Catherine Theys1, Stefan Sunaert2, Silvia Kovacs2, Astrid van Wieringen1, Luc De Nil3
1ExpORL - Department of Neurosciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 2Department of Radiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 3Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
In subjects with developmental stuttering, overactivation has been shown in certain speech-language areas together with reduced activation in auditory areas. We compared simulated stuttering to fluent speaking to differentiate cause from consequence in stuttering. We found that normal subjects engage areas implicated in developmental stuttering (SMA, premotor cortex, basal ganglia, insula and cerebellum) during simulated stuttering. This suggests that these differences rather reflect the increased effort in producing speech than the cause of the stuttering. However, simulated stuttering resulted in increased activation in the auditory cortex. This may point to the auditory cortex as a region causally implicated in stuttering.