Whole-Brain Network Connectivity Underlying the Human Speech Articulation as Emerged Integrating Direct Electric Stimulation, Resting State fMRI and Tractography.
ABSTRACT: Production of fluent speech in humans is based on a precise and coordinated articulation of sounds. A speech articulation network (SAN) has been observed in multiple brain studies typically using either neuroimaging or direct electrical stimulation (DES), thus giving limited knowledge about the whole brain structural and functional organization of this network. In this study, seven right-handed patients underwent awake surgery resection of low-grade gliomas (4) and cavernous angiomas. We combined pre-surgical resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI) and diffusion MRI together with speech arrest sites obtained intra-operatively with DES to address the following goals: (i) determine the cortical areas contributing to the intrinsic functional SAN using the speech arrest sites as functional seeds for rs-fMRI; (ii) evaluate the relative contribution of gray matter terminations from the two major language dorsal stream bundles, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF III) and the arcuate fasciculus (AF); and (iii) evaluate the possible pre-surgical prediction of SAN with rs-fMRI. In all these right-handed patients the intrinsic functional SAN included frontal, inferior parietal, temporal, and insular regions symmetrically and bilaterally distributed across the two hemispheres regardless of the side (four right) of speech arrest evocation. The SLF III provided a much higher density of terminations in the cortical regions of SAN in respect to AF. Pre-surgical rs-fMRI data demonstrated moderate ability to predict the SAN. The set of functional and structural data provided in this multimodal study characterized, at a whole-brain level, a distributed and bi-hemispherical network subserving speech articulation.
Project description:Despite a better understanding of brain language organization into large-scale cortical networks, the underlying white matter (WM) connectivity is still not mastered. Here we combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking (FT) and language functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in twenty healthy subjects to gain new insights into the macroscopic structural connectivity of language. Eight putative WM fascicles for language were probed using a deterministic DTI-FT technique: the arcuate fascicle (AF), superior longitudinal fascicle (SLF), uncinate fascicle (UF), temporo-occipital fascicle, inferior fronto-occipital fascicle (IFOF), middle longitudinal fascicle (MdLF), frontal aslant fascicle and operculopremotor fascicle. Specific measurements (i.e. volume, length, fractional anisotropy) and precise cortical terminations were derived for each WM fascicle within both hemispheres. Connections between these WM fascicles and fMRI activations were studied to determine which WM fascicles are related to language. WM fascicle volumes showed asymmetries: leftward for the AF, temporoparietal segment of SLF and UF, and rightward for the frontoparietal segment of the SLF. The lateralization of the AF, IFOF and MdLF extended to differences in patterns of anatomical connections, which may relate to specific hemispheric abilities. The leftward asymmetry of the AF was correlated to the leftward asymmetry of fMRI activations, suggesting that the lateralization of the AF is a structural substrate of hemispheric language dominance. We found consistent connections between fMRI activations and terminations of the eight WM fascicles, providing a detailed description of the language connectome. WM fascicle terminations were also observed beyond fMRI-confirmed language areas and reached numerous cortical areas involved in different functional brain networks. These findings suggest that the reported WM fascicles are not exclusively involved in language and might be related to other cognitive functions such as visual recognition, spatial attention, executive functions, memory, and processing of emotional and behavioral aspects.
Project description:Crossed aphasia has been reported mainly as post-stroke aphasia resulting from brain damage ipsilateral to the dominant right hand. Here, we described a case of a crossed nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA), who developed a corticobasal syndrome (CBS). We collected clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging data for four consecutive years from a 55-year-old right-handed lady (JV) presenting with speech disturbances. 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG PET) and DaT-scan with (123)I-Ioflupane were obtained. Functional MRI (fMRI) during a verb naming task was acquired to characterize patterns of language lateralization. Diffusion tensor MRI was used to evaluate white matter damage within the language network. At onset, JV presented with prominent speech output impairment and right frontal atrophy. After 3 years, language deficits worsened, with the occurrence of a mild agrammatism. The patient also developed a left-sided mild extrapyramidal bradykinetic-rigid syndrome. The clinical picture was suggestive of nfvPPA with mild left-sided extrapyramidal syndrome. At this time, voxel-wise SPM analyses of (18)F-FDG PET and structural MRI showed right greater than left frontal hypometabolism and damage, which included the Broca's area. DaT-scan showed a reduced uptake in the right striatum. FMRI during naming task demonstrated bilateral language activations, and tractography showed right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) involvement. Over the following year, JV became mute and developed frank left-sided motor signs and symptoms, evolving into a CBS clinical picture. Brain atrophy worsened in frontal areas bilaterally, and extended to temporo-parietal regions, still with a right-sided asymmetry. Tractography showed an extension of damage to the left SLF and right inferior longitudinal fasciculus. We report a case of crossed nfvPPA followed longitudinally and studied with advanced neuroimaging techniques. The results highlight a complex interaction between individual premorbid developmental differences and the clinical phenotype.
Project description:In preoperative planning for neurosurgery, both anatomical (diffusion imaging tractography) and functional tools (MR-navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation) are increasingly used to identify and preserve eloquent language structures specific to individuals. Using these tools in healthy adults shows that speech production errors occur mainly in perisylvian cortical sites that correspond to subject-specific terminations of the major language pathway, the arcuate fasciculus. It is not clear whether this correspondence remains in oncological patients with altered tissue. We studied a heterogeneous cohort of 30 patients (fourteen male, mean age 44), undergoing a first or second surgery for a left hemisphere brain tumour in a language-eloquent region, to test whether speech production errors induced by preoperative transcranial magnetic stimulation had consistent anatomical correspondence to the arcuate fasciculus. We used navigated repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation during picture naming and recorded different perisylvian sites where transient interference to speech production occurred. Spherical deconvolution diffusion imaging tractography was performed to map the direct fronto-temporal and indirect (fronto-parietal and parieto-temporal) segments of the arcuate fasciculus in each patient. Speech production errors were reported in all patients when stimulating the frontal lobe, and in over 90% of patients in the parietal lobe. Errors were less frequent in the temporal lobe (54%). In all patients, at least one error site corresponded to a termination of the arcuate fasciculus, particularly in the frontal and parietal lobes, despite distorted anatomy due to a lesion and/or previous resection. Our results indicate that there is strong correspondence between terminations of the arcuate fasciculus and speech errors. This indicates that white matter anatomy may be a robust marker for identifying functionally eloquent cortex, particularly in the frontal and parietal lobe. This knowledge may improve targets for preoperative mapping of language in the neurosurgical setting.
Project description:Experimental data on monkeys and functional studies in humans support the existence of a complex fronto-parietal system activating for cognitive and motor tasks, which may be anatomically supported by the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). Advanced tractography methods have recently allowed the separation of the three branches of the SLF but are not suitable for their functional investigation. In order to gather comprehensive information about the functional organisation of these fronto-parietal connections, we used an innovative method, which combined tractography of the SLF in the largest dataset so far (129 participants) with 14 meta-analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. We found that frontal and parietal functions can be clustered into a dorsal spatial/motor network associated with the SLF I, and a ventral non-spatial/motor network associated with the SLF III. Further, all the investigated functions activated a middle network mostly associated with the SLF II. Our findings suggest that dorsal and ventral fronto-parietal networks are segregated but also share regions of activation, which may support flexible response properties or conscious processing. In sum, our novel combined approach provided novel findings on the functional organisation of fronto-parietal networks, and may be successfully applied to other brain connections.
Project description:Despite language disabilities in autism, music abilities are frequently preserved. Paradoxically, brain regions associated with these functions typically overlap, enabling investigation of neural organization supporting speech and song in autism. Neural systems sensitive to speech and song were compared in low-functioning autistic and age-matched control children using passive auditory stimulation during functional magnetic resonance and diffusion tensor imaging. Activation in left inferior frontal gyrus was reduced in autistic children relative to controls during speech stimulation, but was greater than controls during song stimulation. Functional connectivity for song relative to speech was also increased between left inferior frontal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus in autism, and large-scale connectivity showed increased frontal-posterior connections. Although fractional anisotropy of the left arcuate fasciculus was decreased in autistic children relative to controls, structural terminations of the arcuate fasciculus in inferior frontal gyrus were indistinguishable between autistic and control groups. Fractional anisotropy correlated with activity in left inferior frontal gyrus for both speech and song conditions. Together, these findings indicate that in autism, functional systems that process speech and song were more effectively engaged for song than for speech and projections of structural pathways associated with these functions were not distinguishable from controls.
Project description:Stroke is a leading cause of motor disability. Acupuncture is an effective therapeutic strategy for poststroke motor impairment. However, its mechanism is still elusive. Twenty-two stroke patients having a right-hemispheric subcortical infarct and 22 matched healthy controls were recruited to undergo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning. The resting-state fMRI was implemented before and after needling at GB34 (Yanglingquan). The stroke patients presented a substantially reduced fractional anisotropy value in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), corticospinal tract, and corpus callosum. The structural integrity of the frontoparietal part of the SLF (SLF-FP) correlated with the motor scores of lower limbs in stroke patients. This corticocortical association bundle originated from the premotor cortex (PM) and the adjacent supplementary motor area (SMA), known as secondary motor areas, and terminated in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG). After acupuncture intervention, the corresponding functional connectivity between the PM/SMA and SMG was enhanced in stroke patients compared with healthy controls. These findings suggested that the integrity of the SLF is a potential neuroimaging biomarker for motor disability of lower limbs following a stroke. Acupuncture could increase the communication between the cortices connected by the impaired white matter tracts, implying the neural mechanism underlying the acupuncture intervention.
Project description:The ability to recognize one's own reflection is shared by humans and only a few other species, including chimpanzees. However, this ability is highly variable across individual chimpanzees. In humans, self-recognition involves a distributed, right-lateralized network including frontal and parietal regions involved in the production and perception of action. The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) is a system of white matter tracts linking these frontal and parietal regions. The current study measured mirror self-recognition (MSR) and SLF anatomy in 60 chimpanzees using diffusion tensor imaging. Successful self-recognition was associated with greater rightward asymmetry in the white matter of SLFII and SLFIII, and in SLFIII's gray matter terminations in Broca's area. We observed a visible progression of SLFIII's prefrontal extension in apes that show negative, ambiguous, and compelling evidence of MSR. Notably, SLFIII's terminations in Broca's area are not right-lateralized or particularly pronounced at the population level in chimpanzees, as they are in humans. Thus, chimpanzees with more human-like behavior show more human-like SLFIII connectivity. These results suggest that self-recognition may have co-emerged with adaptations to frontoparietal circuitry.
Project description:Previous studies have suggested that patients' potential for poststroke language recovery is related to lesion size; however, lesion location may also be of importance, particularly when fiber tracts that are critical to the sensorimotor mapping of sounds for articulation (eg, the arcuate fasciculus) have been damaged. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that lesion loads of the arcuate fasciculus (ie, volume of arcuate fasciculus that is affected by a patient's lesion) and of 2 other tracts involved in language processing (the extreme capsule and the uncinate fasciculus) are inversely related to the severity of speech production impairments in patients with stroke with aphasia.Thirty patients with chronic stroke with residual impairments in speech production underwent high-resolution anatomic MRI and a battery of cognitive and language tests. Impairment was assessed using 3 functional measures of spontaneous speech (eg, rate, informativeness, and overall efficiency) as well as naming ability. To quantitatively analyze the relationship between impairment scores and lesion load along the 3 fiber tracts, we calculated tract-lesion overlap volumes for each patient using probabilistic maps of the tracts derived from diffusion tensor images of 10 age-matched healthy subjects.Regression analyses showed that arcuate fasciculus lesion load, but not extreme capsule or uncinate fasciculus lesion load or overall lesion size, significantly predicted rate, informativeness, and overall efficiency of speech as well as naming ability.A new variable, arcuate fasciculus lesion load, complements established voxel-based lesion mapping techniques and, in the future, may potentially be used to estimate impairment and recovery potential after stroke and refine inclusion criteria for experimental rehabilitation programs.
Project description:Speech articulation requires precise control of and coordination between the effectors of the vocal tract (e.g., lips, tongue, soft palate, and larynx). However, it is unclear how the cortex represents movements of and contact between these effectors during speech, or how these cortical responses relate to inter-regional anatomical borders. Here, we used phase-encoded fMRI to map somatomotor representations of speech articulations. Phonetically trained participants produced speech phones, progressing from front (bilabial) to back (glottal) place of articulation. Maps of cortical myelin proxies (R1 = 1/T1) further allowed us to situate functional maps with respect to anatomical borders of motor and somatosensory regions. Across participants, we found a consistent topological map of place of articulation, spanning the central sulcus and primary motor and somatosensory areas, that moved from lateral to inferior as place of articulation progressed from front to back. Phones produced at velar and glottal places of articulation activated the inferior aspect of the central sulcus, but with considerable across-subject variability. R1 maps for a subset of participants revealed that articulator maps extended posteriorly into secondary somatosensory regions. These results show consistent topological organization of cortical representations of the vocal apparatus in the context of speech behavior.
Project description:Three major white matter pathways connect the posterior temporal region and the adjacent inferior parietal lobule with the lateral frontal cortex: the arcuate fasciculus (AF), and the second and third branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF II and SLF III). These pathways are found also in nonhuman primate brains where they play specific roles in auditory and spatial processing. The precise origin, course, and termination of these pathways has been examined in invasive tract tracing studies in macaque monkeys. Here we use this prior knowledge to improve dissections of these pathways in vivo in the human brain using diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tractography. In this study, the AF, originating from the posterior temporal cortex, has been successfully separated from the SLF II and SLF III tracts originating from the angular and supramarginal gyri of the inferior parietal lobule, respectively. The latter two pathways, i.e. SLF II and SLF III, have also been clearly separated from each other. Furthermore, we report for the first time in the human brain the dorsal branch of the AF that targets the posterior dorsolateral frontal region. These improved dissection protocols provide a solid basis for exploring the respective functional roles of these major fasciculi.