The Influence of Stuttering Severity on Acoustic Startle Responses Purpose This study examined the potential impact of stuttering severity, as measured by the Perceptions of Stuttering Inventory (Woolf, 1967) on acoustic startle responses. Method Three groups, consisting of 10 nonstuttering adults, 9 mild stutterering adults, and 11 moderate/severe stutterering adults, were presented with identical 95-dB acoustic stimuli ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2008
The Influence of Stuttering Severity on Acoustic Startle Responses
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • John B. Ellis
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Donald S. Finan
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Peter R. Ramig
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Contact author: John B. Ellis, 2501 Kittredge Loop Road, 409 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0409. E-mail: john.ellis@colorado.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2008
The Influence of Stuttering Severity on Acoustic Startle Responses
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 836-850. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/061)
History: Received July 3, 2006 , Revised February 28, 2007 , Accepted September 28, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 836-850. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/061)
History: Received July 3, 2006; Revised February 28, 2007; Accepted September 28, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose This study examined the potential impact of stuttering severity, as measured by the Perceptions of Stuttering Inventory (Woolf, 1967) on acoustic startle responses.

Method Three groups, consisting of 10 nonstuttering adults, 9 mild stutterering adults, and 11 moderate/severe stutterering adults, were presented with identical 95-dB acoustic stimuli to elicit acoustic startle responses across 10 trials. Electromyographic recordings of orbicularis occuli activity were used to measure individual acoustic startle responses.

Results Participant groups failed to exhibit statistically significant differences in initial acoustic startle response amplitude, mean acoustic startle response amplitude, habituation rates, and onset latency. Acoustic startle responses were characterized by high levels of variability across all participant groups but with highest levels of variability in the moderate/severe stuttering group.

Conclusions The current results suggest that stuttering severity, as measured in this study, does not effectively predict acoustic startle responses in groups of adults who stutter.

Acknowledgments
We wish to express our appreciation to the Malcolm Fraser Foundation for its generous doctoral funding support of the first author and to Derek Briggs of the University of Colorado at Boulder for his review of the article and feedback related to statistics.
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