Differences in implicit motor learning between adults who do and do not stutter

Fiona Höbler, Tali Bitan, Luc Tremblay, Luc De Nil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Implicit learning allows us to acquire complex motor skills through repeated exposure to sensory cues and repetition of motor behaviours, without awareness or effort. Implicit learning is also critical to the incremental fine-tuning of the perceptual-motor system. To understand how implicit learning and associated domain-general learning processes may contribute to motor learning differences in people who stutter, we investigated implicit finger-sequencing skills in adults who do (AWS) and do not stutter (ANS) on an Alternating Serial Reaction Time task. Our results demonstrated that, while all participants showed evidence of significant sequence-specific learning in their speed of performance, male AWS were slower and made fewer sequence-specific learning gains than their ANS counterparts. Although there were no learning gains evident in accuracy of performance, AWS performed the implicit learning task more accurately than ANS, overall. These findings may have implications for sex-based differences in the experience of developmental stuttering, for the successful acquisition of complex motor skills during development by individuals who stutter, and for the updating and automatization of speech motor plans during the therapeutic process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108342
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume174
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) [funding reference number 456010 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Implicit learning
  • Motor sequence learning
  • Procedural learning
  • Serial reaction time
  • Stuttering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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