A neurophysiological marker of anticipation and error monitoring in developmental stuttering

Date

2012-11-14

Authors

Moore, William Rylie

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Abstract

Current research in stuttering suggests that individuals who stutter (IWS) may have a hyperactive error-monitoring system, leading to the exacerbation and anticipation of verbal dysfluencies. Using a neurophysiological marker of error processing known as the feedback error-related negativity, the current thesis involved three studies. First, a pilot study was conducted to ensure that word feedback cues were usable in the current paradigm. Second, a classic virtual T-maze task was used to assess the generic error processing mechanism of IWS. Third, an adaptation of the T-maze was used to assess the integrity of the reinforcement learning system of IWS and their ability to associate reward and error information of personalized problem words with predictive cues. Results suggest preliminary evidence for functional generic error processing in IWS and disrupted error processing when conditioned predictive cues are needed to predict fluent versus dysfluent outcomes.

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Keywords

stuttering, anticipation, error monitoring, dopamine, feedback error-related negativity, event-related potential

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