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Research groups


Birtan Demirel


DPhil Candidate

  • Speech & Brain (Watkins Lab)
  • Funded by Dominic Barker Trust & St Anne's College

I am interested in speech-motor impairments and how acute stress physiology, cognitive functions and emotions affect speech production.

My DPhil research focuses on persistent stuttering. We aim to achieve motor learning of fluent speech by using a brain stimulation technique in highly speech demanding tasks closer to the complexity of real life. The results of the study should inform further brain stimulation studies in stuttering and provide possible therapeutic interventions for people who want to work on their fluency.

Because of its heterogeneous nature of stuttering, people who stutter can speak more fluently in some conditions, such as while being alone or with metronome paced speech. Therefore, I am also interested in exploring neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms in fluency enhancing conditions, which can shed light on the multifaceted aetiology of stuttering.