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Genetics of Vocal Quality Characteristics in Monozygotic Twins: A Multiparameter Approach

Journal of Voice
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2004.10.005
  • Genetics Of Voice
  • Twin-Voice
  • Vocal Characteristics In Monozygotic Twins
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Musicology
  • Physics


Summary The main purpose of this study was to determine the vocal quality characteristics among the 45 monozygotic cotwins (MT). As the performance of the voice is related to several genetically determined anatomical and physiological factors, the authors hypothesized that the vocal characteristics and the overall vocal quality by means of the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI) will be identical in MT. An additional objective of this study was to determine whether sex and age influence vocal similarities in MT and to compare the voice characteristics of MT with the normative data of unrelated peers. As more environmental factors influence the aging of the voice, age-related differences were expected. No sex-related differences were expected. Subjective and objective assessment techniques determined the vocal quality. No significant differences were obtained, and most comparisons resulted in significant correlation coefficients. For the acoustic parameters jitter and shimmer only, no significant correlation coefficients could be obtained. It is clear that the perceptual voice characteristics, the laryngeal aerodynamic measurements of maximum phonation time (MPT), the vocal performances, and the overall vocal quality by means of the DSI are similar in MT. These vocal characteristics are not influenced either by the subjects' age or sex and are situated within the normative range of unrelated peers. To what extent other aspects (environment, anxiety, tension, etc) might play a role in the acoustical dimensions regarding frequency and amplitude perturbation, which were in the normal range, is a subject of further research.

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