A temporal hierarchy for conspecific vocalization discrimination in humans.


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Actes de conférence (partie): contribution originale à la littérature scientifique, publiée à l'occasion de conférences scientifiques, dans un ouvrage de compte-rendu (proceedings), ou dans l'édition spéciale d'un journal reconnu (conference proceedings).
A temporal hierarchy for conspecific vocalization discrimination in humans.
Titre de la conférence
OHBM 2010, 16th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping
De Lucia M., Clarke S., Murray M.
Barcelona, Spain, June 6-12, 2010
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Introduction: Discrimination of species-specific vocalizations is fundamental for survival and social interactions. Its unique behavioral relevance has encouraged the identification of circumscribed brain regions exhibiting selective responses (Belin et al., 2004), while the role of network dynamics has received less attention. Those studies that have examined the brain dynamics of vocalization discrimination leave unresolved the timing and the inter-relationship between general categorization, attention, and speech-related processes (Levy et al., 2001, 2003; Charest et al., 2009). Given these discrepancies and the presence of several confounding factors, electrical neuroimaging analyses were applied to auditory evoked-potential (AEPs) to acoustically and psychophysically controlled non-verbal human and animal vocalizations. This revealed which region(s) exhibit voice-sensitive responses and in which sequence.
Methods: Subjects (N=10) performed a living vs. man-made 'oddball' auditory discrimination task, such that on a given block of trials 'target' stimuli occurred 10% of the time. Stimuli were complex, meaningful sounds of 500ms duration. There were 120 different sound files in total, 60 of which represented sounds of living objects and 60 man-made objects. The stimuli that were the focus of the present investigation were restricted to those of living objects within blocks where no response was required. These stimuli were further sorted between human non-verbal vocalizations and animal vocalizations. They were also controlled in terms of their spectrograms and formant distributions.
Continuous 64-channel EEG was acquired through Neuroscan Synamps referenced to the nose, band-pass filtered 0.05-200Hz, and digitized at 1000Hz. Peri-stimulus epochs of continuous EEG (-100ms to 900ms) were visually inspected for artifacts, 40Hz low-passed filtered and baseline corrected using the pre-stimulus period . Averages were computed from each subject separately.
AEPs in response to animal and human vocalizations were analyzed with respect to differences of Global Field Power (GFP) and with respect to changes of the voltage configurations at the scalp (reviewed in Murray et al., 2008). The former provides a measure of the strength of the electric field irrespective of topographic differences; the latter identifies changes in spatial configurations of the underlying sources independently of the response strength. In addition, we utilized the local auto-regressive average distributed linear inverse solution (LAURA; Grave de Peralta Menendez et al., 2001) to visualize and statistically contrast the likely underlying sources of effects identified in the preceding analysis steps.
Results: We found differential activity in response to human vocalizations over three periods in the post-stimulus interval, and this response was always stronger than that to animal vocalizations. The first differential response (169-219ms) was a consequence of a modulation in strength of a common brain network localized into the right superior temporal sulcus (STS; Brodmann's Area (BA) 22) and extending into the superior temporal gyrus (STG; BA 41). A second difference (291-357ms) also followed from strength modulations of a common network with statistical differences localized to the left inferior precentral and prefrontal gyrus (BA 6/45). These two first strength modulations correlated (Spearman's rho(8)=0.770; p=0.009) indicative of functional coupling between temporally segregated stages of vocalization discrimination. A third difference (389-667ms) followed from strength and topographic modulations and was localized to the left superior frontal gyrus (BA10) although this third difference did not reach our spatial criterion of 12 continuous voxels.
Conclusions: We show that voice discrimination unfolds over multiple temporal stages, involving a wide network of brain regions. The initial stages of vocalization discrimination are based on modulations in response strength within a common brain network with no evidence for a voice-selective module. The latency of this effect parallels that of face discrimination (Bentin et al., 2007), supporting the possibility that voice and face processes can mutually inform one another. Putative underlying sources (localized in the right STS; BA 22) are consistent with prior hemodynamic imaging evidence in humans (Belin et al., 2004). Our effect over the 291-357ms post-stimulus period overlaps the 'voice-specific-response' reported by Levy et al. (Levy et al., 2001) and the estimated underlying sources (left BA6/45) were in agreement with previous findings in humans (Fecteau et al., 2005). These results challenge the idea that circumscribed and selective areas subserve con-specific vocalization processing.
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16/02/2011 11:11
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20/08/2019 14:55
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