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 Another piece of Ebola virus puzzle identified
17.01.2019 | Texas Biomedical Research Institute

nachricht New scale for electronegativity rewrites the chemistry textbook
17.01.2019 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics

17.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate

17.01.2019 | Information Technology

Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>