Disturbances of the temporal organization of speech following bilateral thalamic surgery in a patient with Parkinson's disease

Gerald J. Canter, Diana Roupas Van Lancker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This report summarizes a detailed analysis of the speech of a 45-yr-old man who had become dysarthric following bilateral thalamic surgery for the relief of symptoms of Parkinson's disease. His speech was characterized by a rapid rate and a mild-to-moderate articulatory deficit. Intelligibility was markedly reduced. The rapid rate was found to be the result of decreased syllable durations rather than to changes in pause or phrase patterns. Decreased syllable durations resulted from abnormal shortening of vowels. Consonant releases were found to be prolonged. This distorted temporal relationship among speech segments was considered to be an important factor in the patient's poor intelligibility and partially explained why uniform electronic expansion of his speech resulted in only negligible increase in intelligibility. It is hypothesized that this speech disturbance results from the interaction of central "metronomic" abnormality with a peripheral neuromotor articulatory impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this