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The cortical organization of speech processing

Abstract

Despite decades of research, the functional neuroanatomy of speech processing has been difficult to characterize. A major impediment to progress may have been the failure to consider task effects when mapping speech-related processing systems. We outline a dual-stream model of speech processing that remedies this situation. In this model, a ventral stream processes speech signals for comprehension, and a dorsal stream maps acoustic speech signals to frontal lobe articulatory networks. The model assumes that the ventral stream is largely bilaterally organized — although there are important computational differences between the left- and right-hemisphere systems — and that the dorsal stream is strongly left-hemisphere dominant.

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Figure 1: The dual-stream model of the functional anatomy of language.
Figure 2: Parallel routes in the mapping from acoustic input to lexical phonological representations.
Figure 3: Lexical phonological networks in the superior temporal sulcus.
Figure 4: Regions activated in an auditory–motor task for speech.

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Hickok, G., Poeppel, D. The cortical organization of speech processing. Nat Rev Neurosci 8, 393–402 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2113

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