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Phonation and Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology

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1 Phonation and Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology
Nothing is ever said on the stage without a reason. There are no exceptions Charles Waxberg

2 The original use of the larynx was to keep us alive through breakfast
The original use of the larynx was to keep us alive through breakfast. Its main function is stop solids and liquids from entering the trachea and choking us to death. Its secondary functions are to bear down, phonation and speech. The larynx of humans and great apes in infancy is higher in the neck so that they can breathe and suckle at the same time. In humans it descends before the age of two.

3 What the Larynx is for To stop food/liquid from entering the lungs
To Bear Down While Expelling Defecation Childbirth While Lifting PHONATION

4 What is phonation? Laryngeal generation of voice

5 Composition of the Larynx
Composed of cartilage: Cricoid Cartilage – Greek Name meaning ‘ring like’ Thyroid Cartilage – Greek Name meaning ‘Sheild like’ A pair of Arytenoids Epiglottis


7 Laryngeal Anatomy
1. Hyoid bone 2. Thyroid cartilage 3. Cricoid cartilage 4. Tracheal cartilages


9 Larynx

10 Cricoid
Anterior arch Posterior lamina Articular facet

11 Thyroid Cartilage /


13 1. Thyroid prominence
2. Cricothyroid ligament 3. Arytenoid cartilage 4. Corniculate cartilage 5. Vocal ligament 6. Vestibular fold 7. Cricoid cartilage 8. Articular facet for inferior cornu of thyroid cartilage

14 Epiglottis
Arytenoid cartilage Corniculate cartilage Aryepiglottic fold

15 The thyroid rests superiorly on the cricoid and attaches posterior-laterally at the cricoid’s inferior articulator facets. This attachment (the cricothyroid joint) hinges the cricoid and thyroid allowing their anterior sides to adduct, changing vocal fold length.

16 Movement The arytenoid cartilages, two pyramid shaped cartilages rest on the cricoid at the cricoarytenoid joints and move in two distinct ways: 1.)    To pivot (rocking) the posterior ends of the arytenoids away from each other, adducting the anterior ends or the reverse so the anterior ends abduct, and… 2.)    Sliding the arytenoids on an anterior-posterior path. Since the vocal folds are attached to the anterior ends of these cartilages (at the vocal process) any movement in them will change the folds’ shape, tension and relationship to each other thereby affecting phonation.

17 people. umass. edu/jkingstn/ling414/figure%202

18 Composition of the Larynx (Con’t)
Composed of Muscle: Extrinsic Laryngeal Muscles Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscles

19 Extrinsic Muscle TWO Groups of Extrinsic Muscles:
Suprahyoids – Attach to points above the Hyoid (Jaw, Skull and Tongue) when they contract they raise or elevate the Larynx eg Swallowing Infrahyoids – Attach to points below the Hyoid (one connects to the thyroid, however the others connect to the sternum and the scapula) when they contract they lower or depress the Larynx



22 Intrinsic Muscles Adductors – vocal folds are together
Abductors – vocal folds apart Tensors - Stiffen Relaxors - Relax

23 Adductors Lateral Cricoarytenoids Interarytenoids
Transverse Arytenoids Oblique Arytenoids

24 Adductors

25 Adductors

26 /calnet/H+N/image/deep%20muscles%20of%20larynx-lateral%20view.jpg

27 Abductors Posterior Cricoarytenoids

28 Vocal Folds Muscle Membrane
External Thyroarytenoids – inserts into the muscular process on the Arytenoids and the Thyroid notch (shorten and adduct) Internal Thyroarytenoids – inserts into the vocal process on the Arytenoids and the Thyroid Notch (shortens and stiffens), act antagonistically to the Cricothyroids Membrane

29 /calnet/H+N/image/deep%20muscles%20of%20larynx-lateral%20view.jpg

30 Membranes False Vocal Folds – Ventricular folds Laryngeal Ventricle
Conus Elasticus (interconnects the thyroid, cricoid and arytenoids cartilages) Lamina propria (mucosal cover of the vocalis muscle) – can vibrate independently of the vocalis muscle Vocal Ligament – the thread like collagenous fibers of the deep layer of the lamina propria

31 Relaxors and Tensors External Thyroarytenoid – Relaxor, shortens and adducts Internal Thyroarytenoid – Tensor, shortens and stiffens Cricothyroid Muscles – Tensor, lengthens and stiffens Pitch is determined by Relaxors and Tensors


33 Fundamental Frequency
Phonation is made up of a fundamental frequency or Fo (the number of times the folds open and close per second-CPS) and harmonic multiples of the Fo (two times the Fo, three times, four times etc.) that fall in intensity (volume) in an inverse relationship as the harmonics rise in frequency or as the pitch rises the volume falls.

34 Fundamental Frequency

35 Pitch Fundamental frequency (average: baby 500Hz, children Hz men 125Hz women 200Hz) is primarily affected by applying more or less longitudinal tension to the VF using: Cricothyroids Tension in the vocalis muscle OR Adjustments in vertical tension – depressing or elevating the Larynx via suprahyiod and infrahyoid muscles

36 Vocal Fold Tension, Elasticity and Movement
Thicker or thinner Shorter or longer Open or close Intermediate positions Stiff or elastic Movement: Bronx Cheer or Raspberry– “the sound is that or air escaping in rapid bursts, not the sound of the lips moving” – Borden and Harris. Aerodynamic forces acting on the elastic body of the lips

37 ADMET – Aero Dynamic Myo-Elastic Theory
Glottal vibration is the result or refers to interaction between aero-dynamic forces and vocal fold muscular action. Sub-Glottal Pressure Bernoulli Effect – set vocal folds into vibration due to the elasticity of the folds (elastic recoil – the force which restores any elastic body back to its resting place) Muscular Force – Muscles act to bring the folds together so they can vibrate, and muscles regulate their thickness and tension to alter fundamental frequency. Folds are FULLY or PARTIALLY ADDUCTED for phonation

38 Bernoulli Effect An increase in velocity results in a drop in the pressure exerted by the molecules of moving gas or liquid, the pressure drops being perpendicular the direction of the flow

39 Schematic showing the Bernoulli Effect
Schematic showing the Bernoulli Effect. The arrows indicate movement of pressure. As the air moves through a narrowing, inside pressure drops and outside pressure increases pulling the sides inward.

40 Glottal Cycle Vertical Phase Difference – vocal folds open at the bottom first. As top part opens bottom part closes. Wave like motion


42 Chest (Modal Register)
Low fundamental frequency Vocalis muscle activity Folds are thick and short Low stiffness

43 Falsetto Register Longer and thinner folds Stiff folds
Small amplitude of vibration Incomplete closure of the folds Shutter like appearance – Vibrate more like strings

44 Vocal Onset How we bring the folds together: Attack Breathy Vocal Fry
Partial adduction – Whispering or falsetto register (Note: Folds come together FULLY but without force for Modal register)

45 Pitch Lies in the stiffness of the folds resulting from lengthening and contraction of the thyroarytenoids, especially the vocalis portion

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