Journal Article


The relationship between pitch discrimination and acoustic voice measures in a cohort of female speakers

Abstract

Background. Evidence across a range of musically trained, hearing disordered and voice disordered populations present conflicting results regarding the relationship between pitch discrimination (PD) and voice quality. PD characteristics of female speakers with and without a musical training background and no selfreported voice disorder, and the relationship between PD and voice quality in this particular population, have not been investigated. Aims. To evaluate PD characteristics in a cohort of female participants without a self-reported voice disorder and the relationship between PD and acoustic voice measures. Method. One hundred fourteen female participants were studied, all of whom self-reported as being non-voice disordered. All completed the Newcastle Assessment of Pitch Discrimination which involved a two-tone PD task. Their voices were recorded producing standardized vocal tasks. Voice samples were acoustically analyzed for frequency-domain measures (fundamental frequency and its standard deviation, and harmonics-to-noise ratio) and spectral-domain measures (cepstral peak prominence and the Cepstral/Spectral Index of Dysphonia). Data were analyzed for the whole cohort and for musical and non-musical training backgrounds. Results. In the whole cohort, there were no significant correlations between PD and acoustic voice measures. PD accuracy in musically trained speakers was better than in non-trained speakers and correlated with fundamental frequency standard deviation in prolonged vowel tasks. Vocalists demonstrated superior PD accuracy and fundamental frequency standard deviation in prolonged vowels compared to instrumentalists but did not show significant correlations between PD and acoustic measures. The Newcastle Assessment of Pitch Discrimination was a reliable tool, showing moderate-good prediction value in differentiating musical background. Conclusions. There was little evidence of a relationship between PD and acoustic measures of voice quality, regardless of musical training background and superior PD accuracy among the musically trained. These data do not support ideas concerning the co-development of perception and action among individuals identified as having voice quality measures within normal ranges. Numerous measures of voice quality, including measures sensitive to pitch, did not distinguish across musically and non-musically trained individuals, despite individual differences in pitch discrimination.

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Authors

Wing-Tung Yun, Emily
Nguyen, Duy Duong
Carding, Paul
Hodges, Nicola J.
Chacon, Antonia Margarita
Madill, Catherine

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dates

Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-01-05


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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