Auditory processing in primate cerebral cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1999 Apr;9(2):164-70. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(99)80022-1.


Auditory information is relayed from the ventral nucleus of the medial geniculate complex to a core of three primary or primary-like areas of auditory cortex that are cochleotopically organized and highly responsive to pure tones. Auditory information is then distributed from the core areas to a surrounding belt of about seven areas that are less precisely cochleotopic and generally more responsive to complex stimuli than tones. Recent studies indicate that the belt areas relay to the rostral and caudal divisions of a parabelt region at a third level of processing in the cortex lateral to the belt. The parabelt and belt regions have additional inputs from dorsal and magnocellular divisions of the medial geniculate complex and other parts of the thalamus. The belt and parabelt regions appear to be concerned with integrative and associative functions involved in pattern perception and object recognition. The parabelt fields connect with regions of temporal, parietal, and frontal cortex that mediate additional auditory functions, including space perception and auditory memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Primates / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Time Factors