Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscle Response to a Public Speech Preparation Stressor Purpose Research suggests that abnormal levels of intrinsic laryngeal muscle (ILM) contraction is a potential causal factor in stress-induced voice disorders. This study seeks to characterize the ILM stress response in a cohort of vocally healthy women. Method The authors used an unblinded, nonrandomized, repeated-measures design. Forty vocally ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 13, 2018
Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscle Response to a Public Speech Preparation Stressor
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leah B. Helou
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Clark A. Rosen
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Wei Wang
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Katherine Verdolini Abbott
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Clark A. Rosen is now at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco.
    Clark A. Rosen is now at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco.×
  • Wei Wang is now at the Mallinekrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO.
    Wei Wang is now at the Mallinekrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO.×
  • Katherine Verdolini Abbott is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Delaware, Newark.
    Katherine Verdolini Abbott is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Delaware, Newark.×
  • Correspondence to Leah B. Helou: lbh7@pitt.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Jack Jiang
    Editor: Jack Jiang×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 13, 2018
Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscle Response to a Public Speech Preparation Stressor
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2018, Vol. 61, 1525-1543. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0153
History: Received April 20, 2017 , Revised October 21, 2017 , Accepted November 30, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2018, Vol. 61, 1525-1543. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0153
History: Received April 20, 2017; Revised October 21, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Research suggests that abnormal levels of intrinsic laryngeal muscle (ILM) contraction is a potential causal factor in stress-induced voice disorders. This study seeks to characterize the ILM stress response in a cohort of vocally healthy women.

Method The authors used an unblinded, nonrandomized, repeated-measures design. Forty vocally healthy female adults were subjected to a stressful speech preparation task. Measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, trapezius muscle (positive control) activation, and tibialis muscle (negative control) activation were obtained from 37 participants before and during stressor exposure, in a nonvoice and nonspeaking task paradigm, to confirm physiological stress response compared to baseline. Fine wire electromyography of the ILMs (posterior cricoarytenoid, thyroarytenoid/lateral cricoarytenoid muscle complex, and cricothyroid) was performed simultaneously so that the activity of these muscles could be measured prior to and during stressor exposure.

Results The protocol successfully elicited the typical and expected physiological stress responses. Findings supported the hypothesis that, in some individuals, the ILMs significantly increase in activity during stress reactions compared to baseline, as do the control muscles.

Conclusions This study characterizes ILM responses to psychological stress in vocally healthy participants. Some of the female adults in this study appeared to be “laryngeal stress responders,” as evidenced by increased activity of the ILMs during a silent (i.e., nonvocal, nonspeech) speech preparation task that they considered to be stressful.

Acknowledgments
This study was completed at the University of Pittsburgh in partial fulfillment of requirements for the first author's doctoral dissertation. This study was partially supported by the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Award (Helou), a research grant from the Voice Foundation (Helou), the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute (Wang), and the National Institutes of Health (Grants 3R01NS050256-05S1 [Wang], 8KL2TR000146 [Wang], and R01 DC008567 [Verdolini Abbott]). The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts of Adrianna Shembel and Catherine Bean for their assistance with data collection and Neil Szuminsky for his assistance with fine wire electrode design and construction.
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