Speech and Oral Motor Learning in Individuals With Cerebellar Atrophy The purpose of this study was to determine whether cerebellar pathology interferes with motor learning for either speech or novel tasks. Practice effects were contrasted between persons with cerebellar cortical atrophy (CCA) and control participants on previously learned real speech, nonsense speech, and novel nonspeech oral-movement tasks. Studies of limb ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1999
Speech and Oral Motor Learning in Individuals With Cerebellar Atrophy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Geralyn M. Schulz
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Maryland-College Park and Voice and Speech Section National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • William O. Dingwall
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Maryland-College Park
  • Christy L. Ludlow
    Voice and Speech Section National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: schulz@csd.ufl.edu
  • Currently affiliated with the University of Florida, Gainesville
    Currently affiliated with the University of Florida, Gainesville×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1999
Speech and Oral Motor Learning in Individuals With Cerebellar Atrophy
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1157-1175. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1157
History: Received February 6, 1998 , Accepted April 20, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1157-1175. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1157
History: Received February 6, 1998; Accepted April 20, 1999

The purpose of this study was to determine whether cerebellar pathology interferes with motor learning for either speech or novel tasks. Practice effects were contrasted between persons with cerebellar cortical atrophy (CCA) and control participants on previously learned real speech, nonsense speech, and novel nonspeech oral-movement tasks. Studies of limb motor learning suggested that control participants would evidence reduced variability, increased speed of movement, and reduced movement amplitude with practice as compared with the CCA group. No significant differences were found between the real- and nonsense-speech tasks. For both speech tasks, although neither group reduced their movement variability with practice, both groups significantly reduced jaw closing displacement and velocity with practice. For the novel nonspeech oral-movement task, no change with practice was observed in either group in terms of variability, amplitude, or peak velocity. No effects of cerebellar pathology were seen in either the speech- or oral-movement tasks. These results demonstrated that with practice of speech tasks, a previously learned motor skill, movement speed and displacement decreased in both groups. Therefore, the effects of practice differed between previously learned speech tasks and the novel oral-movement task regardless of cerebellar pathology.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank those who participated in this study; Dr. Allen Braun for conducting the neurological examinations; Sheila Stager, Celia Bassich, and Kathleen Siren for assistance with the perceptual ratings; and Paul Smith and Rufus Carter for statistical advice. This research was supported by NIDCD Division of Intramural Research Project No. Z01 DC 00005-07 VSS.
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