Modulation of vocal pitch control through high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation of the left ventral motor cortex

Roozbeh Behroozmand, Karim Johari, Keiko Bridwell, Caroline Hayden, Danielle Fahey, Dirk Bart den Ouden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neural interactions between sensorimotor integration mechanisms play critical roles in voice motor control. We investigated how high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) of the left ventral motor cortex modulates neural mechanisms of sensorimotor integration during voice motor control. HD-tDCS was performed during speech vowel production in an altered auditory feedback (AAF) paradigm in response to upward and downward pitch-shift stimuli. In one experiment, two groups received either anodal or cathodal 2 milliamp (mA) HD-tDCS to the left ventral motor cortex while a third group received sham (placebo) stimulation. In a second experiment, two groups received either 1 mA or 2 mA cathodal HD-tDCS to the left ventral motor cortex. Results of the first experiment indicated that the magnitude of vocal compensation was significantly reduced following anodal and cathodal HD-tDCS only in responses to downward pitch-shift AAF stimuli, with stronger effects associated with cathodal HD-tDCS. However, no such effect was observed following sham stimulation. Results of the second experiment indicate that there is not a differential effect of modulation from 1 mA versus 2 mA. Further, these results replicate the directional finding of the first experiment for vocal compensation in response to downward pitch-shift only. These findings suggest that neurostimulation of the left ventral motor cortex modulates sensorimotor mechanisms underlying voice motor control. We speculate that this effect is associated with the increased contribution of feedforward motor mechanisms, leading to reduced compensatory speech responses to AAF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1535
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume238
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Auditory feedback
  • HD-tDCS
  • Neurostimulation
  • Sensorimotor integration
  • Voice motor control

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