An important part of modeling speech motor control is determining how and where auditory feedback interacts with the neural control of speech production, and an important tool for examining this is to look at the neural and behavioral response to perturbations in auditory feedback. Tomorrow at Sensorimotor Journal Club, Maria Ventura will present a paper on a recent study where this was done:

 

Tourville, J. A., Reilly, K. J., & Guenther, F. H. (2008). Neural mechanisms underlying auditory feedback control of speech. Neuroimage, 39(3), 1429-1443. (link to pdf of article)

 

The neural substrates underlying auditory feedback control of speech were investigated using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational modeling. Neural responses were measured while subjects spoke monosyllabic words under two conditions: (i) normal auditory feedback of their speech and (ii) auditory feedback in which the first formant frequency of their speech was unexpectedly shifted in real time. Acoustic measurements showed compensation to the shift within approximately 136 ms of onset. Neuroimaging revealed increased activity in bilateral superior temporal cortex during shifted feedback, indicative of neurons coding mismatches between expected and actual auditory signals, as well as right prefrontal and Rolandic cortical activity. Structural equation modeling revealed increased influence of bilateral auditory cortical areas on right frontal areas during shifted speech, indicating that projections from auditory error cells in posterior superior temporal cortex to motor correction cells in right frontal cortex mediate auditory feedback control of speech.