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Emerging News on Brain Science

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The annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience has released information about studies that show how the brain communicates. The new discoveries are continuing to uncover some of the mysteries of why people stutter. Among their findings:

  • People who stutter show abnormal brain activity even when reading or listening, which suggests stuttering is due to problems in speech processing, not just production (Kate Watkins, PhD, abstract 563.19).
  • The network of brain connections vital to understanding language is more extensive than previously thought. Researchers identified new speech-related pathways by mapping language areas in the brains of people with and without language difficulties (Nina Dronkers, PhD, abstract 837.13).
  • Men who stutter show different brain connections than women who stutter. These findings may help explain why five times more adult men stutter than women (Soo-Eun Chang, PhD, abstract 790.9).

The Globe and Mail published a story November 22 about the discoveries. The article features part of an interview with Kate Watkins, a researcher at the University of Oxford in Britain, who was involved in the new research. The article links to another story about how the new movie, The King's Speech, could be increasing awareness and changing attitudes about stuttering in the general public.

Please note: this website will be exploring these discoveries further in future articles.

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