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Language production, Attention, Stuttering, Adults, Brain, electrophysiology

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Objective: We investigated whether language production is atypically resource-demanding in adults who stutter (AWS) versus typically-fluent adults (TFA).

Methods: Fifteen TFA and 15 AWS named pictures overlaid with printed Semantic, Phonological or Unrelated Distractor words while monitoring frequent low tones versus rare high tones. Tones were presented at a short or long Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA) relative to picture onset. Group, Tone Type, Tone SOA and Distractor Type effects on P3 amplitudes were the main focus. P3 amplitude was also investigated separately in a simple tone oddball task.

Results: P3 morphology was similar between groups in the simple task. In the dual task, a P3 effect was detected in TFA in all three distractor conditions at each Tone SOA. In AWS, a P3 effect was attenuated or undetectable at the Short Tone SOA depending on Distractor Type.

Conclusions: In TFA, attentional resources were available for P3-indexed processes in tone perception and categorization in all distractor conditions at both Tone SOAs. For AWS, availability of attentional resources for secondary task processing was reduced as competition in word retrieval was resolved.

Significance: Results suggest that language production can be atypically resource-demanding in AWS. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Clinica Neurophysiology, v. 127, issue 4, p. 1942-1960

This article is the post-print author version. Under a Creative Commons license.