Physiological Differences Between Stutterers and Nonstutterers in Perceptually Fluent Speech EMG Amplitude and Duration Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1993
Physiological Differences Between Stutterers and Nonstutterers in Perceptually Fluent Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pascal H. H. M. van Lieshout
    Nijmegen Institute of Cognition Research and Information Technology The Netherlands
  • Herman F. M. Peters
    University Hospital, ‘Sint Radboud’ and University of Nijmegen The Netherlands
  • C. Woodruff Starkweather
    Temple University Philadelphia, PA
  • Wouter Hulstijn
    Nijmegen Institute of Cognition Research and Information Technology and University of Nijmegen The Netherlands
  • Contact author: Pascal van Lieshout, Nijmegen Institute of Cognition Research and Information Technology, PO Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1993
Physiological Differences Between Stutterers and Nonstutterers in Perceptually Fluent Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 55-63. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.55
History: Received December 6, 1991 , Accepted July 14, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 55-63. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.55
History: Received December 6, 1991; Accepted July 14, 1992

Electromyograph (EMG) signals of the m. orbicularis oris inferior evoked by lip-rounding gestures were analyzed to see whether stutterers in their perceptually fluent speech had higher levels of EMG and longer EMG durations. The relationship between levels of EMG and durations of elevated muscle activity was investigated, and a search for the best discriminating EMG measure was made. In contrast to some previous studies on the EMG signals of stutterers, a relatively large group of stutterers (n=15) and control speakers (n=20), matched for age and gender, was examined. Both groups took part in a reaction time experiment using verbal items of different length (syllables, words, and sentences) in two time-stress conditions. Measures were taken for lip muscle activity during lip-rounding gestures for the Dutch /o/ sound. Only perceptually fluent trials were analyzed. The results showed that stutterers had significantly higher EMG levels at the moment of speech onset and during speech production than nonstutterers. A much larger difference between the two groups, however, was found for the EMG peak latency measure, which proved to be a very powerful distinctive feature in differentiating stutterers from nonstutterers. The results were discussed with respect to previous findings and recent theories about (speech) motor control strategies.

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