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Stimulating loudness vs. training loudness: What’s the difference and does it matter?
Leslie Will, Jennifer Spielman, Lorraine Ramig

Stimulability testing is frequently used to assess the potential impact of treatment strategies for people with motor speech disorders. However, stimulability testing may not elicit the same motor behaviors as those achieved after treatment. This study compared SPL and vowel working space for people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease in three conditions: 1) habitual loudness pre-treatment, 2) stimulated loudness pre-treatment, and 3) trained loudness post-treatment. The treatment given was LSVT®. Ss read the sentence, “The stewpot is packed with peas.” before and after treatment. Pre-treatment the sentence was read 10 times at each subject’s habitual loudness and an additional 10 times with the cue to speak at twice their habitual loudness. Post-treatment subjects read the sentence 10 times with no loudness cues. Formant frequencies for F1 and F2 data were analyzed for the vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/ with TF32 software and were used to calculate vowel working space. Results indicated that people who received LSVT® increased loudness and vowel space in the trained condition to a greater degree than in the stimulated condition. These findings suggest speech characteristics of trained loudness were different from stimulated loudness and made a difference in vowel production.

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