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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 12;110(7):2653-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1216827110. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Human cortical sensorimotor network underlying feedback control of vocal pitch.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The control of vocalization is critically dependent on auditory feedback. Here, we determined the human peri-Sylvian speech network that mediates feedback control of pitch using direct cortical recordings. Subjects phonated while a real-time signal processor briefly perturbed their output pitch (speak condition). Subjects later heard the same recordings of their auditory feedback (listen condition). In posterior superior temporal gyrus, a proportion of sites had suppressed responses to normal feedback, whereas other spatially independent sites had enhanced responses to altered feedback. Behaviorally, speakers compensated for perturbations by changing their pitch. Single-trial analyses revealed that compensatory vocal changes were predicted by the magnitude of both auditory and subsequent ventral premotor responses to perturbations. Furthermore, sites whose responses to perturbation were enhanced in the speaking condition exhibited stronger correlations with behavior. This sensorimotor cortical network appears to underlie auditory feedback-based control of vocal pitch in humans.

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