Monday, January 02, 2006

Another brain study on kids

Here is the only other article I know about brain studies on children. The title is Cerebral Lateralization of Speech Processing in Adult and Child Stutterers: Near Infrared Spectroscopy and MEG Study, and the authors are Koichi MORI, Yutaka SATO, Emi OZAWA and Satoshi IMAIZUMI from Japan. I met Mori at the Montreal IFA conference in Summer 2002, and he gave me a copy of his work. Near infrared spectroscopy is brain imaging technology that "shines" light into the brain and analyses the light reflections.

Here is the abstract:
Cerebral lateralization of speech processing in stutterers were assessed with noninvasive brain imaging techniques, magnetoencephalography and multichannel near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), with which neuromagnetic and hemodynamic responses, respectively, were recorded to analysis-synthesized prosodic and phonemic minimal contrast word trains. Adult stutterers did not show normal leftward dominance for the phonemic contrast with either method. Children underwent only NIRS sessions, with results similar to those of adults, which indicates that the cerebral dominance in processing heard speech is in disarray even in school-age stutterers. NIRS method may be useful in screening young stutterers and in elucidating neural correlates of stuttering.

Strangely enough or as expected, their research has neither been replicated nor commented on by the "Western establishment". To me, their findings are at least interesting enough to be criticized! :-(

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