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Voluntary stuttering suppresses true stuttering: A window on the speech perception-production link

Abstract

In accord with a proposed innate link between speech perception and production (e.g., motor theory), this study provides compelling evidence for the inhibition of stuttering events in people who stutter prior to the initiation of the intended speech act, via both the perception and the production of speech gestures. Stuttering frequency during reading was reduced in 10 adults who stutter by approximately 40% in three of four experimental conditions: (1) following passive audiovisual presentation (i.e., viewing and hearing) of another person producing pseudostuttering (stutter-like syllabic repetitions) and following active shadowing of both (2) pseudostuttered and (3) fluent speech. Stuttering was not inhibited during reading following passive audiovisual presentation of fluent speech. Syllabic repetitions can inhibit stuttering both when produced and when perceived, and we suggest that these elementary stuttering forms may serve as compensatory speech gestures for releasing involuntary stuttering blocks by engaging mirror neuronal systems that are predisposed for fluent gestural imitation.

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Correspondence to Joseph Kalinowski.

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Note—This article was accepted by the previous editorial team, headed by Neil Macmillan.

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Saltuklaroglu, T., Kalinowski, J., Dayalu, V.N. et al. Voluntary stuttering suppresses true stuttering: A window on the speech perception-production link. Perception & Psychophysics 66, 249–254 (2004). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194876

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Keywords

  • Speech Perception
  • Speech Production
  • Mirror Neuron
  • Mirror System
  • Mirror Neuronal System