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Modulation of tonotopic ventral medial geniculate body is behaviorally relevant for speech recognition

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Abstract

Sensory thalami are central sensory pathway stations for information processing. Their role for human cognition and perception, however, remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests an involvement of the sensory thalami in speech recognition. In particular, the auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB) response is modulated by speech recognition tasks and the amount of this task-dependent modulation is associated with speech recognition abilities. Here, we tested the specific hypothesis that this behaviorally relevant modulation is present in the MGB subsection that corresponds to the primary auditory pathway (i.e., the ventral MGB [vMGB]). We used ultra-high field 7T fMRI to identify the vMGB, and found a significant positive correlation between the amount of task-dependent modulation and the speech recognition performance across participants within left vMGB, but not within the other MGB subsections. These results imply that modulation of thalamic driving input to the auditory cortex facilitates speech recognition.

    Research areas

  • AUDITORY-CORTEX, BRAIN, CAT, CORTICOTHALAMIC FEEDBACK, HEARING SPEECH, ORGANIZATION, RESPONSE PROPERTIES, SEGMENTATION, STIMULUS-SPECIFIC ADAPTATION, THALAMUS
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44837
Number of pages28
JournalElife
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2019