher's vocal intensity correlates to high noise levels in the classroom. The evidence suggests correlation between vocal intensity and discomfort of the vocal tract, with most of the symptoms reported in greater frequency and intensity after the class.

  9. Cortical pitch representations of complex tones in musicians and non-musicians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bianchi, Federica; Hjortkjær, Jens; Santurette, Sébastien

    Musicians typically show enhanced pitch-discrimination ability compared to non-musicians, consistent with the fact that musicians are more sensitive to some acoustic features critical for both speech and music processing. However, it is still unclear which mechanisms underlie this perceptual...... enhancement. In a previous behavioral study, musicians showed an increased pitch-discrimination performance for both resolved and unresolved complex tones suggesting an enhanced neural representation of pitch at central stages of the auditory system. The aim of this study was to clarify whether musicians show...... (i) differential neural activation in response to complex tones as compared to non-musicians and/or (ii) finer fundamental frequency (F0) representation in the auditory cortex. Assuming that the right auditory cortex is specialized in processing fine spectral changes, we hypothesized that an enhanced...

  10. VOCALS-UK: An overview of UK VOCALS science (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, H.; Vocals-Uk Science Team

    2010-12-01

    This paper will highlight a variety of process studies, observationally led studies and modelling studies, both completed and in progress, conducted by groups in the United Kingdom, working in collaboration with international partners on the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx). The VOCALS field experiment was conducted out of Arica, Chile, between October and November, 2008. The study aims to better understand the nature and variability of interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and steep topography, as well as local and long-range transport of pollutants and aerosol, in the context of their role in controlling the climate of the South East Pacific - an important region in terms of the global energy budget and which is currently poorly characterised in global climate models. Specific highlights will include a statistical representation of the SEP marine boundary layer during VOCALS-Rex to inform future modelling; an analysis of the synoptic and large-scale dynamical influences on cloud in the SEP; results from improved Met Office Unified Model forecast runs which examine aerosol-cloud interactions with a comparison to results from WRF-CHEM; and large eddy modelling of simulated gravity waves and their potential to induce open cellular convection (create pockets of open cells). In addition, early results from a number of further studies will be presented.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valquíria Zimmer

    2012-04-01

    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

  12. Morphological, olfactory, and vocal development in big brown bats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather W. Mayberry

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Using a within subjects design, we documented morphological, bioacoustical and behavioral developmental changes in big brown bats. Eptesicus fuscus pups are born naked and blind but assume an adult-like appearance by post-natal day (PND 45 and flight by PND 30. Adult females use spatial memory, acoustic and olfactory cues to reunite with offspring, but it is unclear if pups can recognize maternal scents. We tested the olfactory discrimination abilities of young E. fuscus pups and found they exhibited no odor preferences. Pups also emit distinct vocalizations called isolation calls (i-calls that facilitate mother-offspring reunions, but how pups shift their vocalizations from i-calls to downward frequency modulated (FM sweeps used in echolocation remains unclear. Between PND 0–9, pups emitted mainly long duration, tonal i-calls rich in harmonics, but after they switched to short duration, downward FM sweeps with fewer harmonics. Call maximum frequency and repetition rate showed minor changes across development. Signal duration, bandwidth, and number of harmonics decreased, whereas the maximum, minimum and bandwidth of the fundamental, and peak spectral frequency all increased. We recorded vocalizations during prolonged maternal separation and found that isolated pups called longer and at a faster rate, presumably to signal for maternal assistance. To assess how PND 13 pups alter their signals during interactions with humans we compared spontaneous and provoked vocalizations and found that provoked calls were spectrally and temporally more similar to those of younger bats suggesting that pups in distress emit signals that sound like younger bats to promote maternal assistance.

  13. Condition of Vocal Production-Teacher questionnaire: comparison of responses on Likert scale and visual analog scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, Susana Pimentel Pinto; Latorre, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira; Ferreira, Léslie Piccolotto

    2016-01-01

    To compare the responses related to vocal symptoms in two versions of the Vocal Production Condition - Teacher (CPV-T) questionnaire, with responses on a Likert scale and a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), in order to evaluate which is the best measurement method. A cross-sectional observational study was conducted with teachers with voice disorders during the period from July 2011 to July 2012. All teachers answered the CPV-T in two versions: with answers on a 4-point Likert scale and on a 50-mm VAS. The answers related to vocal symptoms dimension were analyzed. Most of the symptoms showed good (hoarseness, high-pitched voice, unstable voice, weak voice, effort when speaking, throat clearing, burning throat, and pain when speaking) or regular concordance (loss of voice, failing voice, low-pitched voice, vocal fatigue, dry throat, lump in the throat, secretion in the throat, pain when swallowing, difficulty swallowing, and dry cough). The CPV-T questionnaire with answers on Likert scale proved to be more suitable than the VAS owing to the ease of understanding and interpretation, in addition to facilitating the input of answers for the researcher. Therefore, the Likert scale was chosen for the CPV-T, considering it to be validated as the method to measure the answers. The dimension of vocal aspects evaluated in the present study, the Voice Disorder Screening Index (ITDV), can be used in epidemiological studies to estimate the prevalence of vocal symptoms and in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology clinic routine or in monitoring teachers throughout their careers.

  14. Deficits in the pitch sensitivity of cochlear-implanted children speaking English or Mandarin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroche, Mickael L D; Lu, Hui-Ping; Limb, Charles J; Lin, Yung-Song; Chatterjee, Monita

    2014-01-01

    Sensitivity to complex pitch is notoriously poor in adults with cochlear implants (CIs), but it is unclear whether this is true for children with CIs. Many are implanted today at a very young age, and factors related to brain plasticity (age at implantation, duration of CI experience, and speaking a tonal language) might have strong influences on pitch sensitivity. School-aged children participated, speaking English or Mandarin, having normal hearing (NH) or wearing a CI, using their clinically assigned settings with envelope-based coding strategies. Percent correct was measured in three-interval three-alternative forced choice tasks, for the discrimination of fundamental frequency (F0) of broadband harmonic complexes, and for the discrimination of sinusoidal amplitude modulation rate (AMR) of broadband noise, with reference frequencies at 100 and 200 Hz to focus on voice pitch processing. Data were fitted using a maximum-likelihood technique. CI children displayed higher thresholds and shallower slopes than NH children in F0 discrimination, regardless of linguistic background. Thresholds and slopes were more similar between NH and CI children in AMR discrimination. Once the effect of chronological age was extracted from the variance, the aforementioned factors related to brain plasticity did not contribute significantly to the CI children's sensitivity to pitch. Unless different strategies attempt to encode fine structure information, potential benefits of plasticity may be missed.

  15. Microscopic bilateral posterior cordotomy in severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome with bilateral vocal cord paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarıman, Nesrin; Koca, Öncel; Boyacı, Zerrin; Levent, Ender; Soylu, Akın Cem; Alparslan, Sümeyye; Saygı, Attila

    2012-03-01

    Vocal cord paralysis is a rare cause of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury after thyroid gland surgery is one of the leading causes of acquired vocal cord paralysis. A 46-year-old woman with OSAS due to bilateral abductor vocal cord paralysis was presented. She had thyroidectomy 30 years ago and had a weak, breathy voice. She had been referred with a history of high-pitched snoring, apnea witnessed by her spouse, and excessive daytime sleepiness for the last 5 years. Full-night polysomnography revealed that her apnea-hypopnea index was 72/h and minimal oxygen saturation level was 81%. There was no REM and deep sleep periods. Ear-nose-throat consultation offered an endoscopic bilateral posterior cordotomy operation via microscopic suspension laryngoscopy (MLS) as a treatment option. Instead of using a nasal positive airway pressure (nCPAP) device, she was treated surgically. Her OSAS resolved completely within 5 months of the surgery. Her phonation was preserved, and symptoms such as snoring and hypersomnolance disappeared. In OSAS patients with bilateral vocal cord paralysis, MLS-associated bilateral posterior cordotomy can be a choice of treatment as an alternative to nCPAP application.

  16. Data-driven automated acoustic analysis of human infant vocalizations using neural network tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warlaumont, Anne S.; Oller, D. Kimbrough; Buder, Eugene H.; Dale, Rick; Kozma, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Acoustic analysis of infant vocalizations has typically employed traditional acoustic measures drawn from adult speech acoustics, such as f0, duration, formant frequencies, amplitude, and pitch perturbation. Here an alternative and complementary method is proposed in which data-derived spectrographic features are central. 1-s-long spectrograms of vocalizations produced by six infants recorded longitudinally between ages 3 and 11 months are analyzed using a neural network consisting of a self-organizing map and a single-layer perceptron. The self-organizing map acquires a set of holistic, data-derived spectrographic receptive fields. The single-layer perceptron receives self-organizing map activations as input and is trained to classify utterances into prelinguistic phonatory categories (squeal, vocant, or growl), identify the ages at which they were produced, and identify the individuals who produced them. Classification performance was significantly better than chance for all three classification tasks. Performance is compared to another popular architecture, the fully supervised multilayer perceptron. In addition, the network’s weights and patterns of activation are explored from several angles, for example, through traditional acoustic measurements of the network’s receptive fields. Results support the use of this and related tools for deriving holistic acoustic features directly from infant vocalization data and for the automatic classification of infant vocalizations. PMID:20370038

  17. Acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-09-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disk. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~96% of the manatee vocalizations. However, the system also results in a false alarm rate of ~16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  18. Recording vocalizations with Bluetooth technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaona-González, Andrés; Santillán-Doherty, Ana María; Arenas-Rosas, Rita Virginia; Muñoz-Delgado, Jairo; Aguillón-Pantaleón, Miguel Angel; Ordoñez-Gómez, José Domingo; Márquez-Arias, Alejandra

    2011-06-01

    We propose a method for capturing vocalizations that is designed to avoid some of the limiting factors found in traditional bioacoustical methods, such as the impossibility of obtaining continuous long-term registers or analyzing amplitude due to the continuous change of distance between the subject and the position of the recording system. Using Bluetooth technology, vocalizations are captured and transmitted wirelessly into a receiving system without affecting the quality of the signal. The recordings of the proposed system were compared to those obtained as a reference, which were based on the coding of the signal with the so-called pulse-code modulation technique in WAV audio format without any compressing process. The evaluation showed p < .05 for the measured quantitative and qualitative parameters. We also describe how the transmitting system is encapsulated and fixed on the animal and a way to video record a spider monkey's behavior simultaneously with the audio recordings.

  19. Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan N Murrant

    Full Text Available Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus and southern (G. volans flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

  20. [Contribution of the study of singing in tune in musically non-expert subjects: importance of short term memory of the pitch (19 to 28 year-old subjects)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belin, S; Peuvergne, A; Sarfati, J

    2005-01-01

    In the singing, which requires precise knowledge of the relevant musical code in use, accuracy of intonation plays a central role. Singing in tune requires to perceive pitch precisely and to memorize it before planning and executing the accurate vocal motion, which allows the exact emission of the correct pitch. Our work investigated the role of short term memory of pitch on singing accuracy. For that purpose, the experimental protocol of Deutsch (1970) was adapted for a perception and a production task. Participants were selected for their singing accuracy and separated into two groups of ten singing in tune and ten out-of-tune. All participants perceived pitch height exactly and were musically non-experts. For the perception and the production tasks, participants had to either compare or reproduce single pitches or two-pitch-sets. For the perception task, participants had to compare either single pitches or two-pitch patterns, all separated by a five seconds delay. For the production task, participants had to reproduce either single pitches or two-pitch patterns after a five seconds delay. The five seconds delay was either filled with intervening numbers, or with intervening tones, or without any disturbing sound. In perception and production task, the presence of intervening tones disturbs deeply the success of the subjects for every trial. Performance of the in-tune singing group is better for all the exercises while the other group had difficulties on single pitches and two-pitch patterns and was more disturbed by the effect of the intervening material. The outcome suggests that short term memory of pitch and accuracy of intonation would be closely linked. Further research needs to specify if that would mean that troubles in singing in tune are a consequence of a low-efficient short term memory of pitch, or if that troubles would hold up the right construction of the short term memory of pitch.

  1. Universal vocal signals of emotion

    OpenAIRE

    Sauter, D.; Eisner, F.; Ekman, P.; Scott, S.

    2009-01-01

    Emotional signals allow for the sharing of important information with conspecifics, for example to warn them of danger. Humans use a range of different cues to communicate to others how they feel, including facial, vocal, and gestural signals. Although much is known about facial expressions of emotion, less research has focused on affect in the voice. We compare British listeners to individuals from remote Namibian villages who have had no exposure to Western culture, and examine recognition ...

  2. Intraoperative imaging of pediatric vocal fold lesions using optical coherence tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benboujja, Fouzi; Garcia, Jordan A.; Beaudette, Kathy; Strupler, Mathias; Hartnick, Christopher J.; Boudoux, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been previously identified as a promising tool for exploring laryngeal pathologies in adults. Here, we present an OCT handheld probe dedicated to imaging the unique geometry involved in pediatric laryngoscopy. A vertical cavity surface emitting laser-based wavelength-swept OCT system operating at 60 frames per second was coupled to the probe to acquire three-dimensional (3-D) volumes in vivo. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed probe and system, we imaged pediatric vocal fold lesions of patients going under direct laryngoscopy. Through this in vivo study, we extracted OCT features characterizing each pediatric vocal fold lesion, which shows a great potential for noninvasive laryngeal lesion discrimination. We believe OCT vocal fold examination in 3-D will result in improved knowledge of the pediatric anatomy and could aid in managing pediatric laryngeal diseases.

  3. Aerodynamic control with passively pitching wings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Wood, Robert

    Flapping wings may pitch passively under aerodynamic and inertial loads. Such passive pitching is observed in flapping wing insect and robot flight. The effect of passive wing pitch on the control dynamics of flapping wing flight are unexplored. Here we demonstrate in simulation and experiment the critical role wing pitching plays in yaw control of a flapping wing robot. We study yaw torque generation by a flapping wing allowed to passively rotate in the pitch axis through a rotational spring. Yaw torque is generated through alternating fast and slow upstroke and and downstroke. Yaw torque sensitively depends on both the rotational spring force law and spring stiffness, and at a critical spring stiffness a bifurcation in the yaw torque control relationship occurs. Simulation and experiment reveal the dynamics of this bifurcation and demonstrate that anomalous yaw torque from passively pitching wings is the result of aerodynamic and inertial coupling between the pitching and stroke-plane dynamics.

  4. Disorders of pitch production in tone deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bella, Simone Dalla; Berkowska, Magdalena; Sowiński, Jakub

    2011-01-01

    Singing is as natural as speaking for the majority of people. Yet some individuals (i.e., 10-15%) are poor singers, typically performing or imitating pitches and melodies inaccurately. This condition, commonly referred to as "tone deafness," has been observed both in the presence and absence of deficient pitch perception. In this article we review the existing literature concerning normal singing, poor-pitch singing, and, briefly, the sources of this condition. Considering that pitch plays a prominent role in the structure of both music and speech we also focus on the possibility that speech production (or imitation) is similarly impaired in poor-pitch singers. Preliminary evidence from our laboratory suggests that pitch imitation may be selectively inaccurate in the music domain without being affected in speech. This finding points to separability of mechanisms subserving pitch production in music and language.

  5. How do clarinet players adjust the resonances of their vocal tracts for different playing effects

    CERN Document Server

    Fritz, C; Fritz, Claudia; Wolfe, Joe

    2005-01-01

    In a simple model, the reed of the clarinet is mechanically loaded by the series combination of the acoustical impedances of the instrument itself and of the player's vocal tract. Here we measure the complex impedance spectrum of players' tracts using an impedance head adapted to fit inside a clarinet mouthpiece. A direct current shunt with high acoustical resistance allows players to blow normally, so the players can simulate the tract condition under playing conditions. The reproducibility of the results suggest that the players' "muscle memory" is reliable for this task. Most players use a single, highly stable vocal tract configuration over most of the playing range, except for the altissimo register. However, this 'normal' configuration varies substantially among musicians. All musicians change the configuration, often drastically for "special effects'' such as glissandi and slurs: the tongue is lowered and the impedance magnitude reduced when the player intends to lower the pitch or to slur downwards, a...

  6. Vocal improvement after voice therapy in the treatment of benign vocal fold lesions

    OpenAIRE

    Schindler, A; MOZZANICA, F.; Ginocchio, D.; MARUZZI, P.; Atac, M.; OTTAVIANI, F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Benign vocal fold lesions are common in the general population, and have important public health implications and impact on patient quality of life. Nowadays, phonomicrosurgery is the most common treatment of these lesions. Voice therapy is generally associated in order to minimize detrimental vocal behaviours that increase the stress at the mid-membranous vocal folds. Nonetheless, the most appropriate standard of care for treating benign vocal fold lesion has not been established. Th...

  7. Aesthetic and Culture Origin of Vocal Art

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张延春

    2010-01-01

    As one of the most commonly and widely adopted art forms, vocal art has been closely related with national culture and the aesthetics trend. Traditional Chinese vocal art rooted from China' s long history and distinctive culture. On the contrary, Italian bel canto stems from the prospect of Italian Opera Art during the Renaissance period. This essay discusses the differences between East and West vocal art, from its aesthetic and culture origin.

  8. Voice F0 responses to pitch-shifted voice feedback during English speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Stephanie H; Liu, Hanjun; Xu, Yi; Larson, Charles R

    2007-02-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that motor control of segmental features of speech rely to some extent on sensory feedback. Control of voice fundamental frequency (F0) has been shown to be modulated by perturbations in voice pitch feedback during various phonatory tasks and in Mandarin speech. The present study was designed to determine if voice Fo is modulated in a task-dependent manner during production of suprasegmental features of English speech. English speakers received pitch-modulated voice feedback (+/-50, 100, and 200 cents, 200 ms duration) during a sustained vowel task and a speech task. Response magnitudes during speech (mean 31.5 cents) were larger than during the vowels (mean 21.6 cents), response magnitudes increased as a function of stimulus magnitude during speech but not vowels, and responses to downward pitch-shift stimuli were larger than those to upward stimuli. Response latencies were shorter in speech (mean 122 ms) compared to vowels (mean 154 ms). These findings support previous research suggesting the audio vocal system is involved in the control of suprasegmental features of English speech by correcting for errors between voice pitch feedback and the desired F0.

  9. Audio-vocal responses of vocal fundamental frequency and formant during sustained vowel vocalizations in different noises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shao-Hsuan; Hsiao, Tzu-Yu; Lee, Guo-She

    2015-06-01

    Sustained vocalizations of vowels [a], [i], and syllable [mə] were collected in twenty normal-hearing individuals. On vocalizations, five conditions of different audio-vocal feedback were introduced separately to the speakers including no masking, wearing supra-aural headphones only, speech-noise masking, high-pass noise masking, and broad-band-noise masking. Power spectral analysis of vocal fundamental frequency (F0) was used to evaluate the modulations of F0 and linear-predictive-coding was used to acquire first two formants. The results showed that while the formant frequencies were not significantly shifted, low-frequency modulations (production, the motor speech controls on F0 may depend on a feedback mechanism while articulation should rely more on a feedforward mechanism. Power spectral analysis of F0 might be applied to evaluate audio-vocal control for various hearing and neurological disorders in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Scalings of pitches in music

    CERN Document Server

    Shi, Y

    1995-01-01

    We investigate correlations among pitches in several songs and pieces of piano music by mapping them to one-dimensional walks. Two kinds of correlations are studied, one is related to the real values of frequencies while they are treated only as different symbols for another. Long-range power law behavior is found in both kinds. The first is more meaningful. The structure of music, such as beat, measure and stanza, are reflected in the change of scaling exponents. Some interesting features are observed. Our results demonstrate the viewpoint that the fundamental principle of music is the balance between repetition and contrast.

  11. Acoustic properties of vocal singing in prelingually-deafened children with cochlear implants or hearing aids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yitao; Zhang, Mengchao; Nutter, Heather; Zhang, Yijing; Zhou, Qixin; Liu, Qiaoyun; Wu, Weijing; Xie, Dinghua; Xu, Li

    2013-11-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate vocal singing performance of hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants (CI) and hearing aids (HA) as well as to evaluate the relationship between demographic factors of those hearing-impaired children and their singing ability. Thirty-seven prelingually-deafened children with CIs and 31 prelingually-deafened children with HAs, and 37 normal-hearing (NH) children participated in the study. The fundamental frequencies (F0) of each note in the recorded songs were extracted and the duration of each sung note was measured. Five metrics were used to evaluate the pitch-related and rhythm-based aspects of singing accuracy. Children with CIs and HAs showed significantly poorer performance in either the pitch-based assessments or the rhythm-based measure than the NH children. No significant differences were seen between the CI and HA groups in all of these measures except for the mean deviation of the pitch intervals. For both hearing-impaired groups, length of device use was significantly correlated with singing accuracy. There is a marked deficit in vocal singing ability either in pitch or rhythm accuracy in a majority of prelingually-deafened children who have received CIs or fitted with HAs. Although an increased length of device use might facilitate singing performance to some extent, the chance for the hearing-impaired children fitted with either HAs or CIs to reach high proficiency in singing is quite slim. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Pitch strength and pitch dominance of iterated rippled noises in hearing-impaired listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leek, M R; Summers, V

    2001-06-01

    Reports using a variety of psychophysical tasks indicate that pitch perception by hearing-impaired listeners may be abnormal, contributing to difficulties in understanding speech and enjoying music. Pitches of complex sounds may be weaker and more indistinct in the presence of cochlear damage, especially when frequency regions are affected that form the strongest basis for pitch perception in normal-hearing listeners. In this study, the strength of the complex pitch generated by iterated rippled noise was assessed in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. Pitch strength was measured for broadband noises with spectral ripples generated by iteratively delaying a copy of a given noise and adding it back into the original. Octave-band-pass versions of these noises also were evaluated to assess frequency dominance regions for rippled-noise pitch. Hearing-impaired listeners demonstrated consistently weaker pitches in response to the rippled noises relative to pitch strength in normal-hearing listeners. However, in most cases, the frequency regions of pitch dominance, i.e., strongest pitch, were similar to those observed in normal-hearing listeners. Except where there exists a substantial sensitivity loss, contributions from normal pitch dominance regions associated with the strongest pitches may not be directly related to impaired spectral processing. It is suggested that the reduced strength of rippled-noise pitch in listeners with hearing loss results from impaired frequency resolution and possibly an associated deficit in temporal processing.

  13. Multi-pitch Estimation using Semidefinite Programming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tobias Lindstrøm; Vandenberghe, Lieven

    2017-01-01

    Multi-pitch estimation concerns the problem of estimating the fundamental frequencies (pitches) and amplitudes/phases of multiple superimposed harmonic signals with application in music, speech, vibration analysis etc. In this paper we formulate a complex-valued multi-pitch estimator via a semide......Multi-pitch estimation concerns the problem of estimating the fundamental frequencies (pitches) and amplitudes/phases of multiple superimposed harmonic signals with application in music, speech, vibration analysis etc. In this paper we formulate a complex-valued multi-pitch estimator via...... a semidefinite programming representation of an atomic decomposition over a continuous dictionary of complex exponentials and extend this to real-valued data via a real semidefinite pro-ram with the same dimensions (i.e. half the size). We further impose a continuous frequency constraint naturally occurring from...

  14. First Communion: The Emergence of Vocal Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, John L.

    2001-01-01

    Proposes that vocal communion between infant and caregiver supports infants' language acquisition and connectedness with caregivers. Recommends research to determine whether social behaviors such as joint attention and vocal imitation are functionally related to language learning or are only symptomatic of a survival-centered caregiving…

  15. Pulmonary mucormycosis presenting with vocal cord paralysis

    OpenAIRE

    Gayathri Devi, H. J.; Mohan Rao, K.N.; K M Prathima; Moideen, Riyaz

    2013-01-01

    Pulmonary mucormycosis is a relatively uncommon infection. It can present in various forms. Very few cases of pulmonary mucormycosis presenting as vocal cord paralysis have been described in the literature. We report a case of pulmonary mucormycosis presenting as vocal cord paralysis in an uncontrolled diabetic patient.

  16. The acoustic and perceptual differences to the non-singer's singing voice before and after a singing vocal warm-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeRosa, Angela

    The present study analyzed the acoustic and perceptual differences in non-singer's singing voice before and after a vocal warm-up. Experiments were conducted with 12 females who had no singing experience and considered themselves to be non-singers. Participants were recorded performing 3 tasks: a musical scale stretching to their most comfortable high and low pitches, sustained productions of the vowels /a/ and /i/, and singing performance of the "Star Spangled Banner." Participants were recorded performing these three tasks before a vocal warm-up, after a vocal warm-up, and then again 2-3 weeks later after 2-3 weeks of practice. Acoustical analysis consisted of formant frequency analysis, singer's formant/singing power ratio analysis, maximum phonation frequency range analysis, and an analysis of jitter, noise to harmonic ratio (NHR), relative average perturbation (RAP), and voice turbulence index (VTI). A perceptual analysis was also conducted with 12 listeners rating comparison performances of before vs. after the vocal warm-up, before vs. after the second vocal warm-up, and after both vocal warm-ups. There were no significant findings for the formant frequency analysis of the vowel /a/, but there was significance for the 1st formant frequency analysis of the vowel /i/. Singer's formant analyzed via Singing Power Ratio analysis showed significance only for the vowel /i/. Maximum phonation frequency range analysis showed a significant increase after the vocal warm-ups. There were no significant findings for the acoustic measures of jitter, NHR, RAP, and VTI. Perceptual analysis showed a significant difference after a vocal warm-up. The results indicate that a singing vocal warm-up can have a significant positive influence on the singing voice of non-singers.

  17. Comportamento vocal de cantores populares

    OpenAIRE

    Zimmer,Valquíria; Cielo,Carla Aparecida; Ferreira,Fernanda Mariotto

    2012-01-01

    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...

  18. Timbre-induced pitch shift from the perspective of Signal Detection Theory: the impact of musical expertise, silence interval, and pitch region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vurma, Allan

    2014-01-01

    The paradigm of Signal Detection Theory (SDT) was used to analyze the ability of professional pianists (N = 16) and string players (N = 15) to discriminate small F0 differences between consecutive musical tones, presented in pairs, with identical and with different (bright and dull) timbres. The sensitivity (d') and response bias (c) were heavily dependent on the timbral arrangement of the pairs of tones (the "comparable tones"), which can be interpreted as the influence of timbre-induced pitch shift on F0 discrimination. The participants were somewhat biased to "miss" signals when comparable tones had identical timbres and to make "false alarms" when the tones had different timbres. The d' was lowest when the tones with a lower F0 in those stimulus-pairs containing tones with different timbres had a brighter timber, and highest when both tones had bright timbre. On average, the string players had a somewhat higher d' and their perception was slightly less influenced by timbre-induced pitch shift when compared to the pianists. Nevertheless, the dependence of d' and c on the timbral arrangement of the tones was registered in the case of all the participants at all the investigated pitch regions around D#3, D4, and C#5. Furthermore, the presence of a silence of 3.5 s-a silence interval-between the tones to be compared had an impact on both d'- and c-values as well as on the degree of vulnerability to timbre-induced pitch shift.

  19. Congenital amusia (or tone-deafness interferes with pitch processing in tone languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eTillmann

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Congenital amusia is a neurogenetic disorder that affects music processing and that is ascribed to a deficit in pitch processing. We investigated whether this deficit extended to pitch processing in speech, notably the pitch changes used to contrast lexical tones in tonal languages. Congenital amusics and matched controls, all non-tonal language speakers, were tested for lexical tone discrimination in Mandarin Chinese (Experiment 1 and in Thai (Experiment 2. Tones were presented in pairs and participants were required to make same/different judgments. Experiment 2 additionally included musical analogs of Thai tones for comparison. Performance of congenital amusics was inferior to that of controls for all materials, suggesting a domain-general pitch-processing deficit. The pitch deficit of amusia is thus not limited to music, but may compromise the ability to process and learn tonal languages. Combined with acoustic analyses of the tone material, the present findings provide new insights into the nature of the pitch-processing deficit exhibited by amusics.

  20. Spatial discrimination and visual discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haagensen, Annika M. J.; Grand, Nanna; Klastrup, Signe

    2013-01-01

    Two methods investigating learning and memory in juvenile Gottingen minipigs were evaluated for potential use in preclinical toxicity testing. Twelve minipigs were tested using a spatial hole-board discrimination test including a learning phase and two memory phases. Five minipigs were tested...... in a visual discrimination test. The juvenile minipigs were able to learn the spatial hole-board discrimination test and showed improved working and reference memory during the learning phase. Performance in the memory phases was affected by the retention intervals, but the minipigs were able to remember...... the concept of the test in both memory phases. Working memory and reference memory were significantly improved in the last trials of the memory phases. In the visual discrimination test, the minipigs learned to discriminate between the three figures presented to them within 9-14 sessions. For the memory test...

  1. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. Form and function of long-range vocalizations in a Neotropical fossorial rodent: the Anillaco Tuco-Tuco (Ctenomys sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Pablo Amaya

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The underground environment poses particular communication challenges for subterranean rodents. Some loud and low-pitched acoustic signals that can travel long distances are appropriate for long-range underground communication and have been suggested to be territorial signals. Long-range vocalizations (LRVs are important in long-distance communication in Ctenomys tuco-tucos. We characterized the LRV of the Anillaco Tuco-Tuco (Ctenomys sp. using recordings from free-living individuals and described the behavioral context in which this vocalization was produced during laboratory staged encounters between individuals of both sexes. Long-range calls of Anillaco tuco-tucos are low-frequency, broad-band, loud, and long sounds composed by the repetition of two syllable types: series (formed by notes and soft-notes and individual notes. All vocalizations were initiated with series, but not all had individual notes. Males were heavier than females and gave significantly lower-pitched vocalizations, but acoustic features were independent of body mass in males. The pronounced variation among individuals in the arrangement and number of syllables and the existence of three types of series (dyads, triads, and tetrads, created a diverse collection of syntactic patterns in vocalizations that would provide the opportunity to encode multiple types of information. The existence of complex syntactic patterns and the description of soft-notes represent new aspects of the vocal communication of Ctenomys. Long-distance vocalizations by Anillaco Tuco-Tucos appear to be territorial signals used mostly in male-male interactions. First, emission of LRVs resulted in de-escalation or space-keeping in male-male and male-female encounters in laboratory experiments. Second, these vocalizations were produced most frequently (in the field and in the lab by males in our study population. Third, males produced LRVs with greater frequency during male-male encounters compared to

  3. Favorite Children's Books for Vocal Exploration and Pitch-Matching Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardany, Audrey Berger

    2017-01-01

    In this article, the author shares favorite children's books and stories for integrating language and music during shared-book experiences. The music activities described are aimed to contribute to the overall singing development for children in preschool and primary grades. Music and reading teachers will enjoy sharing these books with early…

  4. Individual killer whale vocal variation during intra-group behavioral dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebner, Dawn M.

    The scientific goal of this dissertation was to carefully study the signal structure of killer whale communications and vocal complexity and link them to behavioral circumstances. The overall objective of this research sought to provide insight into killer whale call content and usage which may be conveying information to conspecifics in order to maintain group cohesion. Data were collected in the summers of 2006 and 2007 in Johnstone Strait, British Columbia. For both individuals and small groups, vocalizations were isolated using a triangular hydrophone array and the behavioral movement patterns were captured by a theodolite and video camera positioned on a cliff overlooking the hyrophone locations. This dissertation is divided into four analysis chapters. In Chapter 3, discriminant analysis was used to validate the four N04 call subtypes which were originally parsed due to variations in slope segments. The first two functions of the discriminant analysis explained 97% of the variability. Most of the variability for the N04 call was found in the front convex and the terminal portions of the call, while very little variability was found in the center region of the call. This research revealed that individual killer whales produced multiple subtypes of the N04 call. No correlations of behaviors to acoustic parameters obtained were found. The aim of the Chapter 4 was to determine if killer whale calling behavior varied prior to and after the animals had joined. Pulsed call rates were found to be greater pre- compared to post-joining events. Two-way vocal exchanges were more common occurring 74% of the time during pre-joining events. In Chapter 5, initiated and first response to calls varied between age/sex class groups when mothers were separated from an offspring. Solo mothers and calves initiated pulsed calls more often than they responded. Most of the no vocal responses were due to mothers who were foraging. Finally, observations of the frequency split in N04

  5. Parasites pitched against nature: Pitch Lake water protects guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from microbial and gyrodactylid infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelkle, Bettina; Mohammed, Ryan S; Coogan, Michael P; McMullan, Mark; Gillingham, Emma L; VAN Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2012-11-01

    SUMMARY The enemy release hypothesis proposes that in parasite depleted habitats, populations will experience relaxed selection and become more susceptible (or less tolerant) to pathogenic infections. Here, we focus on a population of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) that are found in an extreme environment (the Pitch Lake, Trinidad) and examine whether this habitat represents a refuge from parasites. We investigated the efficacy of pitch in preventing microbial infections in Pitch Lake guppies, by exposing them to dechlorinated water, and reducing gyrodactylid infections on non-Pitch Lake guppies by transferring them to Pitch Lake water. We show that (i) natural prevalence of ectoparasites in the Pitch Lake is low compared to reference populations, (ii) Pitch Lake guppies transferred into aquarium water develop microbial infections, and (iii) experimentally infected guppies are cured of their gyrodactylid infections both by natural Pitch Lake water and by dechlorinated water containing solid pitch. These results indicate a role for Pitch Lake water in the defence of guppies from their parasites and suggest that Pitch Lake guppies might have undergone enemy release in this extreme environment. The Pitch Lake provides an ideal ecosystem for studies on immune gene evolution in the absence of parasites and long-term evolutionary implications of hydrocarbon pollution for vertebrates.

  6. The Risk of Vocal Fold Atrophy after Serial Corticosteroid Injections of the Vocal Fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    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.

  7. The viscoelastic flow behavior of pitches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleurot, Olivier

    1998-11-01

    For the first time, a commercial impregnating coal-tar pitch was air-blown (or heat-treated) for various periods of time to produce series of treated pitches. Each pitch was chemically and rheologically characterized. During air-blowing, the formation of large, aromatic, cross- linked molecules increased the elasticity of the pitch and prevented mesophase formation. During heat-treatment, large, planar, aromatic molecules formed and aggregated in mesophase spheres. These two-phase materials exhibited yield stress behavior. Also, their elasticity was similar to that of air-blown pitches. The flow/microstructure relationship in mesophase pitches was investigated. It was found that the steady and transient shear behaviors of mesophase pitches were qualitatively similar to that of LCPs. Also, the size of the structure decreased with increasing shear rate. Upon cessation of flow, the structure slowly coarsened. New techniques were proposed to estimate (1) relaxation time for structure recovery, and (2) the average elastic constant of mesophase pitches. Using Marrucci's model (originally designed for LCPs) it was possible for the first time to predict mesophase pitches' structure shrinkage during pure shear. Finally, the flow-induced structural development that occurs during extrusion of mesophase pitch through capillaries was observed and accurately predicted by coupling computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to Marrucci's model. Using a viscoelastic stress tensor to characterize the pitch flow behavior, the model was able to accurately predict the magnitude of the vortex experimentally observed at the spinnerette capillary counterbore as well as the extend of die swell at the exit of the capillary.

  8. Two-voice complexity from a single side of the syrinx in northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zollinger, Sue Anne; Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A

    2008-06-01

    The diverse vocal signals of songbirds are produced by highly coordinated motor patterns of syringeal and respiratory muscles. These muscles control separate sound generators on the right and left side of the duplex vocal organ, the syrinx. Whereas most song is under active neural control, there has been a growing interest in a different class of nonlinear vocalizations consisting of frequency jumps, subharmonics, biphonation and deterministic chaos that are also present in the vocal repertoires of many vertebrates, including many birds. These nonlinear phenomena may not require active neural control, depending instead on the intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of the oscillators housed within each side of the syrinx. This study investigates the occurrence of these phenomena in the vocalizations of intact northern mockingbirds Mimus polyglottos. By monitoring respiratory pressure and airflow on each side of the syrinx, we provide the first analysis of the contribution made by each side of the syrinx to the production of nonlinear phenomena and are able to reliably discriminate two-voice vocalizations from potentially similar appearing, unilaterally produced, nonlinear events. We present the first evidence of syringeal lateralization of nonlinear dynamics during bilaterally produced chaotic calls. The occurrence of unilateral nonlinear events was not consistently correlated with fluctuations in air sac pressure or the rate of syringeal airflow. Our data support previous hypotheses for mechanical and acoustic coupling between the two sides of the syrinx. These results help lay a foundation upon which to understand the communicative functions of nonlinear phenomena.

  9. Intraoperative handheld probe for 3D imaging of pediatric benign vocal fold lesions using optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benboujja, Fouzi; Garcia, Jordan; Beaudette, Kathy; Strupler, Mathias; Hartnick, Christopher J.; Boudoux, Caroline

    2016-02-01

    Excessive and repetitive force applied on vocal fold tissue can induce benign vocal fold lesions. Children affected suffer from chronic hoarseness. In this instance, the vibratory ability of the folds, a complex layered microanatomy, becomes impaired. Histological findings have shown that lesions produce a remodeling of sup-epithelial vocal fold layers. However, our understanding of lesion features and development is still limited. Indeed, conventional imaging techniques do not allow a non-invasive assessment of sub-epithelial integrity of the vocal fold. Furthermore, it remains challenging to differentiate these sub-epithelial lesions (such as bilateral nodules, polyps and cysts) from a clinical perspective, as their outer surfaces are relatively similar. As treatment strategy differs for each lesion type, it is critical to efficiently differentiate sub-epithelial alterations involved in benign lesions. In this study, we developed an optical coherence tomography (OCT) based handheld probe suitable for pediatric laryngological imaging. The probe allows for rapid three-dimensional imaging of vocal fold lesions. The system is adapted to allow for high-resolution intra-operative imaging. We imaged 20 patients undergoing direct laryngoscopy during which we looked at different benign pediatric pathologies such as bilateral nodules, cysts and laryngeal papillomatosis and compared them to healthy tissue. We qualitatively and quantitatively characterized laryngeal pathologies and demonstrated the added advantage of using 3D OCT imaging for lesion discrimination and margin assessment. OCT evaluation of the integrity of the vocal cord could yield to a better pediatric management of laryngeal diseases.

  10. A Rat Excised Larynx Model of Vocal Fold Scar

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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…

  11. Voice training and changing weight--are they reflected in speaking fundamental frequency, voice range, and pitch breaks of 13-year-old girls? A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Elizabeth C; Kenny, Dianna T

    2011-09-01

    Assessment of the voice-change progress of 20 girls (12-13 years) over 1 year by observing changes in speaking fundamental frequency (SFo), voice range, and register pitch breaks in the context of weight, height, voice training, and self-perception. One-year longitudinal collective case study. Twenty girls were recorded at the beginning and end of a year; nine girls were recorded another three times. SFo, vocal range, and characteristics were analyzed and interactions between these data assessed against weight and height to indicate pubertal development, and to test the hypothesis that changes in weight, height, SFo, and pitch breaks were related. Effects of training and the girls' self-perception of their voice use were also assessed. Vocal characteristics changed as the girls passed through different weight ranges. During 47.5-52.4 kg (called band 2) and 52.4-57.5 kg (band 3), there was progressive contraction of vocal range and in some girls a slight rise in SFo between recording times 1 and 5. Both high- and low-pitch breaks were present in 45% of girls' voices. Girls in band 4 (confidence; all girls lost confidence in their voice use over the year. In this longitudinal study of twenty 13-year-old girls, voice changes in SFo, vocal range, and pitch-break frequency were synchronous with certain weight ranges. Girls with training registered higher maximum phonational frequency and were more confident in their voice use than girls without training. Copyright © 2011 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Pitch modelling for the Nguni languages

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Govender, N

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available linguistic and physical variables of a prosodic nature in this family of languages. Firstly we undertake a set of experiments to select an appropriate pitch tracking algorithm for the the Nguni family of languages. We then use this pitch tracking algorithm...

  13. Learning Novel Musical Pitch via Distributional Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Jia Hoong; Burnham, Denis; Stevens, Catherine J.

    2017-01-01

    Because different musical scales use different sets of intervals and, hence, different musical pitches, how do music listeners learn those that are in their native musical system? One possibility is that musical pitches are acquired in the same way as phonemes, that is, via distributional learning, in which learners infer knowledge from the…

  14. Learning Novel Musical Pitch via Distributional Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Jia Hoong; Burnham, Denis; Stevens, Catherine J.

    2017-01-01

    Because different musical scales use different sets of intervals and, hence, different musical pitches, how do music listeners learn those that are in their native musical system? One possibility is that musical pitches are acquired in the same way as phonemes, that is, via distributional learning, in which learners infer knowledge from the…

  15. Vocal Loading in Speaking a Foreign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järvinen, Kati; Laukkanen, Anne-Maria

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether speaking a foreign language affects the subjective notions of vocal fatigue, and whether acoustic measurements reveal a higher vocal loading. The speech samples of 20 native Finnish-speaking and 23 native English-speaking subjects were recorded in Finnish and in English. From the speech samples, fundamental frequency, equivalent sound level, total duration of voiced speech, speech rate, alpha ratio and L1-L0 level difference were analyzed. Vocal doses were calculated. According to subjective notions, the voice gets tired more quickly when speaking a foreign language. The mean fundamental frequency increased but the speech rate and total duration of voiced speech decreased significantly when speaking a foreign language. Thus, the vocal doses decreased. The subjective sensations of increased vocal fatigue may be due to increased mental stress rather than to higher vocal loading. However, a trend that speaking a foreign language may involve more loading was found in L1-L0 level difference and in the doses normalized to time dose. Longer speech samples should be studied. Voice quality-based indicators of vocal loading are worth testing in addition to the measures based on the amount of voicing in speech. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Pianists exhibit enhanced memory for vocal melodies but not piano melodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Michael W; Vanzella, Patrícia; Schellenberg, E Glenn; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-01-01

    Nonmusicians remember vocal melodies (i.e., sung to la la) better than instrumental melodies. If greater exposure to the voice contributes to those effects, then long-term experience with instrumental timbres should elicit instrument-specific advantages. Here we evaluate this hypothesis by comparing pianists with other musicians and nonmusicians. We also evaluate the possibility that absolute pitch (AP), which involves exceptional memory for isolated pitches, influences melodic memory. Participants heard 24 melodies played in four timbres (voice, piano, banjo, marimba) and were subsequently required to distinguish the melodies heard previously from 24 novel melodies presented in the same timbres. Musicians performed better than nonmusicians, but both groups showed a comparable memory advantage for vocal melodies. Moreover, pianists performed no better on melodies played on piano than on other instruments, and AP musicians performed no differently than non-AP musicians. The findings confirm the robust nature of the voice advantage and rule out explanations based on familiarity, practice, and motor representations.

  17. 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

  18. Vocal learning beyond imitation: mechanisms of adaptive vocal development in songbirds and human infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tchernichovski, Ofer; Marcus, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Studies of vocal learning in songbirds typically focus on the acquisition of sensory templates for song imitation and on the consequent process of matching song production to templates. However, functional vocal development also requires the capacity to adaptively diverge from sensory templates, and to flexibly assemble vocal units. Examples of adaptive divergence include the corrective imitation of abnormal songs, and the decreased tendency to copy over-abundant syllables. Such frequency-dependent effects might mirror tradeoffs between the assimilation of group identity (culture) while establishing individual and flexibly expressive songs. Intriguingly, although the requirements for vocal plasticity vary across songbirds, and more so between birdsong and language, the capacity to flexibly assemble vocal sounds develops in a similar, stepwise manner across species. Therefore, universal features of vocal learning go well beyond the capacity to imitate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Vocal patterns of adult females and juveniles Caiman yacare (Crocodilia: Alligatoridae) in Brazilian Pantanal wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicuro, Fernando L; Iack-Ximenes, Gilson E; Wogel, Henrique; Bilate, Marcos

    2013-09-01

    The Paraguayan caiman (Caiman yacare) is the main Caimaninae species occurring in the Brazilian Pantanal Wetland. Despite the relative availability of works focused on biology and conservation of the Paraguayan caiman, almost nothing is known about its vocal structure and behavior. We recorded aggressive calls of adult caiman females guarding nests and, afterwards, the distress calls of the new born juvenile caimans in seasonally flooded areas of the Nhecolândia (Southern Pantanal). The results of both observations and sonographic analyses diverged from studies with other crocodilian species. Aggressive vocalization of adult females of the Paraguayan caiman was longer and more complex than the same vocalization of larger Alligatoridae species. Vocalizations of the young caimans presented interspecific differences with other crocodilian offsprings. Moreover, we found statistically significant intraspecific variation in the distress call structure among different pods, even separated by few kilometers. Differences in distress call structure were tested by Canonical Discriminant Analysis (CDA). We obtained the squared Mahalanobis distances between the acoustic multivariate spaces of each pod provided by the CDA and compared with the geographic distance between the bays of origin of each pod through Mantel Test. The geographic distance by itself did not explain the differences found in the structure of the vocalization of young caimans from different pods. The adult females of Paraguayan caiman positively responded to playbacks of calls from juvenile caimans from pods of other regions, as well as to rough imitations of distress call. Since the adult caimans showed protective responses to quite heterogeneous vocalizations of distress by juveniles, we hypothesized that the variation in the distress call pattern may be associated to a low specificity in sound recognition by adult caimans.

  20. A thermoanalytical study of the co-pyrolysis of coal-tar pitch and petroleum pitch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Perez; M. Granda; R. Santamaria; T. Morgan; R. Menendez [Instituto Nacional del Carbon, CSIC, Oviedo (Spain)

    2004-06-01

    Four pitch blends were prepared at laboratory scale by mixing a coal-tar pitch and a petroleum pitch in several proportions (CTP:PP 85:15, 70:30, 55:45 and 40:60). Single pitches and blends were characterized by standard procedures, infrared spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography. Pyrolysis behaviour and interactions between the two pitches in the blends were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The results show that blending does not alter the composition of pitches. However, the TG/DTG curves reveal that coal-tar pitch and petroleum pitch interact actively during pyrolysis, modifying the temperature of initial weight loss and the temperature of the maximum rate of weight loss. Primary quinoline-insoluble particles present in coal-tar pitch and transferable hydrogen seem to be the main factors responsible for these modifications. The DSC curves show that the presence of coal-tar pitch in the blends reduces the reactivity of the petroleum pitch and shifts the exothermic peaks observed at the temperature of the cracking/polymerization reactions ({gt}400{sup o}C) to lower temperatures. 18 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  1. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) vocally protest against violations of social expectations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Zanna; Ravaux, Lucie; de Waal, Frans B M; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2016-02-01

    Research has shown that great apes possess certain expectations about social regularities and both perceive and act according to social rules within their group. During natural and experimentally induced contexts, such as the inequitable distribution of resources, individuals also show protesting behaviors when their expectations about a social situation are violated. Despite broad interest in this topic, systematic research examining the nature of these expectations and the communicative signals individuals use to express them remains scant. Here, we addressed this by exploring whether bonobos (Pan paniscus) respond to violations of social expectations in naturally occurring social interactions, focusing on the vocal behavior of victims following socially expected and unexpected aggression. Expected aggression included conflicts over a contested resource and conflicts that were provoked by the victim. Unexpected aggression was any spontaneous, unprovoked hostility toward the victim. For each conflict, we also determined its severity and the composition of the nearby audience. We found that the acoustic and temporal structure of victim screams was individually distinct and varied significantly depending on whether or not aggression could be socially predicted. Certain acoustic parameters also varied as a function of conflict severity, but unlike social expectation, conflict severity did not discriminate scream acoustic structure overall. We found no effect of audience composition. We concluded that, beyond the physical nature of a conflict, bonobos possess certain social expectations about how they should be treated and will publicly protest with acoustically distinctive vocal signals if these expectations are violated.

  2. Vocal cord paralysis caused by stingray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Oh Jin; Park, Jung Je; Kim, Jin Pyeong; Woo, Seung Hoon

    2013-11-01

    Foreign bodies in the oral cavity and pharynx are commonly encountered in the emergency room and outpatient departments, and the most frequently observed of these foreign bodies are fish bones. Among the possible complications resulting from a pharyngeal foreign body, vocal cord fixation is extremely rare, with only three cases previously reported in the English literature. The mechanisms of vocal cord fixation can be classified into mechanical articular fixation, direct injury of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, or recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis secondary to inflammation. The case discussed here is different from previous cases. We report a rare case of vocal cord paralysis caused by the venom of a stingray tail in the hypopharynx.

  3. Vocal cord paralysis in a fighter pilot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maturo, Stephen; Brennan, Joseph

    2006-01-01

    We present in this case report the return to flying duty of a pilot with vocal cord paralysis secondary to removal of a thymoma. We discuss the importance of glottic function as it pertains to the unique aviation environment. We also discuss the anatomy and physiology of the glottis, the evaluation for vocal cord paralysis, and surgical approaches for paralyzed vocal cords. Although the incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis is low in the military aviation community, it is important to recognize that its sequelae can be managed so that the aviator may return to flight duties.

  4. Duration, Pitch, and Loudness in Kunqu Opera Stage Speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Qichao; Sundberg, Johan

    2017-03-01

    Kunqu is a special type of opera within the Chinese tradition with 600 years of history. In it, stage speech is used for the spoken dialogue. It is performed in Ming Dynasty's mandarin language and is a much more dominant part of the play than singing. Stage speech deviates considerably from normal conversational speech with respect to duration, loudness and pitch. This paper compares these properties in stage speech conversational speech. A famous, highly experienced female singer's performed stage speech and reading of the same lyrics in a conversational speech mode. Clear differences are found. As compared with conversational speech, stage speech had longer word and sentence duration and word duration was less variable. Average sound level was 16 dB higher. Also mean fundamental frequency was considerably higher and more varied. Within sentences, both loudness and fundamental frequency tended to vary according to a low-high-low pattern. Some of the findings fail to support current opinions regarding the characteristics of stage speech, and in this sense the study demonstrates the relevance of objective measurements in descriptions of vocal styles. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Impaired encoding of rapid pitch information underlies perception and memory deficits in congenital amusia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albouy, Philippe; Cousineau, Marion; Caclin, Anne; Tillmann, Barbara; Peretz, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Recent theories suggest that the basis of neurodevelopmental auditory disorders such as dyslexia or specific language impairment might be a low-level sensory dysfunction. In the present study we test this hypothesis in congenital amusia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in the processing of pitch-based material. We manipulated the temporal characteristics of auditory stimuli and investigated the influence of the time given to encode pitch information on participants’ performance in discrimination and short-term memory. Our results show that amusics’ performance in such tasks scales with the duration available to encode acoustic information. This suggests that in auditory neuro-developmental disorders, abnormalities in early steps of the auditory processing can underlie the high-level deficits (here musical disabilities). Observing that the slowing down of temporal dynamics improves amusics’ pitch abilities allows considering this approach as a potential tool for remediation in developmental auditory disorders. PMID:26732511

  6. Impaired encoding of rapid pitch information underlies perception and memory deficits in congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albouy, Philippe; Cousineau, Marion; Caclin, Anne; Tillmann, Barbara; Peretz, Isabelle

    2016-01-06

    Recent theories suggest that the basis of neurodevelopmental auditory disorders such as dyslexia or specific language impairment might be a low-level sensory dysfunction. In the present study we test this hypothesis in congenital amusia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in the processing of pitch-based material. We manipulated the temporal characteristics of auditory stimuli and investigated the influence of the time given to encode pitch information on participants' performance in discrimination and short-term memory. Our results show that amusics' performance in such tasks scales with the duration available to encode acoustic information. This suggests that in auditory neuro-developmental disorders, abnormalities in early steps of the auditory processing can underlie the high-level deficits (here musical disabilities). Observing that the slowing down of temporal dynamics improves amusics' pitch abilities allows considering this approach as a potential tool for remediation in developmental auditory disorders.

  7. Polarity-Specific Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Disrupts Auditory Pitch Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reiko eMatsushita

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is attracting increasing interest because of its potential for therapeutic use. While its effects have been investigated mainly with motor and visual tasks, less is known in the auditory domain. Past tDCS studies with auditory tasks demonstrated various behavioural outcomes, possibly due to differences in stimulation parameters or task measurements used in each study. Further research using well-validated tasks are therefore required for clarification of behavioural effects of tDCS on the auditory system. Here, we took advantage of findings from a prior functional magnetic resonance imaging study, which demonstrated that the right auditory cortex is modulated during fine-grained pitch learning of microtonal melodic patterns. Targeting the right auditory cortex with tDCS using this same task thus allowed us to test the hypothesis that this region is causally involved in pitch learning. Participants in the current study were trained for three days while we measured pitch discrimination thresholds using microtonal melodies on each day using a psychophysical staircase procedure. We administered anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS to three groups of participants over the right auditory cortex on the second day of training during performance of the task. Both the sham and the cathodal groups showed the expected significant learning effect (decreased pitch threshold over the three days of training; in contrast we observed a blocking effect of anodal tDCS on auditory pitch learning, such that this group showed no significant change in thresholds over the three days. The results support a causal role for the right auditory cortex in pitch discrimination learning.

  8. Modulation of auditory cortex response to pitch variation following training with microtonal melodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Zatorre

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested changes in cortical functional response to auditory configural learning by training ten human listeners to discriminate micromelodies (consisting of smaller pitch intervals than normally used in Western music. We measured covariation in blood oxygenation signal to increasing pitch-interval size in order to dissociate global changes in activity from those specifically associated with the stimulus feature of interest. A psychophysical staircase procedure with feedback was used for training over a two-week period. Behavioral tests of discrimination ability performed before and after training showed significant learning on the trained stimuli, and generalization to other frequencies and tasks; no learning occurred in an untrained control group. Before training the functional MRI data showed the expected systematic increase in activity in auditory cortices as a function of increasing micromelody pitch-interval size. This function became shallower after training, with the maximal change observed in the right posterior auditory cortex. Global decreases in activity in auditory regions, along with global increases in frontal cortices also occurred after training. Individual variation in learning rate was related to the hemodynamic slope to pitch-interval size, such that those who had a higher sensitivity to pitch-interval variation prior to learning achieved the fastest learning. We conclude that configural auditory learning entails modulation in the response of auditory cortex specifically to the trained stimulus feature. Reduction in blood oxygenation response to increasing pitch-interval size suggests that fewer computational resources, and hence lower neural recruitment, is associated with learning, in accord with models of auditory cortex function, and with data from other modalities.

  9. Neck Circumference and Vocal Parameters in Women Before and After Bariatric Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Lourdes Bernadete Rocha; Pernambuco, Leandro de Araújo; dos Santos, Marquiony Marques; Pereira, Rayane Medeiros

    2016-03-01

    Morbidly obese patients may suffer from vocal disorders, as vocal production is directly related to the volume of the vocal tract, and the large-scale accumulation of fat in this region may interfere with voice production. The aim of this study was to analyze the neck circumference, fundamental frequency, and maximum phonation time of a group of morbidly obese women before and after bariatric surgery. An observational, longitudinal, and descriptive study was performed with patients of the Obesity and Related Diseases Surgery Unit of a university hospital. A total of 21 morbidly obese women aged 28-68 years, with a mean age of 41.33 years, participated in the study. Neck circumference was measured using a tape measure. To obtain fundamental frequency values, the patient was asked to produce the vowel [a] at normal intensity and pitch for an average period of 3 s. After recording, the participants were asked to produce the sustained vowels [a], [i], and [u] at normal intensity and pitch, with a stopwatch used to measure maximum phonation time. Eight months after surgery, patients were reassessed using the same data collecting procedures as were carried out prior to surgery. After surgery, there was an increase in the average value of fundamental frequency and maximum phonation time for all the vowels and a reduction in neck circumference. The differences were statistically significant. Weight reduction and a consequent decrease in neck circumference affected the changes in maximum phonation time and fundamental frequency values in the voices of these patients, after weight loss.

  10. Developmental sex-specific change in auditory-vocal integration: ERP evidence in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng; Chen, Zhaocong; Jones, Jeffery A; Wang, Emily Q; Chen, Shaozhen; Huang, Dongfeng; Liu, Hanjun

    2013-03-01

    The present event-related potential (ERP) study examined the developmental mechanisms of auditory-vocal integration in normally developing children. Neurophysiological responses to altered auditory feedback were recorded to determine whether they are affected by age and sex. Forty-two children were pairwise matched for sex and were divided into a group of younger (10-12years) and a group of older (13-15years) children. Twenty healthy young adults (20-25years) also participated in the experiment. ERPs were recorded from the participants who heard their voice pitch feedback unexpectedly shifted -50, -100, or -200 cents during sustained vocalization. P1 amplitudes became smaller as subjects increased in age from childhood to adulthood, and males produced larger N1 amplitudes than females. An age-related decrease in the P1-N1 latencies was also found: latencies were shorter in young adults than in school children. A complex age-by-sex interaction was found for the P2 component, where an age-related increase in P2 amplitudes existed only in girls, and boys produced longer P2 latencies than girls but only in the older children. These findings demonstrate that neurophysiological responses to pitch errors in voice auditory feedback depend on age and sex in normally developing children. The present study provides evidence that there is a sex-specific development of the neural mechanisms involved in auditory-vocal integration. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Weight-bearing MR imaging as an option in the study of gravitational effects on the vocal tract of untrained subjects in singing phonation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traser, Louisa; Burdumy, Michael; Richter, Bernhard; Vicari, Marco; Echternach, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of subjects in a supine position can be used to evaluate the configuration of the vocal tract during phonation. However, studies of speech phonation have shown that gravity can affect vocal tract shape and bias measurements. This is one of the reasons that MRI studies of singing phonation have used professionally trained singers as subjects, because they are generally considered to be less affected by the supine body position and environmental distractions. A study of untrained singers might not only contribute to the understanding of intuitive singing function and aid the evaluation of potential hazards for vocal health, but also provide insights into the effect of the supine position on singers in general. In the present study, an open configuration 0.25 T MRI system with a rotatable examination bed was used to study the effect of body position in 20 vocally untrained subjects. The subjects were asked to sing sustained tones in both supine and upright body positions on different pitches and in different register conditions. Morphometric measurements were taken from the acquired images of a sagittal slice depicting the vocal tract. The analysis concerning the vocal tract configuration in the two body positions revealed differences in 5 out of 10 measured articulatory parameters. In the upright position the jaw was less protruded, the uvula was elongated, the larynx more tilted and the tongue was positioned more to the front of the mouth than in the supine position. The findings presented are in agreement with several studies on gravitational effects in speech phonation, but contrast with the results of a previous study on professional singers of our group where only minor differences between upright and supine body posture were observed. The present study demonstrates that imaging of the vocal tract using weight-bearing MR imaging is a feasible tool for the study of sustained phonation in singing for vocally untrained subjects.

  12. Human cerebral response to animal affective vocalizations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pascal Belin; Shirley Fecteau; Ian Charest; Nicholas Nicastro; Marc D Hauser; Jorge L Armony

    2008-01-01

    .... Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in normal participants to measure cerebral activity during auditory stimulation with affectively valenced animal vocalizations, some familiar (cats) and others not (rhesus monkeys...

  13. Improvement of a Vocal Fold Imaging System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-01

    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.

  14. Male songbird indicates body size with low-pitched advertising songs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L Hall

    Full Text Available Body size is a key sexually selected trait in many animal species. If size imposes a physical limit on the production of loud low-frequency sounds, then low-pitched vocalisations could act as reliable signals of body size. However, the central prediction of this hypothesis--that the pitch of vocalisations decreases with size among competing individuals--has limited support in songbirds. One reason could be that only the lowest-frequency components of vocalisations are constrained, and this may go unnoticed when vocal ranges are large. Additionally, the constraint may only be apparent in contexts when individuals are indeed advertising their size. Here we explicitly consider signal diversity and performance limits to demonstrate that body size limits song frequency in an advertising context in a songbird. We show that in purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus coronatus, larger males sing lower-pitched low-frequency advertising songs. The lower frequency bound of all advertising song types also has a significant negative relationship with body size. However, the average frequency of all their advertising songs is unrelated to body size. This comparison of different approaches to the analysis demonstrates how a negative relationship between body size and song frequency can be obscured by failing to consider signal design and the concept of performance limits. Since these considerations will be important in any complex communication system, our results imply that body size constraints on low-frequency vocalisations could be more widespread than is currently recognised.

  15. The evolution of coordinated vocalizations before language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Gregory A

    2014-12-01

    Ackermann et al. briefly point out the potential significance of coordinated vocal behavior in the dual pathway model of acoustic communication. Rhythmically entrained and articulated pre-linguistic vocal activity in early hominins might have set the evolutionary stage for later refinements that manifest in modern humans as language-based conversational turn-taking, joint music-making, and other behaviors associated with prosociality.

  16. Ultrasonic Vocalizations by Adult Rats (Rattus norvegicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    begun. Diazepam , chlordiazepoxide , morphine, or naloxone was administered I.P. prior to placing the rat in the tailshock apparatus. Four different...by chlordiazepoxide and diazepam . Drug Dev. Res., 5, 185-193 (1985). Gardner, C.R., and Budhram, P. Effects of agents which interact with central... diazepam , and chlorpromazine, attenuate these vocalizations. Recent work by Kaltwasser (1990) examined the occurrence of vocalizations in response to

  17. VOCAL SEGMENT CLASSIFICATION IN POPULAR MUSIC

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    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 both the temporal correlations and the dependencies among the feature dimensions. We systematically study the performance of a set of classifiers, including linear regression, generalized linear mode...

  18. Timing matters: The processing of pitch relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annekathrin eWeise

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The human central auditory system can automatically extract abstract regularities from a variant auditory input. To this end, temporarily separated events need to be related. This study tested whether the timing between events, falling either within or outside the temporal window of integration (~350 ms, impacts the extraction of abstract feature relations. We utilized tone pairs for which tones within but not across pairs revealed a constant pitch relation (e.g. pitch of 2nd tone of a pair higher than pitch of 1st tone, while absolute pitch values varied across pairs. We measured the Mismatch Negativity (MMN; the brain’s error signal to auditory regularity violations to 2nd tones that rarely violated the pitch relation (e.g. pitch of 2nd tone lower. A Short condition in which tone duration (90 ms and stimulus onset asynchrony between the tones of a pair were short (110 ms was compared to two conditions, where this onset asynchrony was long (510 ms. In the Long Gap condition the tone durations were identical to Short (90 ms, but the silent interval was prolonged by 400 ms. In Long Tone the duration of the first tone was prolonged by 400 ms, while the silent interval was comparable to Short (20 ms. Results show a frontocentral MMN of comparable amplitude in all conditions. Thus, abstract pitch relations can be extracted even when the within-pair timing exceeds the integration period. Source analyses indicate MMN generators in the supratemporal cortex. Interestingly, they were located more anterior in Long Gap than in Short and Long Tone. Moreover, frontal generator activity was found for Long Gap and Long Tone. Thus, the way in which the system automatically registers irregular abstract pitch relations depends on the timing of the events to be linked. Pending that the current MMN data mirror established abstract rule representations coding the regular pitch relation, neural processes building these templates vary with timing.

  19. Timing matters: the processing of pitch relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Annekathrin; Grimm, Sabine; Trujillo-Barreto, Nelson J.; Schröger, Erich

    2014-01-01

    The human central auditory system can automatically extract abstract regularities from a variant auditory input. To this end, temporarily separated events need to be related. This study tested whether the timing between events, falling either within or outside the temporal window of integration (~350 ms), impacts the extraction of abstract feature relations. We utilized tone pairs for which tones within but not across pairs revealed a constant pitch relation (e.g., pitch of second tone of a pair higher than pitch of first tone, while absolute pitch values varied across pairs). We measured the mismatch negativity (MMN; the brain’s error signal to auditory regularity violations) to second tones that rarely violated the pitch relation (e.g., pitch of second tone lower). A Short condition in which tone duration (90 ms) and stimulus onset asynchrony between the tones of a pair were short (110 ms) was compared to two conditions, where this onset asynchrony was long (510 ms). In the Long Gap condition, the tone durations were identical to Short (90 ms), but the silent interval was prolonged by 400 ms. In Long Tone, the duration of the first tone was prolonged by 400 ms, while the silent interval was comparable to Short (20 ms). Results show a frontocentral MMN of comparable amplitude in all conditions. Thus, abstract pitch relations can be extracted even when the within-pair timing exceeds the integration period. Source analyses indicate MMN generators in the supratemporal cortex. Interestingly, they were located more anterior in Long Gap than in Short and Long Tone. Moreover, frontal generator activity was found for Long Gap and Long Tone. Thus, the way in which the system automatically registers irregular abstract pitch relations depends on the timing of the events to be linked. Pending that the current MMN data mirror established abstract rule representations coding the regular pitch relation, neural processes building these templates vary with timing. PMID:24966823

  20. General principles involved in the effect of noise on hearing and vocal communication in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooling, Robert J.; Dent, Michael L.

    2002-05-01

    Birds provide very useful models for understanding the effects of noise on hearing and acoustic communication. They are excellent subjects for laboratory studies of hearing in which signals and noise can be precisely defined and delivered and behavioral responses can be unambiguously interpreted. For this reason, a huge amount is already known about their hearing. Acoustic communication is critically important for most species of birds and some even acquire their communication signals through vocal learning. For this reason, a lot is already known about how birds perceive complex acoustic signals such as vocalizations. Drawing from both field and laboratory studies, we review what is known about the effects of noise on hearing and vocal communication in birds. This includes the effects of intense noise on the ear, the effects of background noise on the detection and discrimination of both simple sounds and complex vocalizations, and the spatial effects of signal detection in noise in the free-field. As a whole, these studies show that birds are resistant to damage and interference from noise and have developed a variety of strategies to effectively communicate.

  1. A Novel GMM-Based Feature Reduction for Vocal Fold Pathology Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Majidnezhad

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic analysis is a proper method in vocal fold pathology diagnosis so that it can complement and in some cases replace the other invasive, based on direct vocal fold observation, methods. There are different approaches and algorithms for vocal fold pathology diagnosis. These algorithms usually have three stages which are Feature Extraction, Feature Reduction and Classification. While the third stage implies a choice of a variety of machine learning methods (Support Vector Machines, Gaussian Mixture Model, etc., the first and second stages play a critical role in performance and accuracy of the classification system. In this study we present initial study of feature extraction and feature reduction in the task of vocal fold pathology diagnosis. A new type of feature vector, based on wavelet packet decomposition and Mel-Frequency-Cepstral-Coefficients (MFCCs, is proposed. Also a new method for feature reduction is proposed and compared with conventional methods such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA, F-Ratio and Fisher’s discriminant ratio. Gaussian Mixture Model is used as a classifier for evaluating the performance of the proposed method. The results show the priority of the proposed method in comparison with current methods.

  2. Vocal tract articulation in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena R Ohms

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong and human vocal communication are both complex behaviours which show striking similarities mainly thought to be present in the area of development and learning. Recent studies, however, suggest that there are also parallels in vocal production mechanisms. While it has been long thought that vocal tract filtering, as it occurs in human speech, only plays a minor role in birdsong there is an increasing number of studies indicating the presence of sound filtering mechanisms in bird vocalizations as well. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Correlating high-speed X-ray cinematographic imaging of singing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to song structures we identified beak gape and the expansion of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC as potential articulators. We subsequently manipulated both structures in an experiment in which we played sound through the vocal tract of dead birds. Comparing acoustic input with acoustic output showed that OEC expansion causes an energy shift towards lower frequencies and an amplitude increase whereas a wide beak gape emphasizes frequencies around 5 kilohertz and above. CONCLUSION: These findings confirm that birds can modulate their song by using vocal tract filtering and demonstrate how OEC and beak gape contribute to this modulation.

  3. Vocal health fitness to different music styles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cláudia Mendes Caminha Muniz

    2010-09-01

    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.

  4. Effects of stimulus duration and vowel quality in cross-linguistic categorical perception of pitch directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yiqing; Wayland, Ratree

    2017-01-01

    We investigated categorical perception of rising and falling pitch contours by tonal and non-tonal listeners. Specifically, we determined minimum durations needed to perceive both contours and compared to those of production, how stimuli duration affects their perception, whether there is an intrinsic F0 effect, and how first language background, duration, directions of pitch and vowel quality interact with each other. Continua of fundamental frequency on different vowels with 9 duration values were created for identification and discrimination tasks. Less time is generally needed to effectively perceive a pitch direction than to produce it. Overall, tonal listeners’ perception is more categorical than non-tonal listeners. Stimuli duration plays a critical role for both groups, but tonal listeners showed a stronger duration effect, and may benefit more from the extra time in longer stimuli for context-coding, consistent with the multistore model of categorical perception. Within a certain range of semitones, tonal listeners also required shorter stimulus duration to perceive pitch direction changes than non-tonal listeners. Finally, vowel quality plays a limited role and only interacts with duration in perceiving falling pitch directions. These findings further our understanding on models of categorical perception, the relationship between speech perception and production, and the interaction between the perception of tones and vowel quality. PMID:28671991

  5. Effects of stimulus duration and vowel quality in cross-linguistic categorical perception of pitch directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Si; Zhu, Yiqing; Wayland, Ratree

    2017-01-01

    We investigated categorical perception of rising and falling pitch contours by tonal and non-tonal listeners. Specifically, we determined minimum durations needed to perceive both contours and compared to those of production, how stimuli duration affects their perception, whether there is an intrinsic F0 effect, and how first language background, duration, directions of pitch and vowel quality interact with each other. Continua of fundamental frequency on different vowels with 9 duration values were created for identification and discrimination tasks. Less time is generally needed to effectively perceive a pitch direction than to produce it. Overall, tonal listeners' perception is more categorical than non-tonal listeners. Stimuli duration plays a critical role for both groups, but tonal listeners showed a stronger duration effect, and may benefit more from the extra time in longer stimuli for context-coding, consistent with the multistore model of categorical perception. Within a certain range of semitones, tonal listeners also required shorter stimulus duration to perceive pitch direction changes than non-tonal listeners. Finally, vowel quality plays a limited role and only interacts with duration in perceiving falling pitch directions. These findings further our understanding on models of categorical perception, the relationship between speech perception and production, and the interaction between the perception of tones and vowel quality.

  6. Vocal development and auditory perception in CBA/CaJ mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radziwon, Kelly E.

    Mice are useful laboratory subjects because of their small size, their modest cost, and the fact that researchers have created many different strains to study a variety of disorders. In particular, researchers have found nearly 100 naturally occurring mouse mutations with hearing impairments. For these reasons, mice have become an important model for studies of human deafness. Although much is known about the genetic makeup and physiology of the laboratory mouse, far less is known about mouse auditory behavior. To fully understand the effects of genetic mutations on hearing, it is necessary to determine the hearing abilities of these mice. Two experiments here examined various aspects of mouse auditory perception using CBA/CaJ mice, a commonly used mouse strain. The frequency difference limens experiment tested the mouse's ability to discriminate one tone from another based solely on the frequency of the tone. The mice had similar thresholds as wild mice and gerbils but needed a larger change in frequency than humans and cats. The second psychoacoustic experiment sought to determine which cue, frequency or duration, was more salient when the mice had to identify various tones. In this identification task, the mice overwhelmingly classified the tones based on frequency instead of duration, suggesting that mice are using frequency when differentiating one mouse vocalization from another. The other two experiments were more naturalistic and involved both auditory perception and mouse vocal production. Interest in mouse vocalizations is growing because of the potential for mice to become a model of human speech disorders. These experiments traced mouse vocal development from infant to adult, and they tested the mouse's preference for various vocalizations. This was the first known study to analyze the vocalizations of individual mice across development. Results showed large variation in calling rates among the three cages of adult mice but results were highly

  7. Relating binaural pitch perception to the individual listener's auditory profile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    The ability of eight normal-hearing listeners and fourteen listeners with sensorineural hearing loss to detect and identify pitch contours was measured for binaural-pitch stimuli and salience-matched monaurally detectable pitches. In an effort to determine whether impaired binaural pitch perception...... were found not to perceive binaural pitch at all, despite a clear detection of monaural pitch. While both binaural and monaural pitches were detectable by all other listeners, identification scores were significantly lower for binaural than for monaural pitch. A total absence of binaural pitch...... sensation coexisted with a loss of a binaural signal-detection advantage in noise, without implying reduced cognitive function. Auditory filter bandwidths did not correlate with the difference in pitch identification scores between binaural and monaural pitches. However, subjects with impaired binaural...

  8. Voice analysis before and after vocal rehabilitation in patients following open surgery on vocal cords

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bunijevac Mila

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. The major role of larynx in speech, respiration and swallowing makes carcinomas of this region and their treatment very influential for patients’ life quality. The aim of this study was to assess the importance of voice therapy in patients after open surgery on vocal cords. Methods. This study included 21 male patients and the control group of 19 subjects. The vowel (A was recorded and analyzed for each examinee. All the patients were recorded twice: firstly, when they contacted the clinic and secondly, after a three-month vocal therapy, which was held twice per week on an outpatient basis. The voice analysis was carried out in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT Clinic, Clinical Hospital Center “Zvezdara” in Belgrade. Results. The values of the acoustic parameters in the patients submitted to open surgery on the vocal cords before vocal rehabilitation and the control group subjects were significantly different in all specified parameters. These results suggest that the voice of the patients was damaged before vocal rehabilitation. The results of the acoustic parameters of the vowel (A before and after vocal rehabilitation of the patients with open surgery on vocal cords were statistically significantly different. Among the parameters - Jitter (%, Shimmer (% - the observed difference was highly statistically significant (p 0.05 . Conclusion. There was a significant improvement of the acoustic parameters of the vowel (A in the study subjects three months following vocal therapy. Only one out of five representative parameters showed no significant improvement.

  9. Transcription and the Pitch Angle of DNA

    CERN Document Server

    Olsen, Kasper W

    2013-01-01

    The question of the value of the pitch angle of DNA is visited from the perspective of a geometrical analysis of transcription. It is suggested that for transcription to be possible, the pitch angle of B-DNA must be smaller than the angle of zero-twist. At the zero-twist angle the double helix is maximally rotated and its strain-twist coupling vanishes. A numerical estimate of the pitch angle for B-DNA based on differential geometry is compared with numbers obtained from existing empirical data. The crystallographic studies shows that the pitch angle is approximately 38 deg., less than the corresponding zero-twist angle of 41.8 deg., which is consistent with the suggested principle for transcription.

  10. High speed digital phonoscopy of selected extreme vocalization (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izdebski, Krzysztof; Blanco, Matthew; Di Lorenzo, Enrico; Yan, Yuling

    2017-02-01

    We used HSDP (KayPENTAX Model 9710, NJ, USA) to capture the kinematics of vocal folds in the production of extreme vocalization used by heavy metal performers. The vibrations of the VF were captured at 4000 f/s using transoral rigid scope. Growl, scream and inhalatory phonations were recoded. Results showed that these extreme sounds are produced predominantly by supraglottic tissues rather than by the true vocal folds, which explains while these sounds do not injure the mucosa of the true vocal folds. In addition, the HSDI were processed using custom software (Vocalizer®) that clearly demonstrated the contribution of each vocal fold to the generation of the sound.

  11. Individual differences in the perception of melodic contours and pitch-accent timing in speech: Support for domain-generality of pitch processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrill, Tuuli H; McAuley, J Devin; Dilley, Laura C; Hambrick, David Z

    2015-08-01

    Do the same mechanisms underlie processing of music and language? Recent investigations of this question have yielded inconsistent results. Likely factors contributing to discrepant findings are use of small samples and failure to control for individual differences in cognitive ability. We investigated the relationship between music and speech prosody processing, while controlling for cognitive ability. Participants (n = 179) completed a battery of cognitive ability tests, the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) to assess music perception, and a prosody test of pitch peak timing discrimination (early, as in insight vs. late, incite). Structural equation modeling revealed that only music perception was a significant predictor of prosody test performance. Music perception accounted for 34.5% of variance on prosody test performance; cognitive abilities and music training added only about 8%. These results indicate musical pitch and temporal processing are highly predictive of pitch discrimination in speech processing, even after controlling for other possible predictors of this aspect of language processing. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Correlation between vocal functions and glottal measurements in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagi, K; Khidr, A A; Ford, C N; Bless, D M; Heisey, D M

    1997-06-01

    Observations and analysis of glottal characteristics are critical in choosing the best modality for surgery in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVP). This study suggests that multiple glottal characteristics influence the vocal product in patients with UVP. In addition to the horizontal position of the paralyzed vocal fold (deviation from the midline), the glottal area, degree of bowing of the paralyzed and contralateral vocal folds, maximum separation between vocal folds, compensatory glottal maneuvers, and the vertical glottic closure plane significantly influenced the quality of the voice. Clinicians should be aware of these observations to facilitate treatment planning and assessment of the results of surgical procedures used to improve voice quality in cases of UVP.

  13. Effects of culture on musical pitch perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C M Wong

    Full Text Available The strong association between music and speech has been supported by recent research focusing on musicians' superior abilities in second language learning and neural encoding of foreign speech sounds. However, evidence for a double association--the influence of linguistic background on music pitch processing and disorders--remains elusive. Because languages differ in their usage of elements (e.g., pitch that are also essential for music, a unique opportunity for examining such language-to-music associations comes from a cross-cultural (linguistic comparison of congenital amusia, a neurogenetic disorder affecting the music (pitch and rhythm processing of about 5% of the Western population. In the present study, two populations (Hong Kong and Canada were compared. One spoke a tone language in which differences in voice pitch correspond to differences in word meaning (in Hong Kong Cantonese, /si/ means 'teacher' and 'to try' when spoken in a high and mid pitch pattern, respectively. Using the On-line Identification Test of Congenital Amusia, we found Cantonese speakers as a group tend to show enhanced pitch perception ability compared to speakers of Canadian French and English (non-tone languages. This enhanced ability occurs in the absence of differences in rhythmic perception and persists even after relevant factors such as musical background and age were controlled. Following a common definition of amusia (5% of the population, we found Hong Kong pitch amusics also show enhanced pitch abilities relative to their Canadian counterparts. These findings not only provide critical evidence for a double association of music and speech, but also argue for the reconceptualization of communicative disorders within a cultural framework. Along with recent studies documenting cultural differences in visual perception, our auditory evidence challenges the common assumption of universality of basic mental processes and speaks to the domain generality of

  14. Decoding of Baby Calls: Can Adult Humans Identify the Eliciting Situation from Emotional Vocalizations of Preverbal Infants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitka Lindová

    Full Text Available Preverbal infants often vocalize in emotionally loaded situations, yet the communicative potential of these vocalizations is not well understood. The aim of our study was to assess how accurately adult listeners extract information about the eliciting situation from infant preverbal vocalizations. Vocalizations of 19 infants aged 5-10 months were recorded in 3 negative (Pain, Isolation, Demand for Food and 3 positive (Play, Reunion, After Feeding situations. The recordings were later rated by 333 adult listeners on the scales of emotional valence and intensity. Subsequently, the listeners assigned the eliciting situations in a forced choice task. Listeners were almost perfectly able to discriminate whether a recording came from a negative or a positive situation. Their discrimination may have been based on perceived valence as they consistently assigned higher valence when listening to positive, and lower valence when listening to negative, recordings. Ability to identify the particular situation within the negative or positive realm was substantially weaker, with only three of the six situations being discriminated above chance. The best discriminated situation, Play, was associated with high perceived intensity. The weak qualitative discrimination of negative situations seemed to be based on graded perception of negative recordings, from the most intense and unpleasant (assigned to Pain to the least intense and least unpleasant (assigned to Demand for Food. Parenthood and younger age, but not gender of listeners, had weak positive effects on the accuracy of judgments. Our results indicate that adults almost flawlessly distinguish positive and negative infant sounds, but are rather inaccurate regarding identification of the specific needs of the infant and may normally employ other sensory channels to gain this information.

  15. Perceptual pitch deficits coexist with pitch production difficulties in music but not Mandarin speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wu-Xia; Feng, Jie; Huang, Wan-Ting; Zhang, Cheng-Xiang; Nan, Yun

    2013-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a musical disorder that mainly affects pitch perception. Among Mandarin speakers, some amusics also have difficulties in processing lexical tones (tone agnosics). To examine to what extent these perceptual deficits may be related to pitch production impairments in music and Mandarin speech, eight amusics, eight tone agnosics, and 12 age- and IQ-matched normal native Mandarin speakers were asked to imitate music note sequences and Mandarin words of comparable lengths. The results indicated that both the amusics and tone agnosics underperformed the controls on musical pitch production. However, tone agnosics performed no worse than the amusics, suggesting that lexical tone perception deficits may not aggravate musical pitch production difficulties. Moreover, these three groups were all able to imitate lexical tones with perfect intelligibility. Taken together, the current study shows that perceptual musical pitch and lexical tone deficits might coexist with musical pitch production difficulties. But at the same time these perceptual pitch deficits might not affect lexical tone production or the intelligibility of the speech words that were produced. The perception-production relationship for pitch among individuals with perceptual pitch deficits may be, therefore, domain-dependent.

  16. Perceptual pitch deficits coexist with pitch production difficulties in music but not Mandarin speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wu-xia; Feng, Jie; Huang, Wan-ting; Zhang, Cheng-xiang; Nan, Yun

    2014-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a musical disorder that mainly affects pitch perception. Among Mandarin speakers, some amusics also have difficulties in processing lexical tones (tone agnosics). To examine to what extent these perceptual deficits may be related to pitch production impairments in music and Mandarin speech, eight amusics, eight tone agnosics, and 12 age- and IQ-matched normal native Mandarin speakers were asked to imitate music note sequences and Mandarin words of comparable lengths. The results indicated that both the amusics and tone agnosics underperformed the controls on musical pitch production. However, tone agnosics performed no worse than the amusics, suggesting that lexical tone perception deficits may not aggravate musical pitch production difficulties. Moreover, these three groups were all able to imitate lexical tones with perfect intelligibility. Taken together, the current study shows that perceptual musical pitch and lexical tone deficits might coexist with musical pitch production difficulties. But at the same time these perceptual pitch deficits might not affect lexical tone production or the intelligibility of the speech words that were produced. The perception-production relationship for pitch among individuals with perceptual pitch deficits may be, therefore, domain-dependent. PMID:24474944

  17. Perceptual Pitch Deficits Coexist with Pitch Production Difficulties in Music but Not Mandarin Speech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-xia eYang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Congenital amusia is a musical disorder that mainly affects pitch perception. Among Mandarin speakers, some amusics also have difficulties in processing lexical tones (tone agnosics. To examine to what extent these perceptual deficits may be related to pitch production impairments in music and Mandarin speech, 8 amusics, 8 tone agnosics, and 12 age- and IQ-matched normal native Mandarin speakers were asked to imitate music note sequences and Mandarin words of comparable lengths. The results indicated that both the amusics and tone agnosics underperformed the controls on musical pitch production. However, tone agnosics performed no worse than the amusics, suggesting that lexical tone perception deficits may not aggravate musical pitch production difficulties. Moreover, these three groups were all able to imitate lexical tones with perfect intelligibility. Taken together, the current study shows that perceptual musical pitch and lexical tone deficits might coexist with musical pitch production difficulties. But at the same time these perceptual pitch deficits might not affect lexical tone production or the intelligibility of the speech words that were produced. The perception-production relationship for pitch among individuals with perceptual pitch deficits may be, therefore, domain-dependent.

  18. Pitch and Timbre Determination of the Angklung

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd R.M. Zainal

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This research describes the pitch and timbre determination of the angklung, a musical instrument made entirely out of bamboo. An angklung has two main parts: the frame and the rattle tubes. The pitch of the rattle tubes can be determined using a formula that takes into consideration the length and diameter of the air resonator. This is compared with the results obtained using sound analysis with the fast Fourier transform as well as with measured results. The coupling effects of having two rattles on the pitch and timbre are investigated. It is found that the pitch of the angklung is closely related to the fundamental frequency of air resonance in the bamboo tubes of the angklung rattles. Therefore, the pitch of an angklung can be estimated by calculating that fundamental frequency using information from the length and diameter of the closed cylinder air column of each rattle. The timbre of the angklung is also determined to be a mix of the sound output from each of its individual rattles. The timbre has an identifying characteristic of having two prominent peaks with each one corresponding to the pitch of each rattle.

  19. Stuttering: A novel bullfrog vocalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Andrea; Suggs, Dianne

    2004-05-01

    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.

  20. Vocal cord paralysis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ericka F; Blumin, Joel H

    2009-12-01

    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.

  1. Elaborate Mimetic Vocal Displays by Female Superb Lyrebirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia H Dalziell

    2016-04-01

    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

  2. An Improved Time Domain Pitch Detection Algorithm for Pathological Voice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd R. Jamaludin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: The present study proposes a new pitch detection algorithm which could potentially be used to detect pitch for disordered or pathological voices. One of the parameters required for dysphonia diagnosis is pitch and this prompted the development of a new and reliable pitch detection algorithm capable of accurately detect pitch in disordered voices. Approach: The proposed method applies a technique where the frame size of the half wave rectified autocorrelation is adjusted to a smaller frame after two potential pitch candidates are identified within the preliminary frame. Results: The method is compared to PRAATs standard autocorrelation and the result shows a significant improvement in detecting pitch for pathological voices. Conclusion: The proposed method is more reliable way to detect pitch, either in low or high pitched voice without adjusting the window size, fixing the pitch candidate search range and predefining threshold like most of the standard autocorrelation do.

  3. Viscoelastic properties of the false vocal fold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Roger W.

    2004-05-01

    The biomechanical properties of vocal fold tissues have been the focus of many previous studies, as vocal fold viscoelasticity critically dictates the acoustics and biomechanics of phonation. However, not much is known about the viscoelastic response of the ventricular fold or false vocal fold. It has been shown both clinically and in computer simulations that the false vocal fold may contribute significantly to the aerodynamics and sound generation processes of human voice production, with or without flow-induced oscillation of the false fold. To better understand the potential role of the false fold in phonation, this paper reports some preliminary measurements on the linear and nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of false vocal fold tissues. Linear viscoelastic shear properties of human false fold tissue samples were measured by a high-frequency controlled-strain rheometer as a function of frequency, and passive uniaxial tensile stress-strain response of the tissue samples was measured by a muscle lever system as a function of strain and loading rate. Elastic moduli (Young's modulus and shear modulus) of the false fold tissues were calculated from the measured data. [Work supported by NIH.

  4. Vocal effort and voice handicap among teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio, Márcio Cardoso; dos Reis, Eduardo José Farias Borges; Carvalho, Fernando Martins; Porto, Lauro Antonio; Araújo, Tânia Maria

    2012-11-01

    The relationship between voice handicap and professional vocal effort was investigated among teachers in a cross-sectional study of census nature on 4496 teachers within the public elementary education network in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Voice handicap (the outcome of interest) was evaluated using the Voice Handicap Index 10. The main exposure, the lifetime vocal effort index, was obtained as the product of the number of years working as a teacher multiplied by the mean weekly working hours. The prevalence of voice handicap was 28.8% among teachers with high professional vocal effort and 21.3% among those with acceptable vocal effort, thus yielding a crude prevalence ratio (PR) of 1.36 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.14-1.61). In the final logistic model, the prevalence of voice handicap was statistically associated with the professional vocal effort index (PR=1.47; 95% CI=1.19-1.82), adjusted according to sex, microphone availability in the classroom, excessive noise, pressure from the school management, heartburn, and rhinitis.

  5. Wavelet based detection of manatee vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, Berke M.; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. Several boater warning systems, based upon manatee vocalizations, have been proposed to reduce the number of collisions. Three detection methods based on the Fourier transform (threshold, harmonic content and autocorrelation methods) were previously suggested and tested. In the last decade, the wavelet transform has emerged as an alternative to the Fourier transform and has been successfully applied in various fields of science and engineering including the acoustic detection of dolphin vocalizations. As of yet, no prior research has been conducted in analyzing manatee vocalizations using the wavelet transform. Within this study, the wavelet transform is used as an alternative to the Fourier transform in detecting manatee vocalizations. The wavelet coefficients are analyzed and tested against a specified criterion to determine the existence of a manatee call. The performance of the method presented is tested on the same data previously used in the prior studies, and the results are compared. Preliminary results indicate that using the wavelet transform as a signal processing technique to detect manatee vocalizations shows great promise.

  6. Impact of Vocal Tract Resonance on the Perception of Voice Quality Changes Caused by Varying Vocal Fold Stiffness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signorello, Rosario; Zhang, Zhaoyan; Gerratt, Bruce; Kreiman, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Summary Experiments using animal and human larynx models are often conducted without a vocal tract. While it is often assumed that the absence of a vocal tract has only small effects on vocal fold vibration, it is not actually known how sound production and quality are affected. In this study, the validity of using data obtained in the absence of a vocal tract for voice perception studies was investigated. Using a two-layer self-oscillating physical model, three series of voice stimuli were created: one produced with conditions of left-right symmetric vocal fold stiffness, and two with left-right asymmetries in vocal fold body stiffness. Each series included a set of stimuli created with a physical vocal tract, and a second set created without a physical vocal tract. Stimuli were re-synthesized to equalize the mean F0 for each series and normalized for amplitude. Listeners were asked to evaluate the three series in a sort-and-rate task. Multidimensional scaling analysis was applied to examine the perceptual interaction between the voice source and the vocal tract resonances. The results showed that the presence or absence of a vocal tract can significantly affect perception of voice quality changes due to parametric changes in vocal fold properties, except when the parametric changes in vocal fold properties produced an abrupt shift in vocal fold vibratory pattern resulting in a salient quality change. PMID:27134616

  7. Timbre-induced pitch shift from the perspective of Signal Detection Theory: the impact of musical expertise, silence interval, and pitch region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vurma, Allan

    2014-01-01

    The paradigm of Signal Detection Theory (SDT) was used to analyze the ability of professional pianists (N = 16) and string players (N = 15) to discriminate small F0 differences between consecutive musical tones, presented in pairs, with identical and with different (bright and dull) timbres. The sensitivity (d′) and response bias (c) were heavily dependent on the timbral arrangement of the pairs of tones (the “comparable tones”), which can be interpreted as the influence of timbre-induced pitch shift on F0 discrimination. The participants were somewhat biased to “miss” signals when comparable tones had identical timbres and to make “false alarms” when the tones had different timbres. The d′ was lowest when the tones with a lower F0 in those stimulus-pairs containing tones with different timbres had a brighter timber, and highest when both tones had bright timbre. On average, the string players had a somewhat higher d′ and their perception was slightly less influenced by timbre-induced pitch shift when compared to the pianists. Nevertheless, the dependence of d′ and c on the timbral arrangement of the tones was registered in the case of all the participants at all the investigated pitch regions around D#3, D4, and C#5. Furthermore, the presence of a silence of 3.5 s—a silence interval—between the tones to be compared had an impact on both d′- and c-values as well as on the degree of vulnerability to timbre-induced pitch shift. PMID:24550867

  8. Timbre-induced pitch shift from the perspective of Signal Detection Theory: the impact of musical expertise, silence interval and pitch region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan eVurma

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paradigm of Signal Detection Theory was used to analyze the ability of professional pianists (N = 16 and string players (N = 15 to discriminate small F0 differences between consecutive musical tones, presented in pairs, with identical and with different (bright and dull timbres. The sensitivity (d’ and response bias (c were heavily dependent on the timbral arrangement of the pairs of tones (the comparable tones, which can be interpreted as the influence of timbre-induced pitch shift on F0 discrimination. The participants were somewhat biased to ‘miss’ signals when comparable tones had identical timbres and to make ‘false alarms’ when the tones had different timbres. The d’ was lowest when the tones with a lower F0 in those stimulus-pairs containing tones with different timbres had a brighter timber, and highest when both tones had bright timbre. On average, the string players had a somewhat higher d’ and their perception was slightly less influenced by timbre-induced pitch shift when compared to the pianists. Nevertheless, the dependence of d’ and c on the timbral arrangement of the tones was registered in the case of all the participants at all the investigated pitch regions around D#3, D4 and C#5. Furthermore, the presence of a silence of 3.5 seconds – a silence interval – between the tones to be compared had an impact on both d’ and c values as well as on the degree of vulnerability to timbre-induced pitch shift.

  9. Do musicians with perfect pitch have more autism traits than musicians without perfect pitch?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Anders; Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A; Heaton, Pamela

    2012-01-01

    Perfect pitch, also known as absolute pitch (AP), refers to the rare ability to identify or produce a musical tone correctly without the benefit of an external reference. AP is often considered to reflect musical giftedness, but it has also been associated with certain disabilities due to increased...

  10. Vocal Hygiene Habits and Vocal Handicap Among Conservatory Students of Classical Singing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  11. VOCAL: Voice Oriented Curriculum Author Language. Technical Report No. 291.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinckley, Michael; And Others

    VOCAL (Voice Oriented Curriculum Author Language) is designed to facilitate the authoring of computer assisted curricula which incorporate highly interactive audio and text presentations. Lessons written in VOCAL are intended to be patterned after the style of informal classroom lectures. VOCAL contains features that allow the author to specify…

  12. Oral Breathing Challenge in Participants with Vocal Attrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivasankar, Mahalakshmi; Fisher, Kimberly V.

    2003-01-01

    Vocal folds undergo osmotic challenge by mouth breathing during singing, exercising, and loud speaking. Just 15 min of obligatory oral breathing, to dry the vocal folds, increases phonation threshold pressure (P[subscript th]) and expiratory vocal effort in healthy speakers (M. Sivasankar & K. Fisher, 2002). We questioned whether oral breathing is…

  13. The Development and Validation of the Vocalic Sensitivity Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaume, William A.; Brown, Mary Helen

    1999-01-01

    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…

  14. Gestures, vocalizations and memory in language origins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco eAboitiz

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the possible homologies between the human language networks and comparable auditory projection systems in the macaque brain, in an attempt to conciliate two existing views on language evolution: one that makes emphasis on hand control and gestures, and the other that makes emphasis on auditory-vocal mechanisms. The capacity for language is based on relatively well defined neural substrates whose rudiments have been traced into the non-human primate brain. In its core, this circuit makes up 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 homologue to the dorsal circuit overlaps with an inferior parietal-ventrolateral prefrontal network for hand and gestural action selection that is under voluntary control, while vocalizations are largely fixed and involuntary. The recruitment of this dorsal component for vocalization behavior in the human lineage, together with a direct cortical control of the subcortical vocalizing system, are proposed to have marked a fundamental innovation in human evolution, generating an inflection point that permitted the explosion of language and human communication. In this context, vocal communication and gesturing have a common history in primate communication.

  15. Pitch perception deficits in nonverbal learning disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Prieto, I; Caprile, C; Tinoco-González, D; Ristol-Orriols, B; López-Sala, A; Póo-Argüelles, P; Pons, F; Navarra, J

    2016-12-01

    The nonverbal learning disability (NLD) is a neurological dysfunction that affects cognitive functions predominantly related to the right hemisphere such as spatial and abstract reasoning. Previous evidence in healthy adults suggests that acoustic pitch (i.e., the relative difference in frequency between sounds) is, under certain conditions, encoded in specific areas of the right hemisphere that also encode the spatial elevation of external objects (e.g., high vs. low position). Taking this evidence into account, we explored the perception of pitch in preadolescents and adolescents with NLD and in a group of healthy participants matched by age, gender, musical knowledge and handedness. Participants performed four speeded tests: a stimulus detection test and three perceptual categorization tests based on colour, spatial position and pitch. Results revealed that both groups were equally fast at detecting visual targets and categorizing visual stimuli according to their colour. In contrast, the NLD group showed slower responses than the control group when categorizing space (direction of a visual object) and pitch (direction of a change in sound frequency). This pattern of results suggests the presence of a subtle deficit at judging pitch in NLD along with the traditionally-described difficulties in spatial processing.

  16. 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.

  17. MARATHON DESPITE UNILATERAL VOCAL FOLD PARALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Echternach

    2008-06-01

    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

  18. VOCAL SEGMENT CLASSIFICATION IN POPULAR MUSIC

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    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......-validated training and test setup. The database is divided in two different ways: with/without artist overlap between training and test sets, so as to study the so called ‘artist effect’. The performance and results are analyzed in depth: from error rates to sample-to-sample error correlation. A voting scheme...

  19. The Importance of Vocal Parameters Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Ghisa

    2016-06-01

    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.

  20. Hydraulic Motor Driving Variable-Pitch System for Wind Turbine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye HUANG

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The present hydraulic variable-pitch mechanism of wind turbine uses three hydraulic cylinders to drive three crank and connecting rod mechanisms respectively; the blades are moved with the cranks. The hydraulic variable-pitch mechanism has complex structure, occupies a lot of space and its maintenance is trouble. In order to make up for the shortcomings of hydraulic cylinder variable-pitch system, the present hydraulic variable-pitch mechanism should be changed as follows: hydraulic motors are used to drive gears; gears drive blades; the electro-hydraulic proportional valves are used to control hydraulic motors. The hydraulic control part and electrical control part of variable-pitch system is redesigned. The new variable-pitch system is called hydraulic motor driving variable-pitch system. The new variable-pitch system meets the control requirements of blade pitch, makes the structure simple and its application effect is perfect.    

  1. The oscillatory entrainment of virtual pitch perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandar eAksentijevic

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that synchronized brain oscillations in the low gamma range (around 33 Hz are involved in the perceptual integration of harmonic complex tones. This process involves the binding of harmonic components into harmonic templates – neural structures responsible for pitch coding in the brain. We investigated the hypothesis that oscillatory harmonic binding promotes a change in pitch perception style from spectral (frequency to virtual (relational. Using oscillatory priming we asked 24 participants to judge as rapidly as possible, the direction of an ambiguous target with ascending spectral and descending virtual contour. They made significantly more virtual responses when primed at 29, 31 and 33 Hz and when the first target tone was harmonically related to the prime, suggesting that neural synchronization in the low gamma range could facilitate a shift towards virtual pitch processing.

  2. Analysis of Pitch Gear Deterioration using Indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jannie Jessen; Sørensen, John Dalsgaard

    2011-01-01

    This work concerns a case study in the context of risk-based operation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. For wind turbines with electrical pitch systems, deterioration can generally be observed at the pitch gear teeth; especially at the point where the blades are located during normal...... of the damage, and can be used for Bayesian updating of a damage model used for risk-based decision making. For this decision problem, the risk of failure should be compared to the cost of preventive maintenance. The hypothesis that the maximum pitch motor torque is an indicator of the damage size is supported...... by results from a measurement campaign where measurements are available both before and after maintenance was performed. The loads dramatically decreased after the maintenance. However, after a few more months of measurements, and by including data from the SCADA system, it became obvious that seasonal...

  3. Vocal tract articulation revisited: the case of the monk parakeet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohms, Verena R; Beckers, Gabriël J L; ten Cate, Carel; Suthers, Roderick A

    2012-01-01

    Birdsong and human speech share many features with respect to vocal learning and development. However, the vocal production mechanisms have long been considered to be distinct. The vocal organ of songbirds is more complex than the human larynx, leading to the hypothesis that vocal variation in birdsong originates mainly at the sound source, while in humans it is primarily due to vocal tract filtering. However, several recent studies have indicated the importance of vocal tract articulators such as the beak and oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity. In contrast to most other bird groups, parrots have a prominent tongue, raising the possibility that tongue movements may also be of significant importance in vocal production in parrots, but evidence is rare and observations often anecdotal. In the current study we used X-ray cinematographic imaging of naturally vocalizing monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) to assess which articulators are possibly involved in vocal tract filtering in this species. We observed prominent tongue height changes, beak opening movements and tracheal length changes, which suggests that all of these components play an important role in modulating vocal tract resonance. Moreover, the observation of tracheal shortening as a vocal articulator in live birds has to our knowledge not been described before. We also found strong positive correlations between beak opening and amplitude as well as changes in tongue height and amplitude in several types of vocalization. Our results suggest considerable differences between parrot and songbird vocal production while at the same time the parrot's vocal articulation might more closely resemble human speech production in the sense that both make extensive use of the tongue as a vocal articulator.

  4. The mental space of pitch height.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusconi, Elena; Kwan, Bonnie; Giordano, Bruno; Umiltà, Carlo; Butterworth, Brian

    2005-12-01

    Through stimulus-response compatibility we tested whether sound frequency (pitch height) elicits a mental spatial representation. Musically untrained and, mostly, trained participants were shown a stimulus-response compatibility effect (Spatial-Musical Association of Response Codes or SMARC effect). When response alternatives were either vertically or horizontally aligned, performance was better when the lower (or leftward) button had to be pressed in response to a low sound and the upper (or rightward) button had to be pressed in response to a high sound, even when pitch height was irrelevant to the task.

  5. Small pixel pitch MCT IR-modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, H.; Breiter, R.; Eich, D.; Figgemeier, H.; Fries, P.; Rutzinger, S.; Wendler, J.

    2016-05-01

    It is only some years ago, since VGA format detectors in 15μm pitch, manufactured with AIM's MCT n-on-p LPE standard technology, have been introduced to replace TV/4 format detector arrays as a system upgrade. In recent years a rapid increase in the demand for higher resolution, while preserving high thermal resolution, compactness and low power budget is observed. To satisfy these needs AIM has realized first prototypes of MWIR XGA format (1024x768) detector arrays in 10μm pitch. They fit in the same compact dewar as 640x512, 15μm pitch detector arrays. Therefore, they are best suited for system upgrade purposes to benefit from higher spatial resolution and keep cost on system level low. By combining pitch size reduction with recent development progress in the fields of miniature cryocoolers, short dewars and high operating temperatures the way ahead to ultra-compact high performance MWIR-modules is prepared. For cost reduction MBE grown MCT on commercially available GaAs substrates is introduced at AIM. Recently, 640x512, 15μm pitch FPAs, grown with MBE have successfully passed long-term high temperature storage tests as a crucial step towards serial production readiness level for use in future products. Pitch size reduction is not limited to arrays sensitive in the MWIR, but is of great interest for high performance LWIR or 3rd Gen solutions. Some applications such as rotorcraft pilotage require superior spatial resolution in a compact design to master severe weather conditions or degraded visual environment such as brown-out. For these applications AIM is developing both LWIR as well as dual band detector arrays in HD-format (1280x720) with 12μm pitch. This paper will present latest results in the development of detector arrays with small pitch sizes of 10μm and 12μm at AIM, together with their usage to realize compact cooled IR-modules.

  6. Integration of consonant and pitch processing as revealed by the absence of additivity in mismatch negativity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Gao

    Full Text Available Consonants, unlike vowels, are thought to be speech specific and therefore no interactions would be expected between consonants and pitch, a basic element for musical tones. The present study used an electrophysiological approach to investigate whether, contrary to this view, there is integrative processing of consonants and pitch by measuring additivity of changes in the mismatch negativity (MMN of evoked potentials. The MMN is elicited by discriminable variations occurring in a sequence of repetitive, homogeneous sounds. In the experiment, event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded while participants heard frequently sung consonant-vowel syllables and rare stimuli deviating in either consonant identity only, pitch only, or in both dimensions. Every type of deviation elicited a reliable MMN. As expected, the two single-deviant MMNs had similar amplitudes, but that of the double-deviant MMN was also not significantly different from them. This absence of additivity in the double-deviant MMN suggests that consonant and pitch variations are processed, at least at a pre-attentive level, in an integrated rather than independent way. Domain-specificity of consonants may depend on higher-level processes in the hierarchy of speech perception.

  7. Vocal improvement after voice therapy in the treatment of benign vocal fold lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, A; Mozzanica, F; Ginocchio, D; Maruzzi, P; Atac, M; Ottaviani, F

    2012-10-01

    Benign vocal fold lesions are common in the general population, and have important public health implications and impact on patient quality of life. Nowadays, phonomicrosurgery is the most common treatment of these lesions. Voice therapy is generally associated in order to minimize detrimental vocal behaviours that increase the stress at the mid-membranous vocal folds. Nonetheless, the most appropriate standard of care for treating benign vocal fold lesion has not been established. The aim of this study was to analyze voice changes in a group of dysphonic patients affected by benign vocal fold lesions, evaluated with a multidimensional protocol before and after voice therapy. Sixteen consecutive patients, 12 females and 4 males, with a mean age of 49.7 years were enrolled. Each subject had 10 voice therapy sessions with an experienced speech/language pathologist for a period of 1-2 months, and was evaluated before and at the end of voice therapy with a multidimensional protocol that included self-assessment measures and videostroboscopic, perceptual, aerodynamic and acoustic ratings. Videostroboscopic examination did not reveal resolution of the initial pathology in any case. No improvement was observed in aerodynamic and perceptual ratings. A clear and significant improvement was visible on Wilcoxon signed-rank test for the mean values of Jitt%, Noise to Harmonic Ratio (NHR) and Voice Handicap Index (VHI) scores. Even if it is possible that, for benign vocal fold lesions, only a minor improvement of voice quality can be achieved after voice therapy, rehabilitation treatment still seems useful as demonstrated by improvement in self-assessment measures. If voice therapy is provided as an initial treatment to the patients with benign vocal fold lesions, this may lead to an improvement in the perceived voice quality, making surgical intervention unnecessary. This is one of the first reports on the efficacy of voice therapy in the management of benign vocal fold

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Jasmina

    2012-01-01

    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.

  9. Perceptual fusion of polyphonic pitch in cochlear implant users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Patrick J; Guo, Benjamin Z; Limb, Charles J

    2009-11-01

    In music, multiple pitches often occur simultaneously, an essential feature of harmony. In the present study, the authors assessed the ability of cochlear implant (CI) users to perceive polyphonic pitch. Acoustically presented stimuli consisted of one, two, or three superposed tones with different fundamental frequencies (f(0)). The normal hearing control group obtained significantly higher mean scores than the CI group. CI users performed near chance levels in recognizing two- and three-pitch stimuli, and demonstrated perceptual fusion of multiple pitches as single-pitch units. These results suggest that limitations in polyphonic pitch perception may significantly impair music perception in CI users.

  10. Acoustic Properties of the Voice Source and the Vocal Tract: Are They Perceptually Independent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Molly L

    2016-11-01

    This study sought to determine whether the properties of the voice source and vocal tract are perceptually independent. Within-subjects design. This study employed a paired-comparison paradigm where listeners heard synthetic voices and rated them as same or different using a visual analog scale. Stimuli were synthesized using three different source slopes and two different formant patterns (mezzo-soprano and soprano) on the vowel /a/ at four pitches: A3, C4, B4, and F5. Whereas formant pattern was the strongest effect, difference in source slope also affected perceived quality difference. Source slope and formant pattern were not independently perceived. These results suggest that when judging laryngeal adduction using perceptual information, judgments may not be accurate when the stimuli are of differing formant patterns. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. "The Sound of Fear": assessing vocal fundamental frequency as a physiological indicator of social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Justin W; Lee, Chao-Yang; Reilly, Alison R; Howell, Ashley N; France, Christopher; Kowalsky, Jennifer M; Bush, Ashley

    2012-12-01

    The relationship between vocal pitch and social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been examined with encouraging initial results, highlighting increased fundamental frequency (F0) as a physiological indicator of SAD. The present series of studies examined the relationship between F0 emitted during social threat and SAD symptoms. Two independent samples of SAD patients, and a sample of demographically-equivalent non-socially anxious controls (NSACs), completed varying social threat tasks which involved speech. Mean F0 emitted throughout the tasks was examined. Male SAD patients emitted greater F0 in comparison to NSACs across studies. For females, this relationship was significant only when examined in patients with SAD of the generalized subtype, and in response to in vivo social exposures. Furthermore, gender-specific thresholds for overall F0 emitted during social threat were identified which demonstrated excellent differentiation between patients with generalized SAD and NSACs. These results provide additional support for increased F0 as a physiological indicator of SAD.

  12. How do clarinet players adjust the resonances of their vocal tracts for different playing effects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Claudia; Wolfe, Joe

    2005-11-01

    In a simple model, the reed of the clarinet is mechanically loaded by the series combination of the acoustical impedances of the instrument itself and of the player's airway. Here we measure the complex impedance spectrum of players' airways using an impedance head adapted to fit inside a clarinet mouthpiece. A direct current shunt with high acoustical resistance allows players to blow normally, so the players can simulate the tract condition under playing conditions. The reproducibility of the results suggest that the players' ``muscle memory'' is reliable for this task. Most players use a single, highly stable vocal tract configuration over most of the playing range, except for the altissimo register. However, this ``normal'' configuration varies substantially among musicians. All musicians change the configuration, often drastically for ``special effects'' such as glissandi and slurs: the tongue is lowered and the impedance magnitude reduced when the player intends to lower the pitch or to slur downwards, and vice versa.

  13. Ups and Downs in Auditory Development: Preschoolers' Sensitivity to Pitch Contour and Timbre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Sarah C

    2016-03-01

    Much research has explored developing sound representations in language, but less work addresses developing representations of other sound patterns. This study examined preschool children's musical representations using two different tasks: discrimination and sound-picture association. Melodic contour--a musically relevant property--and instrumental timbre, which is (arguably) less musically relevant, were tested. In Experiment 1, children failed to associate cartoon characters to melodies with maximally different pitch contours, with no advantage for melody preexposure. Experiment 2 also used different-contour melodies and found good discrimination, whereas association was at chance. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 2, but with a large timbre change instead of a contour change. Here, discrimination and association were both excellent. Preschool-aged children may have stronger or more durable representations of timbre than contour, particularly in more difficult tasks. Reasons for weaker association of contour than timbre information are discussed, along with implications for auditory development. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingo Titze

    2016-06-01

    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.

  15. Molecular mapping of brain areas involved in parrot vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, E D; Mello, C V

    2000-03-27

    Auditory and vocal regulation of gene expression occurs in separate discrete regions of the songbird brain. Here we demonstrate that regulated gene expression also occurs during vocal communication in a parrot, belonging to an order whose ability to learn vocalizations is thought to have evolved independently of songbirds. Adult male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were stimulated to vocalize with playbacks of conspecific vocalizations (warbles), and their brains were analyzed for expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK. The results showed that there was distinct separation of brain areas that had hearing- or vocalizing-induced ZENK expression. Hearing warbles resulted in ZENK induction in large parts of the caudal medial forebrain and in 1 midbrain region, with a pattern highly reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Vocalizing resulted in ZENK induction in nine brain structures, seven restricted to the lateral and anterior telencephalon, one in the thalamus, and one in the midbrain, with a pattern partially reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Five of the telencephalic structures had been previously described as part of the budgerigar vocal control pathway. However, functional boundaries defined by the gene expression patterns for some of these structures were much larger and different in shape than previously reported anatomical boundaries. Our results provide the first functional demonstration of brain areas involved in vocalizing and auditory processing of conspecific sounds in budgerigars. They also indicate that, whether or not vocal learning evolved independently, some of the gene regulatory mechanisms that accompany learned vocal communication are similar in songbirds and parrots.

  16. [Etiology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and therapy of vocal fold paralysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, R; Hoffmann, T K; Rotter, N; Pickhard, A; Scheithauer, M O; Brosch, S

    2014-03-01

    Etiology of vocal fold paralysis is broad: e. g. iatrogenic/traumatic, associated with neoplasms or with systemic diseases. The cause of idiopathic paralysis is unknown. The main symptom of unilateral vocal fold paralysis is hoarseness because of a remaining glottic gap during phonation. Patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis typically have no impairment of the voice but dyspnea. Examination of patients with an idopathic vocal fold paralysis is a CT of the vagal nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve from skull base to neck and mediastinum. Serological tests are not obligatory. Differential diagnosis of vocal fold immobility is vocal fold paralysis/neurological causes and arthrogene causes such as arytenoid subluxation, interarytenoid adhesion and vocal fold fixation in laryngeal carcinomas. Voice therapy is a promising approach for patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, but not all patients benefit sufficiently. Temporary vocal fold augmentation by injection medialization results in satisfactory voice quality that is comparable with a thyroplasty. Patients with bilateral vocal fold immobility show typically dyspnea requiring immediate therapy such as temporary tracheotomy or reversible laterofixation of the paralyzed vocal chord. If the paralysis persists a definitive enlargement of the glottic airway by eg. arytenoidectomy needs to be performed.

  17. 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.

  18. Modelling vocal anatomy's significant effect on speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, B.

    2010-01-01

    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

  19. Gelada vocal sequences follow Menzerath's linguistic law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustison, Morgan L; Semple, Stuart; Ferrer-I-Cancho, Ramon; Bergman, Thore J

    2016-05-10

    Identifying universal principles underpinning diverse natural systems is a key goal of the life sciences. A powerful approach in addressing this goal has been to test whether patterns consistent with linguistic laws are found in nonhuman animals. Menzerath's law is a linguistic law that states that, the larger the construct, the smaller the size of its constituents. Here, to our knowledge, we present the first evidence that Menzerath's law holds in the vocal communication of a nonhuman species. We show that, in vocal sequences of wild male geladas (Theropithecus gelada), construct size (sequence size in number of calls) is negatively correlated with constituent size (duration of calls). Call duration does not vary significantly with position in the sequence, but call sequence composition does change with sequence size and most call types are abbreviated in larger sequences. We also find that intercall intervals follow the same relationship with sequence size as do calls. Finally, we provide formal mathematical support for the idea that Menzerath's law reflects compression-the principle of minimizing the expected length of a code. Our findings suggest that a common principle underpins human and gelada vocal communication, highlighting the value of exploring the applicability of linguistic laws in vocal systems outside the realm of language.

  20. 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.

  1. Music Education Intervention Improves Vocal Emotion Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mualem, Orit; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-01-01

    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. Functional flexibility in wild bonobo vocal behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zanna Clay

    2015-08-01

    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.

  3. Patterns of Vocalization and Impression Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Donald P.; Bouma, Gary D.

    1975-01-01

    This article discusses the interactive behavior that accompanies verbal exchange. It specifically describes a set of experiments designed to isolate an important subset of interactive behavior, the vocal (as opposed to the verbal) and to relate this information to a wide range of social impressions resulting from verbal exchange. (Available from…

  4. Patterns of Vocalization and Impression Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Donald P.; Bouma, Gary D.

    1975-01-01

    This article discusses the interactive behavior that accompanies verbal exchange. It specifically describes a set of experiments designed to isolate an important subset of interactive behavior, the vocal (as opposed to the verbal) and to relate this information to a wide range of social impressions resulting from verbal exchange. (Available from…

  5. Music Education Intervention Improves Vocal Emotion Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mualem, Orit; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. Audiovisual vocal outburst classification in noisy conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyben, Florian; Petridis, Stavros; Schuller, Björn; Pantic, Maja

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigate an audiovisual approach for classification of vocal outbursts (non-linguistic vocalisations) in noisy conditions using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Networks and Support Vector Machines. Fusion of geometric shape features and acoustic low-level descript

  7. Vocal cord dysfunction in children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilles, Stephen A

    2003-11-01

    Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a nonorganic disorder of the larynx that involves unintentional paradoxical adduction of the vocal cords while breathing. The resultant symptoms can include dyspnea, chest tightness, cough, throat tightness, wheezing, or voice change. Most patients with VCD are female, and among adolescents and children, VCD tends to be triggered by exercise and is typically confused with exercise-induced asthma. Both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and psychiatric illness have been reported as having strong associations with VCD, although, to date, there is no evidence that either causes VCD. 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. Adolescent athletes often require free running exercise challenge to reproduce their symptoms and confirm abnormal vocal cord motion laryngoscopically. The primary treatment for VCD involves a combination of patient education and speech therapy, and, in most cases, patients may resume their activities without significant limitation.

  8. VOCALIZATIONS AND BREEDING BEHAVIOUR OF PTYCHADENA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    also produced resuIarly and its production is dependent on the prCSCDCe of two or more individuals. ... analyser) within the frequency range 80 Hz-8 kHz using a wide band filter (300 Hz). ..... The evoked vocal response of the bullfrog. Res.

  9. Vocal cord hemangioma in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer Kanlıkama

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Hemangioma is one of the most common benign tumors in the head and neck region. Laryngeal hemangiomas are benign vascular tumors of unknown etiology that arise from subglottic region with stridor in infants. This type also known as congenital laryngeal hemangioma, is the more common. Congenital hemangiomas occur usually in subglottic region and more frequent in girls. Laryngeal hemangioma in adults is a very rare condition and main symptom is hoarseness and breathing difficulties. Adult hemangiomas can be seen in different locations such as the epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids and false and true vocal cords. They are more often of cavernous form and cause hoarseness. In this report we present an adult patient with hemangioma of the left vocal fold and review the literature. Diagnostic investigation revealed a pink-purple mass which was extended from the anterior comissure to the posterior part of true vocal cord and false vocal cord, filling the ventricule and extending to supraglottic region. Direct laryngoscopy was performed, but the lesion was not excised because of its widespread extension in the larynx. J Clin Exp Invest 2010; 2(3: 323-326.

  10. Vocal cord hemangioma in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer Kanlıkama

    2011-03-01

    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

  11. Path Models of Vocal Emotion Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bänziger, Tanja; Hosoya, Georg; Scherer, Klaus R

    2015-01-01

    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).

  12. Quantitative microlaryngoscopic measurements of vocal fold polyps, glottal gap and their relation to vocal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uloza, Virgilijus; Kaseta, Marius; Pribuisiene, Rūta; Saferis, Viktoras; Jokūzis, Vytautas; Gelzinis, Adas; Bacauskiene, Marija

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantify the size of vocal fold polyps and to investigate the relationship between the glottal gap and parameters of acoustic voice analysis and phonetography. Eighty-one microlaryngoscopic images and digital recordings of voices (acoustic analysis and phonetogram) acquired from the patients with vocal fold polyps (VFPs) were employed in this study. Vocal fold (VF) images were collected during routine direct microlaryngoscopy using Moller-Wedel Universa 300 surgical microscope, 3-CCD Elmo 768 x 576-pixel color video camera and a 300 W Xenon light source. Acoustic voice analysis and phonetography were established using Dr. Speech (Tiger Electronics Inc.) software. Microlaryngoscopic images were processed by original software created by ELINTA and displayed on a monitor. The relative lengths and widths of vocal fold polyps as well as percentage area of VFP were calculated. The Pearson's correlation was applied to reveal the correlation between VFP dimensions and acoustic voice parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between the dimensions of left and right vocal folds and VFPs. Statistically significant slight to mild correlations between measured dimensions of VFP acoustic and phonetogram parameters were revealed, with HNR and phonetogram area showing the strongest correlation to the size of VFPs. The results of our study confirm that quantitative microlaryngoscopic measurements of vocal fold polyp and glottal gap dimensions may be a useful tool for objective assessment of glottic incompetence and voice impairment.

  13. Auditory lateralization of conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations in cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siniscalchi, Marcello; Laddago, Serena; Quaranta, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Auditory lateralization in response to both conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations (dog vocalizations) was observed in 16 tabby cats (Felis catus). Six different vocalizations were used: cat "purring," "meowing" and "growling" and dog typical vocalizations of "disturbance," "isolation" and "play." The head-orienting paradigm showed that cats turned their head with the right ear leading (left hemisphere activation) in response to their typical-species vocalization ("meow" and "purring"); on the other hand, a clear bias in the use of the left ear (right hemisphere activation) was observed in response to vocalizations eliciting intense emotion (dogs' vocalizations of "disturbance" and "isolation"). Overall these findings suggest that auditory sensory domain seems to be lateralized also in cat species, stressing the role of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication and of the right hemisphere in processing threatening and alarming stimuli.

  14. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants.

  15. The effect of an artificially lengthened vocal tract on estimated glottal contact quotient in untrained male voices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskill, Christopher S; Erickson, Molly L

    2010-01-01

    The use of hard-walled narrow tubes, often called resonance tubes, for the purpose of voice therapy and voice training has a historical precedent and some theoretical support, but the mechanism of any potential benefit from the application of this technique is not well understood. Fifteen vocally untrained male participants produced a series of spoken /a/ vowels at a modal pitch and constant loudness, before and after a minute of repeated phonation into a 50-cm hard-walled glass tube at the same pitch and loudness targets. Electroglottography was used to measure the glottal contact quotient (CQ) during each phase of the experiment. Single-subject analysis revealed statistically significant changes in CQ during tube phonation, but with no discernable pattern across the 15 participants. These results indicate that the use of resonance tubes can have a distinct effect on glottal closure, but the mechanism behind this change remains unclear. The implication is that vocal loading techniques such as this need to be studied further with specific attention paid to the underlying mechanism of any measured changes in glottal behavior, and especially to the role of instruction and feedback in the therapeutic and pedagogical application of these techniques.

  16. Effects of an artificially lengthened vocal tract on the glottal closed quotient in untrained male voices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskill, Christopher Somers

    The use of hard-walled narrow tubes, often called resonance tubes, for the purpose of voice therapy and voice training has a historical precedent and some theoretical support, but the mechanism of any potential benefit from the application of this technique has remained poorly understood. Fifteen vocally untrained male participants produced a series of spoken /a / vowels at a modal pitch and constant loudness, followed by a minute of repeated phonation into a hard-walled glass tube at the same pitch and loudness targets. The tube parameters and tube phonation task criteria were selected according to theoretical calculations predicting an increase in the acoustic load such that phonation would occur under conditions of near-maximum inertive reactance. Following tube phonation, each participant repeated a similar series of spoken /a/ vowels. Electroglottography (EGG) was used to measure the glottal closed quotient (CQ) during each phase of the experiment. A single-subject, multiple-baseline design with direct replication across subjects was used to identify any changes in CQ across the phases of the experiment. Single-subject analysis using the method of Statistical Process Control (SPC) revealed statistically significant changes in CQ during tube phonation, but with no discernable pattern across the 15 participants. These results indicate that the use of resonance tubes can have a distinct effect on glottal closure, but the mechanism behind this change remains unclear. The implication is that vocal loading techniques such as this need to be studied further with specific attention paid to the underlying mechanism of any measured changes in glottal behavior, and especially to the role of instruction and feedback in the therapeutic and pedagogical application of these techniques.

  17. Study of Wear of Pitched Blade Impellers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Fořt

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available A study was made of the erosion of blades of pitched blade impellers in a suspension of solid particles in a liquid under a turbulent regime of flow of an agitated charge. The wear of the impeller is described by an analytical approximation in exponential form, and the influence of the pitch angle on the impeller blade wear was studied experimentally. It follows from the results of the experiments made that the wear rate of the pitched blade impellers increases linearly with the decreasing pitch angle within the interval a Î á15°; 45° ń. The proposed form of radial profile of the leading edge of the impeller blade enables us to calculate the surface of the worn blade. This quantity significantly decreases with the length of the period when the blades are affected by the solid particles, and its values calculated according to the suggested profile of the worn blade fit fairly well with the experimentally determined values. The results of the experiments performed are valid for homogeneous distribution of solid particles in an agitated suspension.

  18. Individual blade pitch for yaw control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Navalkar, S.T.; Van Wingerden, J.W.; Van Kuik, G.A.M.

    2014-01-01

    Individual pitch control (IPC) for reducing blade loads has been investigated and proven successful in recent literature. For IPC, the multi-blade co-ordinate (MBC) transformation is used to process the blade load signals from the rotating to a stationary frame of reference. In the stationary frame

  19. DIAGNOSIS OF PITCH AND LOAD DEFECTS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2009-01-01

    The invention relates to a method, system and computer readable code for diagnosis of pitch and/or load defects of e.g. wind turbines as well as wind turbines using said diagnosis method and/or comprising said diagnosis system....

  20. Control Engineering Analysis of Mechanical Pitch Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernicke, Olaf; Gauterin, Eckhard; Schulte, Horst; Zajac, Michal

    2014-12-01

    With the help of a local stability analysis the coefficient range of a discrete damper, used for centrifugal forced, mechanical pitch system of small wind turbines (SWT), is gained for equilibrium points. - By a global stability analysis the gained coefficient range can be validated. An appropriate approach by Takagi-Sugeno is presented in the paper.

  1. Individual blade pitch for yaw control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Navalkar, S.T.; Van Wingerden, J.W.; Van Kuik, G.A.M.

    2014-01-01

    Individual pitch control (IPC) for reducing blade loads has been investigated and proven successful in recent literature. For IPC, the multi-blade co-ordinate (MBC) transformation is used to process the blade load signals from the rotating to a stationary frame of reference. In the stationary frame

  2. Vocal responses of austral forest frogs to amplitude and degradation patterns of advertisement calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Mario; Moreno-Gómez, Felipe N; Muñoz, Matías I; Cisternas, Javiera

    2017-07-01

    Degradation phenomena affecting animal acoustic signals may provide cues to assess the distance of emitters. Recognition of degraded signals has been extensively demonstrated in birds, and recently studies have also reported detection of degraded patterns in anurans that call at or above ground level. In the current study we explore the vocal responses of the syntopic burrowing male frogs Eupsophus emiliopugini and E. calcaratus from the South American temperate forest to synthetic conspecific calls differing in amplitude and emulating degraded and non-degraded signal patterns. The results show a strong dependence of vocal responses on signal amplitude, and a general lack of differential responses to signals with different pulse amplitude modulation depths in E. emiliopugini and no effect of relative amplitude of harmonics in E. calcaratus. Such limited discrimination of signal degradation patterns from non-degraded signals is likely related to the burrowing habits of these species. Shelters amplify outgoing and incoming conspecific vocalizations, but do not counteract signal degradation to an extent comparable to calling strategies used by other frogs. The limited detection abilities and resultant response permissiveness to degraded calls in these syntopic burrowing species would be advantageous for animals communicating in circumstances in which signal alteration prevails. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Desarrollo de interfaces para la detección del habla sub-vocal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Alejandra Gutiérrez Calderón

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the most important techniques currently used to detect sub-vocal speech in people with cerebral palsy as well as for commercial purposes, (e.g. allow communication in very noisy places. The methodologies presented deal with speech-signal acquisition and processing. Signal detection and analysis methods are described throughout the whole speech process, from signal generation (as neural impulses in the brain to the production sound in the vocal apparatus (located in the throat. Acquisition and processing quality depends on several factors that will be presented in various sections. A brief explanation to the whole voice generation process is provided in the first part of the article. Subsequently, sub-speech signal acquisition and analysis techniques are presented. Finally, a section about the advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques is presented in order to illustrate different implementations in a sub-vocal speech or silent speech detection device. The results from research indicate that Non-audible Murmur Microphone (NAM is one of the choices that offer huge benefits, not only for signal acquisition and processing, but also for future Spanish language phoneme discrimination.

  4. Establishment of expanded and streamlined pipeline of PITCh knock-in - a web-based design tool for MMEJ-mediated gene knock-in, PITCh designer, and the variations of PITCh, PITCh-TG and PITCh-KIKO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamae, Kazuki; Nishimura, Yuki; Takenaga, Mitsumasa; Nakade, Shota; Sakamoto, Naoaki; Ide, Hiroshi; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi

    2017-05-04

    The emerging genome editing technology has enabled the creation of gene knock-in cells easily, efficiently, and rapidly, which has dramatically accelerated research in the field of mammalian functional genomics, including in humans. We recently developed a microhomology-mediated end-joining-based gene knock-in method, termed the PITCh system, and presented various examples of its application. Since the PITCh system only requires very short microhomologies (up to 40 bp) and single-guide RNA target sites on the donor vector, the targeting construct can be rapidly prepared compared with the conventional targeting vector for homologous recombination-based knock-in. Here, we established a streamlined pipeline to design and perform PITCh knock-in to further expand the availability of this method by creating web-based design software, PITCh designer ( http://www.mls.sci.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/smg/PITChdesigner/index.html ), as well as presenting an experimental example of versatile gene cassette knock-in. PITCh designer can automatically design not only the appropriate microhomologies but also the primers to construct locus-specific donor vectors for PITCh knock-in. By using our newly established pipeline, a reporter cell line for monitoring endogenous gene expression, and transgenesis (TG) or knock-in/knockout (KIKO) cell line can be produced systematically. Using these new variations of PITCh, an exogenous promoter-driven gene cassette expressing fluorescent protein gene and drug resistance gene can be integrated into a safe harbor or a specific gene locus to create transgenic reporter cells (PITCh-TG) or knockout cells with reporter knock-in (PITCh-KIKO), respectively.

  5. Analysis of the vocal profiles of male seduction: from exhibition to self-disclosure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anolli, Luigi; Ciceri, Rita

    2002-04-01

    The authors analyzed the suprasegmental (temporary) vocal profiles of 19 young men (not married) during their seductive interaction with 19 young women (not married) whom they had not known previously. The aim of the research was to verify the specificity, the sequential temporal stream, and the efficacy of the acoustical features of the seducer's voice during seductive interaction. In an ecological laboratory situation, the male participants were asked to meet their female partners. Participant-by-participant analysis showed that the male seductive voice is characterized by strong variations during the course of the seductive sequence. At the beginning of the sequence it had a higher pitch and an elevated intensity, as well as a faster rate of articulation than it did during normal speech (the exhibition voice). In the following phases it became gradually lower, weaker, and warmer (the self-disclosure voice). The modulation and variability of the vocal profiles during the seductive interaction were significantly stressed in the 9 successful seducers (those who succeeded in arranging a subsequent meeting with the partner), compared with the 10 unsuccessful seducers. The results have been interpreted as an ability to perform an effective local management of seductive communication.

  6. Fighting discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wientjens, Wim; Cairns, Douglas

    2012-10-01

    In the fight against discrimination, the IDF launched the first ever International Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes in 2011: a balance between rights and duties to optimize health and quality of life, to enable as normal a life as possible and to reduce/eliminate the barriers which deny realization of full potential as members of society. It is extremely frustrating to suffer blanket bans and many examples exist, including insurance, driving licenses, getting a job, keeping a job and family affairs. In this article, an example is given of how pilots with insulin treated diabetes are allowed to fly by taking the responsibility of using special blood glucose monitoring protocols. At this time the systems in the countries allowing flying for pilots with insulin treated diabetes are applauded, particularly the USA for private flying, and Canada for commercial flying. Encouraging developments may be underway in the UK for commercial flying and, if this materializes, could be used as an example for other aviation authorities to help adopt similar protocols. However, new restrictions implemented by the new European Aviation Authority take existing privileges away for National Private Pilot Licence holders with insulin treated diabetes in the UK.

  7. 基于ACF的基音检测算法%Pitch detection algorithm based on ACF

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭淑婷; 赵明辉

    2011-01-01

    提出了基于短时自相关函数(ACF)的基音检测算法,并利用修正的ACF对此算法进行改进,通过结合相应的预处理、后处理技术,可以有效地实现浊音和清音激励语音信号的区分以及浊音激励语音信号的基音周期检测.%A pitch detection algorithm based on auto-correlation function ( ACF) was proposed and improvement can be achieved by the use of the modified ACF. According to ACF in combination with pre-processing and post-processing technique, the discrimination on sonant and surd excitation speech signal and pitch detection of sonant excitation speech signal can be completed effectively.

  8. Mental representation: what can pitch tell us about the distance effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen Kadosh, Roi; Brodsky, Warren; Levin, Michal; Henik, Avishai

    2008-04-01

    Reaction time (RT) profiles for comparing magnitudes (e.g., numbers, physical sizes) are similar - the larger the difference between the compared stimuli, the shorter the RT (distance effect). Nevertheless, it is unclear whether such correspondence is due to similar, two-dimensional, linear mental representations of magnitudes. In contrast, pitch perception has a more complex, two-dimensional, helical representation. This study examined whether comparisons of music pitches are similar to other magnitude response functions. Experiment 1 employed a comparison task, resulting in an RT profile identical to that obtained when comparing other magnitudes. In contrast, Experiment 2 employed a discrimination task, resulting in RTs that matched the helical representation and were dissociated from the classical distance effect. Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 1 using a comparison task with different stimuli and intervals. These findings imply that the distance effect under comparison tasks might reflect a general sensorimotor transformation, rather than mental representation per se.

  9. Hand proximity facilitates spatial discrimination of auditory tones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip eTseng

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The effect of hand proximity on vision and visual attention has been well documented. In this study we tested whether such effect(s would also be present in the auditory modality. With hands placed either near or away from the audio sources, participants performed an auditory-spatial discrimination (Exp 1: left or right side, pitch discrimination (Exp 2: high, med, or low tone, and spatial-plus-pitch (Exp 3: left or right; high, med, or low discrimination task. In Exp 1, when hands were away from the audio source, participants consistently responded faster with their right hand regardless of stimulus location. This right hand advantage, however, disappeared in the hands-near condition because of a significant improvement in left hand’s reaction time. No effect of hand proximity was found in Exp 2 or 3, where a choice reaction time task requiring pitch discrimination was used. Together, these results suggest that the effect of hand proximity is not exclusive to vision alone, but is also present in audition, though in a much weaker form. Most important, these findings provide evidence from auditory attention that supports the multimodal account originally raised by Reed et al. in 2006.

  10. Perceptual pitch deficits coexist with pitch production difficulties in music but not Mandarin speech

    OpenAIRE

    Wu-xia eYang; Jie eFeng; Wan-ting eHuang; Cheng-xiang eZhang; Yun eNan

    2014-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a musical disorder that mainly affects pitch perception. Among Mandarin speakers, some amusics also have difficulties in processing lexical tones (tone agnosics). To examine to what extent these perceptual deficits may be related to pitch production impairments in music and Mandarin speech, eight amusics, eight tone agnosics, and 12 age- and IQ-matched normal native Mandarin speakers were asked to imitate music note sequences and Mandarin words of comparable lengths. The ...

  11. Multidimensional Analysis on the Effect of Vocal Function Exercises on Aged Vocal Fold Atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Mami; Hirano, Shigeru; Tateya, Ichiro; Kishimoto, Yo; Hiwatashi, Nao; Fujiu-Kurachi, Masako; Ito, Juichi

    2015-09-01

    Age-related voice change is characterized as weak, harsh, and breathy. These changes are caused by histologic alteration of the lamina propria of the vocal fold mucosa as well as atrophy of the thyroarytenoid muscle. Several therapeutic strategies involving laryngeal framework surgery and injection laryngoplasty have been tried, but effects have been limited. Vocal function exercises (VFE) have been used to treat age-related vocal fold atrophy although the effectiveness has been shown with limited analysis. The present study aims to determine the effectiveness of VFE for the treatment of aged atrophy using multidimensional analysis. This is a retrospective study. Sixteen patients with vocal fold atrophy aged 65-81 years underwent voice therapy using VFE. Six patients with vocal fold atrophy aged 65-85 years were involved as a historical control group. The grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain (GRBAS) scale, stroboscopic examinations, aerodynamic assessment, acoustic analysis, and Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10) were performed before and after VFE. Normalized mucosal wave amplitude (NMWA), normalized glottal gap (NGG), and bowing index (BI) were measured by image analysis during stroboscopic examinations. After VFE, significant improvements were shown in GRBAS, maximum phonation time, jitter, NMWA, NGG, and VHI-10 although BI has not changed significantly. There were no significant improvements in the historical control. The data suggest that VFE produces significant improvement in subjective, objective, and patient self-evaluation and deserves further attention as a treatment for aged atrophy of the vocal fold. It was also suggested that VFE does not improve the vocal fold bowing but may improve muscular function during voicing. Copyright © 2015 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuji, Domingos Hiroshi

    2014-04-01

    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.

  13. Improvement of vocal pathologies diagnosis using high-speed videolaryngoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  14. Discrimination and Anti-discrimination in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Tore Vincents

    The purpose of this report is to describe and analyse Danish anti-discrimination legislation and the debate about discrimination in Denmark in order to identify present and future legal challenges. The main focus is the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives in Danish law...

  15. Discrimination and Anti-discrimination in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Tore Vincents

    The purpose of this report is to describe and analyse Danish anti-discrimination legislation and the debate about discrimination in Denmark in order to identify present and future legal challenges. The main focus is the implementation of the EU anti-discrimination directives in Danish law...

  16. Endoscopic laterofixation in bilateral vocal cords paralysis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidia, Zawadzka-Glos; Magdalena, Frackiewicz; Mieczyslaw, Chmielik

    2010-06-01

    Vocal cords paralysis is the second most frequent cause of laryngeal stridor in children. Symptoms of congenital vocal cords paralysis can occur shortly after birth or later. Vocal cords paralysis can be unilateral or bilateral. Symptoms of unilateral paralysis include hoarse weeping or stridor during a deep inhalation. In children unilateral vocal cords paralysis often retreats spontaneously or can be completely compensated. Children with bilateral vocal cords paralysis present mainly breathing disorders while phonation is normal. Symptoms are different, starting from complete occlusion of respiratory tracts and ending on small symptoms connected with the lack of effort tolerance. When symptoms are severe, patients from this group require a tracheotomy. The lack of restoration of normal function of vocal cords or lack of complete compensation and maintenance of symptoms are an indication for surgical treatment. The aim of this study is to present results of the treatment of bilateral vocal cords paralysis in children using the endoscopic method of laterofixation of vocal cords. In the Pediatric ENT Department between 1998 and 2009 sixty four children with dyspnoea and/or phonation disorders caused by vocal cords paralysis were treated. In ten cases laterofixation of vocal cords was performed, in most cases with good result. In this article the authors present the method of endoscopic laterofixation and achieved results. Endoscopic laterofixation of vocal cords in children is a safe and an easy method of surgical treatment of bilateral vocal cords paralysis. This method can be used as a first and often as a one stage treatment of vocal cords paralysis. In some cases this procedure is insufficient and has to be completed with other methods. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Recording Mouse Ultrasonic Vocalizations to Evaluate Social Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferhat, Allain-Thibeault; Torquet, Nicolas; Le Sourd, Anne-Marie; de Chaumont, Fabrice; Olivo-Marin, Jean-Christophe; Faure, Philippe; Bourgeron, Thomas; Ey, Elodie

    2016-06-05

    Mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations in different contexts throughout development and in adulthood. These vocal signals are now currently used as proxies for modeling the genetic bases of vocal communication deficits. Characterizing the vocal behavior of mouse models carrying mutations in genes associated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorders will help to understand the mechanisms leading to social communication deficits. We provide here protocols to reliably elicit ultrasonic vocalizations in pups and in adult mice. This standardization will help reduce inter-study variability due to the experimental settings. Pup isolation calls are recorded throughout development from individual pups isolated from dam and littermates. In adulthood, vocalizations are recorded during same-sex interactions (without a sexual component) by exposing socially motivated males or females to an unknown same-sex conspecific. We also provide a protocol to record vocalizations from adult males exposed to an estrus female. In this context, there is a sexual component in the interaction. These protocols are established to elicit a large amount of ultrasonic vocalizations in laboratory mice. However, we point out the important inter-individual variability in the vocal behavior of mice, which should be taken into account by recording a minimal number of individuals (at least 12 in each condition). These recordings of ultrasonic vocalizations are used to evaluate the call rate, the vocal repertoire and the acoustic structure of the calls. Data are combined with the analysis of synchronous video recordings to provide a more complete view on social communication in mice. These protocols are used to characterize the vocal communication deficits in mice lacking ProSAP1/Shank2, a gene associated with autism spectrum disorders. More ultrasonic vocalizations recordings can also be found on the mouseTube database, developed to favor the exchange of such data.

  18. Dynamic characteristics of peripheral jet ACV. II - Pitching motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, T.; Maeda, H.

    The dynamic pitching characteristics of peripheral jet ACV (Air Cushion Vehicle) which have a stability curtain are investigated analytically and experimentally. The measured values of moment, lift and cushion pressure are compared with numerical results noting applicability to the pitching motion. The response of ACV to the sinusoidal pitching oscillation of the ground is also studied.

  19. Memory for Melody: Infants Use a Relative Pitch Code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plantinga, Judy; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2005-01-01

    Pitch perception is fundamental to melody in music and prosody in speech. Unlike many animals, the vast majority of human adults store melodic information primarily in terms of relative not absolute pitch, and readily recognize a melody whether rendered in a high or a low pitch range. We show that at 6 months infants are also primarily relative…

  20. Spatial Representation of Pitch Height: The SMARC Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusconi, Elena; Kwan, Bonnie; Giordano, Bruno L.; Umilta, Carlo; Butterworth, Brian

    2006-01-01

    Through the preferential pairing of response positions to pitch, here we show that the internal representation of pitch height is spatial in nature and affects performance, especially in musically trained participants, when response alternatives are either vertically or horizontally aligned. The finding that our cognitive system maps pitch height…

  1. Processing of Binaural Pitch Stimuli in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santurette, Sébastien; Dau, Torsten

    2009-01-01

    hearingloss; 3: retro-cochlear impairment) were asked to identify the pitch contour of series of five notes of equal duration, ranging from 523 to 784 Hz, played either with Huggins’ binaural pitch stimuli (BP) or perceptually similar, but monaurally detectable, pitches (MP). All subjects from groups 1 and 2...

  2. Memory for Melody: Infants Use a Relative Pitch Code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plantinga, Judy; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2005-01-01

    Pitch perception is fundamental to melody in music and prosody in speech. Unlike many animals, the vast majority of human adults store melodic information primarily in terms of relative not absolute pitch, and readily recognize a melody whether rendered in a high or a low pitch range. We show that at 6 months infants are also primarily relative…

  3. Size matters : Pitch dimensions constrain interactive team behaviour in soccer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frencken, Wouter; Van der Plaats, Jorrit; Visscher, Chris; Lemmink, Koen

    2013-01-01

    Pitch size varies in official soccer matches and differently sized pitches are adopted for tactical purposes in small-sided training games. Since interactive team behaviour emerges under constraints, the authors evaluate the effect of pitch size (task) manipulations on interactive team behaviour in

  4. Analysis of pitch system data for condition monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jannie Sønderkær; van de Pieterman, René P.; Sørensen, John Dalsgaard

    2014-01-01

    at a constant pitch velocity, but the 10 min maximum values are only approximately proportional, because the maximum values occur during acceleration and not simultaneously. These findings are important to consider, if using the pitch motor current or torque as an indicator for the pitch system health...

  5. Estudo do comportamento vocal no ciclo menstrual: avaliação perceptivo-auditiva, acústica e auto-perceptiva Vocal behavior during menstrual cycle: perceptual-auditory, acoustic and self-perception analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciane C. de Figueiredo

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Durante o período pré-menstrual é comum a ocorrência de disfonia, e são poucas as mulheres que se dão conta dessa variação da voz dentro do ciclo menstrual (Quinteiro, 1989. OBJETIVO: Verificar se há diferença no padrão vocal de mulheres no período de ovulação em relação ao primeiro dia do ciclo menstrual, utilizando-se da análise perceptivo-auditiva, da espectrografia, dos parâmetros acústicos e quando esta diferença está presente, se é percebida pelas mulheres. FORMA DE ESTUDO: Caso-controle. MATERIAL E MÉTODO: A amostra coletada foi de 30 estudantes de Fonoaudiologia, na faixa etária de 18 a 25 anos, não-fumantes, com ciclo menstrual regular e sem o uso de contraceptivo oral. As vozes foram gravadas no primeiro dia de menstruação e no décimo-terceiro dia pós-menstruação (ovulação, para posterior comparação. RESULTADOS: Observou-se durante o período menstrual que as vozes estão rouco-soprosa de grau leve a moderado, instáveis, sem a presença de quebra de sonoridade, com pitch e loudness adequados e ressonância equilibrada. Há pior qualidade de definição dos harmônicos, maior quantidade de ruído entre eles e menor extensão dos harmônicos superiores. Encontramos uma f0 mais aguda, jitter e shimmer aumentados e PHR diminuída. CONCLUSÃO: No período menstrual há mudanças na qualidade vocal, no comportamento dos harmônicos e nos parâmetros vocais (f0,jitter, shimmer e PHR. Além disso, a maioria das estudantes de Fonoaudiologia não percebeu a variação da voz durante o ciclo menstrual.During the premenstruation period dysphonia often can be observed and only few women are aware of this voice variation (Quinteiro, 1989. AIM: To verify if there are vocal quality variations between the ovulation period and the first day of the menstrual cycle, by using perceptual-auditory and acoustic analysis, including spectrography, and the self perception of the vocal changes when it occurs. STUDY DESIGN: Case

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Prestes

    2012-10-01

    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

  7. If horses entrain, don’t entirely reject vocal learning: An experience-based vocal learning hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adena Schachner

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Bregman and colleagues describe methods for testing whether horses entrain their actions to an auditory beat. If horses can entrain, does this necessarily imply that there is no causal relationship between vocal learning and entrainment? I propose an alternative way in which vocal learning may relate to entrainment — one that is consistent with entrainment in some vocal non-learning species. Due to engaging in the developmental process of vocal learning, there may be early experiences common to vocal learners, but rare in vocal non-learning species. It is possible that it is these experiences that are critical for entrainment — not vocal learning itself, nor related genes. These experiences may result in critical changes in neural development, leading to the development of cognitive mechanisms necessary for both vocal learning and entrainment. This hypothesis changes the causal story from one of genetic change to one of changes in experience, and from a focus on evolution to a focus on individual ontogeny. Thus, if horses can entrain, we should not immediately reject the idea of a relationship between vocal learning and entrainment: First, we should consider whether some unusual aspect of the horses' experience effectively replicates the unusual experiences of vocal learning animals.

  8. Vocal training, levodopa, and environment effects on ultrasonic vocalizations in a rat neurotoxin model of Parkinson disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A.; Brauer, Alexander F.L.; Ciucci, Michelle R.

    2016-01-01

    Levodopa does not improve dysarthria in patients with Parkinson Disease (PD), although vocal exercise therapy, such as “LSVT/LOUD®”, does improve vocal communication. Most patients receive vocal exercise therapy while concurrently being treated with levodopa, although the interaction between levodopa and vocal exercise therapy on communication in PD is relatively unknown. Further, carryover of vocal exercise therapy to novel situations is critical for successful outcomes, but the influence of novel situations on rehabilitated vocal communication is not well understood. To address the influence of exercise, medications, and environment on vocal communication with precise experimental control, we employed the widely used 6-OHDA rat neurotoxin model of PD (infusion to the medial forebrain bundle), and assessed ultrasonic vocalizations after: vocal exercise, vocal exercise with levodopa, levodopa alone, and control conditions. We tested USVs in the familiar training environment of the home cage and a novel cage. We hypothesized that parkinsonian rats that undergo vocal exercise would demonstrate significant improvement of ultrasonic vocalization (USV) acoustic parameters as compared to the control exercise and levodopa-only treatment groups. We further hypothesized that vocal exercise in combination with levodopa administration, similar to what is common in humans, would lead to improvement in USV outcomes, particularly when tested in a familiar versus a novel environment. We found that the combination of exercise and levodopa lead to some improvement in USV acoustic parameters and these effects were stronger in a familiar vs. a novel environment. Our results suggest that although treatment can improve aspects of communication, environment can influence the benefits of these effects. PMID:27025445

  9. Amygdalar vocalization pathways in the squirrel monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, U

    1982-06-10

    In 22 squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) vocalization-eliciting electrodes were implanted into the amygdala and along the trajectory of the stria terminalis. Then, lesions were placed in the stria terminalis, its bed nucleus, the ventral amygdalofugal pathway and several di- and mesencephalic structures in order to find out the pathways along which the amygdala exerts its vocalization-controlling influence. It was found that different call types are controlled by different pathways. Purring and chattering calls, which express a self-confident, challenging attitude and an attempt to recruit fellow-combatants in intra-specific mobbing, respectively, are controlled via the stria terminalis; alarm peep and groaning calls, in contrast, which indicate flight motivation and resentment, respectively, are triggered via the ventral amygdalofugal fibre bundle. Both pathways traverse the dorsolateral and dorsomedial hypothalamus, respectively, and unite in the periaqueductal grey of the midbrain.

  10. Measurement of vocal doses in virtual classrooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Pelegrin Garcia, David

    2010-01-01

    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......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...... with an artificial head (corresponding to the mouth-ears path) placed at the talker position while simulating the classrooms. Time histories of the vocal fold vibration readings, with the trend of the fundamental frequency and an estimation of the sound pressure level, sampled every 50 ms, were obtained. From...

  11. Vocal tract dynamics in an adult stutterer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Wolk

    1981-08-01

    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.

  12. Vocal caricatures reveal signatures of speaker identity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  13. Vocalization-correlated respiratory movements in the squirrel monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häusler, U

    2000-10-01

    Respiratory abdominal movements associated with vocalization were recorded in awake squirrel monkeys. Several call types, such as peeping, trilling, cackling, and err-chucks, were accompanied by large vocalization-correlated respiratory movements (VCRM) that started before vocalization. During purring, in contrast, only small VCRM were recorded that started later after vocal onset. VCRM during trill calls, a vocalization type with repetitive frequency modulation, showed a modulation in the rhythm of the frequency changes. A correlation with amplitude modulation was also present, but more variable. As high frequencies need a higher lung pressure for production than low frequencies, the modulation of VCRM seems to serve to optimize the lung pressure in relation to the vocalization frequency. The modulation, furthermore, may act as a mechanism to produce different trill variants. During err-chucks and staccato peeps, which show a large amplitude modulation, a nonmodulated VCRM occurred. This indicates the existence of a laryngeal amplitude-controlling mechanism that is independent from respiration.

  14. Human mutant huntingtin disrupts vocal learning in transgenic songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wan-Chun; Kohn, Jessica; Szwed, Sarah K; Pariser, Eben; Sepe, Sharon; Haripal, Bhagwattie; Oshimori, Naoki; Marsala, Martin; Miyanohara, Atsushi; Lee, Ramee

    2015-11-01

    Speech and vocal impairments characterize many neurological disorders. However, the neurogenetic mechanisms of these disorders are not well understood, and current animal models do not have the necessary circuitry to recapitulate vocal learning deficits. We developed germline transgenic songbirds, zebra finches (Taneiopygia guttata) expressing human mutant huntingtin (mHTT), a protein responsible for the progressive deterioration of motor and cognitive function in Huntington's disease (HD). Although generally healthy, the mutant songbirds had severe vocal disorders, including poor vocal imitation, stuttering, and progressive syntax and syllable degradation. Their song abnormalities were associated with HD-related neuropathology and dysfunction of the cortical-basal ganglia (CBG) song circuit. These transgenics are, to the best of our knowledge, the first experimentally created, functional mutant songbirds. Their progressive and quantifiable vocal disorder, combined with circuit dysfunction in the CBG song system, offers a model for genetic manipulation and the development of therapeutic strategies for CBG-related vocal and motor disorders.

  15. Computational model for vocal tract dynamics in a suboscine bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assaneo, M. F.; Trevisan, M. A.

    2010-09-01

    In a recent work, active use of the vocal tract has been reported for singing oscines. The reconfiguration of the vocal tract during song serves to match its resonances to the syringeal fundamental frequency, demonstrating a precise coordination of the two main pieces of the avian vocal system for songbirds characterized by tonal songs. In this work we investigated the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulfuratus), a suboscine bird whose calls display a rich harmonic content. Using a recently developed mathematical model for the syrinx and a mobile vocal tract, we set up a computational model that provides a plausible reconstruction of the vocal tract movement using a few spectral features taken from the utterances. Moreover, synthetic calls were generated using the articulated vocal tract that accounts for all the acoustical features observed experimentally.

  16. Diffraction method of vocal chord oscillation sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmin, Sergey Y.; Tuchin, Valery V.

    1996-04-01

    A method of small-amplitude biovibrations detection is presented in the paper. The method uses a dependence of properties of speckle-structures formed by focused coherent light field diffraction from rough surfaces on the statistics and movement parameters of the surface. With the help of computer modeling the different components of skin surface vibration were analyzed and their influence on speckles dynamics was studied. Human vocal chord oscillations spectrum was monitored using the developed technique.

  17. Characterization of Coal Tar Pitch and Paving Pitch by UV, EA and NMR%Characterization of Coal Tar Pitch and Paving Pitch by UV,EA and NMR

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO Yan-hua; FENG Rui-jie; CAO Su-mei; LIU Xiang-yong; GAO Ting; PAN Zhi-quan

    2011-01-01

    In order to enlarge the use of coal tar pitch(CTP) in paving road, CTP and 60th paving pitch (PP) were extracted by n-heptane, toluene and ethanol step by step in a Soxhlet apparatus. The three fractions of CTP and PP were detected using UV-absorption(UV-A) ,elemental analyses(EA) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) firstly as a whole unit after quality characterization of physical nature of CTP and PP were finished. The CTP had more saturate aliphatie and residue compounds dissolved in ethanol. On the other hand there were more continental type structures of aromatic ring than that of PP. There was almost no residue in PP after extracted by ethanol. The results explained why CTP was crisp in cold winter and was soften in summer. The following research will focus on how to change the chemical construction of CTP into the relative similar structures with those of PP through adding polymer.

  18. Boronated mesophase pitch coke for lithium insertion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frackowiak, E.; Machnikowski, J.; Kaczmarska, H.; Béguin, F.

    Boronated carbons from mesophase pitch have been used as materials for lithium storage in Li/carbon cells. Doping by boron has been realized by co-pyrolysis of coal tar pitch with the pyridine-borane complex. Amount of boron in mesocarbon microbeads (MCMB) varied from 1.4 to 1.8 wt.% affecting the texture of carbon. Optical microscopy and X-ray diffractograms have shown tendency to more disordered structure for boron-doped carbon. The values of specific reversible capacity ( x) varied from 0.7 to 1.1 depending significantly on the final temperature of pyrolysis (700-1150°C). The optimal charge/discharge performance was observed for boronated carbon heated at 1000°C.

  19. Pitch perception of complex sounds nonlinearity revisited

    CERN Document Server

    González, D L; Sportolari, F; Rosso, O; Cartwright, J H E; Piro, O

    1995-01-01

    The ability of the auditory system to perceive the fundamental frequency of a sound even when this frequency is removed from the stimulus is an interesting phenomenon related to the pitch of complex sounds. This capability is known as ``residue'' or ``virtual pitch'' perception and was first reported last century in the pioneering work of Seebeck. It is residue perception that allows one to listen to music with small transistor radios, which in general have a very poor and sometimes negligible response to low frequencies. The first attempt, due to Helmholtz, to explain the residue as a nonlinear effect in the ear considered it to originate from difference combination tones. However, later experiments have shown that the residue does not coincide with a difference combination tone. These results and the fact that dichotically presented signals also elicit residue perception have led to nonlinear theories being gradually abandoned in favour of central processor models. In this paper we use recent results from t...

  20. Treatment of aging vocal folds: surgical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seino, Yutomo; Allen, Jacqui E

    2014-12-01

    Aging may affect the voice through either physiological or pathological changes. Globally society is aging and the working lifetime is extending. Increasing numbers of elderly will present with voice issues. This review examines current thinking regarding surgical treatment of the aging voice. The mainstay of surgical treatment remains injection laryngoplasty and medialization thyroplasty. In-office injection laryngoplasty is increasingly common. Data suggest that patients with vocal fold atrophy do not achieve as much benefit from augmentation treatments as other causes of glottal incompetence. In addition the timing of injection laryngoplasty may influence the rate of subsequent medialization thyroplasty. Disease-specific treatments can provide some benefit to voice, such as deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease. Novel treatments including growth factor therapy are entering clinical practice and will provide new options for the clinician in future. Voice disorders affect approximately 20% of the elderly population. Causes include neurologic, malignant, iatrogenic and benign vocal fold disorders. These should be ruled out before accepting dysphonia is age-related in nature. Treatment should be specific to recognized vocal disorders but may also address physiologic changes in the glottis. Injection laryngoplasty and thyroplasty remain effective options for treating glottal incompetence but novel therapies are showing promising results.

  1. Evidence of sound symbolism in simple vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parise, Cesare V; Pavani, Francesco

    2011-10-01

    The question of the arbitrariness of language is among the oldest in cognitive sciences, and it relates to the nature of the associations between vocal sounds and their meaning. Growing evidence seems to support sound symbolism, claiming for a naturally constrained mapping of meaning into sounds. Most of such evidence, however, comes from studies based on the interpretation of pseudowords, and to date, there is little empirical evidence that sound symbolism can affect phonatory behavior. In the present study, we asked participants to utter the letter /a/ in response to visual stimuli varying in shape, luminance, and size, and we observed consistent sound symbolic effects on vocalizations. Utterances' loudness was modulated by stimulus shape and luminance. Moreover, stimulus shape consistently modulated the frequency of the third formant (F3). This finding reveals an automatic mapping of specific visual attributes into phonological features of vocalizations. Furthermore, it suggests that sound-meaning associations are reciprocal, affecting active (production) as well as passive (comprehension) linguistic behavior.

  2. 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: marcelomgarcia@superig.com.br, e-mail: ce@axialmg.com.br

    2009-09-15

    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)

  3. Adaptive pitch control of wind turbine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kjaer Joergensen, H.

    1993-12-31

    The wind turbines used in Denmark today to produce electric power are mostly stall-controlled turbines up to 300-400 kW. The quality of the produced electrical power from small stall-controlled wind turbines is poor compared to the electrical power from the utility grid. The main goal of this report is to describe another way of generating electric power by wind turbines. The produced power is regulated by controlling the pitch of the rotor blades. Only medium wind speeds ranging from 14 m{sup 3} to 20 m{sup 3} are considered. The regulation problem is to keep the power at the nominal value and to minimize variations in the produced power and variations in the torques acting upon the turbine. Furthermore fluctuations in the displacement of the nacelle have to be controlled so the natural frequency of the nacelle is not excited. The regulation problem is solved for the 750 kW wind turbine, Windane 40, owned by ELKRAFT. A control model is developed for use in the control design procedure and a simulation model is developed to test the designed controllers. Several controllers are designed. A continuous-time PID-controller (Proportional Integrating Differentiating) is designed because this controller is used in practical pitch-control today - this controller is used as a reference of performance. A LQG-controller (Least Quadratic Gaussian) and a GSP-controller (General Stochastic Poleplacement) are designed to test some conventional controllers used to solve many other regulation problems. Finally an AGSP-controller (Adaptive General Stochastic Poleplacement) is designed to test a controller that is able to change the control law according to the wind speed. The controllers are tested at different wind conditions. All controllers are compared to a wind turbine with fixed pitch angle (stall-control). Simulation studies show that all controllers give better results than the fixed pitch-controlled system. (EG) (14 refs.)

  4. Aircraft Pitch Attitude Control using Backstepping

    OpenAIRE

    Härkegård, Ola; Glad, Torkel

    2000-01-01

    A nonlinear approach to the automatic pitch attitude control problem for a generic fighter aircraft is presented. A nonlinear model describing the longitudinal equations of motion in strict feedback form is derived. Backstepping is utilized for the construction of a globally stabilizing controller with a number of free design parameters. Two tuning schemes are proposed based on the desired locally linear controller properties. The controller is evaluated using the HIRM fighter aircraft model.

  5. Aircraft Pitch Attitude Control using Backstepping

    OpenAIRE

    Härkegård, Ola; Glad, Torkel

    2000-01-01

    A nonlinear approach to the automatic pitch attitude control problem for a generic fighter aircraft is presented. A nonlinear model describing the longitudinal equations of motion in strict feedback form is derived. Backstepping is utilized for the construction of a globally stabilizing controller with a number of free design parameters. Two tuning schemes are proposed based on the desired locally linear controller properties. The controller is evaluated using the HIRM fighter aircraft model.

  6. Singers' Vocal Function Knowledge Levels, Sensorimotor Self-awareness of Vocal Tract, and Impact of Functional Voice Rehabilitation on the Vocal Function Knowledge and Self-awareness of Vocal Tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sielska-Badurek, Ewelina; Osuch-Wójcikiewicz, Ewa; Sobol, Maria; Kazanecka, Ewa; Niemczyk, Kazimierz

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated vocal function knowledge and vocal tract sensorimotor self-awareness and the impact of functional voice rehabilitation on vocal function knowledge and self-awareness. This is a prospective, randomized study. Twenty singers (study group [SG]) completed a questionnaire before and after functional voice rehabilitation. Twenty additional singers, representing the control group, also completed the questionnaire without functional voice rehabilitation at a 3-month interval. The questionnaire consisted of three parts. The first part evaluated the singers' attitude to the anatomical and physiological knowledge of the vocal tract and their self-esteem of the knowledge level. The second part assessed the theoretical knowledge of the singers' vocal tract physiology. The third part of the questionnaire assessed singers' sensorimotor self-awareness of the vocal tract. The results showed that most singers indicated that knowledge of the vocal tract's anatomy and physiology is useful (59% SG, 67% control group). However, 75% of all participants defined their knowledge of the vocal tract's anatomy and physiology as weak or inadequate. In the SG, vocal function knowledge at the first assessment was 45%. After rehabilitation, the level increased to 67.7%. Vocal tract sensorimotor self-awareness initially was 38.9% in SG but rose to 66.7%. Findings of the study suggest that classical singers lack knowledge about the physiology of the vocal mechanism, especially the breathing patterns. In addition, they have low sensorimotor self-awareness of their vocal tract. The results suggest that singers would benefit from receiving services from phoniatrists and speech-language pathologists during their voice training. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Carbon dioxide laser enucleation of polypoid vocal cords.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, A; Dedo, H H

    1984-06-01

    Polypoid vocal cords have routinely been treated by endoscopic vocal cord stripping, often-times resulting in prolonged hoarseness postoperatively. Submucosal CO2 laser enucleation of the polypoid tissue, with preservation of a mucosal flap on the medial edge of the cord, has proved to be a valuable improvement. The surgical procedure is described and results are presented which suggest that voice quality is better earlier than is the case after vocal cord stripping.

  8. The anuran vocal sac: a tool for multimodal signalling

    OpenAIRE

    STARNBERGER, IRIS; Preininger, Doris; Hödl, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Although in anurans the predominant mode of intra- and intersexual communication is vocalization, modalities used in addition to or instead of acoustic signals range from seismic and visual to chemical. In some cases, signals of more than one modality are produced through or by the anuran vocal sac. However, its role beyond acoustics has been neglected for some time and nonacoustic cues such as vocal sac movement have traditionally been seen as an epiphenomenon of sound production. The divers...

  9. The discrimination of baboon grunt calls and human vowel sounds by baboons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hienz, Robert D.; Jones, April M.; Weerts, Elise M.

    2004-09-01

    The ability of baboons to discriminate changes in the formant structures of a synthetic baboon grunt call and an acoustically similar human vowel (/eh/) was examined to determine how comparable baboons are to humans in discriminating small changes in vowel sounds, and whether or not any species-specific advantage in discriminability might exist when baboons discriminate their own vocalizations. Baboons were trained to press and hold down a lever to produce a pulsed train of a standard sound (e.g., /eh/ or a baboon grunt call), and to release the lever only when a variant of the sound occurred. Synthetic variants of each sound had the same first and third through fifth formants (F1 and F3-5), but varied in the location of the second formant (F2). Thresholds for F2 frequency changes were 55 and 67 Hz for the grunt and vowel stimuli, respectively, and were not statistically different from one another. Baboons discriminated changes in vowel formant structures comparable to those discriminated by humans. No distinct advantages in discrimination performances were observed when the baboons discriminated these synthetic grunt vocalizations.

  10. A fundamental residue pitch perception bias for tone language speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petitti, Elizabeth

    A complex tone composed of only higher-order harmonics typically elicits a pitch percept equivalent to the tone's missing fundamental frequency (f0). When judging the direction of residue pitch change between two such tones, however, listeners may have completely opposite perceptual experiences depending on whether they are biased to perceive changes based on the overall spectrum or the missing f0 (harmonic spacing). Individual differences in residue pitch change judgments are reliable and have been associated with musical experience and functional neuroanatomy. Tone languages put greater pitch processing demands on their speakers than non-tone languages, and we investigated whether these lifelong differences in linguistic pitch processing affect listeners' bias for residue pitch. We asked native tone language speakers and native English speakers to perform a pitch judgment task for two tones with missing fundamental frequencies. Given tone pairs with ambiguous pitch changes, listeners were asked to judge the direction of pitch change, where the direction of their response indicated whether they attended to the overall spectrum (exhibiting a spectral bias) or the missing f0 (exhibiting a fundamental bias). We found that tone language speakers are significantly more likely to perceive pitch changes based on the missing f0 than English speakers. These results suggest that tone-language speakers' privileged experience with linguistic pitch fundamentally tunes their basic auditory processing.

  11. Pitched Blade Turbine Efficiency at Particle Suspension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Ceres

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Mixing suspensions is a very important hydraulic operation. The pitched six-blade turbine is a widely-used axial-flow impeller. This paper deals with effect relative impeller size and particle content on theefficiency of a pitched six-blade turbine at particle suspension. Two pitched six-blade turbines were used in model measurements of just suspension impeller speed. The ratios of the vessel to agitator diameter D/d were 3 and 4.5. The measurements were carried out in a dish-bottomed vessel 300 mm in diameter. The just suspension impeller speeds were measured using an electrochemical method, and were checked visually. A 2.5 % NaCl water solution was used as the liquid phase, and glass particles with four equivalent diameters between 0.18 and 0.89 mmand volumetric concentration from 2.5 % to 40% were usedasthesolid phase. The criterion values πs=Po√Fr'3(d/D7 were calculated from the particle suspension and power consumption measurements. The dependencies of πs on particle content cv show that larger agitators are more efficient for higher particle content.

  12. A case of expressive-vocal amusia in a right-handed patient with left hemispheric cerebral infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uetsuki, Shizuka; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Takahashi, Ryuichi; Obata, Satoshi; Kakigi, Tatsuya; Wada, Yoshiko; Yokoyama, Kazumasa

    2016-03-01

    A 53-year-old right-handed woman had an extensive lesion in the left hemisphere due to an infarction caused by vasospasm secondary to subarachnoid bleeding. She exhibited persistent expressive-vocal amusia with no symptoms of aphasia. Evaluation of the patient's musical competence using the Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Amusia, rhythm reproduction tests, acoustic analysis of pitch upon singing familiar music, Japanese standard language tests, and other detailed clinical examinations revealed that her amusia was more dominantly related to pitch production. The intactness of her speech provided strong evidence that the right hemisphere played a major role in her linguistic processing. Data from functional magnetic resonance imaging while she was singing a familiar song, a scale, and reciting lyrics indicated that perilesional residual activation in the left hemisphere was associated with poor pitch production, while right hemispheric activation was involved in linguistic processing. The localization of infarction more anterior to the left Sylvian fissure might be related to the dominant deficits in expressive aspects of the singing of the patient. Compromised motor programming producing a single tone may have made a major contribution to her poor singing. Imperfect auditory feedback due to borderline perceptual ability or improper audio-motor associations might also have played a role.

  13. Idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis causing midmembranous vocal fold granuloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Catherine F; Sulica, Lucian

    2013-02-01

    Idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis (IUL) is characterized by bilateral midmembranous vocal fold ulceration, which follows upper respiratory infection with cough. In contrast, granuloma of the membranous vocal fold can occur rarely following microlaryngoscopy, presumably secondary to surgical violation of deep tissue planes. We report a novel case of noniatrogenic membranous vocal fold granulation developing in a patient with IUL. Although the presence of granulation implied injury to the entire microstructure of the vibratory portion of the vocal fold, the lesion resolved with conservative management without adverse sequelae.

  14. Vocal-tract filtering by lingual articulation in a parrot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Nelson, Brian S; Suthers, Roderick A

    2004-09-07

    Human speech and bird vocalization are complex communicative behaviors with notable similarities in development and underlying mechanisms. However, there is an important difference between humans and birds in the way vocal complexity is generally produced. Human speech originates from independent modulatory actions of a sound source, e.g., the vibrating vocal folds, and an acoustic filter, formed by the resonances of the vocal tract (formants). Modulation in bird vocalization, in contrast, is thought to originate predominantly from the sound source, whereas the role of the resonance filter is only subsidiary in emphasizing the complex time-frequency patterns of the source (e.g., but see ). However, it has been suggested that, analogous to human speech production, tongue movements observed in parrot vocalizations modulate formant characteristics independently from the vocal source. As yet, direct evidence of such a causal relationship is lacking. In five Monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus, we replaced the vocal source, the syrinx, with a small speaker that generated a broad-band sound, and we measured the effects of tongue placement on the sound emitted from the beak. The results show that tongue movements cause significant frequency changes in two formants and cause amplitude changes in all four formants present between 0.5 and 10 kHz. We suggest that lingual articulation may thus in part explain the well-known ability of parrots to mimic human speech, and, even more intriguingly, may also underlie a speech-like formant system in natural parrot vocalizations.

  15. Continuous Vocalization during Kendo Exercises Suppresses Expiration of CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arikawa, H; Terada, T; Takahashi, T; Kizaki, K; Imai, H; Era, S

    2015-06-01

    One distinctive trait of kendo, the Japanese martial art of fencing, is the execution of sustained, high-effort vocalizations during actions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of these vocalizations on respiratory functions. First, the intensity of 3 kendo exercises was quantified by measuring oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and comparing it with V̇O2max measured during treadmill tests of 8 university kendo athletes. Respiratory variables of these 8 athletes were then analyzed using a portable breath gas analyzer during the most intensive kendo exercise, kakari-keiko, with and without vocalization. Breathing frequency (fB) increased regardless of vocalization, but in trials with vocalization, fB and ventilation were significantly lower, and expiration time was significantly longer. Components of expired gases were also affected by vocalization. Although there was no significant difference in oxygen uptake, vocalization yielded a reduction in carbon dioxide output (V̇CO2) and an increase in fraction of end-tidal carbon dioxide (FetCO2). We thus conclude that these vocalizations greatly affect expiration breathing patterns in kendo. Moreover, repetition of kakari-keiko caused a reduction in V̇CO2 and an increase in FetCO2 and CO2 storage. We consider the possibility that the sustained high-effort vocalizations of kendo also increase cerebral blood flow.

  16. Vocal Emotion of Humanoid Robots: A Study from Brain Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youhui Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Driven by rapid ongoing advances in humanoid robot, increasing attention has been shifted into the issue of emotion intelligence of AI robots to facilitate the communication between man-machines and human beings, especially for the vocal emotion in interactive system of future humanoid robots. This paper explored the brain mechanism of vocal emotion by studying previous researches and developed an experiment to observe the brain response by fMRI, to analyze vocal emotion of human beings. Findings in this paper provided a new approach to design and evaluate the vocal emotion of humanoid robots based on brain mechanism of human beings.

  17. Perceptual and acoustic parameters of vocal nodules in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramuglia, Andréa Cristina Joia; Tavares, Elaine L M; Rodrigues, Sérgio Augusto; Martins, Regina H G

    2014-02-01

    Vocal nodules constitute the major cause of dysphonia during childhood. Auditory-perceptual and acoustic vocal analyses have been used to differentiate vocal nodules from normal voice in children. To study the value of auditory-perceptual and acoustic vocal analyses in assessments of children with nodules. Diagnostic test study. A comparative study was carried out including 100 children with videolaryngoscopic diagnosis of vocal nodules (nodule group-NG); and 100 children without vocal symptoms and with normal videolaryngoscopic exams (control group-CG). The age range of both groups was between 4 and 11 years. All children underwent auditory-perceptual vocal analyses (GRBASI scale); maximum phonation time and s/z ratio were calculated, and acoustic vocal analysis (MDVP software) were carried out. There was no difference in the values of maximum phonation time and s/z ratio between groups. Auditory-perceptual analysis indicated greater compromising of voice parameters for NG, compared to CG: G (79 versus 24), R (53 versus 3), B (67 versus 23) and S (35 versus 1). The values of acoustic parameters jitter, PPQ, shimmer, APQ, NHR and SPI were higher for NG for CG. The parameter f0 did not differ between groups. Compromising of auditory-perceptual (G, R, B and S) and acoustic vocal parameters (jitter, PPQ, shimmer, APQ, NHR and SPI) was greater for children with nodules than for those of the control group, which makes them important methods for assessing child dysphonia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Frequency and significance of vocalizations in Sydenham's chorea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Teixeira, Antonio Lúcio; Cardoso, Francisco; Maia, Débora P; Sacramento, Daniel R; Mota, Cleonice de Carvalho Coelho; Meira, Zilda Maria Alves; Lees, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Sydenham's chorea (SC) is a complication of Streptococcus infection characterized by a combination of motor and non-motor features. We have investigated the presence of vocalizations in 89 consecutive patients with SC evaluated during a one-year period in the UFMG Movement Disorders Clinic. Seven (4/3 M/F) of the 89 patients (29/60 M/F) presented with simple vocalizations not preceded by premonitory sensations but in association with facial chorea in five patients. These findings suggest that vocalizations are not a common feature in SC and their phenomenology is quite distinct from the characteristics of vocal tics in tic disorders.

  19. [Potentialities of conservative therapy of vocal disorders in children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radtsig, E Yu; Bogomilsky, M R

    2007-01-01

    The article concerns problems of classification and treatment of various vocal problems in children, presents treatment outcomes in patients with functional and organic dysphonia using complex homeopathic drugs.

  20. Diagnostic and therapeutic pitfalls in benign vocal fold diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bohlender, Jörg

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available [english] 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.

  1. The effect of task and pitch structure on pitch-time interactions in music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prince, Jon B; Schmuckler, Mark A; Thompson, William F

    2009-04-01

    Musical pitch-time relations were explored by investigating the effect of temporal variation on pitch perception. In Experiment 1, trained musicians heard a standard tone followed by a tonal context and then a comparison tone. They then performed one of two tasks. In the cognitive task, they indicated whether the comparison tone was in the key of the context. In the perceptual task, they judged whether the comparison tone was higher or lower than the standard tone. For both tasks, the comparison tone occurred early, on time, or late with respect to temporal expectancies established by the context. Temporal variation did not affect accuracy in either task. Experiment 2 used the perceptual task and varied the pitch structure by employing either a tonal or an atonal context. Temporal variation did not affect accuracy for tonal contexts, but did for atonal contexts. Experiment 3 replicated these results and controlled potential confounds. We argue that tonal contexts bias attention toward pitch and eliminate effects of temporal variation, whereas atonal contexts do not, thus fostering pitch-time interactions.

  2. Research on the Development of Baseball Pitching Machine Controlling Pitch Type using Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Shinobu; Oda, Juhachi; Yonemura, Shigeru; Kawata, Kengo; Horikawa, Saburo; Yamamoto, Hiroyuki

    The most common commercial pitching machines for baseball are the "arm" type and the "two rollers" type. These machines tend to have certain limitations. In particular, it is very difficult to simultaneously change both ball speed and direction. In addition, some types of pitches, such as the curveball or screwball, are not easily achieved. In this study, we will explain the hardware and software design of a new "intelligent" pitching machine which can pitch repeatedly with selectable speed, direction and ball rotation. The machine has three rollers and the motion of each is independently controlled by a hierarchical neural network. If the ball speed, direction and rotation are given as input data to this network, signals for controlling the three rollers are produced as output data. The results of a throw experiment with the machine that we developed are shown, which has the ability to pitch assorted breaking balls with a wide range of speeds, from 19.4 to 44.4 m/s. The machine has a speed error of less than about 3%, and a distance error of about 0.15m (twice the length of a ball's diameter).

  3. Evaluation of fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle via thrust pitching angle and thrust pitching moment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L.; Hirota, M.; Ouchi, K.; Saito, T.

    2016-03-01

    Shock vector control (SVC) in a converging-diverging nozzle with a rectangular cross-section is discussed as a fluidic thrust vectoring (FTV) method. The interaction between the primary nozzle flow and the secondary jet is examined using experiments and numerical simulations. The relationships between FTV parameters [nozzle pressure ratio (NPR) and secondary jet pressure ratio (SPR)] and FTV performance (thrust pitching angle and thrust pitching moment) are investigated. The experiments are conducted with an NPR of up to 10 and an SPR of up to 2.7. Numerical simulations of the nozzle flow are performed using a Navier-Stokes solver with input parameters set to match the experimental conditions. The thrust pitching angle and moment computed from the force-moment balance are used to evaluate FTV performance. The experiment and numerical results indicate that the FTV parameters (NPR and SPR) directly affect FTV performance. Conventionally, FTV performance evaluated by the common method using thrust pitching angle is highly dependent on the location of evaluation. Hence, in this study, we show that the thrust pitching moment, a parameter which is independent of the location, is the appropriate figure of merit to evaluate the performance of FTV systems.

  4. Computational acoustic modeling of cetacean vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurevich, Michael Dixon

    A framework for computational acoustic modeling of hypothetical vocal production mechanisms in cetaceans is presented. As a specific example, a model of a proposed source in the larynx of odontocetes is developed. Whales and dolphins generate a broad range of vocal sounds, but the exact mechanisms they use are not conclusively understood. In the fifty years since it has become widely accepted that whales can and do make sound, how they do so has remained particularly confounding. Cetaceans' highly divergent respiratory anatomy, along with the difficulty of internal observation during vocalization have contributed to this uncertainty. A variety of acoustical, morphological, ethological and physiological evidence has led to conflicting and often disputed theories of the locations and mechanisms of cetaceans' sound sources. Computational acoustic modeling has been used to create real-time parametric models of musical instruments and the human voice. These techniques can be applied to cetacean vocalizations to help better understand the nature and function of these sounds. Extensive studies of odontocete laryngeal morphology have revealed vocal folds that are consistently similar to a known but poorly understood acoustic source, the ribbon reed. A parametric computational model of the ribbon reed is developed, based on simplified geometrical, mechanical and fluid models drawn from the human voice literature. The physical parameters of the ribbon reed model are then adapted to those of the odontocete larynx. With reasonable estimates of real physical parameters, both the ribbon reed and odontocete larynx models produce sounds that are perceptually similar to their real-world counterparts, and both respond realistically under varying control conditions. Comparisons of acoustic features of the real-world and synthetic systems show a number of consistencies. While this does not on its own prove that either model is conclusively an accurate description of the source, it

  5. The Badness of Discrimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper

    2006-01-01

    The most blatant forms of discrimination are morally outrageous and very obviously so; but the nature and boundaries of discrimination are more controversial, and it is not clear whether all forms of discrimination are morally bad; nor is it clear why objectionable cases of discrimination are bad....... In this paper I address these issues. First, I offer a taxonomy of discrimination. I then argue that discrimination is bad, when it is, because it harms people. Finally, I criticize a rival, disrespect-based account according to which discrimination is bad regardless of whether it causes harm....

  6. Socially-Tolerable Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    J. Atsu Amegashie

    2008-01-01

    History is replete with overt discrimination of various forms. However, these forms of discrimination are not equally tolerable. For example, discrimination based on immutable or prohibitively unalterable characteristics such as race or gender is much less acceptable. Why? I develop a simple model of conflict which is driven by either racial (gender) discrimination or generational discrimination (i.e., young versus old). I show that there exist parameters of the model where racial (gender) di...

  7. Vowel identity between note labels confuses pitch identification in non-absolute pitch possessors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo Brancucci

    Full Text Available The simplest and likeliest assumption concerning the cognitive bases of absolute pitch (AP is that at its origin there is a particularly skilled function which matches the height of the perceived pitch to the verbal label of the musical tone. Since there is no difference in sound frequency resolution between AP and non-AP (NAP musicians, the hypothesis of the present study is that the failure of NAP musicians in pitch identification relies mainly in an inability to retrieve the correct verbal label to be assigned to the perceived musical note. The primary hypothesis is that, when asked to identify tones, NAP musicians confuse the verbal labels to be attached to the stimulus on the basis of their phonetic content. Data from two AP tests are reported, in which subjects had to respond in the presence or in the absence of visually presented verbal note labels (fixed Do solmization. Results show that NAP musicians confuse more frequently notes having a similar vowel in the note label. They tend to confuse e.g. a 261 Hz tone (Do more often with Sol than, e.g., with La. As a second goal, we wondered whether this effect is lateralized, i.e. whether one hemisphere is more responsible than the other in the confusion of notes with similar labels. This question was addressed by observing pitch identification during dichotic listening. Results showed that there is a right hemispheric disadvantage, in NAP but not AP musicians, in the retrieval of the verbal label to be assigned to the perceived pitch. The present results indicate that absolute pitch has strong verbal bases, at least from a cognitive point of view.

  8. Vocal Cord Paralysis and its Etiologies: A Prospective Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Javad Seyed Toutounchi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Vocal cord paralysis is a common symptom of numerous diseases and it may be due to neurogenic or mechanical fixation of the cords. Paralysis of the vocal cords is just a symptom of underlying disease in some cases; so, clinical diagnosis of the underlying cause leading to paralysis of the vocal cords is important. This study evaluates the causes of vocal cord paralysis.Methods: In a prospective study, 45 patients with paralyzed vocal cord diagnosis were examined by tests such as examination of the pharynx, larynx, esophagus, thyroid, cervical, lung, and mediastinum, brain and heart by diagnostic imaging to investigate the cause vocal cord paralysis. The study was ended by diagnosing the reason of vocal cord paralysis at each stage of the examination and the clinical studies.Results: The mean duration of symptoms was 18.95±6.50 months. The reason for referral was phonation changes (97.8% and aspiration (37.8% in the subjects. There was bilateral paralysis in 6.82%, left paralysis in 56.82% and right in 63.36% of subjects. The type of vocal cord placement was midline in 52.8%, paramedian in 44.4% and lateral in 2.8% of the subjects. The causes of vocal cords paralysis were idiopathic paralysis (31.11%, tumors (31.11%, surgery (28.89%, trauma, brain problems, systemic disease and other causes (2.2%.Conclusion: An integrated diagnostic and treatment program is necessary for patients with vocal cord paralysis. Possibility of malignancy should be excluded before marking idiopathic reason to vocal cord paralysis.

  9. In vivo measurement of vocal fold surface resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

    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.

  10. Responses of Neurons in the Marmoset Primary Auditory Cortex to Interaural Level Differences: Comparison of Pure Tones and Vocalizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo L Lui

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Interaural level differences (ILDs are the dominant cue for localizing the sources of high frequency sounds that differ in azimuth. Neurons in the primary auditory cortex (A1 respond differentially to ILDs of simple stimuli such as tones and noise bands, but the extent to which this applies to complex natural sounds, such as vocalizations, is not known. In sufentanil/N2O anaesthetized marmosets, we compared the responses of 76 A1 neurons to three vocalizations (Ock, Tsik and Twitter and pure tones at cells’ characteristic frequency. Each stimulus was presented with ILDs ranging from 20dB favouring the contralateral ear to 20dB favouring the ipsilateral ear to cover most of the frontal azimuthal space. The response to each stimulus was tested at three average binaural levels (ABLs. Most neurons were sensitive to ILDs of vocalizations and pure tones. For all stimuli, the majority of cells had monotonic ILD sensitivity functions favouring the contralateral ear, but we also observed ILD sensitivity functions that peaked near the midline and functions favouring the ipsilateral ear. Representation of ILD in A1 was better for pure tones and the Ock vocalization in comparison to the Tsik and Twitter calls; this was reflected by higher discrimination indices and greater modulation ranges. ILD sensitivity was heavily dependent on ABL: changes in ABL by ±20 dB SPL from the optimal level for ILD sensitivity led to significant decreases in ILD sensitivity for all stimuli, although ILD sensitivity to pure tones and Ock calls was most robust to such ABL changes. Our results demonstrate differences in ILD coding for pure tones and vocalizations, showing that ILD sensitivity in A1 to complex sounds cannot be simply extrapolated from that to pure tones. They also show A1 neurons do not show level-invariant representation of ILD, suggesting that such a representation of auditory space is likely to require population coding, and further processing at subsequent

  11. Finding the music of speech: Musical knowledge influences pitch processing in speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Christina M; Hannon, Erin E; Snyder, Joel S

    2015-10-01

    Few studies comparing music and language processing have adequately controlled for low-level acoustical differences, making it unclear whether differences in music and language processing arise from domain-specific knowledge, acoustic characteristics, or both. We controlled acoustic characteristics by using the speech-to-song illusion, which often results in a perceptual transformation to song after several repetitions of an utterance. Participants performed a same-different pitch discrimination task for the initial repetition (heard as speech) and the final repetition (heard as song). Better detection was observed for pitch changes that violated rather than conformed to Western musical scale structure, but only when utterances transformed to song, indicating that music-specific pitch representations were activated and influenced perception. This shows that music-specific processes can be activated when an utterance is heard as song, suggesting that the high-level status of a stimulus as either language or music can be behaviorally dissociated from low-level acoustic factors.

  12. Assessment of dysphonia due to benign vocal fold lesions by acoustic and aerodynamic indices: a multivariate analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarella, Giovanna; Baracca, Giovanna; Pignataro, Lorenzo; Forti, Stella

    2011-04-01

    The goal was to identify acoustic and aerodynamic indices that allow the discrimination of a benign organic dysphonic voice from a normal voice. Fifty-three patients affected by dysphonia caused by vocal folds benign lesions, and a control group were subjected to maximum phonation time (MPT) measurements, GRB perceptual evaluations and acoustic/aerodynamic tests. All analyzed variables except the airflow variation coefficient were significantly different between the two groups. The unique significant factors in the discrimination between healthy and dysphonic subjects were the aerodynamic indices of MPT and Glottal efficiency index, and the acoustic index Shimmer. These results show that a combination of three parameters can discriminate a voice deviance and highlight the importance of a multidimensional assessment for objective voice evaluation.

  13. Effects of Parental Interaction on Infant Vocalization Rate, Variability and Vocal Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Beau; Warlaumont, Anne S.; Messinger, Daniel; Bene, Edina; Iyer, Suneeti Nathani; Lee, Chia-Chang; Lambert, Brittany; Oller, D. Kimbrough

    2014-01-01

    Examination of infant vocalization patterns across interactive and noninteractive contexts may facilitate better understanding of early communication development. In the current study, with 24 infant-parent dyads, infant volubility increased significantly when parent interaction ceased (presenting a "still face," or SF) after a period of…

  14. Vocal Patterns in Infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Canonical Babbling Status and Vocalization Frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Elena; Belardi, Katie; Baranek, Grace T.; Watson, Linda R.; Labban, Jeffrey D.; Oller, D. Kimbrough

    2014-01-01

    Canonical babbling is a critical milestone for speech development and is usually well in place by 10 months. The possibility that infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show late onset of canonical babbling has so far eluded evaluation. Rate of vocalization or "volubility" has also been suggested as possibly aberrant in infants with…

  15. Modeling the Pathophysiology of Phonotraumatic Vocal Hyperfunction With a Triangular Glottal Model of the Vocal Folds.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-18

    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. A numerical model with a triangular glottis, posterior glottal opening, and arytenoid posturing is proposed. Normal voice is altered by introducing various prephonatory configurations. Potential compensatory mechanisms (increased subglottal pressure, muscle activation, and supraglottal constriction) are adjusted to restore an acoustic target output through a control loop that mimics a simplified version of auditory feedback. The degree of incomplete glottal closure in both the membranous and posterior portions of the folds consistently leads to a reduction in sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, harmonic richness, and harmonics-to-noise ratio. The compensatory mechanisms lead to significantly increased vocal-fold collision forces, maximum flow-declination rate, and amplitude of unsteady flow, without significantly altering the acoustic output. Modeling provided potentially important insights into the pathophysiology of phonotraumatic vocal hyperfunction by demonstrating that compensatory mechanisms can counteract deterioration in the voice acoustic signal due to incomplete glottal closure, but this also leads to high vocal-fold collision forces (reflected in aerodynamic measures), which significantly increases the risk of developing phonotrauma.

  16. Effects of smoking on the elderly people's vocal cords dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasconcelos, Sandrelli Virginio de

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Smoking is highly aggressive and the vocal tract is one of the main risk factors for cancer of the larynx. The tobacco may lead to irritation of the vocal tract, edema in the vocal cords, hoarseness, coughing, increased secretion and infections. Objective: To evaluate the dimensions of the vocal cords in elderly smokers and male non-smokers. Method: We studied 15 male corpses, aged from 60 to 90 years, 8 of whom were non-smokers and 7 smokers. For data collection, four sequential steps were followed: 1st Clinical history of the corpse; 2nd Removal of the larynx, 3rd Dissection of the larynx and 4th Morphometry of the vocal cords dimensions. Results: There was no statistically significant difference as for the morphology of the vocal cords dimensions between elderly smokers and nonsmokers, and the length (p = 0.58, width (p = 0.72 and thickness (p = 0.65 were equivalent between both groups. Conclusion: We confirmed it's macroscopically impossible to find differences caused by smoking in the three dimensions of the vocal cords, however, in the histology, smokers are proved to be more susceptible to findings regarding dysplasia and neoplasms in the vocal cords tissue with problems in voice quality.

  17. What's the Difference Between Vocal Cord Dysfunction and Asthma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... T C Li, M.D., Ph.D. Both asthma and vocal cord dysfunction can make breathing difficult. Signs and symptoms of either condition can include coughing, wheezing, throat tightness and hoarseness, but they're two separate ... motion. Like asthma, vocal cord dysfunction can be triggered by breathing ...

  18. An Analysis of Vocal Stereotypy and Therapist Fading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athens, Elizabeth S.; Vollmer, Timothy R.; Sloman, Kimberly N.; Pipkin, Claire St. Peter

    2008-01-01

    A functional analysis for a boy with Down syndrome and autism suggested that vocal stereotypy was maintained by automatic reinforcement. The analysis also showed that instructions and noncontingent attention suppressed vocal stereotypy. A treatment package consisting of noncontingent attention, contingent demands, and response cost effectively…

  19. The Effect of Vocalization on Melodic Memory Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pembrook, Randall G.

    1987-01-01

    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.…

  20. Noncry Vocal Production in Infancy: A Bibliographic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Adele

    This bibliographic review aims to present a single comprehensive source of references to facilitate clinical application of data obtained on the vocal activity of normal infants and to facilitate continued research on prelinguistic vocal output. The bibliography cites the published observational, empirical, and theoretical reports that examine the…

  1. Vocal Nonverbal Communication Skill and Deliberate Social Influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Judith A.

    An experiment tested the hypothesis that the outcome of a vocal nonverbal persuasion attempt can be affected by the participants' skills in nonverbal communication. Subjects' vocal sending or decoding abilities were pretested. Senders and decoders (N=54) were agents and recipients of social influence, respectively, in a field experiment in which…

  2. Genetic and Environmental Effects on Vocal Symptoms and Their Intercorrelations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. Quantifying the Effects of Propagation on Classification of Cetacean Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    of Cetacean Vocalizations Paul C. Hines Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 5269 Morris St. Morray Building, Room 200 PO Box...of cetacean species in diverse ocean environments. OBJECTIVES In previous work as part of ONR grant N000141210139 a unique automatic classifier...successfully classify anthropogenic transients, and vocalizations from five cetacean species. Although this is a significant achievement, successful

  4. Effects of Music on Vocal Stereotypy in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanovaz, Marc J.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Rapp, John T.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the effects of manipulating the intensity (i.e., volume) of music on engagement in vocal stereotypy in 2 children with autism. Noncontingent access to music decreased immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy for each participant, but it produced only marginal effects on subsequent engagement in the behavior (i.e., after withdrawal).…

  5. Arousal dynamics drive vocal production in marmoset monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borjon, Jeremy I; Takahashi, Daniel Y; Cervantes, Diego C; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2016-08-01

    Vocal production is the result of interacting cognitive and autonomic processes. Despite claims that changes in one interoceptive state (arousal) govern primate vocalizations, we know very little about how it influences their likelihood and timing. In this study we investigated the role of arousal during naturally occurring vocal production in marmoset monkeys. Throughout each session, naturally occurring contact calls are produced more quickly, and with greater probability, during higher levels of arousal, as measured by heart rate. On average, we observed a steady increase in heart rate 23 s before the production of a call. Following call production, there is a sharp and steep cardiac deceleration lasting ∼8 s. The dynamics of cardiac fluctuations around a vocalization cannot be completely predicted by the animal's respiration or movement. Moreover, the timing of vocal production was tightly correlated to the phase of a 0.1-Hz autonomic nervous system rhythm known as the Mayer wave. Finally, a compilation of the state space of arousal dynamics during vocalization illustrated that perturbations to the resting state space increase the likelihood of a call occurring. Together, these data suggest that arousal dynamics are critical for spontaneous primate vocal production, not only as a robust predictor of the likelihood of vocal onset but also as scaffolding on which behavior can unfold.

  6. Bupropion XL-induced motor and vocal tics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayhan, Fatih; Uguz, Faruk; Kayhan, Ayşegül; Toktaş, Fikriye Ilay

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-14

    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.

  8. Vocal matching by orange-fronted conures (Aratinga canicularis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten J S; Bradbury, Jack W

    2009-01-01

    The functions of vocal matching have been clarified in territorial songbirds, compositionally stable groups of birds and mammals, and species with multiple alarm or assembly signals. The functions of vocal matching are less well understood in fission/fusion species that are non-territorial, live...

  9. Gender Discrimination in English

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖敏慧

    2014-01-01

    Gender discrimination in language is usually defined as discrimination based on sex, especially discrimination against women. With the rise of women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and the improvement of women’s social status in recent years, gender discrimination in English attracts more and more attention. Based on previous studies, this thesis first dis⁃cusses the manifestations of gender discrimination in English vocabulary and address terms, then analyzes the factors of gender dis⁃crimination in English from social and cultural perspectives, finally puts forward some methods that are good for avoiding or elim⁃inating gender discrimination in English.

  10. Multi-Channel Maximum Likelihood Pitch Estimation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mads Græsbøll

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, a method for multi-channel pitch estimation is proposed. The method is a maximum likelihood estimator and is based on a parametric model where the signals in the various channels share the same fundamental frequency but can have different amplitudes, phases, and noise characteristics....... This essentially means that the model allows for different conditions in the various channels, like different signal-to-noise ratios, microphone characteristics and reverberation. Moreover, the method does not assume that a certain array structure is used but rather relies on a more general model and is hence...

  11. Development of a Passively Varying Pitch Propeller

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinzen, Stearns Beamon

    Small general aviation aircraft and unmanned aerial systems are often equipped with sophisticated navigation, control, and other avionics, but retain propulsion systems consisting of retrofitted radio control and ultralight equipment. Consequently, new high performance airframes often rely on relatively primitive propulsive technology. This trend is beginning to shift with recent advances in small turboprop engines, fuel injected reciprocating engines, and improved electric technologies. Although these systems are technologically advanced, they are often paired with standard fixed pitch propellers. To fully realize the potential of these aircraft and the new generation of engines, small propellers which can efficiently transmit power over wide flight envelopes and a variety of power settings must be developed. This work demonstrates a propeller which passively adjusts to incoming airflow at a low penalty to aircraft weight and complexity. This allows the propeller to operate in an efficient configuration over a wide flight envelope, and can prevent blade stall in low-velocity / highly-loaded thrust cases and over-speeding at high flight speeds. The propeller incorporates blades which pivot freely on a radial axis and are aerodynamically tailored to attain and maintain a pitch angle yielding favorable local blade angles of attack, matched to changing inflow conditions. This blade angle is achieved through the use of reflexed airfoils designed for a positive pitching moment, comparable to those used on many tailless flying wings. By setting the axis of rotation at a point forward of the blade aerodynamic center, the blades will naturally adjust to a predetermined positive lift 'trim' condition. Then, as inflow conditions change, the blade angle will automatically pivot to maintain the same angle with respect to incoming air. Computational, wind tunnel, and flight test results indicate that the extent of efficient propeller operation can be increased dramatically as

  12. Facial and vocal expressions of emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, James A; Bachorowski, Jo-Anne; Fernandez-Dols, Jose-Miguel

    2003-01-01

    A flurry of theoretical and empirical work concerning the production of and response to facial and vocal expressions has occurred in the past decade. That emotional expressions express emotions is a tautology but may not be a fact. Debates have centered on universality, the nature of emotion, and the link between emotions and expressions. Modern evolutionary theory is informing more models, emphasizing that expressions are directed at a receiver, that the interests of sender and receiver can conflict, that there are many determinants of sending an expression in addition to emotion, that expressions influence the receiver in a variety of ways, and that the receiver's response is more than simply decoding a message.

  13. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimenser, Aylin

    Along with humans, whales, and bats, three groups of birds which include songbirds (oscines) such as the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) are the only creatures known to learn sounds by imitation. Numerous similarities between human and songbird vocalizations exist and, recently, it has been shown that Zebra Finch in particular possesses a gene, FoxP2, known to be involved in human language. This thesis investigates song development in Zebra Finches, as well as the temporal dynamics of song in Mockingbirds. Zebra Finches have long been the system of choice for studying vocal development, ontogeny, and complexity in birdsong. Physicists find them intriguing because the spectrally complex vocalizations of the Zebra Finch can exhibit sudden transitions to chaotic dynamics, period doubling & mode-locking phenomena. Mockingbirds, by contrast, provide an ideal system to examine the richness of an avian repertoire, since these musically versatile songbirds typically know upwards of 200 songs. To analyse birdsong data, we have developed a novel clustering algorithm that can be applied to the bird's syllables, tracing their dynamics back to the earliest stages of vocal development. To characterize birdsong we have used Fourier techniques, based upon multitaper spectral analysis, to optimally work around the constraints imposed by (Heisenberg's) time-frequency uncertainty principle. Furthermore, estimates that provide optimal compromise between frequency and temporal resolution have beautiful connections with solutions to the Helmholtz wave equation in prolate spheroidal coordinates. We have used this connection to provide firm foundation for certain heuristics used in the literature to compute associated spectral derivatives and supply a pedagogical account here in this thesis. They are of interest because spectral derivatives emphasize sudden changes in the dynamics of the underlying phenomenon, and often provide a nice way to visualize

  14. A New Pitch Estimation Method Based on AMDF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan Zhao

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a new modified average magnitude difference function (MAMDF is proposed which is robust for noise-corrupt speech pitch estimation. The traditional technology in pitch estimation can easily give rise to the problem of detecting error pitch period. And their estimation performance behaves badly with the occurrence of background noise. In the process of calculation on speech samples, MAMDF presented in this paper has the property of strengthening the characteristic of pitch period and reducing the influence of background noise. And therefore, MAMDF can not only decrease the disadvantage brought by the decreasing tendency of pitch period but also overcome the error caused by severe variation between neighboring samples. The experiment which is implemented in CSTR database shows that MAMDF is greatly superior to AMDF and CAMDF both in clean speech environment and noisy speech environment, representing prominent precision and robustness in pitch estimation

  15. Chatter Prediction for Variable Pitch and Variable Helix Milling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Regenerative chatter is a self-excited vibration that can occur during milling, which shortens the lifetime of the tool and results in unacceptable surface quality. In this paper, an improved semidiscretization method for modeling and simulation with variable pitch and variable helix milling is proposed. Because the delay between each flute varies along the axial depth of the tool in milling, the cutting tool is discrete into some axial layers to simplify calculation. A comparison of the predicted and observed performance of variable pitch and variable helix against uniform pitch and uniform helix milling is presented. It is shown that variable pitch and variable helix milling can obtain larger stable cutting area than uniform pitch and uniform helix milling. Thus, it is concluded that variable pitch and variable helix milling are an effective way for suppressing chatter.

  16. A developmental study of latent absolute pitch memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakubowski, Kelly; Müllensiefen, Daniel; Stewart, Lauren

    2017-03-01

    The ability to recall the absolute pitch level of familiar music (latent absolute pitch memory) is widespread in adults, in contrast to the rare ability to label single pitches without a reference tone (overt absolute pitch memory). The present research investigated the developmental profile of latent absolute pitch (AP) memory and explored individual differences related to this ability. In two experiments, 288 children from 4 to12 years of age performed significantly above chance at recognizing the absolute pitch level of familiar melodies. No age-related improvement or decline, nor effects of musical training, gender, or familiarity with the stimuli were found in regard to latent AP task performance. These findings suggest that latent AP memory is a stable ability that is developed from as early as age 4 and persists into adulthood.

  17. A child with ictal vocalizations and generalized epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurian, Mary; Heritier Barras, Anne-Chantal; Korff, Christian M

    2015-03-01

    Ictal vocalizations in the form of both articulate speech and non-speech vocalizations have been described in focal epilepsies, with seizures originating mainly from the frontal and temporal lobe, however, this phenomenon has not been described in generalized epilepsies. We report the case of an adolescent boy with juvenile-onset generalized epilepsy who presented with ictal "ovine vocalizations" (resembling the bleating of sheep). The ictal EEG revealed a clear correlate of vocalizations with time-locked generalized spikes and polyspike discharges. The 3T cerebral MRI ruled out any focal lesion. The boy is currently seizure-free under valproic acid, after twelve months of follow-up. We conclude that ictal non-speech vocalizations may be observed not only in focal or structural epilepsies, but also in generalized epilepsies; the exact underlying mechanism of this phenomenon needs to be further delineated. [Published with video sequence].

  18. Dynamical origin of spectrally rich vocalizations in birdsong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, J. D.; Amador, A.; Goller, F.; Mindlin, G. B.

    2008-07-01

    Birdsong is a model system for learned vocal behavior with remarkable parallels to human vocal development and sound production mechanisms. Upper vocal tract filtering plays an important role in human speech, and its importance has recently also been recognized in birdsong. However, the mechanisms of how the avian sound source might contribute to spectral richness are largely unknown. Here we show in the most widely studied songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), that the broad range of upper harmonic content in different low-frequency song elements is the fingerprint of the dynamics displayed by its vocal apparatus, which can be captured by a two-dimensional dynamical model. As in human speech and singing, the varying harmonic content of birdsong is not only the result of vocal tract filtering but of a varying degree of tonality emerging from the sound source. The spectral content carries a strong signature of the intrinsic dynamics of the sound source.

  19. Virtual pitch extraction from harmonic structures by absolute-pitch musicians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, I.-Hui; Saberi, Kourosh

    2009-03-01

    The ability of absolute-pitch (AP) musicians to identify or produce virtual pitch from harmonic structures without feedback or an external acoustic referent was examined in three experiments. Stimuli consisted of pure tones, missing-fundamental harmonic complexes, or piano notes highpass filtered to remove their fundamental frequency and lower harmonics. Results of Experiment I showed that relative to control (non-AP) musicians, AP subjects easily (>90%) identified pitch of harmonic complexes in a 12-alternative forced-choice task. Increasing harmonic order (i.e., lowest harmonic number in the complex), however, resulted in a monotonic decline in performance. Results suggest that AP musicians use two pitch cues from harmonic structures: 1) spectral spacing between harmonic components, and 2) octave-related cues to note identification in individually resolved harmonics. Results of Experiment II showed that highpass filtered piano notes are identified by AP subjects at better than 75% accuracy even when the note’s energy is confined to the 4th and higher harmonics. Identification of highpass piano notes also appears to be better than that expected from pure or complex tones, possibly due to contributions from familiar timbre cues to note identity. Results of Experiment III showed that AP subjects can adjust the spectral spacing between harmonics of a missing-fundamental complex to accurately match the expected spacing from a target musical note. Implications of these findings for mechanisms of AP encoding are discussed.

  20. Timbre-independent extraction of pitch in newborn infants

    OpenAIRE

    HÁDEN, GÁBOR P.; STEFANICS, GÁBOR; Vestergaard, Martin D.; Denham, Susan L.; Sziller, István; Winkler, István

    2008-01-01

    The ability to separate pitch from other spectral sound features, such as timbre, is an important prerequisite of veridical auditory perception underlying speech acquisition and music cognition. The current study investigated whether or not newborn infants generalize pitch across different timbres. Perceived resonator size is an aspect of timbre that informs the listener about the size of the sound source, a cue that may be important already at birth. Therefore, detection of infrequent pitch ...