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Articulation lost in space : the effects of local orobuccal anesthesia on articulation and intelligibility of phonemes

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Motor speech requires numerous neural computations including feedforward and feedback control mechanisms. A reduction of auditory or somatosensory feedback may be implicated in disorders of speech, as predicted by various models of speech control. In this paper the effects of reduced somatosensory feedback on articulation and intelligibility of individual phonemes was evaluated by using topical anesthesia of orobuccal structures in 24 healthy subjects. The evaluation was done using a combination of perceptual intelligibility estimation of consonants and vowels and acoustic analysis of motor speech. A significantly reduced intelligibility was found, with a major impact on consonant formation. Acoustic analysis demonstrated disturbed diadochokinesis. These results underscore the clinical importance of somatosensory feedback in speech control. The interpretation of these findings in the context of speech control models, neuro-anatomy and clinical neurology may have implications for subtyping of dysarthria.
Journal: Brain & Language
ISSN: 0093-934X
Volume: 207
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2020