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From Grapheme to Phonological Output: Performance of Adults Who Stutter on a Word Jumble Task
  • Megann McGill, Portland State University
  • Harvey Sussman
  • Courtney T. Byrd, University of Texas at Austin
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Publication Date
  • Stuttering -- Research,
  • Stuttering -- Patients
Purpose The purpose of the present study was to extend previous research by analyzing the ability of adults who stutter to use phonological working memory in conjunction with lexical access to perform a word jumble task. Method Forty English words consisting of 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-letters (n = 10 per letter length category) were randomly jumbled using a web-based application. During the experimental task, 26 participants were asked to silently manipulate the scrambled letters to form a real word. Each vocal response was coded for accuracy and speech reaction time (SRT). Results Adults who stutter attempted to solve fewer word jumble stimuli than adults who do not stutter at the 4-letter, 5-letter, and 6-letter lengths. Additionally, adults who stutter were significantly less accurate solving word jumble tasks at the 4-letter, 5-letter, and 6-letter lengths compared to adults who do not stutter. At the longest word length (6-letter), SRT was significantly slower for the adults who stutter than the fluent controls. Conclusion Results of the current study lend further support to the notion that differences in various aspects of phonological processing, including vision-to-sound conversions, sub-vocal stimulus manipulation, and/or lexical access are compromised in adults who stutter.

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*At the time of publication, Megann McGill was affiliated with the University of Texas.

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McGill, M., Sussman, H., & Byrd, C. T. (2016). From grapheme to phonological output: performance of adults who stutter on a word jumble task. PloS one, 11(3), e0151107.