Age- and sex-related variations in vocal-tract morphology and voice acoustics during adolescence.

TitleAge- and sex-related variations in vocal-tract morphology and voice acoustics during adolescence.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMarkova D, Richer L, Pangelinan M, Schwartz DH, Leonard G, Perron M, G Pike B, Veillette S, M Chakravarty M, Pausova Z, Paus T
JournalHorm Behav
Volume81
Pagination84-96
Date Published2016 May
ISSN1095-6867
Abstract

Distinct differences in the human voice emerge during adolescence, with males producing deeper and more resonant voices than females by the end of sexual maturation. Using magnetic resonance images of heads and voice recordings obtained in 532 typically developing adolescents, we investigate what might be the drivers of this change in voice, and the subjective judgment of the voice "maleness" and "femaleness". We show clear sex differences in the morphology of voice-related structures during adolescence, with males displaying strong associations between age (and puberty) and both vocal-fold and vocal-tract length; this was not the case in female adolescents. At the same time, males (compared with females) display stronger associations between age (and puberty) with both fundamental frequency and formant position. In males, vocal morphology was a mediator in the relationship between bioavailable testosterone and acoustic indices. Subjective judgment of the voice sex could be predicted by the morphological and acoustic parameters in males only: the length of vocal folds and its acoustic counterpart, fundamental frequency, is a larger predictor of subjective "maleness" of a voice than vocal-tract length and formant position.

DOI10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.03.001
Alternate JournalHorm Behav
PubMed ID27062936

McGill Logo

CIUSSS ouest montreal logo

 



  • Douglas Hospital
  • Dobell Pavillion
  • Brain imaging centre