Syntactic planning and processing are integral to speech and language production. Similarly, dual-tasking is integral to speaking. Although dual-tasking influences speech and language production it is not entirely clear how the nature of the secondary task influences cognitive resource allocation with speech-related dual-tasking in children who stutter. To test this in children who stutter (CWS) and those who do not stutter (CWNS), we studied how sentence planning and production is affected when performed concurrently with a rhyme judgement task (domain specific) or a visuo-spatial task (domain general). The aims of this research were: 1) to evaluate if there are group differences in CWS and CWNS in sentence planning and production under single vs. dual-task conditions.; 2) to evaluate the effects of domain specific vs domain general task conditions and their resource demands on sentence planning and production. The participants were 14 CWS (11 male, 3 female) and 15 CWNS (11 male, 4 female) in the age range of 9- 16years. The primary sentence task required participants to view line drawings that represent SVO (Subject-Verb-Object) sentences and to produce sentences that best described each picture. This task was performed by itself (single task) or in the presence of a secondary task (dual-task). The secondary task was either a rhyme judgement task (domain specific) or a shape judgement task (domain general). The results revealed that CWS are slower in planning and producing sentences in presence of a secondary task, irrespective of task domain. CWS also exhibited greater disfluencies in the dual task exhibited greater disfluencies, in both verbal and visuospatial task. For the secondary task, more errors and longer response times were noted for the rhyme judgement task. These results support the finding that the cognitive resource allocation is different from CWNS and show greater vulnerability to the presence of a secondary task.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2019. Major: Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Advisors: Jayanthi Sasisekaran, Robert Schlauch. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 82 pages.
Influence of Cognitive Variables on Sentence Production in School-Age Children Who Stutter.
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