Voice and fluency changes as a function of speech task and deep brain stimulation

Diana Van Lancker Sidtis, Tiffany Rogers, Violette Godier, Michele Tagliati, John J. Sidtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Speaking, which naturally occurs in different modes or "tasks" such as conversation and repetition, relies on intact basal ganglia nuclei. Recent studies suggest that voice and fluency parameters are differentially affected by speech task. In this study, the authors examine the effects of subcortical functionality on voice and fluency, comparing measures obtained from spontaneous and matched repeated speech samples. Method: Subjects with Parkinson's disease who were being treated with bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nuclei were tested with stimulators ON and OFF. Results: The study found that a voice measure, harmonic to noise ratio, is improved in repetition and in the DBS-ON condition and that dysfluencies are more plentiful in conversation with little or variable influence of DBS condition. Conclusions: These findings suggest that voice and fluency are differentially affected by DBS treatment and that task conditions, interacting with subcortical functionality, influence motor speech performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1177
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Motor speech disorders
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Speech tasks
  • Voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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