Bifurcations and chaos in register transitions of excised larynx experiments

Chaos. 2008 Mar;18(1):013102. doi: 10.1063/1.2825295.


Experimental data from an excised larynx are analyzed in the light of nonlinear dynamics. The excised larynx provides an experimental framework that enables artificial control and direct observation of the vocal fold vibrations. Of particular interest in this experiment is the coexistence of two distinct vibration patterns, which closely resemble chest and falsetto registers of the human voice. Abrupt transitions between the two registers are typically accompanied by irregular vibrations. Two approaches are presented for the modeling of the excised larynx experiment; one is the nonlinear predictive modeling of the experimental time series and the other is the biomechanical modeling (three-mass model) that takes into account basic mechanisms of the vocal fold vibrations. The two approaches show that the chest and falsetto vibrations correspond to two coexisting limit cycles, which jump to each other with a change in the bifurcation parameter. Irregular vibrations observed at the register jumps are due to chaos that exists near the two limit cycles. This provides an alternative mechanism to generate chaotic vibrations in excised larynx experiment, which is different from the conventionally known mechanisms such as strong asymmetry between the left and right vocal folds or excessively high subglottal pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Larynx / physiology*
  • Larynx / surgery
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Sound Spectrography / methods*
  • Vibration