Executive functioning is fundamental to motor processes that involve decision-making, and yet, the role of cognitive control during speech production is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between auditory attentional decision-making ability and changes in acoustic parameters and speech error rates during sensorimotor integration for speech production. Seventeen healthy individuals first completed an auditory analog of the Attentional Network Test to assess attentional decision-making and then read passages under delayed auditory feedback (DAF). None of the acoustic parameters (speech rate, mean and standard deviation of fundamental frequency and intensity) were related to metrics of cognitive processing. However, auditory processing speed, measured as reaction time to pitch identifications (r = -0.58, p < 0.05) and auditory location identifications (r = -0.66, p < 0.05), was significantly related to the total number of dysfluencies (across articulation errors, stuttering-like disfluencies, and other disfluencies) under DAF. In other words, individuals who made quick auditory discriminations produced more dysfluencies under DAF. While preliminary, these findings suggest that cognitive functions including executive control are engaged during speech production. These findings can be understood in the context of diffusion models of decision-making and the impact of cognition on speech perception.
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Early evidence of cognitive involvement during sensorimotor integration for speech
Karen Hebert, Vikram Dayalu, Caryn Grabowski, Sona Patel; Early evidence of cognitive involvement during sensorimotor integration for speech. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2021; 150 (4_Supplement): A273. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0008267
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