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Brain Lang. 2008 Nov;107(2):114-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

The effects of simulated stuttering and prolonged speech on the neural activation patterns of stuttering and nonstuttering adults.

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  • 1Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. luc.denil@utoronto.ca


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the neural correlates of passive listening, habitual speech and two modified speech patterns (simulated stuttering and prolonged speech) in stuttering and nonstuttering adults. Within-group comparisons revealed increased right hemisphere biased activation of speech-related regions during the simulated stuttered and prolonged speech tasks, relative to the habitual speech task, in the stuttering group. No significant activation differences were observed within the nonstuttering participants during these speech conditions. Between-group comparisons revealed less left superior temporal gyrus activation in stutterers during habitual speech and increased right inferior frontal gyrus activation during simulated stuttering relative to nonstutterers. Stutterers were also found to have increased activation in the left middle and superior temporal gyri and right insula, primary motor cortex and supplementary motor cortex during the passive listening condition relative to nonstutterers. The results provide further evidence for the presence of functional deficiencies underlying auditory processing, motor planning and execution in people who stutter, with these differences being affected by speech manner.

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