Vocal fold vibrations: high-speed imaging, kymography, and acoustic analysis: a preliminary report

H Larsson, S Hertegård, P A Lindestad, B Hammarberg
Laryngoscope 2000, 110 (12): 2117-22

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate a new analysis system, High-Speed Tool Box (H. Larsson, custom-made program for image analysis, version 1.1, Department of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden, 1998) for studying vocal fold vibrations using a high-speed camera and to relate findings from these analyses to sound characteristics.

STUDY DESIGN: A Weinberger Speedcam + 500 system (Weinberger AG, Dietikon, Switzerland) was used with a frame rate of 1,904 frames per second. Images were stored and analyzed digitally. Analysis included automatic glottal edge detection and calculation of glottal area variations, as well as kymography. These signals were compared with acoustic waveforms using the Soundswell program (Hitech Development AB, Stockholm, Sweden).

METHODS: The High-Speed Tool Box was applied on two types of high-speed recordings: a diplophonic phonation and a tremor voice. Relations between glottal vibratory patterns and the sound waveform were analyzed.

RESULTS: In the diplophonic phonation, the glottal area waveform, as well as the kymogram, showed a specific pattern of repetitive glottal closures, which was also seen in the acoustic waveform. In the tremor voice, fundamental frequency (F0) fluctuations in the acoustic waveform were reflected in slow variations in amplitude in the glottal area waveform. For studying details of mucosal movements during these kinds of abnormal vibrations, the glottal area waveform was particularly useful.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that this combined high-speed acoustic-kymographic analysis package is a promising aid for separating and specifying different voice qualities such as diplophonia and voice tremor. Apart from clinical use, this finding should be of help for specification of the terminology of different voice qualities.

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