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Publication Detail
Dissociating the functions of three left posterior superior temporal regions that contribute to speech perception and production
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Ekert JO, Gajardo-Vidal A, Lorca-Puls DL, Hope TMH, Dick F, Crinion JT, Green DW, Price CJ
  • Publication date:
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  • Country:
    United States
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  • Keywords:
    Left posterior superior temporal sulcus, Naming, Reading, Repetition, fMRI
  • Notes:
    © 2021 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Prior studies have shown that the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) both contribute to phonological short-term memory, speech perception and speech production. Here, by conducting a within-subjects multi-factorial fMRI study, we dissociate the response profiles of these regions and a third region - the anterior ascending terminal branch of the left superior temporal sulcus (atSTS), which lies dorsal to pSTS and ventral to TPJ. First, we show that each region was more activated by (i) 1-back matching on visually presented verbal stimuli (words or pseudowords) compared to 1-back matching on visually presented non-verbal stimuli (pictures of objects or non-objects), and (ii) overt speech production than 1-back matching, across 8 types of stimuli (visually presented words, pseudowords, objects and non-objects and aurally presented words, pseudowords, object sounds and meaningless hums). The response properties of the three regions dissociated within the auditory modality. In left TPJ, activation was higher for auditory stimuli that were non-verbal (sounds of objects or meaningless hums) compared to verbal (words and pseudowords), irrespective of task (speech production or 1-back matching). In left pSTS, activation was higher for non-semantic stimuli (pseudowords and hums) than semantic stimuli (words and object sounds) on the dorsal pSTS surface (dpSTS), irrespective of task. In left atSTS, activation was not sensitive to either semantic or verbal content. The contrasting response properties of left TPJ, dpSTS and atSTS was cross-validated in an independent sample of 59 participants, using region-by-condition interactions. We also show that each region participates in non-overlapping networks of frontal, parietal and cerebellar regions. Our results challenge previous claims about functional specialisation in the left posterior superior temporal lobe and motivate future studies to determine the timing and directionality of information flow in the brain networks involved in speech perception and production.
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