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Feedback of stutterers’ electromyographic activity Hanna, Richmond

Abstract

Five studies were performed to explore the feasibility of treating severe chronic stuttering with EMG feedback. EMG spiking from the throat was found to correlate with stuttering, and to differentiate between stuttering and fluent speech. EMG spiking tended to disappear when stuttering was reduced by metronome-paced speech and by speech therapy. Likewise, when EMG spiking was reduced by feedback training, stuttering was concurrently reduced. Presentation of the feedback tone without instructions or information produced no reduction in stuttering or EMG spiking. Pseudofeedback was also generally ineffective. It was concluded that the feedback effect is apparently not an artifact of instructions, masking, distraction, adaptation, slowing of speech, or of a stutter-contingent aversive tone, nor is it a Hawthorne or placebo effect. Implications of the results are discussed.

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