Principles of motor learning in treatment of motor speech disorders

Edwin Maas, Donald A. Robin, Shannon N.Austermann Hula, Skott E. Freedman, Gabriele Wulf, Kirrie J. Ballard, Richard A. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

414 Scopus citations


Purpose: There has been renewed interest on the part of speech-language pathologists to understand how the motor system learns and determine whether principles of motor learning, derived from studies of nonspeech motor skills, apply to treatment of motor speech disorders. The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce principles that enhance motor learning for non-speech motor skills and to examine the extent to which these principles apply in treatment of motor speech disorders. Method: This tutorial critically reviews various principles in the context of nonspeech motor learning by reviewing selected literature from the major journals in motor learning. The potential application of these principles to speech motor learning is then discussed by reviewing relevant literature on treatment of speech disorders. Specific attention is paid to how these principles may be incorporated into treatment for motor speech disorders. Conclusions: Evidence from nonspeech motor learning suggests that various principles may interact with each other and differentially affect diverse aspects of movements. Whereas few studies have directly examined these principles in speech motor (re)learning, available evidence suggests that these principles hold promise for treatment of motor speech disorders. Further research is necessary to determine which principles apply to speech motor (re)learning in impaired populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-298
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Conditions of feedback
  • Conditions of practice
  • Motor learning
  • Motor speech disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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