Stuttering and PET
As a Phonoaudiologist and thinking about the stuttering for many years, I would like to know if it is possible to know the exact location in the human brain where there are electrical discharges of the phonetic block that the disphemic suffers? Is there any research with PET about this subject?
Luiz César de Aquino, Speach therapist, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - April 21, 1997
Yes, there are three groups of research in the world that investigate the use of PET in stuttering, and the results are very interesting: The group of the Phonoaudiologist Dr. Kroll, of the Clarke Institute, at the University of Texas, used the PET with radioactive water (oxygen tagged), to discover that the stutterer use the right side of the brain (where there is no Broca area, and therefore, it is less effective for speech), anticipating the more difficult words (the metabolic activity of the neurons increase when they are trying to speak a difficult word), while the non-stutterers activate the left side of the brain. Stutterers that were treated and speak fluently activate the left side, as the normal ones, according to the PET results. Another interesting study comes from Dr. Peter Fox, of the PET Center of the University of Texas at San Antonio. He demonstrated the cerebral centers involved during the statement of words in stutterers and non stutterers.
Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD, Neuroscientist and especialist in Medical Informatics, State University of Campinas (SP), Brazil - April 21, 1997.
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Copyright 1997 Universidade Estadual de Campinas