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Ramachandar, Sujini (2017) WHITE MATTER CONNECTIVITY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SENSORIMOTOR REGIONS IN INDIVIDUALS WHO STUTTER. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Heterogeneity in neural activations and structural anomalies associated with stuttering have led researchers to postulate that stuttering is due to a network default. Widespread differences in white matter integrity surrounding areas involved in sensorimotor integration have been reported in people who stutter, but the connectivity between these regions has not been examined. This preliminary study examined white matter connectivity differences between sensorimotor areas involved in speech production in people who stutter when compared to those who do not stutter. White matter connectivity was assessed using Fractional Anisotropy (FA), Quantitative Anisotropy (QA), and white matter volume. Non-parametric analyses revealed significantly decreased white matter volume in tracts connecting the left Sylvian parietal temporal region (Spt) to both rolandic operculum (RO) and supramarginal gyrus (SMG) in people who stutter when compared to those who do not. Reduced FA in tracts connecting the left RO and premotor region (PM) was also associated with stuttering. Right hemisphere analysis revealed reduced white matter volume in the tract connecting the right Spt and Hechl’s Gyrus (HG) in people who stutter when compared with those who do not. Correlational analyses showed a significant negative relationship between stuttering severity and QA of tracts connecting the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) to HG, and the IFG to SMG. QA of tracts connecting the right IFG to both the Spt and PM were also negatively correlated to stuttering severity scores. Scores assessing impact of stuttering on a person’s life had a negative correlation to QA of the left Spt -RO, and the right RO to both IFG and PM. Results of the study indicate that people who stutter showed reduced white matter volume and FA in tracts connecting sensorimotor areas and that the white matter integrity of some of the tracts were negatively correlated to stuttering severity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ramachandar, Sujinisur25@pitt.edusur250000-0001-8929-2609
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairYaruss,
Committee MemberFiez,
Committee MemberDickey,
Committee MemberMoncrieff,
Date: 5 June 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 January 2017
Approval Date: 5 June 2017
Submission Date: 28 March 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 187
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stuttering, brain structure
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 17:04
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 17:04


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