What is it about?

Does our speech change based on the room we’re seeing? Although this seems like a straightforward question, current science has minimal information regarding to the influence of visual input on speech production. This is because, up until now, it has been difficult to remove the influence of auditory information when speaking in different sized rooms. This study used virtual reality to provide a variety of different rooms while keeping the auditory feedback the same. In this study, 30 speakers read a passage and spoke spontaneously in 6 different virtual reality conditions that varied based on size and fullness. The data revealed that a VR room’s size has different effects on speech compared to the room’s fullness.

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Why is it important?

This project represents the first steps in determining the independent contributions of visual information during speech. All of this data was gathered in the virtual reality. So, this study provides evidence that the visual aspect of VR technology could be useful in altering the way we speak. This has implications for healthcare, as individuals with voice problems may benefit from executing rehabilitation strategies in specific virtual reality environments. Looking towards the future, continued scientific research studying speech production in virtual reality will help to optimize this technology, its applications to medicine, and overall, our voices.


It was a pleasure to lead this study in collaboration with Dr. Pasquale Bottalico at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As this study marks the foundation of my PhD dissertation, I am honored to present our findings. In the future, with increased knowledge about cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) technology, this project holds the potential to support the integration of VR technology in clinical settings.

Charles J Nudelman
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Investigating the Impact of Visual Input on Voice Production in Virtual Reality, Journal of Voice, August 2023, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2023.07.016.
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