vocal production
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2022 ◽  
Author(s):  
Huihui Qi ◽  
Li Luo ◽  
Caijing Lu ◽  
Runze Chen ◽  
Xianyao Zhou ◽  
...  

Vocalization is an essential medium for sexual and social signaling in birds and mammals. Periaqueductal gray (PAG) a conserved midbrain structure is believed to be responsible for innate vocalizations, but its molecular regulation remains largely unknown. Here, through a mouse forward genetic screening we identified one of the key Wnt/β-catenin effectors TCF7L2/TCF4 controls ultrasonic vocalization (USV) production and syllable complexity during maternal deprivation and sexual encounter. Expression of TCF7L2 in PAG excitatory neurons is necessary for the complex trait, while TCF7L2 loss reduces neuronal gene expressions and synaptic transmission in PAG. TCF7L2-mediated vocal control is independent of its β-catenin-binding domain but dependent of its DNA binding ability. Patient mutations associated with severe speech delay disrupt the transcriptional repression effect of TCF7L2, while mice carrying those mutations display severe USV impairments. Therefore, we conclude that TCF7L2 orchestrates gene expression in midbrain to control vocal production through a transcriptional repression mechanism.


Animals ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. 3593
Author(s):  
Valentina Corrias ◽  
Giovanni de Vincenzi ◽  
Maria Ceraulo ◽  
Virginia Sciacca ◽  
Antonello Sala ◽  
...  

Marine mammal vocal elements have been investigated for decades to assess whether they correlate with stress levels or stress indicators. Due to their acoustic plasticity, the interpretation of dolphins’ acoustic signals of has been studied most extensively. This work describes the acoustic parameters detected in whistle spectral contours, collected using passive acoustic monitoring (PAM), in a bycatch event that involved three Bottlenose dolphins during midwater commercial trawling. The results indicate a total number of 23 upsweep whistles recorded during the bycatch event, that were analyzed based on the acoustic parameters as follows: (Median; 25th percentile; 75th percentile) Dr (second), total duration (1.09; 0.88; 1.24); fmin (HZ), minimum frequency (5836.4; 5635.3; 5967.1); fmax (HZ), maximum frequency, (11,610 ± 11,293; 11,810); fc (HZ), central frequency; (8665.2; 8492.9; 8982.8); BW (HZ), bandwidth (5836.4; 5635.3; 5967.1); Step, number of step (5; 4; 6). Furthermore, our data show that vocal production during the capture event was characterized by an undescribed to date combination of two signals, an ascending whistle (upsweep), and a pulsed signal that we called “low-frequency signal” in the frequency band between 4.5 and 7 kHz. This capture event reveals a novel aspect of T. truncatus acoustic communication, it confirms their acoustic plasticity, and suggests that states of discomfort are conveyed through their acoustic repertoire.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Yisi S Zhang ◽  
John L Alvarez ◽  
Asif A Ghazanfar

Adult behaviors, such as vocal production, often exhibit temporal regularity. In contrast, their immature forms are more irregular. We ask whether the coupling of motor behaviors with arousal changes give rise to temporal regularity and drive the transition from variable to regular motor output over the course of development. We used marmoset monkey vocal production to explore this putative influence of arousal on the nonlinear changes in their developing vocal output patterns. Based on a detailed analysis of vocal and arousal dynamics in marmosets, we put forth a general model incorporating arousal and auditory-feedback loops for spontaneous vocal production. Using this model, we show that a stable oscillation can emerge as the baseline arousal increases, predicting the transition from stochastic to periodic oscillations occurring in marmoset vocal development. We further provide a solution for how this model can explain vocal development as the joint consequence of energetic growth and social feedback. Together, our model offers a plausible mechanism for the development of arousal-mediated adaptive behavior.


Author(s):  
Linda Polka ◽  
Matthew Masapollo ◽  
Lucie Ménard

Purpose: Current models of speech development argue for an early link between speech production and perception in infants. Recent data show that young infants (at 4–6 months) preferentially attend to speech sounds (vowels) with infant vocal properties compared to those with adult vocal properties, suggesting the presence of special “memory banks” for one's own nascent speech-like productions. This study investigated whether the vocal resonances (formants) of the infant vocal tract are sufficient to elicit this preference and whether this perceptual bias changes with age and emerging vocal production skills. Method: We selectively manipulated the fundamental frequency ( f 0 ) of vowels synthesized with formants specifying either an infant or adult vocal tract, and then tested the effects of those manipulations on the listening preferences of infants who were slightly older than those previously tested (at 6–8 months). Results: Unlike findings with younger infants (at 4–6 months), slightly older infants in Experiment 1 displayed a robust preference for vowels with infant formants over adult formants when f 0 was matched. The strength of this preference was also positively correlated with age among infants between 4 and 8 months. In Experiment 2, this preference favoring infant over adult formants was maintained when f 0 values were modulated. Conclusions: Infants between 6 and 8 months of age displayed a robust and distinct preference for speech with resonances specifying a vocal tract that is similar in size and length to their own. This finding, together with data indicating that this preference is not present in younger infants and appears to increase with age, suggests that nascent knowledge of the motor schema of the vocal tract may play a role in shaping this perceptual bias, lending support to current models of speech development. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.17131805


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
◽  
Jennifer Wollerman

<p>Maria Callas’s fame as an opera star in the 1950s is still recognised today, and, for many, her name is synonymous with the modern concept of the opera ‘diva’. The increasing diversity of mediatised forms of operatic performances since her time has altered the way audiences engage with the art form. This has implications for singers in terms of values around vocality, authorship and power, and, in particular, the agency of singers in creating the meaningful, affective, and distinctively personal vocal tone that opera calls for. I suggest that for “divas” as defined by twentieth- and twenty-first century global stardom, power is amassed at least in part through particular ways in which they make use of their vocality or vocal timbre, and the way they manage their voices’ presentation in the mediatised versions of their performances.  The recent turn towards a performative focus in musicology encourages the investigation of such aspects of performance. While authorship remains central in the consideration of performance, the contribution of the singer to the authorial and creative process has tended to be ignored, and at times the singer’s work has been regarded as servile to the point of nullification. A critical examination of scholarly writings around operatic performance, with reference to those of diva, voice, and stardom studies, forms the foundation of my study. In case studies of Callas and two later divas, Kiri Te Kanawa and Anna Netrebko, I examine the individual vocality of each singer, their interaction with the forms of mediatisation of their time, their position in the continuum of vocal fashion and influence, and the function of all of these factors in relation to perceptions of creative agency.  My study investigates these issues from the standpoint of a singer, and it provides insights into the singer’s processes around the creation of vocality. It offers a new perspective through a fine-tuned analysis of vocal production, which reconnects perceptions of specific timbres with explicitly defined techniques for their production. Through this dissertation I show how signature vocality works: how it is created and managed by these divas, and how the mediatisation of vocality affects perceptions of their power as performers.</p>


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
◽  
Jennifer Wollerman

<p>Maria Callas’s fame as an opera star in the 1950s is still recognised today, and, for many, her name is synonymous with the modern concept of the opera ‘diva’. The increasing diversity of mediatised forms of operatic performances since her time has altered the way audiences engage with the art form. This has implications for singers in terms of values around vocality, authorship and power, and, in particular, the agency of singers in creating the meaningful, affective, and distinctively personal vocal tone that opera calls for. I suggest that for “divas” as defined by twentieth- and twenty-first century global stardom, power is amassed at least in part through particular ways in which they make use of their vocality or vocal timbre, and the way they manage their voices’ presentation in the mediatised versions of their performances.  The recent turn towards a performative focus in musicology encourages the investigation of such aspects of performance. While authorship remains central in the consideration of performance, the contribution of the singer to the authorial and creative process has tended to be ignored, and at times the singer’s work has been regarded as servile to the point of nullification. A critical examination of scholarly writings around operatic performance, with reference to those of diva, voice, and stardom studies, forms the foundation of my study. In case studies of Callas and two later divas, Kiri Te Kanawa and Anna Netrebko, I examine the individual vocality of each singer, their interaction with the forms of mediatisation of their time, their position in the continuum of vocal fashion and influence, and the function of all of these factors in relation to perceptions of creative agency.  My study investigates these issues from the standpoint of a singer, and it provides insights into the singer’s processes around the creation of vocality. It offers a new perspective through a fine-tuned analysis of vocal production, which reconnects perceptions of specific timbres with explicitly defined techniques for their production. Through this dissertation I show how signature vocality works: how it is created and managed by these divas, and how the mediatisation of vocality affects perceptions of their power as performers.</p>


Author(s):  
Sophie K. Scott

The networks of cortical and subcortical fields that contribute to speech production have benefitted from many years of detailed study, and have been used as a framework for human volitional vocal production more generally. In this article, I will argue that we need to consider speech production as an expression of the human voice in a more general sense. I will also argue that the neural control of the voice can and should be considered to be a flexible system, into which more right hemispheric networks are differentially recruited, based on the factors that are modulating vocal production. I will explore how this flexible network is recruited to express aspects of non-verbal information in the voice, such as identity and social traits. Finally, I will argue that we need to widen out the kinds of vocal behaviours that we explore, if we want to understand the neural underpinnings of the true range of sound-making capabilities of the human voice. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Voice modulation: from origin and mechanism to social impact (Part II)’.


Author(s):  
Theresa Matzinger ◽  
W. Tecumseh Fitch

Voice modulatory cues such as variations in fundamental frequency, duration and pauses are key factors for structuring vocal signals in human speech and vocal communication in other tetrapods. Voice modulation physiology is highly similar in humans and other tetrapods due to shared ancestry and shared functional pressures for efficient communication. This has led to similarly structured vocalizations across humans and other tetrapods. Nonetheless, in their details, structural characteristics may vary across species and languages. Because data concerning voice modulation in non-human tetrapod vocal production and especially perception are relatively scarce compared to human vocal production and perception, this review focuses on voice modulatory cues used for speech segmentation across human languages, highlighting comparative data where available. Cues that are used similarly across many languages may help indicate which cues may result from physiological or basic cognitive constraints, and which cues may be employed more flexibly and are shaped by cultural evolution. This suggests promising candidates for future investigation of cues to structure in non-human tetrapod vocalizations. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Voice modulation: from origin and mechanism to social impact (Part I)’.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Yen Yi Loo ◽  
Kristal E. Cain

Birds are our best models to understand vocal learning – a vocal production ability guided by auditory feedback, which includes human language. Among all vocal learners, songbirds have the most diverse life histories, and some aspects of their vocal learning ability are well-known, such as the neural substrates and vocal control centers, through vocal development studies. Currently, species are classified as either vocal learners or non-learners, and a key difference between the two is the development period, extended in learners, but short in non-learners. But this clear dichotomy has been challenged by the vocal learning continuum hypothesis. One way to address this challenge is to examine both learners and canonical non-learners and determine whether their vocal development is dichotomous or falls along a continuum. However, when we examined the existing empirical data we found that surprisingly few species have their vocal development periods documented. Furthermore, we identified multiple biases within previous vocal development studies in birds, including an extremely narrow focus on (1) a few model species, (2) oscines, (3) males, and (4) songs. Consequently, these biases may have led to an incomplete and possibly erroneous conclusions regarding the nature of the relationships between vocal development patterns and vocal learning ability. Diversifying vocal development studies to include a broader range of taxa is urgently needed to advance the field of vocal learning and examine how vocal development patterns might inform our understanding of vocal learning.


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