Why will a per­son with a right-hemi­spher­ic stroke not become apha­sic…

… if spec­tral (fine-fre­quen­cy) details of the speech sig­nal are “pre­dom­i­nant­ly tracked in the right audi­to­ry cor­tex”, Prof. Sophie Scott just right­ly asked after my talk fif­teen min­utes ago at SfN.

I am not sure what Robert Zatorre and David Poep­pel would answer, but I think that this is not an easy ques­tion and it can sure­ly not be answered based on the first exper­i­ment on spec­tral vs. tem­po­ral detail in speech that we just pub­lished.

I would argue that it is open to thor­ough test­ing how patients with left or right tem­po­ral lobe lesions would cope with removed spec­tral and tem­po­ral detail, respec­tive­ly.

I am glad that Sophie Scott some­what sug­gest­ed this, as I have been main­tain­ing for years the opin­ion that in lesioned patients, apha­sic or not, there is much to learn on fine-grad­ed, basic audi­to­ry processing—it is high­ly under­stand­able that, from a clin­i­cal point of view, patients have much more severe prob­lems in com­mu­ni­ca­tion that deserve our clin­i­cal atten­tion. Nev­er­the­less, thor­ough (behav­iour­al) test­ing of the audi­to­ry speech per­cep­tion in vol­un­teer­ing patients is a worth­while and time­ly effort.