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Behav Brain Res. 2010 Jan 5;206(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.08.015. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

Serial and parallel processing in the primate auditory cortex revisited.

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Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Over a decade ago it was proposed that the primate auditory cortex is organized in a serial and parallel manner in which there is a dorsal stream processing spatial information and a ventral stream processing non-spatial information. This organization is similar to the "what"/"where" processing of the primate visual cortex. This review will examine several key studies, primarily electrophysiological, that have tested this hypothesis. We also review several human-imaging studies that have attempted to define these processing streams in the human auditory cortex. While there is good evidence that spatial information is processed along a particular series of cortical areas, the support for a non-spatial processing stream is not as strong. Why this should be the case and how to better test this hypothesis is also discussed.

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