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Parcellation of Human and Monkey Core Auditory Cortex with fMRI Pattern Classification and Objective Detection of Tonotopic Gradient Reversals

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Petkov



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Auditory cortex (AC) contains several primary-like, or “core,” fields, which receive thalamic input and project to non-primary “belt” fields. In humans, the organization and layout of core and belt auditory fields are still poorly understood, and most auditory neuroimaging studies rely on macroanatomical criteria, rather than functional localization of distinct fields. A myeloarchitectonic method has beensuggested recently for distinguishing between core and belt fields in humans (Dick F, Tierney AT, Lutti A, Josephs O, Sereno MI, Weiskopf N. 2012. In vivo functional and myeloarchitectonic mapping of humanprimary auditory areas. J Neurosci. 32:16095–16105). We propose a marker for core AC based directly on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and pattern classification. We show that aportion of AC in Heschl’s gyrus classifies sound frequency more accurately than other regions in AC. Using fMRI data from macaques, we validate that the region where frequency classification performanceis significantly above chance overlaps core auditory fields, predominantly A1. Within this region, we measure tonotopic gradients and estimate the locations of the human homologues of the coreauditory subfields A1 and R. Our results provide a functional rather than anatomical localizer for core AC. We posit that inter-individual variability in the layout of core AC might explain disagreementsbetween results from previous neuroimaging and cytological studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schönwiesner M, Dechent P, Voit D, Petkov CI, Krumbholz K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cerebral Cortex

Year: 2015

Volume: 25

Issue: 10

Pages: 3278-3289

Print publication date: 28/10/2014

Online publication date: 05/06/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 10/12/2014

ISSN (print): 1047-3211

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2199

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhu124

PubMed id: 24904067


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