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A-145 Neural Control and Sensorimotor Mechanisms in Stuttering

Vince Gracco, PI of subcontract of a grant to Ludo Max

Research Goals. The research program takes a comprehensive neurobiological approach to explaining the neural basis of stuttering through an integrated series of theoretically-motivated, hypothesis-driven experiments. Parallel psychophysical (kinematics, sensorimotor adaptation, mechanical/sensory perturbations) and neuroimaging (fMRI) experiments are being conducted to address selected aspects of speech sensorimotor control that, according to our theoretical framework, may be implicated in stuttering. These in-depth studies have the potential to inform on the development and state of the speech motor control system in individuals who stutter, and to suggest new directions for research and clinical management. Understanding the basic neural mechanisms underlying stuttering is widely acknowledged as fundamental to informed diagnosis and treatment. The required cornerstone for this important knowledge is a theoretical framework of stuttering that accounts for various primary and associated speech characteristics and that is consistent with empirically-verified models of sensorimotor control and neural functioning.

Current Status. Funding for a new five year cycle began on 8/01/06. Total costs for the second year are $181,530.