Neural correlates of vocal production and motor control in human heschl’s gyrus

Roozbeh Behroozmand*, Xhiroyuki Oya, Kirill V. Nourski, Hiroto Kawasaki, Charles R. Larson, John F. Brugge, Matthew A. Howard, Jeremy D.W. Greenlee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The present study investigated how pitch frequency, a perceptually relevant aspect of periodicity in natural human vocalizations, is encoded in Heschl’s gyrus (HG), and how this information may be used to influence vocal pitch motor control. We recorded local field potentials from multicontact depth electrodes implanted in HG of 14 neurosurgical epilepsy patients as they vocalized vowel sounds and received brief (200 ms) pitch perturbations at 100 Cents in their auditory feedback. Event-related band power responses to vocalizations showed sustained frequency following responses that tracked voice fundamental frequency (F0) and were significantly enhanced in posteromedial HG during speaking compared with when subjects listened to the playback of their own voice. In addition to frequency following responses, a transient response component within the high gamma frequency band (75-150 Hz) was identified. When this response followed the onset of vocalization, the magnitude of the response was the same for the speaking and playback conditions. In contrast, when this response followed a pitch shift, its magnitude was significantly enhanced during speaking compared with playback. We also observed that, in anterolateral HG, the power of high gamma responses to pitch shifts correlated with the magnitude of compensatory vocal responses. These findings demonstrate a functional parcellation of HG with neural activity that encodes pitch in natural human voice, distinguishes between self-generated and passively heard vocalizations, detects discrepancies between the intended and heard vocalization, and contains information about the resulting behavioral vocal compensations in response to auditory feedback pitch perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2302-2315
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016


  • Auditory feedback
  • Ecog
  • Pitch perturbation
  • Sensory-motor integration
  • Vocal production
  • Voice motor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural correlates of vocal production and motor control in human heschl’s gyrus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this