HCRI Research Study Commentary – An Introduction

Stuttering: Generating Fluent Speech as a Tool for Discovering the Cause(s) of Stuttering

By Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., Founder and President
Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI)

There are a number of observations regarding stuttering and manipulations of physical conditions that reliably generate fluent speech. It would seem reasonable to state that, with these observations on conditions that generate fluent speech, nature is pointing clearly and strongly to a way to advance our understanding of stuttering as a physically based disorder.

This type of information also has special significance for understanding stuttering because it is based specifically upon the direct manipulation of physical variables and not upon studies that merely seek relationships between and among nonmanipulated variables.

Inferences drawn from experiments have the potential for being stronger and more useful than inferences drawn from simple associations. That is, they have to power to permit the correct inference of causal relationships.

We here at HCRI understand that physical facts and the patterns among them represent the foundation information upon which the eventually discovery of the cause or causes of stuttering will emerge. Identification of cause in stuttering will, in turn, generate work that will have potential for curing the disorder.

We note, for purposes of clarity, that we shall be focusing only on developmental stuttering. We will not be addressing stuttering associated with physical damage to the central nervous system induced by insult, disease or drugs.

On this site, we have provided and will continue to add representative studies, along with commentary, that have demonstrated reliable links between specific physically manipulated conditions and the propagation of fluent speech in persons who stutter.

After all, one of the major tasks of the scientific analysis of events in nature is to discover patterns of lawfulness among those events. Another major task is to develop a parsimonious network of constructs that organizes this information and suggests next steps in research. We shall indicate the properties of the patterns we see and will also discuss the scientific implications that can be drawn from this work. Click on the links below for specific studies and commentary by HCRI:

If you would like information about HCRI’s scientifically based stuttering treatment program, visit www.stuttering.org or call 540-265-5650.