Modulation of vocal pitch is a key speech feature that conveys important linguistic and affective information. Auditory feedback is used to monitor and maintain pitch. We examined induced neural high gamma power (HGP) (65-150 Hz) using magnetoencephalography during pitch feedback control. Participants phonated into a microphone while hearing their auditory feedback through headphones. During each phonation, a single real-time 400 ms pitch shift was applied to the auditory feedback. Participants compensated by rapidly changing their pitch to oppose the pitch shifts. This behavioral change required coordination of the neural speech motor control network, including integration of auditory and somatosensory feedback to initiate change in motor plans. We found increases in HGP across both hemispheres within 200 ms of pitch shifts, covering left sensory and right premotor, parietal, temporal, and frontal regions, involved in sensory detection and processing of the pitch shift. Later responses to pitch shifts (200-300 ms) were right dominant, in parietal, frontal, and temporal regions. Timing of activity in these regions indicates their role in coordinating motor change and detecting and processing of the sensory consequences of this change. Subtracting out cortical responses during passive listening to recordings of the phonations isolated HGP increases specific to speech production, highlighting right parietal and premotor cortex, and left posterior temporal cortex involvement in the motor response. Correlation of HGP with behavioral compensation demonstrated right frontal region involvement in modulating participant's compensatory response. This study highlights the bihemispheric sensorimotor cortical network involvement in auditory feedback-based control of vocal pitch.
Keywords: functional neuroimaging; magnetoencephalography; phonation; sensorimotor cortex; sensory-motor performance; speech.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.