Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Cry characteristics

Michael P. Robb, David H. Crowell, Peter Dunn-Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To acoustically evaluate the cries of SIDS infants and compare these cry features to a group of healthy term (HT) infants, as well as previously published results for SIDS infants. Methods: Pain-induced crying episodes were collected from four infants during the first weeks of life that later died of SIDS. Temporal and spectral features of each crying episode were characterized based on measures of cry duration, cry fundamental frequency (F0), and cry formant frequencies (F1 and F2). Results: The SIDS infants were found to produce cries with longer duration compared to HT infants. The cries of SIDS infants also differed from HT infants in regard to the absolute difference in F2-F1 frequency. Conclusions: The acoustic features considered in the present study support the contention that the cries of SIDS infants are reflective of atypical respiratory-laryngeal control. Although research of this nature is rare, there is evidence to suggest an acoustic profile of crying that is specific to SIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1267
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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