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J Voice. 2006 Dec;20(4):527-44. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

The effect of perceptual training on inexperienced listeners' judgments of dysphonic voice.

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Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.



The purpose of this study was (1) to determine whether changes in intra- and interrater reliability occur for inexperienced listeners' judgments of overall severity, roughness, and breathiness in dysphonic and normal speakers after 2 hours of listener training; and (2) to determine the acoustic bases of inexperienced listeners' judgments before and after training.


Prospective, single group, pre- and postdesign.


Thirty adult dysphonic and six normal speaker samples were selected from a database. Samples included 21 test stimuli and 15 training stimuli of both sustained vowels and connected speech. Sixteen inexperienced listeners judged all samples for overall severity, roughness, and breathiness using visual analog scales. Each listener provided pretraining ratings at baseline. Listeners were then trained using 15 anchor voice samples and 15 training stimuli. During training, listeners were provided with definitions of rating dimensions, accuracy feedback, and anchor samples. Listeners then judged test stimuli in a posttraining session. Speaker samples also were analyzed acoustically.


Intrarater reliability was least variable for judgments of overall severity, but improved further with training. Listener judgments of roughness and breathiness in vowels were least reliable at baseline, but they significantly improved between listeners after training. Finally, measures of cepstral peak prominence significantly predicted all voice quality judgments except roughness in vowels, which was predicted by shimmer. The acoustic bases of group perceptual judgments did not seem to change with training.


These findings have implications for developing training programs in perceptual evaluation and mapping relationships between acoustic and perceptual characteristics of voice disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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