5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Volume Regulation in Parkinsonian Speech

Aileen K. Ho (1), John L. Bradshaw (2), Robert Iansek (3), Robin J. Alfredson (4)

(1) Department of Psychology,Monash University, Australia
(2) Department of Psychology, Monash University, Australia
(3) Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre, Australia
(4) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, Australia

This study investigated the ability to regulate speech volume in a group of six-volume impaired idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and their age and sex-matched controls. Participants were asked to read under three conditions; as softly as possible, as loudly as possible, and at normal volume (no volume instruction). The stimuli consisted of a target sentence, easily read in one breath, embedded in a short paragraph of text. Mean volume and volume over time (intensity slope) for the target sentence were obtained. It was found that for all three conditions, patients' speech volume was less than controls' by a constant. Patients also showed a significantly greater reduction of volume (negative intensity slope) towards the end of the sentence, especially for the loud condition. The findings indicate that patients with Parkinsonian hypophonic dysarthria have significant difficulty maintaining speech volume in addition to the inadequate generation of overall speech volume.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ho, Aileen K. / Bradshaw, John L. / Iansek, Robert / Alfredson, Robin J. (1998): "Volume regulation in parkinsonian speech", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0010.