Brain Blood Flow Related to Acoustic Laryngeal Reaction Time in Adult Developmental Stutterers The 1980s witnessed renewed interest in the relation between developmental stuttering and central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. We have reported differences between nonstutterers and developmental stutterers on electrophysiologic (QTE) and metabolic (rCBF) measures of brain function. A critical step in the interpretation of results of functional brain imaging studies is ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1992
Brain Blood Flow Related to Acoustic Laryngeal Reaction Time in Adult Developmental Stutterers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ben C. Watson
    University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders
  • Kenneth D. Pool
    Methodist Medical Center Neuroscience Center, Dallas
  • Michael D. Devous, Sr.
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • Frances J. Freeman
    University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders
  • Terese Finitzo
    Methodist Medical Center Neuroscience Center, Dallas
Article Information
Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1992
Brain Blood Flow Related to Acoustic Laryngeal Reaction Time in Adult Developmental Stutterers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 555-561. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.555
History: Received April 16, 1991 , Accepted October 10, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 555-561. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.555
History: Received April 16, 1991; Accepted October 10, 1991

The 1980s witnessed renewed interest in the relation between developmental stuttering and central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. We have reported differences between nonstutterers and developmental stutterers on electrophysiologic (QTE) and metabolic (rCBF) measures of brain function. A critical step in the interpretation of results of functional brain imaging studies is to determine the relation, if any, of identified CNS abnormalities to speech motor control in persons who stutter. In this study we addressed the interpretation of rCBF findings by asking whether we could identify patterns of impaired acoustic laryngeal reaction time (LRT) as a function of response complexity parallel to rCBF findings. Stutterer subgroups determined by clinical seventy ratings were not differentiated by LRT values as a function of response complexity. Stutterers with relative blood flow asymmetry below the normal median value involving both left superior and middle temporal regions of interest (ROIs) showed significantly longer LRT for the complex response than did normal speakers and stutterers with above-normal median relative flow values to at least one of these temporal ROIs. Stutterer subgroups based on reduced cingulate flow alone were not differentiated by LRT values. Findings are consistent with Goldberg’s (1985) model of CNS premotor processing. Findings also suggest that stutterer subgroups might be distinguished by the presence, loci, and relative magnitude of cortical and/or subcortical rCBF abnormality in regions that subserve a fluency-generating system.

Acknowledgments
James Dembowski assisted in conducting LRT studies. Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments. Funding was provided by NIH grant NS 18276.
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