Abstract : Acoustic speech output results from coordinated articulation of dozens of muscles, bones and cartilages of the vocal mechanism. While we commonly take the fluency and speed of our speech productions for granted, the neural mechanisms facilitating the requisite muscular control are not completely understood. Previous neuroimaging and electrophysiology studies of speech sensorimotor control has typically concentrated on speech sounds (i.e., phonemes, syllables and words) in isolation; sentence-length investigations have largely been used to
inform coincident linguistic processing. In this study, we examined the neural representations of segmental features (place and manner of articulation, and voicing status) in the context of fluent, continuous speech production. We used recordings from the cortical surface electrocorticography (ECoG)) to simultaneously evaluate the spatial topography and temporal dynamics of the neural correlates of speech articulation that may mediate the generation of hypothesized gestural or articulatory scores. We found that the representation of place of
articulation involved broad networks of brain regions during all phases of speech production: preparation, execution and monitoring. In contrast, manner of articulation and voicing status were dominated by auditory cortical responses after speech had been initiated. These results
provide a new insight into the articulatory and auditory processes underlying speech production in terms of their motor requirements and acoustic correlates.