Pitch Shift Correction of Song Patterning Changes Induced by Delayed Auditory Feedback in Bengalese Finches Open Access

Berthiaume, Emily Aidan (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5d86p0399?locale=en
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Abstract

The mechanism that causes human stuttering remains ambiguous, even with a considerable amount of research examining potential components. One of the investigated components is a potential delay in which a stutterer hears their own vocalizations. A postponement in receiving recently produced vocal utterances via the auditory system is known as delayed auditory feedback (DAF.) Structural changes in adult birdsong were induced by a DAF sensory perturbation. Using miniature headphones on Bengalese finches, the probabilities of transition to different song renditions after a branch point, a place in the song where there may be more than one following syllable, were observed to change with DAF application. For birds with song comprised of multiple motifs, motif repetition increased during DAF application. This increase in motif repetition occurred, however, only when the gap between the end of the branch point syllable and the beginning of the following syllable was small. When the gap between these syllables increased to the point of delayed feedback expiration, the motif repetition returned to a probability similar to that of baseline recordings. As the bird waited to continue the song, he was less likely to repeat a motif. This reduction in motif repetition by singing slower is similar to the reduction in syllable repetition when human stutterers are trained to speak more slowly. Given this comparable therapy, the motif repetition behavior induced by DAF may be analogous to vocal repetitions in human stuttering. The findings of this study suggest that DAF application using miniature headphones to Bengalese finches could be used as an animal model of stuttering. In this study, we examined the potential alleviation of motif repetition by applying a large pitch shift. If proven effective in reducing motif repetition, the pitch shift could potentially have clinical application for stutterers to reduce abnormal syllable repetitions. The results of this study show that the probability of repeating a motif increases during DAF application, and suggest that a large pitch shift may reduce the increase in repeated motifs induced by DAF.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ……………………………………………..…………..1

Introduction ………….………………………………………………….2

Methods ……………………..……………………………………….……7

Results ………………………………………...………………………..12

Discussion ………………………………………...…………………..30

References ………………………………….………………………….34


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