Lisa Vinney, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), is interested in vocal behavior change and factors that influence it. One of her specific objectives is to determine if media consumption alters voice use patterns. Thus, she designed a preliminary study using a within-subject design. Participants were run and data analysis was completed in the last year by her and lab members and collaborators Lyndsay Byers, M.M. (second-year master’s speech-language pathology student at Illinois State (ISU)), Kristen Kostecki, B.S. (second-year master’s speech-language pathology at ISU) and Matt Aldeman Ph.D. (assistant professor in the Department of Technology at ISU). Preliminary findings indicated a potential relationship between hours of media consumption and use of a specific speaking register (i.e., pulse register). The development of this study commenced after Vinney was awarded a Pre-tenure Faculty Initiative Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences of ISU in 2016. Before data collection began, Vinney created an independent study focused on reviewing the literature on voice use register patterns and potential methodologies with now second-year master’s student Courtney Huellen, B.S., as well as Byers.
Vinney and Byers traveled to the Fall Voice Conference, held from October 17-19 in Plano, Texas, to present the full results of this initial work. Fall Voice is a professional conference that brings a range of voice specialists together including speech-language pathologists, physicians, voice scientists, and voice teachers. The meeting encourages the sharing of ideas and dissemination of research and evidence-practice guidelines to address voice disorders from a multidisciplinary perspective. Researchers and practitioners, including Vinney and Byers, shared a range of scholarship related to better understanding the voice, and best practices for assessing and/or managing voice difficulties or differences.
The preliminary work described has led to a new research study in Vinney’s lab which includes a refined methodology and both within and between-subject design components. This project is currently being executed in partnership with Aldeman and several CSD students including Alyssa Ward, B.S. (first-year master’s speech-language pathology student in CSD), and Erin Logsdon and Josie O` Shaugnessy (both undergraduate seniors in ISU CSD). Vinney hopes that her work will provide more definitive evidence for or against the role of media in shaping our vocal use patterns, and also illuminate other intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing patterns of vocal register use.