An anterior pathway, concerned with extracting meaning from sound, has been identified in nonhuman primates. An analogous pathway has been suggested in humans, but controversy exists concerning the degree of lateralization and the precise location where responses to intelligible speech emerge. We have demonstrated that the left anterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) responds preferentially to intelligible speech (Scott SK, Blank CC, Rosen S, Wise RJS. 2000. Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe. Brain. 123:2400-2406.). A functional magnetic resonance imaging study in Cerebral Cortex used equivalent stimuli and univariate and multivariate analyses to argue for the greater importance of bilateral posterior when compared with the left anterior STS in responding to intelligible speech (Okada K, Rong F, Venezia J, Matchin W, Hsieh IH, Saberi K, Serences JT,Hickok G. 2010. Hierarchical organization of human auditory cortex: evidence from acoustic invariance in the response to intelligible speech. 20: 2486-2495.). Here, we also replicate our original study, demonstrating that the left anterior STS exhibits the strongest univariate response and, in decoding using the bilateral temporal cortex, contains the most informative voxels showing an increased response to intelligible speech. In contrast, in classifications using local "searchlights" and a whole brain analysis, we find greater classification accuracy in posterior rather than anterior temporal regions. Thus, we show that the precise nature of the multivariate analysis used will emphasize different response profiles associated with complex sound to speech processing.
Keywords: fMRI; intelligibility; multivariate pattern analysis; speech perception; superior temporal sulcus.
© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.