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Speech serial control in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria: effects of sequence length and practice.
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Front Hum Neurosci 2013 ; 7:665
Authors: Kevin J Reilly, Kristie A Spencer
Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Northeastern University Boston, MA, USA.
The current study investigated the processes responsible for selection of sounds and syllables during production of speech sequences in 10 adults with hypokinetic dysarthria from Parkinson's disease, five adults with ataxic dysarthria, and 14 healthy control speakers. Speech production data from a choice reaction time task were analyzed to evaluate the effects of sequence length and practice on speech sound sequencing. Speakers produced sequences that were between one and five syllables in length over five experimental runs of 60 trials each. In contrast to the healthy speakers, speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria demonstrated exaggerated sequence length effects for both inter-syllable intervals (ISIs) and speech error rates. Conversely, speakers with ataxic dysarthria failed to demonstrate a sequence length effect on ISIs and were also the only group that did not exhibit practice-related changes in ISIs and speech error rates over the five experimental runs. The exaggerated sequence length effects in the hypokinetic speakers with Parkinson's disease are consistent with an impairment of action selection during speech sequence production. The absent length effects observed in the speakers with ataxic dysarthria is consistent with previous findings that indicate a limited capacity to buffer speech sequences in advance of their execution. In addition, the lack of practice effects in these speakers suggests that learning-related improvements in the production rate and accuracy of speech sequences involves processing by structures of the cerebellum. Together, the current findings inform models of serial control for speech in healthy speakers and support the notion that sequencing deficits contribute to speech symptoms in speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. In addition, these findings indicate that speech sequencing is differentially impaired in hypokinetic and ataxic dysarthria.
PMID: 24137121 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]