Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stuttering in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia

I am currently on a beach holiday with Jelena. On our way down from Belgrade, we met and stayed at Tiana's parents' place. She is a high school student, and lives in Prijepolje in South-West Serbia, close to the border with Montenegro. And her brother is a great fan of strawberry ice cream!

Yesterday, we met up with Gordana (see picture). She is a student in English and French and comes from Budva on the Montenegrian Coast, not far from famous Sveti Stefan. We spoke about her recent therapy experience and she also taught us some new Salsa moves! And today, we are heading to Sarajevo to meet up with Alan and the local self-help group. Should be fun! I'll post group pictures....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two must-read up-to-date summaries

Here are two articles with an up-to-date summary of research findings in brain imaging and genetics.

Soo-Eun Chang wrote the first review Using Brain Imaging to Unravel the Mysteries of Stuttering. She has been spending a lot of years brain imaging at the NIH under Christy Ludlow, and has now moved for more independent research. I met her and Christy at NIH a few years ago. She is modest and diligent. Expect her review to be the same: measured and well-researched.

Drayna and Kang have a review on genetics research Genetic approaches to understanding the causes of stuttering (though expect that they talk a lot about their research) with the following abstract:
Stuttering is a common but poorly understood speech disorder. Evidence accumulated over

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wanne be a reviewer for my book?

If you are interested in reviewing my book, please send me an email. The book is about a new biopsychosocial model that allows modelling all drivers of human processes. You can find more information on this website. I also have a section on stuttering.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Auditory-motor integration in different part of brain?

Martin Sommer's team has published new results on their TMS experiments. Martin's student Nicole Neef presented results at the Oxford Dysfluency Conference three years ago on that same topic.The big issue with TMS is that you need to aim correctly to ensure that you "magnetically" knock out the targeted regions. I am somewhat puzzled what more they found. I would have to dig out the paper to see what has now changed to warrent an Elsevier press release. They claim that they have found further evidence that auditory-motor integration is located in a different part of the brain, because TMS has the reverse effect on people who stutter. Such a profound re-organisation is probably the effect of some neurobiological abnormality arising in early childhood.

As a footnote, you might notice that Alexander Wolff von Gudenberg is an author of the article. He is the boss of the Kassel Stuttering Therapy, and I introduced Martin to him with the aim to give Martin plenty of experimental subjects for his experiments. They regularly put clients into a bus and drive them up to Goettingen with their will [as opposed to "against their will"]. So delivering brains for research gives you co-authorship!

Because of stuttering?

I know that TheStutteringBrain has been quite silent. I am currently working on my upcoming book intensively, and just didn't come around writing posts. Recently, I came across this statement:
Some stereotypes are self-reinforcing. If someone tells you over and over that you are oppressed, if you hit an obstacle and fail, like all of us do at some point in our lives, a convenient excuse is that you are discriminated against
I also noticed that we are often using stuttering as an excuse for failure: I didn't get the job, girl, recognition, the promotion, the attention, the qualification BECAUSE of stuttering. But everytime I probe us, I discover that stuttering was not the cause of our failure or at least not the only one and definitely not an insurmountable one. No, we either did not have the qualification, the charm and looks, the charisma, the ability for hard and dilligent work to succeed.

Here is a story from my life. I blamed the fact that I didn't have a girlfriend on my stuttering. Then I went to a youth camp for stuttering young people organized by ELSA (European League of Stuttering Associations), and thought that now I will get a girlfriend! When that didn't work, I started thinking that maybe it was not just due to my stuttering! ;-)

So the next time you fail. don't blame it on stuttering.