A Within- and Between-Subject FMRI Experiment Before and After a Fluency Shaping Therapy

Katrin Neumann1, Harald A. Euler2, Christine Preibisch3, Alexander Wolff von Gudenberg4
1Clinic of Phoniatry and Pedaadiology, University of Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 F rankfurt/Main, Germany
2Department of Psychology, University of Kassel, Hollaend. St): 36-38, 3412 7 Kassel, Germany
3Department of Neuroradiology, University of Frankfurt, Schlensenweg 2-16, 60528 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
4Institute of the Kasseler Stottertherapie, 34308 Bad Emstal, Germany


FMRI findings of 9 male persons who stutter (PWS) compared to 16 non-stuttering controls (PWNS) are reported. Distributed, predominantly right-hernispheric overactivations in PWS during overt reading were more widespread and left-sided after fluency shaping therapy and were slightly reduced and again more right-sided two years later. These findings, together with larger activations post-treatment also in a semantic task, suggest that overactivations might reflect compensatory mechanisms. Left frontal deactivations were insensitive to therapy and therefore possibly indicate dysfunctions. Thus, fluency-inducing techniques might synchronize a disturbed signal transmission between auditory, speech motor planning, and motor areas.
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