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The effect of speech distortion on the excitability of articulatory motor cortex

Nuttall, HE; Kennedy-Higgins, D; Hogan, J; Devlin, JT; Adank, P; (2016) The effect of speech distortion on the excitability of articulatory motor cortex. NeuroImage , 128 pp. 218-226. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.038. Green open access

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Abstract

It has become increasingly evident that human motor circuits are active during speech perception. However, the conditions under which the motor system modulates speech perception are not clear. Two prominent accounts make distinct predictions for how listening to speech engages speech motor representations. The first account suggests that the motor system is most strongly activated when observing familiar actions (Pickering and Garrod, 2013). Conversely, Wilson and Knoblich's account asserts that motor excitability is greatest when observing less familiar, ambiguous actions (Wilson and Knoblich, 2005). We investigated these predictions using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Stimulation of the lip and hand representations in the left primary motor cortex elicited motor evoked potentials (MEPs) indexing the excitability of the underlying motor representation. MEPs for lip, but not for hand, were larger during perception of distorted speech produced using a tongue depressor, relative to naturally produced speech. Additional somatotopic facilitation yielded significantly larger MEPs during perception of lip-articulated distorted speech sounds relative to distorted tongue-articulated sounds. Critically, there was a positive correlation between MEP size and the perception of distorted speech sounds. These findings were consistent with predictions made by Wilson & Knoblich (Wilson and Knoblich, 2005), and provide direct evidence of increased motor excitability when speech perception is difficult.

Type: Article
Title: The effect of speech distortion on the excitability of articulatory motor cortex
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.038
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.038
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: Motor cortex, Motor evoked potentials, Speech perception, Transcranial magnetic stimulation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482089
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