An interactive model of auditory-motor speech perception

Brain Lang. 2018 Dec:187:33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2017.12.004. Epub 2017 Dec 18.


Mounting evidence indicates a role in perceptual decoding of speech for the dorsal auditory stream connecting between temporal auditory and frontal-parietal articulatory areas. The activation time course in auditory, somatosensory and motor regions during speech processing is seldom taken into account in models of speech perception. We critically review the literature with a focus on temporal information, and contrast between three alternative models of auditory-motor speech processing: parallel, hierarchical, and interactive. We argue that electrophysiological and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies support the interactive model. The findings reveal that auditory and somatomotor areas are engaged almost simultaneously, before 100 ms. There is also evidence of early interactions between auditory and motor areas. We propose a new interactive model of auditory-motor speech perception in which auditory and articulatory somatomotor areas are connected from early stages of speech processing. We also discuss how attention and other factors can affect the timing and strength of auditory-motor interactions and propose directions for future research.

Keywords: ECoG; EEG; Intracranial; MEG; Sensorimotor; Speech; TMS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Connectome
  • Humans
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Speech Perception*