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Auditory-motor expertise alters "speech selectivity" in professional musicians and actors

Dick, Frederic and Lee, H.L. and Nusbaum, H. and Price, C.J. (2011) Auditory-motor expertise alters "speech selectivity" in professional musicians and actors. Cerebral Cortex 21 (4), pp. 938-948. ISSN 1047-3211.

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Several perisylvian brain regions show preferential activation for spoken language above and beyond other complex sounds. These "speech-selective" effects might be driven by regions' intrinsic biases for processing the acoustical or informational properties of speech. Alternatively, such speech selectivity might emerge through extensive experience in perceiving and producing speech sounds. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study disambiguated such audiomotor expertise from speech selectivity by comparing activation for listening to speech and music in female professional violinists and actors. Audiomotor expertise effects were identified in several right and left superior temporal regions that responded to speech in all participants and music in violinists more than actresses. Regions associated with the acoustic/information content of speech were identified along the entire length of the superior temporal sulci bilaterally where activation was greater for speech than music in all participants. Finally, an effect of performing arts training was identified in bilateral premotor regions commonly activated by finger and mouth movements as well as in right hemisphere "language regions." These results distinguish the seemingly speech-specific neural responses that can be abolished and even reversed by long-term audiomotor experience.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): auditory, expertise, fMRI, language, plasticity
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 May 2011 08:04
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20

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