Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex

31.03.2015

Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex in fluent speakers but not in adults who stutter. Published in BRAIN

Speaking fluently can be challenging even for a political or mathematical genius such as Winston Churchill and Alan Turing, as recently illustrated for the latter in the movie „The Imitation Game“. It demonstrates obvious but temporary breakdowns in speech flow. New research has now shown that the way how speech motor areas of the brain prepare for intended speech is abnormal in adults suffering from persistent developmental stuttering, as reported in this month in Brain.

Original publication: Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex in fluent speakers but not in adults who stutter. Neef NE, Hoang TN, Neef A, Paulus W, Sommer M. Brain. 2015 Mar;138 (Pt 3):712-25. PMID: 25595146

Moving the right leg or arm requires the activation of the motor area in the left hemisphere of the brain. Conversely, orofacial midline muscles such as tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal folds are bilaterally controlled – both hemispheres innervate both sides of the articulatory apparatus. For this reason it would be plausible to expect that operating neurons are similarly excited in both hemispheres during speaking. But this is not the case.

Drs. Nicole Neef and Martin Sommer from the University Medical Center Göttingen, together with Dr. Andreas Neef from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, used a technique with high temporal resolution and a direct functional read-out: they stimulated the cortical area that controls the tongue with brief electromagnetical pulses while participating subjects were speaking. The stimulation efficiency was monitored with electrodes on the tongue.

This allowed them, for the first time, to track changes in the local cortical excitability that accompanied the transition between speech gestures. In control subjects, excitability in the left hemisphere motor area increased during this transition, indicating a speech motor preparation confined to the left brain hemisphere. In adults who stutter, this pattern was lacking on the left side. The more severe individuals stuttered the more impaired was the speech motor preparation in the left hemisphere.

These results integrate structural and neurophysiological findings into a plausible model of speech pathophysiology in persistent developmental stuttering. They pinpoint the left primary motor cortex and its interconnected areas as key players in the generation of fluent speech, and will pave the way to directly modulating the excitability of these areas to influence speech fluency.

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Georg-August-Universität
Klinik für Klinische Neurophysiologie
Prof. Dr. Martin Sommer
Phone: +49 (0) 551 / 39-8463
msommer@gwdg.de
Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen

Stefan Weller | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.universitaetsmedizin-goettingen.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto

nachricht Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>