Proprioceptive acuity on speech (Nip et al., 2023)
Purpose: Somatosensory feedback, including proprioception, is important for speech production. This study evaluates proprioceptive acuity of the tongue using a position-matching task and determining if proprioceptive acuity impacts speech motor control in healthy adult talkers.
Method: Twenty-five young adults with no history of speech, language, or hearing disorders had their tongue movements recorded with an electromagnetic articulograph while completing a position-matching task. Participants were also asked to repeat two sentences that differed in the somatosensory feedback obtained. One sentence provided both tactile and proprioceptive feedback, whereas the other primarily provided proprioceptive feedback.
Results: Participants ranged in proprioceptive acuity as measured by the position-matching task. Talkers with smaller position-matching errors and, therefore, higher proprioceptive acuity had smaller movements and slower speeds for both sentences. Talkers with lower proprioceptive acuity had reduced speech movement stability for the sentence that primarily provides proprioceptive feedback.
Conclusion: Proprioceptive acuity of the tongue can be evaluated using a position-matching task, and acuity is associated with more efficient speech movements and greater speech movement stability, particularly when producing utterances that provide less tactile feedback.
Supplemental Material S1. Mixed linear models that examined the effect of Acuity as a continuous variable.
Nip, I. S. B., Arias, C. R., Corcoran, J., Ishihara, N., & Goble, D. J. (2023). Proprioceptive acuity influences speech motor control in healthy adult talkers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2023_JSLHR-23-00149