SpeechEasy helps stutterers speak easily

Jan 10, 2007

Stutterers may speak more clearly with a device called SpeechEasy, which U.S. researchers said helps to take the sting out of stuttering.

The SpeechEasy fits in the ear and is based on "the choral effect," a phenomenon in which stutterers don't stutter when speaking the same material in unison with another speaker, or in a chorus, ABC News said.

The device does not cure stuttering, developers said. It aids speech, just as eyeglasses improve vision.

When using the SpeechEasy, stutterers hear a delayed playback of their own voice, at a slightly different pitch, emulating a choral effect, said developer Joseph Kalinowski, a stutterer himself and a speech pathologist at East Carolina State University.

"This is the beginning of the new era for the person who stutters," Kalinowski said. "Genetics and brain scans all point to a biological origin."

Dennis Drayna, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, called stuttering a medical mystery. His work traces the cause of stuttering to human genes.

A genetic cause, Drayna says, "could allow us... to guide therapy strategies for different groups of people, depending on what mutation you do or don't have."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers developing an artificial vision system for prosthetic legs to improve gait

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Refined method to convert lignin to nylon precursor

19 minutes ago

A new study from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrates the conversion of lignin-derived compounds to adipic acid, an important industrial dicarboxylic acid produced for its use as ...

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

19 minutes ago

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

36 minutes ago

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

Recommended for you

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Feb 25, 2015

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout

5 tips for handling early-year medical expenses

Feb 25, 2015

The clock on insurance deductibles reset on Jan. 1, and that means big medical bills are in store for some. Patients may be required to pay thousands of dollars before their health care coverage kicks in.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.