Rhythm processing deficits in developmental stuttering

Stuttering affects 3 million Americans. Children with chronic stuttering face lifelong struggles, impacting academic achievement and leading to negative psychosocial consequences. Scientists have been intrigued by the fact that stuttering speakers are more fluent when singing, or speaking in synchrony with an external pacing mechanism such as a metronome. These well-substantiated clinical findings suggest that people who stutter may have core deficits in rhythm processing. This project will be the first systematic investigation of the role of rhythm processing deficits in developmental stuttering. The general approach will combine behavioral and neuroimaging studies in children with studies in songbirds, which under controlled conditions can be induced to stutter.


Research supported by the GRAMMY Foundation.