Sensorimotor integration in speech processing: computational basis and neural organization

Neuron. 2011 Feb 10;69(3):407-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.01.019.


Sensorimotor integration is an active domain of speech research and is characterized by two main ideas, that the auditory system is critically involved in speech production and that the motor system is critically involved in speech perception. Despite the complementarity of these ideas, there is little crosstalk between these literatures. We propose an integrative model of the speech-related "dorsal stream" in which sensorimotor interaction primarily supports speech production, in the form of a state feedback control architecture. A critical component of this control system is forward sensory prediction, which affords a natural mechanism for limited motor influence on perception, as recent perceptual research has suggested. Evidence shows that this influence is modulatory but not necessary for speech perception. The neuroanatomy of the proposed circuit is discussed as well as some probable clinical correlates including conduction aphasia, stuttering, and aspects of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Speech Perception / physiology*