… 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.