Evolution of the speech‐ready brain: The voice/jaw connection in the human motor cortex

Steven Brown, Ye Yuan & Michel Belyk
A prominent model of the origins of speech, known as the “frame/content” theory, posits that oscillatory lowering and raising of the jaw provided an evolutionary scaffold for the development of syllable structure in speech. Because such oscillations are non‐vocal in most non‐human primates, the evolution of speech required the addition of vocalization onto this scaffold in order to turn such jaw oscillations into vocalized syllables. In the present functional MRI study, we demonstrate overlapping somatotopic...
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