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 20, 2016

Dr. Chow, Research Investigator of SNL, received a Notice of award from the NIH on his new R21 grant (Neural markers of persistence and recovery from childhood stuttering: An fMRI study of continuous speech production). Congratulations to Dr. Chow and the lab for receiving funding for this exciting new study!

September 2, 2016

Dr. Chang was an invited speaker at the 4th meeting of the Japan Society of stuttering and other fluency disorders, held in Tokorozawa, Japan (September 1-3). She delivered a talk entitled "Anomalous brain connectivity in children with persistent developmental stuttering". See photos!

August 31, 2016

Check out the lab's new publication, Relation between functional connectivity and rhythm discrimination in children who do and do not stutterappearing in Neuroimage: Clinical. 

August 26, 2016

Dr. Garnett was selected to attend the 2016 New York City Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Fellowship: Advanced Hands-on Training and Certification, held from August 22-26th at the Center for Discovery and Innovation and the MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care


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