Speech Motor Sequence Learning: Acquisition and Retention in Parkinson Disease and Normal Aging Purpose The aim of the current investigation was to examine speech motor sequence learning in neurologically healthy younger adults, neurologically healthy older adults, and individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 2-day period. Method A sequential nonword repetition task was used to examine learning over 2 days. Participants ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 10, 2017
Speech Motor Sequence Learning: Acquisition and Retention in Parkinson Disease and Normal Aging
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jason A. Whitfield
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University, OH
  • Alexander M. Goberman
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University, OH
  • 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 Jason A. Whitfield: jawhitf@bgsu.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Megan McAuliffe
    Associate Editor: Megan McAuliffe×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 10, 2017
Speech Motor Sequence Learning: Acquisition and Retention in Parkinson Disease and Normal Aging
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2017, Vol. 60, 1477-1492. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0104
History: Received March 14, 2016 , Revised July 19, 2016 , Accepted November 29, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2017, Vol. 60, 1477-1492. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0104
History: Received March 14, 2016; Revised July 19, 2016; Accepted November 29, 2016

Purpose The aim of the current investigation was to examine speech motor sequence learning in neurologically healthy younger adults, neurologically healthy older adults, and individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 2-day period.

Method A sequential nonword repetition task was used to examine learning over 2 days. Participants practiced a sequence of 6 monosyllabic nonwords that was retested following nighttime sleep. The speed and accuracy of the nonword sequence were measured, and learning was inferred by examining performance within and between sessions.

Results Though all groups exhibited comparable improvements of the nonword sequence performance during the initial session, between-session retention of the nonword sequence differed between groups. Younger adult controls exhibited offline gains, characterized by an increase in the speed and accuracy of nonword sequence performance across sessions, whereas older adults exhibited stable between-session performance. Individuals with PD exhibited offline losses, marked by an increase in sequence duration between sessions.

Conclusions The current results demonstrate that both PD and normal aging affect retention of speech motor learning. Furthermore, these data suggest that basal ganglia dysfunction associated with PD may affect the later stages of speech motor learning. Findings from the current investigation are discussed in relation to studies examining consolidation of nonspeech motor learning.

Acknowledgment
We thank Elizabeth Walsh for assistance with data analysis associated with this project.
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