This investigation was designed to measure voice F(o) changes related to single motor unit (SMU) contractions in the cricothyroid and thyroarytenoid muscles. Four subjects (3 men and 1 woman) were recorded producing a prolonged vowel at modal pitch and loudness levels while simultaneous recordings of electromyograms (EMG) from the muscles were obtained. Voice F(o) changes unrelated to SMU firings in the muscles were eliminated using an averaging method previously described by Baer (1979). Results indicate that the time between discharge of the SMU and the peak in F(o) change ('F(o) Latency') was variable and ranged from 5 to 20 ms for the thyroarytenoid and 6 to 75 ms for the cricothyroid muscle. Distinct oscillations in F(o) were always present in recordings from the women subject and from the men when they phonated at higher-than-modal pitch levels. The findings are discussed in relation to SMU contraction times, biomechanics of the vocal folds, and the presence of jitter in normal voices.
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