A Choral Assist For Stutterers

HELPFUL GADGETS

People who stutter--and there are 3 million of them in the U.S.--tend to do better when they speak in unison, as in a group reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. That's why a new hearing-aid-like device called the SpeechEasy seems to help. Invented by researchers at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., it's a tiny, programmable earpiece that alters the pitch of the speaker's voice and echoes it back into the ear. This "choral effect" tricks the brain into thinking someone else is talking and encourages fluent speech. In initial tests, the SpeechEasy worked for about 85% of stutterers. The effect is...

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