Corrélats cérébraux de l'adaptation de la parole après exérèse de la cavité orale

Abstract : This thesis investigates the cerebral correlates of the adaptation of speech production and orofacial motor skills after the exeresis of a tumor in the intraoral cavity. A special focus has been given to searching for correlates associated with a redefinition of the task’s goals, a reorganization of motor coordination, or a change in the internal representations of the peripheral motor system. Three tasks were investigated: non-audible oro-facial movements, vowel production, and syllable production. Brain activity was measured using fMRI longitudinally across 4 sessions: before surgery, and at 1, 3 and 9 months after surgery. Eleven patients and eleven healthy subjects were recorded. For the patients only, 3 additional kinds of data were collected in parallel to the fMRI, in order to assess, at each stage of the clinical process, the improvement of oro-facial motor skills: scores assessing orofacial praxis, acoustic speech signal, and a self-evaluation of speech production quality. Three statistical analyses were run on the fMRI data: (1) a “whole brain” analysis, which is based on brain activity amplitudes; (2) an analysis of the localization of the strongest activity in the primary motor cortex; (3) an analysis of Regions of Interest located in the speech production/perception cerebral network, using a General Linear Model. In this third analysis, the independent “Group” factor has been replaced by a continuous covariable, called “Motor Adaptation Index” (MAI), that quantitatively measures the degradation of speech production 1 month after surgery, and then its improvement in the subsequent months. The main effects of the “Group” (or MAI), “Session” and “Task” factors have been estimated, together with their interactions.All the tasks and all the sessions taken together, patients show significantly lower activity than healthy subjects in the orofacial sensorimotor regions. Significant main effects of the “Session” factor are also observed for all the tasks, for the patients as well as for the healthy subjects. Only non-audible motor tasks and vowel production tasks show for the “Session” factor effects that are significantly different for the patients and the healthy subjects. For non-audible lingual movements, 1 month after surgery, the patients show a high level of activity in the Superior Parietal Lobule (SPL) and DorsoLateral PreFrontal Cortex (DLPFC). For patients’ vowel production, 3 months after surgery activity decreases in the cerebellum and strongly increases in the Inferior Parietal Lobule (IPL), while from 3 to 9 months after surgery, the activity increases in the motor regions (Primary Motor Cortex, Supplementary Motor Area), and decreases in the Superior Temporal Gyrus (STG). In addition, 1 month after the surgery, patients show, for all tasks, Primary Motor Cortex activity located more dorsally than in the other sessions.For non-audible oro-facial motor tasks, our results suggest that immediately after surgery patients might have to re-tune their internal model of the peripheral motor system (SPL activity), which is no longer accurate, while redefining their coordination strategies (DLPFC activity). For vowel production, a more skilled and demanding task, stronger modifications of the patients’ internal model could be necessary 3 months after surgery. Nine months after surgery, the simultaneous increase of activity in the motor regions and decrease of activity in the STG suggest for vowel production that the adaptation has almost been achieved, with regained consistency between the efferent copy and auditory feedback. Syllable production tasks show no significant patient specific changes across sessions, possibly due to the greater complexity of the task as compared to the other two.
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Audrey Acher. Corrélats cérébraux de l'adaptation de la parole après exérèse de la cavité orale. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Grenoble, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014GRENS013⟩. ⟨tel-01071506⟩

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