Feedback Schedules and Speech Motor Learning in Healthy Older Adults and Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PIs: Spencer, Weir)
Neurologic injury often has devastating consequences for a person’s ability to speak, a condition known as dysarthria. Therapeutic interventions for dysarthria often result in meager outcomes and, importantly, gains are not typically maintained over time (Spencer et al., 2003). Experts in the field of speech-language pathology have proposed that theories of “motor learning” may be the key to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of dysarthria treatment (Duffy, 2005; McNeil, 2009), yet little is known about how to apply these theories to speech rehabilitation. Evidence for the use of these principles of motor learning has emerged from decades of research on how to train healthy adults to perform novel upper limb movements (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). The evidence is overwhelmingly positive but, thus far, the application of these principles to individuals with neurologic injury has been limited. Even sparser are studies applying these principles to individuals with dysarthria and other neurologic speech impairments. This ongoing investigation will examine the effect of feedback frequency on the ability of 60 healthy older adults and 60 individuals with idiopathic Parkinson disease to learn a novel speech and manual task. The speech task entails producing a phrase 2x and 3x slower than the individual’s habitual speech rate, while the manual task involves tracing a visual target at a rate 2x and 3x slower than habitual rate. Findings will begin to fill a crucial gap in the speech rehabilitation literature and will provide an integrated, theoretical contribution to the motor learning literature.
The Effect of Attention Process Training III on Cognitive-Linguistic Functioning in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (PIs: Sears, Spencer)
Attention deficits are among the most common, persistent deficits following traumatic brain injury. This study is a single subject research design investigating the effect of Sohlberg and Mateer’s (2011) Attention Process Training III on cognitive-linguistic processing in individuals with chronic mild-moderate traumatic brain injury.
Rehabilitation of Executive Functions in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (PIs: Grant, Spencer)