Ofer Amir

Ofer Amir
Tel Aviv University | TAU · Department of Communication Disorders

PhD

About

83
Publications
23,285
Reads
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1,781
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2016 - December 2021
Tel Aviv University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
October 2013 - October 2017
Tel Aviv University
Position
  • Head of Department
January 2006 - June 2015
Tel Aviv University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Importance Prevalent schemes that have been used for arranging voice pathologies have shaped theoretical and clinical views and the conceptualization of the pathologies and of the field as a whole. However, these available schemes contain inconsistencies and categorical overlaps. Objective To develop and evaluate a new approach for arranging voice...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeTo study different mask types’ impact on a sinonasal quality of life.Methods For this observational cross-sectional study, a web-based survey was distributed via social media forums. We used the validated Hebrew version of the Sinonasal Outcome Test–22 followed by a questionnaire developed specifically for the present study, focusing on the...
Article
Full-text available
Speech rate is a basic characteristic of language production, which affects the speaker’s intelligibility and communication efficiency. Various speech disorders, including persistent developmental stuttering, present altered speech rate. Specifically, adults who stutter (AWS) typically exhibit a slower speech rate compared to fluent speakers. Evide...
Article
Objectives Balanced hydration is crucial for optimal physiological function, whereas hypohydration may cause adverse effects. Like many other organs, the larynx is negatively affected by hypohydration, potentially affecting voice production. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine voice properties in women diagnosed with dry-mouth. Met...
Article
Purpose To investigate the association between stuttering in adolescence and incident type 2 diabetes in young adulthood. Materials and methods This nationwide population-based study included 2,193,855 adolescents of age 16-20 years who were assessed for military service between 1980 and 2013. Diagnoses of stuttering in adolescence were confirmed...
Article
Predicting the trajectories of alliance formation that the patient is likely to establish with the therapist during treatment, even before their first meeting, can help prevent the potentially harmful consequences of deterioration in alliance, such as poor outcome, and premature dropout. The present study aimed to examine the ability of four pretre...
Article
Background Transgender women may experience gender-dysphoria associated with their voice and the way it is perceived. Previous studies have shown that specific acoustic measures are associated with the perception of voice-femininity and with voice-related quality-of-life, yet results are inconsistent. Aims This study aimed to examine the associati...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a critical disruption in the music and performing arts industry, and affected singers and other artists. This study was designed to examine the effect of this unique time on artistic voice users, the way they perceive their voice and their voice-related behaviors. Methods A total of 110 participants volun...
Article
Purpose Recent literature stresses the importance of resilience, as a trait, for successful coping with life's difficulties or stressors. However, only a limited number of studies were conducted on resilience among people-who-stutter (PWS). These studies did not examine the association between resilience and the specific characteristics of stutteri...
Article
Full-text available
The association between neck characteristics (physical and visual) and the perception of gender is unclear. This association is critical, especially when the perception of the speakers' gender is of interest, such as in transgender patients. This study was the first to provide basic empirical data on this association among cisgender men and women....
Article
Purpose: (1) To survey the employed techniques and the reasons/occasions which adults who had recovered from stuttering after age 11 without previous treatment reported as causal to overcome stuttering, (2) to investigate whether the techniques and causal attributions can be reduced to coherent (inherently consistent) dimensions, and (3) whether th...
Article
Objective: Data on the prevalence of voice disorders is vital in order to describe and understand the phenomenon. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of voice disorders in Israel, and perform a preliminary comparison between the two major societies in the country. Methods: A sample of 1146 people participated in a survey on voic...
Article
Purpose: This study is a preliminary attempt to evaluate a new speech fluency measure, the Speech Efficiency Score (SES), in comparison with subjective stuttering severity rating scales and stuttered syllable counts (%SS). Methods: 277 listeners (92 naïve, 39 speech-language pathology (SLP) students, 124 practicing SLPs, and 22 SLPs who speciali...
Article
Purpose: Speech rate convergence has been reported previously as a phenomenon in which one's speech rate is influenced by his/her partner's speech rate. This phenomenon has been demonstrated in artificial settings, and to some extent, in mother-child interactions. The purpose of this study was to explore speech rate adjustment in a quasi-natural a...
Article
Purpose: Fluent speech production relies on the coordinated processing of multiple brain regions. This highlights the role of neural pathways that connect distinct brain regions in producing fluent speech. Here, we aim to investigate the role of the white matter pathways in persistent developmental stuttering (PDS), where speech fluency is disrupt...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Thyroid chondroplasty is a surgical intervention for reduction of the Adam's apple, performed in trans women to achieve a more feminine appearance of the neck. This procedure is necessary since hormonal therapy given as part of gender affirming medical interventions has no effect on the mature larynx. Objectives: We aim to describe our...
Article
Purpose: This study aims to examine the association between adults' experience of stuttering and their age, gender and marital status, as well as to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Hebrew version of the OASES-A. Methods: The Hebrew version of the OASES-A was administered to 91 adults-who-stutter. The validity of the translated versio...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Stroboscopy is considered the most appropriate tool for evaluating the function of the vocal folds but may harbor significant limitations in children. Still, direct laryngoscopy (DL), under general anesthesia, is regarded the "gold standard" for establishing a diagnosis of vocal fold pathology. The aim of the study is to examine the ac...
Article
Adults who stutter can learn to control and improve their speech fluency by modifying their speaking rate. Existing speech therapy technologies can assist this practice by monitoring speaking rate and providing feedback to the patient, but cannot provide an accurate, quantitative measurement of speaking rate. Moreover, most technologies are too com...
Article
Full-text available
Stuttering is a disorder that affects not only the speaker, but also the conversational partner (CP). This study was designed to examine whether people communicate differently with adults-who-stutter (AWS), compared to adults-who-do-not-stutter (AWNS). Specifically, we examined the occurrence of three basic and common turn-taking behaviors (TTBs) u...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction: Developmental stuttering is a disorder of fluency, affecting about 1% of the general population (Yairi & Ambrose, 2013). It is characterized by repetitions, prolongations and blocks (Riley, 1972). Whilst the disorder is primarily manifested in the domain of speech, a large body of evidence suggests that stuttering might in fact be a m...
Research
Full-text available
The preparation and validation process of a standardized, phonetically balanced, Hebrew reading passage.
Article
Full-text available
Developmental stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the ability to produce speech fluently. While stuttering is typically diagnosed based on one's behavior during speech production, some models suggest that it involves more central representations of language, and thus may affect language perception as well. Here we tested the hypothesis th...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Speaking rate is an important basic temporal characteristic of speech, essential for research as well as clinical applications. Accordingly, it has become a common measure in studies conducted in various fields, such as speech science, speech pathology, behavioral psychology, neuropsychology and emotions. Yet, normative speaking rate da...
Article
The frontal aslant tract (FAT) is a pathway that connects the inferior frontal gyrus with the supplementary motor area (SMA) and pre-SMA. The FAT was recently identified and introduced as part of a "motor stream" that plays an important role in speech production. In this study, we use diffusion imaging to examine the hypothesis that the FAT underli...
Article
Developmental stuttering is a speech disorder that severely limits one's ability to communicate. White matter anomalies were reported in stuttering, but their functional significance is unclear. We analyzed the relation between white matter properties and speech fluency in adults who stutter (AWS). We used diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based...
Article
This study aimed to evaluate the validity and reliability of a Hebrew translation of the Pediatric Voice Handicap Index (pVHI). It also examined differences between mothers and fathers in evaluating their child's dysphonia. Observational design. The pVHI was first translated and adapted to Hebrew. The translated version was, then, administered to a...
Article
This study explores the acoustic properties of the vowel systems of two dialects of colloquial Arabic spoken in Israel. One dialect is spoken in the Galilee region in the north of Israel, and the other is spoken in the Triangle (Muthallath) region, in central Israel. These vowel systems have five short and five long vowels /i, i:, e, e:, a, a:, o,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stuttering is a prevalent speech disorder. It is characterized by various speech disfluencies, such as word repetitions, syllable repetitions, prolongation of sounds and blocking or hesitation before word completion. Although, among adults, stuttering is not regarded as a disorder that can be cured by therapy; adults-who-stutter can learn various t...
Article
Objectives To examine the effect of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment on acoustic properties of women's voice. Study Design Prospective case series. Methods Ten women undergoing IVF treatment participated in the study. All participants were recorded repeatedly in three successive sessions, before and during treatment, in addition to collecti...
Article
Background: Individuals using their voice intensively during physical effort are at risk for developing voice problems. This study was aimed at examining the influence of physical activity on voice characteristics. Methods: Fourteen physical education students (age: 27 ± 4.23 years) were recorded in a resting position, and during mild, moderate,...
Article
Full-text available
The acoustic phonetic features of colloquial Arabic vowel systems are still not entirely researched. This paper studies phonetic structure of several Arabic dialects and other languages. A basic issue is the fact that Arabic is a quantity language; but from the published literature we see that vowel systems of Arabic dialects differ in many acousti...
Article
Full-text available
Social Anxiety (SA) has been shown to be associated with compensatory deficits in pro-social behavior following exclusion and with failure to capitalize on social success. We assessed the subjective and expressive responses of high (n = 48) and low (n = 56) socially anxious individuals to exclusion, acceptance, and popularity induced by a participa...
Article
Social anxiety (SA) has been consistently linked to subjectively rated perceptions of nonconfident vocal communication, yet the link between SA and objective vocal properties remains understudied. The present study aimed to explore the association between SA and auditory parameters of planned speech differing in expressive intent. Participants (n =...
Article
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This is a preliminary and exploratory study aimed to examine and quantify speaking and articulation rate among professional Hebrew speaking radio newscasters. Nineteen radio newscasters (ten men and nine women) were digitally recorded during live public broadcasts. The newscasters were assigned to two age-groups: “younger” (under 30 years) and “old...
Article
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Abstract Emotion-sensitive speech/vocal acoustic measures are now available to study emotions expressed during psychotherapy sessions. This paper highlights the feasibility of employing such acoustic parameters alongside well-known self-report and observer ratings of emotions. The acoustic method is presented together with findings of the acoustic...
Article
Objectives: The human voice provides extensive information about the speaker, in addition to the intended linguistic message. Therefore, voice is an essential component in the process of forming an initial attitude toward the speaker. People with communication disorders are typically judged by listeners more negatively than those speaking normally...
Article
Hypothesis: Acting students require diverse, high-quality, and high-intensity vocal performance from early stages of their training. Demanding vocal activities, before developing the appropriate vocal skills, put them in high risk for developing vocal problems. Study design: A retrospective analysis of voice characteristics of first-year acting...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We address the robustness of features for fully automatic recognition of vibrato, which is usually defined as a periodic oscillation of the pitch (F0) of the singing voice, in recorded polyphonic music. Using an evaluation database covering jazz, pop and opera music, we show that the extraction of pitch is challenging in the presence of instrumenta...
Article
Full-text available
The human voice provides a rich source of information about individual attributes such as body size, developmental stability and emotional state. Moreover, there is evidence that female voice characteristics change across the menstrual cycle. A previous study reported that women speak with higher fundamental frequency (F0) in the high-fertility com...
Article
Voice carries abundant information about the speaker. This acoustic information changes throughout life. Although the ability of identifying audible cues on a speaker's gender and age is considered an intuitive task, little is known about the ability to identify and decipher this perceptual information. Most studies in the field have examined the a...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to quantify articulation rate among Hebrew speaking children and adolescents across a wide age range, and to assess whether age-related differences vary according to metric. One hundred and forty children, in seven age groups, participated in this cross-sectional study. All children were recorded during conversation and a picture d...
Article
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Arousing and processing primary vulnerable emotions is a core change mechanism across a wide range of psychotherapies and clinical populations. This study examined the utility of 2 emotion-focused interventions—relational reframes and empty-chair enactments—in terms of arousing primary sadness associated with loss and longing among individuals suff...
Article
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This paper describes analyses of a corpus of speech recorded during psychotherapy. The therapy sessions were focused on addressing unresolved anger towards an attachment figure. Speech from the therapy sessions of 22 young adult females was initially recorded, from which 283 stimuli were extracted and submitted for evaluation of emotional content b...
Article
Full-text available
The Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) and Praat are computer programs commonly used for acoustic analysis of voice in clinical and research settings. Both softwares extract a set of acoustic parameters, many of which are defined similarly. The purpose of this study was to compare results obtained by both programs, and examine whether they can...
Article
Sustained phonations of the vowels /a/ and /i/ were recorded from 89 patients with voice disorders, who were divided into five pathological subgroups. In addition, recordings were made from a control group of 23 normophonic participants. All recordings were segmented into onset, steady state, and offset, and analyzed acoustically. Results revealed...
Article
Full-text available
The authors conducted 2 studies to identify the vocal acoustical correlates of unresolved anger and sadness among women reporting unresolved anger toward an attachment figure. In Study 1, participants (N = 17) were induced to experience and express anger then sadness or sadness then anger. In Study 2, a 2nd group of participants (N = 22) underwent...
Article
Full-text available
Novel measures for vowel reduction are presented here, for examining vowel space as a whole, and for quantifying reduction of individual vowels. These measures were used to evaluate the degree of vowel reduction in continuous speech, as manifested in the F1-F2 plane. The new measures were applied to a set of 1500 tokens, extracted from a database o...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies are presented here. Study 1 was aimed at evaluating whether the voice characteristics of women who use birth control pills that contain different progestins differ from the voice characteristics of a control group. Study 2 presents a meta-analysis that combined the results of Study 1 with those from 3 recent studies that compared voices...
Article
To evaluate the validity of a translated version of the Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10). In a parallel group design, 221 patients with different laryngeal pathologies and 172 people with no laryngeal pathology completed a Hebrew version of the VHI-10. Validity and reliability were assessed as well as group differences. Statistical analyses demonst...
Article
To evaluate a translated version of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) as a diagnostic tool for people with and without a laryngeal pathology, among Hebrew speakers. Parallel group design. The VHI was translated and adapted to Hebrew. The translated version was, then, administered to a group of 182 patients with various laryngeal pathologies and a cont...
Article
While most studies that attempted to evaluate vibrato quality examined vocal productions of accomplished singers, very little is known about the characteristics of vibrato among singing students. Therefore, in this study, we performed a preliminary attempt to assess vibrato quality in their production of sustained notes. To that end, the presence a...
Article
Voice disorders in children are common but ways of their analysis are limited. We conducted a prospective feasibility study of rigid stroboscopy in children. All children referred for voice analysis during the years 2002-2003 were evaluated including subjective perception of voice, voice recording, flexible or rigid laryngoscopy and stroboscopy. Ch...
Article
Vocal warmup is generally accepted as vital for singing performance. However, only a limited number of studies have evaluated this effect quantitatively. In this study, we evaluated the effect of vocal warmup on voice production, among young female singers, using a set of acoustic parameters. Warmup reduced frequency-perturbation (p < 0.001) and am...
Article
The classical literature on endocrine effect on voice considers oral contraceptives (OCs) as a risk factor for voice. However, recent studies revealed no adverse effect of new-generation OCs on voice. It was also suggested that OCs could improve specific voice characteristics via different mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to evaluate th...
Article
Various speech and voice disorders affect 70% to 85% of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Speech treatment is generally conducted on an individual basis, with family member involvement. Clinical experience indicates that many patients do not practice treatments at home or apply the learned techniques in everyday situations. An eight-sessio...
Article
Full-text available
Several institutions provide voice practice for their teaching staff. These 'voice courses' provide a unique treatment situation, in which some participants have a diagnosed laryngeal pathology, while others have no vocal complaints. Therefore, these voice courses can be viewed as group voice therapy as well as preventive voice treatment. The prese...
Article
Full-text available
The objective was to extend our knowledge of the effect of birth control pills on voice quality in women based on various acoustic measures. A longitudinal comparative study of 14 healthy young women over a 36- to 45-day period. Voices of seven women who used birth control pills and seven women who did not were recorded repeatedly approximately 20...
Article
Full-text available
Sex hormone fluctuations were shown to affect female vocal folds and laryngeal function. Laryngeal changes are evident throughout the span of life, starting at puberty with the arousal of the hormonal system, fluctuating systematically during the reproductive years with the menstrual cycle, and then changing again with the decline of hormonal activ...
Article
Full-text available
Difference limen for frequency (DLF) is traditionally tested using a frequency increment detection paradigm in which listeners are requested to distinguish between a reference tone and a series of comparison tones of higher frequency. Sporadic findings indicated that an increment paradigm is not necessarily comparable to a decrement paradigm, in wh...
Article
To evaluate the effect of low-dose monophasic oral contraceptives on female vocal quality. Acoustic voice parameters of six women who use oral contraceptives and six women who do not were evaluated repeatedly during the menstrual cycle. Frequency and amplitude variations were measured using a computerized voice analysis program. Repeated-measures a...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between auditory perception and vocal production has been typically investigated by evaluating the effect of either altered or degraded auditory feedback on speech production in either normal hearing or hearing-impaired individuals. Our goal in the present study was to examine this relationship in individuals with superior auditory...
Article
Unlabelled: This study investigated frequency change and duration of the second formant (F2) transitions in perceptually fluent speech samples recorded close to stuttering onset in preschool age children. Comparisons were made among 10 children known to eventually persist in stuttering, 10 who eventually recovered from stuttering, and 10 normally...
Article
Full-text available
While there is growing evidence that frequency discrimination improves with practice, there are, however, limited and inclusive reports regarding the generalization of learning to untrained conditions. The goals of the present study were therefore (1) to measure the effect of multi-session training on difference limen frequency (DLF) thresholds and...
Article
Most studies investigating the effect of sex hormones on the larynx and vocal folds focused on the voice quality of women either around menopause or during the menstrual cycle. To our knowledge, however, there have been no studies that investigated the effect of oral contraceptives on the female voice. In the present study five women who ingest ora...
Article
Unlabelled: The purpose of this investigation was to study the effect of temporal features within repetition of speech segments on the perception of stuttering. Past research has provided evidence that certain temporal aspects of repetitions produced by people who stutter tend to be shorter than those produced by normally fluent speakers. The effe...