Welcome to the UCSF

Speech Neuroscience Lab

Lab Faculty:

John F. Houde, Dept. of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (Lab Head)

Srikantan Nagarajan, Dept. of Radiology

Edward Chang, Dept. of Neurological Surgery

Mark Courey, Dept. of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Keith Johnson, Dept. of Linguistics, UC Berkeley


Associated Faculty:

Gregory Hickok, Dept. of Cognitive Sciences, UC Irvine

Douglas Shiller, School of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, University of Montreal




Our research seeks to understand the neural substrate of speech motor control and the role of sensory feedback in this process.

We currently have projects using computational modeling, psychophysical investigations, and functional neuroimaging that examine auditory feedback’s role in the learning and maintenance of speech, as well as the online control of speech. A major focus of the lab is determining the role of auditory feedback in speaking by examining how speakers respond to realtime alterations of their audio feedback. Another major focus is using functional neuroimaging, especially magnetoencephalography (MEG), as well as electrocorticography (ECoG) to study how auditory feedback is processed during speaking. As a result of our research on auditory feedback in speaking, We have developed a computational model of the speech motor control system based on modern state-space control theory, which is also currently being investigated in the lab. Finally, we are also conducting studies where speaking, or the processing of auditory feedback during speaking, is altered by various neurological dysfunctions. We have conducted research on speech feedback processing in stuttering, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and, currently, we are investigating how auditory feedback processing may be impaired in Spasmodic Dysphonia an Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent and Relevant Lab Publications:

Houde, J.F., and Jordan, M. I. Sensorimotor adaptation in speech production.  Science, 279:1213 – 1216, 1998.

Houde, J.F., Nagarajan, S.S., Sekihara, K., and Merzenich, M.M. Modulation of the Auditory Cortex during Speech: An MEG Study.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14(8):1125-1138, 2002.

Heinks-Maldonado, T. H., Nagarajan, S. S., & Houde, J. F. Magnetoencephalographic evidence for a precise forward model in speech production. Neuroreport, 17(13), 1375-1379, 2006.

Ventura, M. I., Nagarajan, S. S., and Houde, J. F. Speech target modulates speaking induced suppression in auditory cortex. BMC Neuroscience, 10, 58, 2009.

Aliu, S. O., Houde, J. F., and Nagarajan, S. S. Motor induced suppression of auditory cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(4), 791-802, 2009.

Hickok, G., Houde, J. F., and Rong, F. Sensorimotor integration in speech processing: computational basis and neural organization. Neuron, 69(3), 407-422, 2011.

Katseff, S., Houde, J. F., and Johnson, K. Partial compensation for altered auditory feedback: a tradeoff with somatosensory feedback? Language and Speech, In Press, 2011.

Houde, J. F., & Nagarajan, S. S. Speech production as state feedback control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, In Press, 2011.


The UCSF Speech Neuroscience Lab meets Fridays at 3pm in the UCSF Kalmanovitz Library