About this Research Topic
Speaking is essential for everyday life: we speak to share our thoughts and to achieve our goals. But not everybody speaks easily. In stuttering, the stop and go of speech movements is out of control and participation in everyday life is handicapped. Developmental stuttering occurs in early childhood, and persists in 1% of the adult population, mainly in men. It is a multi-factorial disorder with a complex genetic origin, and is characterized by abnormalities of neural networks involved in motor planning, execution, and control.
Neuroimaging and neurophysiological tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) have begun to elucidate the dysfunctional neural dynamics in developmental stuttering so that stuttering is currently seen as a motor timing disorder either caused by a basal ganglia dysfunction or by a disconnection of speech-related cortical sites. However, a series of questions still remain unanswered: are the basal ganglia dysfunction and the white matter disconnection two independent neurobiological signs of stuttering, or are they mutually related? What is the role of behavioral reward and arousal for the speech motor control in developmental stuttering? Are the irregular activations of discrete neural circuits the cause or the consequence of speech disturbances?
The volitional control of fluent speech, as well as the neural control of motor sequencing, timing, and response inhibition are necessary aspects that need to be considered for a deeper understanding of physiological and pathophysiological principles.
Accordingly, the scope of this Research Topic is to unravel the mysteries of stuttering. To achieve this aim we invite scientists to report original data that investigate the functioning of the stuttering brain with neuroimaging and/or neurophysiologic techniques, in children and in adults, and in different tasks/conditions, comprising the rehabilitative context. In addition, research reports that focus on physiological aspects of speech fluency and on the volitional control of vocal behavior (ranging from animal models to clinical data in patients) are of high interest. Ultimately, the collected studies will shorten the way towards timely and rationally motivated rehabilitation solutions in stuttering, ranging from behavioral to neuromodulation approaches.
Keywords: Stuttering, Fluency, Neural Networks, Motor Cortex, Neuroimaging
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.