There are three ongoing studies studies that focus on the nature and treatment of stuttering.
Speech Movement Variability
We have recently started a speech production study looking at the benefit of stuttering treatment. We are measuring speech movement variability in persons who stutter over the age of 16. A motion tracking camera is used to follow the facial movements during speech. We collect speech movement data at the beginning of treatment and at the end of treatment. We hope to recruit clients involved in the intensive program and the weekly program. The study takes about 45 minutes to complete.
Decision Making and Stuttering Treatment
This study will assess the relationship between executive function and stuttering treatment outcome. Executive function is related to how people make decisions and process information. We will use this information on how people who stutter make decisions in relation to treatment outcome in order to improve the effectiveness of treatment. The study takes about 70 minutes to complete.
Inhibition and Stuttering
We are testing how people inhibit or refrain from moving. The ability to refrain from moving is just as vital as making a movement. There is research suggesting that stuttering could involve a difference in how speech is inhibited. We will be testing inhibition in people who stutter over the next year. The study takes about 90 minutes to complete.
A fourth study is being planned but has not started yet. This study is a pilot program looking at whether virtual reality can complement stuttering therapy. Advances in virtual reality have included public speaking environments that can help individuals prepare for public speaking using virtual scenarios. These scenarios can be varied richly in terms of the audience and environment. This program may be especially helpful to adults and teens in the early stages of intervention. We look forward to providing you with updates on this pilot program.