Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am lost.

For some time now, I have the feeling that I am a bit lost and have no really new ideas on stuttering. I also feel that the research has come to some kind of standstill, and I find thinking about new ways forward difficult. The easy things in brain research have been done, for example. My main concern is that the sheer complexity of the brain, the likely existence of sub-types, and the emotional and psychological part of stuttering smearing out any subtle signals, all these issues make it very difficult to dig deeper into stuttering, not to speak about the not-very-good researchers in the fields.

I believe that I can see the contours of what is going on, but I don't have a clear view. Something goes wrong at 3 (either encouraged or caused by genes, or some other incident), bad habits kicking in and so on. The dual path way theory would explain all the peculiarities like being able to sing, and so on. But identifying specific modules is much more tricky.

On the other hand, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about stuttering. I don't sit down and really think about it. I am just reading the abstracts and make judgements...


jellyfishkiller said...

First of all, don't give up Tom. It is true that most of the "easy" research in neuroscience was already conducted. But more advanced research can lead to breakthroughs. There are many neurological findings that have never been replicated, and therefore, weren't followed up. Two examples are dopamine excess (Wu et al., 1997) and somatosensory white matter disturbance (Sommer et al., 2002). As far as I understand these kinds of investigations are not standard, expensive or require special labs. I'm sure there is still much to do in neuroscience! ... we just need to have good hypotheses to know where to invest the research money (and maybe also in order to convince people to invest in this research).

Anonymous said...

There is an ebb and flow to life and scientific research. It's hard sometimes to know what to do during the ebbtides if you're used to surfing or other water activities. But when the tide is out it leaves the beach open for other explorations. Sorry I only have this rather cryptic suggestion. Good luck!