Auditory-Motor Control of Fundamental Frequency in Vocal Vibrato

Rosemary A. Lester-Smith*, Jason H. Kim, Allison Hilger, Chun Liang Chan, Charles R. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate how classically trained singers use their auditory feedback to control fundamental frequency (fo) during production of vocal vibrato. Two main questions were addressed: (1) Do singers produce reflexive fo responses to sudden perturbation of the fo of their auditory feedback during production of vibrato indicative of feedback control? (2) Do singers produce adaptive fo responses to repeated perturbation of the fo of their auditory feedback during production of vibrato indicative of feedback and feedforward control? In addition, one methodological question was addressed to determine if adaptive fo responses were more precisely assessed with or without an auditory cue for fo during the repeated fo perturbation paradigm. Method: Ten classically trained singers produced sustained vowels with vibrato while the fo and harmonics of their auditory feedback were suddenly perturbed by 100 cents to assess reflexive control or repeatedly perturbed by 100 cents to assess adaptive control. Half of the participants completed the repeated perturbation experiment with an auditory cue for fo, and the other half completed the experiment without an auditory cue for fo. Acoustical analyses measured changes in mean fo in response to the auditory feedback perturbations. Results: On average, participants produced compensatory responses to both sudden and repeated perturbation of the fo of their auditory feedback. The magnitude of the responses to repeated perturbations was larger than the responses to sudden perturbations. Responses were also larger in the cued, repeated fo perturbation experiment than in the uncued, repeated fo perturbation experiment. Conclusions: These findings indicate that classically-trained singers use both feedforward and feedback mechanisms to control their average fo during production of vibrato. When compared to prior studies of singers producing a steady voice, the reflexive fo responses were larger in the current study, which may indicate that the feedback control system is engaged more during production of vibrato.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Voice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Auditory-motor control
  • Fundamental frequency
  • Vocal vibrato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing

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