Neural Indices of Semantic Processing in Early Childhood Distinguish Eventual Stuttering Persistence and Recovery Purpose Maturation of neural processes for language may lag in some children who stutter (CWS), and event-related potentials (ERPs) distinguish CWS who have recovered from those who have persisted. The current study explores whether ERPs indexing semantic processing may distinguish children who will eventually persist in stuttering (CWS-ePersisted) from those ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Neural Indices of Semantic Processing in Early Childhood Distinguish Eventual Stuttering Persistence and Recovery
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathryn Kreidler
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Amanda Hampton Wray
    Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Evan Usler
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Christine Weber
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, 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 Christine Weber: cmw@purdue.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran
    Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Neural Indices of Semantic Processing in Early Childhood Distinguish Eventual Stuttering Persistence and Recovery
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3118-3134. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0081
History: Received February 28, 2017 , Revised May 17, 2017 , Accepted June 13, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3118-3134. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0081
History: Received February 28, 2017; Revised May 17, 2017; Accepted June 13, 2017

Purpose Maturation of neural processes for language may lag in some children who stutter (CWS), and event-related potentials (ERPs) distinguish CWS who have recovered from those who have persisted. The current study explores whether ERPs indexing semantic processing may distinguish children who will eventually persist in stuttering (CWS-ePersisted) from those who will recover from stuttering (CWS-eRecovered).

Method Fifty-six 5-year-old children with normal receptive language listened to naturally spoken sentences in a story context. ERP components elicited for semantic processing (N400, late positive component [LPC]) were compared for CWS-ePersisted, CWS-eRecovered, and children who do not stutter (CWNS).

Results The N400 elicited by semantic violations had a more focal scalp distribution (left lateralized and less anterior) in the CWS-eRecovered compared with CWS-ePersisted. Although the LPC elicited in CWS-eRecovered and CWNS did not differ, the LPC elicited in the CWS-ePersisted was smaller in amplitude compared with that in CWNS.

Conclusions ERPs elicited in 5-year-old CWS-eRecovered compared with CWS-ePersisted suggest that future recovery from stuttering may be associated with earlier maturation of semantic processes in the preschool years. Subtle differences in ERP indices offer a window into neural maturation processes for language and may help distinguish the course of stuttering development.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health (R01 DC00559 awarded to Christine Weber). We would like to thank the following individuals: Helen Neville and research team at the University of Oregon for developing the stimuli, Dr. Patricia Zebrowski and research team at the University of Iowa for help with data collection, Barb Brown for participant recruitment and behavioral testing, Janna Berlin for help in EEG data collection, and Anne Smith and Anu Subramanian for their comments.
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