Mu-rhythm in the brain: The neural mechanism of speech as an audio-vocal perception-action system

Mu-rhythm in the brain: The neural mechanism of speech as an audio-vocal perception-action system

The cortical mechanisms governing speech are not well understood because it is extremely challenging to measure the activity of the brain in action, that is, during speech production. Researchers in Japan have found modulation of mu-rhythms in the cortex related to speech production.

Speech production is one of the most important components in human communication. However, the cortical mechanisms governing speech are not well understood because it is extremely challenging to measure the activity of the brain in action, that is, during speech production.

Now, Takeshi Tamura and Michiteru Kitazaki at Toyohashi University of Technology, Atsuko Gunji and her colleagues at National Institute of Mental Health, Hiroshige Takeichi at RIKEN, and Hiroaki Shigemasu at Kochi University of Technology have found modulation of mu-rhythms in the cortex related to speech production.

Mu-rhythm in the brain: The neural mechanism of speech as an audio-vocal perception-action system
Credit: Michiteru Kitazaki

The researchers measured EEG (electroencephalogram) with pre-amplified electrodes during simulated , simulated vocalization with delayed auditory feedback, simulated vocalization under loud noise, and . The authors define 'mu-rhythm' as a decrease of power in 8-16Hz EEG during the task period.

The mu-rhythm at the sensory-motor cortical area was not only observed under all simulated vocalization conditions, but was also found to be boosted by the delayed feedback and attenuated by loud noises. Since these auditory interferences influence speech production, it supports the premise that audio-vocal monitoring systems play an important role in speech production. The motor-related mu-rhythm is a critical index to clarify of as an audio-vocal perception-action system.

In the future, a neurofeedback method based on monitoring mu-rhythm at the sensory- may facilitate rehabilitation of speech-related deficits.

Provided by Toyohashi University of Technology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zeroing in on the brain's speech 'receiver'

Jun 20, 2007

A particular resonance pattern in the brain’s auditory processing region appears to be key to its ability to discriminate speech, researchers have found. They found that the inherent rhythm of neural activity called “theta ...

The auditory cortex adapts agilely with concentration

May 24, 2012

The birth of sensory perception on the human cerebral cortex is yet to be fully explained. The different areas on the cortex function in cooperation, and no perception is the outcome of only one area working alone. In his ...

Recommended for you

Researchers unlock mystery of skin's sensory abilities

5 hours ago

Humans' ability to detect the direction of movement of stimuli in their sensory world is critical to survival. Much of this stimuli detection comes from sight and sound, but little is known about how the ...

Tackling neurotransmission precision

Dec 18, 2014

Behind all motor, sensory and memory functions, calcium ions are in the brain, making those functions possible. Yet neuroscientists do not entirely understand how fast calcium ions reach their targets inside ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.