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ERIC Number: EJ811638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Effects of Divided Attention on Speech Motor, Verbal Fluency, and Manual Task Performance
Dromey, Christopher; Shim, Erin
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v51 n5 p1171-1182 Oct 2008
Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate aspects of the "functional distance hypothesis," which predicts that tasks regulated by brain networks in closer anatomic proximity will interfere more with each other than tasks controlled by spatially distant regions. Speech, verbal fluency, and manual motor tasks were examined to ascertain whether right-handed activity would interfere more with speech and language performance because of the presumed greater demands on the left hemisphere. Method: Twenty young adults completed a speech task (repeating a sentence), a verbal fluency task (listing words beginning with the same letter), and right- and left-handed motor tasks (placing pegs and washers in a pegboard) in isolation and concurrently. Results: Speech kinematic data showed that during concurrent performance of manual tasks, lip displacement and peak velocity decreased, whereas sound pressure level increased. Spatiotemporal variability increased when the nondominant hand was used for a motor task. Manual motor scores significantly decreased when concurrently performed with the verbal fluency task but not with sentence repetition. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the control of concurrent tasks may be more complex than is predicted by the functional distance hypothesis.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A