IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 8 / DOI: 10.2741/2304

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Brain activity during selective listening to natural speech
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1 Department of Psychology, PO Box 9, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2 Department of Psychology, FIN-20014 University of Turku, Finland
Academic Editors:Brian Gygi, Pierre Divenyi
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(8), 3167–3176;
Published: 1 May 2007

Human brain functions involved in selective attention to particular sounds have been studied extensively with non-invasive measurements of electro-magnetic and hemodynamic brain activity. Here we review studies indicating that selection of the attended sounds for further processing occurs in the auditory cortex. The exact locus of this selection process in the auditory cortex appears to depend on the auditory attribute, i.e., location or pitch, separating the attended sounds from the irrelevant ones. Recent neuroimaging studies extend this finding from processing of non-speech sounds to attentional selection of relevant speech differing by its location or speaker identity from concurrent irrelevant speech. These studies suggest also that selective listening to speech depends less on prefrontal control functions than other kinds of listening tasks demanding selective attention.

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