Journal Article

Evidence for Cerebellar Contributions to Adaptive Plasticity in Speech Perception

Sara Guediche, Lori L. Holt, Patryk Laurent, Sung-Joo Lim and Julie A. Fiez

in Cerebral Cortex

Volume 25, issue 7, pages 1867-1877
Published in print July 2015 | ISSN: 1047-3211
Published online January 2014 | e-ISSN: 1460-2199 | DOI:
Evidence for Cerebellar Contributions to Adaptive Plasticity in Speech Perception

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  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience


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Human speech perception rapidly adapts to maintain comprehension under adverse listening conditions. For example, with exposure listeners can adapt to heavily accented speech produced by a non-native speaker. Outside the domain of speech perception, adaptive changes in sensory and motor processing have been attributed to cerebellar functions. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigates whether adaptation in speech perception also involves the cerebellum. Acoustic stimuli were distorted using a vocoding plus spectral-shift manipulation and presented in a word recognition task. Regions in the cerebellum that showed differences before versus after adaptation were identified, and the relationship between activity during adaptation and subsequent behavioral improvements was examined. These analyses implicated the right Crus I region of the cerebellum in adaptive changes in speech perception. A functional correlation analysis with the right Crus I as a seed region probed for cerebral cortical regions with covarying hemodynamic responses during the adaptation period. The results provided evidence of a functional network between the cerebellum and language-related regions in the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex. Consistent with known cerebellar contributions to sensorimotor adaptation, cerebro-cerebellar interactions may support supervised learning mechanisms that rely on sensory prediction error signals in speech perception.

Keywords: adaptation; cerebellum; fMRI; perceptual learning; supervised learning

Journal Article.  9181 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Clinical Neuroscience ; Neuroscience

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