The Neurobiology of Developmental Stuttering
Watkins KE., Chesters J., Connally EL.
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Stuttering affects 1 in 20 children and persists to adulthood in 1 in 100. The characteristic dysfluencies that occur in developmental stuttering can be alleviated by singing, external cueing, changing the way speech is produced, and changing auditory feedback. Genetic mutations that are associated with stuttering have been identified, but the underlying neurobiological impairment is not yet known. Theoretical models concerning the neural basis of developmental stuttering have implicated atypical language dominance, impaired sensorimotor integration and predictive modeling, and dysfunction in basal ganglia circuits as potential causes. Each of these models can be supported by findings from studies of stuttering reviewed here that involve the application of modern neuroimaging techniques and pharmacological or experimental interventions. Challenges remain regarding understanding the extent to which these findings relate to each other or to heterogeneity in the disorder and to subtypes.