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J Neurophysiol. 2009 May;101(5):2725-32. doi: 10.1152/jn.91099.2008. Epub 2009 Feb 18.

Area Spt in the human planum temporale supports sensory-motor integration for speech processing.

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


Processing incoming sensory information and transforming this input into appropriate motor responses is a critical and ongoing aspect of our moment-to-moment interaction with the environment. While the neural mechanisms in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) that support the transformation of sensory inputs into simple eye or limb movements has received a great deal of empirical attention-in part because these processes are easy to study in nonhuman primates-little work has been done on sensory-motor transformations in the domain of speech. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate analysis techniques to demonstrate that a region of the planum temporale (Spt) shows distinct spatial activation patterns during sensory and motor aspects of a speech task. This result suggests that just as the PPC supports sensorimotor integration for eye and limb movements, area Spt forms part of a sensory-motor integration circuit for the vocal tract.

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