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Neurol Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Nov 30;2004:49.

The auditory n100m response reflects changes in speech fundamental frequency.

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Apperception and Cortical Dynamics, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


We studied the cortical activation underlying perception of variations in speech fundamental frequency (F0) as indexed by the amplitude, latency and source location of the auditory N100m response registered with magnetoencephalography (MEG). Ten subjects were presented with Finnish vowels with either a constant or an ascending/descending F0. We found that the human auditory cortex is sensitive to these time-varying changes in the F0 of speech: vowels with a constant F0 elicited more prominent N100m responses than did vowels with ascending or descending changes in F0. These results suggest that the speech-related behavior of the N100m arises out of cortical sensitivity to variations in the F0 and its harmonics which underlie the perception of pitch and intonation. The present observations are interpreted in terms of the interrelatedness of speech production and perception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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