Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Nathan D. Maxfield, Ph.D.

Keywords

Stuttering, Psycholinguistic, Event-related potentials, Cognitive neuroscience, Adults

Abstract

Objective: A neuroscientific picture-word task was used to investigate semantic and phonological activation spreading in adults who stutter (AWS). Method: Fourteen AWS and 14 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated. On each trial, a picture was named at a delay. Sometimes, an attended probe word was heard before naming. Some probes were Semantically-Related to the labels. Those same probes also appeared following pictures with Unrelated labels. N400 ERPs recorded to these two probe types were compared (Semantically-Related versus Unrelated). Other probes were Phonologically-Related to the labels. Those same probes also appeared following pictures with unrelated labels (P-Unrelated). N400 ERPs recorded to these two probe types were compared (Phonologically-Related versus P-Unrelated). Results: AWNS exhibited typical N400 priming effects. AWS exhibited non-robust Semantic N400 priming, and a reverse Phonological N400 priming effect. Conclusions: Results suggest that AWS use attentional control strategies to influence the activation of words in the mental lexicon.

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