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Brain. 1994 Dec;117 ( Pt 6):1283-301.

Functional dissociations following bilateral lesions of auditory cortex.

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Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada.


We present two patients with bilateral lesions of the superior temporal cortex who manifested a number of functional dissociations in the auditory domain. The perception of speech and environmental sounds were preserved; yet, the perception of tunes, prosody and voice was impaired. As the processing of melodic but not rhythmic variations in musical sequences was selectively disturbed, the deficit cannot be attributed to a general impairment in auditory memory or sequential processing. These findings suggest that melody processing is not mediated by a general-purpose auditory architecture but by specialized cortical subsystems residing within the lesioned areas. Current taxonomies of auditory agnosia and models of normal music cognition are evaluated in light of the functional dissociations manifested by these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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