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Department of Psychology


Background: Recent research has addressed the suppression of cortical sensory responses to altered auditory feedback that occurs at utterance onset regarding speech. However, there is reason to assume that the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor processing at mid-utterance are different than those involved in sensorimotor control at utterance onset. The present study attempted to examine the dynamics of event-related potentials (ERPs) to different acoustic versions of auditory feedback at mid-utterance.

Methodology/Principal findings: Subjects produced a vowel sound while hearing their pitch-shifted voice (100 cents), a sum of their vocalization and pure tones, or a sum of their vocalization and white noise at mid-utterance via headphones. Subjects also passively listened to playback of what they heard during active vocalization. Cortical ERPs were recorded in response to different acoustic versions of feedback changes during both active vocalization and passive listening. The results showed that, relative to passive listening, active vocalization yielded enhanced P2 responses to the 100 cents pitch shifts, whereas suppression effects of P2 responses were observed when voice auditory feedback was distorted by pure tones or white noise.

Conclusion/Significance: The present findings, for the first time, demonstrate a dynamic modulation of cortical activity as a function of the quality of acoustic feedback at mid-utterance, suggesting that auditory cortical responses can be enhanced or suppressed to distinguish self-produced speech from externally-produced sounds.


Copyright © 2013 the authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons 4.0 International licence.