Auditory-Motor Interactions in Pediatric Motor Speech Disorders: Neurocomputational Modeling of Disordered Development

H.R. Terband, B.A.M. Maassen, F.H. Guenther, J. Brumberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/Purpose: Differentiating the symptom complex due to phonological-level
disorders, speech delay and pediatric motor speech disorders is a controversial issue in the
field of pediatric speech and language pathology. The present study investigated the
developmental interaction between neurological deficits in auditory and motor processes
using computational modeling with the DIVA model.
Method: In a series of computer simulations, we investigated the effect of a motor
processing deficit alone (MPD), and the effect of a motor processing deficit in combination
with an auditory processing deficit (MPD + APD) on the trajectory and endpoint of speech
motor development in the DIVA model.
Results: Simulation results showed that a motor programming deficit predominantly leads
to deterioration on the phonological level (phonemic mappings) when auditory self-
monitoring is intact, and on the systemic level (systemic mapping) if auditory self-
monitoring is impaired.
Conclusions: These findings suggest a close relation between quality of auditory selfmonitoring
and the involvement of phonological vs. motor processes in children with
pediatric motor speech disorders. It is suggested that MPD + APD might be involved in
typically apraxic speech output disorders and MPD in pediatric motor speech disorders
that also have a phonological component. Possibilities to verify these hypotheses using
empirical data collected from human subjects are discussed.
Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to: (1) identify the difficulties in studying
disordered speech motor development; (2) describe the differences in speech motor
characteristics between SSD and subtype CAS; (3) describe the different types of learning
that occur in the sensory–motor system during babbling and early speech acquisition; (4)
identify the neural control subsystems involved in speech production; (5) describe the
potential role of auditory self-monitoring in developmental speech disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Speech motor control
  • Speech motor development
  • Perception-action
  • Developmental speech disorders
  • Computational neural modeling


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