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Cereb Cortex. 2005 May;15(5):646-53. Epub 2004 Sep 1.

Hearing lips: gamma-band activity during audiovisual speech perception.

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MEG-Center, Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Gartenstrasse 29, 72074 Tübingen, Germany.


Auditory pattern changes have been shown to elicit increases in magnetoencephalographic gamma-band activity (GBA) over left inferior frontal cortex, forming part of the putative auditory ventral "what" processing stream. The present study employed a McGurk-type paradigm to assess whether GBA would be associated with subjectively perceived changes even when auditory stimuli remain unchanged. Magnetoencephalograms were recorded in 16 human subjects during audiovisual mismatch perception. Both infrequent visual (auditory /ta/ + visual /pa/) and acoustic deviants (auditory/pa/ + visual /ta/) were compared with frequent audiovisual standards (auditory /ta/ and visual /ta/). Statistical probability mapping revealed spectral amplitude increases at approximately 75 and approximately 78 Hz to visual deviants. GBA to visual deviants peaked 160 ms after auditory stimulus onset over posterior parietal cortex, at 270 ms over occipital areas and at 320 ms over left inferior frontal cortex. The latter GBA enhancement was consistent with the increase observed previously to pure acoustic mismatch, supporting a role of left inferior frontal cortex for the representation of perceived auditory pattern change. The preceding gamma-band changes over posterior areas may reflect processing of incongruent lip movements in visual motion areas and back-projections to earlier visual cortex.

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