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Who is normal, and how can we know?

Time: Tue 2020-02-25 15.15

Location: Fantum (Lindstedtsvägen 24, floor 5, room no. 522)

Participating: Prof. Sten Ternström

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The quest for objective physical criteria for normal or aberrant voice
has so far been dis­appoint­ing; on the whole, perceptual evaluations
still have greater evidential value. One reason is that current
measurement paradigms often result in a severe undersampling,
undermining validity. All voice metrics exhibit considerable variation,
not only across individuals, but also across the voice range. Making
“voice maps” over fo × SPL reveals a surprising amount of variation,
even in homogeneous populations of normophonic individuals; so
normative averages are not to be found. However, under stringent
protocol, individuals do systematically reproduce their own voice maps,
as shown by Pabon and others. So, the norm could be the patient herself,
if recorded prior to the pathology or the intervention. From comparing
voice maps, not to a population norm, but to earlier takes of the same
person, specific and detailed conclusions can be drawn.

(This is a pre-conference try-out, for a keynote to be given at ICVPB
2020 in Grenoble, 18-20 March)