Cerebral lateralisation of speech production and motor skill

Hodgson, Jessica Charlotte (2016) Cerebral lateralisation of speech production and motor skill. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


The association between praxis and language is longstanding in neuropsychology,
with evidence revealing that left hemisphere lesions often lead to combined impairments
in motor control and speech (Rasmussen and Milner, 1975; Goldenberg, 2013). Strong
left hemisphere asymmetry for language is a robust finding at the population level (e.g.
Knecht et al 2000a) and similarly the cortical activation patterns of manual praxis for
skilled tasks also reveal a left hemisphere bias (Buxbaum et al, 2005; Haaland et al,
2004). As such, common neural mechanisms are thought to underlie both speech and
motor skill, especially actions involving fine motor control of the hands. However,
evidence for a clear causal relationship between handedness and speech laterality has
proven somewhat weak and inconsistent, due to the wide variation in measurement and
classification approaches used (Groen, et al, 2013). A suggestion by Flowers and Hudson
(2013) is that motor and speech laterality are related where they involve a common
feature of motor output, namely the co-ordination of sequences of movements or
utterances to execute a plan or intention so as to achieve a goal; either limb movement or
expression of an idea (e.g. Grimme, et al, 2011). The research conducted here investigates
speech and motor lateralisation from the hypothesis that sequencing based tasks will be
best able to elicit the predicted left hemisphere activation patterns. Five empirical
chapters are presented detailing a number of studies involving healthy adults, typically
developing children and adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder. The research
uses an emerging technique in cognitive neuropsychology; functional Transcranial
Doppler (fTCD) sonography, to explore hemispheric laterality of speech and motor skill.
Measurements of the degree of activation in each of the hemispheres during language
tasks, and the use of a skill-based motor task to determine handedness, are the primary
indicators of lateralisation used throughout this thesis. Results from the first 3 chapters
reveal that 1) atypical patterns of speech laterality are linked to greater performance
differences on motor skill tasks; 2) that whilst hand preference is established early on in
childhood the relative performance ability between the non-preferred and preferred hands
develops linearly with age; 3) adults with developmental coordination disorder display
atypical patterns of laterality of speech networks. The final 2 empirical chapters employ
novel neuroimaging paradigms to investigate the mechanisms underlying the links
between speech and motor sequencing. Results show that the pegboard task elicits left
hemisphere dominant activation regardless of the hand used, unlike other motor tasks
with similar properties. Finally a dual task paradigm demonstrates that speech production
suffers greater impairments than motor skill when performed simultaneously, providing
support for theories proposing a gestural origin to speech. The data are discussed in terms
of the specialisation of the left hemisphere for higher order sequential processing, in the
context of a lateralised speech-praxis centre model.

Keywords:Langiage laterality
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:24206
Deposited On:19 Sep 2016 14:54

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