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The processing of temporal pitch and melody information in auditory cortex

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tim GriffithsORCiD


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An fMRI experiment was performed to identify the main stages of melody processing in the auditory pathway. Spectrally matched sounds that produce no pitch, fixed pitch, or melody were all found to activate Heschl's gyrus (HG) and planum temporale (PT). Within this region, sounds with pitch produced more activation than those without pitch only in the lateral half of HG. When the pitch was varied to produce a melody, there was activation in regions beyond HG and PT, specifically in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and planum polare (PP). The results support the view that there is hierarchy of pitch processing in which the center of activity moves anterolaterally away from primary auditory cortex as the processing of melodic sounds proceeds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Griffiths TD; Patterson RD; Uppenkamp S; Johnsrude IS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuron

Year: 2002

Volume: 36

Issue: 4

Pages: 767-776

ISSN (print): 0896-6273

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4199

Publisher: Cell Press


DOI: 10.1016/S0896-6273(02)01060-7


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