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The Role of Superior Temporal Cortex in Auditory Timing

Bueti, D; van Dongen, EV; Walsh, V; (2008) The Role of Superior Temporal Cortex in Auditory Timing. PLOS ONE , 3 (6) , Article e2481. 10.1371/journal.pone.0002481. Green and gold open access

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Abstract

Recently, there has been upsurge of interest in the neural mechanisms of time perception. A central question is whether the representation of time is distributed over brain regions as a function of stimulus modality, task and length of the duration used or whether it is centralized in a single specific and supramodal network. The answers seem to be converging on the former, and many areas not primarily considered as temporal processing areas remain to be investigated in the temporal domain. Here we asked whether the superior temporal gyrus, an auditory modality specific area, is involved in processing of auditory timing. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied over left and right superior temporal gyri while participants performed either a temporal or a frequency discrimination task of single tones. A significant decrease in performance accuracy was observed after stimulation of the right superior temporal gyrus, in addition to an increase in response uncertainty as measured by the Just Noticeable Difference. The results are specific to auditory temporal processing and performance on the frequency task was not affected. Our results further support the idea of distributed temporal processing and speak in favor of the existence of modality specific temporal regions in the human brain.

Type:Article
Title:The Role of Superior Temporal Cortex in Auditory Timing
Open access status:An open access publication. A version is also available from UCL Discovery.
DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0002481
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002481
Language:English
Additional information:© 2008 Bueti et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Domenica Bueti was supported by the Leverhulme Trust; Vincent Walsh was supported by the Royal Society.
Keywords:TIME PERCEPTION, NEURAL REPRESENTATION, BRAIN ACTIVATION, INTERNAL CLOCK, VISUAL-CORTEX, BASAL GANGLIA, DURATION, INTERVALS, SYSTEMS, MOTOR
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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