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CONSIDERATION OF BULBAR AND SUPRABULBAR AFFERENT INFLUENCES UPON SPEECH MOTOR COORDINATION AND PROGRAMMING

J. Abbs, K. Cole
Published 1982 · Psychology

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ABSTRACT Based upon available evidence, our own work, and recent developments in the study of limb motor control, the potential roles of afferent influences upon speech motor programming were evaluated. From this analysis it was suggested that : 1) autogenic or closed-loop feedback processes may not play a significant role in speech motor programming, except during learning or in adaptation to unusual disruptions, whether introduced experimentally or naturally, and 2) afferent influences are nevertheless very important in speech control and may be acting through open-loop, feedforward pathways to reduce the coordinative complexity associated with the rigid timing requirements for multiple speech movements and to allow for potential errors to be elminated, predictively, in the actual process of motor execution. In evaluating the potential nervous system sites for these feedforward influences, evidence concerning potential bulbar and suprabulbar actions was considered. From these latter considerations it was hypothesized that suprabulbar afferent pathways, especially those subserving intentional reactions, may play the prominent role in the control and programming of voluntary movements for speech. Implications for motor execution and programming disorders of speech are discussed.
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