Auditory–Motor Interaction Revealed by fMRI: Speech, Music, and Working Memory in Area Spt

University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 4.09). 08/2003; 15(5):673-82. DOI: 10.1162/089892903322307393
Source: PubMed


The concept of auditory-motor interaction pervades speech science research, yet the cortical systems supporting this interface have not been elucidated. Drawing on experimental designs used in recent work in sensory-motor integration in the cortical visual system, we used fMRI in an effort to identify human auditory regions with both sensory and motor response properties, analogous to single-unit responses in known visuomotor integration areas. The sensory phase of the task involved listening to speech (nonsense sentences) or music (novel piano melodies); the "motor" phase of the task involved covert rehearsal/humming of the auditory stimuli. A small set of areas in the superior temporal and temporal-parietal cortex responded both during the listening phase and the rehearsal/humming phase. A left lateralized region in the posterior Sylvian fissure at the parietal-temporal boundary, area Spt, showed particularly robust responses to both phases of the task. Frontal areas also showed combined auditory + rehearsal responsivity consistent with the claim that the posterior activations are part of a larger auditory-motor integration circuit. We hypothesize that this circuit plays an important role in speech development as part of the network that enables acoustic-phonetic input to guide the acquisition of language-specific articulatory-phonetic gestures; this circuit may play a role in analogous musical abilities. In the adult, this system continues to support aspects of speech production, and, we suggest, supports verbal working memory.

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    • "Accordingly, working memory is no longer conceptualised as a unitary dedicated system, but rather, following independent evidence and suggestions from several researchers (e.g. D'Esposito, 2007; Hickok et al., 2003; Wilson, 2001 ; among others), as a dynamic form of sensorymotor integration, with different circuits being involved and interconnected depending on the goal-directed task and the information to be processed. Active maintenance involves the recruitment of the same circuitry that represents the stored information itself, with different circuits for different types of somato-sensory information. "

    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
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    • "Specifically, we used blood-oxygenlevel-dependent (BOLD) fMRI to test whether covert repetition of visual or audiovisual speech: (1) increased activation in known auditory– motor circuits (relative to repetition of auditory-only speech), (2) activated sensorimotor pathways unique to visual speech, (3) both, or (4) neither. Covert repetition 2 is often employed to identify auditoryto-vocal-tract networks (Buchsbaum et al., 2001; Hickok et al., 2003; Okada and Hickok, 2006; Rauschecker et al., 2008; Wildgruber et al., 2001). We adapted a typical covert repetition paradigm to test whether using visual (V) or audiovisual (AV) stimuli to cue repetition recruits different sensorimotor networks versus auditory-only (A) input. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sensory information is critical for movement control, both for defining the targets of actions and providing feedback during planning or ongoing movements. This holds for speech motor control as well, where both auditory and somatosensory information have been shown to play a key role. Recent clinical research demonstrates that individuals with severe speech production deficits can show a dramatic improvement in fluency during online mimicking of an audiovisual speech signal suggesting the existence of a visuomotor pathway for speech motor control. Here we used fMRI in healthy individuals to identify this new visuomotor circuit for speech production. Participants were asked to perceive and covertly rehearse nonsense syllable sequences presented auditorily, visually, or audiovisually. The motor act of rehearsal, which is prima facie the same whether or not it is cued with a visible talker, produced different patterns of sensorimotor activation when cued by visual or audiovisual speech (relative to auditory speech). In particular, a network of brain regions including the left posterior middle temporal gyrus and several frontoparietal sensorimotor areas activated more strongly during rehearsal cued by a visible talker versus rehearsal cued by auditory speech alone. Some of these brain regions responded exclusively to rehearsal cued by visual or audiovisual speech. This result has significant implications for models of speech motor control, for the treatment of speech output disorders, and for models of the role of speech gesture imitation in development.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · NeuroImage
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    • "According to a prominent hypothesis, posterior parts of the superior temporal plane (STP) support general action-to-perception functions during audiomotor tasks (Warren et al., 2005; Hickok and Poeppel, 2007; Zatorre et al., 2007; Rauschecker and Scott, 2009; Rauschecker, 2010). Human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that these areas, particularly the planum temporale (PT), are activated during tasks requiring overt sound localization, vocalization, and playing of a musical instrument (Buchsbaum et al., 2001; Wise et al., 2001; Hickok et al., 2003; Chen et al., 2006, 2008a,b; Baumann et al., 2007). These findings support the role of posterior STP in guiding motor behavior based on auditory information. "
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    ABSTRACT: The neuroanatomical pathways interconnecting auditory and motor cortices play a key role in current models of human auditory cortex (AC). Evidently, auditory-motor interaction is important in speech and music production, but the significance of these cortical pathways in other auditory processing is not well known. We investigated the general effects of motor responding on AC activations to sounds during auditory and visual tasks (motor regions were not imaged). During all task blocks, subjects detected targets in the designated modality, reported the relative number of targets at the end of the block, and ignored the stimuli presented in the opposite modality. In each block, they were also instructed to respond to targets either using a precision grip, power grip, or to give no overt target responses. We found that motor responding strongly modulated AC activations. First, during both visual and auditory tasks, activations in widespread regions of AC decreased when subjects made precision and power grip responses to targets. Second, activations in AC were modulated by grip type during the auditory but not during the visual task. Further, the motor effects were distinct from the present strong attention-related modulations in AC. These results are consistent with the idea that operations in AC are shaped by its connections with motor cortical regions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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