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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2009 Jun;52(3):812-9. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0197). Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Modulation of frontal lobe speech areas associated with the production and perception of speech movements.

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  • 1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Williams-Brice Nursing Building, 6th Floor, 1621 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29280, USA.



It is unclear whether the production and perception of speech movements are subserved by the same brain networks. The purpose of this study was to investigate neural recruitment in cortical areas commonly associated with speech production during the production and visual perception of speech.


This study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess brain function while participants either imitated or observed speech movements.


A common neural network was recruited by both tasks. The greatest frontal lobe activity in Broca's area was triggered not only when producing speech but also when watching speech movements. Relatively less activity was observed in the left anterior insula during both tasks.


These results support the emerging view that cortical areas involved in the execution of speech movements are also recruited in the perception of the same movements in other speakers.

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