Speech Movements w/ Palatal Myoclonus
  • A cinefluorographic videotape is used to examine speech movements in the presence of palatal myoclonus. The myoclonus and dysarthria of the young adult male were secondary to traumatic brain injury. It appeared as though he was trying to synchronize lip and tongue movements for oral consonant production to  the myoclonic elevation of the soft palate.
  • When attempting to say “Please buy me that cute little dog”, he appeared to wait until the palate was elevated for the [th] in “that”, the [k] in “cute”, and [d] in “Dog.” This was most apparent for “Dog.”  There were three movements of the tongue tip for the [d].  This first two were not synchronized with palatal elevation, and nothing was said. The third movement was synchronized, the tongue-alveolar contact was complete, and the word “dog” was spoken.

    The asynchronous attempts resulted in silence, and could be misinterpreted as a dysfluency or groping.  Could the successful synchronization be evidence for the concept of “coordinative structures.” Click here to read about “coordinative structures.”


    Click below to see the videotape (YouTube link).