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Feel the Noise: Relating Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery to the Structure and Function of Sensorimotor Systems

Lima, CF; Lavan, N; Evans, S; Agnew, Z; Halpern, AR; Shanmugalingam, P; Meekings, S; ... Scott, SK; + view all (2015) Feel the Noise: Relating Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery to the Structure and Function of Sensorimotor Systems. Cerebral Cortex , 25 (11) pp. 4638-4650. 10.1093/cercor/bhv134. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans can generate mental auditory images of voices or songs, sometimes perceiving them almost as vividly as perceptual experiences. The functional networks supporting auditory imagery have been described, but less is known about the systems associated with interindividual differences in auditory imagery. Combining voxel-based morphometry and fMRI, we examined the structural basis of interindividual differences in how auditory images are subjectively perceived, and explored associations between auditory imagery, sensory-based processing, and visual imagery. Vividness of auditory imagery correlated with gray matter volume in the supplementary motor area (SMA), parietal cortex, medial superior frontal gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus. An analysis of functional responses to different types of human vocalizations revealed that the SMA and parietal sites that predict imagery are also modulated by sound type. Using representational similarity analysis, we found that higher representational specificity of heard sounds in SMA predicts vividness of imagery, indicating a mechanistic link between sensory- and imagery-based processing in sensorimotor cortex. Vividness of imagery in the visual domain also correlated with SMA structure, and with auditory imagery scores. Altogether, these findings provide evidence for a signature of imagery in brain structure, and highlight a common role of perceptual-motor interactions for processing heard and internally generated auditory information.

Type: Article
Title: Feel the Noise: Relating Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery to the Structure and Function of Sensorimotor Systems
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhv134
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhv134
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: auditory imagery, auditory processing, fMRI, supplementary motor area, voxel-based morphometry
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472652
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