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Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Feb 24;9:97. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00097. eCollection 2015.

Electrocorticographic representations of segmental features in continuous speech.

Author information

1
Inria Bordeaux Sud-Ouest/LaBRI Talence, France.
2
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing, University of Kansas Lawrence, KS, USA.
3
National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health Albany, NY, USA ; Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College Albany, NY, USA.
4
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida Gainesville, FL, USA.
5
Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College Albany, NY, USA.
6
ASTAR Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore Singapore.

Abstract

Acoustic speech output results from coordinated articulation of dozens of muscles, bones and cartilages of the vocal mechanism. While we commonly take the fluency and speed of our speech productions for granted, the neural mechanisms facilitating the requisite muscular control are not completely understood. Previous neuroimaging and electrophysiology studies of speech sensorimotor control has typically concentrated on speech sounds (i.e., phonemes, syllables and words) in isolation; sentence-length investigations have largely been used to inform coincident linguistic processing. In this study, we examined the neural representations of segmental features (place and manner of articulation, and voicing status) in the context of fluent, continuous speech production. We used recordings from the cortical surface [electrocorticography (ECoG)] to simultaneously evaluate the spatial topography and temporal dynamics of the neural correlates of speech articulation that may mediate the generation of hypothesized gestural or articulatory scores. We found that the representation of place of articulation involved broad networks of brain regions during all phases of speech production: preparation, execution and monitoring. In contrast, manner of articulation and voicing status were dominated by auditory cortical responses after speech had been initiated. These results provide a new insight into the articulatory and auditory processes underlying speech production in terms of their motor requirements and acoustic correlates.

KEYWORDS:

electrocorticography (ECoG); manner of articulation; place of articulation; speech processing; voicing

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