Commentary on Why Laryngeal Stroboscopy Really Works: Clarifying Misconceptions Surrounding Talbot’s Law and the Persistence of Vision PurposeThe purpose of this article is to clear up misconceptions that have propagated in the clinical voice literature that inappropriately cite Talbot’s law (1834)  and the theory of persistence of vision as the scientific principles that underlie laryngeal stroboscopy.MethodAfter initial research into Talbot’s (1834)  original studies, it became clear that ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   October 01, 2010
Commentary on Why Laryngeal Stroboscopy Really Works: Clarifying Misconceptions Surrounding Talbot’s Law and the Persistence of Vision
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Daryush D. Mehta
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Dimitar D. Deliyski
    University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Contact author: Daryush D. Mehta, Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, 1 Bowdoin Square 11th Floor, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail: daryush.mehta@alum.mit.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech
Letter to the Editor   |   October 01, 2010
Commentary on Why Laryngeal Stroboscopy Really Works: Clarifying Misconceptions Surrounding Talbot’s Law and the Persistence of Vision
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1263-1267. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0241)
History: Received November 25, 2009 , Accepted March 26, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1263-1267. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0241)
History: Received November 25, 2009; Accepted March 26, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeThe purpose of this article is to clear up misconceptions that have propagated in the clinical voice literature that inappropriately cite Talbot’s law (1834)  and the theory of persistence of vision as the scientific principles that underlie laryngeal stroboscopy.

MethodAfter initial research into Talbot’s (1834)  original studies, it became clear that his experiments were not designed to explain why stroboscopy works. Subsequently, a comprehensive literature search was conducted for the purpose of investigating the general principles of stroboscopic imaging from primary sources.

ResultsTalbot made no reference to stroboscopy in designing his experiments, and the notion of persistence of vision is not applicable to stroboscopic motion. Instead, two visual phenomena play critical roles: (a) the flicker-free perception of light and (b) the perception of apparent motion. In addition, the integration of stroboscopy with video-based technology in today’s voice clinic requires additional complexities to include synchronization with camera frame rates.

ConclusionsReferences to Talbot’s law and the persistence of vision are not relevant to the generation of stroboscopic images. The critical visual phenomena are the flicker-free perception of light intensity and the perception of apparent motion from sampled images. A complete understanding of how laryngeal stroboscopy works will aid in better interpreting clinical findings during voice assessment.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grants T32 DC00038 and R01 DC007640 and by the Institute of Laryngology and Voice Restoration. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIDCD.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access