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Journal Article

A special role for the right posterior superior temporal sulcus during speech production


Prejawa,  Suse
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, United Kingdom;
Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Yamamoto, A. K., Jones, O. P., Hope, T. M., Prejawa, S., Oberhuber, M., Ludersdorfer, P., et al. (2019). A special role for the right posterior superior temporal sulcus during speech production. NeuroImage, 203: 116184. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116184.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-B9D4-C
This fMRI study of 24 healthy human participants investigated whether any part of the auditory cortex was more responsive to self-generated speech sounds compared to hearing another person speak. The results demonstrate a double dissociation in two different parts of the auditory cortex. In the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (RpSTS), activation was higher during speech production than listening to auditory stimuli, whereas in bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG), activation was higher for listening to auditory stimuli than during speech production. In the second part of the study, we investigated the function of the identified regions, by examining how activation changed across a range of listening and speech production tasks that systematically varied the demands on acoustic, semantic, phonological and orthographic processing. In RpSTS, activation during auditory conditions was higher in the absence of semantic cues, plausibly indicating increased attention to the spectral-temporal features of auditory inputs. In addition, RpSTS responded in the absence of any auditory inputs when participants were making one-back matching decisions on visually presented pseudowords. After analysing the influence of visual, phonological, semantic and orthographic processing, we propose that RpSTS (i) contributes to short term memory of speech sounds as well as (ii) spectral-temporal processing of auditory input and (iii) may play a role in integrating auditory expectations with auditory input. In contrast, activation in bilateral STG was sensitive to acoustic input and did not respond in the absence of auditory input. The special role of RpSTS during speech production therefore merits further investigation if we are to fully understand the neural mechanisms supporting speech production during speech acquisition, adult life, hearing loss and after brain injury.