Impact of Subharmonic and Aperiodic Laryngeal Dynamics on the Phonatory Process Analyzed in Ex Vivo Rabbit Models
Normal voice is characterized by periodic oscillations of the vocal folds. On the other hand, disordered voice dynamics (e.g., subharmonic and aperiodic oscillations) are often associated with voice pathologies and dysphonia. Unfortunately, not all investigations may be conducted on human subjects; hence animal laryngeal studies have been performed for many years to better understand human phonation. The rabbit larynx has been shown to be a potential model of the human larynx. Despite this fact, only a few studies regarding the phonatory parameters of rabbit larynges have been performed. Further, to the best of our knowledge, no ex vivo study has systematically investigated phonatory parameters from high-speed, audio and subglottal pressure data with irregular oscillations. To remedy this, the present study analyzes experiments with sustained phonation in 11 ex vivo rabbit larynges for 51 conditions of disordered vocal fold dynamics. (1) The results of this study support previous findings on non-disordered data, that the stronger the glottal closure insufficiency is during phonation, the worse the phonatory characteristics are; (2) aperiodic oscillations showed worse phonatory results than subharmonic oscillations; (3) in the presence of both types of irregular vibrations, the voice quality (i.e., cepstral peak prominence) of the audio and subglottal signal greatly deteriorated compared to normal/periodic vibrations. In summary, our results suggest that the presence of both types of irregular vibration have a major impact on voice quality and should be considered along with glottal closure measures in medical diagnosis and treatment.