Measurement of Vocal Fold Collision Forces During Phonation Methods and Preliminary Data Research Note
Research Note  |   June 01, 2005
Measurement of Vocal Fold Collision Forces During Phonation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Heather E. Gunter
    Harvard University and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Robert D. Howe
    Harvard University and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Steven M. Zeitels
    Harvard Medical School and Department of Surgery-Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • James B. Kobler
    Harvard Medical School and Department of Surgery-Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Harvard Medical School, MGH Institute of Health Professions, and Department of Surgery-Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Contact author: Heather E. Gunter, c/o Robert D. Howe, 323 Pierce Hall, Harvard University, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: heather.gunter@post.harvard.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Notes
Research Note   |   June 01, 2005
Measurement of Vocal Fold Collision Forces During Phonation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2005, Vol. 48, 567-576. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/039)
History: Received August 18, 2003 , Revised December 12, 2003 , Accepted October 25, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2005, Vol. 48, 567-576. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/039)
History: Received August 18, 2003; Revised December 12, 2003; Accepted October 25, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Forces applied to vocal fold tissue as the vocal folds collide may cause tissue injury that manifests as benign organic lesions. A novel method for measuring this quantity in humans in vivo uses a low-profile force sensor that extends along the length and depth of the glottis. Sensor design facilitates its placement and stabilization so that phonation can be initiated and maintained while it is in place, with minimal interference in vocal fold vibration. In 2 individuals with 1 vibrating vocal fold and 1 nonvibrating vocal fold, peak collision force correlates more strongly with voice intensity than pitch. Vocal fold collision forces in 1 individual with 2 vibrating vocal folds are of the same order of magnitude as in previous studies. Correlations among peak collision force, voice intensity, and pitch were indeterminate in this participant because of the small number of data points. Sensor modifications are proposed so that it can be used to reliably estimate collision force in individuals with 2 vibrating vocal folds and with changing vocal tract conformations.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a Whitaker Foundation graduate student fellowship. We thank Jaime Lee, Philippe Bouzaglou, Amy Kerdok, Stan Coutreau, and Jim MacArthur for their assistance with sensor design and construction.
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