Executive functions including attentional control are fundamental to motor processes that involve decision-making. Speech production is a motor process that involves decision-making, yet the role of cognition 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 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 (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 =-.58, p<.05) and auditory location identifications (r=-.66, p<.05), were 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 on an attentional control task produced more dysfluencies under DAF. While preliminary, these findings suggest that cognitive functions including attentional control are engaged during speech production under altered feedback conditions and may play a role in typical sensorimotor integration for speech.
Cognitive involvement during sensorimotor integration for speech: Early evidence
Karen Hebert, Vikram Dayalu, Caryn Grabowski, Sona Patel; Cognitive involvement during sensorimotor integration for speech: Early evidence. Proc. Mtgs. Acoust. 29 November 2021; 45 (1): 060010. https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001552
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