The Effects of Concurrent Cognitive Load on Phonological Processing in Adults Who Stutter PurposeTo determine whether phonological processing in adults who stutter (AWS) is disrupted by increased amounts of cognitive load in a concurrent attention-demanding task.MethodNine AWS and 9 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated. Using a dual-task paradigm, the authors presented word pairs for rhyme judgments and, concurrently, letter strings for ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2012
The Effects of Concurrent Cognitive Load on Phonological Processing in Adults Who Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert A. Fox
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Ewa Jacewicz
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Correspondence to Robin M. Jones: jones.1640@osu.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Liss
    Associate Editor: Julie Liss×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   December 01, 2012
The Effects of Concurrent Cognitive Load on Phonological Processing in Adults Who Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1862-1875. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0014)
History: Received January 1, 2012 , Accepted April 12, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2012, Vol. 55, 1862-1875. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0014)
History: Received January 1, 2012; Accepted April 12, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

PurposeTo determine whether phonological processing in adults who stutter (AWS) is disrupted by increased amounts of cognitive load in a concurrent attention-demanding task.

MethodNine AWS and 9 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated. Using a dual-task paradigm, the authors presented word pairs for rhyme judgments and, concurrently, letter strings for memory recall. The rhyme judgment task manipulated rhyming type (rhyming/nonrhyming) and orthographic representation (similar/dissimilar). The memory recall task varied stimulus complexity (no letters, 3 letters, 5 letters). Rhyme judgment accuracy and reaction time (RT) were used to assess phonological processing, and letter recall accuracy was used to measure memory recall.

ResultsFor rhyme judgments, AWS were as accurate as AWNS, and the increase in the cognitive load did not affect rhyme judgment accuracy of either group. Significant group differences were found in RTs (delays by AWS were 241 ms greater). RTs of AWS were also slower in the most demanding rhyme condition and varied with the complexity of the memory task. Accuracy of letter recall of AWS was comparatively worse in the most demanding 5-letter condition.

ConclusionPhonological and cognitive processing of AWS is more vulnerable to disruptions caused by increased amounts of cognitive load in concurrent attention-demanding tasks.

Acknowledgments
The Department of Speech and Hearing Science at The Ohio State University provided support for this project. We thank Edward G. Conture for his advice and comments. We also thank those individuals who kindly volunteered to participate in this study.
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