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New paper: Speech-induced suppression and vocal feedback sensitivity in human cortex

Across the animal kingdom, neural responses in the auditory cortex are suppressed during vocalization, and humans are no exception.

A common hypothesis is that suppression increases sensitivity to auditory feedback, enabling the detection of vocalization errors. This hypothesis has been previously confirmed in non-human primates, however a direct link between auditory suppression and sensitivity in human speech monitoring remains elusive.

To address this issue, we obtained intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) recordings from 35 neurosurgical participants during speech production. We first characterized the detailed topography of auditory suppression, which varied across superior temporal gyrus (STG). Next, we performed a delayed auditory feedback (DAF) task to determine whether the suppressed sites were also sensitive to auditory feedback alterations. Indeed, overlapping sites showed enhanced responses to feedback, indicating sensitivity.

Importantly, there was a strong correlation between the degree of auditory suppression and feedback sensitivity, suggesting suppression might be a key mechanism that underlies speech monitoring. Further, we found that when participants produced speech with simultaneous auditory feedback, posterior STG was selectively activated if participants were engaged in a DAF paradigm, suggesting that increased attentional load can modulate auditory feedback sensitivity.

👇👇 Read the full paper here 👇👇

Ozker et al ELIFE2024
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