Amplitude and frequency modulation control of sound production in a mechanical model of the avian syrinx

C.P.H. Elemans, M. Muller, O.N. Larsen, J.L. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Birdsong has developed into one of the important models for motor control of learned behaviour and shows many parallels with speech acquisition in humans. However, there are several experimental limitations to studying the vocal organ – the syrinx – in vivo. The multidisciplinary approach of combining experimental data and mathematical modelling has greatly improved the understanding of neural control and peripheral motor dynamics of sound generation in birds. Here, we present a simple mechanical model of the syrinx that facilitates detailed study of vibrations and sound production. Our model resembles the `starling resistor', a collapsible tube model, and consists of a tube with a single membrane in its casing, suspended in an external pressure chamber and driven by various pressure patterns. With this design, we can separately control `bronchial' pressure and tension in the oscillating membrane and generate a wide variety of `syllables' with simple sweeps of the control parameters. We show that the membrane exhibits high frequency, self-sustained oscillations in the audio range (>600 Hz fundamental frequency) using laser Doppler vibrometry, and systematically explore the conditions for sound production of the model in its control space. The fundamental frequency of the sound increases with tension in three membranes with different stiffness and mass. The lower-bound fundamental frequency increases with membrane mass. The membrane vibrations are strongly coupled to the resonance properties of the distal tube, most likely because of its reflective properties to sound waves. Our model is a gross simplification of the complex morphology found in birds, and more closely resembles mathematical models of the syrinx. Our results confirm several assumptions underlying existing mathematical models in a complex geometry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1224
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume212
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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syringes
Syringes
Membranes
membrane
mathematical models
Vibration
vibration
Pressure
Birds
Theoretical Models
Starlings
Behavior Control
Sturnidae
birds
bird
lasers
sound
oscillation
Lasers
stiffness

Keywords

  • voice-producing element
  • self-excited oscillations
  • vocal-fold vibration
  • collapsible tubes
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • numerical-simulation
  • 2-mass model
  • flow-through
  • zebra finch
  • laryngectomized patients

Cite this

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title = "Amplitude and frequency modulation control of sound production in a mechanical model of the avian syrinx",
abstract = "Birdsong has developed into one of the important models for motor control of learned behaviour and shows many parallels with speech acquisition in humans. However, there are several experimental limitations to studying the vocal organ – the syrinx – in vivo. The multidisciplinary approach of combining experimental data and mathematical modelling has greatly improved the understanding of neural control and peripheral motor dynamics of sound generation in birds. Here, we present a simple mechanical model of the syrinx that facilitates detailed study of vibrations and sound production. Our model resembles the `starling resistor', a collapsible tube model, and consists of a tube with a single membrane in its casing, suspended in an external pressure chamber and driven by various pressure patterns. With this design, we can separately control `bronchial' pressure and tension in the oscillating membrane and generate a wide variety of `syllables' with simple sweeps of the control parameters. We show that the membrane exhibits high frequency, self-sustained oscillations in the audio range (>600 Hz fundamental frequency) using laser Doppler vibrometry, and systematically explore the conditions for sound production of the model in its control space. The fundamental frequency of the sound increases with tension in three membranes with different stiffness and mass. The lower-bound fundamental frequency increases with membrane mass. The membrane vibrations are strongly coupled to the resonance properties of the distal tube, most likely because of its reflective properties to sound waves. Our model is a gross simplification of the complex morphology found in birds, and more closely resembles mathematical models of the syrinx. Our results confirm several assumptions underlying existing mathematical models in a complex geometry",
keywords = "voice-producing element, self-excited oscillations, vocal-fold vibration, collapsible tubes, nonlinear dynamics, numerical-simulation, 2-mass model, flow-through, zebra finch, laryngectomized patients",
author = "C.P.H. Elemans and M. Muller and O.N. Larsen and {van Leeuwen}, J.L.",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1242/jeb.026872",
language = "English",
volume = "212",
pages = "1212--1224",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "Company of Biologists",
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}

Amplitude and frequency modulation control of sound production in a mechanical model of the avian syrinx. / Elemans, C.P.H.; Muller, M.; Larsen, O.N.; van Leeuwen, J.L.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 212, No. 8, 2009, p. 1212-1224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Amplitude and frequency modulation control of sound production in a mechanical model of the avian syrinx

AU - Elemans, C.P.H.

AU - Muller, M.

AU - Larsen, O.N.

AU - van Leeuwen, J.L.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Birdsong has developed into one of the important models for motor control of learned behaviour and shows many parallels with speech acquisition in humans. However, there are several experimental limitations to studying the vocal organ – the syrinx – in vivo. The multidisciplinary approach of combining experimental data and mathematical modelling has greatly improved the understanding of neural control and peripheral motor dynamics of sound generation in birds. Here, we present a simple mechanical model of the syrinx that facilitates detailed study of vibrations and sound production. Our model resembles the `starling resistor', a collapsible tube model, and consists of a tube with a single membrane in its casing, suspended in an external pressure chamber and driven by various pressure patterns. With this design, we can separately control `bronchial' pressure and tension in the oscillating membrane and generate a wide variety of `syllables' with simple sweeps of the control parameters. We show that the membrane exhibits high frequency, self-sustained oscillations in the audio range (>600 Hz fundamental frequency) using laser Doppler vibrometry, and systematically explore the conditions for sound production of the model in its control space. The fundamental frequency of the sound increases with tension in three membranes with different stiffness and mass. The lower-bound fundamental frequency increases with membrane mass. The membrane vibrations are strongly coupled to the resonance properties of the distal tube, most likely because of its reflective properties to sound waves. Our model is a gross simplification of the complex morphology found in birds, and more closely resembles mathematical models of the syrinx. Our results confirm several assumptions underlying existing mathematical models in a complex geometry

AB - Birdsong has developed into one of the important models for motor control of learned behaviour and shows many parallels with speech acquisition in humans. However, there are several experimental limitations to studying the vocal organ – the syrinx – in vivo. The multidisciplinary approach of combining experimental data and mathematical modelling has greatly improved the understanding of neural control and peripheral motor dynamics of sound generation in birds. Here, we present a simple mechanical model of the syrinx that facilitates detailed study of vibrations and sound production. Our model resembles the `starling resistor', a collapsible tube model, and consists of a tube with a single membrane in its casing, suspended in an external pressure chamber and driven by various pressure patterns. With this design, we can separately control `bronchial' pressure and tension in the oscillating membrane and generate a wide variety of `syllables' with simple sweeps of the control parameters. We show that the membrane exhibits high frequency, self-sustained oscillations in the audio range (>600 Hz fundamental frequency) using laser Doppler vibrometry, and systematically explore the conditions for sound production of the model in its control space. The fundamental frequency of the sound increases with tension in three membranes with different stiffness and mass. The lower-bound fundamental frequency increases with membrane mass. The membrane vibrations are strongly coupled to the resonance properties of the distal tube, most likely because of its reflective properties to sound waves. Our model is a gross simplification of the complex morphology found in birds, and more closely resembles mathematical models of the syrinx. Our results confirm several assumptions underlying existing mathematical models in a complex geometry

KW - voice-producing element

KW - self-excited oscillations

KW - vocal-fold vibration

KW - collapsible tubes

KW - nonlinear dynamics

KW - numerical-simulation

KW - 2-mass model

KW - flow-through

KW - zebra finch

KW - laryngectomized patients

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DO - 10.1242/jeb.026872

M3 - Article

VL - 212

SP - 1212

EP - 1224

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 8

ER -