Reduced fractional anisotropy in the anterior corpus callosum is associated with reduced speech fluency in persistent developmental stuttering

Oren Civier, Vered Kronfeld-Duenias, Ofer Amir, Ruth Ezrati-Vinacour, Michal Ben-Shachar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Developmental stuttering is a speech disorder that severely limits one's ability to communicate. White matter anomalies were reported in stuttering, but their functional significance is unclear. We analyzed the relation between white matter properties and speech fluency in adults who stutter (AWS). We used diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics, and examined group differences as well as correlations with behavioral fluency measures. We detected a region in the anterior corpus callosum with significantly lower fractional anisotropy in AWS relative to controls. Within the AWS group, reduced anisotropy in that region is associated with reduced fluency. A statistically significant interaction was found between group and age in two additional regions: the left Rolandic operculum and the left posterior corpus callosum. Our findings suggest that anterior callosal anomaly in stuttering may represent a maladaptive reduction in interhemispheric inhibition, possibly leading to a disadvantageous recruitment of right frontal cortex in speech production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalBrain and Language
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Corpus callosum
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Interhemispheric inhibition
  • Persistent developmental stuttering
  • Plasticity
  • Speech motor control
  • White matter

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