Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do bats stutter?

Have a look at this news article on bats and stuttering. That's how you sell your research. Bats seems to have simple forms of speech capabilities, but whether this leads to a better understanding or treatment of stuttering is far fetched. But it might be interesting to study whether some stutter, indeed. Here is the text:

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Scientists in Texas hope the study of bat brains may eventually lead to better hearing aids or new treatments for human speech disorders like stuttering.

Using ultrasonic microphones, researchers at the University of Texas and Texas A&M have discovered bats combine sounds into a basic sort of syntax that they use to communicate and express their individuality, The San Antonio Express-News reported Monday.

"There are no animals that can kind of speak," says Michael Smotherman, a neurophysiologist at Texas A&M who is trying to identify the areas of the brain the bat uses to coordinate sounds into songs.

Smotherman hopes his research will lead to better understanding of stuttering a dysarthria, a speech disorder characterized by poor articulation.

At the University of Texas in Austin, bat researcher George Pollak is trying to understand how the bats process the social communication sounds they hear and how they recognize individual calls.

Pollak says his research could lend itself to developing hearing aids that differentiate and screen out background noise.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any currently available solutions to a hypersensitivity to background noise/ higher pitched voice/ sound?


Leys Geddes said...

Exceptional picture and article about the bats, Tom.

Anonymous said...

Great Bat picture! Looks like one of my former speech therapists.