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      Homology and Specificity of Natural Sound-Encoding in Human and Monkey Auditory Cortex

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          Abstract

          Understanding homologies and differences in auditory cortical processing in human and nonhuman primates is an essential step in elucidating the neurobiology of speech and language. Using fMRI responses to natural sounds, we investigated the representation of multiple acoustic features in auditory cortex of awake macaques and humans. Comparative analyses revealed homologous large-scale topographies not only for frequency but also for temporal and spectral modulations. In both species, posterior regions preferably encoded relatively fast temporal and coarse spectral information, whereas anterior regions encoded slow temporal and fine spectral modulations. Conversely, we observed a striking interspecies difference in cortical sensitivity to temporal modulations: While decoding from macaque auditory cortex was most accurate at fast rates (> 30 Hz), humans had highest sensitivity to ~3 Hz, a relevant rate for speech analysis. These findings suggest that characteristic tuning of human auditory cortex to slow temporal modulations is unique and may have emerged as a critical step in the evolution of speech and language.

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          Most cited references 78

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          Ridge Regression: Biased Estimation for Nonorthogonal Problems

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            Identifying natural images from human brain activity.

            A challenging goal in neuroscience is to be able to read out, or decode, mental content from brain activity. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have decoded orientation, position and object category from activity in visual cortex. However, these studies typically used relatively simple stimuli (for example, gratings) or images drawn from fixed categories (for example, faces, houses), and decoding was based on previous measurements of brain activity evoked by those same stimuli or categories. To overcome these limitations, here we develop a decoding method based on quantitative receptive-field models that characterize the relationship between visual stimuli and fMRI activity in early visual areas. These models describe the tuning of individual voxels for space, orientation and spatial frequency, and are estimated directly from responses evoked by natural images. We show that these receptive-field models make it possible to identify, from a large set of completely novel natural images, which specific image was seen by an observer. Identification is not a mere consequence of the retinotopic organization of visual areas; simpler receptive-field models that describe only spatial tuning yield much poorer identification performance. Our results suggest that it may soon be possible to reconstruct a picture of a person's visual experience from measurements of brain activity alone.
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              Human primary auditory cortex: cytoarchitectonic subdivisions and mapping into a spatial reference system.

              The transverse temporal gyrus of Heschl contains the human auditory cortex. Several schematic maps of the cytoarchitectonic correlate of this functional entity are available, but they present partly conflicting data (number and position of borders of the primary auditory areas) and they do not enable reliable comparisons with functional imaging data in a common spatial reference system. In order to provide a 3-D data set of the precise position and extent of the human primary auditory cortex, its putative subdivisions, and its topographical intersubject variability, we performed a quantitative cytoarchitectonic analysis of 10 brains using a recently established technique for observer-independent definition of areal borders. Three areas, Te1.1, Te1.0, and Te1.2, with a well-developed layer IV, which represent the primary auditory cortex (Brodmann area 41), can be identified along the mediolateral axis of the Heschl gyrus. The cell density was significantly higher in Te1.1 compared to Te1.2 in the left but not in the right hemisphere. The cytoarchitectonically defined areal borders of the primary auditory cortex do not consistently match macroanatomic landmarks like gyral and sulcal borders. The three primary auditory areas of each postmortem brain were mapped to a spatial reference system which is based on a brain registered by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. The integration of a sample of postmortem brains in a spatial reference system allows one to estimate the spatial variability of each cytoarchitectonically defined region with respect to this reference system. In future, the transfer of in vivo structural and functional data into the same spatial reference system will enable accurate comparisons of cytoarchitectonic maps of the primary auditory cortex with activation centers as established with functional imaging procedures. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Cerebral Cortex
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1047-3211
                1460-2199
                September 2019
                August 14 2019
                November 03 2018
                September 2019
                August 14 2019
                November 03 2018
                : 29
                : 9
                : 3636-3650
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (MBIC), MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany
                [4 ]Laboratorium voor Neuro-en Psychofysiologie, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
                [5 ]MGH Martinos Center, Charlestown, MA, USA
                [6 ]Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
                [7 ]Leuven Brain Institute, Leuven, Belgium
                [8 ]Maastricht Center for Systems Biology (MaCSBio), MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
                Article
                10.1093/cercor/bhy243
                © 2018

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