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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  Cortical Activity Predicts Which Older Adults Recognize Speech in Noise and When 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2015;35(9):3929-3937.
Speech recognition in noise can be challenging for older adults and elicits elevated activity throughout a cingulo-opercular network that is hypothesized to monitor and modify behaviors to optimize performance. A word recognition in noise experiment was used to test the hypothesis that cingulo-opercular engagement provides performance benefit for older adults. Healthy older adults (N = 31; 50–81 years of age; mean pure tone thresholds <32 dB HL from 0.25 to 8 kHz, best ear; species: human) performed word recognition in multitalker babble at 2 signal-to-noise ratios (SNR = +3 or +10 dB) during a sparse sampling fMRI experiment. Elevated cingulo-opercular activity was associated with an increased likelihood of correct recognition on the following trial independently of SNR and performance on the preceding trial. The cingulo-opercular effect increased for participants with the best overall performance. These effects were lower for older adults compared with a younger, normal-hearing adult sample (N = 18). Visual cortex activity also predicted trial-level recognition for the older adults, which resulted from discrete decreases in activity before errors and occurred for the oldest adults with the poorest recognition. Participants demonstrating larger visual cortex effects also had reduced fractional anisotropy in an anterior portion of the left inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus, which projects between frontal and occipital regions where activity predicted word recognition. Together, the results indicate that older adults experience performance benefit from elevated cingulo-opercular activity, but not to the same extent as younger adults, and that declines in attentional control can limit word recognition.
PMCID: PMC4348188  PMID: 25740521
aging; attention; audition; control; perception; speech
2.  The Cingulo-Opercular Network Provides Word-Recognition Benefit 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(48):18979-18986.
Recognizing speech in difficult listening conditions requires considerable focus of attention that is often demonstrated by elevated activity in putative attention systems, including the cingulo-opercular network. We tested the prediction that elevated cingulo-opercular activity provides word-recognition benefit on a subsequent trial. Eighteen healthy, normal-hearing adults (10 females; aged 20–38 years) performed word recognition (120 trials) in multi-talker babble at +3 and +10 dB signal-to-noise ratios during a sparse sampling functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) contrast was elevated in the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, and frontal operculum in response to poorer speech intelligibility and response errors. These brain regions exhibited significantly greater correlated activity during word recognition compared with rest, supporting the premise that word-recognition demands increased the coherence of cingulo-opercular network activity. Consistent with an adaptive control network explanation, general linear mixed model analyses demonstrated that increased magnitude and extent of cingulo-opercular network activity was significantly associated with correct word recognition on subsequent trials. These results indicate that elevated cingulo-opercular network activity is not simply a reflection of poor performance or error but also supports word recognition in difficult listening conditions.
PMCID: PMC3841458  PMID: 24285902

Results 1-2 (2)