Preparation Time and Response Complexity Effects on Stutterers’ and Nonstutterers’ Acoustic LRT Nonstutterers’, mild stutterers’, and severe stutterers’ acoustic laryngeal reaction times (LRTs) were recorded for isolated vowels and nonpropositional VCV responses in different stimulus conditions governing response preparation. In all stimulus-response conditions severe stutterers produced the longest LRTs, followed in turn by mild stutterers and nonstutterers. The three groups significantly differed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1991
Preparation Time and Response Complexity Effects on Stutterers’ and Nonstutterers’ Acoustic LRT
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James Dembowski
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Ben C. Watson
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to James Dembowski, UTD/Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 1966 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75235.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1991
Preparation Time and Response Complexity Effects on Stutterers’ and Nonstutterers’ Acoustic LRT
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 49-59. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.49
History: Received December 11, 1989 , Accepted July 8, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 49-59. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.49
History: Received December 11, 1989; Accepted July 8, 1990

Nonstutterers’, mild stutterers’, and severe stutterers’ acoustic laryngeal reaction times (LRTs) were recorded for isolated vowels and nonpropositional VCV responses in different stimulus conditions governing response preparation. In all stimulus-response conditions severe stutterers produced the longest LRTs, followed in turn by mild stutterers and nonstutterers. The three groups significantly differed from one another in most conditions, but the magnitude of difference between mild and severe stutterers was notably greater than the difference between mild stutterers and nonstutterers. LRT changes as a function of stimulus condition showed that, in general, nonstutterers were best able to use a preparation-facilitating stimulus condition to reduce LRT, and severe stutterers least able to do so. LRT changes as a function of response complexity showed that only nonstutterers produced statistically significant within-group differences. Patterns of LRT change as a combined function of group, stimulus condition, and response type suggest a complex relationship between stutterer severity, preparation time, and type of response complexity. Results illustrate aspects of Goldberg’s (1985) model of preparation processes, and support hypotheses that stutterer subgroups show differential preparation deficits along with high motor initiation variability.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by NINCDS grant NS 19276-06. Candy Moltz, CCC-SLP, assisted with fluency evaluations. Technical assistance was provided by John Chyu, Harley Willet, Bill Cray, and Mark Phillips. This research is based on a master’s thesis by James Dembowski at the University of Texas at Dallas, November, 1988. Parts of these data were presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conventions in 1988 and 1989.
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