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Human brain mechanisms for the early analysis of voices

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jason Warren, Professor Tim GriffithsORCiD


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In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated human brain mechanisms that are involved in the analysis of voices as sound sources and in the pre-semantic analysis of voice information. The source of the voice was altered by changing the speaker, and the salience of the voice was altered by changing the amount of spectrotemporal detail. We identified a mechanism for detecting a change in the source of the voice in the posterior superior temporal lobe and anatomically distinct mechanisms for the detailed analysis of voice information in a bilateral network extending from the posterior to the anterior superior temporal lobe surrounding the superior temporal sulcus. The findings are consistent with a processing hierarchy in which general source attributes are analyzed in the posterior superior temporal lobe, abstraction of voice identity features occurs in posterior superior temporal sulcus, and further analysis of voice information occurs in anterior superior temporal sulcus and higher order cortices in the middle and anterior temporal lobe. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Warren JD, Scott SK, Price CJ, Griffiths TD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: NeuroImage

Year: 2006

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Pages: 1389-1397

ISSN (print): 1053-8119

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9572

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.01.034

PubMed id: 16540351


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
051067Wellcome Trust
074414Wellcome Trust
090961Wellcome Trust