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Sharda, M and Singh, NC (2012) Auditory perception of natural sound categories--an fMRI study. Neuroscience, 214. pp. 49-58.

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Abstract

Despite an extremely rich and complex auditory environment, human beings categorize sounds effortlessly. While it is now well-known that this ability is a result of complex interaction of bottom-up processing of low-level acoustic features and top-down influences like evolutionary relevance, it is yet unclear how these processes drive categorization. The objective of the current study was to use functional neuroimaging to investigate the contribution of these two processes for category selectivity in the cortex. We used a set of ecologically valid sounds that belonged to three different categories: animal vocalizations, environmental sounds and human non-speech sounds, all matched on acoustic structure attributes like harmonic-to-noise ratio to minimize differences in bottom-up processing as well as matched for familiarity to rule out other top-down influences. Participants performed a loudness judgment task in the scanner and data were acquired using a sparse-temporal sampling paradigm. Our functional imaging results show that there is category selectivity in the cortex only for species-specific vocalizations and this is revealed in six clusters in the right and left STG/STS. Category selectivity was not observed for any other category of sounds. Our findings suggest a potential role of evolutionary relevance for cortical processing of sounds. While this seems to be an appealing proposition, further studies are required to explore the role of top-down mechanisms arising from such features to drive category selectivity in the brain

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neuro-Oncological Disorders
Neurocognitive Processes
Neuronal Development and Regeneration
Informatics and Imaging
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Depositing User: Mr D.D. Lal
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 04:36
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 05:50
URI: http://nbrc.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/69

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