Why Our Voices Are Unique

Why Our Voices Are Unique

first_imgWe can usually recognize friends and acquaintances by their voices.  If we all have the same hardware, though, how is this possible?  The answer is in the vortex.  Sounds sci-fi, but researchers at the University of Cincinnati used knowledge of jet engines to explore the possibility that vortices may help solve the mysteries of the voice.    Vortices are not body parts; they are aerodynamic effects of airflow through the voice box (larynx).  If you could see them, they would look like rotating smoke rings.  The article says, “the larynx is one of the body’s least understood organs.”  Most researchers have studied the structure of the larynx, but Sid Khosla and his team looked at the airflow through it.  They knew that vortices around jet engines produce sound, and suspected that similar phenomena modulated the otherwise mechanical vibrations of the larynx, giving it tone and color.  As a result, they were the first to produce an animal model that could be used to explain the intricacies of voice production in humans.  Khosla found that “vortices may help explain why individual voices are different and can have a different richness and quality to their sound.”    Vortices can be produced by a number of mechanisms.  “This complexity produces a sound that makes my voice different from yours,” he said.  The team hopes that new insights into the aerodynamics of voice production may lead to more effective treatments for voice disorders.Good science, new knowledge with possible health benefits, and no evolutionary speculation.  Three cheers.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

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