Syllable Repetition in Children with Speech Sound Disorder and Typically Developing Children Task Performance and Neural Basis

Main Article Content

Cormac Maloney
Jennifer Vannest
Caitlin Coode


Record ID: 267

Type: Poster Presentation (in-person)

Advisor: Jennifer Vannest

Abstract: This portion of a larger study aims to gain insight on neural networks and structures related to speech in children during a syllable repetition task to better understand and treat speech sound disorder (SSD). 5 children (4F) with Speech Sound Disorder; 4:0-5:11 [years:months-years:months]; and 25 typically developing children (16F); ages 4:0-5:11 performed a task of listening to and repeating speech sounds during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sounds that children acquire in early development were used to create syllable sequences such as /maba/ and /nada/. The number of syllables increased over the course of the task. Most children were successfully able to complete the task, and audio recordings of their responses were analyzed for accuracy. Poor task compliance and complications with the MRI-compatible microphone resulted in some participants' data being excluded. In addition, fMRI sensitivity to movement is antithetical to preschoolers' ability to sit still, resulting in some brain scans being unusable due to participant motion, even when the child completed the task accurately. Group analysis of the remaining fMRI scans showed activation of motor and auditory brain regions for repeating relative to listening. The study is ongoing; however the hope is that the data will provide better understanding of how the brain processes speech differently in cases of SSD. This could illuminate causes of the disorder as well as notable deviations in specific neural networks and structures associated with atypical speech development.

Article Details

Category: Health & Body
Author Biographies

Cormac Maloney, University of Cincinnati

Major(s): Speech Language Hearing Sciences

Caitlin Coode

Graduate Student, Allied Health Sciences