A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Silent and Oral Single Word Reading in Stuttering and Nonstuttering Adults Over the last decade positron emission tomography (PET) has been used extensively for the study of language and other cognitive and sensorimotor processes in healthy and diseased individuals. In the present study, [15O]H2O PET scanning was used to investigate the lateralization and functional distribution of cortical and subcortical activity involved ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2000
A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Silent and Oral Single Word Reading in Stuttering and Nonstuttering Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luc F. De Nil
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology University of Toronto and Human Communication Laboratory The Toronto Western Hospital Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Robert M. Kroll
    Stuttering Centre Speech Foundation of Ontario and Department of Speech-Language Pathology University of Toronto Ontario, Canada
  • Shitij Kapur
    Positron Emission Tomography Centre Department of Psychiatry University of Toronto and Rotman Research Institute Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Sylvain Houle
    Positron Emission Tomography Centre Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Departments of Psychiatry and Medical Imaging University of Toronto Ontario, Canada
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: luc.denil@utoronto.ca
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Normal Language Processing / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2000
A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Silent and Oral Single Word Reading in Stuttering and Nonstuttering Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 1038-1053. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.1038
History: Received January 5, 1999 , Accepted February 10, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 1038-1053. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.1038
History: Received January 5, 1999; Accepted February 10, 2000

Over the last decade positron emission tomography (PET) has been used extensively for the study of language and other cognitive and sensorimotor processes in healthy and diseased individuals. In the present study, [15O]H2O PET scanning was used to investigate the lateralization and functional distribution of cortical and subcortical activity involved in single word reading in stuttering and non-stuttering individuals. Ten right-handed male stuttering adults and matched nonstuttering individuals were instructed to read individually presented single words either silently or out loud. Subtraction of functional brain images obtained during each of the two reading tasks, and during a non-linguistic baseline task, was used to calculate within-group and between-group differences in regional cerebral blood flow by means of statistical parametric mapping. Increased activation in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was observed during silent reading in the stuttering speakers but not in the nonstuttering group. Because of the hypothesized role of the ACC in selective attention and covert articulatory practice, it is suggested that the observed increased ACC activation in the stuttering individuals reflects the presence of cognitive anticipatory reactions related to stuttering. During the oral reading task, within-group comparisons showed bilateral cortical and subcortical activation in both the stuttering and the nonstuttering speakers. Between-group comparisons showed a proportionally greater left hemisphere activation in the nonstuttering speakers, and a proportionally greater right hemisphere activation in the stuttering individuals. The results of the present study provide qualified support for the hypothesis that stuttering adults show atypical lateralization of language processes.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grants from the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Research Fund, the Medical Research Council of Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. We would like to recognize the PET Centre staff, Terry Bell, Kevin Cheung, Stephen Dobbin, Doug Hussey, Corey Jones, and Dr. Alan Wilson who were instrumental in data collection, image analysis, and preparation of the graphics. Randy McIntosh of the Rotman Research Institute provided invaluable assistance with the statistical interpretation of the results. We also would like to thank Theresa Cwill, for her assistance with testing, and Sophie Lafaille for her skillful contributions to the analysis of the results and the preparation of this manuscript.
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