Robust neuronal oscillatory entertainment to speech displays individual variation in lateralisation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Nietzsche H.L. Lam
  • Annika Hulten

  • Peter Hagoort
  • Jan Mathijs Schoffelen

Research units

  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society


Neural oscillations may be instrumental for the tracking and segmentation of continuous speech. Earlier work has suggested that delta, theta and gamma oscillations entrain to the speech rhythm. We used magnetoencephalography and a large sample of 102 participants to investigate oscillatory entrainment to speech, and observed robust entrainment of delta and theta activity, and weak group-level gamma entrainment. We show that the peak frequency and the hemispheric lateralisation of the entrainment are subject to considerable individual variability. The first finding may support the involvement of intrinsic oscillations in entrainment, and the second finding suggests that there is no systematic default right-hemispheric bias for processing acoustic signals on a slow time scale. Although low frequency entrainment to speech is a robust phenomenon, the characteristics of entrainment vary across individuals, and this variation is important for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms of entrainment, as well as its functional significance.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-954
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • entrainment, magnetoencephalography, neural oscillations, Speech processing

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