Project members and the percentage (within this project) they are financed by CCL:

Karolina Löwgren

Birgitta Sahlén

Germund Hesslow

Magnus Lindgren

Joost van de Weijer

Purpose of project/main objective:

To explore the role of timing and the cerebellum in speech and language disorders. The working hypothesis is that these disorders involve a deficit in timing ability, controlled by the cerebellum

Why is this project interesting?

Several investigators in the field of speech disorders believe that defective timing is an important part of the disorder in at least some patients. Because of the role of the cerebellum in timing and motor control, it is hypothesized that that there will be an association between cerebellar function and skills where exact timing is needed (rhythm production and perception, speech prosody and articulatory control. The project has theoretical interest because it may contribute to understanding dynamic aspects of speech and language and mechanisms behind speech and language impairment. It may thus also have clinical implications for the diagnosis and treatment of children with speech impairments.

Potential applications:

We anticipate that the tests of cerebellar function may become useful diagnostic tools depending on what we find out about the causes of speech disorders. Experience with these techniques may also enable us to extend them to other clinical conditions.

Collaborations within CCL:

The project is a collaboration between Germund Hesslow, Birgitta Sahlen and Magnus Lindgren, Karolina Löwgren, Anders Löfqvist and Susanne Schötz

Collaborations outside of CCL:

The conditioning group at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam has developed the human blink conditioning equipment  in collaboration with us.

We have been approached by researchers working on autism and ADHD who want to use our techniques for studying these patient categories. The preliminary plan is to start one study in 2012 together with Peik Gustafsson at the clinic for child psychiatry in Malmö

Fredrik Ullén (Stockholm) and Guy Madison (Umeå) will participate in testing rhythmic finger tapping and relating this and other tests to intelligence

Anita McAllister, (Linköping) (articulation)

Christina Samuelsson (Linköping) (prosody)