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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 May;8(5):393-402. Epub 2007 Apr 13.

The cortical organization of speech processing.

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Department of Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-5100, USA.


Despite decades of research, the functional neuroanatomy of speech processing has been difficult to characterize. A major impediment to progress may have been the failure to consider task effects when mapping speech-related processing systems. We outline a dual-stream model of speech processing that remedies this situation. In this model, a ventral stream processes speech signals for comprehension, and a dorsal stream maps acoustic speech signals to frontal lobe articulatory networks. The model assumes that the ventral stream is largely bilaterally organized--although there are important computational differences between the left- and right-hemisphere systems--and that the dorsal stream is strongly left-hemisphere dominant.

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