Author(s): SmitsBandstra S, De Nil LF
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Abstract The basal ganglia and cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical connections are known to play a critical role in sequence skill learning and increasing automaticity over practice. The current paper reviews four studies comparing the sequence skill learning and the transition to automaticity of persons who stutter (PWS) and fluent speakers (PNS) over practice. Studies One and Two found PWS to have poor finger tap sequencing skill and nonsense syllable sequencing skill after practice, and on retention and transfer tests relative to PNS. Studies Three and Four found PWS to be significantly less accurate and/or significantly slower after practice on dual tasks requiring concurrent sequencing and colour recognition over practice relative to PNS. Evidence of PWS' deficits in sequence skill learning and automaticity development support the hypothesis that dysfunction in cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical connections may be one etiological component in the development and maintenance of stuttering. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: As a result of this activity, the reader will: (1) be able to articulate the research regarding the basal ganglia system relating to sequence skill learning; (2) be able to summarize the research on stuttering with indications of sequence skill learning deficits; and (3) be able to discuss basal ganglia mechanisms with relevance for theory of stuttering.
This article was published in J Fluency Disord
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology