How our brains' beta waves predict stuttering

February 16, 2024

Beta waves are brainwaves associated with thought, actions, and reactions; for example, beta waves affect how you would react to a cyclist speeding toward you as you cross the street. A team of speech and psychology researchers recruited 30 stutterers to identify 50 words that were likely to be stuttered. Participants were then shown a screen with visual cues prompting them to say each word. During this task, researchers monitored participants’ brain activity using magnetoencephalography (MEG)—a neuroimaging technique that maps the brain’s electrical currents. They found increased beta waves associated with the cues that preceded the words participants stuttered in comparison to the words participants spoke fluently.

Beta waves are brainwaves associated with thought, actions, and reactions; for example, beta waves affect how you would react to a cyclist speeding toward you as you cross the street. New research finds that they can also predict when a person will stutter.

A team of speech and psychology researchers recruited 30 stutterers to identify 50 words that were likely to be stuttered. Participants were then shown a screen with visual cues prompting them to say each word. During this task, researchers monitored participants’ brain activity using magnetoencephalography (MEG)—a neuroimaging technique that maps the brain’s electrical currents. They found increased beta waves associated with the cues that preceded the words participants stuttered in comparison to the words participants spoke fluently.

Their findings are published in Neurobiology of Language.

The source of this news is from New York University

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