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Clin Linguist Phon. 2006 Jul;20(5):371-85.

Cognitive processing load as a determinant of stuttering: summary of a research programme.

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  • 1Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum, Germany. hgb@kli.psy.rub.de

Abstract

The present paper integrates the results of experimental studies in which cognitive differences between stuttering and nonstuttering adults were investigated. In a monitoring experiment it was found that persons who stutter encode semantic information more slowly than nonstuttering persons. In dual-task experiments the two groups were compared in overt word-repetition and sentence-production experiments. The results of the two word-repetition experiments indicate that the speech of stuttering persons is sensitive to interference from concurrent attention-demanding cognitive processing-particularly when phonological coding is involved. In two sentence-generation and -production experiments it was found that under dual-task conditions stuttering persons produced sentences containing a smaller number of content units whereas persons who do not stutter did not show a significant single- vs. dual-task contrast. These results suggest that sentence generation and production required greater sustained attentional processing in stuttering than in nonstuttering persons and that persons who stutter reduce the amount of "conceptual work" in order to keep their stuttering rates low. Data from an fMRI-study indicate that in persons who stutter the neural systems activated during sentence generation and production overlap to a greater extent than those of persons who do not stutter. It is suggested that in persons who stutter neural subsystems involved in speech planning are "modularized" to a lesser extent than in persons who do not stutter.

PMID:
16728334
DOI:
10.1080/02699200500074321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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