TitleAbnormal vocal behavior predicts executive and memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRanasinghe KG, Gill JS, Kothare H, Beagle AJ, Mizuiri D, Honma SM, Gorno-Tempini MLuisa, Miller BL, Vossel KA, Nagarajan SS, Houde JF
JournalNeurobiol Aging
Date Published2017 Apr
KeywordsAged, Alzheimer Disease, Executive Function, Feedback, Sensory, Female, Forecasting, Humans, Male, Memory, Memory Disorders, Middle Aged, Pitch Perception, Prefrontal Cortex, Reflex, Speech, Verbal Behavior

Speakers respond automatically and rapidly to compensate for brief perturbations of pitch in their auditory feedback. The specific adjustments in vocal output require integration of brain regions involved in speech-motor-control in order to detect the sensory-feedback error and implement the motor correction. Cortical regions involved in the pitch reflex phenomenon are highly vulnerable targets of network disruption in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the pitch reflex in AD patients (n = 19) compared to an age-matched control group (n = 16). We measured the degree of behavioral compensation (peak compensation) and the extent of the adaptive response (pitch-response persistence). Healthy-controls reached a peak compensation of 18.7 ± 0.8 cents, and demonstrated a sustained compensation at 8.9 ± 0.69 cents. AD patients, in contrast, demonstrated a significantly elevated peak compensation (22.4 ± 1.2 cents, p < 0.05), and a reduced sustained response (pitch-response persistence, 4.5 ± 0.88 cents, p < 0.001). The degree of increased peak compensation predicted executive dysfunction, while the degree of impaired pitch-response persistence predicted memory dysfunction, in AD patients. The current study demonstrates pitch reflex as a sensitive behavioral index of impaired prefrontal modulation of sensorimotor integration, and compromised plasticity mechanisms of memory, in AD.

Alternate JournalNeurobiol. Aging
PubMed ID28131013
PubMed Central IDPMC5359035
Grant ListP50 AG023501 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K23 AG038357 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG052943 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R21 DC014525 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R21 NS076171 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG019724 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS050915 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC013979 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC010145 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
K24 DC015544 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
F32 AG050434 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS066654 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States