In order to delineate the neuroanatomical correlates of speech motor control, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed during silent repetitions of the syllable "ta" at three different rates (2.5, 4.0, and 5.5 Hz). Spatial extent and magnitude of hemodynamic responses at the level of the motor cortex showed a positive correlation to production frequencies. As concerns the basal ganglia, the lower rates (2.5 and 4.0 Hz) gave rise to higher magnitudes of activation within the left putamen as compared to the 5.5 Hz condition. In contrast, cerebellar responses were rather restricted to fast performance (4.0 and 5.5 Hz) and exhibited a shift in caudal direction during 5.5 as compared to 4.0 Hz. These findings corroborate the suggestion of a differential impact of various cortical and subcortical areas on speech motor control.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.