Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Brain Res. 1989;77(3):476-89.

Neuronal activity in the human lateral temporal lobe. II. Responses to the subjects own voice.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen-Nikolausberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


We have recorded neuronal responses in the lateral temporal lobe of man to overt speech during open brain surgery for epilepsy. Tests included overt naming of objects and reading words or short sentences shown on a projector screen, repetition of tape recorded words or sentences presented over a loudspeaker, and free conversation. Neuronal activity in the dominant and non-dominant temporal lobe were about equally affected by overt speech. As during listening to language (see Creutzfeldt et al. 1989), responses differed between recordings from sites in the superior and the middle or inferior temporal gyrus. In the superior temporal gyrus all neurons responded clearly and each in a characteristic manner. Activation could be related to phonemic aspects, to segmentation or to the length of spoken words or sentences. However, neurons were mostly differently affected by listening to words and language as compared to overt speaking. In neuronal populations recorded simultaneously with one or two microelectrodes, some neurons responded predominantly to one or the other type of speech. Excitatory responses during overt speaking were always auditory. In the middle temporal gyrus more neurons (about 2/3) responded to overt speaking than to listening alone. Activations elicited during overt speech were seen in about 1/3 of our sample, but they were more sluggish than those recorded in the superior gyrus. A prominent feature was suppression of on-going activity, which we found in about 1/3 of middle and in some superior temporal gyrus neurons. This suppression could precede vocalization by up to a few hundred ms, and could outlast it by up to 1 s. Evoked ECoG-potentials to words heard or spoken were different, and those to overt speech were more widespread.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center