ERIC Number: EJ936742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Developmental Sexual Dimorphism of the Oral and Pharyngeal Portions of the Vocal Tract: An Imaging Study
Vorperian, Houri K.; Wang, Shubing; Schimek, E. Michael; Durtschi, Reid B.; Kent, Ray D.; Gentry, Lindell R.; Chung, Moo K.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v54 n4 p995-1010 Aug 2011
Purpose: The anatomic origin for prepubertal vowel acoustic differences between male and female subjects remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to examine developmental sex differences in vocal tract (VT) length and its oral and pharyngeal portions. Method: Nine VT variables were measured from 605 imaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography) of subjects between birth and age 19 years. Given sex differences in growth rate (Vorperian et al., 2009), assessment of sex differences was done through use of a localized comparison window of 60 months. Analysis entailed applying this comparison window first to 4 discrete age cohorts, followed by a progressive assessment in which this comparison window was moved in 1-month increments from birth across all ages. Results: Findings document significant postpubertal sex differences in both the oral and pharyngeal portions of the VT. They also document periods of significant prepubertal sex differences in the oral region first, followed by segments in the pharyngeal region. Conclusions: Assessment of developmental sex differences using localized age ranges is effective in unveiling sex differences that growth rate differences may conceal. Findings on the presence of prepubertal sex differences in the oral region of the VT may clarify, in part, the anatomic basis of documented prepubertal acoustic differences.
Descriptors: Acoustics, Gender Differences, Age Differences, Individual Development, Human Body, Children, Adolescents
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A