5th International Conference on Speech Motor Control Nijmegen: Abstracts

Ben Maassen, Pascal van Lieshout


This Supplement contains the abstracts of the fifth edition of the International Conference on Speech Motor Control, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 7 to 10, 2006. Like the previous editions, this conference highlights new trends and state-of-the-art approaches in theoretical and applied research in the area of normal and disordered speech motor control.
Since the first edition in 1985, the series of international Nijmegen conferences on speech motor control have reflected tremendous progress in this area. The initial focus was on applications in the just expanding field of motor control in stuttering. The second conference (1990) highlighted the development of more general motor control models and the inclusion of higher order psychomotor and psycholinguistic processes, broadening the scope to other motor speech disorders than stuttering. At the third conference (1996), more emphasis was put on the emerging field of brain imaging. In addition, development of speech motor control became a prominent topic. At the fourth conference (2001), we witnessed the introduction of important theoretical neurophysiological and neurobehavioral concepts, and a strong interest in the ‘interface’ between higher order cognitive/psycholinguistic processes and speech production.

In recent years, one of the major developments we have observed is a stronger interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of speech motor research. Integration seems to be the key-concept: integration of principles and models of perception-action relations in general and speech as an audio-visual-speech-motor performance in particular; biomechanical, and neurobiological aspects of motor control in general, and the biomechanics and neurological control mechanisms of speech in particular; the genetics of motor learning (automation) and of language disorders in general, and of speech motor learning and phonology in particular. Thus, new fundamental insights in speech motor control processes are emerging, showing a stronger embedding in general aspects of the origin, development and maintenance of cognitive, linguistic and motor processes as well as demonstrating its unique properties as part of the human genetic make-up.
Special topics of the 2006 conference are:
– theory and modeling of speech motor control and coordination
– neurological organization and neural functioning of speech
– genetic aspects of speech disorders
– interaction of functional neural systems for language and speech production
– functional brain imaging in speech and speech disorders
– developmental issues in speech motor control
– the speech motor control perspective in stuttering
– research in neurogenic speech disorders
– measurement of speech motor behaviors
– clinical phonetics in neurological conditions
– use of speech motor behaviors as outcome measures in clinical treatment
– future directions in speech motor research

Conference organization

In order to fulfil the main purpose of the conference a relatively large number of keynote speakers have been invited to present tutorials on specific topics. To stimulate a lively interaction, all presentations are plenary. Because of time constraints only a very limited number of submissions could be scheduled as oral presentations. This amounted to less than one quarter of those submissions that were rated as acceptable for admission. For this reason thematic poster sessions form a major part of the conference program, offering a large variety of research in speech motor control in normal and deviant speech from all over the world. Many conferences advocate the policy to value oral presentations and posters equally, as do the organizers of this conference. In order to underscore this policy a special prize will be awarded to the most informative and well-designed poster.
The Radboud University and the organizing departments are proud to attract such high-level researchers and clinical workers in the field to travel to Nijmegen and report on the results of their theoretical and empirical work to this platform of scientific exchange and discussion.

We look forward to a stimulating and productive conference,

Ben Maassen Nijmegen
Pascal van Lieshout Toronto
May 2006

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