8th International Conference on Speech Motor Control

2022, Groningen, the Netherlands


SMC2021 update:
The organizing committee and colleagues in the field are keen on having an in-person conference. As restrictions on international traveling and large gatherings are likely still in place by August 2021, we decided to postpone the SMC2021 conference to 2022.


Following a well-established Nijmegen (5 editions) - Groningen (6th & 7th edition) tradition, the eighth edition of the International Conference on Speech Motor Control will be held in 2022 in Groningen, the Netherlands. This conference, like the ones before, will highlight new trends and state-of-the-art approaches in theoretical and applied research in the area of normal and disordered speech motor control. Speech motor control is a dynamic research field, that in the past decades has made a tremendous, multidisciplinary development, which is reflected in the Nijmegen - Groningen series of conferences. In the first edition in 1985 focus was on motor control issues in stuttering. The second conference (1990) highlighted the development of more general motor control models and the inclusion of higher order psychomotor and psycholinguistic functions, broadening the scope to other motor speech disorders than stuttering. At the third conference (1996), more emphasis was put on the emerging field of brain imaging. In addition, development of speech motor control became a prominent topic. Since the fourth edition in 2001, we witnessed the introduction of important theoretical neurophysiological and neurobehavioral concepts, and a growing interest in the ‘interface’ between higher order cognitive/psycholinguistic processes and speech production. Thus, the conferences of 2006, 2011, and 2017 have witnessed tremendous progress in integrating genetic, neurobiological, including neuro-motor, biomechanical, cognitive and behavioral levels of research in interdisciplinary collaborations. A special topic of the 2017 conference was the evolution of speech: phylogenetic evolution in homo sapiens; ontogenetic evolution in infants; and evolution of speech disorders in diverse contexts.

Now, we are preparing for the eighth edition of the International Conference on Speech Motor Control, to be held 2022. Five years since the previous conference have yielded not only insights in speech disorders in genetically and neurobiologically increasingly better characterized populations, but this quantitative boost of interdisciplinary results is now leading to a qualitative turning point in which large data sets are analyzed with powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. The implementation of theories into computational models allows for the explicit testing of multifactorial interactions, thereby going beyond the more traditional single-factor experiments. Machine learning and the data sharing required to make this feasible are a special topic of the 2021 conference.

The conference program will be organized around five topics; the invitation of speakers and the review process of submitted papers will be coordinated by the chair and co-chair to be assigned to the specific topic. The topics are:

  1. Neural Anatomy & Physiology of Speech Production (Chair: Marina Laganaro)
  2. Speech Production Modeling & Action-Perception (Chairs: Susanne Fuchs & Phil Hoole)
  3. Disorders of Speech Motor Control and Fluency (Chair: Anja Lowit)
  4. (A)typical Speech Motor & Speech Sound Development in Children (Chairs: Aude Noiray & Aravind Namasivayam)
  5. Machine Learning (Chair: Angela Morgan) & Data Sharing (Chair: Adam Vogel)


The conference is organized by:

  • Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG), Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen
  • School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), University Medical Centre Groningen
  • Utrecht Institute of Linguistics - OTS, Utrecht University.

in close collaboration with the Conference on Motor Speech, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Lincoln, NE, USA.

Program & Organizing Committee

  • Ben Maassen, chair (Center for Language and Cognition Groningen & BCN, University of Groningen)
  • Marijke Schipper, chair organization (Groningen Congres Bureau)
  • Hayo Terband, co-chair (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics - OTS, Utrecht University, the Netherlands)
  • Marina Laganaro (Psychologie et Sciences de l’Education, University of Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Susanne Fuchs (Laboratory Phonology, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS), Berlin, Germany)
  • Phil Hoole (Institut für Phonetik und Sprachverarbeitung, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, München, Germany)
  • Anja Lowit (Division of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
  • Aude Noiray (Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition; University of Potsdam, Germany)
  • Angela Morgan (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute & University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Adam Vogel (Division of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Aravind Namasivayam (Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Pascal van Lieshout (Oral Dynamics Lab, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Edwin Maas (Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA)
  • Frits van Brenk (Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo, NY, USA)


The conference will be held in the Academy Building, in the heart of the city-centre of Groningen.
Visiting address: Broerstraat 5, Groningen.


English is used as working language throughout the conference.

Secretariat of the Conference

Groningen Congres Bureau
Att. Ms. Marijke Schipper
Griffeweg 5
9724 GE Groningen
+31 (0)50 316 88 77
E-mail: info@gcb.nl
Conference website: www.slp-nijmegen.nl/smc2021/

Key Dates

November 20, 2021: Opening online abstract submission

February 27, 2022: Deadline abstract submission

2022: Conference on Speech Motor Control

Preliminary Program

Preliminary program & List of confirmed invited speakers

The conference program will be organized around five major themes, that can be considered basic domains in speech motor control research and the clinical approach in disorders. Listed are the five major themes, the members of the organization committee who will be the chair(s) for this theme, and the list of confirmed invited speakers per theme. Submissions of free plenary and poster presentations will be programmed within these five themes.

1. Neural Anatomy & Physiology of Speech Production (Chair: Marina Laganaro)

Invited speakers

Marina Laganaro: Université de Genève; Psycholinguistique
Temporal dynamics of motor speech planning and programming

Helene Loevenbruck: Université Grenoble Alpes; Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition
Hierarchical predictive control of inner speech: articulating condensation, dialogality and intentionality

Edward Chang: University of California, San Francisco; Weill Institute for Neurosciences
The cortical encoding of vocal tract movements in speech

2. Speech Production Modeling & Action-Perception (Chairs: Susanne Fuchs, Phil Hoole)

Invited speakers

Susanne Fuchs: Berlin; Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)
How breathing adapts to speech and how speech adapts to breathing

Phil Hoole: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Phonetik und Sprachverarbeitung (IPS)
Speech motor control and fast dynamic MRI

Tiphaine Caudrelier: GIPSA-lab; CNRS & l’Université de Grenoble
State-of-the-art review on altered auditory feedback experiments

3. Disorders of Speech Motor Control and Fluency (Chair: Anja Lowit)

Invited speakers

Yana Yunusova: University of Toronto; Speech-Language Pathology

Ingrid Aichert: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Institut für Phonetik und Sprachverarbeitung (IPS)
Apraxia of speech

Ludo Max: University of Washington; Speech and Hearing Sciences

4. (A)typical Speech Motor and Speech Sound Development in Children (Chairs: Aude Noiray; Aravind Namasivayam)

Invited speakers

Aude Noiray: Universität Potsdam; Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition
Spoken language acquisition: the dynamic interplay between motor and cognitive domains

Aravind Namasivayam: University of Toronto; Oral Dynamics Laboratory
Developmental speech sound disorders, stuttering, sensory-motor integration, and motor skill learning

Katherine Hustad: University of Wisconsin-Madison; Waisman Center
Communication development in children with cerebral palsy (CP)

5. Machine Learning (Chair: Angela Morgan) & Data Sharing (Chair: Adam Vogel)

Invited speakers

Adam Vogel: University of Melbourne; Centre for Neuroscience
A multi-national, multi-lingual consortia for speech in neurodegenerative disease

Björn Schuller: Imperial College London & Embedded Intelligence for Health Care and Wellbeing, University of Augsburg
Speech for Health Analysis: On AI and Challenges

Thanasis Tsanas: The University of Edinburgh; Usher Institute, Edinburgh Medical School & School of Mathematics
Developing new speech signal processing algorithms for biomedical and life sciences applications: principles, findings, challenges, and a view to the future

In Memoriam

In Memoriam Herman F.M. Peters, Ph.D.

On June 24, after a brief but devastating illness, Herman Peters passed away. Herman started his career as a clinical psychologist, and he specialized in the diagnosis of speech and language disorders. Specifically, he had a passion for understanding the underlying causes of stuttering and providing the most effective treatment for people suffering from this speech disorder. In the early 1980s, he introduced the Precision Fluency Shaping Program (the “Webster therapy”) in the Netherlands. In addition, he invited many renowned therapists and researchers from all over the world in order to implement new developments on speech and language disorders in the Netherlands.
He was one of the early advocates and implementers of scientific research in the realm of speech motor control processes in people who stutter. In 1985 he was the main founder of the series of International Conferences on Speech Motor Control. His dissertation (1987) also dealt with this topic. In 1989 he was one of the founding members of the International Fluency Association (IFA) and served this organization in various roles, including treasurer. His inspiration and organizational talents have also served the Dutch language community: Herman not only started the Dutch Society (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stem- Spraak- Taalpathologie), but in 1992 he also started a journal (Tijdschrift Stem-, Spraak-, en Taalpathologie) and from 1997 – 2007 he edited a handbook (Handboek Stem-, Spraak-, en Taalpathologie) in the field of voice, speech and language disorders. A generation of research colleagues and clinical professionals will miss Herman’s inspiring enthusiasm, expertise, organizational talents, and always cheerful spirit.
In his career as a clinician Herman was head of the department Voice and Speech disorders, belonging to the ENT of the Universal Medical Center St. Radboud in Nijmegen. With power and charm he managed this multidisciplinary team, resulting in a kind of “working family”, with specializations on voice, cleft palate and stuttering.
Apart from his research and clinical work in the area of stuttering, Herman had a broad range of interests, in particular modern art and architecture. He truly was a man who had a zest for life and enjoyed travelling, meeting with people and enjoying all the wonderful things live had to offer. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and our thoughts are with his wife Hanneke, his children and grand-children.

Ben Maassen
Mariëtte Embrechts
Marie-Christine Franken
Pascal van Lieshout