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Vocal Tract Images Reveal Neural Representations of Sensorimotor Transformation During Speech Imitation

Carey, D; Miquel, ME; Evans, BG; Adank, P; McGettigan, C; (2017) Vocal Tract Images Reveal Neural Representations of Sensorimotor Transformation During Speech Imitation. Cereb Cortex 10.1093/cercor/bhx056. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Imitating speech necessitates the transformation from sensory targets to vocal tract motor output, yet little is known about the representational basis of this process in the human brain. Here, we address this question by using real-time MR imaging (rtMRI) of the vocal tract and functional MRI (fMRI) of the brain in a speech imitation paradigm. Participants trained on imitating a native vowel and a similar nonnative vowel that required lip rounding. Later, participants imitated these vowels and an untrained vowel pair during separate fMRI and rtMRI runs. Univariate fMRI analyses revealed that regions including left inferior frontal gyrus were more active during sensorimotor transformation (ST) and production of nonnative vowels, compared with native vowels; further, ST for nonnative vowels activated somatomotor cortex bilaterally, compared with ST of native vowels. Using test representational similarity analysis (RSA) models constructed from participants' vocal tract images and from stimulus formant distances, we found that RSA searchlight analyses of fMRI data showed either type of model could be represented in somatomotor, temporal, cerebellar, and hippocampal neural activation patterns during ST. We thus provide the first evidence of widespread and robust cortical and subcortical neural representation of vocal tract and/or formant parameters, during prearticulatory ST.

Type: Article
Title: Vocal Tract Images Reveal Neural Representations of Sensorimotor Transformation During Speech Imitation
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhx056
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhx056
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: FMRI, learning., rtMRI, sensorimotor transformation, speech
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 > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1543871
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