Activity associated with speech articulation measured through direct cortical recordings

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The insula has been credited with a role in a number of functions, including speech production. Here, we recorded electrocorticography (ECoG) signals from the left insula during pseudoword articulation in two patients undergoing pre-surgical monitoring for the management of medically-intractable epilepsy. Event-related band power (ERBP) activity from electrodes implanted in the superior precentral gyrus of the insula (SPGI) was compared to that of other left hemisphere regions implicated in speech production. Results showed that SPGI contacts demonstrated significantly greater ERBP within the high-gamma frequency range (75–150 Hz) during articulation compared to a listening condition. However, frontal and post-central regions demonstrated significantly greater responses to the articulation task compared to the SPGI. Results suggest the SPGI is active during articulation, but frontal and post-central regions demonstrate significantly more robust responses. Given the small sample size, and number of electrodes implanted in the SPGI, further study is warranted to confirm these findings.

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