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Simulations of feedforward and feedback control in apraxia of speech (AOS): Effects of noise masking on vowel production in the DIVA model

Terband, H., Rodd, J., & Maas, E. (2015). Simulations of feedforward and feedback control in apraxia of speech (AOS): Effects of noise masking on vowel production in the DIVA model. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahan, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015).
Apraxia of Speech (AOS) is a motor speech disorder whose precise nature is still poorly understood. A recent behavioural experiment featuring a noise masking paradigm suggests that AOS reflects a disruption of feedforward control, whereas feedback control is spared and plays a more prominent role in achieving and maintaining segmental contrasts [10]. In the present study, we set out to validate the interpretation of AOS as a feedforward impairment by means of a series of computational simulations with the DIVA model [6, 7] mimicking the behavioural experiment. Simulation results showed a larger reduction in vowel spacing and a smaller vowel dispersion in the masking condition compared to the no-masking condition for the simulated feedforward deficit, whereas the other groups showed an opposite pattern. These results mimic the patterns observed in the human data, corroborating the notion that AOS can be conceptualized as a deficit in feedforward control
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