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

September 26, 2017

Notice of Award received on a new NIH R21 grant (PI: Liu, Co-Is Chang, Fitzgerald) titled: “Psychological and Neurophysiological Risk Markers of Persistent Stuttering in Early Development”. Congrats to Dr. Liu on this achievement! Exciting work on anxiety markers for childhood stuttering to begin!

September 20-23, 2017

Dr. Chang attended the Oxford Dysfluency Conference (September 20-23) held at St. Catherine's College at Oxford University. New work from the lab was presented: "Differences in the developmental trajectories of subcortical structures in childhood stuttering" (authors: Emily Garnett, Ho Ming Chow, Soo-Eun Chang).

September, 1, 2017

Our lab's research was featured in the most recent issue of the Capital Women's Lifestyle Magazine (Lansing). To check it out, please go to:

August 17, 2017

Madeline Van Eck has joined the lab as the lab manager on the MSU campus. To read more about Madeline, click here. Madeline replaces Chelsea Johnson, who will be transitioning as a PhD student this fall at MSU, in the department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She will still work in the lab but now as a doctoral student. Congratulations to both Madeline and Chelsea!

August 8, 2017

Ho Ming Chow and Andrew Etchell's  2017 ASHA Convention Poster presentation titled, "Individual Differences in White Matter Integrity in Childhood Stuttering", has been designated as a Meritorious Poster Submission. The Meritorious Poster Submission recognition is for proposals judged by the Convention Program Committee to show extraordinary, exceptional, and innovative work (~3% of submissions receive this distinction). Congrats Ho Ming and Andrew!

July 11, 2017

New article from the lab entitled: Social and Cognitive Impressions of Adults Who Do and Do Not Stutter Based on Listeners' Perceptions of Read-Speech Samples is in Press in Frontiers in Psychology. By Lauren Amick, Soo-Eun Chang, Juli Wade, J. Devin McAuley.

July 5-8, 2017

Emily Garnett and Soo-Eun Chang attended the 7th International Conference on Speech Motor Control, held in Groningen, Netherlands. Emily gave a poster presentation entitled: "Modulating neural activity with non-invasive brain stimulation in adults who stutter."

Dr. Chang was an invited speaker, and gave a presentation entitled: "Neural signatures of childhood stuttering persistence and recovery"

July 3, 2017

Soo-Eun Chang gave an invited all-day workshop ("Neural bases of childhood stuttering persistence and recovery: Updates for the informed clinician") at the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

June 16, 2017

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


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