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Relationships between vocal characteristics and body size and shape in human males: An evolutionary explanation for a deep male voice

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Abstract

A deep male voice may play a role in courtship and competitive behaviours in humans by attracting female mates and indicating body size to male competitors. The current correlational study investigated the relationship between vocal measures (fundamental and formant frequencies) and both body size and shape. Vocal samples and physical measures were obtained from 50 heterosexual male volunteers. A significant negative relationship was found between fundamental frequency and measures of body shape and weight. Further, a significant negative relationship was found between formant dispersion (the relationship between successive formant frequencies) and measures of body size as well as body shape. Findings are discussed in relation to the 'good genes' model of sexual selection and the size exaggeration theory of laryngeal descent.

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... In other words, the adaptive value of responding appropriately to the inferred fearfulness or attractiveness of a voice and thus avoiding or approaching the individual would be related to a tendency to process vocalization cues reflecting body size and infer analogous traits. Body size has been found to be perceptually related to formant dispersion [46,[51][52][53][54] and mean f0 [54][55][56]. Some studies have addressed the direction of this link: for instance, lower fundamental frequency would be associated to capability or dominance perception, because of the association between hormone levels and vocal fold's mass [57,58], competition [59,60], and large body size [47]. ...
... In other words, the adaptive value of responding appropriately to the inferred fearfulness or attractiveness of a voice and thus avoiding or approaching the individual would be related to a tendency to process vocalization cues reflecting body size and infer analogous traits. Body size has been found to be perceptually related to formant dispersion [46,[51][52][53][54] and mean f0 [54][55][56]. Some studies have addressed the direction of this link: for instance, lower fundamental frequency would be associated to capability or dominance perception, because of the association between hormone levels and vocal fold's mass [57,58], competition [59,60], and large body size [47]. ...
... Nonetheless, it is consistent with several claims in literature, that humans adapted for assessing physical strength from the voice as adaptive cue for fitness and survival [134]. In this regard, one might be surprised that pitch related cues (meanF0, minF0, maxF0, jitter) were not found to play a major role on impression formation in the present study, given that F0 has been tied to perception of-although not actual-physical strength [54] and dominance [60]. ...
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Prior research has established that valence-trustworthiness and power-dominance are the two main dimensions of voice evaluation at zero-acquaintance. These impressions shape many of our interactions and high-impact decisions, so it is crucial for many domains to understand this dynamic. Yet, the relationship between acoustical properties of novel voices and personality/attitudinal traits attributions remains poorly understood. The fundamental problem of understanding vocal impressions and relative decision-making is linked to the complex nature of the acoustical properties in voices. In order to disentangle this relationship, this study extends the line of research on the acoustical bases of vocal impressions in two ways. First, by attempting to replicate previous finding on the bi-dimensional nature of first impressions: using personality judgements and establishing a correspondence between acoustics and voice-first-impression (VFI) dimensions relative to sex (Study 1). Second (Study 2), by exploring the non-linear relationships between acoustical parameters and VFI by the means of machine learning models. In accordance with literature, a bi-dimensional projection comprising valence-trustworthiness and power-dominance evaluations is found to explain 80% of the VFI. In study 1, brighter (high center of gravity), smoother (low shimmers), and louder (high minimum intensity) voices reflected trustworthiness, while vocal roughness (harmonic to noise-ratio), energy in the high frequencies (Energy3250), pitch (Quantile 1, Quantile 5) and lower range of pitch values reflected dominance. In study 2, above chance classification of vocal profiles was achieved by both Support Vector Machine (77.78%) and Random-Forest (Out-Of-Bag = 36.14) classifiers, generally confirming that machine learning algorithms could predict first impressions from voices. Hence results support a bi-dimensional structure to VFI, emphasize the usefulness of machine learning techniques in understanding vocal impressions, and shed light on the influence of sex on VFI formation.
... Relationship between voice quality and body size, shape, and composition in men A range of literature has explored the relationship between male voice quality and physical constitution, however yielding ambiguous findings. 5,9,28,29,[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] Studies indicate a significant relationship exists between voice acoustic parameters, such as fundamental frequency (F 0 ) and formant frequencies (F 1 -F 4 ), with individual body size and shape 28,29,38,39,41,42,45,46 or with human body composition. 43,44 Conversely, there are also studies that illustrate a very weak relation 40 or even negate this relationship in humans. ...
... Relationship between voice quality and body size, shape, and composition in men A range of literature has explored the relationship between male voice quality and physical constitution, however yielding ambiguous findings. 5,9,28,29,[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] Studies indicate a significant relationship exists between voice acoustic parameters, such as fundamental frequency (F 0 ) and formant frequencies (F 1 -F 4 ), with individual body size and shape 28,29,38,39,41,42,45,46 or with human body composition. 43,44 Conversely, there are also studies that illustrate a very weak relation 40 or even negate this relationship in humans. ...
... The distinct pronunciation of vowels makes this an interesting sample and one that differs in utterance from groups examined by other authors. 9,28,29,38,39,41,42,[45][46][47] This paper is also the first to identify a direct negative relationship between voice fundamental frequency and neck circumference, measured at laryngeal prominence. Another significant output emerging from this study is an explanation for waist circumference and formants' frequencies association. ...
Article
Objectives: From a human evolution perspective, identifying a link between physique and vocal quality could demonstrate dual signaling in terms of the health and biological condition of an individual. In this regard, this study investigates the relationship between men's body size, shape, and composition, and their vocal characteristics. Materials and methods: Eleven anthropometric measurements, using seven indices, were carried out with 80 adult Polish male participants, while the speech analysis adopted a voice recording procedure that involved phonetically recording vowels /ɑː/, /ɛː/, /iː/, /ɔː/, /uː/ to define the voice acoustic components used in Praat software. Results: The relationship between voice parameters and body size/shape/composition was found. The analysis indicated that the formants and their derivatives were useful parameters for prediction of height, weight, neck, shoulder, waist, and hip circumferences. Fundamental frequency (F0) was negatively correlated with neck circumference at Adam's apple level and body height. Moreover neck circumference and F0 association was observed for the first time in this paper. The association between waist circumference and formant component showed a net effect. In addition, the formant parameters showed significant correlations with body shape, indicating a lower vocal timbre in men with a larger relative waist circumference. Discussion: Men with lower vocal pitch had wider necks, probably a result of larynx size. Furthermore, a greater waist circumference, presumably resulting from abdominal fat distribution in men, correlated with a lower vocal timbre. While these results are inconclusive, they highlight new directions for further research.
... La voix est la résultante de sons harmoniques complexes produits par l'oscillation des plis vocaux à l'origine d'un son laryngé (1,2,4) . Ce son est ensuite modifié par le passage dans les cavités de résonance (la cavité buccale, le pharynx et éventuellement les fosses nasales). ...
... Celles-ci sculptent la fourniture harmonique laryngée permettant l'émergence d'un timbre propre à chaque individu ainsi que la création de voyelles. Les principales caractéristiques de la voix sont la fréquence de vibration (F0 exprimée en Hz) représentant le rythme d'oscillation des plis vocaux, l'intensité exprimée en décibels, et le timbre ou couleur de la voix (1,2,4) . ...
... La voix des sujets présentant un excès pondéral est subjectivement reconnaissable à l'oreille (5) . Pourtant la littérature sur la caractérisation vocale des patients obèses est relativement très peu fournie (4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10) . ...
Article
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In previous contributions (1-3), we have addressed some hormonal characteristics on the voice such as in hypogonadism in Kallmann syndrome or excess growth hormone in acromegaly, with their characteristic changes in the voice. We studied the life of a jazz singer, the American Jimmy Scott, who suffered from Kallmann syndrome (1), and that of the Argentine tango singer Edmundo Rivero, who himself had acromegaly (2.3). In this article, we describe the voice changes that can be encountered in obesity. In doing so, we pay tribute to the hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, known as IZ, who died prematurely from complications of extreme obesity.
... One of the speech cues associated with the body size dimension of the speaker is formant frequencies. They are weakly related to the body size dimensions such as height and weight, and chest circumference ( Rendall et al., 2005;Evans et al., 2006;Greisbach, 2007 ). The voice characteristics of speech such as speech rate, sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, etc. are affected by the speaker's age ( Müller, 2006;Schötz, 2007;Schötz and Müller, 2007 ). ...
... The correlation between F 0 and first four formants with weight is 0.3 for male speakers ( Rendall et al., 2005 ). Another study ( Evans et al., 2006 ) shows the correlations of average fundamental frequency with shoulder circumference ( = −0 . 29 ), chest circumference ( = −0 . ...
... We analyze the correlation between the fundamental frequency ( F 0 ) and the other formant frequencies with the height values. The studies have shown F 0 is inversely proportional to height of a speaker (indicating that the speakers with more height values have low fundamental frequency and vice-versa for speakers with lesser height values) ( Van Dommelen and Moxness, 1995;Evans et al., 2006;Greisbach, 2007 ). The fundamental frequency ( F 0 ), has a weak correlation with height ( = −0 . ...
Article
Many paralinguistic applications of speech demand the extraction of information about the speaker characteristics from as little speech data as possible. In this work, we explore the estimation of multiple physical parameters of the speaker from the short duration of speech in a multilingual setting. We explore different feature streams for age and body build estimation derived from the speech spectrum at different resolutions, namely - short-term log-mel spectrogram, formant features and harmonic features of the speech. The statistics of these features over the speech recording are used to learn a support vector regression model for speaker age and body build estimation. The experiments performed on the TIMIT dataset show that each of the individual features is able to achieve results that outperform previously published results in height and age estimation. Furthermore, the estimation errors from these different feature streams are complementary, which allows the combination of estimates from these feature streams to further improve the results. The combined system from short audio snippets achieves a performance of 5.2 cm, and 4.8 cm in Mean Absolute Error (MAE) for male and female respectively for height estimation. Similarly in age estimation the MAE is of 5.2 years, and 5.6 years for male, and female speakers respectively. We also extend the same physical parameter estimation to other body build parameters like shoulder width, waist size and weight along with height on a dataset we collected for speaker profiling. The duration analysis of the proposed scheme shows that the state of the art results can be achieved using only around 1−2 seconds of speech data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to use a common set of features for estimating the different physical traits of a speaker.
... Various attempts have been made to identify the acoustic voice features that enable such inferences [25,29,69]. In women, relationships were discovered between voice parameters, such as subharmonics and frequency pertubation, and body features, including weight, height, body mass index, and body surface area [29]. ...
... In women, relationships were discovered between voice parameters, such as subharmonics and frequency pertubation, and body features, including weight, height, body mass index, and body surface area [29]. Among men, individuals with larger body shape, particularly upper body musculature, are more likely to have low-pitched voices, and the degree of formant dispersion in male voices was found to correlate with body size (height and weight) and body shape (e.g., waist, chest, neck, and shoulder circumference) [25]. ...
Chapter
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Internet-connected devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops, have become ubiquitous in modern life, reaching ever deeper into our private spheres. Among the sensors most commonly found in such devices are microphones. While various privacy concerns related to microphone-equipped devices have been raised and thoroughly discussed, the threat of unexpected inferences from audio data remains largely overlooked. Drawing from literature of diverse disciplines, this paper presents an overview of sensitive pieces of information that can, with the help of advanced data analysis methods, be derived from human speech and other acoustic elements in recorded audio. In addition to the linguistic content of speech, a speaker's voice characteristics and manner of expression may implicitly contain a rich array of personal information, including cues to a speaker's biometric identity, personality, physical traits, geographical origin, emotions, level of intoxication and sleepiness, age, gender, and health condition. Even a person's socioeconomic status can be reflected in certain speech patterns. The findings compiled in this paper demonstrate that recent advances in voice and speech processing induce a new generation of privacy threats.
... Also, this author has derived the regression equation for estimation of speaker's height and vocal tract length based on various acoustic speech parameters 22 . Evans et al. (2006) have found a significant negative correlation between the human male's morphometry (body shape and weight) and some voice-acoustic parameters (the fundamental frequency and formant dispersion -the relationship between successive formant frequencies) 23 . ...
... Also, this author has derived the regression equation for estimation of speaker's height and vocal tract length based on various acoustic speech parameters 22 . Evans et al. (2006) have found a significant negative correlation between the human male's morphometry (body shape and weight) and some voice-acoustic parameters (the fundamental frequency and formant dispersion -the relationship between successive formant frequencies) 23 . ...
Article
BACKGROUND: Since the human being functions as a multidimensional system with highly adaptable automatic features and with strong correlations among the subsystems, the scientists have been encouraged to explore the predictive possibilities of one human characteristic/ability according to different morpho-functional characteristics/abilities. The goal of this study was to explore the biological relations between morpho-functional variables and the voice-acoustic parameters, and the possibility to predict the explosive power of the lower extremities based on the registered voice acoustic parameters. METHODS: Seven morpho-functional variables and six voice-acoustic parameters were measured on 37 male athletes aged 15-29 years. The statistical analysis was accomplished through the SPSS-program version-20 and Statistica-12. The obtained data were analyzed through Canonical Analyses, Regressive Analyses, and t-test for Paired Samples. RESULTS: Canonical analysis has enabled the extraction of one significant canonical root (P=0.043), which explains 73.7% of the shared variance. The results of the regression analysis indicate that the system of voice-acoustic parameters significantly predicts 34.7% of total variance of the criterion variable Margarita-Kalamen test. CONCLUSIONS: The final results of this study confirm very close biological relations between morpho-functional and voice-acoustic parameters. Additionally, according to these results, it might be suggested that based on the voice-acoustic parameters: MeanF0 and MinF0, may be predicted the athlete’s explosive power of the lower extremities.
... For example, voice attractiveness is positively associated with the shoulders-to-hip ratio in men and negatively associated with the waist-to-hip ratio in women (Hughes et al., 2004). Low pitched male voices are linked to larger body size, especially weight and height, to a particular body shape (shoulder and chest circumference, shoulder-to-hip ratio) (Evans et al., 2006), and arm strength . Nevertheless, a recent meta-analysis had shown that compared to other vocal parameters, voice pitch is not a reliable predictor of height in adults of the same sex (Pisanski et al., 2014) and it is a poor predictor of body weight, shape, and strength (Collins, 2000;Collins and Missing, 2003;Bruckert et al., 2006;Evans et al., 2006;Sell et al., 2010;Vukovic et al., 2010;Pisanski et al., 2016;Raine et al., 2019). ...
... Low pitched male voices are linked to larger body size, especially weight and height, to a particular body shape (shoulder and chest circumference, shoulder-to-hip ratio) (Evans et al., 2006), and arm strength . Nevertheless, a recent meta-analysis had shown that compared to other vocal parameters, voice pitch is not a reliable predictor of height in adults of the same sex (Pisanski et al., 2014) and it is a poor predictor of body weight, shape, and strength (Collins, 2000;Collins and Missing, 2003;Bruckert et al., 2006;Evans et al., 2006;Sell et al., 2010;Vukovic et al., 2010;Pisanski et al., 2016;Raine et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Perceived vocal attractiveness and measured sex-dimorphic vocal parameters are both associated with underlying individual qualities. Research tends to focus on speech but singing is another highly evolved communication system that has distinct and universal features with analogs in other species, and it is relevant in mating. Both speaking and singing voice provides relevant information about its producer. We tested whether speech and singing function as “backup signals” that indicate similar underlying qualities. Using a sample of 81 men and 86 women from Brazil and the Czech Republic, we investigated vocal attractiveness rated from speech and singing and its association with fundamental frequency (F0), apparent vocal tract length (VTL), body characteristics, and sociosexuality. F0, VTL, and rated attractiveness of singing and speaking voice strongly correlated within the same individual. Lower-pitched speech in men, higher-pitched speech and singing in women, individuals who like to sing more, and singing of individuals with a higher pitch modulation were perceived as more attractive. In men, physical size positively predicted speech and singing attractiveness. Male speech but not singing attractiveness was associated with higher sociosexuality. Lower-pitched male speech was related to higher sociosexuality, while lower-pitched male singing was linked to lower sociosexuality. Similarly, shorter speech VTL and longer singing VTL predicted higher sociosexuality in women. Different vocal displays function as “backup signals” cueing to attractiveness and body size, but their relation to sexual strategies in men and women differs. Both singing and speech may indicate evolutionarily relevant individual qualities shaped by sexual selection.
... Some evidence suggests that fo is associated with physical formidability. For example, Evans, Neave, & Wakelin (2006) found that body weight, shoulder and chest circumference, and shoulder-to-hip ratio were negatively related to mean fo among a sample of British men. A meta-analysis by Pisanski et al. (2014) found that fo explained < 2% of the variation in height but was not significantly related to body weight in men. ...
... Moreover, several additional lines of evidence suggest that fo signals aspects of condition relevant to competitive ability (Puts & Aung, 2018). For example, some studies have found negative associations between fo and men's testosterone concentrations (Dabbs & Mallinger, 1999;Evans et al., 2006;Puts et al., 2012). In humans, testosterone has been linked to aggression, status, and status-seeking behaviors (Archer, 2006;Dekkers et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Pitch is the most perceptually salient feature of the voice, yet it is approximately five standard deviations lower in men than in women, a degree of sexual dimorphism exceeding that of all extant nonhuman apes. Evidence from Western samples suggests that low-frequency vocalizations may have augmented male mating success ancestrally by intimidating competitors and/or attracting mates. However, data are lacking from small-scale societies. We therefore investigated sexual selection on male pitch (measured by fundamental frequency, fo) in a population of Bolivian forager-horticulturists, the Tsimané. We found that experimentally lowering fo in audio clips of men speaking increased perceptions of fighting ability but did not affect perceptions of prestige and decreased their attractiveness to women. Further, men with lower speaking fo reported higher numbers of offspring, and this was mediated by the reproductive rates of men's wives, suggesting that men with lower fo achieved higher reproductive success by having access to more fertile mates. These results thus provide new evidence that men's fo has been shaped by intrasexual competition.
... A highly attractive voice can lead to positive experiences and make people tend to approach the speaker of the voice. Vocal attractiveness was demonstrated to be a predictor of many traits, such as body configuration (Evans, Neave & Wakelin, 2006;Hughes, Dispenza, & Gallup, 2004), health condition (Vukovic, Feinberg, DeBruine, Smith, & Jones, 2010), hormone level (Dabbs & Mallinger, 1999;Evans, Neave, Wakelin, & Hamilton,, 2008), and fertility (Bryant & Haselton, 2008;Pipitone & Gallup, 2008). Thus, vocal attractiveness plays a crucial role in mate selection (Puts, Doll, & Hill, 2014) and is regarded as an important indicator to explore the evolutionary behavior of humans. ...
... People appear to have had different aesthetic preferences when evaluating the voices from same-sex and opposite-sex individuals. For example, women prefer lower pitched male voices (Collins, 2000;Feinberg, Jones, Little, Burt, & Perrett, 2005;Pisanski & Rendall, 2011;Puts, 2005), as lower pitch voices in male voices signal health and good genes (Evans et al., 2006). Men tend to prefer higher pitched female voices (Borkowska & Pawlowski, 2011;Feinberg et al., 2005;Fraccaro et al., 2010;Jones, Feinberg, DeBruine, Little, & Vukovic, 2008;Pisanski & Rendall, 2011), as increased pitch in female voices is associated with high fertility (Bryant & Haselton, 2008). ...
Article
People evaluated their own voices as sounding more attractive than others rated their voices (i.e., self‐enhancement effect from the perspective of the rater, termed “SE_rater”), and people also rated their own voices as more attractive than the voices of others (i.e., self‐enhancement effect from the perspective of the voice, termed “SE_voice”). The aim of the present study is to explore whether the gender context (i.e., same‐sex and opposite‐sex rating context) could influence the SE effect of voice attractiveness evaluation. Male and female participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of their own voices and other participants' voices, either in a same‐sex session or an opposite‐sex session. The results demonstrated both the SE_rater and SE_voice effect in the same‐sex and opposite‐sex contexts, for both male and female. More importantly, we found that the SE_rater for the male voices was significantly greater than that for the female voices in the same‐sex context whereas no such difference was found in the opposite‐sex context. In addition, the SE_voice effect in men was larger in the same‐sex context than that in the opposite‐sex context whereas the SE_voice in women was smaller in the same‐sex context than that in the opposite‐sex context. These findings indicated that the self‐enhancement effect of vocal attractiveness was modulated by the gender context.
... F0 does not reliably track differences in body size among adult speakers within sexes [42][43][44], although formant frequencies do [42]. To some extent, what is the veridical acoustic correlate of body size does not matter when it comes to communicative interpretations of size-related acoustics: regardless of the fact that F0 is not a reliable cue to an adult speaker's body size, people perceptually associate lowerpitched voices with larger speakers [20]. ...
... F0 does not reliably track differences in body size among adult speakers within sexes [42][43][44], although formant frequencies do [42]. To some extent, what is the veridical acoustic correlate of body size does not matter when it comes to communicative interpretations of size-related acoustics: regardless of the fact that F0 is not a reliable cue to an adult speaker's body size, people perceptually associate lowerpitched voices with larger speakers [20]. ...
Article
The widely cited frequency code hypothesis attempts to explain a diverse range of communicative phenomena through the acoustic projection of body size. The set of phenomena includes size sound symbolism (using /i/ to signal smallness in words such as teeny ), intonational phonology (using rising contours to signal questions) and the indexing of social relations via vocal modulation, such as lowering one's voice pitch to signal dominance. Among other things, the frequency code is commonly interpreted to suggest that polite speech should be universally signalled via high pitch owing to the association of high pitch with small size and submissiveness. We present a cross-cultural meta-analysis of polite speech of 101 speakers from seven different languages. While we find evidence for cross-cultural variation, voice pitch is on average lower when speakers speak politely, contrary to what the frequency code predicts. We interpret our findings in the light of the fact that pitch has a multiplicity of possible communicative meanings. Cultural and contextual variation determines which specific meanings become manifest in a specific interactional context. We use the evidence from our meta-analysis to propose an updated view of the frequency code hypothesis that is based on the existence of many-to-many mappings between speech acoustics and communicative interpretations. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Voice modulation: from origin and mechanism to social impact (Part I)’.
... Second, it may bring about changes in vocal style, one of which is pitch lowering (Evans et al., 2008). This latter, behavioural explanation is not implausible, as it is known, for example, that males may lower their larynxes to sound attractive to females, thereby creating lowered resonance characteristics (Evans et al., 2006). This may have implications for forensic voice analysis when, for instance, dealing with anonymous sexual harassment calls. ...
... They found that, in particular, formant disper sions (average distances between formant frequencies) showed a negative correlation with strength measures, while best correlation was obtained for height. Evans et al. (2006) found a significant negative relationship between formant dispersion and body shape and weight. Similar evidence was provided by Fitch (1997) for monkeys. ...
Chapter
Voices are highly individual, and this information may be used to recognize people. This chapter provides an overview of how speaker-specific voice information can be used to assist in recognizing unknown speakers in evidential audio recordings in order to assist in progressing criminal investigations or for evidential purposes. While the chapter is predominantly concerned with forensic applications of speaker recognition, it also considers commercially-orientated applications such as the voice-access systems increasingly used in banking, for example. The chapter distinguishes between biometric features of voice (i.e. aspects of speech that facilitate recognition of an individual) and biometric recognition (i.e. the process of using those features to undertake the recognition). Biometric features include a range of frequency- and time-domain characteristics that vary between speakers and are useable in human- based and automatic speaker-recognition processes, the principles of which the chapter explains and discusses. Finally, the chapter considers possible future scenarios in which biometric features of voice might be of use, should certain methodological obstacles be overcome.
... Corroborating this hypothesis, several studies have revealed that body size, via its close relation to the length of the vocal tract, shows a negative correlation with the distance between the frequencies of the formants of an individual's voice [84]. Accordingly, formant dispersion is widely considered to be indicative of body size across various species [85][86][87][88][89][90][91], including humans [92,93] (but see [94]). A recent overview of studies on various mammal species suggests that males strategically lower their formant dispersion to appear larger and thereby gain an advantage in the competition for mates and access to resources [95]. ...
Article
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We tested the hypothesis that phonosemantic iconicity––i.e., a motivated resonance of sound and meaning––might not only be found on the level of individual words or entire texts, but also in word combinations such that the meaning of a target word is iconically expressed, or highlighted, in the phonetic properties of its immediate verbal context. To this end, we extracted single lines from German poems that all include a word designating high or low dominance, such as large or small, strong or weak, etc. Based on insights from previous studies, we expected to find more vowels with a relatively short distance between the first two formants (low formant dispersion) in the immediate context of words expressing high physical or social dominance than in the context of words expressing low dominance. Our findings support this hypothesis, suggesting that neighboring words can form iconic dyads in which the meaning of one word is sound-iconically reflected in the phonetic properties of adjacent words. The construct of a contiguity-based phono-semantic iconicity opens many venues for future research well beyond lines extracted from poems.
... On average, the film actors still possessed a SWR of 1.75 (SD ϭ .078). Evans, Neave, and Wakelin (2006) found that among 50 college men, the average SWR was 1.12 (SD ϭ .12). This means that comic book men have SWR and upper body muscularity almost twice normal college men. ...
Article
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We examined the visualization of male and female superheroes, paying attention to physical dimensions and costuming that accentuated hyper-masculine or hyperfeminine features such as shoulder-to-waist ratio, jawlines, upper body muscularity, waist-to-hip ratio, and breast morphology. Body mass index (BMI) data were collected for 3,752 Marvel comic characters. Males were on average "obese" whereas females averaged at the low end of normal weight. The male higher body mass was caused by extreme upper body muscularity, with male shoulder-to-waist ratios far above human limits. This is in stark contrast to low weight female superhero bodies with far lower waist-to-hip ratios than average humans. The endocrine markers that are exaggerated in these depictions create supernormal sexual stimuli for each sex.
... These factors affect the change of voices pitches of girls and boys, which decrease with age, which occurs in boys as a result of mutation. In addition, changes in voice parameters are correlated with some anthropometric features [3]. ...
Chapter
In this paper results of a research were presented, which started with statistical analysis, performed to extract parameters on the basis of which it would be possible to assess girls' sexual maturity. The parameters selected during the analysis were used in classification. Three classifiers (Random Forest, Linear Discriminant Analysis and Support Vector Machine) were used. Their effectiveness was evaluated using the following measures: sensitivity, specificity, precision, accuracy and F-score. The obtained results suggested that girls' sexual maturity assessment can be performed on the basis of anthropometric data including measurements in the area of the hips, fat folds and fat content in the body. The maturity status of a girl can be also estimated using parameters extracted from her voice combined with the information about her age. The best accuracy for these features was archived for Random Forest classifier (88.70 % for voice and 89.13 % for anthropometric data).
... Such voice differences between speakers can be decomposed largely along two dimensions, namely, the voice pitch, and the vocal tract length (VTL). The voice pitch is the perceptual correlate of the fundamental frequency (F0) that arises from the glottal pulse rate, while the VTL dimension is correlated with body size, and hence gives cues to the size of the speaker (Evans et al., 2006;. Manipulating both of these cues together was found to elicit a change in perceived speaker gender (Hillenbrand and Clark, 2009;. ...
Thesis
Cochlear implants (CIs) are neuroprosthetic devices that are surgically implanted to restore functional hearing in deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Most CI users can understand speech well in quiet situations, yet, it becomes quite challenging for them to understand speech in crowded environments, especially when multiple people are speaking simultaneously. This dissertation investigated whether such difficulties are related to the poor representation of voice cues in the implant arising from degraded spectral and temporal resolution from signal processing strategies. Human voices are characterized by their pitch (F0), in addition to a second dimension called the vocal-tract length (VTL). This dimension directly scales with the size of the speaker and, therefore, plays a crucial role in the distinction between male and female talkers, or between adults and children. The research questions were: whether CI users’ speech intelligibility in the presence of a competing talker (speech-on-speech; SoS) is related to their sensitivity to the F0 and VTL differences between the speakers, whether this relationship is influenced by the spectral resolution in the implant, and whether optimizing signal processing algorithms could improve the perception of such voice cues. The data showed that CI users’ SoS intelligibility was related to how sensitive they were to both F0 and VTL differences, and that this relationship was influenced by the spectral resolution in the implant. The data also provided evidence that CI users can draw a benefit from voice differences between male and female speakers, but not between female speakers and children. In addition, spectral enhancement techniques and optimization of some implant parameters were both shown to contribute to an improvement in SoS intelligibility and VTL sensitivity, respectively. These findings lay the foundations for future optimizations of the implant to improve CI users’ speech intelligibility in noisy settings.
... These alterations can be attributed to excessive fat accumulation in the aerodigestive tract, which increases the mass of associated structures, narrows the pathway, and changes the anatomical position of the larynx. 11,12 Cunha et al., 2011 assumed that the phonation time is reduced, which led to irregular movement of vocal folds as a result of reduced subglottic pressure. 5 Supraglottic constriction and crowding have been linked to fat deposition in the lateral pharyngeal wall in obese people, and the interaction between this and subglottic pressure could be a major factor in voice quality abnormalities. ...
Article
Introduction Obesity has tripled since 1975 and affects health across many domains. Increasing body mass index increases the risk to the obese subject of many non-communicable diseases. The study evaluated the perceptive, aerodynamic, and acoustic parameters that characterize the voice of the obese population. Methodology Eighty adult subjects (40 participants in each obese and control group) aged 18-50 years were enrolled. The perceptual voice analysis was performed using the Consensus Auditory Perceptual Evaluation of Voice. The aerodynamic and acoustic voice analyses were performed using the MIR Spiro lab instrument and Doctor's Speech software. A digital stopwatch was also used to measure maximum phonation time. Results Statistical analysis revealed a significant difference (P-value <0.05 and t value >2) between two groups on acoustic parameters, specifically Normalized noise energy and fundamental frequency tremor (F0 tremor). Normalized noise energy and fundamental frequency tremor were greater in the obese group. Moreover, maximum phonation time and expiratory reserve volume were significantly reduced in the obese group. Discussion and Conclusion Results of the present study showed poor voice quality and reduced expiratory reserve volume in obese individuals. This could be credited to the adverse effects of accrued adipose on the functioning of the laryngeal and respiratory systems. Increasing body mass index escalates the risk to the obese subjects of many non-communicable diseases.
... Such voice differences between speakers can be decomposed largely along two dimensions, namely, the voice pitch, and the vocal tract length (VTL). The voice pitch is the perceptual correlate of the fundamental frequency (F0) that arises from the glottal pulse rate, while the VTL dimension is correlated with body size, and hence gives cues to the size of the speaker (Evans et al., 2006;. Manipulating both of these cues together was found to elicit a change in perceived speaker gender (Hillenbrand and Clark, 2009;. ...
Book
Cochlear implants (CIs) are neuroprosthetic devices that are surgically implanted to restore functional hearing in deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Most CI users can understand speech well in quiet situations, yet, it becomes quite challenging for them to understand speech in crowded environments, especially when multiple people are speaking simultaneously. This dissertation investigated whether such difficulties are related to the poor representation of voice cues in the implant arising from degraded spectral and temporal resolution from signal processing strategies. Human voices are characterized by their pitch (F0), in addition to a second dimension called the vocal-tract length (VTL). This dimension directly scales with the size of the speaker and, therefore, plays a crucial role in the distinction between male and female talkers, or between adults and children. The research questions were: whether CI users’ speech intelligibility in the presence of a competing talker (speech-on-speech; SoS) is related to their sensitivity to the F0 and VTL differences between the speakers, whether this relationship is influenced by the spectral resolution in the implant, and whether optimizing signal processing algorithms could improve the perception of such voice cues. The data showed that CI users’ SoS intelligibility was related to how sensitive they were to both F0 and VTL differences, and that this relationship was influenced by the spectral resolution in the implant. The data also provided evidence that CI users can draw a benefit from voice differences between male and female speakers, but not between female speakers and children. In addition, spectral enhancement techniques and optimization of some implant parameters were both shown to contribute to an improvement in SoS intelligibility and VTL sensitivity, respectively. These findings lay the foundations for future optimizations of the implant to improve CI users’ speech intelligibility in noisy settings.
... I included a measure of voice pitch as a proxy for men's physical attractiveness because it is strongly correlated to testosterone and other physical traits, such as shoulder circumference, chest circumference and shoulder-hip ratio (Evans et al. 2006;Evans et al. 2008 No correlation was found between voice pitch and MEQ score (r= -0.08; ...
Article
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Human sleep patterns differ across age groups and between males and females, and their association with age and gender suggest that they might have been the target of sexual selection during human evolutionary history. In this study, I will test the hypothesis that a phase-delayed circadian phase is a sexually selected trait in humans. A short version of the Horne and Ostberg questionnaire and a questionnaire on sexual behaviour were administered to 134 males and 140 females. A significant negative relationship was found between the MEQ score and the number of sexual partners among males, with evening types reporting more sexual partners than morning types. No significant relationship between females MEQ and number of sexual partners was found. Findings support the hypothesis that evening preference in males is a sexually selected trait.
... Lower fo in men has also been found to predict anthropometric measurements related to formidability and condition, including greater shoulder and chest circumference in a British sample [48] and height in a meta-analysis across 39 samples comprising 1119 men [49]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Pitch is the most perceptually salient acoustic property of the voice and influences perceptions of characteristics related to social power, such as dominance and leadership abilities. Voice pitch is also highly sexually differentiated; men vocalize approximately one octave below women. We consider the evolution of this sex difference, and how this sheds light on the human tendency to defer to individuals with lower voice pitch. We present new meta-analyses linking lower pitch to higher testosterone (total n = 763) and upper-body strength (total n = 845) and review other recent evidence linking voice pitch to power. We find that these relationships are typically modest and consider why voice pitch has comparatively larger effects on power-related perceptions, such as perceived size and dominance, in laboratory studies. Although more data are needed, we conclude that voice pitch is likely to be an honest signal associated with success in status and contest competition.
... Biotypology first started to be thoroughly studied in Italy, with biometry, which resulted in definition of the Cormic Index (CI) in 1907, described by Giuffrida-Ruggeri [22] This index is considered the main determinant factor for bodies and functions variables [1,9,23,24], highlighting the relevance of biotype classification. The bio typology Italian School argues that torso and body parts measures are proportional to the facial structures [3,7], and, in this case, it would be a symmetry indicator. ...
... Because frequency breakpoints follow formant frequencies in the signal, the output of the frequency warping stage is adaptive to the input signal. This can be used at different time scales: at low adaptation rates, if mean formant frequencies are computed for a range of sentences by a given speaker, the algorithm will adapt to speaker characteristics such as sex or body size (e.g., males have lower, more dispersed formants (Evans, Neave, and Wakelin, 2006)); at faster rates, if formant frequencies are computed for each frame, the mapping will change phoneme per phoneme. In the current implementation, mean formant frequencies are computed for each 1-second sentence in the validation set by averaging the formants over all the harmonic parts of the signal. ...
Thesis
Emotions are the fuel of human survival and social development. Not only do we undergo primitive reflexes mediated by ancient brain structures, but we also consciously and unconsciously regulate our emotions in social con- texts, affiliating with friends and distancing from foes. One of our main tools for emotion regulation is facial expression and, in particular, smiles. Smiles are deeply grounded in human behavior: they develop early, and are used across cultures to communicate affective states. The mechanisms that under- lie their cognitive processing include interactions not only with visual, but also emotional and motor systems. Smiles, trigger facial imitation in their observers, reactions thought to be a key component of the human capacity for empathy.Smiles, however, are not only experienced visually, but also have audible consequences. Although visual smiles have been widely studied, almost nothing is known about the cognitive processing of their auditory counter- part. This is the aim of this dissertation. In this work, we characterise and model the smile acousitc fingerprint, and use it to probe how auditory smiles are processed cognitively. We give here evidence that (1) auditory smiles can trigger unconscious facial imitation, that (2) they are cognitively integrated with their visual counterparts during perception, and that (3) the develop- ment of these processes does not depend on pre-learned visual associations. We conclude that the embodied mechanisms associated to the visual process- ing of facial expressions of emotions are in fact equally found in the auditory modality, and that their cognitive development is at least partially indepen- dent from visual experience.
... Because frequency breakpoints follow formant frequencies in the signal, the output of the frequency warping stage is adaptive to the input signal. This can be used at different time scales: at low adaptation rates, if mean formant frequencies are computed for a range of sentences by a given speaker, the algorithm will adapt to speaker characteristics such as sex or body size (e.g., males have lower, more dispersed formants (Evans, Neave, and Wakelin, 2006)); at faster rates, if formant frequencies are computed for each frame, the mapping will change phoneme per phoneme. In the current implementation, mean formant frequencies are computed for each 1-second sentence in the validation set by averaging the formants over all the harmonic parts of the signal. ...
Thesis
Emotions are the fuel of human survival and social development. Not onlydo we undergo primitive reflexes mediated by ancient brain structures, butwe also consciously and unconsciously regulate our emotions in social contexts,affiliating with friends and distancing from foes. One of our main toolsfor emotion regulation is facial expression and, in particular, smiles. Smilesare deeply grounded in human behavior: they develop early, and are usedacross cultures to communicate affective states. The mechanisms that underlietheir cognitive processing include interactions not only with visual, butalso emotional and motor systems. Smiles, trigger facial imitation in theirobservers, reactions thought to be a key component of the human capacityfor empathy.Smiles, however, are not only experienced visually, but also have audibleconsequences. Although visual smiles have been widely studied, almostnothing is known about the cognitive processing of their auditory counterpart.This is the aim of this dissertation. In this work, we characterise andmodel the smile acousitc fingerprint, and use it to probe how auditory smilesare processed cognitively. We give here evidence that (1) auditory smiles cantrigger unconscious facial imitation, that (2) they are cognitively integratedwith their visual counterparts during perception, and that (3) the developmentof these processes does not depend on pre-learned visual associations.We conclude that the embodied mechanisms associated to the visual processingof facial expressions of emotions are in fact equally found in the auditorymodality, and that their cognitive development is at least partially independentfrom visual experience.
... Özellikle çoğu reklam filminin bu strateji üzerine inşa edildiği görülmektedir. Örneğin, insanların duygudurumlarını etkilemek için görselliğe eşdeğer olarak müzik seçilmekte ya da kadınların ilgisini çekebilecek çoğu reklamda kadınları etkilemek için kalın erkek seslerinin kullanıldığı görülmektedir; yapılan araştırma sonuçları, kalın erkek seslerinin kadınlar üzerinde etkili olduğunu göstermiştir (Collins, 2000;Collins & Missing, 2003;Evans, Neave, & Wakelin, 2006;Pisanski & Rendall, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Music is an international communication tool reflecting textures of different cultures and containing them in itself. It can be said that some aspects of the music cause positive or negative effects on people. Though it is considered that this situation arises out of the connective and connector aspect of the music, the inclusionary aspect of the music to the other fields (psychology, medicine, math, etc.) make it an irreplaceable part of interdisciplinary studies. Although it has been long known that music focuses on treatment, brain and physiological factories and cause positive development in these areas and also said to be the tongue of the emotions, the physiological features of the music are still based on contradictory and theoretical grounds. The emotional meaning existing in the structure of the voice enables people to find themselves in different moods when they start hearing it. This and similar situations transform the voice into an obligation rather than a searching of the voice itself by human kind throughout the ages or an effort to use it in a kind way. This transformation canalize people to new searching for new methods and hence this tendency has brought about development in parallel with that. Human voice is both one of the available tools that human beings use and it is considered one of the existing and continuous instrument in human bodies. Thus, the scientific and technologic developments provide gathering of the different disciplines for human voice as in many fields. Hence, after the influence of the human voice, trace belonging to personality, emotions and moods have been discovered, the human voice is integrated many parts of the life thanks to being an easy-to use device and being one of the amazement instrument for treatment. As not only our modern world is in a circulation with the scientific and technical innovations but the necessity to behave accordingly to today’s information and communication era brings about an innovative perspective and phenomenal developmental stage. Thus, in order to create the information and make it a pathfinder to humanity is only possible with the process, grasp, implication and assessment of it. Hence this development in scientific world also tries to make sense of human emotions. When viewed from this aspect in many fields ranged from visual arts to television, when it is intended to make an alteration in human emotions, it is understood that the primary tool is music or human voice to do so. Of the reasons of this preference, we can consider the universality of the music or its effects on people. It is important to make more research on this field in terms of the curative aspect of the music, the working potential that it creates in human brain, hand arm coordination of a musician, enabling directives for abrupt emotion changes (become feeling happy with a cheerful music when change a blue music) causing emotion changes in different fields such as drawing, sculpture, theatre and putting someone into the art work. Moreover, it is possible to say that there is an increase in the number of research on music, emotion and moods and it becomes a detailed area. Moreover, the relationship between music and mood has triggered an interaction among many interdisciplinary fields and the alteration, development and revolution in these fields cause an increase in the number of the researches conducted on music physiology.
... Özellikle çoğu reklam filminin bu strateji üzerine inşa edildiği görülmektedir. Örneğin, insanların duygudurumlarını etkilemek için görselliğe eşdeğer olarak müzik seçilmekte ya da kadınların ilgisini çekebilecek çoğu reklamda kadınları etkilemek için kalın erkek seslerinin kullanıldığı görülmektedir; yapılan araştırma sonuçları, kalın erkek seslerinin kadınlar üzerinde etkili olduğunu göstermiştir (Collins, 2000;Collins & Missing, 2003;Evans, Neave, & Wakelin, 2006;Pisanski & Rendall, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Music is an international communication tool reflecting textures of different cultures and containing them in itself. It can be said that some aspects of the music cause positive or negative effects on people. Though it is considered that this situation arises out of the connective and connector aspect of the music, the inclusionary aspect of the music to the other fields (psychology, medicine, math, etc.) make it an irreplaceable part of interdisciplinary studies. Although it has been long known that music focuses on treatment, brain and physiological factories and cause positive development in these areas and also said to be the tongue of the emotions, the physiological features of the music are still based on contradictory and theoretical grounds. The emotional meaning existing in the structure of the voice enables people to find themselves in different moods when they start hearing it. This and similar situations transform the voice into an obligation rather than a searching of the voice itself by human kind throughout the ages or an effort to use it in a kind way. This transformation canalize people to new searching for new methods and hence this tendency has brought about development in parallel with that. Human voice is both one of the available tools that human beings use and it is considered one of the existing and continuous instrument in human bodies. Thus, the scientific and technologic developments provide gathering of the different disciplines for human voice as in many fields. Hence, after the influence of the human voice, trace belonging to personality, emotions and moods have been discovered, the human voice is integrated many parts of the life thanks to being an easy-to use device and being one of the amazement instrument for treatment. As not only our modern world is in a circulation with the scientific and technical innovations but the necessity to behave accordingly to today’s information and communication era brings about an innovative perspective and phenomenal developmental stage. Thus, in order to create the information and make it a pathfinder to humanity is only possible with the process, grasp, implication and assessment of it. Hence this development in scientific world also tries to make sense of human emotions. When viewed from this aspect in many fields ranged from visual arts to television, when it is intended to make an alteration in human emotions, it is understood that the primary tool is music or human voice to do so. Of the reasons of this preference, we can consider the universality of the music or its effects on people. It is important to make more research on this field in terms of the curative aspect of the music, the working potential that it creates in human brain, hand arm coordination of a musician, enabling directives for abrupt emotion changes (become feeling happy with a cheerful music when change a blue music) causing emotion changes in different fields such as drawing, sculpture, theatre and putting someone into the art work. Moreover, it is possible to say that there is an increase in the number of research on music, emotion and moods and it becomes a detailed area. Moreover, the relationship between music and mood has triggered an interaction among many interdisciplinary fields and the alteration, development and revolution in these fields cause an increase in the number of the researches conducted on music physiology.
... As regards weight prediction (Table 4. For the rest of clinical variables, previous research has also demonstrated moderate results when estimating speakers' cervical perimeter from speech such as (Evans et al., 2006) and less success when estimating body mass index (Hamdan et al., 2013). Only positive results have been reported in (Lee et al., 2013), although they have questioned the possibility of overfitting in their experiments as they used feature selection methods over a large set of acoustic features. ...
Thesis
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This Thesis explores the speech and craniofacial phenotype characterization in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients by using the state-of-the-art speaker’s voice characterization technologies and image processing techniques for face recognition along with the study and analysis of supervised machine learning methods for evaluating these speech and craniofacial features as predictors of OSA severity. The OSA is a common sleep-related breathing disorder affecting mainly men. It is characterized by recurring breathing pauses during sleep caused by a blockage of the upper airway (UA). The diagnosis of OSA is carried out at a sleep unit in a hospital by the polysomnography (PSG) test. This test requires an overnight stay of the patient at the sleep unit under the supervision of a clinician to monitor breathing patterns, heart rhythm, and limb movements, resulting in an invasive and costly method as well as the waiting list may exceed one year. As an alternative to this test, many diagnosis schemes have been developed to help to reduce the waiting lists and accelerate the detection of severe cases such as questionnaires for OSA screening, and those based on medical-imaging, for instance oropharyngeal visual inspection (i.e. Mallampati test), and craniofacial assessment by means analysis techniques (e.g. cephalometry) of images created by advanced methods for visual representations (e.g. computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging). Although these methods can help to increase the detection of positive cases as well as provide reliable results, most of them lack generalization such as questionnaires as well as they are costly and invasive for patients such as those used for craniofacial assessment. Early studies for OSA assessment by using medical-imaging techniques and anthropometric characterization found out some evidence of abnormalities in upper airway structures in OSA subjects. Consequently, abnormal or particular speech features in OSA speakers may be expected from the altered structure or altered function of their upper airways. These facts have led to proposing less costly procedures based on the analysis of patients’ facial images and voice recordings to help with OSA detection and severity assessment. Therefore, this Thesis explores the speech and craniofacial characterization in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients by means of speech and craniofacial features based on automatic speaker recognition systems and face characterization techniques respectively: 1) supervectors and i-vectors, and 2) local features, statistical-model based features, and deep-learning-based features. Using an existing database of 729 patients (204 women, 525 men), speech and craniofacial features were evaluated for OSA prediction by means supervised machine learning models. There are differences in how OSA affects men and women such as symptoms and risk factors, which could act as confounding factors. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that experiments were performed separately for each gender. Furthermore, previous speech-based OSA detection studies have reached successful results, however, after a review of their results and methodologies, we found out several limitations, those being related to a small number of training samples as well as machine learning pitfalls in the methodology and validation scheme such as feature selection over a limited number of samples and high-dimensionality features resulting in a high probability of overfitting of the prediction model. The ultimate motivation of this Thesis consists in exploring automatic speech processing and facial characterization techniques for OSA assessment on patients as well as their evaluation by means of an exhaustive validation scheme in order to face the limitations related to database size and to avoid the machine learning pitfalls due to the incorrect treatment of supervised learning models. Finally, to the best of our knowledge, the present Thesis is the unique study that approaches the speech and craniofacial phenotype characterization in women by using automatic speech processing and facial characterization techniques.
... As technological advancements were made in the field of spectral analysis, F0 became a reliable quantitative measure for tracking voice change. It was found that a drop in F0 directly correlates to skeletal age (aligning with Jerome) as well as body size, weight, and mass; longer and wider vocal tracts negatively correlate with F0 (Bele, 2005;Detweiler, 1994;Evans et al., 2006;Sundberg, 1974). The rapid descent of F0 seen during puberty is supported further by the findings of Harries et al. (1996) and Hollien (2012). ...
Thesis
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Singing teachers increasingly prioritise a healthy and well-coordinated breathing mechanism, larynx, resonators and articulators for their students. Whilst focused and directed vocal study traditionally commences at a tertiary level, the development of the foundational skills for healthy vocal production happens earlier. This study seeks to reveal misconceptions regarding the teaching of voice to male adolescents, particularly through the complicated physical transition out of puberty. The project seeks practical, scientifically sound and pedagogically effective strategies that will release the potential of the singing voice in male adolescents. This thesis will dedicate a significant section to the assessment of voice according to the NCEA Solo Performance assessment standards. The study seeks to identify issues pertaining to the assessment and moderation of vocal assessments in the secondary school under the NCEA curriculum. The project collects and comments on the opinions and experiences of secondary school itinerant voice teachers regarding the assessment and moderation of NCEA Solo Performance assessments in voice. Data will also be collected from current and recently graduated male secondary school students, each of whom completed NCEA Solo Performance assessments. Finally, this thesis, using recent relevant vocal science literature, will articulate a contemporary conceptualisation of the adolescent voice, a free and healthy laryngeal function, and initiate discussion on the NCEA singing assessment practices and criteria in the light of contemporary literature.
... Therefore, associations between vowels' articulatory-acoustic features and the Potency dimension can best be explained by the general relation between formant dispersion (i.e., the distance between first and second formant) and dominance (Fischer-Jørgensen, 1978;Knöferle et al., 2017). What is more, the relevance of cross-modal associations between formant dispersion and dominance has also been observed in many animal species (Charlton et al., 2011(Charlton et al., , 2012Charlton & Reby, 2016;Fitch, 1997;Fitch & Giedd, 1999;Reber et al., 2017;Vannoni & McElligott, 2008), and it also seems to play an important role in social interactions between humans (Evans et al., 2006;Pisanski et al., 2016;Puts et al., 2007;Watkins & Pisanski, 2016). ...
Article
This study aimed to test sound-meaning relations in Japanese poetry. To this end, participants assessed the sentiments expressed in a random selection of Tanka (a specific form of Japanese poetry) on six bipolar scales comprising Evaluation (emotional valence), Potency (dominance), and Activity (arousal). The selected Tanka differed with regard to their average formant-dispersion (i.e., the distance between the first and second formant). Corroborating results of a previous study that tested the relation between formant dispersion and emotional tone in German poetry, results suggest that poems with an extremely low average formant dispersion have a significantly higher likelihood of expressing dominance and activity than poems with an extremely high formant dispersion. No significant differences regarding the Evaluation dimension were found.
... Because the sex difference in stature is between 7 and 8% (Gaulin & Boster, 1985;Gray & Wolfe, 1980), the pubertal descent of the larynx likely contributes to the approximately 15% difference between adult males and females in formant frequencies (Fant, 1960;Fitch & Giedd, 1999). Formant-based measures have been inconsistently related to speakers' height (Bruckert et al., 2006;Pisanski et al., 2014;Pisanski & Bryant, 2016) and weight (Evans, Neave, & Wakelin, 2006;Pisanski & Bryant, 2016), but are better predictors of variation in speaker body-size than is f o . However, formant-based measures explain only approximately 10% of the variation in height within sexes . ...
Article
Men's voices may provide cues to overall condition; however, little research has assessed whether health status is reliably associated with perceivable voice parameters. In Study 1, we investigated whether listeners could classify voices belonging to men with either relatively lower or higher self-reported health. Participants rated voices for speaker health, disease likelihood, illness frequency, and symptom severity, as well as attractiveness (women only) and dominance (men only). Listeners' were mostly unable to judge the health of male speakers from their voices; however, men rated the voices of men with better self-reported health as sounding more dominant. In Study 2, we tested whether men's vocal parameters (fundamental frequency mean and variation, apparent vocal tract length, and harmonics-to-noise ratio) and aspects of their self-reported health predicted listeners' health and disease resistance ratings of those voices. Speakers' fundamental frequency (fo) negatively predicted ratings of health. However, speakers' self-reported health did not predict ratings of health made by listeners. In Study 3, we investigated whether separately manipulating two sexually dimorphic vocal parameters—fo and apparent vocal tract length (VTL)—affected listeners' health ratings. Listeners rated men's voices with lower fo (but not VTL) as healthier, supporting findings from Study 2. Women rated voices with lower fo and VTL as more attractive, and men rated them as more dominant. Thus, while both VTL and fo affect dominance and attractiveness judgments, only fo appears to affect health judgments. Results of the above studies suggest that, although listeners assign higher health ratings to speakers with more masculine fo, these ratings may not be accurate at tracking speakers' self-rated health.
... The opposite phenomenon is observed with SMS15, who is 1.55 m tall, weighs 50 kg, and has an F0 of 114 Hz. These findings would evidence the mismatch between the physical complexion and voice characteristics in the SMS population; although there is no clear consensus among researchers, it has been observed that the greater the size (especially in males), the lower the frequency range and formant profile (Rendall et al. 2005;Evans et al. 2006;Sataloff et al. 2007;Pisanski et al. 2014;Pisanski et al. 2016). ...
Article
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Smith–Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a rare genetic disease characterized by intellectual disability, serious behavior disorders, neurodevelopment delay, and speech and language disorders. An acoustic and biomechanical analysis of the voice of SMS young adults was carried out due to (a) the close relationship between the laryngeal biomechanics and the clinical and emotional state of a person; (b) the fact that no research on the voice in this syndrome has been conducted previously. The vocal timbre of most people diagnosed with SMS does not seem to be according to the complexion of diagnosed individuals, nor to their gender and age, so it could be interesting to attend the analysis of phonation of people with a rare genetic syndrome such as SMS. We used BioMetPhon, a specific piece of software to analyze the glottal source and biomechanics of vocals folds. Nineteen features related to dysphonia, physiology, and biomechanics of the vocal folds were considered. The adult phonation of 9 individuals with SMS was analyzed and compared to 100 normative male and female adult voices. Results showed that the phonation of the SMS group significantly deviates from the adult normophonic profile in more than one of the 19 features examined, such as stiffness of the thyroarytenoid muscle and dynamic mass of the vocal fold cover, among others.
... Any voice can be analyzed by some key points like that 'what is the voice range and voice weight" and etc. all features of human voice are presented in given below table 1 (Evans S, et al., 2006). ...
... Most likely for this reason, particularly male individuals purposefully lower the formant dispersion of their voice in order to appear larger and thereby to gain an advantage in the fight for resources (Charlton & Reby, 2016). Similar associations between formant dispersion and the notion of size, strength, and dominance have also been reported for humans (Evans, Neave, & Wakelin, 2006;Puts, Hodges, C ardenas, & Gaulin, 2007;Watkins & Pisanski, 2016). Thus, formant dispersion is closely related to the position of an individual in the social hierarchy of an ingroup. ...
Article
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Research on the relation between sound and meaning in language has reported substantial evidence for implicit associations between articulatory–acoustic characteristics of phonemes and emotions. In the present study, we specifically tested the relation between the acoustic properties of a text and its emotional tone as perceived by readers. To this end, we asked participants to assess the emotional tone of single stanzas extracted from a large variety of poems. The selected stanzas had either an extremely high, a neutral, or an extremely low average formant dispersion. To assess the average formant dispersion per stanza, all words were phonetically transcribed and the distance between the first and second formant per vowel was calculated. Building on a long tradition of research on associations between sound frequency on the one hand and non‐acoustic concepts such as size, strength, or happiness on the other hand, we hypothesized that stanzas with an extremely high average formant dispersion would be rated lower on items referring to Potency (dominance) and higher on items referring to Activity (arousal) and Evaluation (emotional valence). The results confirmed our hypotheses for the dimensions of Potency and Evaluation, but not for the dimension of Activity. We conclude that, at least in poetic language, extreme values of acoustic features of vowels are a significant predictor for the emotional tone of a text.
... Different speech features have been reported to be correlated with age, gender, height, and weight, due to the changes in the anatomy and physiology of the speech production system. Most reports have agreed that formant frequencies are negatively correlated with age and body size (31)(32)(33). For obese patients, abnormal fat deposition in the upper airway may interfere with voice production (34). ...
Article
Background: Mask ventilation (MV) is an essential component of airway management. Difficult mask ventilation (DMV) is a major cause for perioperative hypoxic brain injury; however, predicting DMV remains a challenge. This study aimed to determine the potential value of voice parameters as novel predictors of DMV in patients scheduled for general anesthesia. Methods: We included 1,160 adult patients scheduled for elective surgery under general anesthesia. The clinical variables usually reported as predictors of DMV were collected before surgery. Voice sample of phonemes ([a], [o], [e], [i], [u], [ü], [ci], [qi], [chi], [le], [ke], and [en]) were recorded and their formants (f1-f4) and bandwidths (bw1-bw4) were extracted. The definition of DMV was the inability of an unassisted anesthesiologist to ensure adequate ventilation during MV under general anesthesia. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to explore the association between voice parameters and DMV. The predictive value of the voice parameters was evaluated by assessment of area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of a stepwise forward model. Results: The prevalence of DMV was 218/1,160 (18.8%). The AUC of the stepwise forward model (including o_f4, e_bw2, i_f3, u_pitch, u_f1, u_f4, ü_bw4, ci_f1, qi_f1, qi_f4, qi_bw4, chi_f1, chi_bw2, chi_bw4, le_pitch, le_bw3, ke_bw2, en_pitch, and en_f2, en_bw4) attained a value of 0.779. The sensitivity and specificity of the model were 75.0% and 71.0%, respectively. Conclusions: Voice parameters may be considered as alternative predictors of DMV, but additional studies are needed to confirm the initial findings.
... Physical size is such a strong determinant of outcomes in combat sports such as wrestling, boxing, and martial arts that weight classes are needed to prevent dangerous lopsided contests, and fighters are willing to sacrifice energy and hydration by cutting weight to fight smaller opponents. Parallel to findings in previous studies 32, 61 , fighters' f o predicted their height and weight, as well as their Size factor scores. ...
Article
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Human voice pitch is highly sexually dimorphic and eminently quantifiable, making it an ideal phenotype for studying the influence of sexual selection. In both traditional and industrial populations, lower pitch in men predicts mating success, reproductive success, and social status and shapes social perceptions, especially those related to physical formidability. Due to practical and ethical constraints however, scant evidence tests the central question of whether male voice pitch and other acoustic measures indicate actual fighting ability in humans. To address this, we examined pitch, pitch variability, and formant position of 475 mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from an elite fighting league, with each fighter’s acoustic measures assessed from multiple voice recordings extracted from audio or video interviews available online (YouTube, Google Video, podcasts), totaling 1312 voice recording samples. In four regression models each predicting a separate measure of fighting ability (win percentages, number of fights, Elo ratings, and retirement status), no acoustic measure significantly predicted fighting ability above and beyond covariates. However, after fight statistics, fight history, height, weight, and age were used to extract underlying dimensions of fighting ability via factor analysis, pitch and formant position negatively predicted “Fighting Experience” and “Size” factor scores in a multivariate regression model, explaining 3–8% of the variance. Our findings suggest that lower male pitch and formants may be valid cues of some components of fighting ability in men.
... nın çalışmasına göre, erkek sesinin tınısı, omuz ve göğüs çevresi ile omuz-kalça oranı dahil olmak üzere farklı vücut şekli ölçümleri arasında anlamlı negatif bir korelasyon bulunmuştur. Ayrıca, formant dispersiyonu ile vücut boyutu (ağırlık ve boy) ile vücut şekli (boyun, omuz, göğüs ve bel çevresi ve omuz-kalça oranı) arasında anlamlı ilişkiler ortaya koyulmuştur (14). Bunun aksine başka bir çalışmada, genç erkeklerdeki boy, ağırlık, kas kütlesi, yağ kütlesi ve da-tests of obese and normal group.According to the median value analysis, the difference was higher in obese individuals0.49 ...
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Aim: The aim of this study is to examine the relationships between Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) and Electroglottograph (EGG) measurement results of female individuals that are grouped according to their body mass index (BMI). Material and Methods: 96 women who are at the ages between 18-25 have participated.Participants were divided into 4 BMI groups; weak (n=20), normal (n=29), overweight (n=22) and obese (n=21). Acoustic measurements were performed with KAY-PENTAX CSL model 4500 and KAY-PENTAX EGG model 6103. During the measurements, the participants were asked to pronounce/ʌ/ phonation. Results: There was no significant difference between any MDVP parameters obtained from 4 BMI groups (p>0.05). Average-jitter, as one of the EGG frequency measurement parameter, has shown a significant difference (p=0.016), which was obtained from post-hoc tests of obese and normal group.According to the median value analysis, the difference was higher in obese individuals0.49 (0.27-1.03), than in normal individuals 0.37 (0.24-0.6). F0 values, obtained from MDVP and EGG, have no significant difference across any BMI group (p>0.05). Conclusion: When the EGG closure phases examined across BMI groups, it was founded that the obese group had higher glottal closing and closing phases compared to other BMI groups, while the glottal opening and opening phases were lower than the other BMI groups. In addition, the fact that the jitter value of the EGG-frequency measurements was higher in the obese group compared to the normal group. That suggests that the risk of dysphonia pathology may be higher in this group.
... This implies that Marvel men are heavier and stronger (greater SWR) than DC men, even though both are heavier and stronger than average actual humans. We were not able to compare shoulder to waist ratios with U.S. men over 20, as the NHANES did not collect this data, but Evans et al. (2006) found that among 50 (human) college men, the average SWR was 1.12 (SD = .12). DC men, even if they possess smaller SWRs than Marvel, still average much larger SWRs than "typical" humans. ...
... Furthermore, to eliminate the effect of additional confounding factors, patients with a history of cleft palate, craniofacial syndromes, or craniofacial trauma were excluded from our study, as well as those who had previously undergone oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Second, different speech features have been reported to be correlated with age, sex, height, and weight, and have also been linked to anatomical and physiological changes in the speech production system (27)(28)(29). Most patients in our study were young and healthy adults who wished to improve their facial appearance via orthognathic surgery. ...
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Background: The evaluation of the difficult intubation is an important process before anaesthesia. The unanticipated difficult intubation is associated with morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine whether acoustic features are valuable as an alternative method to predict difficult laryngoscopy (DL) in patients scheduled to undergo orthognathic surgery. Methods: This study included 225 adult patients who were undergoing elective orthognathic surgery under general anaesthesia with tracheal intubation. Preoperatively, clinical airway evaluation was performed, and the acoustic data were collected. Twelve phonemes {[a], [o], [e], [i], [u], [ü], [ci], [qi], [chi], [le], [ke], and [en]} were recorded, and their formants (f1-f4) and bandwidths (bw1-bw4) were extracted. Difficult laryngoscopy was defined as direct laryngoscopy with a Cormack-Lehane grade of 3 or 4. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between acoustic features and DL. Results: Difficult laryngoscopy was reported in 59/225 (26.2%) patients. The area under the curve (AUC) of the backward stepwise model including en_f2 [odds ratio (OR), 0.996; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.994-0.999; P=0.006], ci_bw4 (OR, 0.997; 95% CI, 0.993-1.000; P=0.057), qi_bw4 (OR, 0.996; 95% CI, 0.993-0.999; P=0.017), le_f3 (OR, 0.998; 95% CI, 0.996-1.000; P=0.079), o_bw4 (OR, 1.001; 95% CI, 1.000-1.003; P=0.014), chi_f4 (OR, 1.003; 95% CI, 1.000-1.005; P=0.041), a_bw4 (OR, 0.999; 95% CI, 0.998-1.000; P=0.078) attained a value of 0.761 in the training set, but a value of 0.709 in the testing set. The sensitivity and specificity of the model in the testing set are 86.7% and 63.0%, respectively. Conclusions: Acoustic features may be considered as useful predictors of DL during orthognathic surgery.
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Many paralinguistic applications of speech demand the extraction of information about the speaker characteristics from as little speech data as possible. In this work, we explore the estimation of multiple physical parameters of the speaker from the short duration of speech in a multilingual setting. We explore different feature streams for age and body build estimation derived from the speech spectrum at different resolutions, namely-short-term log-mel spectrogram, formant features and harmonic features of the speech. The statistics of these features over the speech recording are used to learn a support vector regression model for speaker age and body build estimation. The experiments performed on the TIMIT dataset show that each of the individual features is able to achieve results that outperform previously published results in height and age estimation. Furthermore , the estimation errors from these different feature streams are complementary , which allows the combination of estimates from these feature streams to further improve the results. The combined system from short audio snippets achieves a performance of 5.2 cm, and 4.8 cm in Mean Absolute Error (MAE) for male and female respectively for height estimation. Similarly in age estimation the MAE is of 5.2 years, and 5.6 years for male, and female speakers respectively. We also extend the same physical parameter estimation to other body build parameters like shoulder width, waist size and weight along with height on a dataset we collected for speaker profiling. The duration analysis of the proposed scheme shows that the state of the art results can be achieved using only around 1 − 2 seconds of speech data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to use a common set of features for estimating the different physical traits of a speaker.
Article
Perceptual differences in voice cues, such as fundamental frequency (F0) and vocal tract length (VTL), can facilitate speech understanding in challenging conditions. Yet, we hypothesized that in the presence of spectrotemporal signal degradations, as imposed by cochlear implants (CIs) and vocoders, acoustic cues that overlap for voice perception and phonemic categorization could be mistaken for one another, leading to a strong interaction between linguistic and indexical (talker-specific) content. Fifteen normal-hearing participants performed an odd-one-out adaptive task measuring just-noticeable differences (JNDs) in F0 and VTL. Items used were words (lexical content) or time-reversed words (no lexical content). The use of lexical content was either promoted (by using variable items across comparison intervals) or not (fixed item). Finally, stimuli were presented without or with vocoding. Results showed that JNDs for both F0 and VTL were significantly smaller (better) for non-vocoded compared with vocoded speech and for fixed compared with variable items. Lexical content (forward vs reversed) affected VTL JNDs in the variable item condition, but F0 JNDs only in the non-vocoded, fixed condition. In conclusion, lexical content had a positive top–down effect on VTL perception when acoustic and linguistic variability was present but not on F0 perception. Lexical advantage persisted in the most degraded conditions and vocoding even enhanced the effect of item variability, suggesting that linguistic content could support compensation for poor voice perception in CI users.
Thesis
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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the different human tone colours on individuals’ moods. The research design was determined as quasi-experimental design with test control group. In accordance with this purpose, the workgroup totally consisted of 240 prep students receiving education in preparatory class in 2017-18 academic year at a university in Zonguldak. One hand, the moods of the students related to the tone colours (soprano-alto-tenor-bas) that they listened was assessed with the ‘Mood Scale’ developed by Coskun & Gültepe (2014), on the other hand the physiological variations related to the tone colours that they listened was assessed with ‘Physiological Scale (pulsimeter). The piano as a musical instrument play along with the tone colours utilized in the research. Hence, in order to determine whether the piano has any effect on moods or not, firstly a pilot study was conducted on 155 students who listened human voices both with the piano and without the piano. As a result of the pilot study, the students listened human voice along with a piano. In consequence of abnormal distribution, Mann-Whitney U test was used in the paired comparison of the tone colours, and Kruskal Wallis H test was used in overall comparison. Furthermore, in the physiological results of measurement conducted together with the main study comparison were performed with the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, then inter variance correlations were obtained with t test for paired samples and thereby t test results. While the data obtained from students were analysed with SPSS-25 statistical package, the wave graphics coupled with tone colours, amplitude analysis and spectrogram analysis were obtained with Matlab package. At the end of the research, it was acknowledged that there was a significant difference among the moods of the students related to human tone colours. On the other hand, it was determined that there was not a significant difference at the stage of physiological measurement associated with the study. In this study, there are also suggestions with regard to educational status and studies in the future.
Chapter
Formant frequencies are used commonly in the estimation of body size and dentofacial morphology. Their predictive value is derived from the strong link between body skeleton, cephalo-facial anthropometry, and vocal tract development. Patients with dentofacial anomalies often display alterations in vocal tract dimensions leading to distinctive acoustic properties. Given the known role of the larynx in music tone initiation and modulation, it is not surprising that variations in vocal tract morphology can impact the performance of wind instrumentalists, singers, and other high-performance voice professionals.
Chapter
In Chap. 2 we saw why voice is susceptible to, and how it can respond to, intricate changes in the mechanisms of its production. In this chapter we will look at empirical evidence of this fact. We will take a closer look at what causes these changes—at the various bio-relevant and environmental parameters that have been observed to affect it. The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of this topic, based on prior studies. However, the range of scientific studies in this context is vast. This chapter only represents a small sampling of the key findings and current understanding of the subject.
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Growing research in evolutionary psychology suggests that having a deep, masculine voice is beneficial to males in leadership positions because it signals physical strength. However, how this phenomenon plays out at the top of the modern organization is not clearly understood. We posit that CEO vocal masculinity positively influences early‐stage CEO compensation for male CEOs by biasing directors' perceptions of CEO quality. Challenging the pervasive notion that evolved biases are deterministic, we also examine how environmental conditions (i.e., industry competitiveness) and audience characteristics (i.e., female representation on the compensation committee) moderate the effect of CEO vocal masculinity. Longitudinal analyses on a unique dataset consisting of interviews and speeches of male CEOs from publicly listed UK firms provide support for our hypothesized predictions.
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Robust gender differences exist in the acoustic correlates of clearly articulated speech, with females, on average, producing speech that is acoustically and phonetically more distinct than that of males. This study investigates the relationship between several acoustic correlates of clear speech and subjective ratings of vocal attractiveness. Talkers were recorded producing vowels in /bVd/ context and sentences containing the four corner vowels. Multiple measures of working vowel space were computed from continuously sampled formant trajectories and were combined with measures of speech timing known to co-vary with clear articulation. Partial least squares regression (PLS-R) modeling was used to predict ratings of vocal attractiveness for male and female talkers based on the acoustic measures. PLS components that loaded on size and shape measures of working vowel space—including the quadrilateral vowel space area, convex hull area, and bivariate spread of formants—along with measures of speech timing were highly successful at predicting attractiveness in female talkers producing /bVd/ words. These findings are consistent with a number of hypotheses regarding human attractiveness judgments, including the role of sexual dimorphism in mate selection, the significance of traits signalling underlying health, and perceptual fluency accounts of preferences.
Chapter
Fundamental frequency (F0) is one of many acoustic indices related to body morphology. There is a significant negative correlation between facial length and width and F0. Similarly, there is a moderate negative correlation between maxillary arch width, F0, and habitual pitch. Given the known anatomic variations in vocal tract dimensions associated with dentofacial anomalies, patients with class II and III malocclusion may display differences in F0 and habitual pitch in comparison to subjects with normal occlusion. Though subtle, these differences are important in wind instrumentalists and singers.
Conference Paper
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Formant frequencies: a method for estimating human height Forensic linguistics is the application of linguistic knowledge and methods in legal processes. Forensic phonetics, a subpart of forensic linguistics, is the use of methods and theories of general phonetics in legal questions and issues by a general phonetician. Voice profiling is considered as one of the several jobs which are handled by a forensic phonetician. Using the acoustic cues in speech, forensic phonetician estimates the body size, social status, educational level, age and other personal features of a person. In this study, with the aim of examining those cues in speech that are related to the height, the voices of 10 male Persian speakers were recorded. PRAAT was used to analyze the vowels acoustically and formant frequencies were assessed by using an automatic measurement script. Results indicate that there is an inverse relationship between formant frequencies and height; the tallest person in this group of 10 people, has the lowest formant frequencies and consequently the longest vocal tube. By carrying out studies like this on a macro and national scale, it is possible to provide the judicial system with an atlas of physical and social features of Iranians and thus help the judicial procedures and trials on a smaller scale.
Chapter
Beyond the linguistic content it conveys, voice is one of the fundamental aspects of human communication. It conveys an array of bio-psycho-social information about a speaker and enables the expression of a wide range of emotional and affective states so as to elicit a whole range of auditory impressions. Such aspects are of a great importance in determining the outcomes of competitive and courtship interactions as they influence the access to mating partners and thus reproduction. Sexual selection, the mechanism that promotes biological and social traits that confer a reproductive benefit, provides an interesting theoretical framework to understand the functional role of the human voice from an evolutionary perspective. This chapter aims to provide an overview of the research that lies at the crossroad of the human voice and evolutionary biology.
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In chorusing species, sound frequency has been suggested as a decisive cue for male body size in female mate choice. However, few studies on the female choice of male song frequency have been conducted in cicadas, in which males of most species sing in chorusing groups to attract females for mating. In this study, we investigated female mate choice for song frequency and body size of males of a chorusing cicada, Mogannia formosana, by phonotaxis experiments using two-choice tests and field observation, respectively. The choice proportion of effective responses and the proximity to the stimulus were used to assess the phonotaxis preference. In the field, two types of males (copulating vs. random) were caught, and their body sizes were compared. In phonotaxis experiments, the results revealed that females showed a preference for low-frequency song by approaching the low-frequency stimuli to a significantly greater proximity. By comparing the body sizes of copulating versus random males, no significant differences were found. However, the copulating males had significantly different body shapes, as expressed by pronotum width regression by body length, from those of random males. We concluded that the sound frequency of male songs and male body shape in M. formosana can be used as cues of mate quality during female mate choice within a chorus. Additionally, we suggest that females of this species might use multiple cues for mate choice in different ranges of communication and that body size might not be the sole criterion of mate quality.
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Although hormones influence nearly every aspect of mammalian behavior in some form, they are best known for their effects on the various aspects of social behavior, including sexual, aggressive, and nurturing behaviors. This article focuses only on selected hormones and selected behaviors, and is by no means an exhaustive review of the pleomorphic effects of hormones in the body.
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This study examines the ability of listeners to judge speaker height and weight from speech samples. Although previous investigations indicate that listeners are consistent in estimating body characteristics, it is not known which speech signal parameters are being used by the listeners for such estimates. Therefore, a series of listening tests was carried out in which male and female listeners judged the height and weight from male and female speakers reading isolated words and two text paragraphs. Both speaker sex and listener sex turned out to be important factors: Significant correlations between estimated height/weight and actual height/weight were found only for male speakers. The majority of these estimates came from the male listeners. Neither male nor female listeners, however, were able to estimate female speaker height or weight. Regression analysis involving F0, formant frequencies, energy below 1 kHz, and speech rate showed no significant correlations between these parameters and actually measured speaker height and weight, the only exception being a significant correlation between male speaker weight and speech rate. Furthermore, regression data suggested that the listeners (correctly) used speech rate information in judging male speaker weight, whereas low F0 and formant frequency values (wrongly) were taken to indicate large speaker body dimensions.
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Magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify the vocal tract morphology of 129 normal humans, aged 2-25 years. Morphometric data, including midsagittal vocal tract length, shape, and proportions, were collected using computer graphic techniques. There was a significant positive correlation between vocal tract length and body size (either height or weight). The data also reveal clear differences in male and female vocal tract morphology, including changes in overall vocal tract length and the relative proportions of the oral and pharyngeal cavity. These sex differences are not evident in children, but arise at puberty, suggesting that they are part of the vocal remodeling process that occurs during puberty in males. These findings have implications for speech recognition, speech forensics, and the evolution of the human speech production system, and provide a normative standard for future studies of human vocal tract morphology and development.
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Morphological modifications of vocal anatomy are widespread among vertebrates, and the investigation of the physiological mechanisms and adaptive functions of such variants is an important focus of research into the evolution of communication. The "descended larynx" of adult humans has traditionally been considered unique to our species, representing an adaptation for articulate speech, and debate concerning the position of the larynx in extinct hominids assumes that a lowered larynx is diagnostic of speech and language. Here, we use bioacoustic analyses of vocalizing animals, together with anatomical analyses of functional morphology, to document descended larynges in red and fallow deer. The resting position of the larynx in males of these species is similar to that in humans, and, during roaring, red-deer stags lower the larynx even further, to the sternum. These findings indicate that laryngeal descent is not uniquely human and has evolved at least twice in independent lineages. We suggest that laryngeal descent serves to elongate the vocal tract, allowing callers to exaggerate their perceived body size by decreasing vocal-tract resonant frequencies. Vocal-tract elongation is common in birds and is probably present in additional mammals. Size exaggeration provides a non-linguistic alternative hypothesis for the descent of the larynx in human evolution.
Article
Body weight, length, and vocal tract length were measured for 23 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) of various sizes using radiographs and computer graphic techniques. linear predictive coding analysis of tape-recorded threat vocalizations were used to determine vocal tract resonance frequencies ("formants") for the same animals. A new acoustic variable is proposed, "formant dispersion," which should theoretically depend upon vocal tract length. Formant dispersion is the averaged difference between successive formant frequencies, and was found to be closely tied to both vocal tract length and body size. Despite the common claim that voice fundamental frequency (F0) provides an acoustic indication of body size, repeated investigations have failed to support such a relationship in many vertebrate species including humans. Formant dispersion, unlike voice pitch, is proposed to be a reliable predictor of body size in macaques, and probably many other species.
Article
We investigated the relationship between ratings of voice attractiveness and sexually dimorphic differences in shoulder-to-hip ratios (SHR) and waist-to-hip ratios (WHR), as well as different features of sexual behavior. Opposite-sex voice attractiveness ratings were positively correlated with SHR in males and negatively correlated with WHR in females. For both sexes, ratings of opposite-sex voice attractiveness also predicted reported age of first sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners, number of extra-pair copulation (EPC) partners, and number of partners that they had intercourse with that were involved in another relationship (i.e., were themselves chosen as an EPC partner). Coupled with previous findings showing a relationship between voice attractiveness and bilateral symmetry, these results provide additional evidence that the sound of a person's voice may serve as an important multidimensional fitness indicator.
Article
This paper investigates the relationship between formant frequencies and body size in human adults. In Experiment I, correlation coefficients were obtained between acoustic correlates of the five Spanish vowels uttered by 82 speakers as a function of speakers’ heights and weights. In Experiment II correlations were calculated from formant parameters obtained by means of a long-term average analysis of connected speech from 91 speakers. Results of both experiments showed that, in contrast to Fitch's (J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 102 (1997) 1213) findings in macaque vocalizations, the relationship within sex between formant parameters and body size is very weak in human adults. At the same time, it is evident that correlations within the female group are greater than in male group. These results imply that the pattern of individual vocal tract development is relatively free from skeletal size constraints, due to the human descent of larynx from standard mammal position. This disassociation of vocal tract-body size is more important in human males.
Article
In human voices, low fundamental frequency is thought to be a cue to masculinity and reproductive capability and large vocal tracts are associated with large body size of the speaker. Female preferences for males with low fundamental frequencies and large vocal tract lengths are potentially adaptive. Although sexually dimorphic characteristics of male voices have been studied, the impact of manipulations of secondary sexual characteristics on preferences for male voices has not. We manipulated fundamental frequencies and apparent vocal tract lengths of young adult male voices, both independently and simultaneously, and assessed their impact on female ratings of masculinity, size, age and attractiveness. Lowering the fundamental frequencies and/or increasing apparent vocal tract lengths of male voices increased females' ratings of the masculinity, size and age of the speaker. Peer group females preferred male voices with (1) lowered fundamental frequencies to those with raised fundamental frequencies, and (2) original frequencies to male voices with raised fundamental frequencies and decreased apparent vocal tract lengths (a combined manipulation to reflect acoustic characteristics of 16-year-old male voices). This suggests that male voices with acoustic characteristics that reflect full sexual maturity may be attractive. Although no general preference was observed for male voices with increased or decreased apparent vocal tract lengths, female preferences for male voices with increased apparent vocal tract lengths were positively related to females' own body size. This latter finding may indicate assortative preferences for acoustic cues to body size.
Article
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship among speakers' heights, weights, body surface areas, and speaking fundamental frequencies. The recordings of 30 speakers' readings of a standard prose passage were analyzed by means of the Fundamental Frequency Indicator (FFI) to obtain their speaking fundamental frequency characteristics. The speakers' heights and weights were obtained by means of standard measurement procuedures, and their body surface areas were calculated. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, computed separately for men and women, indicated that speakers' heights, weights, and body surface areas were not significantly correlated with their speaking fundamental frequencies; female speakers showed a slight negative correlation while male speakers showed a low, positive trend. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Article
The purpose of this investigation is to shed some more light on the conflicting views about a number of acoustic parameters which might carry information on some general somatic features of the speaker. In an experiment, average fundamental frequency (F0) values of 105 male and 78 female adult subjects were correlated with their individual height and weight data. No significant correlations between acoustic and physical parameters were found. The results are discussed with respect to earlier studies with completely different approaches to the issue, namely direct estimation of physical traits from the speech signal by listeners.
Article
Previous correlational studies have found no relationship between speaker height, weight and speaking fundamental frequency, although it has often been claimed that listeners can correctly identify the height, weight, and bodily build of speakers and that voice pitch is one of the cues used. In this study various social factors were controlled for, and contrasting samples of speech from each subject were analysed. Twelve men and 15 women, drawn from a socially homogeneous group, were asked to read two passages and to phonate the vowel /a:/ at "their lowest attainable pitch." The median speaking fundamental frequency from both passages was calculated and a measure of basal F 0 was obtained from the phonation of /a:/. In contrast to other studies, a relationship was found between speaker height and median speaking fundamental frequency, but no relationship was found between speaker weight and F 0. The correlation between median speaking fundamental frequency and height was significant only in the male sample and in one passage. Physical and social interpretations for these findings are discussed.
Article
Body weight, length, and vocal tract length were measured for 23 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) of various sizes using radiographs and computer graphic techniques. linear predictive coding analysis of tape-recorded threat vocalizations were used to determine vocal tract resonance frequencies ("formants") for the same animals. A new acoustic variable is proposed, "formant dispersion," which should theoretically depend upon vocal tract length. Formant dispersion is the averaged difference between successive formant frequencies, and was found to be closely tied to both vocal tract length and body size. Despite the common claim that voice fundamental frequency (F0) provides an acoustic indication of body size, repeated investigations have failed to support such a relationship in many vertebrate species including humans. Formant dispersion, unlike voice pitch, is proposed to be a reliable predictor of body size in macaques, and probably many other species.
Article
The evolution of speech can be studied independently of the evolution of language, with the advantage that most aspects of speech acoustics, physiology and neural control are shared with animals, and thus open to empirical investigation. At least two changes were necessary prerequisites for modern human speech abilities: (1) modification of vocal tract morphology, and (2) development of vocal imitative ability. Despite an extensive literature, attempts to pinpoint the timing of these changes using fossil data have proven inconclusive. However, recent comparative data from nonhuman primates have shed light on the ancestral use of formants (a crucial cue in human speech) to identify individuals and gauge body size. Second, comparative analysis of the diverse vertebrates that have evolved vocal imitation (humans, cetaceans, seals and birds) provides several distinct, testable hypotheses about the adaptive function of vocal mimicry. These developments suggest that, for understanding the evolution of speech, comparative analysis of living species provides a viable alternative to fossil data. However, the neural basis for vocal mimicry and for mimesis in general remains unknown.
Article
I investigated the relationship between male human vocal characteristics and female judgements about the speaker. Thirty-four males were recorded uttering five vowels and measures were taken, from power spectrums, of the first five harmonic frequencies, overall peak frequency and formant frequencies (emphasized, resonance, frequencies within the vowel). Male body measures were also taken (age, weight, height, and hip and shoulder width) and the men were asked whether they had chest hair. The recordings were then played to female judges, who were asked to rate the males' attractiveness, age, weight and height, and to estimate the muscularity of the speaker and whether he had a hairy chest. Men with voices in which there were closely spaced, low-frequency harmonics were judged as being more attractive, older and heavier, more likely to have a hairy chest and of a more muscular body type. There was no relationship between any vocal and body characteristic. The judges' estimates were incorrect except for weight. They showed extremely strong agreement on all judgements. The results imply that there could be sexual selection through female choice for male vocal characteristics, deeper voices being preferred. However, the function of the preference is unclear given that the estimates were generally incorrect. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
The Physiology of the Senses, Voice and Muscular Motion with Mental Faculties Anatomical and cultural determi-nants of male and female speech
  • J Muller
  • Walton
  • Maberly
  • London
  • J Sachs
  • P Lieberman
  • D Erickson
Muller, J., 1884. The Physiology of the Senses, Voice and Muscular Motion with Mental Faculties. Walton & Maberly, London. Sachs, J., Lieberman, P., Erickson, D., 1972. Anatomical and cultural determi-nants of male and female speech. In: Shuy, R., Fasold, R. (Eds.), Language Attitudes: Current Trends and Prospects. George Town University Press, Washington.
Stereoendoscopic measurement of the laryngeal structure Vocal Fold Physiology: Con-temporary Research and Clinical Issues. College-Hill Acoustic parameters in speaker height and weight identification: sex specific behaviour
  • M Sawashima
  • H Hirose
Sawashima, M., Hirose, H., et al., 1983. Stereoendoscopic measurement of the laryngeal structure. In: Bless, H.H. (Ed.), Vocal Fold Physiology: Con-temporary Research and Clinical Issues. College-Hill, New York. van Dommelen, W.A., Moxness, B.H., 1995. Acoustic parameters in speaker height and weight identification: sex specific behaviour. Language and Speech 38, 267–287.
1884. The Physiology of the Senses, Voice and Muscular Motion with Mental Faculties
  • J Muller
Muller, J., 1884. The Physiology of the Senses, Voice and Muscular Motion with Mental Faculties. Walton & Maberly, London.
Anatomical and cultural determinants of male and female speech Language Attitudes: Current Trends and Prospects
  • J Sachs
  • P Lieberman
  • D Erickson
Sachs, J., Lieberman, P., Erickson, D., 1972. Anatomical and cultural determinants of male and female speech. In: Shuy, R., Fasold, R. (Eds.), Language Attitudes: Current Trends and Prospects. George Town University Press, Washington.
Anatomical and cultural determinants of male and female speech
  • Sachs