Increasing Sound Pressure Level: The Effects of Three Cues

T Robinson, J Huber


This study examined the effects of explicit and implicit cues to increase sound pressure level (SPL) in normal older speakers.  Explicit cues are instructions requiring conscious manipulation of SPL, whereas implicit cues, or self-cues, may not require conscious any attention.  The respiratory, laryngeal, and articulatory subsystems of ten subjects, ages 65 to 80, were examined under four conditions, speaking at comfortable pitch and loudness (COM), speaking in background noise (BGN), speaking loudly and at the top of the breath (TOB), and targeting an intensity 10 dB above comfortable pitch and loudness (MTR).  Compared to the COM condition, the BGN, TOB, and MTR conditions all resulted in increased SPL, estimated subglottal pressure, and fundamental frequency.  Findings for laryngeal airway resistance and the first formant differed among the BGN, TOB, and MTR conditions.  The results indicated that the responses from the speech system to increasing SPL are generally similar regardless of the cue.  However, the findings also suggested that the TOB cue caused some individuals to use a different mechanism to increase SPL than those used in the BGN and MTR conditions.  These differences suggest that nature of a cue may cause the speech system to respond in dissimilar ways.