Auditory modulation during speech movement planning is limited in adults who stutter (AWS), but the functional relevance of the phenomenon itself remains unknown. We investigated for AWS and adults who do not stutter (AWNS) (a) a potential relationship between pre-speech auditory modulation and auditory feedback contributions to speech motor learning and (b) the effect on pre-speech auditory modulation of real-time versus delayed auditory feedback. Experiment I used a sensorimotor adaptation paradigm to estimate auditory-motor speech learning. Using acoustic speech recordings, we quantified subjects' formant frequency adjustments across trials when continually exposed to formant-shifted auditory feedback. In Experiment II, we used electroencephalography to determine the same subjects' extent of pre-speech auditory modulation (reductions in auditory evoked potential N1 amplitude) when probe tones were delivered prior to speaking versus not speaking. To manipulate subjects' ability to monitor real-time feedback, we included speaking conditions with non-altered auditory feedback (NAF) and delayed auditory feedback (DAF). Experiment I showed that auditory-motor learning was limited for AWS versus AWNS, and the extent of learning was negatively correlated with stuttering frequency. Experiment II yielded several key findings: (a) our prior finding of limited pre-speech auditory modulation in AWS was replicated; (b) DAF caused a decrease in auditory modulation for most AWNS but an increase for most AWS; and (c) for AWS, the amount of auditory modulation when speaking with DAF was positively correlated with stuttering frequency. Lastly, AWNS showed no correlation between pre-speech auditory modulation (Experiment II) and extent of auditory-motor learning (Experiment I) whereas AWS showed a negative correlation between these measures. Thus, findings suggest that AWS show deficits in both pre-speech auditory modulation and auditory-motor learning; however, limited pre-speech modulation is not directly related to limited auditory-motor adaptation; and in AWS, DAF paradoxically tends to normalize their otherwise limited pre-speech auditory modulation.
- Auditory modulation
- Event-related potentials
- Speech planning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience