Scientists say they now understand what makes a voice sound charismatic. Some people have an innate ability to manipulate their vocal frequency to give their voice a richer quality, the US-based researchers said. Such people can then apply additional vocal techniques to take advantage of this. The researchers also found that political leaders with lower voices were perceived as more dominant and attractive.No duh. Ever hear of Demosthenes? Political leaders have understood these techniques in an explicit way, and have been carefully learning and applying these techniques, ever since leadership arose. Actually the number 10,000 should be more like 100,000,000 since birds and mammals and sound-signaling insects have always understood the same point. Some birds and insects even know how to fake their signals to give an impression of importance. But wrong:
Jan Schnupp, co-director of Oxford University's auditory neuroscience group said the work was interesting and fun. "Intuitively the research makes a lot of sense to me. Normally, larger people have larger, heavier vocal folds which vibrate more slowly, and therefore produce a lower fundamental frequency. "So we associate deep voices with an impressively large physique. However, how fast your vocal folds vibrate also depends on how much muscle tension you apply in your larynx. Often muscle tone increases, and hence voice pitch rises simply when people get excited."Sort of partly true at the level of inanimate physics, but fundamental pitch is NOT the most important factor in our informational and emotional processing of speech, and it's not really the main correlate of physical size. Anyone can produce any fundamental from 80 to 300 cps with practice. But a low fundamental won't help if your RESONANCE indicates a narrow and small body. Speech is almost entirely about manipulating and perceiving resonances. We pay very little attention to the fundamental. Speech researchers figured this out 80 years ago. Bell Labs was in the forefront of this understanding because Bell phones needed to carry a narrow range of frequencies. Until the digital age, telephones "heard" only between 300 and 3000 cps. In other words, the fundamental of everyone except a screaming baby or a Hindoo was NOT PRESENT on the phone. But this didn't bother us. We understood both the informational and EMOTIONAL content of voices without ever NOTICING that anything was missing. The acoustical "researchers" who wrote this article apparently haven't heard this news yet. This is like writing about transportation without knowing about horseless carriages.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.