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Principles of Motor Learning Applied to the Treatment of Acquired Apraxia of Speech:
Effects of Feedback Frequency and Timing

S. Austermann, D. Robin, E. Maas, K. Ballard, & R. Schmidt

Two studies examined speech re-learning in persons with Apraxia of Speech (AOS) while manipulating the frequency and timing of feedback. It was predicted that delaying or reducing feedback frequency would promote retention of treated sounds and transfer to similar but untreated targets, while providing immediate or more frequent feedback would promote temporary performance enhancement, but interfere with retention and transfer of skills. Two studies were conducted (N=4 and N=3), employing single-subject alternating multiple-baseline across subjects treatment designs to examine the acquisition and retention of speech skills in adults with acquired AOS under the different feedback conditions. Reducing the frequency or delaying the provision of feedback enhanced learning of speech skills in several subjects with AOS. Feedback manipulation was not an influential variable in some cases in which stimulus effects were evident. Results add to the motor speech disorders treatment literature supporting the efficacy of speech treatments for acquired AOS. They also provide some support for the reduction and delay of augmented feedback, and add to the literature investigating the use of principles of motor learning in treating AOS.

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