Palatal incompetency appears to stimulate compensatory behaviors which tend to undermine rather than enhance speech performance. Recent studies in our laboratory suggest that these behaviors may be attempts to satisfy the requirements of a pressure regulating system. The objective of this research is to determine whether the compensatory responses associated with cleft palate are strategies devised to regulate speech pressures and control airflow and airway resistance. The purpose of a regulating system is to maintain a parameters constancy. The control process is the means by which this is accomplished. We propose that control of structural movements (resulting upper airway resistance) and airflow is necessary for regulation of speech pressures. Study of a regulating system involves experiments which identify and describe mechanisms of control. The use of subjects with different degrees of palatal incompetency will allow us to assess how the system is managed when an error is introduced. The pressure-flow technique, developed in our laboratory, will be used to measure respiratory parameters associated with speech and assess structural responses. The following questions will be addressed: I. Are intraoral speech pressures maintained at appropriate magnitudes across subjects and conditions of velopharyngeal competency? II. Does the significant increase in volume rate of airflow and effort in cleft palate speech correlate with the maintenance of pressure for consonant productions? III. Do the structures of the oral and nasal cavities interact in a complementary fashion that maintains pressure and controls airflow? IV. Are upper airway resistances controlled during speech in a manner characteristic of a pressure regulating system? and V. Are changes in timing patterns associated with velopharyngeal incompetency consistent with the characteristics of a regulating mechanism? If we determine that attempts to achieve an aerodynamic constancy result in compensatory responses, then new explanations for cleft palate speech should follow and new approaches to treatment would be possible.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
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Communication Sciences and Disorders (CMS)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Dentistry/Oral Hygn
Chapel Hill
United States
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Witsell, D L; Drake, A F; Warren, D W (1994) Preliminary data on the effect of pharyngeal flaps on the upper airway in children with velopharyngeal inadequacy. Laryngoscope 104:12-5
Warren, D W; Dalston, R M; Mayo, R (1994) Hypernasality and velopharyngeal impairment. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 31:257-62
Warren, D W; Walker, J C; Drake, A F et al. (1994) Effects of odorants and irritants on respiratory behavior. Laryngoscope 104:623-6
Buenting, J E; Dalston, R M; Drake, A F (1994) Nasal cavity area in term infants determined by acoustic rhinometry. Laryngoscope 104:1439-45
Buenting, J E; Dalston, R M; Smith, T L et al. (1994) Artifacts associated with acoustic rhinometric assessment of infants and young children: a model study. J Appl Physiol 77:2558-63
Dalston, R M; Neiman, G S; Gonzalez-Landa, G (1993) Nasometric sensitivity and specificity: a cross-dialect and cross-culture study. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 30:285-91
Drake, A F; Davis, J U; Warren, D W (1993) Nasal airway size in cleft and noncleft children. Laryngoscope 103:915-7
Warren, D W; Drake, A F (1993) Cleft nose. Form and function. Clin Plast Surg 20:769-79
Mayo, R; Dalston, R M; Warren, D W (1993) Perceptual assessment of resonance distortion in unoperated clefts of the secondary palate. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 30:397-400
Warren, D W; Dalston, R M; Mayo, R (1993) Hypernasality in the presence of ""adequate"" velopharyngeal closure. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 30:150-4

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