Verbal Response Inhibition and Stuttering in Adults


The topic of the research roundtable was “Verbal Response Inhibition and Stuttering in Adults,” and the speaker was Dr. Shanley Treleavan. She studied the correlation between verbal response inhibition and stuttering in adults. To do this, she directed a study that involved the adult with stuttering (AWS) saying words or pictures that appeared on a screen and stopping when it turned red. They also did a similar test before that involved clicking a button when prompted and stopping when prompted. She gave us a sample of the test that they gave, and it was quite hard to stop myself from saying the word or clicking the button once I had started. The time it took for them to stop the action is called the inhibition speed. Her results showed that manual inhibition speed was not related to verbal inhibition speed; AWS and adults without stuttering do not present with differing verbal inhibition speed; verbal inhibition is not related to overt stuttering; verbal inhibition is related to adverse impact from stuttering. This led her to believe that stuttering can impact executive functions later in life. She also found that trying to inhibit the stutter might inhibit fluent speech because the stutter is anticipated. In the future, she will be linking this information with brain imaging technology.

This was a very interesting topic, but I have to admit that I was very lost in the beginning. Everything she said was foreign because I am new to communication disorders, but as I continued to listen, it started to become clearer. What I learned through my first roundtable was that research builds on other research. She used many other studies and researches to expand on. At first, I thought that there would have been a lot of research already, however, there is still much to discover in all fields. What I found most interesting was when Dr. Geoff Coalson brought up that the intervention provided should be improving the quality of life and how the person is feeling should be considered. If it is too exhausting for the person, is it worth it just to be fluent in speech? Dr. Donovan brought up that Parkinson’s was not only motor-related but cognition-related, and I thought that was interesting.

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