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J Fluency Disord. 2008 Dec;33(4):291-305. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2008.12.001. Epub 2009 Jan 3.

Delayed auditory feedback effects during reading and conversation tasks: gender differences in fluent adults.

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Tulane University, Department of Psychology, New Orleans, LA 07118, USA.


Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) impacts the speech fluency of normally fluent males more than that of normally fluent females. Understanding this gender difference may contribute to our understanding of gender differences in the prevalence of developmental stuttering. To characterize this gender difference in fluent people, DAF-induced dysfluency was measured in 20 male and 21 female young adults during oral reading and conversation tasks. Stutter-like dysfluencies (SLDs), articulation errors, interjections, reading errors, and speech rate were measured for both speech tasks as the participant spoke without feedback, with non-delayed feedback, and with DAF presented with 5 delay intervals (14 conditions total). DAF induced SLDs (but not other dysfluencies) more frequently during conversation than reading, and this effect was significantly greater for males than females (Gender x Task x Feedback interaction). Males also produced significantly more reading errors than females. DAF reduced speaking rate significantly more while reading than conversing (Task x Feedback interaction). DAF significantly decreased the frequency of interjections and increased the frequency of articulation errors; however, no Gender effects on these variables were observed. Although significant order effects indicated improved fluency across trials, covariance analysis suggested that order effects could not explain other results.


After reading this article, the reader will be able to (1) Discuss developmental stuttering (DS) and gender differences in DS prevalence. (2) Define delayed auditory feedback (DAF). (3) Evaluate the evidence that gender is linked to DAF effects on fluent people. (4) Summarize the results of new research designed to assess sex differences in DAF effects on speech fluency in normally fluent adults. (5) Evaluate the degree to which evidence from the literature indicating that individual differences in attentional control may help us understand gender difference in DAF effects and possibly in DS prevalence as well.

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