Voice rest is commonly recommended after phonomicrosurgery to prevent worsening of the injury to the vocal fold, and possibly to promote better wound healing. However, the appropriate duration of voice rest is not known and it is even controversial if voice rest is needed or if voice rest leads to better wound healing. In orthopedic rehabilitation research, post-surgical exercise has been found to be effective for wound healing. Recent studies, both in vitro and vivo, have proven that early stimulation is effective in improving postsurgical wound healing of the vocal fold. Animal studies have also reported that mechanical stimulation promotes vocal fold vibration. In vitro studies revealed that vocal fold fibroblasts respond to mechanical stress. However, the appropriate type and dosage of stimulation have not been fully clarified. Further basic and clinical investigations are needed to assess the effect of voice rest and vocal exercise on tissue remodeling of the vocal fold wound, and to explore the most effective way to achieve regeneration of the injured tissue after phonomicrosurgery.
A metaphor comprehension task was administered to 15 healthy adults (control group), 15 right-hemisphere-damaged patients without communication disorders (RHD- group), 15 right-hemisphere-damaged patients with communication disorders (RHD+ group), and 15 left-hemisphere-damaged aphasic patients (aphasic group). We selected 30 similes. All of them were of low familiarity, requiring effort to understand their meaning (e.g. "Roads are like blood vessels."). With each question, the examiner read aloud the metaphor sentence, and the respondent was asked to choose a written statement that best represented its meaning from among four choices. In addition, all the subjects were asked to perform a metaphor description task (they were asked to explain the meaning of the same metaphors) and the Token Test (TT). The results showed that the scores of the metaphor comprehension task and TT in the RHD- group were not significantly different from those in the control group. On the other hand, the RHD+ group exhibited significantly poorer scores, especially on the metaphor comprehension task, than those in the control group. In the aphasic group, the scores of the metaphor comprehension task and TT were significantly poorer than those in the control group. Scores of the metaphor comprehension task and the metaphor description task were significantly correlated. Metaphor comprehension deficits in right-hemisphere-damaged patients may need to be discussed taking their communication disorders into consideration.
The contribution of cognitive abilities and home literacy activities to early reading and spelling skills of Japanese Hiragana were investigated in a cross-sectional study of 243 Japanese-speaking upper kindergarten children. They were tested in phonological awareness (nonword repetition and word repetition in reversed order), rapid automatized naming (RAN), visual cognition, receptive vocabulary, and reading and spelling of Hiragana characters. Parents filled in a questionnaire about home literacy activities, frequency of home reading and parent teaching. For reading, the scores of RAN, word repetition in reversed order and nonword repetition significantly predicted the reading score, while home literacy activities showed no significant contribution. For spelling, the scores of RAN, word repetition in reversed order, nonword repetition, figure copying and frequency of parent teaching at home significantly predicted the spelling score. These findings suggest that cognitive abilities are important for reading and spelling acquisition in kindergarten children, but parent teaching may also play a role for early spelling acquisition in Hiragana.
Recently, it has been demonstrated that children who stutter (CWS) have attentional difficulties. But little is known about attentional function in adults who stutter (AWS). Two groups of 17 AWS and 18 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated in the present study. We aimed to confirm (1) whether AWS also show attentional difficulties like CWS and (2) how attentional function relates to stuttering severity in AWS. Results indicated that AWS and AWNS showed similar levels of attentional function, but those who tended to react faster and more incorrectly to the experimental task showed worse stuttering severity. This outcome suggests that cognitive strategies non-specific to speech production can influence stuttering severity. We discussed intervention for the attentional function in AWS.
Electromyographic evaluation of a target muscle can be confounded by the mixture of signals from surrounding muscles, which interferes with data interpretation and degrades the reliability of assessment. In the present study, we applied independent component analysis (ICA), a method of multivariate analysis, to laryngeal electromyography in order to separate the muscle activity and enhance the quality of examination. Laryngeal electromyography was recorded from a 37-year-old healthy male subject. Double-hooked bipolar electrodes were percutaneously inserted into the cricothyroid muscle (CT), sternohyoid muscle (SH) and their midpoint (CT+SH) as a contaminated signal. Electromyographic data during various tasks (falsetto voice /i/, glissando /i/, jaw opening and closing, neck flexion, falsetto /aiai/ and expiration with falsetto gesture) were recorded. Then, ICA was applied to the observed signals of CT and CT+SH to separate the original source signals of CT and SH. Finally, the separated SH signals were compared with the observed signals of SH. ICA application improved the quality of the observed SH signals by 69.5%. Separated source signals generally coincided with the activation patterns of CT and SH reported in the literature. With a coefficient of determination of 65.1% between separated and original SH signals, the separation of source signals was performed with high precision. The separation of source signals using fast ICA was feasible in laryngeal electromyography. ICA can be an effective analysis method to minimize undesirable signal mixture and enhance the quality of laryngeal electromyography.
We conducted rapid reading tasks on Japanese children - 36 with typical development and 23 with developmental dyslexia - and investigated the effects of two different font types: Maru-Gothic and Mincho. In the experiment we used four kinds of stimuli: two scripts (text and random kana character non-words) in two font types (Maru-Gothic and Mincho). The duration time, number of errors and number of self-corrections were measured during reading. The participants were required to answer which font type is subjectively more comfortable. The results revealed no significant difference between the two font types in all participants. However, many children in the group with developmental dyslexia responded that subjectively the Maru-Gothic font was easier to read. There is a difference between objective and subjective readability. In this study, the Maru-Gothic and Mincho style fonts did not improve reading performance in children with dyslexia.
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