Stuttering & Speech Science Laboratory
- Based on the notion that ‘choral speech’ (speaking in unison) makes people who stutter
fluent without training or changes in speech, we are continuing to investigate variations
of this powerful effect. We are examining how perceiving other ‘second speech signals’
while speaking can help make people who stutter become more fluent. We believe that
this phenomenon occurs via a perception / production link made possible by mirror
neuron systems. We are also investigating the clinical application of such effects.
- Based on the notion that speech perception and production are neurally linked via
mirror systems, we are investigating mirror neuron responses to visual and auditory
speech perception tasks. Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive and cost
efficient method of examining mirror neuron systems. Mirror neuron activity is detected
by suppression of the mu wave in the alpha band.
- Based on the notion that stuttering causes physiological reactions in listeners, we
are investigating eye gaze behavior changes when listeners witness stuttered speech
relative to fluent speech. We believe that changes in listener eye gaze behavior
signal breakdowns in communication that are obvious to the person stuttering and thus,
may be associated with the development of covert stuttering behaviors.
- Based on notions that stuttering is associated with physiological arousal, we are
measuring differences in physiological arousal (e.g., changes in skin conductance
and heart rate) in people who stutter in their anticipations of producing stuttered
versus fluent speech.
- Based on notions that speech evolved from manual gestures and that speech and manual
functions overlap on a neural level, we are investigating this relationship in stuttering.
Our experiments are showing that stuttering in speech can be captured simultaneously
by dysfluency in manual movements.
Ph.D. students: Stephen Crawcour (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrew Bowers (email@example.com)
Celebrate the past, present, and future of ASP with us in the pages of the Audiology & Speech Pathology 2014 Annual Newsletter.
Department Audiology & Speech Pathology
578 South Stadium Hall, UT
Knoxville, TN 37996-0740
Phone: (865) 974-5019
Fax: (865) 974-1539