Spatiotemporal stability and patterning of speech movement sequences

Exp Brain Res. 1995;104(3):493-501. doi: 10.1007/BF00231983.


In order to examine the stability and patterning of speech movement sequences, movements of the lip were recorded as subjects produced a phrase at normal, fast, and slow rates. Three methods of analysis were employed. First, a new index of spatiotemporal stability was derived by summing the standard deviations computed across amplitude- and time-normalized displacement records. This index indicated that normal and fast rates of speech production result in more stable movement execution compared to slow rates. In the second analysis, the relative time of occurrence of the peak velocity of the three middle opening movements of the utterance was measured. For each of the three peaks, the preservation of relative timing was assessed by applying Genter's (1987) slope test. The results clearly indicate that the relative timing of these events does not remain constant across changes in speech rate. The relative timing of the middle opening gestures shifted, becoming later as utterance duration increased. In a third analysis, pattern recognition techniques were applied to the normalized displacement waveforms. A classification algorithm was highly successful in sorting waveforms into normal, fast, and slow rate conditions. These findings were interpreted to suggest that, within a subject, three distinct patterns or movement templates exist, one for each rate of production. Speech rate appears to be a global parameter, one that affects the entire command sequence for the utterance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Head / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lip / physiology
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Time Factors