Mario D'Ambrosio, Fabrizio Bracco, Francesco Benso

Assessing fluency in persons with stuttering by complex automatized and non-automatized dual task conditions

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Stuttering; Fluency; Hand Movement; Dual-Task; Mirror Neuron System.

The present research investigates the management of attentional resources by Persons With Stuttering (PWS) in the regulation of fluency. We frame our study within a hierarchical-modular model that has recently been proposed to describe the interaction between the Supervisory Attentional System and the specific language systems in stuttering and verbal fluency. Eighteen PWS were asked to give monologues in three different conditions. In the first condition the subjects performed just the monologue, without any other activity. In the second condition the monologue was performed simultaneously with another complex, non-automatic motor activity. In the third condition the monologue was performed in coordination with a complex, automatic motor activity. All eighteen PWS improved their fluency when the monologue was performed in coordination with a complex, automatic motor activity, significantly reducing disfluencies of 76,26% in comparison with monologues without any other activity. No significant improvements were observed in the second condition in comparison with the first one. The results of this research bring further support to the cognitive models we adopted as theoretical reference. Moreover, the results confirm the importance of studies investigating the way PWS involve and manage attentional resources. In addition, they point out the opportunity to develop training tasks able to support fluency and foresee a specific use of dual-task in the treatment of stuttering.

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