Limited pre-speech auditory modulation in individuals who stutter: Data and hypotheses

Ludo Max, Ayoub Daliri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: We review and interpret our recent series of studies investigating motor-to-auditory influences during speech movement planning in fluent speakers and speakers who stutter. In those studies, we recorded auditory evoked potentials in response to probe tones presented immediately prior to speaking or at the equivalent time in no-speaking control conditions. As a measure of pre-speech auditory modulation (PSAM), we calculated changes in auditory evoked potential amplitude in the speaking conditions relative to the no-speaking conditions. Whereas adults who do not stutter consistently showed PSAM, this phenomenon was greatly reduced or absent in adults who stutter. The same between-group difference was observed in conditions where participants expected to hear their prerecorded speech played back without actively producing it, suggesting that the speakers who stutter use inefficient forward modeling processes rather than inefficient motor command generation processes. Compared with fluent participants, adults who stutter showed both less PSAM and less auditory-motor adaptation when producing speech while exposed to formant-shifted auditory feedback. Across individual participants, however, PSAM and auditory-motor adaptation did not correlate in the typically fluent group, and they were negatively correlated in the stuttering group. Interestingly, speaking with a consistent 100-ms delay added to the auditory feedback signal-normalized PSAM in speakers who stutter, and there no longer was a betweengroup difference in this condition. Conclusions: Combining our own data with human and animal neurophysiological evidence from other laboratories, we interpret the overall findings as suggesting that (a) speech movement planning modulates auditory processing in a manner that may optimize its tuning characteristics for monitoring feedback during speech production and, (b) in conditions with typical auditory feedback, adults who stutter do not appropriately modulate the auditory system prior to speech onset. Lack of modulation of speakers who stutter may lead to maladaptive feedback-driven movement corrections that manifest themselves as repetitive movements or postural fixations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3071-3084
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume62
Issue number8S
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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