A Brain for Speech. Evolutionary Continuity in Primate and Human Auditory-Vocal Processingdoi.orgPDF
Front. Neurosci. 12:504-506, 2018
In this review article, I propose a continuous evolution from the auditory-vocal apparatus and its mechanisms of neural control in non-human primates, to the peripheral organs and the neural control of human speech. Although there is an overall conservatism both in peripheral ...MORE ⇓
In this review article, I propose a continuous evolution from the auditory-vocal apparatus and its mechanisms of neural control in non-human primates, to the peripheral organs and the neural control of human speech. Although there is an overall conservatism both in peripheral systems and in central neural circuits, a few changes were critical for the expansion of vocal plasticity and the elaboration of proto-speech in early humans. Two of the most relevant changes were the acquisition of direct cortical control of the vocal fold musculature and the consolidation of an auditory-vocal articulatory circuit, encompassing auditory areas in the temporoparietal junction and prefrontal and motor areas in the frontal cortex. This articulatory loop, also referred to as the phonological loop, enhanced vocal working memory capacity, enabling early humans to learn increasingly complex utterances. The auditory-vocal circuit became progressively coupled to multimodal systems conveying information about objects and events, which gradually led to the acquisition of modern speech. Gestural communication accompanies the development of vocal communication since very early in human evolution, and although both systems co-evolved tightly in the beginning, at some point speech became the main channel of communication.
Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience 4, 2012
Abstract This article discusses the possible homologies between the human language networks and comparable auditory projection systems in the macaque brain, in an attempt to reconcile two existing views on language evolution: one that emphasizes hand control ...
The Phonological Loop
Current Anthropology 51(S1):S55--S65, 2010
The phonological loop-here referred to as a specialized auditory-vocal sensorimotor circuit connecting posterior temporal areas with the inferior parietal lobe (Brodmann's areas 40 and 39) and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (Broca's region, Brodmann's areas 44 and 45)- ...