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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Dec 19;353(2):111-4.

The auditory N1m reveals the left-hemispheric representation of vowel identity in humans.

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  • 1Apperception & Cortical Dynamics, Department of Psychology, Box 9, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Fin-00014, Finland.


The cortical correlates of the perception of the sustained vowels /a/, /o/ and /u/ were studied by using whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). The three vowels which were located on a line in the space spanned by the first (F1) and second (F2) formants and having equal F2-F1 differences evoked equally strong auditory N1m responses at 120 ms after stimulus onset. The left-hemispheric distribution of the source locations, estimated by equivalent current dipoles, reflected the acoustic similarity of the vowels: the growing distance of the vowels in the F2,F1-space was accompanied by a growing distance between the centres of gravity of activation elicited by each vowel. Thus, direct evidence for the orderly left-hemispheric representation of phonemes in human auditory cortex was found.

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