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Neuroimage. 2004 Nov;23(3):840-8.

Is voice processing species-specific in human auditory cortex? An fMRI study.

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Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.


Recent studies suggested a sensitivity of regions of the human superior temporal sulcus (STS) to the sound of the human voice. However, the question of the species specificity of this response is still open. Healthy adult volunteers were scanned in an event-related fMRI design to compare responses in the STS to human and animal vocalizations, as well as to control nonvocal sounds (e.g., musical instruments). Bilateral activation of anterior STS was observed for human vocalizations, when contrasted with both nonvocal sounds and animal vocalizations. Animal vocalizations, compared to nonvocal sounds, elicited a more restricted left STS activation, although this region responded even more strongly to human vocalizations. This study provides the first evidence suggesting a species specificity in STS responses to vocalizations in humans.

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