Monday, November 07, 1994

The need for sensory feedback

What follows is the first of several posts centered on a model of stuttering proposed by Martin F. Schwartz, according to which the root cause of stuttering is at the level of the vocal folds.

This was written in reaction to one of Schwartz's ideas on selectively destroying sensory laryngeal nerves...

> This seems to me like a very strong assumption about what "triggers stuttering".
> Isn't sensory feedback needed to be able to talk at all? I guess in principle
> one could go "open loop" (in the control jargon) after having learned... but
> how long would that last? Is there any illness that simulates that and
> which we might look at?

An answer by Bob Volin mentioned how speaking adults who have profound hearing loss eventually see a degradation in their speech. This and other similar phenomena confirmed my idea that feedback is not a mechanism to be easily dismissed. Eliminating feedback for therapeutic purposes was extremely suspect to me.

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