Curry A PERIODIC VOCAL FOLD FREQUENCY IN INTERMITTENT APHONIA

Abstract

This study analyzes the vocal frequency aspects of the oral reading performance of one "functional" intermittent aphonia client (age 32). The frequency results for the experimental subject are compared with a group of ten normal speaking adults. Frequency measures were determined from Visicorder records. The results with this one experimental subject indicate the frequency level to be very low (96 Hz) when compared with the results of the group of normal speakers (132 Hz). Wave to wave study of the subject showed the vocal aperiodicity to be concentrated at the onset of upward inflections and at the end of downward inflections. The preponderant aperiodicity in this particular client's reading performance was found to be at lower rather than higher frequency regions. With this client, it would appear that therapy efforts which attempt to encourage an increase in the frequency level would be substantiated by the data of this study. A male client, age 32, with unusually severe dysphonia, had been referred to our clinic. The referring otolaryngologist had seen this man over a number of years and had repeatedly observed a very severe, long-standing problem which was diagnosed as "hysterical aphonia". A psychiatric consultation yielded an opinion that the dysphonia was "functional". The otolaryngologist was in accord with the statement of functional etiology; his indirect laryngoscopic examination indicated normal structures. The acoustical measures ofthis study showed the client's vocal behavior to consist of intermittent periods of short phonation interspersed with whispered yocal efforts and silence. This behavior appears to be the condition which Moore-2 has described as "intermittent aphonia". In our clinic, the client was given three months of therapy (two thirty minute periods per week) primarily directed toward raising the fundamental frequency level of the client's vocalizations. Unfortunately, no quantitative measure of either the client's frequency level or the amount of aperiodicity was made at the onset of therapy. However, at the end of the three months therapy, in evaluating the therapy procedures, it was apparent that the intermittent aphonia still persisted and the frequency level was still judged to be lower than optimaL It was felt that specific acoustical information might provide a more confident basis for continued therapy. Staffing concensus was that a detailed acoustic analysis of the client's vocal behavior be instituted. Wave-to-wave measures of the client's reading should determine: (1) What were the general fundamental frequency charateristics of this client's voice while reading aloud a standard passage? (2) What were the general temporal characteristics of the client's reading performance? (3) Were the inflectional patterns (frequency movements) similar to patterns found in a group of normal laryngeal speakers? (4) Where was the locus of the client's aperiodicity in relation to inflections? 107 HUMAN COMMUNICATION, SUMMER 1977

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Thayer2006CurryAP, title={Curry A PERIODIC VOCAL FOLD FREQUENCY IN INTERMITTENT APHONIA}, author={Eric Thayer}, year={2006} }