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, 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 25-29

Ho Ming Chow and Andrew Etchell attended the Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) conference held in Vancouver, Canada. They each gave presentations:

Chow, H., Chang, S-E. (2017). Joint analysis of gray & white matter development trajectories associated with childhood stuttering. OHBM. Vancouver, Canada

Etchell, A.E., Wieland, E., Chow, H., McAuley, D., Chang, S-E. (2017). Increased left cerebellar functional connectivity with rhythm networks in adults who stutter. OHBM. Vancouver, Canada

June 23-25, 2017

Emily Garnett attended the Brain stimulation and imaging conference held in Vancouver, Canada.

June 16, 2017

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


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