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J Physiol Paris. 2008 Jan-May;102(1-3):31-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

The role of premotor cortex in speech perception: evidence from fMRI and rTMS.

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  • 1Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


This article discusses recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) data that suggest a direct involvement of premotor cortical areas in speech perception. These new data map well onto psychological theories advocating an active role of motor structures in the perception of speech sounds. It is proposed that the perception of speech is enabled--at least in part--by a process that simulates speech production.

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