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Keywords:

  • Efference copy;
  • Event-related potential (ERP);
  • N100;
  • Auditory feedback;
  • Speech production

Abstract

The cortex suppresses sensory information when it is the result of a self-produced motor act, including the motor act of speaking. The specificity of the auditory cortical suppression to self-produced speech, a prediction derived from the posited operation of a precise forward model system, has not been established. We examined the auditory N100 component of the event-related brain potential elicited during speech production. While subjects uttered a vowel, they heard real-time feedback of their unaltered voice, their pitch-shifted voice, or an alien voice substituted for their own. The subjects' own unaltered voice feedback elicited a dampened auditory N100 response relative to the N100 elicited by altered or alien auditory feedback. This is consistent with the operation of a precise forward model modulating the auditory cortical response to self-generated speech and allowing immediate distinction of self and externally generated auditory stimuli.