Neurophysiological Evidence for The Plasticity of Auditory-Motor Integration in Voice Control

Neurophysiological Evidence for The Plasticity of Auditory-Motor Integration in Voice Control

Dr Hanjun Liu, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen 

University, China.

Many aspects of brain function, including auditory-motor integration, have been 

demonstrated to be plastic, yet we are still far from understanding the mechanisms 

underlying this plasticity. In recent years, our primary efforts have been made to 

explore the plasticity of auditory-motor integration in voice control at the behavioral 

and neurophysiological level using the altered auditory feedback paradigm along with 

the event-related potentials technique. Our studies have demonstrated that long-term 

exposure to different languages elicits differential neurobehavioral processing of pitch 

changes in voice auditory feedback. Moreover, a series of our preliminary studies provide 

some evidence for the training-induced cortical plasticity of auditory-motor integration 

in voice control, indicated by enhanced cortical responses to voice feedback changes 

following short-tem speech perceptual learning or auditory cognitive training. These 

findings suggest that not only the long-term experience but also short-term training can 

induce the plasticity of auditory-integration in voice control, and this plasticity is thought 

be to related to the interaction between the perception/cognitive and production system. 

In addition, our latest finding that neurobehavioral processing of auditory feedback 

during vocalization is shaped by fluctuating reproductive hormones across the menstrual 

cycle further suggests that the interplay between the central nervous system and the 

reproductive system may also be responsible for the plasticity of the auditory-motor

system involved in voice control.