Motor sequence learning in children with recovered and persistent developmental stuttering: Preliminary findings

Anna Tendera, R Wells, MICHEL BELYK, D Varyvoda, C. A. Boliek, Deryk S Beal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Previous studies have associated developmental stuttering with difficulty learning new motor skills. We investigated non-speech motor sequence learning in children with persistent developmental stuttering (CWS), children who have recovered from developmental stuttering (CRS) and typically developing controls (CON).
Methods: Over the course of two days, participants completed the Multi-Finger Sequencing Task, consisting of repeated trials of a10-element sequence, interspersed with trials of random sequences of the same length. We evaluated motor sequence learning using accuracy and response synchrony, a timing measure for evaluation of sequencing timing. We examined error types as well as recognition and recall of the repeated sequences.
Results: CWS demonstrated lower performance accuracy than CON and CRS on the first day of the finger tapping experiment but improved to the performance level of CON and CRS on the second day. Response synchrony showed no overall difference among CWS, CRS and CON. Learning scores of repeated sequences did not differ from learning scores of random sequences in CWS, CRS and CON. CON and CRS demonstrated an adaptive strategy to response errors, whereas CWS maintained a high percentage of corrected errors for both days.
Conclusions: Our study examined non-speech sequence learning across CWS, CRS and CON. Our preliminary findings support the idea that developmental stuttering is not associated with sequence learning per se but rather with general fine motor performance difficulties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105800
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Early online date2 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • stuttering
  • sequencing
  • finger tapping
  • skill learning
  • non-speech motor learning
  • children


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