This App provides directly interpretable biofeedback when (1) monitoring general health and well-being; (2) monitoring the effects of chronic stress; (3) monitoring the risk of depression; (4) doing something about it where necessary.
Getting to Know Yourself Better
Get involved and learn more about the complex interplay between body and mind under chronic stress caused, for example, by modern work conditions or by tight schedules and frequent exams in college.
● Learn more about your affects, the evolutionarily very old processes deep inside your body. Affects such as aggression, fear, anger, happiness, sadness, grief, or love, can be triggered through internal and external events, and are often accompanied by bodily reactions, such as sweat, rapidly increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, or dizziness.
● Learn how regular voice recordings can improve your coping behavior under stress, so that you feel comfortable, for example, when speaking in public — such that mean vocal pitch doesn’t go up by a halftone anymore.
Subjects at risk of depression
Get involved and learn how low mood reduces the dynamic expressiveness of your voice and how your voice sounds when it regains energy, vivacity and spiritedness.
● Find out how helpful it is to go for a 20-minute walk, to ride a bicycle, or to do sports.
● And best of all: getting involved on a routine basis is a great remedy to better cope with the ups and downs of real life.
Chronic stress can lead to serious health problems and can affect nearly every system of the human body. For a certain percentage of the general population, chronic stress raises blood pressure, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, suppresses the immune system, and increases the vulnerability to psychiatric disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders. Health surveys indicate that the stress-induced burden is linked to a pronounced lack of coping skills which can let things escalating on the long run.
Human speech is greatly influenced by the speakers’ affective state which reflects feelings like sadness, happiness, grief, guilt, fear, anger, aggression, faintheartedness, shame, love, stress, or doziness — and, occasionally, depressive or psychotic symptoms. Attentive listeners discover a lot about the affective state of their dialog partners without having to talk about it explicitly (e.g., on the phone). Hectic and abrupt, or delayed and monotonous speaking behavior can be indicators of stress-related or affective problems (depression, anxiety disorders) when such behavior persists over a longer time.
Our normative speech studies of 5 major languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish) have shown that speaking behavior and voice sound characteristics can be quantified in a reproducible and language-independent way. In fact, the speech assessments enabled computerized language recognition at a success rate of better than 90% (5 languages, 600 test persons).
Based on these normative data we have developed a “voice app” for the analysis of speaking behavior and voice sound characteristics as a function of time. This easy-to-use “voice app” is currently available for Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones under Windows and Android. An iPhone version is in preparation.
On the basis of repeated 2-minute voice recordings at 1-day intervals, the “voice app” allows users to monitor (1) general health and well-being; (2) the effects of chronic stress; and (3) the risk of depression or anxiety disorders. Specifically, the “voice app” estimates the test person’s individual “baseline” and computes the variations around this baseline in positive and negative direction.
In this context it is worth noting that short-term deviations from “normal” values in the range of 1-2 days are constituents of human life and do not require specific action. However, voice recordings on a regular basis will improve coping behavior under stress [cf. Manual: “http://ifma-health.com/Left05k.php”].