Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology
Kimberly M Meigh
Michelle W Moore
Dennis M Ruscello
Purpose: This study evaluated the influence of phonemic similarity as a variable that facilitates contextual interference (CI), a motor learning phenomenon where poor performance during training results in enhanced performance in transfer conditions. A CI effect was hypothesized: speech performance would be enhanced for nonwords with similar phonemes during the retention phase of motor learning, but only enhanced by nonwords with dissimilar phonemes in the transfer phase.;Method: Twenty-nine young adults with typical speech and hearing participated in a motor-learning study comprised of nonword repetition training followed by an immediate retention and transfer task for nonwords with similar and dissimilar phonemes. Training was counterbalanced by stimuli and participants using a within-subject repeated-measures design. Percent consonants correct was calculated to examine the effects of the different stimuli on stage of skill acquisition.;Results: A CI effect was observed in this study using nonwords that varied in phonemic similarity. Participants accuracy was greatest when producing nonwords with similar phonemes during the retention task; however, during the transfer task, accuracy was greatest when producing nonwords with dissimilar phonemes.;Conclusions: The proposed hypothesis for this study was met: practicing nonwords with dissimilar phonemes lead to greater accuracy in the transfer phase of this experiment. Results indicate phonemic dissimilarity produces a contextual interference and influencing speech motor learning. Future research should determine if these results generalize to other populations, including children with typically developing language and speech skills.
Kee, Elisabeth P., "Similarity and Practice Schedules: Contextual Interference Variables in Speech Production" (2018). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5955.