Conductor of Speech Uncovered in the Brain, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Study
Published: Feb 22, 2013
Like the musicians in an orchestra, our lips, tongue and vocal cords coordinate with one another to pronounce sounds in speech. A map of the brain regions that conduct the process shows how each is carefully controlled – and how mistakes can slip into our speech. It's long been thought that the brain coordinates our speech by simultaneously controlling the movement of these "articulators". In the 1860s, Alexander Melville Bell proposed that speech could be broken down in this way and designed a writing system for deaf people based on the principle. But brain imaging had not had the resolution to see how neurons control these movements – until now.