Presentation by Dr. Vincent Gracco
Some observations on the neural control of speech production, speech perception and their interaction
Abstract: A long-standing issue in psycholinguistics is whether language production and language comprehension share a common neural substrate. With the discovery of the mirror neuron system an apparent neurobiological basis for production-perception overlap was identified and since then neuroimaging evidence has been accumulating demonstrating that overlapping brain areas are activated for both speech production and speech perception. However, what is not known is how to interpret the perceptual activation of motor regions. Studies from our group have focused on the behavioral and neural characteristics of the perception-production overlap in an attempt to provide a better understanding of the neural network that is the basis for speech processing in order to appropriately interpret the perception-production link. These results will be summarized, and their functional significance will be discussed.
Bio: Dr. Gracco is the Director of the multidisciplinary Centre for Research on Language, Mind and Brain at McGill. His research focuses on the processes of speech production and perception using multiple neuroimaging (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Electroencephalography and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and physiological (speech movement tracking, auditory and mechanical perturbation and electromyography) techniques. Current research areas focus on the brain processes for spoken language, the sensorimotor mechanisms of speech, and neural control and sensorimotor mechanisms in stuttering.