Vocal fold vibratory asymmetry is often associated with inefficient sound production through its impact on source spectral tilt. This association is investigated in both a computational voice production model and a group of 47 human subjects. The model provides indirect control over the degree of left-right phase asymmetry within a nonlinear source-filter framework, and high-speed videoendoscopy provides in vivo measures of vocal fold vibratory asymmetry. Source spectral tilt measures are estimated from the inverse-filtered spectrum of the simulated and recorded radiated acoustic pressure. As expected, model simulations indicate that increasing left-right phase asymmetry induces steeper spectral tilt. Subject data, however, reveal that none of the vibratory asymmetry measures correlates with spectral tilt measures. Probing further into physiological correlates of spectral tilt that might be affected by asymmetry, the glottal area waveform is parameterized to obtain measures of the open phase (open/plateau quotient) and closing phase (speed/closing quotient). Subjects' left-right phase asymmetry exhibits low, but statistically significant, correlations with speed quotient (r=0.45) and closing quotient (r=-0.39). Results call for future studies into the effect of asymmetric vocal fold vibration on glottal airflow and the associated impact on voice source spectral properties and vocal efficiency.
Mehta, Daryush DZaeartu, MatiasQuatieri, Thomas FDeliyski, Dimitar DHillman, Robert ER01 DC007640/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS/United StatesT32 DC00038/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS/United StatesResearch Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.United StatesThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of AmericaJ Acoust Soc Am. 2011 Dec;130(6):3999-4009.