Monthly Archives: November 2008

Dynamic assessment and its application to children with speech and language learning difficulties

This Article does not have an abstract.

from the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Dysphagia Development after Surgery Unrelated to Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Structures

Abstract The aim of this study was to retrospectively investigate swallowing capacity and dysphagia severity using VFSS and to determine their relationships to intra- and postoperative factors in long-lasting dysphagia patients who had undergone an operation unrelated to pharyngeal and laryngeal structures. Twenty-six patients without a definite cause of dysphagia were selected from among patients admitted to our hospital from January 2006 to December 2007. Videofluoroscopic dysphagia scale (VDS) and ASHA NOMS swallowing level (ASHA level) at 1 month postoperatively were used to determine dysphagia severity and swallowing capacity. Intraoperative factors (endotracheal tube size, intubation time, and total anesthetic time) and postoperative factors (tracheostomy history, vocal cord palsy, and postoperative delirium) were investigated to determine their relationhips with VDS and ASHA level. No significant relationship was found between these factors and VDS or ASHA level by Pearson’s or Spearman’s correlation testing. Further prospective studies are required to identify the causative factors of long-lasting dysphagia after surgical procedures unrelated to pharyngeal and laryngeal structures.

from Dysphagia

Mom-preneur wins 2009 Innovations Design and Engineering Award from Consumer Electronics Association

The Consumer Electronics Association has named the iHearSafe® Safe Volume™ Headphones a 2009 Innovations Design and Engineering Award Honoree. The Innovations award will be presented to Christine Ingemi, the inventor, at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas from January 8th-11th. This award is in recognition of Ingemi’s pioneering design of an innovative new product in the audio industry.


FTC Announces Health Care Booklet and Web Site for Seniors

To help provide reliable sources of health information to seniors and their family members, caregivers, and friends, the Federal Trade Commission has developed a new booklet and Web site. Who Cares: Sources of Information About Health Care Products and Services, online at, urges older consumers to discuss their health-related decisions with doctors and other trusted health care providers. It also helps them:

from Resource Shelf

Certain Skills Are Predictors Of Reading Ability In Young Children

A new study in the journal Learning Disabilities Research & Practice reveals that differences found between pre-kindergarten reading-disabled children and their typically reading peers diminish in various measures by pre-first grade, with the exception of phonological awareness abilities.

from Medical News

Evaluation of methods used to assess language development of 3-4-year-old Danish children

This paper targets assessment instruments used by speech-language therapists in Denmark for monolingual 3-4-year-old children. The paper is based on two studies. In the first study 29 assessment instruments were compared with respect to language constructs that were covered by the instruments. In the second study 26 assessment instruments were evaluated based on international guide-lines. The main finding from the first study revealed a lack of appropriate assessment instruments targeting relevant language constructs in assessment instruments for this age-group. The most important result from the second study revealed a massive lack of information and documentation, which probably in many cases points to a lack of use of established, scientific principles.

from Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology

The Characterization of the Vibrato in Lyric and Sertanejo Singing Styles: Acoustic and Perceptual Auditory Aspects

The vibrato is one of the embellishments most frequently used in the singing voice and it can be found in different singing styles, among those, lyric and Sertanejo (Brazilian country western-like singing style). Considering these two styles, the objective of the present study was to analyze the production of vibrato in the singing voice in the lyric and sertanejo genres from an acoustic and perceptual viewpoint. Twenty male singers—10 classical (operatic) singers and 10 sertanejo singers—reportedly in perfect laryngeal health, served as subjects for this study. Digital recording of the subjects’ voices was performed. For each phonation, acoustic analysis was carried out together with comparison of overtones and vibrato rate and extension measurements. The results have shown that the mean values for vibrato rate and extent in lyric singers were 4.55–6.25 Hz and 0-54–1.66 semitone, respectively, whereas for sertanejo they were 5.0–6.56 Hz and 0.54–0.95 semitone. In the spectrogram, there was regularity in terms of frequency oscillation in the lyric genre whereas in the sertanejo style there was no regularity.

from the Journal of Voice

Behavioural and neurophysiological evidence of semantic interaction between iconic gestures and words

We report two experiments that provide converging behavioural and neurophysiological evidence on the relationship between the meaning of iconic gestures and words. Experiment 1 exploited a semantic priming paradigm and revealed interference between gestures and words when they were not related in meaning, but no facilitation when they were. This result was confirmed in Experiment 2, where ERPs were recorded during silent word reading with the same paradigm. The analysis showed a negative deflection peaking near 400 ms (N400) and, in the left hemisphere, greater negative values for verbs than for nouns. Differently from the classical distribution obtained with verbal stimuli, we found an N400 that spread more over central-anterior areas of the scalp, suggesting that the meaning systems of gesture and language do not overlap completely. These results are consistent with the view that the meaning systems for gesture and speech are tightly integrated.

from Cognitive Neuropsychology

Literacy-based normative data for low socioeconomic status African Americans

Clinical neuropsychology relies on the use of appropriate test norms. Normative studies frequently stratify based on age, education, sex, and race. None to date has reported norms based on literacy, despite the substantial evidence that literacy impacts cognitive functioning. Some researchers have suggested that literacy is a more accurate reflection of academic achievement and quality of education than years of education, particularly for African Americans. The current study provides literacy-based normative data for multiple neuropsychological measures based on a sample of predominantly low socioeconomic status African Americans. These normative data should improve the diagnostic accuracy of performances by African-American clients with similar demographic backgrounds.

from Clinical Neurophychologist

Oh, What A Feeling! Regaining Ability To Interpret Emotions After Severe Brain Injury

The research, published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, reveals that appropriate training can result in significant gains in “emotional perception”, which is crucial for successful social communication.


Co-constructed talk in the conversations of people with dysarthria and aphasia

This paper uses the methodology of conversation analysis (CA) to examine the practice of co-constructed turn and utterance production in impaired communication. An investigation of the conversations between two family dyads, featuring one person with dysarthric speech and one with aphasic language, reveals one way in which single turns and utterances are produced through the collaborative activities of two people in interaction. Such a practice is shown to operate without problems for the participants or the need for explicit acceptance by the speakers. It is proposed that co-construction in disordered speech and language is one way in which communicative competence is accomplished. By drawing attention to similarities in the consequences of dysarthria and aphasia in everyday interaction, it is suggested that researchers and clinicians might profitably look across disorder-specific boundaries.

from Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

Effect of bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on different speech subsystems in patients with Parkinson’s disease

The effect of deep brain stimulation on the two speech-production subsystems, articulation and phonation, of nine Parkinsonian patients is examined. Production parameters (stop closure voicing; stop closure, VOT, vowel) in fast syllable-repetitions were defined and measured and quantitative, objective metrics of vocal fold function were obtained during vowel production. Speech material was recorded for patients (with and without stimulation) and for a reference group of healthy control speakers. With stimulation, precision of the glottal and supraglottal articulation as well as the phonatory function is reduced for some individuals, whereas for other individuals an improvement is observed. Importantly, the improvement or deterioration is determined not only on the basis of the direction of parameter change but also on the individuals’ position relative to the healthy control data. This study also notes differences within an individual in the effects of stimulation on the two speech subsystems. These findings qualify the value of global statements about the effect of neurostimulatory operations on Parkinsonian patients. They also underline the importance of careful consideration of individual differences in the effect of deep brain stimulation on different speech subsystems.

from Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

Fundamental frequency development in typically developing infants and infants with severe-to-profound hearing loss

Little research has been conducted on the development of suprasegmental characteristics of vocalizations in typically developing infants (TDI) and the role of audition in the development of these characteristics. The purpose of the present study was to examine the longitudinal development of fundamental frequency (F0) in eight TDI and eight infants with severe-to-profound hearing loss matched for level of vocal development. Results revealed no significant changes in F0 with advances in pre-language vocal development for TDI. Infants with hearing loss, however, showed a statistically reliable higher variability of F0 than TDI, when age was accounted for as a covariate. The results suggest development of F0 may be strongly influenced by audition.

from Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

Laryngeal resistance distinguished pressed, normal, and breathy voice in vocally untrained females

The purpose of this study was to determine if pressed, normal, and breathy voice can be distinguished by laryngeal resistance (LR) in vocally untrained females. Twelve adult females, with no vocal expertise or training, produced each of the voice qualities on the pitch A3 (220 Hz) during a repeated consonant-vowel utterance of /pi/ into a Rothenberg vented face-mask with attached microphone, pressure, and air-flow transducers. Results indicated that LR was successful in distinguishing pressed, normal, and breathy voice in vocally untrained females. The results are consistent with previous research and further support the suggestion that LR is a useful measure for studying the co-ordinative interactions across respiratory and laryngeal subsystems of voice production.

from Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology

Changes to spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) due to cisplatin administration

We investigated the influence of cisplatin on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) by measuring SOAEs, before and after cisplatin administration, in 18 ears of nine patients (one female and eight males) who had received chemotherapy with cisplatin for a brain tumor. No hearing loss was observed after cisplatin administration in eight ears. Before cisplatin administration SOAE was present in four out of these eight ears, and only mild frequency fluctuation was observed even after administration. In 10 ears, sensory neural hearing loss was observed after cisplatin administration. Before cisplatin administration SOAE was present in four out of these 10 ears, and SOAE decreased or disappeared in three ears after administration. In two ears, SOAE was not present before cisplatin administration, but newly appeared after administration. It was indicated that SOAE principally disappeared at the frequencies where the region of the outer hair cells responsible for the same frequencies was injured, but new SOAEs appeared at the frequencies where the region of the outer hair cells was not injured after cisplatin administration.

from the International Journal of Audiology