The Equilibrium Point Hypothesis and Its Application to Speech Motor Control In this paper, we address a number of issues in speech research in the context of the equilibrium point hypothesis of motor control. The hypothesis suggests that movements arise from shifts in the equilibrium position of the limb or the speech articulator. The equilibrium is a consequence of the interaction ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1996
The Equilibrium Point Hypothesis and Its Application to Speech Motor Control
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pascal Perrier
    Institut de la Communication Parlée, Grenoble, France
  • David J. Ostry
    McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Rafael Laboissière
    Institut de la Communication Parlée, Grenoble, France
  • Contact author: Prof. Pascal Perrier, Institut de la Communication Parlee, 46 Avenue Felix Viallet, F-38031 Grenoble Cedex 1, France. Phone: +33 76.57.48.25. E-mail: perrier@icp.grenet.fr
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1996
The Equilibrium Point Hypothesis and Its Application to Speech Motor Control
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 365-378. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.365
History: Received July 26, 1995 , Accepted November 6, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 365-378. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.365
History: Received July 26, 1995; Accepted November 6, 1995

In this paper, we address a number of issues in speech research in the context of the equilibrium point hypothesis of motor control. The hypothesis suggests that movements arise from shifts in the equilibrium position of the limb or the speech articulator. The equilibrium is a consequence of the interaction of central neural commands, reflex mechanisms, muscle properties, and external loads, but it is under the control of central neural commands. These commands act to shift the equilibrium via centrally specified signals acting at the level of the motoneurone (MN) pool. In the context of a model of sagittal plane jaw and hyoid motion based on the λ version of the equilibrium point hypothesis, we consider the implications of this hypothesis for the notion of articulatory targets. We suggest that simple linear control signals may underlie smooth articulatory trajectories. We explore as well the phenomenon of intra-articulator coarticulation in jaw movement. We suggest that even when no account is taken of upcoming context, that apparent anticipatory changes in movement amplitude and duration may arise due to dynamics. We also present a number of simulations that show in different ways how variability in measured kinematics can arise in spite of constant magnitude speech control signals.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the European Union (ESPRIT-BR Project No. 6975), NIH grant DC-00594 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NSERC-Canada, FCAR-Québec, Coopération France-Québec, and Région Rhône-Alpes.
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