(ORDO NEWS) — Infectious diseases affect the entire body, in particular, they change the tone, volume and other characteristics of voices. This conclusion was made by American scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
They found changes in the voice of people who asymptomatically transferred the COVID-19 coronavirus. Moreover, the changes were so subtle that people did not pay attention to them.
The head of the research team, Thomas Quatieri, had previously led research in this area, and with the onset of the pandemic, he asked himself: can vocal biomarkers exist in those infected with coronavirus? Judging by the primary symptoms of the disease, when a person has difficulty breathing, he develops a dry cough, shortness of breath – this is quite real.
Inflammation in the respiratory system affects the rate of air expiration when a patient says this air interacts with hundreds of other potentially inflamed muscles. Thus, the tone of the voice, resonance, volume and so on change, and all these parameters can be measured and used as biomarkers, scientists decided.
During the experiments, they carefully compared the recordings of speeches by famous people who had become ill with COVID-19, but had not yet shown symptoms, from their interviews when they were definitely healthy.
After analyzing the recordings using a computer, scientists found that indeed a coronavirus infection provokes muscle tension and impedes their movement, and the variety of sound signals is reduced.
The speech movements of the sick COVID-19 were simplified compared with his speech before
“Imagine that these speech subsystems are the wrists and fingers of an experienced pianist; as a rule, the movements are independent and complex,” the scientist explains. “Now imagine that the wrists and fingers seem to stick together and act as one.
The pianist can no longer play complex pieces ” In the same way, the speech movements of the diseased COVID-19 were simplified compared to his speech before. Thus, vocal biomarkers may indicate that a person is infected with a coronavirus.
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