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Speech Motor Control in Stuttering: Brain and Behavioral Characteristics
Stuttering is a speech fluency disorder, impacting the lives of millions of people. Despite decades of research, its neural mechanisms are largely unknown. A preponderance of evidence suggests that stuttering is a generalized sensorimotor disorder, affecting both speech and non-speech movements. In a simplistic way, the sensorimotor system can be divided into three main components: (1) sensory feedback, (2) control component, and (3) prediction component. One means of investigating these components is through sensory perturbations during movement production. In the first part of this talk, I will highlight our findings related to compensatory motor responses to sensory perturbations in children and adults who stutter. In the second part of the talk, I will present the results of our studies on the accuracy and the use of sensory prediction for preparing sensory systems during planning. Overall, these studies suggest that stuttering is associated with network-level deficits, impairing the integration of sensory-motor processes.