Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation.
ABSTRACT: Sensory cortices can be activated without any external stimuli. Yet, it is still unclear how this perceptual reactivation occurs and which neural structures mediate this reconstruction process. In this study, we employed fMRI with mental imagery paradigms to investigate the neural networks involved in perceptual reactivation. Subjects performed two speech imagery tasks: articulation imagery (AI) and hearing imagery (HI). We found that AI induced greater activity in frontal-parietal sensorimotor systems, including sensorimotor cortex, subcentral (BA 43), middle frontal cortex (BA 46) and parietal operculum (PO), whereas HI showed stronger activation in regions that have been implicated in memory retrieval: middle frontal (BA 8), inferior parietal cortex and intraparietal sulcus. Moreover, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG) was activated more in AI compared with HI, suggesting that covert motor processes induced stronger perceptual reactivation in the auditory cortices. These results suggest that motor-to-perceptual transformation and memory retrieval act as two complementary mechanisms to internally reconstruct corresponding perceptual outcomes. These two mechanisms can serve as a neurocomputational foundation for predicting perceptual changes, either via a previously learned relationship between actions and their perceptual consequences or via stored perceptual experiences of stimulus and episodic or contextual regularity.
Project description:Which brain regions contribute to the perceptual awareness of touch remains largely unclear. We collected structural magnetic resonance imaging scans and neurological examination reports of 70 patients with brain injuries or stroke in S1 extending into adjacent parietal, temporal or pre-/frontal regions. We applied voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping to identify brain areas that overlap with an impaired touch perception (i.e., hypoesthesia). As expected, patients with hypoesthesia (n?=?43) presented lesions in all Brodmann areas in S1 on postcentral gyrus (BA 1, 2, 3a, 3b). At the anterior border to BA 3b, we additionally identified motor area BA 4p in association with hypoesthesia, as well as further ventrally the ventral premotor cortex (BA 6, BA 44), assumed to be involved in whole-body perception. At the posterior border to S1, we found hypoesthesia associated effects in attention-related areas such as the inferior parietal lobe and intraparietal sulcus. Downstream to S1, we replicated previously reported lesion-hypoesthesia associations in the parietal operculum and insular cortex (i.e., ventral pathway of somatosensory processing). The present findings extend this pathway from S1 to the insular cortex by prefrontal and posterior parietal areas involved in multisensory integration and attention processes.
Project description:Theories of spatial attentional control have been largely based upon studies of patients suffering from visuospatial neglect, resulting from circumscribed lesions of frontal and posterior parietal cortex. In the intact brain, the control of spatial attention has been related to a distributed frontoparietal attention network. Little is known about the nature of the control mechanisms exerted by this network. Here, we used a novel region-of-interest approach to relate activations of the attention network to recently described topographic areas in frontal cortex [frontal eye field (FEF), PreCC/IFS (precentral cortex/inferior frontal sulcus)] and parietal cortex [intraparietal sulcus areas (IPS1-IPS5) and an area in the superior parietal lobule (SPL1)] to examine their spatial attention signals. We found that attention signals in most topographic areas were spatially specific, with stronger responses when attention was directed to the contralateral than to the ipsilateral visual field. Importantly, two hemispheric asymmetries were found. First, a region in only right, but not left SPL1 carried spatial attention signals. Second, left FEF and left posterior parietal cortex (IPS1/2) generated stronger contralateral biasing signals than their counterparts in the right hemisphere. These findings are the first to characterize spatial attention signals in topographic frontal and parietal cortex and provide a neural basis in support of an interhemispheric competition account of spatial attentional control.
Project description:What enables the mental activities of thinking verbally or humming in our mind? We hypothesized that the interaction between motor and sensory systems induces speech and melodic mental representations, and this motor-to-sensory transformation forms the neural basis that enables our verbal thinking and covert singing. Analogous with the neural entrainment to auditory stimuli, participants imagined singing lyrics of well-known songs rhythmically while their neural electromagnetic signals were recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG). We found that when participants imagined singing the same song in similar durations across trials, the delta frequency band (1-3 Hz, similar to the rhythm of the songs) showed more consistent phase coherence across trials. This neural phase tracking of imagined singing was observed in a frontal-parietal-temporal network: the proposed motor-to-sensory transformation pathway, including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), insula (INS), premotor area, intra-parietal sulcus (IPS), temporal-parietal junction (TPJ), primary auditory cortex (Heschl's gyrus [HG]), and superior temporal gyrus (STG) and sulcus (STS). These results suggest that neural responses can entrain the rhythm of mental activity. Moreover, the theta-band (4-8 Hz) phase coherence was localized in the auditory cortices. The mu (9-12 Hz) and beta (17-20 Hz) bands were observed in the right-lateralized sensorimotor systems that were consistent with the singing context. The gamma band was broadly manifested in the observed network. The coherent and frequency-specific activations in the motor-to-sensory transformation network mediate the internal construction of perceptual representations and form the foundation of neural computations for mental operations.
Project description:The anterior insula has been hypothesized to provide a link between attention-related problem solving and salience systems during the coordination and evaluation of task performance. Here, we test the hypothesis that the anterior insula/medial frontal operculum (aI/fO) provides linkage across systems supporting task demands and attention systems by examining the patterns of functional connectivity during word recognition and spatial attention functional imaging tasks. A shared set of frontal regions (right aI/fO, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, bilateral anterior cingulate) were engaged, regardless of perceptual domain (auditory or visual) or mode of response (word production or button press). We present novel evidence that: (1) the right aI/fO is functionally connected with other frontal regions implicated in executive function and not just brain regions responsive to stimulus salience; and (2) that the aI/fO, but not the ACC, exhibits significantly correlated activity with other brain regions specifically engaged by tasks with varying perceptual and behavioral demands. These results support the hypothesis that the right aI/fO aids in the coordination and evaluation of task performance across behavioral tasks with varying perceptual and response demands.
Project description:The role of the primary visual cortex in visual mental imagery has provided significant debate in the imagery literature. Functional neuroimaging studies show considerable variation depending on task and technique. Patient studies can be difficult to interpret due to the diverse nature of cortical damage. The type of cortical damage in patient SBR is exceedingly rare as it is restricted to the gray matter of the calcarine sulcus. In this study, we show that in spite of his near-complete cortical blindness, SBR exhibits vivid visual mental imagery both behaviorally and when measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The pattern of cortical activation to visual mental imagery in SBR is indistinguishable from individual sighted subjects, in contrast to the visual perceptual responses, which are greatly attenuated.
Project description:Empathy is an essential component of our social lives, allowing us to understand and share other people's affective and sensory states, including pain. Evidence suggests a core neural network-including anterior insula (AI) and mid-cingulate cortex (MCC)-is involved in empathy for pain. However, a similar network is associated to empathy for non-pain affective states, raising the question whether empathy for pain is unique in its neural correlates. Furthermore, it is yet unclear whether neural correlates converge across different stimuli and paradigms that evoke pain-empathy. We performed a coordinate-based activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis to identify neural correlates of empathy, assess commonalities and differences between empathy for pain and for non-pain negative affective states, and differences between pain-empathy evoking stimuli (i.e., facial pain expressions vs. acute pain inflictions) and paradigms (i.e., perceptual/affective vs. cognitive/evaluative paradigms). Following a systematic search, data from 128 functional brain imaging studies presenting whole-brain results of an empathy condition vs. baseline/neutral condition were extracted. Synthesizing neural correlates of empathy confirmed a core network comprising AI, MCC, postcentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobe, thalamus, amygdala, and brainstem. There was considerable overlap in networks for empathy for pain and empathy for non-pain negative affective states. Important differences also arose: empathy for pain uniquely activated bilateral mid-insula and more extensive MCC. Regarding stimuli, painful faces and acute pain inflictions both evoked the core empathy regions, although acute pain inflictions activated additional regions including medial frontal and parietal cortex. Regarding paradigms, both perceptual/affective and cognitive/evaluative paradigms recruited similar neural circuitry, although cognitive/evaluative paradigms activated more left MCC regions while perceptual/affective paradigms activated more right AI. Taken together, our findings reveal that empathy for pain and empathy for non-pain negative affective states share considerable neural correlates, particularly in core empathy regions AI and MCC. Beyond these regions, important differences emerged, limiting generalizability of findings across different affective/sensory states. Within pain-empathy studies, the core regions were recruited robustly irrespective of stimuli or instructions, allowing one to tailor designs according to specific needs to some extent, while ensuring activation of core regions.
Project description:The cortical processing of auditory-alone, visual-alone, and audiovisual speech information is temporally and spatially distributed, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) cannot adequately resolve its temporal dynamics. In order to investigate a hypothesized spatiotemporal organization for audiovisual speech processing circuits, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded using electroencephalography (EEG). Stimuli were congruent audiovisual/ba/, incongruent auditory/ba/synchronized with visual/ga/, auditory-only/ba/, and visual-only/ba/and/ga/. Current density reconstructions (CDRs) of the ERP data were computed across the latency interval of 50-250 ms. The CDRs demonstrated complex spatiotemporal activation patterns that differed across stimulus conditions. The hypothesized circuit that was investigated here comprised initial integration of audiovisual speech by the middle superior temporal sulcus (STS), followed by recruitment of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), followed by activation of Broca's area [Miller, L.M., d'Esposito, M., 2005. Perceptual fusion and stimulus coincidence in the cross-modal integration of speech. Journal of Neuroscience 25, 5884-5893]. The importance of spatiotemporally sensitive measures in evaluating processing pathways was demonstrated. Results showed, strikingly, early (<100 ms) and simultaneous activations in areas of the supramarginal and angular gyrus (SMG/AG), the IPS, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Also, emergent left hemisphere SMG/AG activation, not predicted based on the unisensory stimulus conditions was observed at approximately 160 to 220 ms. The STS was neither the earliest nor most prominent activation site, although it is frequently considered the sine qua non of audiovisual speech integration. As discussed here, the relatively late activity of the SMG/AG solely under audiovisual conditions is a possible candidate audiovisual speech integration response.
Project description:Organisms operate within both a perceptual domain of objects and events, and a mnemonic domain of past experiences and future goals. Each domain requires a deliberate selection of task-relevant information, through deployments of external (perceptual) and internal (mnemonic) attention, respectively. Little is known about the control of attention shifts in working memory, or whether voluntary control of attention in these two domains is subserved by a common or by distinct functional networks. We used human fMRI to examine the neural basis of cognitive control while participants shifted attention in vision and in working memory. We found that these acts of control recruit in common a subset of the dorsal fronto-parietal attentional control network, including the medial superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, and superior frontal sulcus/gyrus. Event-related multivoxel pattern classification reveals, however, that these regions exhibit distinct spatio-temporal patterns of neural activity during internal and external shifts of attention, respectively. These findings constrain theoretical accounts of selection in working memory and perception by showing that populations of neurons in dorsal fronto-parietal network regions exhibit selective tuning for acts of cognitive control in different cognitive domains.
Project description:Three cortical areas (Retro-Splenial Cortex (RSC), Transverse Occipital Sulcus (TOS) and Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA)) respond selectively to scenes. However, their wider role in spatial encoding and their functional connectivity remain unclear. Using fMRI, first we tested the responses of these areas during spatial comparison tasks using dot targets on white noise. Activity increased during task performance in both RSC and TOS, but not in PPA. However, the amplitude of task-driven activity and behavioral measures of task demand were correlated only in RSC. A control experiment showed that none of these areas were activated during a comparable shape comparison task. Secondly, we analyzed functional connectivity of these areas during the resting state. Results revealed a significant connection between RSC and frontal association areas (known to be involved in perceptual decision-making). In contrast, TOS showed functional connections dorsally with the Inferior Parietal Sulcus, and ventrally with the Lateral Occipital Complex--but not with RSC and/or frontal association areas. Moreover, RSC and TOS showed differentiable functional connections with the anterior-medial and posterior-lateral parts of PPA, respectively. These results suggest two parallel pathways for spatial encoding, including RSC and TOS respectively. Only the RSC network was involved in active spatial comparisons.
Project description:The homologues of the two distinct architectonic areas 44 and 45 that constitute the anterior language zone (Broca's region) in the human ventrolateral frontal lobe were recently established in the macaque monkey. Although we know that the inferior parietal lobule and the lateral temporal cortical region project to the ventrolateral frontal cortex, we do not know which of the several cortical areas found in those regions project to the homologues of Broca's region in the macaque monkey and by means of which white matter pathways. We have used the autoradiographic method, which permits the establishment of the cortical area from which axons originate (i.e., the site of injection), the precise course of the axons in the white matter, and their termination within particular cortical areas, to examine the parietal and temporal connections to area 44 and the two subdivisions of area 45 (i.e., areas 45A and 45B). The results demonstrated a ventral temporo-frontal stream of fibers that originate from various auditory, multisensory, and visual association cortical areas in the intermediate superolateral temporal region. These axons course via the extreme capsule and target most strongly area 45 with a more modest termination in area 44. By contrast, a dorsal stream of axons that originate from various cortical areas in the inferior parietal lobule and the adjacent caudal superior temporal sulcus was found to target both areas 44 and 45. These axons course in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, with some axons originating from the ventral inferior parietal lobule and the adjacent superior temporal sulcus arching and forming a simple arcuate fasciculus. The cortex of the most rostral part of the inferior parietal lobule is preferentially linked with the ventral premotor cortex (ventral area 6) that controls the orofacial musculature. The cortex of the intermediate part of the inferior parietal lobule is linked with both areas 44 and 45. These findings demonstrate the posterior parietal and temporal connections of the ventrolateral frontal areas, which, in the left hemisphere of the human brain, were adapted for various aspects of language production. These precursor circuits that are found in the nonlinguistic, nonhuman, primate brain also exist in the human brain. The possible reasons why these areas were adapted for language use in the human brain are discussed. The results throw new light on the prelinguistic precursor circuitry of Broca's region and help understand functional interactions between Broca's ventrolateral frontal region and posterior parietal and temporal association areas.