KEULEN Stefanie

afbeelding van KEULEN  Stefanie


Keulen, Stefanie
TALK,  CLIN,  Nederlands
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussel
Tel.: +32-2-6291465
Bureau: 5B455

Persoonlijke informatie

Publicaties: R&D Database

A Neurolinguistic Analysis of Foreign Accent Syndrome

Ever thought you could wake up one day finding you spoke your mother tongue with a completely different accent? This is exactly what people suffering from 'Foreign Accent Syndrome' (or: FAS) experience. Foreign Accent Syndrome is a motor speech output disorder that causes patients to speak their native language with an accent that is perceived as foreign by people from the own language community. This is the result of several segmental (e.g. substitution and omission of phonemes etc.) and suprasegmental alterations (e.g. slow speech rate, wrong word accent etc. ) that affect speech. Four different subtypes have been described: (i) a neurogenic variant, which is caused by damage to the central nervous system, (ii) a developmental variant, also neurologically based, but it affects speech as it develops, (iii) a psychogenic variant, which is incited by a psychological or psychiatric factor, and (iv) a 'mixed' type; defined as a variant of FAS in which the patient acquires his/her accent on a neurogenic basis, but he/she then develops the accent further to create a 'more believable personality'.

The objectives of current project include: (i) the definition of the neurolinguistic nature of neurogenic FAS on the basis of a detailed description of the phonetic characteristics of FAS and a careful comparison with the characteristics of apraxia of speech (AoS), (ii) the identification of a potential role for the cerebello-cerebral network in the pathophysiology of FAS and AoS. One of the hypotheses is that the neurogenic variant of FAS could possibly represent of mild variant of AoS, with FAS being the motor speech disorder which follows a selective disruption, whereas AoS is the consequence of a more general distortion, which does not solemnly affect articulatory planning, but also the execution and monitoring of speech articulation. Moreover, the cerebellum has recently been assigned an important role in timing and planning of speech articulation, and it is thus interesting to invesitgate its implication in the modulation of aspects related to articulatory planning for both AoS and FAS.