Speech and Non-Speech Sound Categorization in Auditory Cortex: fMRI Correlates

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We studied the functional structure of the auditory cortex by identifying and comparing the spatial localization of activation areas in response to speech and non-speech stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We also performed a similar comparison of activation zones in response to male and female voices. We found that there are specific areas for speech and non-speech auditory stimuli and overlapping areas; the speech area is significantly larger as compared with others. The activation areas responding to male and female voices overlap, though not significantly; the influence of female voice was stronger. These results suggest that there are special areas in the auditory cortex for auditory signal processing.

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We are grateful to the staff of the Center for Speech Pathology and Neurorehabilitation for their help in collecting the stimulus material.

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Correspondence to S. A. Varlamov or L. A. Mayorova.

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Conflict of interests. The authors declare no explicit and potential conflicts of interest associated with the publication of this article.

Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. All studies were conducted in accordance with the principles of biomedical ethics set out in the Declaration of Helsinki in 1964 and its subsequent updates, and approved by the local bioethical committees of the Center for Speech Pathology and Neurorehabilitation and the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). Each study participant provided voluntary written informed consent signed by them after his explanations potential risks and benefits, as well as the nature of the forthcoming investigations.

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Translated by M. Batrukova

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Shklovsky, V.M., Varlamov, S.A., Petrushevsky, A.G. et al. Speech and Non-Speech Sound Categorization in Auditory Cortex: fMRI Correlates. Hum Physiol 45, 577–586 (2019) doi:10.1134/S0362119719060124

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  • speech perception
  • superior temporal cortex
  • fMRI
  • planum temporale