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Emotional speech, supraglottal structures and limbic system
I am thinking about the communicative role of supraglottal structures such as the false vocal folds (FVFs) and aryepiglottic folds (AFs). Vibration of FVFs and AFs is seldom observed in normal phonation. But healthy humans with excessive emotional stress tend to produce rough voices with vibration of FVFs and AFs. In deep sadness or fear, oneˇ¦s FVFs tend to be adducted and generate rough voices with subharmonics and noise, which are due to a nonlinear coupling between the vibrating true and false vocal folds. Similarly, aggressive growl voices are characterized by subharmonics and noise due to a nonlinear coupling between the vibrating true vocal folds and AFs (Sakakibara et al. 2004).
I suggest that these supraglottal oscillators play a role in conveying emotional stress, and they might receive sub-cortical (e.g. limbic system) influences. As FVFs and AFs adduction occurs automatically in an emotional state of excessive stress or anger, a social-communicative role of these supraglottal oscillators might be to reveal the speakerˇ¦s TRUE emotional state.
While there are a lot of pathological data supporting that humans with excessive emotional stress tend to have a rough voice (Scherer et al. 1997, Roy et al. 2000, Freidl et al. 1990, Kiese-Himmel & Kruse 1997), I have not found much physiological evidence about sub-cortical innervations of supraglottal structure.
Any reference and comment is appreciated.
Freidl W, Friedrich G, Egger J. (1990) Personality and coping with stress in patients suffering from functional dysphonia. Folia Phoniatr. 42(3):144-9.
Kiese-Himmel C, Kruse E. (1997) Psychological classification of functional voice disorders. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 47(1):27-33.
McHugh-Munier C, Scherer KR, Lehmann W, Scherer U. (1997) Coping strategies, personality, and voice quality in patients with vocal fold nodules and polyps. J Voice 11(4):452-61.
Roy N, Bless DM, Heisey D. (2000) Personality and voice disorders: a multitrait-multidisorder analysis. J Voice 14(4):521-48.
Sakakibara KI, Fuks L, Imagawa H, Tayama N. (2004) Growl voice in ethnic and pop styles. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics, March 31-April 3, Nara, Japan, 2004.
Tsai CG. (2004) Auditory grouping in the perception of roughness induced by subharmonics: empirical findings and a qualitative model. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics, March 31-April 3, Nara, Japan, 2004.
PhD, Humboldt-University of Berlin
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