Functional Segregation of Cortical Regions Underlying Speech Timing and Articulation

Michael A. Long, Kalman A. Katlowitz, Mario A. Svirsky, Rachel C. Clary, Tara Mc Allister Byun, Najib Majaj, Hiroyuki Oya, Matthew A. Howard, Jeremy D.W. Greenlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spoken language is a central part of our everyday lives, but the precise roles that individual cortical regions play in the production of speech are often poorly understood. To address this issue, we focally lowered the temperature of distinct cortical regions in awake neurosurgical patients, and we relate this perturbation to changes in produced speech sequences. Using this method, we confirm that speech is highly lateralized, with the vast majority of behavioral effects seen on the left hemisphere. We then use this approach to demonstrate a clear functional dissociation between nearby cortical speech sites. Focal cooling of pars triangularis/pars opercularis (Broca's region) and the ventral portion of the precentral gyrus (speech motor cortex) resulted in the manipulation of speech timing and articulation, respectively. Our results support a class of models that have proposed distinct processing centers underlying motor sequencing and execution for speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1193
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 16 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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