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J Voice. 1999 Dec;13(4):465-76.

Nonlinear behavior of vocal fold vibration: the role of coupling between the vocal folds.

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Laboratoire d'Audio-Phonologie Clinique, CHU Timone, Marseille, France.


Coupling between the vocal folds is one of the nonlinear mechanisms allowing regulation and synchronization of mucosal vibration. The purpose of this study was to establish that modulations such as diplophonia and abnormalities observed in vocal signals that may be observed in some cases of laryngeal pathology can be considered as nonlinear behavior due to the persistence of some physical interaction (coupling). An experimental model using excised porcine larynx was designed to create tension asymmetry between the vocal folds and to obtain vocal signals with modulations. Signals were analyzed by spectral analysis and the phase portrait method. Results were compared with computer-generated synthetic signals corresponding to nonlinear combinations of sinusoid signals. Under these conditions, evidence of nonlinear behavior was detected in 85% of experimental signals. These findings were interpreted as a demonstration of vocal fold interaction. Based on these findings, the authors conclude that (1) coupling must be taken into account in physical models of laryngeal physiology, and that (2) methods of nonlinear dynamics may be used for objective voice analysis.

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