Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not much happening

Not much has been happening over the last months that increased our understanding of the stuttering brain. As I mentioned before, scientists are hitting the complexity barrier with the new research avenues, namely brain imaging and genetics. The easy part has been done. It is one thing to put someone in a scanner and report functional or structural differences, but it is another to devise a experimental setup that can falsify or confirm a theory on stuttering. The same is true for genetics: we now know that genes are involved in stuttering in many cases, and we even have located the chromosomes in some cases. Even if we then know the genes, we again hit the complexity wall; it's like we know the killer but not who he (or she! :-) killed and why. In fact, very few scientists (and I am talking about the professional ones and not clinicians-turned-researchers) are well equipped to handle this situation. Many are trained to work well within the experimental paradigm (i.e. how to find the genes or how to scan and interpret the findings), but stuttering is a muddy territory where you need to fine-tune your methods appropriately to the idiosyncrasies of stuttering.

No comments: