Understanding the mechanisms underlying voluntary responses to pitch-shifted auditory feedback

Sona Patel*, Cristina Nishimura, Anjli Lodhavia, Oleg Korzyukov, Amy Parkinson, Donald A. Robin, Charles R. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown that vocal errors can be simulated using a pitch perturbation technique. Two types of responses are observed when subjects are asked to ignore changes in pitch during a steady vowel production, a compensatory response countering the direction of the perceived change in pitch and a following response in the same direction as the pitch perturbation. The present study investigated the nature of these responses by asking subjects to volitionally change their voice fundamental frequency either in the opposite direction ("opposing" group) or the same direction ("following" group) as the pitch shifts (±100 cents, 1000ms) presented during the speaker's production of an /a/ vowel. Results showed that voluntary responses that followed the stimulus directions had significantly shorter latencies (150ms) than opposing responses (360ms). In addition, prior to the slower voluntary opposing responses, there were short latency involuntary responses that followed the stimulus direction. These following responses may involve mechanisms of imitation or vocal shadowing of acoustical stimuli when subjects are predisposed to respond to a change in frequency of a sound. The slower opposing responses may represent a control strategy that requires monitoring and correcting for errors between the feedback signal and the intended vocal goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3036-3044
Number of pages9
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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