Acoustics of Infant Pain Cries: Fundamental Frequency as a Measure of Arousal Purpose: The goal of the current study is to examine fundamental frequency (F0) from a sample of healthy newborn infant pain cries. Methods: A total of 58 healthy infants were included in the study. Data were examined from the first cry following a pain stimulus, in addition to a comparison ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2013
Acoustics of Infant Pain Cries: Fundamental Frequency as a Measure of Arousal
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alexander M. Goberman
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Jason A. Whitfield
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Disclosure: Alexander M. Goberman and Jason A. Whitfield have no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Alexander M. Goberman and Jason A. Whitfield have no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2013
Acoustics of Infant Pain Cries: Fundamental Frequency as a Measure of Arousal
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, July 2013, Vol. 23, 18-26. doi:10.1044/ssod23.1.18
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, July 2013, Vol. 23, 18-26. doi:10.1044/ssod23.1.18

Purpose: The goal of the current study is to examine fundamental frequency (F0) from a sample of healthy newborn infant pain cries.

Methods: A total of 58 healthy infants were included in the study. Data were examined from the first cry following a pain stimulus, in addition to a comparison of the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds of the entire crying episode.

Results: In the current study, the mean F0 was found to decrease over time (regardless of infant sex, term status, or positioning). The data also showed a significantly higher F0 for preterm female infants (compared to preterm males) in the first cry immediately following the pain stimulus.

Conclusions: These results reflect high levels of laryngeal tension following the pain stimulus, followed by an overall decrease in tension /arousal over time. The results support examination of the first cry following a pain stimulus, along with examination of the entire cry episode. Implications for the study of arousal and sudden infant death syndrome are discussed.

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