The speaker's numerical estimation of his own vocal level, the autophonic response, was found to grow as the 1.1 power of the actual sound pressure produced. When listeners judged the loudness of another speaker's vocalization (the phoneme [a]), the exponent was 0.7. The disparity between these exponents suggests that the speaker does not rely solely upon his perception of loudness in judging his own relative vocal level. The minor role played by loudness in the autophonic judgment is further demonstrated by the fact that the form and exponent of the subjective scale for autophonic responses remain relatively invariant under wide changes in auditory feedback.The power laws governing the autophonic response (exponent 1.1) and loudness (exponent 0.6) were used to predict successfully the outcome of cross-modality comparisons in which subjects tried to match their vocal level to sounds of various intensities presented either by loudspeaker or by earphone. The slope of the matching function, relating the criterion SPL to the vocal SPL in log-log coordinates, is given by the ratio of the two exponents.Unless the speaker tries deliberately to hold a constant level, the amount of sidetone gain with which the voice is fed back to the ears alters the voice level. The degree to which the speaker lowers his voice when the sidetone is increased is also predicted by the exponents governing the autophonic scale and the loudness scale.


The following article appeared in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 33, Issue 2, pp. 160-167 (February 1961) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1908608


autophonic response, loudness, sidetone

Subject Categories

Voice, Volume perception


Speech and Hearing Science


Acoustical Society of America

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©1961 Acoustical Society of America

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