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

June 4, 2018

New article in Press in the journal Brain!

Garnett, E.O., Chow, H., Nieto Castañón, A., Tourville, J., Guenther, F., Chang, S-E.  Anomalous morphology in left hemisphere motor and premotor cortex of children who stutter. Click here to check it out. 

April 20, 2018

The lab’s new article: A Systematic Literature Review of Sex Differences in Childhood Language and Brain Development  by Etchell et al. was recently published in the journal Neuropsychologia. Click here to take a look.

March 7, 2018

Our lab's research was recently featured in an article on Michigan State University Extension's website! Click here to check it out.

February 23, 2018

New Clinical trial on stuttering and tDCS approved! Emily Garnett leads this study. Check it out here

February 16, 2018

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

February 12, 2018

New article on brain stimulation research applied to stuttering! Click here to check it out

January 26th, 2018

Denise London has joined the lab as the lab manager on the U of M campus. To read more about Denise, click here. Denise replaces Cece Simonsen, who will be leaving this summer to purse her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology.  Congratulations to them both!

December 6, 2017

Dr. Chang participated in the Henry Steward Talk (HSTalks) series "Speech Dysfluency". Click here to check out her lecture here: Chang, S. (2017, November 30). Brain anatomy and functional differences in developmental stuttering [Video file]. In The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks. Retrieved December 6, 2017.


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