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December 2021

Speaking speed effects on delayed auditory feedback disruption of speech fluency

Author(s): Clarici, A., Fabbro, F., Bava, A.

Journal/Book: Percept Mot Skills. 1999; 89: PO Box 9229, Missoula, MT 59807, USA. Perceptual Motor Skills. 1095-1109.

Abstract: 24 Italian medical students performed a task of verbal fluency. 12 students (th; control group) receiving Normal Auditory Feedback and 12 students receiving Delayed Auditory Feedback (delay of 200 msec.) performed six trials in six different experimental settings: normal or increased speaking rate, and, for each condition, once with bilateral input of the auditory feedback, once to the right ear, and once to the left ear. At the normal speaking rate, the disruptive effect of delayed feedback was confirmed. As the speaking rate increased, the total number of errors increased within the control group but decreased within the group given delayed feedback, although the total number of errors was always greater for the latter. In addition, speech was more disrupted when the auditory input was returned to the right ear (left hemisphere) for all the different conditions: Normal and Delayed auditory Feedback, normal and increased speaking rare. In particular, the left hemisphere was less resistant to the disruptive effect of the delayed feedback than the right hemisphere. From these results, we suggest that, when speaking more quickly, one uses more central mechanisms of movement programming (cortical-cerebellum-thalamus-cortical, cortical-corpus striatum-thalamus-cortical, and cortical-thalamus-cortical circuits), or attentional control (cortico-reticular-cortical circuits) than peripheral mechanisms (tactile, proprioceptive, and acoustic circuits). This may explain the decreased disruptive influence of delayed auditory feedback on speed, fluency, and quality at increased speaking rates. Hemispheric specialization processes, however, may explain the more pronounced susceptibility of the left hemisphere or the less pronounced susceptibility of the right hemisphere during the delayed feedback condition. In fact, the former processes phonemic, grammatical, and lexical features of words whilst the later is competent in using metaphors and prosody in controlling the emotional aspects of language. Moreover, the right hemisphere is more active on attentional tasks.

Note: Article Zanini S, Univ Trieste, Dipartimento Fisiol & Patol, Via A Fleming 22, I-34127 Trieste, ITALY


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