Emotions and Speech Disorders: Do Developmental Stutters Recognize Emotional Vocal Expressions?

  • Anna Esposito
  • Alda Troncone
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6456)


This paper intends to evaluate the developmental stutters’ ability to recognize emotional vocal expressions. To this aim, a group of diagnosed developmental child stutters and a fluent one are tested on the perception of 5 basic vocal emotional states (anger, fear, happiness, surprise and sadness) extracted from Italian movies and each produced by two actors and two actresses. The results show significant perceptual differences for all the emotional states under examination except for anger and call for further experimental data in assessing the ability of stutters to recognize emotional voices. The reported data are of interest for the development of improved automatic rehabilitation tools for which context specificity must be taken into account for a more friendly and effective human-machine interaction.


Emotional vocal expressions of emotion stuttering disorders 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Andrews, G., Craig, A., Feyer, A.M., Hoddinott, S., Howie, P., Neilson, M.: Stuttering: a Review of Research Findings and Theories circa 1982. J. Speech. Hear. Disord. 48, 226–246 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blood, G.W., Blood, I.M., Tellis, G.M., Gabel, R.M.: A Preliminary Study of Self-Esteem, Stigma, and Disclosure in Adolescents who Stutters. J. Fluency Disord. 28, 143–159 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blood, G.W., Blood, I.M., Maloney, K., Meyer, C., Qualss, C.D.: Anxiety Levels in Adolescents who Stutters. J. Commun. Disord. 40, 452–469 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blumgart, E., Tran, Y., Craig, A.C.: Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults who Stutter. Depress. Anxiety, 1–6 (2010)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bosshardt, H.-G.: Cognitive Processing Load as a Determinant of Stuttering: Summery of a Research Programme. Clin. Linguist. Phon. 20(5), 371–385 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Büchel, C., Sommer, M.: What Causes Stuttering? PLoS. Biol. 2, 159–163 (2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chang, S.E.: Brain Anatomy Differences in Childhood Stuttering. Neuroimage 39(3), 1333–1344 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D’Ambrosio, M.: Balbuzie. Percorsi Teorici e Clinici Integrati. McGraw-Hill, Milano (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dmitrieva, E.S., Gel’man, V.Y., Zaitseva, K.A.: Perception of the Emotional Component of Speech by Stuttering Children against the Background of Noise: I. Analysis of the Efficiency of the Identification of Various Emotions. Hum. Psysiol. 26(3), 258–264 (2000)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dmitrieva, E.S., Gel’man, V.Y.: Perception of the Emotional Speech Component by Stuttering Children Associated with Noise: Communication II. Analysis of the Temporal Characteristics of the Recognition of Different Emotions. Hum. Psysiol. 27(1), 36–41 (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Esposito, A., Riviello, M.T.: The New Italian Audio and Video Emotional Database. In: Esposito, A., Campbell, N., Vogel, C., Hussain, A., Nijholt, A. (eds.) COST 2102. LNCS, vol. 5967, pp. 406–422. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Esposito, A., Riviello, M.T., Di Maio, G.: The COST 2102 Italian Audio and Video Emotional Database. In: Apolloni, B., Bassis, S., Morabito, C.F. (eds.) Neural Nets. WIRN 2009., vol. 204, pp. 51–61. IOSpress, Amsterdam (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Esposito, A.: The Amount of Information on Emotional States Conveyed by the Verbal and Nonverbal Channels: Some Perceptual Data. In: Stylianou, Y., Faundez-Zanuy, M., Esposito, A. (eds.) COST 277. LNCS, vol. 4391, pp. 245–268. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Esposito, A.: Affect in Multimodal Information. In: Tao, J., Tan, T. (eds.) Affective Information Processing, pp. 211–234. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Esposito, A.: The Perceptual and Cognitive Role of Visual and Auditory Channels in Conveying Emotional Information. Cogn. Comput. J. 1(2), 268–278 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gordon, N.: Stuttering: Incidence and Causes. Dev. Med. Child Neurol. 44(4), 278–281 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Iverach, L., O’Brien, S., Jones, M., Block, S., Lincoln, M., Harrison, E., Hewat, S., Menzies, R.G., Packman, A., Kraaimaat, F.W., Vanryckeghem, M., Van Dam-Baggen, R.: Stuttering and Social Anxiety. J. Fluency Disord. 27(4), 319–331 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Onslow, M.: Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders among Adults Seeking Speech Therapy for Stuttering. J. Anxiety Disord. 23, 928–934 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Prasse, J.E., Kikano, G.E.: Stuttering: an Overview. Am. Fam. Physician 77(9), 1271–1276 (2008)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Packman, A., Onslow, M.: Searching for the Cause of Stuttering. Lancet 360, 355–356 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Saxby, L., Bryden, M.P.: Left-Ear Superiority in Children for Processing Auditory Emotional Material. Dev. Psychol. 20(1), 72–80 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Watkins, K.: Structural and Functional Abnormalities of the Motor System in Developmental Stuttering. Brain 131, 50 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weber-Fox, C., Spencer, R.M.C., Spruill, J.E., Smith, A.: Phonologic Processing in Adults Who Stutter: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence. J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 47, 1244–1258 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zerneri, L.: Manuale di Foniatria e Compendio di Logopedia. Edizioni Omega, Torino (1989)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kraaimaat, F.W., Vanryckeghem, M., Van Dam-Baggen, R.: Stuttering and Social Anxiety. J. Fluency Disord. 27(4), 319–331 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Karrass, J., Walden, T.A., Conture, E.G., Graham, C.G., Arnold, H.S., Hartfield, K.N., Schwenk, K.A.: Relation of Emotional Reactivity and Regulation to Childhood Stuttering. J. Commun. Disord. 39(6), 402–423 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ekman, P.: An Argument for Basic Emotions. Cogn. Emot. 6, 169–200 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Esposito, A., Riviello, M.T.: The Cross-Modal and Cross-Cultural Processing of Affective Information. In: Apolloni, B., Bassis, S., Morabito, C.F. (eds.) Neural Nets. WIRN 2010. IOS Press, Amsterdam (in press, 2010)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Esposito, A., Riviello, M.T., Bourbakis, N.: Cultural Specific Effects on the Recognition of Basic Emotions: A Study on Italian Subjects. In: Holzinger, A., Miesenberger, K. (eds.) USAB 2009. LNCS, vol. 5889, pp. 135–148. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fragopanagos, N., Taylor, J.G.: Emotion recognition in human–computer interaction. Neural Networks 18, 389–405 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Esposito
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alda Troncone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly
  2. 2.International Institute for Advanced Scientific Studies (IIASS)Vietri sul MareItaly

Personalised recommendations