Testing hypotheses about the underlying deficit of Apraxia of Speech (AOS) through computational neural modelling with the DIVA model

Terband, H., Rodd, J., & Maas, E. (2020). Testing hypotheses about the underlying deficit of Apraxia of Speech (AOS) through computational neural modelling with the DIVA model. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22(4), 475-486. doi:10.1080/17549507.2019.1669711.
Purpose: A recent behavioural experiment featuring a noise masking paradigm suggests that Apraxia of Speech (AOS) reflects a disruption of feedforward control, whereas feedback control is spared and plays a more prominent role in achieving and maintaining segmental contrasts. The present study set out to validate the interpretation of AOS as a possible feedforward impairment using computational neural modelling with the DIVA (Directions Into Velocities of Articulators) model. Method: In a series of computational simulations with the DIVA model featuring a noise-masking paradigm mimicking the behavioural experiment, we investigated the effect of a feedforward, feedback, feedforward + feedback, and an upper motor neuron dysarthria impairment on average vowel spacing and dispersion in the production of six/bVt/speech targets. Result: The simulation results indicate that the output of the model with the simulated feedforward deficit resembled the group findings for the human speakers with AOS best. Conclusion: These results provide support to the interpretation of the human observations, corroborating the notion that AOS can be conceptualised as a deficit in feedforward control.
Publication type
Journal article
Publication date
2020

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