The aim of this study was to investigate if there were objective quantities extracted from the speech pressure waveforms that underlay inaudible changes in the symptoms of the vocal organ. This was done through analyzing 180 voice samples obtained from nine subjects (five females and four males) before and after exposure to a placebo substance (lactose) and an organic dust substance. Acoustical analysis of the voice samples was achieved by using glottal inverse filtering. Results showed that the values of primary open quotient and primary speed quotient changed significantly (P < 0.05) as did the amplitude quotient (P < 0.01). Exposure to lactose resulted in significant changes of secondary open quotient (P < 0.05) but opposite to effects found for exposure to organic dust. Modeling of the vocal tract into cross-sectional planes revealed that the immediate plane above the vocal folds correlates inversely with the feeling that voice is tense, or feeling the need to make an effort when speaking in addition having a feeling of shortness of breath or the need to gasp for air. Such results may point to acoustically detected subclinical changes in the vocal organ that the subject him/herself feels while they remain perceptually undetected by others.
from the Journal of Voice