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  Poor neuro-motor tuning of the human larynx: A comparison of sung and whistled pitch imitation

Belyk, M., Johnson, J. F., & Kotz, S. A. (2018). Poor neuro-motor tuning of the human larynx: A comparison of sung and whistled pitch imitation. Royal Society Open Science, 5(4): 171544. doi:10.1098/rsos.171544.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-ACEC-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-DC58-2
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Belyk, Michel1, 2, Author
Johnson, Joseph F.2, Author
Kotz, Sonja A.2, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Bloorview Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada, ou_persistent22              
2Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              

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Free keywords: Articulation; Evolution; Imitation; Larynx; Motor control; Voice
 Abstract: Vocal imitation is a hallmark of human communication that underlies the capacity to learn to speak and sing. Even so, poor vocal imitation abilities are surprisingly common in the general population and even expert vocalists cannot match the precision of a musical instrument. Although humans have evolved a greater degree of control over the laryngeal muscles that govern voice production, this ability may be underdeveloped compared with control over the articulatory muscles, such as the tongue and lips, volitional control of which emerged earlier in primate evolution. Human participants imitated simple melodies by either singing (i.e. producing pitch with the larynx) or whistling (i.e. producing pitch with the lips and tongue). Sung notes were systematically biased towards each individual's habitual pitch, which we hypothesize may act to conserve muscular effort. Furthermore, while participants who sung more precisely also whistled more precisely, sung imitations were less precise than whistled imitations. The laryngeal muscles that control voice production are under less precise control than the oral muscles that are involved in whistling. This imprecision may be due to the relatively recent evolution of volitional laryngeal-motor control in humans, which may be tuned just well enough for the coarse modulation of vocal-pitch in speech.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-10-042018-03-132018-04-18
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171544
PMID: 29765635
PMC: PMC5936900
Other: eCollection 2018
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Funding organization : Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACN)
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Grant ID : BB/M009742/1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

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Title: Royal Society Open Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Royal Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 5 (4) Sequence Number: 171544 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2054-5703
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2054-5703