Seeing speech: High-speed video imaging for improved voice health: When we talk, the delicate tissues of the voice box vibrate faster than the eye can see. Now researchers and physicians are finally able to visualize and investigate this physiological feat, thanks to the development of a high-speed imaging system by a research team at the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The team's goal is to improve vocal health by understanding the movements of the vocal folds. Using the same high-speed video technology that enables nature photographers to visualize the rapid beating of hummingbird wings, the Boston team has begun to observe and document details of vocal vibrations and voice acoustics that have never before been appreciated during clinical evaluations. Explains research team member Dr. Daryush Mehta, "For the first time, voice scientists are able to investigate detailed relationships between vocal vibrations and sound qualities of the human voice. For example, we are just now discovering that certain asymmetric vibration patterns do not necessarily degrade one's voice acoustics as once thought." This level of detail is possible due to recent technological advances in high-speed imaging of the larynx. It enables researchers to capture and analyze more than 10,000 images per second of vocal fold oscillations that occur 100 to 1,000 times per second. This team's work grew out of an urgent need to assess the true vibratory characteristics of vocal fold bio-implants that are currently under development at the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center. The presentation 3aSCa1, "Use of laryngeal high-speed videoendoscopy systems to study voice production mechanisms in human subjects," is in the morning session on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
|Contact: Charles E. Blue|
American Institute of Physics