Oral Electromyography Activation Patterns for Speech Are Similar in Preschoolers Who Do and Do Not Stutter PurposeIn this study, the authors determined whether basic patterns of muscle activation for speech were similar in preschool children who stutter and in their fluent peers.MethodRight and left lower lip muscle activity were recorded during conversational speech and sentence repetition in 64 preschool children diagnosed as stuttering (CWS) and in ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Oral Electromyography Activation Patterns for Speech Are Similar in Preschoolers Who Do and Do Not Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bridget Walsh
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Correspondence to Bridget Walsh: bridget@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Kate Bunton
    Associate Editor: Kate Bunton×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Oral Electromyography Activation Patterns for Speech Are Similar in Preschoolers Who Do and Do Not Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1441-1454. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0177)
History: Received June 7, 2012 , Revised December 18, 2012 , Accepted January 12, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1441-1454. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0177)
History: Received June 7, 2012; Revised December 18, 2012; Accepted January 12, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposeIn this study, the authors determined whether basic patterns of muscle activation for speech were similar in preschool children who stutter and in their fluent peers.

MethodRight and left lower lip muscle activity were recorded during conversational speech and sentence repetition in 64 preschool children diagnosed as stuttering (CWS) and in 40 children who do not stutter (CWNS). Measures of electromyography (EMG) amplitude, right–left asymmetry, and bilateral coordination were computed for fluent speech. The potential presence of tremor-like oscillations during disfluencies of CWS was assessed, and EMG amplitudes of fluent and disfluent speech were compared in CWS.

ResultsAcross both speaking tasks, lip muscle activation was similar in CWS and CWNS in overall amplitude, bilateral synchrony, and degree of right–left asymmetry. EMG amplitude was reduced during disfluent compared with fluent conversational speech of CWS, and there was no evidence of tremor in the disfluencies of CWS.

ConclusionThese results support the assertion that stuttering in young children arises not from basic features of muscle contraction but rather from the command signals that control the timing and amplitude of muscle activity. The results indicate that no frank abnormality is present in muscle activation patterns in preschoolers who stutter.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC00559 and by a supplement to this grant awarded to Bridget Walsh. We are grateful to Janna Berlin, Barb Brown, and Tricia Zebrowski and her colleagues at the University of Iowa for their contributions to this project. We expressly wish to thank all of the children and their families whose participation in the study made this research possible.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access