Thursday, April 16, 2009

Neuroscience report from China



In another sign that China is catching up with Western dominated science, I found this article published in Neuroscience, a renowned journal. I cannot really find out from the abstract what is going on, and why they gave them a covert picture-naming task to do. Structural equation modeling is a statistical method combining quantitative data and qualitative causal assumptions, but that does not help me much. My guess is that they put some in a scanner and gave them a task and monitored the brain processes and used this structural equation modeling to gain information. But I never heard of this method before, but Neuroscience is a good journal so they don't just accept everything.

They claim functional disconnection from the left IFG to the left motor areas, and altered connectivity in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortical circuit, and abnormal integration of supramodal information across the cerebellum and several frontal-parietal regions. From the words, it fits past neuroscience research, but really I would need to look at this in more depth!

Here is the abstract. Please send me the paper if you have access:

Neuroscience. 2009 Apr 10.
The Role of Large-Scale Neural Interactions for Developmental Stuttering.

Lu C, Ning N, Peng D, Ding G, Li K, Yang Y, Lin C.
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China.

Using structural equation modeling (SEM) method, the present study examined the role of large-scale neural interactions in developmental stuttering while ten stuttering and nine non-stuttering subjects performed a covert picture-naming task. Results indicated that the connection patterns were significantly different between stuttering and non-stuttering speakers in both omnibus connection pattern and individual connection path coefficient. Specifically, stuttering speakers showed functional disconnection from the left IFG to the left motor areas, and altered connectivity in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortical circuit, and abnormal integration of supramodal information across the cerebellum and several frontal-parietal regions. These results indicate that the large-scale dysfunctional neural interactions may be involved in stuttering speakers' difficulties in planning, execution, and self-monitoring of speech motor sequence during word production.

PMID: 19364522 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3 comments:

Dave said...

Just sent you the paper. Interested to know what you make of it.

K said...

I'm always fascinated when other countries research stuttering.

And what intrigues me even more is that I speak Mandarin and English and I stutter in both languages.

When I was younger (around 6) my parents took me to a psychologist to examine my stuttering (this was in the early-80s) and his reasoning was that I was learning too many languages at once (i.e. English in school, Mandarin with my parents, and Taiwanese with my grandparents).

He told my parents if we focused on one language it would be better.

Well obviously that didn't work, but does his theory have merit? Do those people who speak more than one language have a higher rate of stuttering?

Anonymous said...

Talk is Cheap: "If you are not satisfied with the research in stuttering, I suggest you go after bigger issues like cancer, ALS, AIDS vaccine, or the failure of stem cells to be of any clinical value as of yet. Maybe even talk about the lack of insight into world economic issues...or did you foretell the downturn of late?"

What do you want us to do?