Control of Vocal Loudness in Young and Old Adults This study examined the effect of aging on respiratory and laryngeal mechanisms involved in vocal loudness control. Simultaneous measures of subglottal pressure and electromyographic (EMG) activity from the thyroarytenoid (TA), lateral cricoarytenoid (LCA), and cricothyroid (CT) muscles were investigated in young and old individuals while they attempted to phonate at ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2001
Control of Vocal Loudness in Young and Old Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kristin K. Baker
    The Wilbur James Gould Voice Center The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Colorado
  • Lorraine Olson Ramig
    University of Colorado Boulder and The Wilbur James Gould Voice Center The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Colorado
  • Shimon Sapir
    The Wilbur James Gould Voice Center The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Colorado
  • Erich S. Luschei
    University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Marshall E. Smith
    University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: ramig@spot.colorado.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2001
Control of Vocal Loudness in Young and Old Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2001, Vol. 44, 297-305. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/024)
History: Received July 6, 1999 , Accepted November 1, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2001, Vol. 44, 297-305. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/024)
History: Received July 6, 1999; Accepted November 1, 2000
Web of Science® Times Cited: 43

This study examined the effect of aging on respiratory and laryngeal mechanisms involved in vocal loudness control. Simultaneous measures of subglottal pressure and electromyographic (EMG) activity from the thyroarytenoid (TA), lateral cricoarytenoid (LCA), and cricothyroid (CT) muscles were investigated in young and old individuals while they attempted to phonate at three loudness levels, "soft," "comfortable," and "loud." Voice sound pressure level (SPL) and fundamental frequency (F0) measures were also obtained. Across loudness conditions, subglottal pressure levels were similar for both age groups. Laryngeal EMG measures tended to be lower and more variable for old compared with young individuals. These differences were most apparent for the TA muscle. Finally, across the three loudness conditions, the old individuals generated SPLs that were lower overall than those produced by the young individuals but modulated loudness levels in a manner similar to that of the young subjects. These findings suggest that the laryngeal mechanism may be more affected than the respiratory system in these old individuals and that these changes may affect vocal loudness levels.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported (in part) by research grants R01 DC-01150 and P60 DC-00976 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. The authors would also like to thank Russel Long for development of the analysis software.
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