Atypical somatosensory-motor cortical response during vowel vocalization in spasmodic dysphonia

Sanaz Khosravani, Arash Mahnan, I. Ling Yeh, Peter J Watson, Yang Zhang, George Goding, Juergen Konczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a debilitating voice/speech disorder without an effective cure. To obtain a better understanding of the underlying cortical neural mechanism of the disease we analyzed electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of people with SD during voice production. Method: Ten SD individuals and 10 healthy volunteers produced 50 vowel vocalization epochs of 2500 ms duration. Two EEG features were derived: (1) event-related change in spectral power during vocalization relative to rest, (2) inter-regional spectral coherence. Results: During early vocalization (500–1000 ms) the SD group showed significantly larger alpha band spectral power over the left motor cortex. During late vocalization (1000–2500 ms) SD patients showed a significantly larger gamma band coherence between left somatosensory and premotor cortical areas. Conclusions: Two atypical patterns of cortical activity characterize the pathophysiology of spasmodic dysphonia during voice production: (1) a reduced movement-related desynchronization of motor cortical networks, (2) an excessively large synchronization between left somatosensory and premotor cortical areas. Significance: The pathophysiology of SD is characterized by an abnormally high synchronous activity within and across cortical neural networks involved in voice production that is mainly lateralized in the left hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1040
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate all participants for devoting their time to this study. Our gratitude is extended to the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Sciences (CATSS) , University of Minnesota, for providing the recording space and facilities. This research was supported by NIH 1R21DC011841 to PW and JK and by 1 R01 DC016315-01A1 to JK.


  • Dystonia
  • EEG coherence
  • Larynx
  • Sensorimotor cortex
  • Speech
  • Voice disorder

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Atypical somatosensory-motor cortical response during vowel vocalization in spasmodic dysphonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this