The effects of microgravity on tongue height

Authors

  • Arian Shamei Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory - University of British Columbia
  • Bryan Gick Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory - University of British Columbia

Abstract

A previous investigation comparing astronaut speech during and after the Apollo 11 mission reported a significant increase across all vowel formants during microgravity exposure. This result was interpreted as indicating that the tongue is lowered in microgravity conditions [Yu & Hansen, 2017, JASA, 141(3), 1605-1614]. However, we note that the microgravity condition speech data used in this analysis were routed through telephone channels while the earth condition data were not. As telephone speech is characterized by a marked increase to formants [Nolan, 2002. Forensic Ling. 9(1), 74-82], it is unclear whether any observed effect was due to microgravity or telephone bandwidths.  Using higher quality audio from the STS-129 and 135 missions and linear mixed effects models, we compared the first vowel formant (F1) of two astronauts immediately before and during exposure to microgravity during space travel. We found no significant interaction of condition in our models, suggesting microgravity does not have a substantial effect on tongue height. We conclude that previous observations of microgravity-induced tongue lowering may actually be a product of telephone bandwidth changes. Future investigations of astronaut speech should take care to ensure audio bandwidth is comparable across conditions.

 

Author Biographies

Arian Shamei, Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory - University of British Columbia

Linguistics - PhD Student

Bryan Gick, Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory - University of British Columbia

Linguistics - Professor

Additional Files

Published

2021-08-17

How to Cite

1.
Shamei A, Gick B. The effects of microgravity on tongue height. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2021 Aug. 17 [cited 2024 Apr. 21];49(3):50-1. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/3921

Issue

Section

Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>