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Rapid and slow temporal information processing and speech perception

English title Rapid and slow temporal information processing and speech perception
Applicant Meyer Martin
Number 105877
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Lehrstuhl für Neuropsychologie Psychologisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.01.2005 - 31.12.2007
Approved amount 227'000.00
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Keywords (6)

cognitive neuroscience; auditory and speech perception; auditory cortex; functional magnetic resonance imaging; transcranial magnetic stimulation; auditory system

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The ability to percept and produce speech allows human beings a complexform of communication, which makes us outstanding amongst other creatures.For more then one century neuropsychology has been attempting tosystematically identify, describe, and map the neural basis of speechperception and production. Recent research has been using modern imagingtechniques (EEG and functional MR Imaging) to corroborate former clinicalobservations which had associated the brain's left hemisphere with majorfunctions of speech perception and production. These findings support theview of a lateralization of speech functions. However, it has recentlybeen demonstrated that the right hemisphere also plays an important rolein subserving speech functions by preferentially processing slowlychanging acoustic cues. Akin to sounds and melodies a spoken utterance canbe basically considered a physical signal which unfolds in time. Howeverit seems, that the brain differentially processes linguistically relevantand nonlinguistic acoustic cues available in the speech signal. Notably,the detection and processing of phonemes (the smallest linguistic units)is primarily driven by the left hemisphere while the right hemisphereseems to be more amenable to slowly changing acoustic information whichare typical features of melodies. Interestingly, recent work by our grouphas demonstrated that the processing of rapidly changing acousticinformation in the speech signal, and not the linguistic stimuli per se,may account for the functional and structural lateralisation of speech inthe human brain. Within the years to come we will be running a series ofimaging studies to comprehensively elucidate the nature of functional andstructural lateralization in spoken language with a particular emphasis onthe processing of slowly and rapidly changing temporal cues availablewhich pivotally encode phonological and prosodic information in spokenutterances.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
120661 Structural and functional mapping of local and global acoustic cue processing in the human auditory system during speech and nonspeech perception 01.04.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)