There is great interest in identifying the neurophysiological underpinnings of speech production. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is unique in that it allows intracranial recordings from both cortical and subcortical regions in patients who are awake and speaking. The quality of these recordings, however, may be affected to various degrees by mechanical forces resulting from speech itself. Here we describe the presence of speech-induced artifacts in local-field potential (LFP) recordings obtained from mapping electrodes, DBS leads, and cortical electrodes. In addition to expected physiological increases in high gamma (60-200 Hz) activity during speech production, time-frequency analysis in many channels revealed a narrowband gamma component that exhibited a pattern similar to that observed in the speech audio spectrogram. This component was present to different degrees in multiple types of neural recordings. We show that this component tracks the fundamental frequency of the participant's voice, correlates with the power spectrum of speech and has coherence with the produced speech audio. A vibration sensor attached to the stereotactic frame recorded speech-induced vibrations with the same pattern observed in the LFPs. No corresponding component was identified in any neural channel during the listening epoch of a syllable repetition task. These observations demonstrate how speech-induced vibrations can create artifacts in the primary frequency band of interest. Identifying and accounting for these artifacts is crucial for establishing the validity and reproducibility of speech-related data obtained from intracranial recordings during DBS surgery.
Keywords: Artifact; Deep brain stimulation; Electrocorticography; High gamma; Intracranial recordings; Intraoperative research; Local field potentials; Speech.
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