The effects of physiological adjustments on the perceptual and acoustical characteristics of simulated laryngeal vocal tremor

Rosemary A. Lester, Brad H Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if adjustments to the voice source [i.e., fundamental frequency (F0), degree of vocal fold adduction] or vocal tract filter (i.e., vocal tract shape for vowels) reduce the perception of simulated laryngeal vocal tremor and to determine if listener perception could be explained by characteristics of the acoustical modulations. This research was carried out using a computational model of speech production that allowed for precise control and manipulation of the glottal and vocal tract configurations. Forty-two healthy adults participated in a perceptual study involving pair-comparisons of the magnitude of "shakiness" with simulated samples of laryngeal vocal tremor. Results revealed that listeners perceived a higher magnitude of voice modulation when simulated samples had a higher mean F0, greater degree of vocal fold adduction, and vocal tract shape for /i/ vs /. However, the effect of F0 was significant only when glottal noise was not present in the acoustic signal. Acoustical analyses were performed with the simulated samples to determine the features that affected listeners' judgments. Based on regression analyses, listeners' judgments were predicted to some extent by modulation information present in both low and high frequency bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-963
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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