Cortical encoding of speech enhances task-relevant acoustic information

Sanne Rutten, Roberta Santoro, Alexis Hervais-Adelman, Elia Formisano, Narly Golestani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

Abstract

Speech is the most important signal in our auditory environment, and the processing of speech is highly dependent on context. However, it is unknown how contextual demands influence the neural encoding of speech. Here, we examine the context dependence of auditory cortical mechanisms for speech encoding at the level of the representation of fundamental acoustic features (spectrotemporal modulations) using model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the performance of different tasks on identical speech sounds leads to neural enhancement of the acoustic features in the stimuli that are critically relevant to task performance. These task effects were observed at the earliest stages of auditory cortical processing, in line with interactive accounts of speech processing. Our work provides important insights into the mechanisms that underlie the processing of contextually relevant acoustic information within our rich and dynamic auditory environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-987
Number of pages14
JournalNature human behaviour
Volume3
Issue number9
Early online date8 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • ACTIVATION
  • ATTENTION
  • AUDITORY-CORTEX
  • NEURONS
  • PATTERNS
  • PLASTICITY
  • RECEPTIVE-FIELDS
  • REPRESENTATION
  • SPEAKER
  • VOICE

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