Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain has center for detecting sound motion

16.09.2004


Close your eyes and acutely listen to the sounds around you, and you’ll find you’re able not only to accurately place the location of sounds in space, but their motion. Imagine then that, strangely, you suddenly became unable to distinguish the motion of sounds, even while you retained the ability to pinpoint their location. That’s exactly the experience of a patient reported by Christine Ducommun and her colleagues, who used studies of the patient to demonstrate conclusively for the first time that the brain has a specialized region for processing sound motion.



While it was known that the visual system has a specialized region for perceiving motion, it wasn’t known whether the auditory system has such a region--or whether sound location and motion are processed by the same circuitry. Previous studies of the capabilities of brain-damaged patients had found only that both their location and motion processing abilities were impaired, and animal and human neuroimaging studies had not been able to conclusively tease apart the two abilities.

Ducommun and her colleagues discovered the region by studying a woman who was to be operated on to alleviate intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. The operation would involve the removal of the affected regions of the right anterior temporal lobe and the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG).


Perceptual tests before the operation showed her ability to perceive sound location and motion to be normal. In those tests, the researchers played white noise through headphones and simulated movement of the noise source, asking the patient to detect the noise location and how it seemed to be moving. The patient could also identify sounds such as a piano, dog, water, sneezing, and a saw.

Also, the researchers electrically stimulated the brain region to be removed--using electrodes already in place to monitor epileptic activity. They found that such stimulation of the right posterior STG led the patient to report that "there was a humming sound coming toward [her] face." When the researchers presented moving sounds to the patient while they recorded from the electrodes, they also detected the strongest activity in the right posterior STG.

After the operation, however, the patient showed what the researchers dubbed "cortical motion deafness." During perceptual tests, she stated "I do not perceive the sounds as moving at all, but rather as being completely stable." In contrast, she could still perceive the location of sounds and their identity. Also, all her visual abilities remained normal.

While her ability to detect sound motion improved over the next three years, she still remained deficient. According to the researchers, such improvement likely was due to partial recovery because of adaptive changes in her cortex.

According to the researchers, their findings "provide evidence of an auditory motion module within the right posterior STG" and that by analogy with the motion-detection region of the visual system this region "may constitute the core region for auditory motion analysis."

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>