Pain cries elicited from nine full‐term, clinically normal neonates and five premature neonates with no reported abnormalities were studied using computer analysis. Based on the source‐filter theory of speech production, greater variability of fundamental frequency (F0) and of cry spectra were hypothesized for premature infants. The cepstral technique was used to extract F0 from the cry spectra of each infant. The null hypothesis of no differences in variability of F0 between groups was tentatively accepted. A Test for Stationarity was used to determine spectral variability. As predicted, results showed greater variability of cry spectra for premature infants. Spectral variability findings were interpreted as probably reflecting differences in underlying neurophysiological maturity.

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