Abnormal time course of low beta modulation in non-fluent preschool children

a magnetoencephalographic study of rhythm tracking

Andrew C. Etchell*, Margaret Ryan, Erin Martin, Blake W. Johnson, Paul F. Sowman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Stuttering is a disorder of speech affecting millions of people around the world. Whilst the exact aetiology of stuttering remains unknown, it has been hypothesised that it is a disorder of the neural mechanisms that support speech timing. In this article, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine activity from auditory regions of the brain in stuttering and non-stuttering children aged 3-9. years. For typically developing children, we found that MEG oscillations in the beta band responded to rhythmic sounds with a peak near the time of stimulus onset. In contrast, stuttering children showed an opposite phase of beta band envelope, with a trough of activity at stimulus onset. These results suggest that stuttering may result from abnormalities in predictive brain responses which are reflected in abnormal entrainment of the beta band envelope to rhythmic sounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-963
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016


  • Beta oscillations
  • Children
  • Rhythm
  • Stuttering
  • Timing

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