Mechanisms of speech motor sequence learning


Matthew Masapollo



Study Description

Speaking seems natural and effortless. However, anyone who has ever attempted to speak in a foreign language can readily attest that the ability to produce non-native speech sequences in a fluent, coordinated, and natural-sounding way is a far from trivial skill. In addition, the challenges that clinicians encounter in treating patients with neurological disorders that affect speech production also hint at the complexity involved. The purpose of this project is to investigate how neurotypical people with healthy motor function learn to articulate novel sequences of speech sounds. 

In each of the test sessions, you be asked to produce speech. Specifically, you will produce some made-up non-words comprised of sequences of consonants that do not occur in American English but do occur in some other language. We will record your voice with a microphone. 

Following one of the test sessions you will be asked to wear a wrist-worn sleep monitoring device. You will be asked to wear the device overnight while you sleep. This will measure the duration and quality of your sleep based on heart rate and movement tracking measures.

Participant Requirements

All participants must be native, monolingual speakers of American English with no history of a speech, language, hearing, or other neurological deficit.

Estimated Duration of Experiment

Participation in this study will be over a total of two or three sessions, each of which will take no more than an hour including breaks.

Number of Subjects Needed



Dental Science Building (DG-135)

Contact Information