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Atypical cortical tracking of the speech envelope in children who stutter: a potential contributor towards phonological processing differences

McKenzie, Megan (2020) Atypical cortical tracking of the speech envelope in children who stutter: a potential contributor towards phonological processing differences. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A growing body of evidence suggests that individuals with developmental stuttering exhibit phonological processing differences when compared to fluent peers. However, it has yet to be unveiled which factors may contribute towards this atypical processing. It has been argued that the speech mechanisms which process these phonological units are monitored within a hierarchical system, whose foundation is controlled by low-frequency neural oscillating networks (Giraud & Poeppel, 2015). Thus, phonological processing differences may arise due to impairments in fundamental mechanisms associated with low-frequency neural oscillating networks, such as temporal speech encoding. For this reason, this study sought to investigate cortical temporal response functions in 14 children who stutter (3-7 years of age) compared to 13 normally fluent peers. EEG data were recorded as participants encoded natural speech during a dichotic listening task. When comparing between groups, the results provide evidence that children who stutter experience significantly weaker cortical tracking for unattended speech and more efficient cortical tracking for attended speech, suggesting that phonological processing is atypical at the level of speech envelope encoding. Considering these findings, we propose that children who stutter may be increasing cognitive effort during speech and language processing, in order to compensate for an atypical phonological processing mechanism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McKenzie, Meganmem300@pitt.edumem300
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorChandrasekaran,
Committee MemberHampton,
Committee MemberCalandruccio,
Committee MemberBohland,
Date: 4 May 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 March 2020
Approval Date: 4 May 2020
Submission Date: 26 March 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: stuttering, CWS, phonology, cortical tracking, speech envelope, stutter, children who stutter
Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 15:40
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 15:40


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