The analysis of complex sound features is important for the perception of environmental sounds, speech and music, and may be abnormal in disorders such as specific language impairment in children, and in common adult lesions including stroke and multiple sclerosis. This work addresses the problem of how the human auditory system detects features in complex sound, and uses those features to perceive the auditory world. The work has been carried out using two independent means of testing the same hypotheses; detailed psychophysical studies of neurological patients with central lesions, and functional imaging using positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging of normal subjects. The psychophysical and imaging studies have both examined which brain areas are concerned with the analysis of auditory space, and which are concerned with the analysis of timing information in the auditory system. This differs from many previous human auditory studies, which have concentrated on the analysis of sound frequency. The combined lesion and functional imaging approach has demonstrated analysis of the spatial property of sound movement within the right parietal lobe. The timing work has confirmed that the primary auditory cortex is active as a function of the time structure of sound, and therefore not only concerned with frequency representation of sounds.
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Research Article| March 01 1999
Human complex sound analysis*
T. D. GRIFFITHS
1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Newcastle University Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4HH, U.K., and Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, U.K.
Correspondence: Dr T. D. Griffiths, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Newcastle University Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4HH, U.K.
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Clin Sci (Lond) (1999) 96 (3): 231–234.
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T. D. GRIFFITHS; Human complex sound analysis. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 March 1999; 96 (3): 231–234. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/cs0960231
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