Somatosensory input and word recognition in SSD (Abu-Zhaya et al., 2023)
Purpose: Recent work suggests that speech perception is influenced by the somatosensory system and that oral sensorimotor disruption has specific effects on the perception of speech both in infants who have not yet begun to talk and in older children and adults with ample speech production experience; however, we do not know how such disruptions affect children with speech sound disorder (SSD). Response to disruption of would-be articulators during speech perception could reveal how sensorimotor linkages work for both typical and atypical speech and language development. Such linkages are crucial to advancing our knowledge on how both typically developing and atypically developing children produce and perceive speech.
Method: Using a looking-while-listening task, we explored the impact of a sensorimotor restrictor on the recognition of words whose onsets involve late-developing sounds (s, ʃ) for both children with typical development (TD) and their peers with SSD.
Results: Children with SSD showed a decrement in performance when they held a restrictor in their mouths during the task, but this was not the case for children with TD. This effect on performance was only observed for the specific speech sounds blocked by the would-be articulators.
Conclusion: We argue that these findings provide evidence for altered perceptual motor pathways in children with SSD.
Supplemental Material S1. The proportion of fixations to the target and distractor during the prenaming phase of correctly pronounced words (CP; Trials 5, 7, 8, 13, and 18) and mispronounced words (MP; Trials 3, 6, 10, 12, and 14) trials for each of the two conditions across both days (No Restrictor Day 1 and Day 2 [NR1, NR2], Restrictor Day 1 and Day 2 [R1, R2]) and two diagnosis groups (children with speech sound disorder [SSD], children with typical development [TD]).
Abu-Zhaya, R., Goffman, L., Brosseau-Lapré, F., Roepke, E., & Seidl, A. (2023). The effect of somatosensory input on word recognition in typical children and those with speech sound disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_JSLHR-22-00226