Voice patterns

How are voice patterns relevant to schizophrenia?

Some people with schizophrenia display atypical voice patterns. Some atypical voice patterns have been associated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including blunted affect (lack of vocal intonation) and alogia (poverty of speech). Clarifying vocal abnormalities in people with schizophrenia may help support the assessment of cognitive and clinical features related to the disorder.

What is the evidence for changes in voice patterns?

Moderate quality evidence found large effects of longer pauses and less spoken time in people with schizophrenia compared to people without schizophrenia. There were medium-sized effects of lower speech rate and less pitch variability. No differences were found in pitch, intensity variability, duration of utterance, or the number of pauses.

Significant correlations were found in patients between lower pitch and more positive symptoms, less pitch variability and more flat affect, less time spoken and more alogia, and more duration of pauses and more negative symptoms in general.

February 2022

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Last updated at: 2:00 pm, 23rd February 2022
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