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Neuroimage. 2013 Jun;73:191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.08.020. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Articulatory movements modulate auditory responses to speech.

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Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK.


Production of actions is highly dependent on concurrent sensory information. In speech production, for example, movement of the articulators is guided by both auditory and somatosensory input. It has been demonstrated in non-human primates that self-produced vocalizations and those of others are differentially processed in the temporal cortex. The aim of the current study was to investigate how auditory and motor responses differ for self-produced and externally produced speech. Using functional neuroimaging, subjects were asked to produce sentences aloud, to silently mouth while listening to a different speaker producing the same sentence, to passively listen to sentences being read aloud, or to read sentences silently. We show that that separate regions of the superior temporal cortex display distinct response profiles to speaking aloud, mouthing while listening, and passive listening. Responses in anterior superior temporal cortices in both hemispheres are greater for passive listening compared with both mouthing while listening, and speaking aloud. This is the first demonstration that articulation, whether or not it has auditory consequences, modulates responses of the dorsolateral temporal cortex. In contrast posterior regions of the superior temporal cortex are recruited during both articulation conditions. In dorsal regions of the posterior superior temporal gyrus, responses to mouthing and reading aloud were equivalent, and in more ventral posterior superior temporal sulcus, responses were greater for reading aloud compared with mouthing while listening. These data demonstrate an anterior-posterior division of superior temporal regions where anterior fields are suppressed during motor output, potentially for the purpose of enhanced detection of the speech of others. We suggest posterior fields are engaged in auditory processing for the guidance of articulation by auditory information.

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