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A dual larynx motor networks hypothesis

Belyk, M; Eichert, N; McGettigan, C; (2021) A dual larynx motor networks hypothesis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 376 (1840) , Article 20200392. 10.1098/rstb.2020.0392. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans are vocal modulators par excellence. This ability is supported in part by the dual representation of the laryngeal muscles in the motor cortex. Movement, however, is not the product of motor cortex alone but of a broader motor network. This network consists of brain regions that contain somatotopic maps that parallel the organization in motor cortex. We therefore present a novel hypothesis that the dual laryngeal representation is repeated throughout the broader motor network. In support of the hypothesis, we review existing literature that demonstrates the existence of network-wide somatotopy and present initial evidence for the hypothesis' plausibility. Understanding how this uniquely human phenotype in motor cortex interacts with broader brain networks is an important step toward understanding how humans evolved the ability to speak. We further suggest that this system may provide a means to study how individual components of the nervous system evolved within the context of neuronal networks. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Voice modulation: from origin and mechanism to social impact (Part I)’.

Type: Article
Title: A dual larynx motor networks hypothesis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0392
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0392
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137443
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