Measurement of Vocal Fold Collision Forces During Phonation: Methods and Preliminary Data

Gunter, Heather E.; Howe, Robert D.; Zeitels, Steven M.; Kobler, James B.; Hillman, Robert E.
June 2005
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2005, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p567
Academic Journal
Forces applied to vocal fold tissue as the vocal folds collide may cause tissue injury that manifests as benign organic lesions. A novel method for measuring this quantity in humans in vivo uses a low-profile force sensor that extends along the length and depth of the glottis. Sensor design facilitates its placement and stabilization so that phonation can be initiated and maintained while it is in place, with minimal interference in vocal fold vibration. In 2 individuals with 1 vibrating vocal fold and 1 nonvibrating vocal fold, peak collision force correlates more strongly with voice intensity than pitch. Vocal fold collision forces in 1 individual with 2 vibrating vocal folds are of the same order of magnitude as in previous studies. Correlations among peak collision force, voice intensity, and pitch were indeterminate in this participant because of the small number of data points. Sensor modifications are proposed so that it can be used to reliably estimate collision force in individuals with 2 vibrating vocal folds and with changing vocal tract conformations.


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