Jaw-phonatory coordination in chronic developmental stuttering

Torrey M.J. Loucks, Luc F. De Nil, Jayanthi Sasisekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A deficiency in sensorimotor integration in a person who stutters may be a factor in the pathophysiology of developmental stuttering. To test oral sensorimotor function in adults who stutter, we used a task that requires the coordination of a jaw-opening movement with phonation onset. The task was adapted from previous limb coordination studies, which show that movement coordination depends on intact proprioception. We hypothesized that adult stutterers would show deficient jaw-phonatory coordination relative to control participants. The task required initiation of phonation as a jaw-opening movement passed through a narrow spatial target. Target amplitude and jaw movement speed were varied. The stuttering group showed significantly higher movement error and spatial variability in jaw-phonatory coordination compared to the control group, but group differences in movement velocity or duration were not found. The aberrant jaw-phonatory coordination of the stuttering participants suggests that stuttering is associated with an oral proprioceptive limitation, although, the findings are also consistent with a motor control deficit. Learning outcomes: As a result of this activity, reader will (1) learn about a hypothesis and evidence supporting the view that a sensorimotor deficit contributes to chronic developmental stuttering and (2) will obtain information about the role of proprioception in multi-articulatory coordination and how it can be tested using an oral-phonatory coordination task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-272
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing

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