Infant speech perception activates Broca's area: A developmental magnetoencephalography study

Toshiaki Imada, Yang Zhang, Marie Cheour, Samu Taulu, Antti Ahonen, Patricia K. Kuhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Discriminative responses to tones, harmonics, and syllables in the left hemisphere were measured with magnetoencephalography in neonates, 6-month-old infants, and 12-month-old infants using the oddball paradigm. Real-time head position tracking, signal space separation, and head position standardization were applied to secure quality data for source localization. Minimum current estimates were calculated to characterize infants' cortical activities for detecting sound changes. The activation patterns observed in the superior temporal and inferior frontal regions provide initial evidence for the developmental emergence early in life of a perceptual-motor link for speech perception that may depend on experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-962
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Broca's area
  • Infant
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Minimum current estimate
  • Mirror neuron
  • Speech perception


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