Deficit or difference? Effects of altered auditory feedback on speech fluency and kinematic variability in adults who stutter

Heecheong Chon, Eric S. Jackson, Shelly Jo Kraft, Nicoline G. Ambrose, Torrey M. Loucks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test whether adults who stutter (AWS) display a different range of sensitivity to delayed auditory feedback (DAF). Two experiments were conducted to assess the fluency of AWS under long-latency DAF and to test the effect of short-latency DAF on speech kinematic variability in AWS. Method: In Experiment 1, 15 AWS performed a conversational speaking task under nonaltered auditory feedback and 250-ms DAF. The rates of stuttering-like disfluencies, other disfluencies, and speech errors and articulation rate were compared. In Experiment 2, 13 AWS and 15 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) read three utterances under four auditory feedback conditions: nonaltered auditory feedback, amplified auditory feedback, 25-ms DAF, and 50-ms DAF. Across-utterance kinematic variability (spatiotemporal index) and within-utterance variability (percent determinism and stability) were compared between groups. Results: In Experiment 1, under 250-ms DAF, the rate of stuttering-like disfluencies and speech errors increased significantly, while articulation rate decreased significantly in AWS. In Experiment 2, AWS exhibited higher kinematic variability than AWNS across the feedback conditions. Under 25-ms DAF, the spatiotemporal index of AWS decreased significantly compared to the other feedback conditions. AWS showed lower overall percent determinism than AWNS, but their percent determinism increased under 50-msDAFtoapproximatethatofAWNS. Conclusions: Auditory feedback manipulations can alter speech fluency and kinematic variability in AWS. Longer latency auditory feedback delays induce speech disruptions, while subtle auditory feedback manipulations potentially benefit speech motor control. Both AWS and AWNS are susceptible to auditory feedback during speech production, but AWS appear to exhibit a distinct continuum of sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2539-2556
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Deficit or difference? Effects of altered auditory feedback on speech fluency and kinematic variability in adults who stutter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this