The Speech Neurophysiology lab conducts research on the neural bases of developmental stuttering, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by frequent occurrences of sound-syllable repetitions, prolongations, and blocks that interrupt the flow and rhythm of speech production. Stuttering affects approximately 1% of the population, and 5% of preschool age children. The cause of stuttering is unknown, although accumulating evidence points to a neurodevelopmental etiology. Treatment options for stuttering remain limited.

Our studies involve analyses of brain functional and structural measures acquired through multimodal neuroimaging methods such as fMRI, DTI, structural MRI, fNIRS, and EEG.  Using these techniques, we are able to examine subtle differences in brain functional and structural connectivity that differentiate people who stutter compared to people who do not stutter. These findings are expected to help us better understand the mechanisms behind stuttering onset, persistence, and recovery and further lead to investigations to develop novel treatments for stuttering in the future.

Funded by the NIH (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)), our lab also conducts one of the first studies to examine brain developmental trajectories in children who stutter. This research is expected to lead to novel insights into the brain bases of stuttering during childhood. This research is currently being conducted at both the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and the Michigan State University (MSU) (East Lansing) campuses. 

Recent news

February 1, 2019

The SNL Winter newsletter is out! Click here to read about what we've been up to. 

November 15-17, 2018

UM and MSU members of the Speech Neurophysiology Lab attended ASHA in Boston and gave presentations on topics ranging from brain-genetic links suggesting biological mechanisms of stuttering, auditory-motor neuroanatomical differences found in children who stutter, disfluent vs fluency-induced speech-linked brain activity in people who stutter, and temperament and mock training effects on movement in pediatric imaging.

September 28, 2018

The lab’s new article: Functional and Neuroanatomical Bases of Developmental Stuttering: Current Insights by Chang et al. was published in the journal Neuroscientist. Click here to take a look.

September 20, 2018

Our recent paper published in the journal Brain was reviewed by Neurology Today: Children with Persistent Stuttering Show Reduced Cortical Thickness in Premotor Cortex. Click here to read the review article.

Click here for previous news