Auditory cortical activity drives feedback-dependent vocal control in marmosets.
Vocal communication is a sensory-motor process requiring auditory self-monitoring to correct errors and to ensure accurate vocal production. When presented with altered speech feedback, humans rapidly change their speech to compensate. Although previous evidence has demonstrated suppression of auditory cortex during both speech and animal vocalization, the specific role of auditory cortex in such feedback-dependent control is unknown. Here we show the relationship between neural activity in the auditory cortex and feedback-dependent vocal control in marmoset monkeys. We demonstrate that marmosets, like humans, exhibit feedback control of vocal acoustics. We further show that feedback-sensitive activity of auditory cortex neurons predict such compensatory vocal changes. Finally, we demonstrate that electrical microstimulation of auditory cortex rapidly evokes similar changes in vocal production. These results are evidence for a causal role of auditory cortex in vocal self-monitoring and feedback-dependent control, and have implications for understanding human speech motor control.
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