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Neuroreport. 2004 May 19;15(7):1205-8.

Glides in speech fundamental frequency are reflected in the auditory N1m response.

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Apperception and Cortical Dynamics (ACD), Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 9, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.


The cortical dynamics underlying the perception of constant and gliding speech fundamental frequency (F0) was investigated in 10 subjects using magnetoencephalography (MEG). The stimuli comprised vowels having either constant, ascending or descending F0s and tones of corresponding frequencies, matched with the vowels in intensity or loudness. The amplitude of the N1m response was highly sensitive to F0 variation embedded in vowels and insensitive to corresponding variation in tones. The latency of the N1m elicited by the tones with respect to vowels was significantly delayed. Thus, the speech-specific behavior of the N1m arises out of cortical sensitivity to the acoustic structure of voiced speech, that is to the F0 and its harmonics, which underlie the perception of pitch and intonation in speech.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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