The inhibition of stuttering via the presentation of natural speech and sinusoidal speech analogs

Tim Saltuklaroglu, Joseph Kalinowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sensory signals containing speech or gestural (articulatory) information (e.g., choral speech) have repeatedly been found to be highly effective inhibitors of stuttering. Sine wave analogs of speech consist of a trio of changing pure tones representative of formant frequencies. They are otherwise devoid of traditional speech cues, yet have proven to evoke consistent linguistic percepts in listeners. Thus, we investigated the potency of sinusoidal speech for inhibiting stuttering. Ten adults who stutter read while listening to (a) forward-flowing natural speech; (b) forward-flowing sinusoid analogs of natural speech; (c) reversed natural speech; (d) reversed sinusoid analogs of natural speech; and (e) a continuous 1000 Hz pure tone. The levels of stuttering inhibition achieved using the sinusoidal stimuli were potent and not significantly different from those achieved using natural speech (∼50% in forward conditions and ∼25% in the reversed conditions), suggesting that the patterns of undulating pure tones are sufficient to endow sinusoidal sentences with 'quasi-gestural' qualities. These data highlight the sensitivity of a specialized 'phonetic module' for extracting gestural information from sensory stimuli. Stuttering inhibition is thought to occur when perceived gestural information facilitates fluent productions via the engagement of mirror neurons (e.g., in Broca's area), which appear to play a crucial role in our ability to perceive and produce speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume404
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2006
Externally publishedYes

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Stuttering
Inhibition (Psychology)
Mirror Neurons
Phonetics
Aptitude
Linguistics
Cues

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

The inhibition of stuttering via the presentation of natural speech and sinusoidal speech analogs. / Saltuklaroglu, Tim; Kalinowski, Joseph.

In: Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 404, No. 1-2, 14.08.2006, p. 196-201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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