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Re: Emotional speech, supraglottal structures and limbic system

On May 11, Martin Braun wrote:

>There may not be a specific sub-cortical innervation of supraglottal
>structures. The emotional stress effects on the voice may be more generally
>mediated by modulation of the autonomic influence on the motor systems of
>breathing and swallowing.

Dear Martin,

Thank you very much for this comment. The autonomic influence on the motor
systems of swallowing might be relevant to the adduction of the false vocal
folds or aryepiglottic folds, which prevent food from entering the lung.
This may explain that one feels supraglottal structures 'pressed' while in
anger or danger. From this standpoint, rough voices is a by-product of the
'fight or flight' reaction about swallowing.

Is there any reference about that emotional-stress-induced adduction of
FVFs or AFs could be related to autonomic influence on the motor systems of

It is my feeling that rough voices due to FVFs or AFs adduction should not
be regarded as a by-product of 'fight or flight' reactions. Such rough voice
qualities are paralinguistic cues in human acoustic communication. FVFs and
AFs may receive sub-cortical influence - just like that many muscles in
the face receive sub-cortical influence - to reveal one's emotional state.
Of course, facial expressions are not just side effects of emotions.

Chen-Gia Tsai
Chen-Gia Tsai
PhD, Humboldt-University of Berlin

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