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

August 8, 2016

Research by Drs. Chang and McAuley was featured in an article by the DANA Foundation, Seeking Clues to Stuttering Deep Within the Brain

July 2016

7/15- Dr. Chang spoke at the Michael Palin Centre in London, UK for a full day workshop at the National Clinical Excellence Network (CEN) in Disorders of Fluency.

7/13- Notice of award (NOA) received for NIDCD R01 grant “A Longitudinal study of neural network development in children who stutter” (PI: Chang). This is a continuation of the longitudinal study that has been on-going in the lab. Congrats to Dr. Chang and all lab members! Another 5 years of exciting work ahead!

June 2016

6/15 - Welcome to Dr. Andrew Etchell, a new postdoctoral research fellow in the lab at the University of Michigan campus. Click here to read more about Dr. Etchell. 

6/13 - Congratulations to Dr. Ai Leen Choo, who was selected as a participant in the 4th Annual ASHA Pathways program.  

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