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Brain. 1997 May;120 ( Pt 5):785-94.

Spatial and temporal auditory processing deficits following right hemisphere infarction. A psychophysical study.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


Higher auditory function in a patient was investigated following a right hemisphere infarction between the middle and posterior cerebral artery territories involving the insula. The patient complained of lack of musical appreciation and a battery of tests confirmed a dissociated receptive musical deficit in the presence of normal appreciation of environmental sounds and speech. The ability to detect continuous changes in sound frequency in the form of sinusoidal frequency modulation was preserved. There was, however, a deficit in the analysis of rapid temporal sequences of notes which could underlie his musical deficit. This case provides further evidence for the existence of amusia as a distinct form of auditory agnosia, but does not support the hypothesis that bilateral lesions are required to produce such a deficit. Unexpectedly, the patient was also found to have a deficit in the perception of apparent sound-source movement. We suggest that this deficit is analogous to the visual phenomenon of akinetopsia, and is in accord with PET work suggesting involvement of areas outside primary auditory cortex in sound movement perception. A possible common deficit in auditory temporal and spatial 'scene analysis' is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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