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November 1975

Stuttering, Dichotic Listening, and Cerebral Dominance

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia (Dr. Brady); and the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr. Berson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(11):1449-1452. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760290117014

• Fully right-sided stutterers (35) and fully right-sided nonstutterers (35) had a dichotic listening task to test hypotheses that stutterers have incomplete cerebral lateralization or reversed lateralization of speech function, or both. An assumption of the procedure is that a right-ear preference indicates left-cerebral dominance for speech. Six stutterers and no nonstutterers showed a reversal, ie, a left-ear preference.

As a group, the remaining stutterers who showed no such reversal were the same as nonstutterers in the magnitude of the right-ear preference. This suggests that a subset of stutterers may have an anomaly in the lateralization of speech functions. A nonsignificant tendency emerged for stutterers to show smaller between-ear differences on the test, consistent with the hypothesis that stutterers have less or incomplete lateralization of speech function than nonstutterers.

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