Voice fundamental frequency levels of divers in helium-oxygen speaking environments

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Voice fundamental frequency levels of divers in helium-oxygen speaking environments

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Title: Voice fundamental frequency levels of divers in helium-oxygen speaking environments
Author: Hollien, H; Shearer, W; Hicks Jr, JW
Abstract: Divers under hyperbaric conditions experience a marked deterioration in speech intelligibility. Included among the possible features that contribute to speech degradation is change/distrotion of speaking fundamental frequency (SFF). Based on the physics of the environment and the physiology of the diver, it would not be expected that SFF would change as a function of varying helium-oxygen pressure conditions. However, in an earlier pilot study, a rise in SFF was found with increases in depth. To test this hypothesis, and to expand the previous limited findings, a large number of U. S. Navy divers were studied. The diver/subjects produced speech samples at the surface and at depths of 200, 450, and 600 fsw in helium-rich environments. The resulting data revealed increases in fundamental frequency to the 450-fsw depth and a subsequent decrease at 600 fsw; further analysis, however, based on data transforms, showed a more linear increase in SFF. From other observations, it was judged that behavioral rather than physical conditions were the primary cause of these SFF shifts; specifically, they appear to have resulted from divers' attempts to speak more intelligibly.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: PMID: 878072
http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/2785
Date: 1977

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  • Undersea Biomedical Research Journal
    The Undersea Baromedical Research journal was published by the Undersea Medical Society, Inc. (now the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society) quarterly from 1974 to 1992 when the name changed to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal.

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