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Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input. Note that the low-level auditory pathway is not specialized for speech sounds Both speech and non-speech sounds activate primary auditory cortex (bilateral Heschl’s Gyrus ) on the top of the superior temporal gyrus. Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input.

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Functional anatomy of spoken input
Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input

  • Note that the low-level auditory pathway is not specialized for speech sounds

    • Both speech and non-speech sounds activate primary auditory cortex (bilateral Heschl’sGyrus) on the top of the superior temporal gyrus


Functional anatomy of spoken input1
Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input

  • Which parts of the auditory pathway are specialized for speech?

  • Binder et al. (2000)

    • fMRI

    • Presented several kinds of stimuli:

      • white noise

      • pure tones

      • non-words

      • reversed words

      • real words

These have non-word-like acoustical properties

These have word-like acoustical properties but no lexical associations

word-like acoustical properties and lexical associations


Functional anatomy of spoken input2
Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input

  • Relative to “baseline” scanner noise

    • Widespread auditory cortex activation (bilaterally) for all stimuli

    • Why isn’t this surprising?


Functional anatomy of spoken input3
Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input

  • Statistical contrasts reveal specialization for speech-like sounds

    • superior temporal gyrus

    • Somewhat more prominent on left side


Functional anatomy of spoken input4
Functional Anatomy of Spoken Input

  • Further contrasts to identify specialization for words relative to other speech-like sounds revealed only a few small clusters of voxels

  • Brodmann areas

    • Area 39

    • 20, 21 and 37

    • 46 and 10


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