Spectral analysis of the voice in Down Syndrome

G. Albertini, S. Bonassi, V. Dall'Armi, I. Giachetti, S. Giaquinto, M. Mignano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The voice quality of individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) is generally described as husky, monotonous and raucous. On the other hand, the voice of DS children is characterized by breathiness, roughness, and nasality and is typically low pitched. However, research on phonation and intonation in these participants is limited. The present study was designed to provide data from the spectral analysis of the human voice in DS people. A cross-sectional, observational design was applied. Thirty DS adults and 48 DS children were enrolled after clinical evaluation. Thirty men, 30 women and 46 children constituted the control group. The participants had to repeat a set of Italian words twice. The Real Time Pitch software manufactured by KayPENTAX recorded the voice. The following spectral descriptors were obtained for each word: Mean Frequency and standard deviation, Energy, Duration, Jitter and Shimmer. Test-retest performance was also checked. The voice of DS adults was characterized by a significantly higher Mean Frequency, particularly in males (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1001
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Down Syndrome
  • Praat
  • Real Time Pitch
  • Speech
  • Voice parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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