Speech rate strategies in younger and older adults

Hayo Terband, Frits Van Brenk, Rafael Neto Henriques, Pascal van Lieshout, Ben Maassen, Anja Lowit

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Several studies have indicated a general decrease in speed and accuracy of speech output in older compared to younger speakers. In a previous study investigating reiterated productions of syllables /pa/, /sa/ and /ta/ at different speech rates, we found that older adults when slowing down, more prominently increased duration and decreased peak velocity in closing movements compared to younger adults. As a possible explanation we proposed that older adults may evidence a mechanism that facilitates a closed loop control system to maintain movement stability, possibly due to a reduced quality of somatosensory input. In the present study, we examined this phenomenon further using a reiterated speech task with target words /a:pi/ and /ipa:/, which regarding jaw and lips, involve three-step movement schemes consisting respectively of one closing and two opening movements and two closing and one opening movement. Eight young adults and eight elderly speakers participated in the study. Articulographic data were collected on the reiterated productions of the target words at self-paced slow, habitual and fast speech rates, and in a series of metronome guided speech rates ranging from 2 to 4 syllables per second. Results will be presented at the conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2012
EventMotor Speech Conference - Santa Rosa, CA, United States
Duration: 29 Feb 20124 Mar 2012


ConferenceMotor Speech Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Rosa, CA


  • speech rate
  • speech accuracy
  • speech speed


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