A constitutive model of the human vocal fold cover for fundamental frequency regulation

Kai Zhang, Thomas Siegmund, Roger W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The elastic as well as time-dependent mechanical response of the vocal fold cover (epithelium and superficial layer of the lamina propria) under tension is one key variable in regulating the fundamental frequency. This study examines the hyperelastic and time-dependent tensile deformation behavior of a group of human vocal fold cover specimens (six male and five female). The primary goal is to formulate a constitutive model that could describe empirical trends in speaking fundamental frequency with reasonable confidence. The constitutive model for the tissue mechanical behavior consists of a hyperelastic equilibrium network in parallel with an inelastic, time-dependent network and is combined with the ideal string model for phonation. Results showed that hyperelastic and time-dependent parameters of the constitutive model can be related to observed age-related and gender-related differences in speaking fundamental frequency. The implications of these findings on fundamental frequency regulation are described. Limitations of the current constitutive model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1062
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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