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Open AccessArticle

The Brain Differentially Prepares Inner and Overt Speech Production: Electrophysiological and Vascular Evidence

1
Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, Leipzig University, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
2
Leipzig Research Center for Early Child Development, Leipzig University, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
3
ICONE—Innsbruck Cognitive Neuroscience, Department for Hearing, Speech, and Voice Disorders, Medical University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030148
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 28 February 2020 / Published: 4 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Neurolinguistics)
Speech production not only relies on spoken (overt speech) but also on silent output (inner speech). Little is known about whether inner and overt speech are processed differently and which neural mechanisms are involved. By simultaneously applying electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we tried to disentangle executive control from motor and linguistic processes. A preparation phase was introduced additionally to the examination of overt and inner speech directly during naming (i.e., speech execution). Participants completed a picture-naming paradigm in which the pure preparation phase of a subsequent speech production and the actual speech execution phase could be differentiated. fNIRS results revealed a larger activation for overt rather than inner speech at bilateral prefrontal to parietal regions during the preparation and at bilateral temporal regions during the execution phase. EEG results showed a larger negativity for inner compared to overt speech between 200 and 500 ms during the preparation phase and between 300 and 500 ms during the execution phase. Findings of the preparation phase indicated that differences between inner and overt speech are not exclusively driven by specific linguistic and motor processes but also impacted by inhibitory mechanisms. Results of the execution phase suggest that inhibitory processes operate during phonological code retrieval and encoding. View Full-Text
Keywords: speech production; inner speech; overt speech; event-related brain potentials (ERPs); functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) speech production; inner speech; overt speech; event-related brain potentials (ERPs); functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
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Stephan, F.; Saalbach, H.; Rossi, S. The Brain Differentially Prepares Inner and Overt Speech Production: Electrophysiological and Vascular Evidence. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 148.

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