Undergraduate Honors Thesis


The Relationship Between Task Performance in Diadochokinetic Rate and Speech Naturalness in Cerebellar Ataxia Public Deposited

  • The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the perceptual measure of speech naturalness and the objective measure of diadochokinetic rates (DDK) in individuals with ataxic dysarthria. Cerebellar ataxia results from disruption in cerebellar motor control and coordination. We hypothesized that the articulatory coordination task, DDK, would be strongly related to the perception of speech naturalness because of the coordinator deficits that contribute to both. Twenty-seven individuals with ataxia and 28 sex- and age-matched controls produced the DDK task. Syllable duration and rate of syllable production was assessed and compared with perceptual measures of speech naturalness. We found that syllable duration was significantly longer and syllable rate was consistently slower in the ataxia group. Furthermore, speech naturalness was highly correlated with both syllable duration and syllable rate. This study confirms that articulatory coordination in the DDK task is highly reflective of perceived speech naturalness in ataxic dysarthria and can be used clinically to support perceptual observations.


Date Awarded
  • 2022-02-21
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Last Modified
  • 2022-05-26
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