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Title: The significance of kinaesthetic vocal sensations related to listening behaviour : an MRI study
Author: Miller, Nicola Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 1739
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of this project was to investigate the nature and possible significance of first-person kinaesthetic vocal sensations observed in association with musical listening. Hearing and voice are known to be closely linked but the mechanisms that underlie their close relationship are not yet understood. The presence of kinaesthetic vocal sensations challenges accounts of auditory processing that are divorced from peripheral vocal input and, instead, suggests the hypothesis that auditory and vocal processing mechanisms rely on shared peripheral substrates in addition to their increasingly recognized shared (brain-based) central substrates. To investigate this hypothesis, I used MRI and developed a measurement protocol (informed by established methods in cephalometry) that would allow me to relate vocal structures to their direct and indirect bony attachments to the craniofacial skeleton, cervical spine and sternum. After establishing the method's validity in subjects at rest, I acquired midsagittal MR images (under conditions where articulatory and postural input was negligible) while subjects (1) hummed and (2) listened (in a focused way) to low and high notes at each end of their range. Geometric and shape analysis of craniocaudal, craniocervical and anteroposterior variables revealed significant differences between low- and high-note conditions and widespread correlations between variables for both humming and listening investigations. An unexpected association between pitch change and changes of cervical alignment was also found. These results were complemented and extended by using the same MR images to build an active shape model (ASM). In addition to showing how vocal structures move together, ASM showed goal-related vocal activity to consist of one or more independent modes of variation. Together, the observations, experimental results, and evidence from diverse historical and contemporary sources, support the hypothesis that mechanisms underlying auditory and vocal processing rely on shared central and peripheral substrates. Wide-ranging implications arising from this hypothesis are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen.
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Listening ; Voice ; Muscular sense ; Magnetic resonance imaging