Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
CPMS News Podcast
A BYU alumnus has more than heeded the call to listen to the prophet’s voice — he has broken ground in voice analysis by carefully studying 36 of Gordon B. Hinckley’s addresses.Dr. Eric Hunter of the National Center for Voice and Speech at the University of Utah will be speaking Wednesday on the methods he and his research team have used to track health and aging just by the sound of someone’s voice.Several years ago in Denver, one of Hunter’s LDS colleagues noticed during General Conference that President Hinckley’s voice would crack in a predictable way based on new understanding of speech production.This sparked Hunter's curiosity. Using recordings from the BYU speeches database, Hunter and some of his students tested this hypothesis and have been able to analyze changes in President Hinckley's voice as he aged.“If the voice mechanism is changing, so is swallowing, lung usage and related pulmonary function,” Hunter said. “If some of these characteristics that we've measured can be tracked over time, we can look for changes that might reflect changes in such vital life functions as breathing and swallowing.”The methodology Hunter and his team have developed can be adapted so recordings from BYU and the Church's archives can be used in a wide range of other research paths. His work will be significant across a variety of fields, including communications sciences, medicine, speech therapy, linguistics, biomechanics and physics.Hunter will be speaking on Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 4 p.m. in room C215 of the Eyring Science Center. Students and professors from all colleges and departments are invited to attend.—Erik Westesen, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences