Cerebral Lateraization of Speech Processing in Adult and Child Stutterers: Near Infrared Spectroscopy and MEG Study

Koichi Mori1, Yutaka Sato1, Emi Ozawa1 and Satoshi Imaizump2
1National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, 4-] Namiki, Tokorozawa, Saitama, 359-8555, Japan
2Hiroshima Prefectural College of Health Sciences,I -I Gakuen, M ihara, Hiroshima 723-0053, Japan


Cerebral lateralization of speech processing in stutterers were assessed with noninvasive brain imaging techniques, magnetoencephalography and multichannel near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), with which neuromagnetic and hemodynamic responses, respectively, were recorded to analysis-synthesized prosodic and phonemic minimal contrast word trains. Adult stutterers did not show normal leftward dominance for the phonemic contrast with either method. Children underwent only NIRS sessions, with results similar to those of adults, which indicates that the cerebral dominance in processing heard speech is in disarray even in school-age stutterers. The NIRS method may be useful in screening young stutterers and in elucidating neural correlates of stuttering.
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