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Stuttering begins with speech initiation, not because of impaired motor skills #ASA181

Newswise – SEATTLE, November 30, 2021 – About one in 20 people go through a period of stuttering during childhood. Until the second half of the 20th century, stuttering was considered a psychological problem resulting from lack of effort or trauma.

However, neuroimaging techniques are leading to a much better understanding of how the brain works during speech and how stuttering occurs. Frank Guenther of Boston University will present his findings on the origins of stuttering at the 181st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, November 29-December 3 at the Hyatt Regency Seattle. The conference, “A neurocomputational view of developmental stuttering”, will take place on Tuesday, November 30 at 2:15 p.m. Eastern United States

Guenther compares speech to a jukebox that plays CDs. The jukebox has two circuits: one that selects a CD and one that plays the CD.

Inside the brain, this corresponds to a circuit initiating the desired speech in the basal ganglia, while another circuit coordinates the muscles needed to generate speech. Stuttering arises from the initiation of speech, so only the first of the two circuits is impaired.

“In stuttering, the CDs themselves are fine, but the mechanism for choosing them is impaired,” Guenther said.

This theory is consistent with behavioral observations of stuttering. People often pronounce fluent words later in a sentence, even if the same words cause a stutter at the start of a sentence.

Guenther and his team created computer models of how the speech initiation circuit works in a non-stuttering individual. Because Parkinson’s disease also affects the initiating circuit, they can compare these patterns directly to data extracted from the basal ganglia during deep brain stimulation surgery in patients with the disease.

“It gives us a chance to find the specific issues underlying stuttering and address them with highly targeted drugs or technological treatments that have minimal adverse side effects,” Guenther said.

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———————– MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEETING ——————– —

USEFUL LINKS

Main meeting site: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/
Technical program: https://eventpilotadmin.com/web/planner.php?id=ASAFALL21
Press room: http://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/
Follow the highlights of the conference with the social media hashtag #ASA181

GLOBAL NEWSROOM

In the coming weeks, the ASA Global Newsroom will be updated with additional tips on dozens of newsworthy stories and with articles in lay language, which are 300-500 word summaries. presentations written by scientists for a general audience and accompanied by photos, audio and video. You can visit the site during the meeting at http://acoustics.org/world-wide-press-room/.

PRESS REGISTRATION

We will grant free registration to accredited journalists and professional freelance journalists. If you are a journalist and would like to attend, contact the AIP media line at 301-209-3090. For urgent requests, the staff of [email protected] can also help organize interviews and obtain images, sound clips or background information.

VIRTUAL MEDIA BRIEFINGS

Press briefings will take place virtually during the conference. Accredited media can pre-register by emailing [email protected] and include your full name and affiliation in the message. The official schedule will be announced as soon as it becomes available and registered participants will receive login details by email.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international acoustics scientific society devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), Acoustics Today magazine, books and standards on acoustics. The society also organizes two major scientific meetings each year. For more information about the ASA, visit our website at http://www.acousticalsociety.org.

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