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Acoustic cue selection and discrimination under degradation: Differential contributions of the inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortices
by Mathias Scharinger, Molly J. Henry, Jonas Obleser
Categorizing sounds is vital for adaptive human behavior. Accordingly, changing listening situations (external noise or peripheral hearing loss in aging) that may be accompanied by changes in discriminability, require listeners to flexibly adjust their categorization strategies, sometimes by changes in utilizing available acoustic cues.
In this functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study, we investigate the categorization of novel, non-speech auditory stimuli that varied in overall discriminability. Moreover, we manipulate the relative informativeness of a duration versus a spectral-peak cue by adding spectral degradation in the middle of the experiment. The results demonstrate different roles of temporal and parietal brain areas for auditory categorization: Temporal cortex activation, in particular in posterior parts of the right superior temporal gyrus, scaled with discriminability, while left parietal cortex activation was associated with changes in cue utilization after the application of spectral degradation.
This work extends previous research on auditory categorization. Importantly, the involvement of the left inferior parietal lobule in changes of cue utilization supports its role in domain-general processes that support categorization. Further, the sensitivity of the right posterior superior temporal gyrus to stimulus discriminability adds to previous findings regarding its role in auditory processing.
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- Scharinger M1, Henry MJ2, Obleser J2. Acoustic cue selection and discrimination under degradation: Differential contributions of the inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortices. Neuroimage. 2015 Feb 1;106:373–81. PMID: 25481793. [Open with Read]
Auditory categorization is a vital skill for perceiving the acoustic environment. Categorization depends on the discriminability of the sensory input as well as on the ability of the listener to adapt […]