Partially overlapping sensorimotor networks underlie speech praxis and verbal short-term memory: evidence from apraxia of speech following acute stroke
We tested the hypothesis that motor planning and programming of speech articulation and verbal short-term memory (vSTM) depend on partially overlapping networks of neural regions. We evaluated this proposal by testing 76 individuals with acute ischemic stroke for impairment in motor planning of speech articulation (apraxia of speech, AOS) and vSTM in the first day of stroke, before the opportunity for recovery or reorganization of structure-function relationships. We also evaluated areas of both infarct and low blood flow that might have contributed to AOS or impaired vSTM in each person. We found that AOS was associated with tissue dysfunction in motor-related areas (posterior primary motor cortex, pars opercularis; premotor cortex, insula) and sensory-related areas (primary somatosensory cortex, secondary somatosensory cortex, parietal operculum/auditory cortex); while impaired vSTM was associated with primarily motor-related areas (pars opercularis and pars triangularis, premotor cortex, and primary motor cortex). These results are consistent with the hypothesis, also supported by functional imaging data, that both speech praxis and vSTM rely on partially overlapping networks of brain regions.