Influence of left–right asymmetries on voice quality in simulated paramedian vocal fold paralysis

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the vocal fold structural and vibratory symmetries that are important to vocal function and voice quality in a simulated paramedian vocal fold paralysis. Method: A computational kinematic speech production model was used to simulate an exemplar “voice” on the basis of asymmetric settings of parameters controlling glottal configuration. These parameters were then altered individually to determine their effect on maximum flow declination rate, spectral slope, cepstral peak prominence, harmonics-to-noise ratio, and perceived voice quality. Results: Asymmetry of each of the 5 vocal fold parameters influenced vocal function and voice quality; measured change was greatest for adduction and bulging. Increasing the symmetry of all parameters improved voice, and the best voice occurred with overcorrection of adduction, followed by bulging, nodal point ratio, starting phase, and amplitude of vibration. Conclusions: Although vocal process adduction and edge bulging asymmetries are most influential in voice quality for simulated vocal fold motion impairment, amplitude of vibration and starting phase asymmetries are also perceptually important. These findings are consistent with the current surgical approach to vocal fold motion impairment, where goals include medializing the vocal process and straightening concave edges. The results also explain many of the residual postoperative voice limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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