Reinvestigating the Neural Bases Involved in Speech Production of Stutterers: An ALE Meta-Analysis

Brain Sci. 2022 Aug 3;12(8):1030. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12081030.


Background: Stuttering is characterized by dysfluency and difficulty in speech production. Previous research has found abnormalities in the neural function of various brain areas during speech production tasks. However, the cognitive neural mechanism of stuttering has still not been fully determined.

Method: Activation likelihood estimation analysis was performed to provide neural imaging evidence on neural bases by reanalyzing published studies.

Results: Our analysis revealed overactivation in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, basal ganglia, and cerebellum, and deactivation in the anterior superior temporal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus among the stutterers. The overactivated regions might indicate a greater demand in feedforward planning in speech production, while the deactivated regions might indicate dysfunction in the auditory feedback system among stutterers.

Conclusions: Our findings provide updated and direct evidence on the multi-level impairment (feedforward and feedback systems) of stutterers during speech production and show that the corresponding neural bases were differentiated.

Keywords: activation likelihood estimation; meta-analysis; neural bases; stuttering.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

The study was supported by the Scientific Research Capacity Improvement Projects for Young Lecturers at Northwest Normal University, China (No.20220034/5016) to Y.Y.