Neuroscience

Hearing with Mirrors

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Science  28 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5650, pp. 1480
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5650.1480a

Anatomical and electrophysiological studies in macaque monkeys have indicated that the primate auditory system is organized in the form of tonotopic maps, which means that neighboring neurons on the auditory cortical surface will be responsive to sounds in neighboring frequency bands. Recently, several groups have investigated the organization of the primary auditory cortex in humans with functional neuroimaging methods and have outlined an organization in humans similar to the one described in the monkey.

Formisano et al. have used ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (with high spatial resolution) to describe the detailed layout of the tonotopic maps in the human primary auditory cortex. Their results provide further evidence for functional subparcellation and confirm the existence of two tonotopically organized, mirror-symmetric areas in the core of the human auditory cortex. The identification of primary auditory subdivisions represents an important advance in understanding the cortical substrate that deals with the human perception of sounds, including speech and music. — PRS

Neuron 40, 859 (2003).

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