The lateralization of speech-brain coupling is differentially modulated by intrinsic auditory and top-down mechanisms

  • The lateralization of neuronal processing underpinning hearing, speech, language, and music is widely studied, vigorously debated, and still not understood in a satisfactory manner. One set of hypotheses focuses on the temporal structure of perceptual experience and links auditory cortex asymmetries to underlying differences in neural populations with differential temporal sensitivity (e.g., ideas advanced by Zatorre et al. (2002) and Poeppel (2003). The Asymmetric Sampling in Time theory (AST) (Poeppel, 2003), builds on cytoarchitectonic differences between auditory cortices and predicts that modulation frequencies within the range of, roughly, the syllable rate, are more accurately tracked by the right hemisphere. To date, this conjecture is reasonably well supported, since – while there is some heterogeneity in the reported findings – the predicted asymmetrical entrainment has been observed in various experimental protocols. Here, we show that under specific processing demands, the rightward dominance disappears. We propose an enriched and modified version of the asymmetric sampling hypothesis in the context of speech. Recent work (Rimmele et al., 2018b) proposes two different mechanisms to underlie the auditory tracking of the speech envelope: one derived from the intrinsic oscillatory properties of auditory regions; the other induced by top-down signals coming from other non-auditory regions of the brain. We propose that under non-speech listening conditions, the intrinsic auditory mechanism dominates and thus, in line with AST, entrainment is rightward lateralized, as is widely observed. However, (i) depending on individual brain structural/functional differences, and/or (ii) in the context of specific speech listening conditions, the relative weight of the top-down mechanism can increase. In this scenario, the typically observed auditory sampling asymmetry (and its rightward dominance) diminishes or vanishes.

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Author:M. Florencia Assaneo, Johanna Maria Rimmele, Joan Orpella, Pablo Ripollés, Ruth de Diego-Balaguer, David Poeppel
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in integrative neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Andreas Bahmer
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/07/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/08/22
Tag:MEG (magnetoencephalography); asymmetrical sampling; brain to stimulus synchronization; speech envelope tracking; speech perception
Issue:Art. 28
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Copyright © 2019 Assaneo, Rimmele, Orpella, Ripollés, de Diego-Balaguer and Poeppel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / MPI für empirische Ästhetik
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0