Examining cortical tracking of the speech envelope in post-stroke aphasia

Yina M. Quique, G. Nike Gnanateja*, Michael Walsh Dickey, William S. Evans, Bharath Chandrasekaran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: People with aphasia have been shown to benefit from rhythmic elements for language production during aphasia rehabilitation. However, it is unknown whether rhythmic processing is associated with such benefits. Cortical tracking of the speech envelope (CTenv) may provide a measure of encoding of speech rhythmic properties and serve as a predictor of candidacy for rhythm-based aphasia interventions. Methods: Electroencephalography was used to capture electrophysiological responses while Spanish speakers with aphasia (n = 9) listened to a continuous speech narrative (audiobook). The Temporal Response Function was used to estimate CTenv in the delta (associated with word- and phrase-level properties), theta (syllable-level properties), and alpha bands (attention-related properties). CTenv estimates were used to predict aphasia severity, performance in rhythmic perception and production tasks, and treatment response in a sentence-level rhythm-based intervention. Results: CTenv in delta and theta, but not alpha, predicted aphasia severity. Neither CTenv in delta, alpha, or theta bands predicted performance in rhythmic perception or production tasks. Some evidence supported that CTenv in theta could predict sentence-level learning in aphasia, but alpha and delta did not. Conclusion: CTenv of the syllable-level properties was relatively preserved in individuals with less language impairment. In contrast, higher encoding of word- and phrase-level properties was relatively impaired and was predictive of more severe language impairments. CTenv and treatment response to sentence-level rhythm-based interventions need to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1122480
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2023


  • EEG
  • Spanish
  • aphasia (language)
  • cortical tracking of speech
  • rhythm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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