School Seminar: Dr Soo-Eun Chang

Online - a zoom link will be sent to you following registration
Wednesday 5 May 2021 (14:00-15:00)

For more information contact the Host for this event: Dr Hyojin Park (

Rhythm and timing investigations in developmental stuttering 

One of the hallmarks of skilled motor behavior such as speech production is accurate timing. The possible critical role of aberrant temporal processing in stuttering - a disorder characterized by frequent, involuntary breakages in the fluent flow of speech— has been one of the oldest and most dominant perspectives in the field. However, studies examining temporal processing in childhood stuttering have been rare.  In our studies, we used a rhythm perception task (auditory perceptual timing) to show that children who stutter exhibit significantly reduced rhythm discrimination ability compared to controls. The task relies on the ability to perceive the temporal organization of a sequence of tones, which taxes intrinsic timing ability (i.e., internal generation of a beat). Children who stutter showed poorer rhythm discrimination relative to age-matched peers, especially in the “complex" condition where the beats occurring in rhythms are not explicitly marked and hence requires greater internal generation of timing. In addition, children who stutter showed aberrant brain connectivity among core timing network regions within the cortico-basal ganglia loop, and a negative correlation between rhythm discrimination performance and functional connectivity of the basal ganglia and cerebellum. In addition to presenting these behavioral and neuroimaging studies conducted with young children who stutter, I will provide a review of current understanding of the neural bases of stuttering and possible mechanisms of spontaneous recovery from stuttering during childhood. I will conclude with an introduction of newer investigations involving non-invasive neuromodulation techniques that aim to enhance functional connectivity of timing related neural networks in conjunction with fluency inducing tasks that seek to enhance fluent speech in stuttering speakers.

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