Differences in acoustic and perceptual parameters of the voice between elderly and young women at habitual and high intensity

Keyla S. Mazzetto de Menezes, Suely Master, Marco Guzman, Cori Bortnem, Luiz Roberto Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction and objectives: The present study aimed to compare elderly and young female voices in habitual and high intensity. The effect of increased intensity on the acoustic and perceptual parameters was assessed. Methods: Sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer, and harmonic to noise ratio were obtained at habitual and high intensity voice in a group of 30 elderly women and 30 young women. Perceptual assessment was also performed. Results: Both groups demonstrated an increase in sound pressure level and fundamental frequency from habitual voice to high intensity voice. No differences were found between groups in any acoustic variables on samples recorded with habitual intensity level. No significant differences between groups were found in habitual intensity level for pitch, hoarseness, roughness, and breathiness. Asthenia and instability obtained significant higher values in elderly than young participants, whereas, the elderly demonstrated lower values for perceived tension and loudness than young subjects. Conclusions: Acoustic and perceptual measures do not demonstrate evident differences between elderly and young speakers in habitual intensity level. The parameters analyzed may lack the sensitivity necessary to detect differences in subjects with normal voices. Phonation with high intensity highlights differences between groups, especially in perceptual parameters. Therefore, high intensity should be included to compare elderly and young voice.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalActa Otorrinolaringologica Espanola
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Auditory perception
  • Speech acoustics
  • Voice quality

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