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Secrets of human speech uncovered

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Geplaatst op 02 maart 2013 - 13:55

Secrets of human speech uncovered

How the brain exerts symphony-like control of the vocal tract during the act of speaking
Geplaatste afbeelding
Top: vocal tract schematics for three consonants (/b/, /d/, /g/), produced by occlusion at the lips, tongue tip, and tongue body, respectively (red arrow). Bottom: corresponding spectrograms (frequency vs. time). (Credit: Kristofer E. Bouchard et al./Nature)

A team of researchers at UC San Francisco has uncovered the neurological basis of speech motor control, the complex coordinated activity of tiny brain regions that controls our lips, jaw, tongue and larynx as we speak.

The work has potential implications for developing brain-computer interfaces for artificial speech communication and for the treatment of speech disorders. It also sheds light on this ability, which is unique to humans among living creatures but poorly understood.

“Speaking is probably the most complex motor activity we do,” said senior author Edward Chang, MD, a neurosurgeon at the UCSF Epilepsy Center and a faculty member in the UCSF Center for Integrative Neuroscience.

That’s because spoken words require the coordinated efforts of numerous “articulators” in the vocal tract — the lips, tongue, jaw and larynx — but scientists have not understood how the movements of these distinct articulators are precisely coordinated in the brain.

The speech sensorimotor cortex
Geplaatste afbeelding

Timing of correlations between cortical activity and consonant and vowel
articulator features (credit: Kristofer E. Bouchard et al./Nature)


Lees hier het volledige artikel.
A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.
I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand -Confucius-

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