A very sad story. A senior researchers got fired because he did not adhere to the very strict and often completely uselees but politically correct procedures. Result: the valid experimental data (on stuttering!) cannot be used in a scientific publication and the junior researchers face professional disaster under the "publish or perish" doctrine. Nan and Jerry asked for sanity for the sake of research.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
I am shocked to read that
A Starbucks barista has been suspended from their job after apparently ‘humiliating’ a man with a speech impediment by writing his name as ‘RRR…ichard’ on his order.I certainly do not want that the person loses his job.
I suggest that that person and the person who got mocked meet and they talk through it.
But I also suggest that we stutterers should learn not to be offended by every little politically incorrect word or action that people who have no clue do. Change yourself and you will be Zen, and most importantly, you will have the strength to give the person useful feedback.
And I suggest that the BSA (British Stammering Association) should not become like an inquisition and change its tone to "many people are unaware of the issues faced by people who stutter but we are against punishing someone but in favour of them meeting up with people who stutter to understand their perspective."
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Check out the Fluency Bank!
FluencyBank is a shared database for the study of the development of fluency in both normal and disordered populations. Support comes from NIH Grant 1R01DC015494; P.I.s are Nan Bernstein-Ratner (University of Maryland) and Brian MacWhinney (Carnegie Mellon University) . Participants include normally-developing monolingual and bilingual children, children with disfluencies (CWD), adults with disfluencies (AWSD, and second language learners. Researchers and clinicians studying fluency who are interested in joining the consortium should read the Ground Rules and then request a username and password by sending email to email@example.com with contact information and affiliation.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Joe Gill writes to me:
Growing up with a stammer and studying to go into the Graphic Design industry I found that nearly all advertising aimed towards stammering was either very condescending or just outright bad design. I tried to tackle this with a design of a poster advertising campaign for 'The Starfish Project'.What's your opinion? I really like the texts as they get to the heart of what it is like to be a person who stutters.
Here is an article on his work.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Until recently, we had two approaches: fluency shaping (learn how to speak in a new and more fluent way) and stuttering modification (learn how to modify your stuttering for the better).
Now, we have in analogy to Gay Pride, Stutter Pride. You say: it's OK that I stutter, actually it is not only OK, it's great because it makes me special and we should tell the world that we are proud to be stutterers. The approach is clear: define-away the problem. Just declare that there is no problem, or at the very least that this difference to the norm is no issue at all and it's society and the affected person brainwashed by society to set those norms. And in a second step, unleash political correctness on your enemies, because everyone who declares that fluent speech is the norm and that they do not like to listen to people who stutter, are stutter-phobes (in analogy to homophobes) is an enemy
Monday, August 22, 2016
Looks like a very interesting piece of brain imaging work by the Martin Sommer team with the main author Nicole Neef here:
Area 44 is a cytoarchitectonically distinct portion of Broca's region. Parallel and overlapping large-scale networks couple with this region thereby orchestrating heterogeneous language, cognitive and motor functions. In the context of stuttering, area 44 frequently comes into focus because structural and physiological irregularities affect developmental trajectories, stuttering severity, persistency, and etiology. A remarkable phenomenon accompanying stuttering is the preserved ability to sing. Speaking and singing are connatural behaviours recruiting largely overlapping brain networks including left and right area 44. Analysing which potential subregions of area 44 are malfunctioning in adults who stutter, and what effectively suppresses stuttering during singing, may provide a better understanding of the coordination and reorganization of large-scale brain networks dedicated to speaking and singing in general. We used fMRI to investigate functionally distinct subregions of area 44 during imagery of speaking and imaginary of humming a melody in 15 dextral males who stutter and 17 matched control participants. Our results are fourfold. First, stuttering was specifically linked to a reduced activation of left posterior-dorsal area 44, a subregion that is involved in speech production, including phonological word processing, pitch processing, working memory processes, sequencing, motor planning, pseudoword learning, and action inhibition. Second, left posterior-area-44-to-parietal functional coupling was deficient in stuttering. Third, despite the preserved ability to sing, males who stutter showed bilaterally a reduced activation of area 44 when imagine humming a melody, suggesting that this fluency-enhancing condition seems to bypass posterior-dorsal area 44 to achieve fluency. Fourth, time courses of the posterior subregions in area 44 showed delayed peak activations in the right hemisphere in both groups, possibly signaling the offset response. Because these offset response-related activations in the right hemisphere were comparably large in males who stutter, our data suggest a hyperactive mechanism to stop speech motor responses and thus possibly reflect a pathomechanism, which, until now, has been neglected. Overall, the current results confirmed a recently described co-activation based parcellation supporting the idea of functionally distinct subregions of left area 44.Area 44 seems to be a kind of orchestra conductor, which goes somewhat into recent suggestions (and my belief) that stuttering is a system failure, i.e. that it's not necessarily a single function (in one area) breaking down but the system of different interacting areas as a whole but in this case it's one area that is needed to orchestrate the system. But I have to say that I do not know enough about this topic to make more informed comments.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Marie-Christen Franken has written to me regarding a workshop she is organizing in Rotterdam:
This July we will have an International RESTART DCM workshop in Rotterdam, so far 14 clinicians from all over the world have subscribed for that. We could book about 6 or so more. Maybe you would like to bring this to the attention of colleagues who might be interested?You can view the invitation here.