Motor Speech Lab

A microphone speech signal in blue. The text reads, "Motor Speech Lab."

    The Motor Speech Lab is part of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University. We study the effect of neurological disorders and the normal aging process on speech production. Our work primarily focuses on speech and non-speech motor learning and control in individuals with Parkinson disease. The end goal of our work is to inform the development and optimization of rehabilitation approaches for treating voice and speech impairments in Parkinson disease. 

Our lab is located on the first floor of the Health and Human Services building on the Bowling Green Campus. Dr. Whitfield’s office is 251, located on the second floor. Our research team includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, as well as collaborators in the department, across campus, and at other institutions.


Jason A. Whitfield

Jason A. Whitfield

Position: Principal Investigator
Email: jawhitf@bgsu.edu

Dr. Whitfield is an Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the principal investigator of the Motor Speech Lab. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in neurogenic communication disorders, research methods, and speech science.

Graduate Students

Anna Gravelin

Anna Gravelin is a graduate assistant and first-year doctoral student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her previous work has focused on the categorization of silent intervals in parkinsonian speech. Current projects include examining the relationship between speech and limb movement in individuals with Parkinson disease.

Zoe Kriegel

Zoe Kriegel is a graduate assistant and second year Master’s student in the doctoral bridge program. Her thesis is examining the effects of dual tasking on speech and language in individuals with Parkinson disease.

Kendra Koester

Kendra Koester is a graduate research assistant and first year Master's student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project related to vowel acoustics.

Jane Dreier

Jane Dreier is a graduate research assistant and first year Master's student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project related to motor learning in individuals with Parkinson Disease.


Undergraduate Students

Abigail Bates

Abigail Bates is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project examining the effects of dual tasking on speech and language in individuals with Parkinson disease.

Chloe Lautzenheiser is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project related vowel acoustics.

Colleen Walsh

Colleen Walsh is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project examining the effects of dual tasking on speech and language in individuals with Parkinson disease.

Emily (Josie) Clark

Emily (Josie) Clark is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project examining the effects of dual tasking on speech and language in individuals with Parkinson disease.

Larisa Kalinowski

Larisa Kalinowski is an undergraduate lab and research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with organizational projects in the lab.

Megan Vine

Megan Vine is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project examining speech motor learning in young adults.

Michaela Natal

Michaela Natal is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project examining the effects of dual tasking on speech timing in individuals with Parkinson disease. She received a CURS grant for the summer of 2017.

Rachel Garlitz

Rachel Garlitz is an undergraduate lab and research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with organizational projects in the lab.

Katelyn Denisi

Katelyn Denisi is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is involved with a project related to motor learning in individuals with Parkinson Disease.

ElainaEskins

Elaina Eskins is an undergraduate research assistant and current undergraduate student in Communicaton Sciences and Disorders. She has been working on a project related to vowel acoustics.


Collaborators

Adam Fullenkamp, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science at Bowling Green State University

Andrea Sheehy, M.S., CCC-SLP
Rehabilitation Director, Rehabilitation Hospital of Northwest Ohio Adjunct Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University

Angela Reif, M.S., CCC-SLP
Doctoral Candidate in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University

Brent Archer, Ph. D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University.

Brittany Perrine, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University

Charles Hughes, Ph. D., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Assistant Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University

Christopher Dromey, Ph. D.
Professor in Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University

Daryush Mehta, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital

Ronald Scherer, Ph. D.
Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University


Previous Research Assistants

Undergraduate Students

  • Cassidy Quinlan
  • Heidi Brubaker
  • Kendra Koester
  • Madison Livingston
  • Shelby Schroeder
  • Tarynn Clune

Graduate Students

  • Emily Otten (2015-2016)
  • Kari Beining (2015-2016)
  • Kendra McCann (2015-2016)
  • Sarah Starcher (2015-2016)
  • Ashleigh Stanfield (2016-2017)
  • Sadie Sneider (2016-2017)

We have great interest in understanding the relationship between speech and non-speech motor learning because the treatment process relies on intact learning processes. During treatment patients and clients must acquire, retain, and be able to automatically produce new skills. The basal ganglia, which is a primary region of the brain affected in individuals with Parkinson disease, is critical for motor learning. Therefore, it is important to understand how learning is affected in individuals with Parkinson disease so that speech and voice treatment can be optimized. This work examines the early and later learning stages of speech and non-speech motor sequence learning.


Because both speech and non-speech function are affected in Parkinson disease, it is important to understand the relationship between speech motor system and non-speech motor control, including limb, digit, and manual movements, as well as posture and gait. Speech tasks vary in level of complexity from nonsense syllable repetition and sentence repetition to higher level cognitive-linguistic tasks. This work examines these systems both in isolation and while speech and non-speech tasks are performed together.


Understanding the relationships between the speech acoustics, speech perception, and speech kinematics is another primary area of interest in the Motor Speech Lab. This work includes the development of acoustic measures of speech production, as well as the application of these measures to speech impairments in Parkinson disease. The primary goal of this work is to develop sensitive measures of speech production that can be extracted non-invasively and be used to track changes related to treatment.

Publications:

Whitfield, J. A., Reif, A., & Goberman, A. M. (2017). Voicing contrast of stop consonant production in the speech of individuals with Parkinson disease ON and OFF dopaminergic medication. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 1-8, doi: 10.1080/02699206.2017.1387816. [Epub ahead of print]

Whitfield, J. A., DeLong, C., Goberman, A. M., & Blomgren, M. (2017). Fluency adaptation effect in individuals with Parkinson disease: A motor learning perspective. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-9. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1341549. (Epub ahead of print]

Whitfield, J. A., & Goberman, A. M. (2017). Articulatory-acoustic vowel space: Associations between acoustic and perceptual measures of clear speech. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19, 184-194, doi: 10.1080/17549507.2016.1193897.

Whitfield J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2017). Speech motor sequence learning: Acquisition and retention in Parkinson disease and normal aging. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1477-1492. doi: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0104.

Whitfield J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2017). Speech motor sequence learning: Effect of Parkinson disease and normal aging on dual-task performance. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1752-1765. doi: 10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0246.

Whitfield, J. A., & Goberman, A. M. (2014). Articulatory-Acoustic Vowel Space: Application to Clear Speech in Individuals with Parkinson disease. Journal of Communication Disorders, 51, 19-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2014.06.005.

 

Recent Presentations:

Whitfield, J. & Koester, K. (2017, November 10). Description and Examination of Sentence‐level Metrics of Formant Space, Dynamics, and Stability. Oral session to be presented at the 2017 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Los Angeles, CA.

Gravelin, A. & Whitfield, J. A. (2017, July 8). Duration and frequency of stop gaps in the read speech of individuals with Parkinson disease. Presented at the 2017 International Conference on Speech Motor Control, Groningen, Netherlands. PDF, Abstract

Dromey, C., Palmer, P., & Whitfield, J. A. (2017, July 7). Effects of speech intensity on acoustic and kinematic articulatory working space. Presented at the 2017 International Conference on Speech Motor Control, Groningen, Netherlands. PDF, Abstract

Whitfield, J. A., Brubaker, H., & Starcher, S. (2016, November 19). Analysis of fundamental frequency distributions in connected speech. Presented at the 2016 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA. PDF

Whitfield, J. A., Bening, K., & Livingston, M. (2016, November 18). Assessing automatization using a dual-task paradigm: Application to speech motor automaticity in Parkinson disease. Presented at the 2016 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA. PDF *Merits Poster Award

Gravelin, A., Whitfield, J. A., Clune, T., & Quinlan, C. (2016, November 17). Pause categorization in parkinsonian speech. Presented at the 2016 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA. PDF

Whitfield, J. A., McCann, K., Otten, E., Koester, K., & Sneider, S. (2016, November 17). Perceptual characteristics of clear speech in Parkinson disease. Presented at the 2016 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA. PDF

Goberman, A. M., Blomgren, M., Whitfield, J. A., Reif, A., & DeLong, C. (2016, November 17). Disfluent speech characteristics of individuals with Parkinson disease: Three perspectives. Oral presentation given at the 2016 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Diekema, E. D., Scherer, R. S., Goberman, A. M., & Whitfield, J. A.  (2016, March 12). Acoustic measurements of clear speech cue fade in adults with idiopathic Parkinson disease. Poster presentation given at the 2016 Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Columbus, OH.

Whitfield, J. A., Dromey, C., & Palmer, P. (2016, March 3). Articulatory-acoustic and kinematic relationships in comfortable and loud speech. Poster presented at the 2016 Motor Speech Conference, Newport Beach, CA. PDF

Whitfield, J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2016, March 5). Speech motor sequence learning in Parkinson disease & normal aging. Oral presentation given at the 2016 Motor Speech Conference, Newport Beach, CA.

Whitfield, J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2015, November 13). The effect of Parkinson disease and normal aging on speech motor sequence consolidation. Poster presented at 2015 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Denver, CO. PDF *Merits Poster Award

Whitfield, J. A., Fields, N., Giachetti, S., Giardina, K., Holubeck, G., & Siesel, A. (2015, November 14). Pause distribution in parkinsonian speech. Poster presented at 2015 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, Denver, CO. PDF

Whitfield J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2015, May 22). The effect of Parkinson disease on voice onset time: Temporal differences in voicing contrast. Poster presented at 169th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Pittsburg, PA. PDF

Whitfield, J. A., Goberman, A. M., Simon, J., Blomgren, M., & DeLong, C. (2014, March 1). Adaptation effect in Parkinson Disease: Articulatory-acoustic and fluency characteristics. Oral presentation given at the 2014 Motor Speech Conference, Sarasota, FL.

Whitfield, J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2014, February 27). Clear speech in individuals with Parkinson Disease: Application of a novel index of vowel articulation. Oral presentation given at the 2014 Motor Speech Conference, Sarasota, FL.

Whitfield, J. A. & Goberman, A. M. (2013, November 16). A novel index of vowel space: Application to clear speech in individuals with Parkinson Disease. Poster presented at 2013 American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Chicago, IL. PDF

We are always looking for individuals to participate in our research. Our studies include participants both with and without Parkinson’s Disease. If you would like more information on our research or if you are interested in volunteering as a participant in a research study, please fill out the short form below.

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CURRENT RESEARCH STUDIES


SPEECH PRODUCTION STUDY

Recruitment Script

 

You are being invited to participate in a study of speech production. Speech and non-speech (manual movement) data will be collected to help us determine how automatic speech movements are. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding speech motor control and learning in adults and individuals with Parkinson disease. Participation is voluntary, so you will receive no payment and there is no financial cost for participating. This study will be conducted by Jason Whitfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (jawhitf@bgsu.edu; 419-372-8024) in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University.

 

The study will include one session lasting no longer than two hours. The study will take place at a location that is convenient for you. During the study, you will be asked to complete both speech and non-speech tasks and fill out a series of questionnaires.

 

If you are interested in hearing more about this study, or are considering volunteering, please respond to the email address  jawhitf@bgsu.edu  with your contact information.


RESPONSE TIME STUDY

Recruitment Script

 

You are invited to participate in a study about speech and motor response times in overlapping tasks. The purpose of this study is to learn about response times in people with and without Parkinson Disease (PD). This information will contribute to the understanding of if / how Parkinson Disease might affect thinking and will be beneficial in understanding possible treatment options and strategies which might help those with PD.

 

Participation in this study is voluntary. There is no payment or compensation for participating in the current study. The study is being conducted by Angela Reif, a doctoral student in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University (areif@bgsu.edu; 419-372-4320) as part of a doctoral dissertation (with advisor Dr. Goberman, goberma@bgsu.edu; 419-372-7710). The study consists of 2 different visits. The first day will take up to 75 minutes, and the second day will take up to 60 minutes to complete. You will be asked to complete some questionnaires, thinking tasks, speech tasks, and reaction time tasks. Participants with PD will also participate in additional motor tasks.

 

If you are interested in hearing more about this study, or are considering volunteering, please write your name and email and phone on the attached paper or respond to the email address areif@bgsu.edu  with your email and phone information.


By clicking "Submit" you confirm that you are interested in participating in a motor speech lab study and you give permission to the Motor Speech Lab to contact you via the email address provided regarding the present study.