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Brain Lang. 2012 Apr;121(1):35-46. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Neural control of fundamental frequency rise and fall in Mandarin tones.

Author information

1
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, England, UK. p.howell@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

The neural mechanisms used in tone rises and falls in Mandarin were investigated. Nine participants were scanned while they named one-character pictures that required rising or falling tone responses in Mandarin: the left insula and right putamen showed stronger activation between rising and falling tones; the left brainstem showed weaker activation between rising and falling tones. Connectivity analysis showed that the significant projection from the laryngeal motor cortex to the brainstem which was present in rising tones was absent in falling tones. Additionally, there was a significant difference between the connection from the insula to the laryngeal motor cortex which was negative in rising tones but positive in falling tones. These results suggest that the significant projection from the laryngeal motor cortex to the brainstem used in rising tones was not active in falling tones. The connection from the left insula to the laryngeal motor cortex that differs between rising and falling tones may control whether the rise mechanism is active or not.

PMID:
22341758
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandl.2012.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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