Autonomic Correlates of Speech Versus Nonspeech Tasks in Children and Adults Purpose To assess autonomic arousal associated with speech and nonspeech tasks in school-age children and young adults. Method Measures of autonomic arousal (electrodermal level, electrodermal response amplitude, blood pulse volume, and heart rate) were recorded prior to, during, and after the performance of speech and nonspeech tasks by twenty ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2014
Autonomic Correlates of Speech Versus Nonspeech Tasks in Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hayley S. Arnold
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Megan K. MacPherson
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Hayley S. Arnold: harnold5@kent.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Megha Sundara
    Associate Editor: Megha Sundara×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2014
Autonomic Correlates of Speech Versus Nonspeech Tasks in Children and Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1296-1307. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-12-0265
History: Received August 24, 2012 , Revised August 31, 2013 , Accepted February 9, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1296-1307. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-12-0265
History: Received August 24, 2012; Revised August 31, 2013; Accepted February 9, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose To assess autonomic arousal associated with speech and nonspeech tasks in school-age children and young adults.

Method Measures of autonomic arousal (electrodermal level, electrodermal response amplitude, blood pulse volume, and heart rate) were recorded prior to, during, and after the performance of speech and nonspeech tasks by twenty 7- to 9-year-old children and twenty 18- to 22-year-old adults.

Results Across age groups, autonomic arousal was higher for speech tasks compared with nonspeech tasks, based on peak electrodermal response amplitude and blood pulse volume. Children demonstrated greater relative arousal, based on heart rate and blood pulse volume, for nonspeech oral motor tasks than adults but showed similar mean arousal levels for speech tasks as adults. Children demonstrated sex differences in autonomic arousal; specifically, autonomic arousal remained high for school-age boys but not girls in a more complex open-ended narrative task that followed a simple sentence production task.

Conclusions Speech tasks elicit greater autonomic arousal than nonspeech tasks, and children demonstrate greater autonomic arousal for nonspeech oral motor tasks than adults. Sex differences in autonomic arousal associated with speech tasks in school-age children are discussed relative to speech-language differences between boys and girls.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC00559, awarded to Purdue University. We thank Chris Weber-Fox and Lisa Goffman for their consultation regarding the methods for this study.
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