The speech-related neural activity of individual stutterers and groups of stutterers
Thom, Sarah Elisabeth
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Purpose: To (a) investigate neural activity of individuals who stutter, and (b) compare individual results with previously published data from groups of stutterers. Method: Three adult stutterers completed 5 PET imaging sessions consisting of 6 scans, two for each of three conditions: eyes closed rest, oral paragraph reading, and monologue. Data from these scans were qualitatively assessed to determine neural activity patterns and compared to previously published group data. Results: Individual data analysis showed significant discrepancies in neural activity among participants. No distinct activity pattern emerged and no specific hemisphere or neural region appeared noteworthy. Compared to group data, the lack of remarkable activity contradicts previously published group data. Conclusions: Discrepancies between individual and group data raise concerns regarding the implications of group studies of stutterers. Future research should examine group and individual data to determine the fundamental nature of stuttering and function as an aid to developing clinical implications.