Performance of bimanual finger coordination tasks in speakers who stutter

Akira Toyomura*, Tetsunoshin Fujii, Paul F. Sowman

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental speech disorder characterized by the symptoms of speech repetition, prolongation, and blocking. Stuttering-related dysfluency can be transiently alleviated by providing an external timing signal such as a metronome or the voice of another person. Therefore, the existence of a core motor timing deficit in stuttering has been speculated. If this is the case, then motoric behaviors other than speech should be disrupted in stuttering. This study examined motoric performance on four complex bimanual tasks in 37 adults who stutter and 31 fluent controls. Two tasks utilized bimanual rotation to examine motor dexterity, and two tasks used the bimanual mirror and parallel tapping movements to examine timing control ability. Video-based analyses were conducted to determine performance accuracy and speed. The results showed that individuals who stutter performed worse than fluent speakers on tapping tasks but not on bimanual rotation tasks. These results suggest stuttering is associated with timing control for general motor behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number679607
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • stuttering
    • finger movement
    • mirror and parallel tapping
    • motor dexterity
    • timing control
    • basal ganglia
    • cerebellum
    • supplementary motor area


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