Blog Archives

You are only as old as you sound: Auditory aftereffects in vocal age perception

High-level adaptation not only biases the perception of faces, but also causes transient distortions in auditory perception of non-linguistic voice information about gender, identity, and emotional intonation. Here we report a novel auditory aftereffect in perceiving vocal age: age estimates were elevated in age-morphed test voices when preceded by adaptor voices of young speakers (˜20 yrs), compared to old adaptor voices (˜70 yrs). This vocal age aftereffect (VAAE) complements a recently reported face aftereffect (Schweinberger et al., 2010) and points to selective neuronal coding of vocal age. Intriguingly, post-adaptation assessment revealed that VAAEs could persist for minutes after adaptation, although reduced in magnitude. As an important qualification, VAAEs during post-adaptation were modulated by gender congruency between speaker and listener: For both male and female listeners, VAAEs were much reduced for test voices of opposite gender. Overall, this study establishes a new auditory aftereffect in the perception of vocal age. We offer a tentative sociobiological explanation for the differential, gender-dependent recovery from vocal age adaptation.

from Hearing Research

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Adult Normative Data for the KayPENTAX Phonatory Aerodynamic System Model 6600

Because age- and gender-related changes were found for some measures, one must account for these two variables when assessing phonatory aerodynamics using the PAS Model 6600. The clinical implications of the findings for the assessment and treatment of individuals with voice disorders using the PAS Model 6600 are discussed.

from the Journal of Voice

Functional MRI evidence for modulation of cerebral activity by grapheme-to-phoneme conversion in French, and by the variable of gender

This fMRI study aims to assess the effect of two variables on the cerebral substrate of phonological processing during visual phoneme detection: (a) the difficulty level (type) of grapheme-to-phoneme conversion (GPC, letter-sound mapping) with two modalities, simple (S) and complex (C); and (b) the gender of participants, females (F) vs. males (M). The behavioral results have shown that simple items were processed more accurately than complex ones. At the cerebral level, phoneme detection activated the left-hemisphere phonological network and several regions of this network were modulated by the GPC type. Specifically, the activity of the superior posterior temporal gyrus was significantly higher for simple grapheme detection and suggests automatic activation of phonological representations; the activity of the inferior temporal gyrus was significantly higher for complex grapheme detection, suggesting greater demands of the integrative processes for solving competitive and inhibitory processes induced by the visual and phonological properties of stimuli. With respect to gender variable, we obtained significant interaction between GPC and gender. This effect showed higher accuracy for simple graphemes in females and suggests that female participants were more proficient than males for detecting simple items. This effect suggests easier and more rapid activation of phonological codes, probably based on a specific visual strategy, different from males. This is supported by the additional activation of the lingual gyrus in females for processing simple graphemes, although the exact explanation of this effect is not clear yet and requires supplementary experimentation and evidence. Overall, our results indicate that the cognitive mechanisms and cerebral correlates of phonological processing may depend on intrinsic and extrinsic variables, such as GPC and gender.

from the Journal of Neurolinguistics

Pitch Characteristics of Homosexual Males

Results do not confirm the stereotype that gay male speech mirrors the patterns of women’s speech with respect to pitch characteristics. It would seem that the pitch patterns of gay male speakers constitute an example of sociophonetic variation.

from the Journal of Voice

Developmental gender differences in the synchronization of auditory event-related oscillations

Conclusions
The results demonstrate that gender differences in auditory ERPs basically originate from a stronger functional synchronization of oscillatory responses generated during stimulus processing.

from Clinical Neurophysiology

How common are motor problems in children with a developmental disorder: rule or exception?

Conclusions This study indicates that co-morbidity of motor problems with other clinical disorders is not exceptional and developmental deviance is seldom specific to one domain. However, current co-morbidity studies tend to overestimate the number of children with motor problems. In addition, there may be different patterns of symptoms between the genders. These findings stress the importance of assessing motor skills in children with various developmental disorders.

from Child: Care, Health and Development

Age, gender, and education effects on vocabulary measures in Greek

Outcomes & Results: Education effects were generally stronger than age effects, and were strongest on the WASI. Age effects (independent of educational level) were highest for the BNT and lowest for the WASI Vocabulary. Relationships among tests and also between each vocabulary test and an index of non-verbal intelligence are also discussed.

from Aphasiology

Gender differences in the strength of association between motivation, competency beliefs and reading skill

Conclusions: The closer reciprocal relationship between boys’ intrinsic motivation, competency beliefs and reading skill could be interpreted in at least two ways. Firstly, boys’ motivation and beliefs in their ability may be more dependent on their success in reading. Alternatively, boys’ motivation and competency beliefs may play a more significant role in the effort they put into reading.

from Educational Research

Gender differences in the strength of association between motivation, competency beliefs and reading skill

Conclusions: The closer reciprocal relationship between boys’ intrinsic motivation, competency beliefs and reading skill could be interpreted in at least two ways. Firstly, boys’ motivation and beliefs in their ability may be more dependent on their success in reading. Alternatively, boys’ motivation and competency beliefs may play a more significant role in the effort they put into reading.

from Educational Research

Subversive script and novel graphs in Japanese girls’ culture

This article describes how young women in Japan transgress ideals of proper literacy, particularly notions about normative women’s writing, when they compose carefully wrought yet hard-to-read texts. Writing in this novel style serves as a generational and gendered identity marker, and elders and outsiders find it nonsensical, unfeminine and unsightly. In addition, the writing style itself demonstrates an expansionist stance through appropriation of multiple script sets, fonts and icons. The findings offer a corrective to scholarship on writing systems that routinely neglects the importance of a gestalt understanding of writing.

from Language & Communication

Lateralization of the arcuate fasciculus and its differential correlation with reading ability between young learners and experienced readers: A diffusion tensor tractography study in a chinese cohort

As Chinese reading engages a different neural network from alphabetic language reading, we investigate whether leftward lateralization of the arcuate fasciculus (AF), as observed in the Western population, is also present in the Chinese population and if it does, whether it is associated with better reading ability. Diffusion tensor tractography analysis on 75 Chinese subjects of three age groups (first graders, fourth graders, and college students) showed that 70–83% of them had leftward lateralization of the AF. The pattern of lateralization did not differ significantly among the three groups, suggesting that lateralization of the AF is formed at an early age and before one enters first grade. Among the first graders, who had just started to learn to read, subjects with strongly leftward lateralized AF scored significantly higher than those with other defined lateralization patterns in Chinese (P = 0.001) and English (P = 0.036) reading tasks. This association was not observed among the fourth graders and college students who were experienced Chinese readers. Among the fourth graders, females were found to obtain significantly higher Chinese (P = 0.033) and English reading scores than males (P = 0.002). Our study suggests a differential effect of leftward lateralization of the AF on reading ability at different stages of reading development in the Chinese population

from Human Brain Mapping

The Effects of Aspiration Status, Liquid Type, and Bolus Volume on Pharyngeal Peak Pressure in Healthy Older Adults

The reasons for aspiration in healthy adults remain unknown. Given that the pharyngeal phase of swallowing is a key component of the safe swallow, it was hypothesized that healthy older adults who aspirate are likely to generate less pharyngeal peak pressures when swallowing. Accordingly, pharyngeal and upper esophageal sphincter pressures were examined as a function of aspiration status (i.e., nonaspirator vs. aspirator), sensor location (upper vs. lower pharynx), liquid type (i.e., water vs. milk), and volume (i.e., 5 vs. 10 ml) in healthy older adults. Manometric measurements were acquired with a 2.1-mm catheter during flexible endoscopic evaluation. Participants (N = 19, mean age = 79.2 years) contributed 28 swallows; during 8 swallows, simultaneous manometric measurements of upper and lower pharyngeal and upper esophageal pressures were obtained. Pharyngeal manometric peak pressure was significantly less for aspirators (mean = 82, SD = 31 mmHg) than for nonaspirators (mean = 112, SD = 20 mmHg), and upper pharyngeal pressures (mean = 85, SD = 32 mmHg) generated less pressure than lower pharyngeal pressures (mean = 116, SD = 38 mmHg). Manometric measurements vary with respect to aspiration status and sensor location. Lower pharyngeal pressures in healthy older adults may predispose them to aspiration.

from Dysphagia

The Development and Utilization of a Scale to Measure Adolescents’ Attitudes Toward Peers Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices

Conclusions: Familiarity and gender contribute to adolescents’ attitudes; type of AAC device combined with these factors to influence attitudes.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Reliable Jitter and Shimmer Measurements in Voice Clinics: The Relevance of Vowel, Gender, Vocal Intensity, and Fundamental Frequency Effects in a Typical Clinical Task

The aims of this study were to examine vowel and gender effects on jitter and shimmer in a typical clinical voice task while correcting for the confounding effects of voice sound pressure level (SPL) and fundamental frequency (F0). Furthermore the relative effect sizes of vowel, gender, voice SPL, and F0 were assessed, and recommendations for clinical measurements were derived. With this cross-sectional single cohort study, 57 healthy adults (28 women, 29 men) aged 20–40 years were investigated. Three phonations of /a/, /o/, and /i/ at “normal” voice loudness were analyzed using Praat (software). The effects of vowel, gender, voice SPL, and F0 on jitter and shimmer were assessed using descriptive and inferential (analysis of covariance) statistics. The effect sizes were determined with the eta-squared statistic. Vowels, gender, voice SPL, and F0, each had significant effects either on jitter or on shimmer, or both. Voice SPL was the most important factor, whereas vowel, gender, and F0 effects were comparatively small. Because men had systematically higher voice SPL, the gender effects on jitter and shimmer were smaller when correcting for SPL and F0. Surprisingly, in clinical assessments, voice SPL has the single biggest impact on jitter and shimmer. Vowel and gender effects were clinically important, whereas fundamental frequency had a relatively small influence. Phonations at a predefined voice SPL (80 dB minimum) and vowel (/a/) would enhance measurement reliability. Furthermore, gender-specific thresholds applying these guidelines should be established. However, the efficiency of these measures should be verified and tested with patients.

from the Journal of Voice

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Reliable Jitter and Shimmer Measurements in Voice Clinics: The Relevance of Vowel, Gender, Vocal Intensity, and Fundamental Frequency Effects in a Typical Clinical Task

The aims of this study were to examine vowel and gender effects on jitter and shimmer in a typical clinical voice task while correcting for the confounding effects of voice sound pressure level (SPL) and fundamental frequency (F0). Furthermore the relative effect sizes of vowel, gender, voice SPL, and F0 were assessed, and recommendations for clinical measurements were derived. With this cross-sectional single cohort study, 57 healthy adults (28 women, 29 men) aged 20–40 years were investigated. Three phonations of /a/, /o/, and /i/ at “normal” voice loudness were analyzed using Praat (software). The effects of vowel, gender, voice SPL, and F0 on jitter and shimmer were assessed using descriptive and inferential (analysis of covariance) statistics. The effect sizes were determined with the eta-squared statistic. Vowels, gender, voice SPL, and F0, each had significant effects either on jitter or on shimmer, or both. Voice SPL was the most important factor, whereas vowel, gender, and F0 effects were comparatively small. Because men had systematically higher voice SPL, the gender effects on jitter and shimmer were smaller when correcting for SPL and F0. Surprisingly, in clinical assessments, voice SPL has the single biggest impact on jitter and shimmer. Vowel and gender effects were clinically important, whereas fundamental frequency had a relatively small influence. Phonations at a predefined voice SPL (80 dB minimum) and vowel (/a/) would enhance measurement reliability. Furthermore, gender-specific thresholds applying these guidelines should be established. However, the efficiency of these measures should be verified and tested with patients.

from the Journal of Voice

ro_utddb1202