Brain 'talks over' boring quotes: top-down activation of voice-selective areas while listening to monotonous direct speech quotations

Yao, B., Belin, P. and Scheepers, C. (2012) Brain 'talks over' boring quotes: top-down activation of voice-selective areas while listening to monotonous direct speech quotations. NeuroImage, 60(3), pp. 1832-1842. (doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.111) (PMID:22306805)

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Abstract

In human communication, direct speech (e.g., Mary said, "I'm hungry") is perceived as more vivid than indirect speech (e.g., Mary said that she was hungry). This vividness distinction has previously been found to underlie silent reading of quotations: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that direct speech elicited higher brain activity in the temporal voice areas (TVA) of the auditory cortex than indirect speech, consistent with an "inner voice" experience in reading direct speech. Here we show that listening to monotonously spoken direct versus indirect speech quotations also engenders differential TVA activity. This suggests that individuals engage in top-down simulations or imagery of enriched supra-segmental acoustic representations while listening to monotonous direct speech. The findings shed new light on the acoustic nature of the "inner voice" in understanding direct speech.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yao, Mr Bo and Scheepers, Dr Christoph and Belin, Professor Pascal
Authors: Yao, B., Belin, P., and Scheepers, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:NeuroImage
Publisher:Elsevier Inc.
ISSN:1053-8119
ISSN (Online):1095-9572
Published Online:28 January 2012

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