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The perceptual effects of manipulating nonlinear phenomena in synthetic nonverbal vocalizations

Anikin, Andrey LU (2019) In Bioacoustics
Abstract
The communicative role of nonlinear vocal phenomena remains poorly understood since they are difficult to manipulate or even measure with conventional tools. In this study parametric voice synthesis was employed to add pitch jumps, subharmonics/sidebands, and chaos to synthetic human nonverbal vocalizations. In Experiment 1 (86 participants, 144 sounds), chaos was associated with lower valence, and subharmonics with higher dominance. Arousal ratings were not noticeably affected by any nonlinear effects, except for a marginal effect of subharmonics. These findings were extended in Experiment 2 (83 participants, 212 sounds) using ratings on discrete emotions. Listeners associated pitch jumps, subharmonics, and especially chaos with aversive... (More)
The communicative role of nonlinear vocal phenomena remains poorly understood since they are difficult to manipulate or even measure with conventional tools. In this study parametric voice synthesis was employed to add pitch jumps, subharmonics/sidebands, and chaos to synthetic human nonverbal vocalizations. In Experiment 1 (86 participants, 144 sounds), chaos was associated with lower valence, and subharmonics with higher dominance. Arousal ratings were not noticeably affected by any nonlinear effects, except for a marginal effect of subharmonics. These findings were extended in Experiment 2 (83 participants, 212 sounds) using ratings on discrete emotions. Listeners associated pitch jumps, subharmonics, and especially chaos with aversive states such as fear and pain. The effects of manipulations in both experiments were particularly strong for ambiguous vocalizations, such as moans and gasps, and could not be explained by a non-specific measure of spectral noise (harmonics-to-noise ratio) – that is, they would be missed by a conventional acoustic analysis. In conclusion, listeners interpret nonlinear vocal phenomena quite flexibly, depending on their type and the kind of vocalization in which they occur. These results showcase the utility of parametric voice synthesis and highlight the need for a more fine-grained analysis of voice quality in acoustic research. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Nonlinear phenomena, source spectrum, human nonverbal vocalizations, voice synthesis, emotion
in
Bioacoustics
pages
22 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c00a9e34-256f-41ad-802f-ba7f04549728
alternative location
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09524622.2019.1581839
date added to LUP
2019-03-12 08:25:42
date last changed
2019-03-14 02:19:51
@article{c00a9e34-256f-41ad-802f-ba7f04549728,
  abstract     = {The communicative role of nonlinear vocal phenomena remains poorly understood since they are difficult to manipulate or even measure with conventional tools. In this study parametric voice synthesis was employed to add pitch jumps, subharmonics/sidebands, and chaos to synthetic human nonverbal vocalizations. In Experiment 1 (86 participants, 144 sounds), chaos was associated with lower valence, and subharmonics with higher dominance. Arousal ratings were not noticeably affected by any nonlinear effects, except for a marginal effect of subharmonics. These findings were extended in Experiment 2 (83 participants, 212 sounds) using ratings on discrete emotions. Listeners associated pitch jumps, subharmonics, and especially chaos with aversive states such as fear and pain. The effects of manipulations in both experiments were particularly strong for ambiguous vocalizations, such as moans and gasps, and could not be explained by a non-specific measure of spectral noise (harmonics-to-noise ratio) – that is, they would be missed by a conventional acoustic analysis. In conclusion, listeners interpret nonlinear vocal phenomena quite flexibly, depending on their type and the kind of vocalization in which they occur. These results showcase the utility of parametric voice synthesis and highlight the need for a more fine-grained analysis of voice quality in acoustic research.},
  author       = {Anikin, Andrey},
  keyword      = {Nonlinear phenomena,source spectrum,human nonverbal vocalizations,voice synthesis,emotion},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {22},
  series       = {Bioacoustics},
  title        = {The perceptual effects of manipulating nonlinear phenomena in synthetic nonverbal vocalizations},
  year         = {2019},
}