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Misericordia University students present groundbreaking research at International Conference on Stuttering in Rome

Three Misericordia University speech-language pathology majors recently presented their scholarly work on groundbreaking research at the third annual International Conference on Stuttering in Rome, Italy. The international forum highlights research and clinical findings in the fields of stuttering etiology, assessment and treatment, offering innovative stuttering treatments from June 14-16.


Misericordia University student researchers Elizabeth Heinmiller, Downingtown; Cara Imbalzano, Roaring Brook Twp., and Jordan Seprosky, Archbald, made two research poster presentations and one oral presentation at the leading international event for researchers and professionals in the field of assessment and treatment of stuttering.


The student researchers collaborated with Professor Glen Tellis, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCF-S, chair, Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Misericordia University; Rickson Mesquita, Ph.D., Sergio L. Novi Jr., and Arjun Yodh, Ph.D., and fellow student researcher D’manda Price, Paterson, N.J., on the poster presentations, “What Type of Dysfluency is Least Preferred by Listeners? Data from Neurological and Psychophysical Responses,’’ and “Should Clinicians Encourage Fluency Clients to Maintain Eye-Contact During Conversation? Data from Neurological and Psychophysical Responses.’’


The students also collaborated with their mentors to make the oral presentation, “Do Emotionally Arousing Personal Experiences Affect How a Person Who Stutters is Perceived? Data from Neurological and Psychophysical Responses.’’


The groundbreaking studies by Misericordia University researchers are the first of their kind to use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), autonomic nervous system software and hardware, and a survey simultaneously to determine typically fluent speaker’s reactions to stuttering. By using both systems and a survey, the student-faculty researchers were able to determine the cortical, psychophysical and survey responses of participants as they observed videos of different aspects of stuttering.