Cochlear Implant Users’ Vocal Control CorrelatesAcross Tasks

Elizabeth Abbs, Justin M. Aronoff, Abbigail Kirchner, Emily Ann O'Brien, Bailey Harmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cochlear implants (CIs) provide access to auditory information that can affect vocal control. For example, previous research shows that, when producing a sustained vowel, CI users will alter the pitch of their voice when the feedback of their own voice is perceived to shift. Although these results can be informative as to how perception and production are linked for CI users, the artificial nature of the task raises questions as to the applicability of the results to real-world vocal productions. To examine how vocal control, when producing sustained vowels, relates to vocal control for more ecologically valid tasks, 10 CI users’ vocal control was measured across two tasks: (1) sustained vowel production, and (2) singing. The results found that vocal control, as measured by the variability of the participants’ fundamental frequency, was significantly correlated when producing sustained vowels and when singing, although variability was significantly greater when singing. This suggests that, despite the artificial nature of sustained vowel production, vocal control on such tasks is related to vocal control for more ecologically valid tasks. However, the results also suggest that vocal control may be overestimated with sustained vowel production tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490.e7-490.e10
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Cochlear implants
  • Ecologically valid
  • Singing
  • Sustained vocalization
  • Vocal control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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