Age-Related Changes in Motor Control During Articulator Visuomotor Tracking The present study provides normative data on changes in visuomotor control of the oral-facial system across the lifespan. Control of the lower lip, jaw, and larynx (i.e., fundamental frequency) was examined using a nonspeech visuomotor tracking (VMT) task, where subjects move the articulator of interest to track a moving target ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2001
Age-Related Changes in Motor Control During Articulator Visuomotor Tracking
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kirrie J. Ballard, PhD
    Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology and National Center for Voice and Speech University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 52242
  • Donald A. Robin
    Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology and National Center for Voice and Speech University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 52242
  • George Woodworth
    Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Lynn D. Zimba
    Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology and National Center for Voice and Speech University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 52242
  • Currently affiliated with the Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, and the Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communication Disorders, University of California at San Diego/San Diego State University
    Currently affiliated with the Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, and the Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communication Disorders, University of California at San Diego/San Diego State University×
  • Currently affiliated with Breakthrough Inc., Iowa City, IA
    Currently affiliated with Breakthrough Inc., Iowa City, IA×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2001
Age-Related Changes in Motor Control During Articulator Visuomotor Tracking
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 763-777. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/060)
History: Received March 27, 2000 , Accepted March 15, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 763-777. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/060)
History: Received March 27, 2000; Accepted March 15, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

The present study provides normative data on changes in visuomotor control of the oral-facial system across the lifespan. Control of the lower lip, jaw, and larynx (i.e., fundamental frequency) was examined using a nonspeech visuomotor tracking (VMT) task, where subjects move the articulator of interest to track a moving target on an oscilloscope screen. This task examines articulator motor control during movements that are similar to speech but that do not impose linguistic units or the demands of coordinating multiple structures. Accuracy and within- and between-subject variability in tracking performance were measured by cross correlation, gain ratio, phase shift, and target-tracker amplitude difference. Cross-correlation analyses indicated that performance of children (aged 8;2 to 17;0 [years;months]) and older adults (aged 45;1 to 84;3) is poorer than that of younger adults (aged 17;1 to 45;0). Accuracy of movement amplitude tended to increase during development and decline with aging, whereas age did not appear to influence accuracy of temporal parameters in lip and jaw tracking. In contrast, age tended to influence individual variability in temporal but not amplitude parameters. Differences were noted between articulators. The data complement previous studies that considered accuracy and variability of articulator movement during speech. The VMT method and the data provided may be applied to assessment of impairments in the motor speech system and to differential diagnosis of motor speech versus linguistically based disorders.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (P60-DC00976). We thank John Nichols and Wendy Fick for assistance with data collection; and Drs. Michael McClean, Jerald Moon, and Karen Forrest, and three anonymous reviewers, for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access