It has been observed that individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) are more intelligible in a research or clinical testing situation than in conversational speech. This performance effect may improve speech production due to the use of clear speech strategies. It may also cause speech degradation due to anxiety or due to the recording situation itself (presence of a microphone). The goal of this study was to examine the effect of the presence of a microphone on speech production, along with the effect of practice. Participants produced reading samples when they were unaware of being recorded, and again when they were aware that they were being recorded. Recordings were covertly completed during all readings using a bidden microphone, Results for 54 control participants and 21 individuals with PD indicate that an order (practice) effect was strong for both acoustic measures of speech and self-perception of clarity and anxiety. A performance effect existed for control speakers only, as controls increased intensity when they knew they were being recorded. Given the consistent practice effect for both groups, practice tasks may serve to alleviate any anxiety-related performance effects for PD and control speakers.
Keywords: Parkinson disease; acoustic analysis; performance effect; microphone
It has been reported that individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) experience a performance effect, where they are more intelligible in a research or clinical testing situation than in conversational speech (Keintz, Bunton, & Joit, 2007). It is possible that this improved speech production associated with the performance effect may result from the use of clear speech when being tested or recorded (Goberman & Elmer, 2005), A second possibility is that the performance effect may cause a worsening of speech as a result of performance-related anxiety in PD and control speakers. It is known that individuals with PD are susceptible to anxiety (Richard, Schiffer, & Kurlan, 1996), and anxiety can affect speech (Tolkmitt & Scherer, 1986). However, it is unknown if an anxiety-related performance effect is caused by the testing situation itself or by the recording equipment (e.g., microphone) used in testing.
No studies are known to have examined the effect of the presence of a microphone on speech function. The goal of this study was to examine speech when participants know they are being recorded ("recording task" with visible microphone) versus speech when they think they are not being recorded ("practice task" with no visible microphone), along with the effect of practice on speech production (order effect). The second goal of this study was to examine performance and order effects in individuals with PD compared to control speakers.
Seventy-five individuals were examined. There were 54 non-neurologically impaired participants (mean age = 20.5 years) and 21 individuals with PD (mean age = 68.4 years; disease duration = 7.6 years; all medicated and recorded in ON medication state). Based on perceptual dysarthria assessment, all individuals with PD exhibited hypokinetic dysarthria (1 very mild, 7 mild, 2 mild--moderate, 8 moderate, 3 severe). At the time of recording, average self-reported medication effectiveness was 5.5 (1...
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