Cognitive Load in Voice Therapy Carry-over Exercises

Jenny Iwarsson, David Jackson Morris, Laura Winther Balling

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Purpose: The cognitive load generated by online speech production may vary with the nature of the speech task. This article examines 3 speech tasks used in voice therapy carry-over exercises, in which a patient is required to adopt and automatize new voice behaviors, ultimately in daily spontaneous communication.
Method: Twelve subjects produced speech in 3 conditions: rote speech (weekdays), sentences in a set form, and semispontaneous speech. Subjects simultaneously performed a secondary visual discrimination task for which response times were measured. On completion of each speech task, subjects rated their experience on a questionnaire.
Results: Response times from the secondary, visual task were found to be shortest for the rote speech, longer for the semispontaneous speech, and longest for the sentences within the set framework. Principal components derived from the subjective ratings were found to be linked to response times on the secondary visual task. Acoustic measures reflecting fundamental frequency distribution and vocal fold compression varied across the speech tasks.
Conclusions: The results indicate that consideration should be given to the selection of speech tasks during the process leading to automation of revised speech behavior and that self-reports may be a reliable index of cognitive load.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Cognitive load
  • Research
  • Speech therapy
  • Voice disorders - treatment
  • Sentences (grammar)
  • Verbal behavior - research
  • Visual discrimination
  • Task performance
  • Self-evaluation
  • Speech - evaluation
  • Questionnaires
  • Analysis of variance
  • Cognition
  • College students
  • Correlation (statistics)
  • Factor analysis
  • Probability theory
  • Regression analysis
  • Speech
  • Variables (mathematics)
  • Repeated measures design
  • Data analysis - software
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Exercises
  • Physiological aspects

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