On the basis of simulations carried out with a finite element biomechanical model of the face, the influence of the muscle stress stiffening effect was studied for the protrusion/rounding of the lips produced with the Orbicularis Oris (OO). It is shown that the stress stiffening effect influences lip shape. When stress stiffening is modeled, the variation in the crucial geometrical characteristics of the lips shows a clear saturation effect as the OO activation level increases. Similarly, for a sufficient amount of OO activation, a saturation effect is observed when stiffening increases. In both cases, differences in lip shaping associated with the absence or presence of stiffening have consequences for the spectral characteristics of the speech signal obtained for the French vowel /u/. These results are interpreted in terms of their consequences for the motor control strategies underlying the protrusion/rounding gesture in speech production.
Nazari is with ICP/GIPSA-laboratory, UMR CNRS 5216, Saint Martin d’Hères Cedex, France, and the Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. Chabanas and Perrier are with ICP/GIPSA-laboratory, UMR CNRS 5216, Saint Martin d’Hères Cedex, France. Payan is with TIMC-IMAG, UMR CNRS 5525, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France, Faculté de Médecine, La Tronche Cedex, France.