Activity of Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscles in Fluent and Disfluent Speech The goal of the present experiment was to determine if stuttering is associated with unusually high levels of activity in laryngeal muscles. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid recordings from 4 stuttering and 3 nonstuttering adults revealed the following: Compared to periods of fluent speech, intervals of disfluent ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1996
Activity of Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscles in Fluent and Disfluent Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne Smith
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Margaret Denny
    Department of Communicative Disorders, Boston University
  • Lauren A. Shaffer
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Ellen M. Kelly
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Minoru Hirano
    Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School, Kurume University, Kurume, Japan
  • Contact author: Anne Smith, Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906. E-mail asmith@sage.cc.purdue.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1996
Activity of Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscles in Fluent and Disfluent Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 329-348. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.329
History: Received May 8, 1995 , Accepted September 12, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 329-348. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.329
History: Received May 8, 1995; Accepted September 12, 1995

The goal of the present experiment was to determine if stuttering is associated with unusually high levels of activity in laryngeal muscles. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid recordings from 4 stuttering and 3 nonstuttering adults revealed the following: Compared to periods of fluent speech, intervals of disfluent speech are not typically characterized by higher levels of activity in these muscles; and when EMG levels during conversational speech are compared to maximal activation levels for these muscles (e.g., those observed during singing and the Valsalva maneuver), normally fluent adults show robust and sometimes near maximal recruitment during conversational speech. The adults who stutter had a lower operating range for these muscles during conversational speech, and their disfluencies did not produce relatively high activation levels. In summary, the present data require us to reject the claim that adults with a history of chronic stuttering routinely produce excessive levels of intrinsic laryngeal muscle activity. These results suggest that the use of botulinum toxin injections into the vocal folds to treat stuttering should be questioned.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by a grant from NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, DC00559.
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