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Distributed processing and cortical specialization for speech and environmental sounds in human temporal cortex

Using functional MRI, we investigated whether auditory processing of both speech and meaningful non-linguistic environmental sounds in superior and middle temporal cortex relies on a complex and spatially distributed neural system. We found that evidence for spatially distributed processing of speech and environmental sounds in a substantial extent of temporal cortices. Most importantly, regions previously reported as selective for speech over environmental sounds also contained distributed information. The results indicate that temporal cortices supporting complex auditory processing, including regions previously described as speech-selective, are in fact highly heterogeneous.

from Brain and Language