Vocalization subsystem responses to a temporarily induced unilateral vocal fold paralysis

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to quantify the interactions of the 3 vocalization subsystems of respiration, phonation, and resonance before, during, and after a perturbation to the larynx (temporarily induced unilateral vocal fold paralysis) in 10 vocally healthy participants. Using dynamic systems theory as a guide, we hypothesized that data groupings would emerge revealing context-dependent patterns in the relationships of variables representing the 3 vocalization subsystems. We also hypothesized that group data would mask important individual variability important to understanding the relationships among the vocalization subsystems. Method: A perturbation paradigm was used to obtain respiratory kinematic, aerodynamic, and acoustic formant measures from 10 healthy participants (8 women, 2 men) with normal voices. Group and individual data were analyzed to provide a multilevel analysis of the data. A 3-dimensional state space model was constructed to demonstrate the interactive relationships among the 3 subsystems before, during, and after perturbation. Results: During perturbation, group data revealed that lung volume initiations and terminations were lower, with longer respiratory excursions; airflow rates increased while subglottic pressures were maintained. Acoustic formant measures indicated that the spacing between the upper formants decreased (F3–F5), whereas the spacing between F1 and F2 increased. State space modeling revealed the changing directionality and interactions among the 3 subsystems. Conclusions: Group data alone masked important variability necessary to understand the unique relationships among the 3 subsystems. Multilevel analysis permitted a richer understanding of the individual differences in phonatory regulation and permitted subgroup analysis. Dynamic systems theory may be a useful heuristic to model the interactive relationships among vocalization subsystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-495
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a seed grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science, awarded to the first author. The authors would like to acknowledge Logan Spears for his assistance with data collection, Sanford Archer for his supervision of participants during the study, and Jessica Huber for contributing her time for training the first author in the acquisition and analysis of the respiratory kinematic measures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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