Observing mouth movements has strikingly effects on the perception of speech. Any mismatch between sound and mouth movements will result in listeners perceiving illusory consonants (McGurk effect), whereas matching mouth movements assist with the correct recognition of speech sounds. Recent neuroimaging studies have yielded evidence that the motor areas are involved in speech processing, yet their contributions to multisensory illusion remain unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in an event-related design, we aimed to identify the functional roles of the motor network in the occurrence of multisensory illusion in female and male brains. fMRI showed bilateral activation of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in audiovisually incongruent trials. Activity in the left IFG was negatively correlated with occurrence of the McGurk effect. The effective connectivity between the left IFG and the bilateral precentral gyri was stronger in incongruent than in congruent trials. The McGurk effect was reduced in incongruent trials by applying single-pulse TMS to motor cortex (M1) lip areas, indicating that TMS facilitates the left IFG-precentral motor network to reduce the McGurk effect. TMS of the M1 lip areas was effective in reducing the McGurk effect within the specific temporal range from 100 ms before to 200 ms after the auditory onset, and TMS of the M1 foot area did not influence the McGurk effect, suggesting topographical specificity. These results provide direct evidence that the motor network makes specific temporal and topographical contributions to the processing of multisensory integration of speech to avoid illusion.
- Functional magnetic resonance image
- Inferior frontal gyrus
- McGurk effect
- Motor cortex
- Multisensory illusion
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation