Distributed feedforward and feedback cortical processing supports human speech production

Ran Wang, Xupeng Chen, Amirhossein Khalilian-Gourtani, Leyao Yu, Patricia Dugan, Daniel Friedman, Werner Doyle, Orrin Devinsky, Yao Wang, Adeen Flinker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Speech production is a complex human function requiring continuous feedforward commands together with reafferent feedback processing. These processes are carried out by distinct frontal and temporal cortical networks, but the degree and timing of their recruitment and dynamics remain poorly understood. We present a deep learning architecture that translates neural signals recorded directly from the cortex to an interpretable representational space that can reconstruct speech. We leverage learned decoding networks to disentangle feedforward vs. feedback processing. Unlike prevailing models, we find a mixed cortical architecture in which frontal and temporal networks each process both feedforward and feedback information in tandem. We elucidate the timing of feedforward and feedback–related processing by quantifying the derived receptive fields. Our approach provides evidence for a surprisingly mixed cortical architecture of speech circuitry together with decoding advances that have important implications for neural prosthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2300255120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2023


  • auditory feedback
  • brain computer interface
  • electrocorticography
  • speech motor control
  • speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Distributed feedforward and feedback cortical processing supports human speech production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this