Neuroscientists Find Multiple Brain Regions Control Speech, Challenging Common Assumption
[Source: Science Daily]
Neurobiologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine give new meaning to the term “motor mouth” in a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. By carefully mapping neural networks in marmoset and macaque monkeys, they determined that multiple areas in the brain’s frontal lobe control the muscles of vocalization and could provide a foundation for complex speech.
The findings — which could lead to a better understanding of speech disorders — refute a long-existing presumption that only the primary motor cortex, nicknamed M1, directly influences the larynx or voice box, said principal investigator Peter L. Strick, Ph.D., Thomas Detre Professor and chair of neurobiology at Pitt. Instead, several cortical regions send signals to laryngeal muscles to create greater vocal finesse in some nonhuman primates.
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