Neuronavigated rTMS inhibition of right pars triangularis anterior in stuttering: Differential effects on reading and speaking

Brain Lang. 2020 Nov:210:104862. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2020.104862. Epub 2020 Sep 23.


Functional neuroimaging studies show an overactivation of speech and language related homologous areas of the right hemisphere in persons who stutter. In this study, we inhibited Broca's homologues using 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and assessed its effects on stuttering severity. The investigated cortical areas included pars opercularis (BA44), anterior and posterior pars triangularis (BA45), mouth area on the primary motor cortex (BA4). We collected reading and speaking samples before and after rTMS sessions and calculated the percentage of syllables stuttered. Only right anterior pars triangularis stimulation induced significant changes in speech fluency. Notably, the effects were differential for reading and speaking conditions. Overall, our results provide supportive evidence that right anterior BA45 may be a critical region for stuttering. The observed differential effects following the inhibition of right anterior BA45 merits further study of contributions of this region on different language domains in persons who stutter.

Keywords: Broca’s homologue; Inferior Frontal Gyrus; Pars Opercularis; Pars Triangularis; Percentage of Syllables Stuttered; Reading; Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; Speaking; Speech Fluency; Stuttering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Reading*
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Stuttering / physiopathology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Young Adult