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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropsychologia, 166, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.108135

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Speech motor facilitation is not affected by ageing but is modulated by task demands during speech perception

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Article number108135
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/02/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Neuropsychologia
Volume166
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/12/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Motor areas for speech production activate during speech perception. Such activation may assist speech perception in challenging listening conditions. It is not known how ageing affects the recruitment of articulatory motor cortex during active speech perception. This study aimed to determine the effect of ageing on recruitment of speech motor cortex during speech perception.

Single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied to the lip area of left primary motor cortex (M1) to elicit lip Motor Evoked Potentials (MEPs). The M1 hand area was tested as a control site. TMS was applied whilst participants perceived syllables presented with noise (−10, 0, +10 dB SNRs) and without noise (clear). Participants detected and counted syllables throughout MEP recording. Twenty younger adult subjects (aged 18–25) and twenty older adult subjects (aged 65–80) participated in this study.

Results indicated a significant interaction between age and noise condition in the syllable task. Specifically, older adults significantly misidentified syllables in the 0 dB SNR condition, and missed the syllables in the −10 dB SNR condition, relative to the clear condition. There were no differences between conditions for younger adults. There was a significant main effect of noise level on lip MEPs. Lip MEPs were unexpectedly inhibited in the 0 dB SNR condition relative to clear condition. There was no interaction between age group and noise condition. There was no main effect of noise or age group on control hand MEPs. These data suggest that speech-induced facilitation in articulatory motor cortex is abolished when performing a challenging secondary task, irrespective of age.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropsychologia, 166, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.108135