Towards a functional neural systems model of developmental stuttering

Roger J. Ingham, Janis C. Ingham, Patrick Finn, Peter T. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper overviews recent developments in an ongoing program of brain imaging research on developmental stuttering that is being conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. This program has primarily used H2 15O PET imaging of different speaking tasks by right-handed adult male and female persistent stutterers, recovered stutterers and controls in order to isolate the neural regions that are functionally associated with stuttered speech. The principal findings have emerged from studies using condition contrasts and performance correlation techniques. The emerging findings from these studies are reviewed and referenced to a neural model of normal speech production recently proposed by Jürgens [Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 26 (2002) 235]. This paper will report (1) the reconfiguration of previous findings within the Jürgens Model; (2) preliminary findings of an investigation with late recovered stutterers; (3) an investigation of neural activations during a treatment procedure designed to produce a sustained improvement in fluency; and (4) an across-studies comparison that seeks to isolate neural regions within the Jürgens Model that are consistently associated with stuttering. Two regions appear to meet this criterion: right anterior insula (activated) and anterior middle and superior temporal gyri (deactivated) mainly in right hemisphere. The implications of these findings and the direction of future imaging investigations are discussed. Educational objectives: The reader will learn about (1) recent uses of H2 15O PET imaging in stuttering research; (2) the use of a new neurological model of speech production in imaging research on stuttering; and (3) initial findings from PET imaging investigations of treated and recovered stutterers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-318
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Jürgens Model
  • PET brain imaging
  • Persistent
  • Treated and recovered stutterers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Linguistics and Language


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