Motor Learning of Volitional Nonspeech Oral Movements

S Shaiman, M McNeil

 

Nonspeech oral movements are commonly used in the evaluation and treatment of motor speech disorders. However, the use of nonspeech movements is a contentious issue. Previous tasks selected to examine the relationship between speech and nonspeech oral motor control have exhibited substantive differences in organization, complexity and degree of learning that limit the extent to which a legitimate comparison can be made. This research explores the impact of contextual interference on the motor learning of a nonspeech task, constructed to parallel speech by controlling several commonly observed physiological characteristics of speech production (i.e., complex sequence of potentially overlapping articulatory segments; goal of intraoral pressure during bilabial closure). The current study provides initial validation of a complex nonspeech task, which will be used in future research for exploring the neurophysiological mechanisms of speech and volitional nonspeech oral movements.