UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF UCSF Medical Center
UCSF navigation bar

Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSF

Faculty - Edward Chang, M.D.

Speech Mechanisms

Research Description

Speech Mechanisms

A unique and defining trait of human behavior is our ability to communicate through speech. My laboratory is interested in determining the basic mechanisms that underlie speech perception and production.  While much of this processing has been localized to the peri-sylvian cortex, including Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, the fundamental organizational principles of these neural circuits are completely unknown.

To address this, my laboratory applies a variety of experimental approaches including psychophysics, local field potential and microelectrode array recordings, electrocortical stimulation, and real-time signal processing.  These methods allow us to examine both local circuitry and global network dynamics spanning multiple cortical and sub-cortical regions with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution in humans.

Our central goal is to provide a mechanistic account for the major properties of speech behavior in normal speakers and those with language disorders. Our ongoing research is not only deepening understanding of speech and its disorders, but also is leading directly to safer brain mapping methods to preserve language function during awake neurosurgical procedures.

Back to Top

Current Projects

Speech perception
1. How do invariant cortical sensory representations give rise to categorical perception?
2. How does response selectivity of auditory cortical neurons account for high-order, complex sound processing?
3. How does the auditory cortex maintain robust speech representation in multi-speaker or noisy environmental contexts?

Speech production
1. What is the basic functional organization of the speech motor cortex and Broca’s area?
2. How are syllable sequences encoded in these brain regions to generate meaningful word forms?
3. What are the mechanisms by which sensory feedback is used to guide vocal motor control?

Back to Top

Lab Members

Miranda Babiak
Research Associate
SLP., Univ. Arizona

Tom Babcock
Lab Manager

Kristopher Bouchard
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Neuroscience, UC San Francisco

Connie Cheung
Graduate Student-Bioengineering
B.S., Computational Engineering Science, UC Berkeley

David Conant
Graduate Student - Neuroscience
B.S., Cognitive Science, UC San Diego

Daniel Lam
Research Intern
UC Berkeley Linguistics Major

Matthew Leonard
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Cognitive Science, UC San Diego

Nima Mesgarani
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Univ. Maryland

Leah Muller
Graduate Student - Bioengineering
B.S., Biological Engineering, Louisiana State

Angela Ren
Research Associate
B.S., Bioengineering, UC Berkeley

Back to Top

Selected Publications

Human cortical sensorimotor network underlying feedback control of vocal pitch.
Chang EF, Niziolek CA, Knight RT, Nagarajan SS, Houde JF.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 12;110(7):2653-8. 

Functional organization of human sensorimotor cortex for speech articulation.
Bouchard KE, Mesgarani N, Johnson K, Chang EF.
Nature. 2013 Feb 20. doi: 10.1038/nature11911.

Chang, EF, and Rieger, J, Johnson, KD, Berger, MS, Barbaro, NM, Knight RT. Categorical speech representation in the superior temporal gyrus. Nature Neuroscience 2010 Oct 13(11): 1428-32.

Mesgarani N, Chang EF. Selective cortical representation of attended speaker in multi-talker speech perception. Nature 2012; April 18.

Pasley B, David SV, Mesgarani N, Flinker A, Shamma SA, Crone NE, Knight RT, Chang EF.  Reconstructing speech from human auditory cortex. PLoS Biology 2012;10(1):e1001251.

Chang, EF, and Edwards, E, Nagarajan, SS, Fogelson, N, Dalal, SS, Canolty, RT, Kirsch, HE, Barbaro, NM, Knight RT. Cortical spatiotemporal dynamics underlying phonological target detection in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2010 May 13.

Chang EF, Wang DD, Perry DW, Barbaro NM, Berger MS. Homotopic organization of right hemisphere essential language sites in right and bilateral cerebral hemispheric dominance. Journal of Neurosurgery (In Press)

Chang, EF, Clark, A, Smith, JS, Polley, MY, Chang, SM, Barbaro, NM, McDermott, MW, Berger, MS.  Functional mapping-guided resection of low-grade gliomas in eloquent areas of the brain: improvement of long-term survival. Journal of Neurosurgery 2010 Jul 16.

Chang, EF, Gabriel, RA, Potts, MB, Berger, MS, Lawton, MT.  Supratentorial cavernous malformations in eloquent and deep locations: surgical approaches and outcomes. Journal of Neurosurgery 2010 Jul 2.

Ganguly, K, Secundo, L, Ranade, G, Orsborn, A, Chang, EF, Dimitrov, DF, Wallis, JD, Barbaro, NM, Knight, RT, Carmena, JM. Cortical representation of ipsilateral arm movements in monkey and man. Journal of Neuroscience 2009 Oct 14; 29(41):12948-56.

Chang, EF, Turner RS, Ostrem J, Davis V, Starr PA. Neuronal responses to passive movement in the globus pallidus internus in primary dystonia. Journal of Neurophysiology 2007 Dec; 98(6):3696-707.

De Villers-sidani, E, Chang, EF, Bao, S, Merzenich, MM. Critical period window for spectral tuning defined in the primary auditory cortex (A1). The Journal of Neuroscience 2007 Jan 3;27(1):180-9.

Chang, EF, Bao, S, Imaizumi, K, Schreiner, CE, Merzenich, MM. The development of spectral and temporal response selectivity in the auditory cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 2005 Nov 8;102(45):16460-5. PMC1283465

Bao, S, Chang, EF, Woods J, Merzenich, MM. Temporal plasticity in the primary auditory cortex induced by operant perceptual learning. Nature Neuroscience 2004 Sep; 7(9):974-81.

Chang, EF, Wong, RJ, Vreman, HJ, Galo, E, Sharp, FR, Igarashi, T, Stevenson, DK, Noble, LJ. Heme oxygenase-2 protects against lipid peroxidation-mediated cell loss and impaired motor recovery after traumatic brain injury. The Journal of Neuroscience 2003 May 1; 23(9):3689-3696.

Chang, EF, Merzenich, MM. Environmental noise retards auditory cortical development. Science 2003 Apr 18; 300(5618): 498-502.

Back to Top

Edward Chang, M.D.





Office Address

UCSF MC 0444
675 Nelson Rising Lane, Room 511
San Francisco, CA 94158

Other Websites

Center for Integrative Neuroscience

Neurological Surgery