Contributions of cerebellar event-based temporal processing and preparatory function to speech perception

Brain and Language
Michael Schwartze, Sonja A Kotz


The role of the cerebellum in the anatomical and functional architecture of the brain is a matter of ongoing debate. We propose that cerebellar temporal processing contributes to speech perception on a number of accounts: temporally precise cerebellar encoding and rapid transmission of an event-based representation of the temporal structure of the speech signal serves to prepare areas in the cerebral cortex for the subsequent perceptual integration of sensory information. As speech dynamically evolves in time this fundamental preparatory function may extend its scope to the predictive allocation of attention in time and supports the fine-tuning of temporally specific models of the environment. In this framework, an oscillatory account considering a range of frequencies may best serve the linking of the temporal and speech processing systems. Lastly, the concerted action of these processes may not only advance predictive adaptation to basic auditory dynamics but optimize the perceptual integration of speech.


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