Personne : Thibeault, Mélanie
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Université Laval. Faculté des lettres
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- PublicationAccès libreThe moderating effect of frequent singing on voice aging(Raven Press, 2016-04-01) Thibeault, Mélanie; Lortie, Catherine; Tremblay, Pascale; Rivard, JulieThe effects of aging on voice production are well documented, including changes in loudness, pitch, and voice quality. However, one important and clinically relevant question that remains concerns the possibility that the aging of voice can be prevented or at least delayed through noninvasive methods. Indeed, discovering natural means to preserve the integrity of the human voice throughout aging could have a major impact on the quality of life of elderly adults. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the potentially positive effect of singing on voice production. To this aim, a group of 72 healthy nonsmoking adults (20-93 years old) was recruited and separated into three groups based on their singing habits. Several voice parameters were assessed (fundamental frequency [f0] mean, f0 standard deviation [SD], f0 minimum and f0 maximum, mean amplitude and amplitude SD, jitter, shimmer, and harmonic-to-noise ratio) during the sustained production of vowel /a/. Other parameters were assessed during standardized reading passage (speaking f0, speaking f0 SD). As was expected, age effects were found on most acoustic parameters with significant sex differences. Importantly, moderation analyses revealed that frequent singing moderates the effect of aging on most acoustic parameters. Specifically, in frequent singers, there was no decrease in the stability of pitch and amplitude with age, suggesting that the voice of frequent singers remains more stable in aging than the voice of non-singers, and more generally, providing empirical evidence for a positive effect of singing on voice in aging.
- PublicationAccès libreLa catégorisation grammaticale automatique : adaptation du catégoriseur de Brill au français et modification de l'approche(2004) Thibeault, Mélanie; Ladouceur, JacquesLa catégorisation grammaticale automatique est un domaine où il reste encore beaucoup à faire. De très bons catégoriseurs existent pour l'anglais, mais ceux dont dispose la communauté francophone sont beaucoup moins efficaces. Nous avons donc entraîné le catégoriseur de Brill pour le français pour ensuite en améliorer les résultats. Par ailleurs, quelle que soit la technique utilisée, certains problèmes restent irrésolus. Les mots inconnus sont toujours difficiles à catégoriser correctement. Nous avons tenté de trouver des solutions à ce problème. En somme, nous avons apporté une série de modifications à l'approche de Brill et évalué l'impact de celles-ci sur les performances. Les modifications apportées ont permis de faire passer les performances du traitement des mots inconnus français de 70,7% à 78,6%. Nous avons donc amélioré sensiblement les performances bien qu'il reste encore beaucoup de travail à faire avant que le traitement des mots inconnus français soit satisfaisant.
- PublicationAccès libreEffects of age on the amplitude, frequency and perceived quality of voice(American Aging Association, 2015-11-14) Thibeault, Mélanie; Lortie, Catherine; Guitton, Matthieu J.; Tremblay, PascaleThe manner and extent to which voice amplitude and frequency control mechanisms change with age is not well understood. The related question of whether the assessment of one’s own voice evolves with age, concomitant with the acoustical changes that the voice undergoes, also remains unanswered. In the present study, we characterized the aging of voice production mechanisms (amplitude, frequency), compared the aging voice in different experimental contexts (vowel utterance, connected speech) and examined the relationship between voice self-assessment and age-related voice acoustical changes. Eighty healthy adults (20 to 75 years old) participated in the study, which involved computation of several acoustical measures of voice (including measures of fundamental frequency, voice amplitude, and stability) as well as self-assessments of voice. Because depression is frequent in older adults, depression and anxiety scores were also measured. As was expected, analyses revealed age effects on most acoustical measures. However, there was no interaction between age and the ability to produce high/low voice amplitude/frequency, suggesting that voice amplitude and frequency control mechanisms are preserved in aging. Multiple mediation analyses demonstrated that the relationship between age and voice self-assessment was moderated by depression and anxiety scores. Taken together, these results reveal that while voice production undergoes important changes throughout aging, the ability to increase/decrease the amplitude and frequency of voice are preserved, at least within the age range studied, and that depression and anxiety scores have a stronger impact on perceived voice quality than acoustical changes themselves.
- PublicationAccès libreAging of speech production, from articulatory accuracy to motor timing(American Psychological Association, 2018-10-18) Bédard, Pascale; Thibeault, Mélanie; Tessier, Marie-Hélène; Carrier, Micaël; Tremblay, Pascale; Deschamps, IsabelleDespite the huge importance of spoken language production in everyday life, little is known about the manner and extent to which the motor aspects of speech production evolve with advancing age, as well as the nature of the underlying senescence mechanisms. In this cross-sectional group study, we examined the relationship between age and speech production performance using a nonlexical speech production task in which spoken syllable frequency and phonological complexity were systematically varied to test hypotheses about underlying mechanisms. A nonprobabilistic sample of 60 cognitively healthy adults (18-83 years) produced meaningless nonwords aloud as quickly and accurately as possible. Error rate, vocal reaction time (RT), vocal RT variability, vocal response duration, and vocal response duration variability were used as dependent variables to characterize speech production performance. The results showed an overall increase in error rate, which occurred mainly in the final syllable position (coda). There was also an increase in vocal response duration and in duration variability with age, which was moderated by phonological complexity and syllable frequency. Finally, we also found an age-related change in the relationship between vocal RT and vocal response duration. Together, these findings were interpreted as reflecting an age-related decline in the planning and execution of speech movements in cognitively healthy adults.