Different kinds of articulators, such as the upper and lower lips, jaw, and tongue, are precisely coordinated in speech production. Based on a perturbation study of the production of a fricative consonant using the upper and lower lips, it has been suggested that increasing the stiffness in the muscle linkage between the upper lip and jaw is beneficial for maintaining the constriction area between the lips (Gomi et al. 2002). This hypothesis is crucial for examining the mechanism of speech motor control, that is, whether mechanical impedance is controlled for the speech motor coordination. To test this hypothesis, in the current study we performed a dynamical simulation of lip compensatory movements based on a muscle linkage model and then evaluated the performance of compensatory movements. The temporal pattern of stiffness of muscle linkage was obtained from the electromyogram (EMG) of the orbicularis oris superior (OOS) muscle by using the temporal transformation (second-order dynamics with time delay) from EMG to stiffness, whose parameters were experimentally determined. The dynamical simulation using stiffness estimated from empirical EMG successfully reproduced the temporal profile of the upper lip compensatory articulations. Moreover, the estimated stiffness variation significantly contributed to reproduce a functional modulation of the compensatory response. This result supports the idea that the mechanical impedance highly contributes to organizing coordination among the lips and jaw. The motor command would be programmed not only to generate movement in each articulator but also to regulate mechanical impedance among articulators for robust coordination of speech motor control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)