University Campus Suffolk (UCS) has started a new research project looking at adult stammering and information processing in a bid to understand more about the condition.
Silviya Doneva is a Research Associate working for Professor Penny Cavenagh on the project funded by the Dominic Barker Trust and supported by UCL.
Silviya who is a PhD student at the University of Essex has stammered since she was six years old. She says I come to this research with a view from the inside which I hope will help. In this project we will be looking at the patterns of information processing through a variety of tests. These tests simulate everyday situations, requiring different levels of information processing ability. For example, in one of the tests participants would have to distinguish between high and low pitched tones and count only the low pitched ones which is an example of a situation where one needs to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information.
Stammering has traditionally been thought to be a speech impediment and linked to personality; often if you were shy or nervous this was the reason given, as most people who stammer do not do so when alone; just when around people. There is a new wave of research linking stammering to attentional ability, however, existing research rarely considers all the different aspects of information processing. The present research is aiming to examine the latter link in greater depth by relying on a big sample, aiming for 60 participants altogether. Again normally such projects are conducted with a smaller sample and more often with children than adults. We will be looking at all parts of the puzzle.
Participants are needed for this research, both adults who stammer and those who do not. If you think you could help by participating, please contact Silviya Doneva at s.donevaucs.ac.uk. All participants need to be over 18 years old and be able to travel to the UCS Waterfront Building in Ipswich. Furthermore, stammering should not have started as a result of a physical cause (i.e., a stroke, head trauma). All testing should take about 2 hours to complete and will involve both some written tasks and a computer test. Participants will be compensated with 15 upon participation. All data will be anonymised and kept confidential.