Cortical speech processing unplugged: a timely subcortico-cortical framework

Trends Cogn Sci. 2010 Sep;14(9):392-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.06.005. Epub 2010 Jul 23.


Speech is inherently tied to time. This fundamental quality has long been deemed secondary, and has consequently not received appropriate recognition in speech processing models. We develop an integrative speech processing framework by synthesizing evolutionary, anatomical and neurofunctional concepts of auditory, temporal and speech processing. These processes converge in a network that extends cortical speech processing systems with cortical and subcortical systems associated with motor control. This subcortico-cortical multifunctional network is based on temporal processing and predictive coding of events to optimize interactions between the organism and the environment. The framework we outline provides a novel perspective on speech processing and has implications for future studies on learning, proficient use, and developmental and acquired disorders of speech production and perception.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebrum / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Speech / physiology*