Reorganization of functional and effective connectivity during real-time fMRI-BCI modulation of prosody processing

Giuseppina Rota, Giacomo Handjaras, Ranganatha Sitaram, Niels Birbaumer, Grzegorz Dogil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechanisms of cortical reorganization underlying the enhancement of speech processing have been poorly investigated. In the present study, we addressed changes in functional and effective connectivity induced in subjects who learned to deliberately increase activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), and improved their ability to identify emotional intonations by using a real-time fMRI Brain-Computer Interface. At the beginning of their training process, we observed a massive connectivity of the rIFG to a widespread network of frontal and temporal areas, which decreased and lateralized to the right hemisphere with practice. Volitional control of activation strengthened connectivity of this brain region to the right prefrontal cortex, whereas training increased its connectivity to bilateral precentral gyri. These findings suggest that changes of connectivity in a functionally specific manner play an important role in the enhancement of speech processing. Also, these findings support previous accounts suggesting that motor circuits play a role in the comprehension of speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Brain-computer interface
  • Effective connectivity
  • Functional connectivity
  • Learning
  • Mental imagery
  • Prosody
  • Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Right inferior frontal gyrus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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