Previous research has shown that vocal errors can be simulated using a pitch perturbation technique. Two types of responses are observed when subjects are asked to ignore changes in pitch during a steady vowel production, a compensatory response countering the direction of the perceived change in pitch and a following response in the same direction as the pitch perturbation. The present study investigated the nature of these responses by asking subjects to volitionally change their voice fundamental frequency either in the opposite direction (“opposing” group) or the same direction (“following” group) as the pitch shifts (±100 cents, 1000 ms) presented during the speaker's production of an /a/ vowel. Results showed that voluntary responses that followed the stimulus directions had significantly shorter latencies (150 ms) than opposing responses (360 ms). In addition, prior to the slower voluntary opposing responses, there were short latency involuntary responses that followed the stimulus direction. These following responses may involve mechanisms of imitation or vocal shadowing of acoustical stimuli when subjects are predisposed to respond to a change in frequency of a sound. The slower opposing responses may represent a control strategy that requires monitoring and correcting for errors between the feedback signal and the intended vocal goal.

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