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Open Access Research article

Speech target modulates speaking induced suppression in auditory cortex

Maria I Ventura1, Srikantan S Nagarajan1 and John F Houde2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

2 Department of Otolaryngology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

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BMC Neuroscience 2009, 10:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-58

Published: 13 June 2009



Previous magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies have demonstrated speaking-induced suppression (SIS) in the auditory cortex during vocalization tasks wherein the M100 response to a subject's own speaking is reduced compared to the response when they hear playback of their speech.


The present MEG study investigated the effects of utterance rapidity and complexity on SIS: The greatest difference between speak and listen M100 amplitudes (i.e., most SIS) was found in the simple speech task. As the utterances became more rapid and complex, SIS was significantly reduced (p = 0.0003).


These findings are highly consistent with our model of how auditory feedback is processed during speaking, where incoming feedback is compared with an efference-copy derived prediction of expected feedback. Thus, the results provide further insights about how speech motor output is controlled, as well as the computational role of auditory cortex in transforming auditory feedback.