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Neuroreport. 1997 May 6;8(7):1761-5.

Left-hemisphere specialization for the processing of acoustic transients.

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Neuropsychology/Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada.


Previous work suggests that speech sounds incorporating short-duration spectral changes (such as the formation transitions of stop consonants) rely on left hemisphere mechanisms for their adequate processing to a greater degree than do speech sounds incorporating spectral changes of a longer duration (such as vowel sounds). Ten normal subjects were scanned using positron emission tomography while discriminating pure tone stimuli incorporating frequency glides of either short or long duration. A comparison of these two conditions yielded significant activation foci in left orbitofrontal cortex, left fusiform gyrus, and right cerebellum. Because non-linguistic stimuli were used, these foci must reflect some basic low level aspect of neural processing that may be relevant to speech but cannot be a consequence of accessing the speech system itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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