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Brain Lang. 2006 Jul;98(1):112-7. Epub 2006 May 23.

Left posterior auditory-related cortices participate both in speech perception and speech production: Neural overlap revealed by fMRI.

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Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


Recent neuroimaging studies and neuropsychological data suggest that there are regions in posterior auditory cortex that participate both in speech perception and speech production. An outstanding question is whether the same neural regions support both perception and production or whether there exist discrete cortical fields subserving these functions. Previous neurophysiological studies suggest that there is indeed regional overlap between these systems, but those studies used a rehearsal task to assess production. The present study addressed this question in an event-related fMRI experiment in which subjects listened to speech and in separate trials, performed a covert object naming task. Single subject analysis revealed regions of coactivation for speech perception and production in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), left area Spt (a region in the Sylvian fissure at the parietal-temporal boundary), and left inferior frontal gyrus. These results are consistent with lesion data and previous physiological data indicating that posterior auditory cortex plays a role in both reception and expression of speech. We discuss these findings within the context of a neuroanatomical framework that proposes these neural sites are a part of an auditory-motor integration system.

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