"Voice disorders affect 30 percent of the general population and up to 60 percent of educators," says Plesniak. "The objective of our work is to develop a detailed understanding of the phonation process, which will enable the development of computational models."
Wanting to better characterize the physics of this process, George Washington University professor Michael Plesniak and his doctoral student Byron Erath teamed up with speech pathologists a few years ago, while Plesniak was at Purdue University, to investigate the velocity field and flow structures in the airflow that occur when a person speaks.
Plesniak and his students constructed a mechanical model of the vocal folds that had motorized, programmable components that can alter their shape and motion in various ways to mimic vocal folds. By placing this model in a wind tunnel, they examine normal vocalization and common pathologies like the formation of polyps and cysts.
An important feature of the model, says Plesniak, is that it is seven-and-a-half times larger than the actual physiology, which allows the dynamics to be studied in greater detail. The ultimate goal, he adds, is to create tools to help surgeons make preoperative assessments of how a vocal tract surgery will affect an individual's voice.The talk "The development of supraglottal flow structures during speech" by Byron Erath and Michael Plesniak is at 4:14 p.m. on Monday, November 23, 2009.
Currently, the Division of Fluid Dynamics Virtual Press Room contains information related to the 2008 meeting. In mid-November, the Virtual Press Room will be updated for this year's meeting, and another news release will be sent out at that time.ONSITE WORKSPACE FOR REPORTERS
This year, selected entries from the 27th Annual Gallery of Fluid Motion will be hosted as part of the Fluid Dynamics Virtual Press Room. In mid-November, when the Virtual Press Room is launched, another announcement will be sent out.ABOUT THE APS DIVISION OF FLUID DYNAMICS
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