Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Neeraja Sadagopan

Second Advisor

Kathy Hardin

Third Advisor

Gail Ramsberger

Abstract

There is a paucity of evidence regarding the effects of concussion on motor speech parameters. While the deficits in rate, accuracy and rhythm of speech post moderate- to severe-TBI is well documented, there is lesser understanding of how concussion impacts those aspects of speech. The present study analyzed the alternating motion rates (AMRs) and sequential motion rates (SMRs) of 44 collegiate athletes in an exploratory study of speech motor performance pre- and post-concussion. The effects of concussion on the objective measure of rate, as well as perceptual measures of accuracy and rhythm were examined across several primary and secondary analyses. Results suggested that only subjectively assessed accuracy levels of SMRs were significantly impacted post-concussion. Surprisingly, the post-concussion SMR accuracy ratings were improved for several participant groups, as compared to their baseline levels. Possible explanations for these results are discussed, and the implications for clinical practice are examined.

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