Document Detail


Effortful listening: the processing of degraded speech depends critically on attention.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23035108     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The conditions of everyday life are such that people often hear speech that has been degraded (e.g., by background noise or electronic transmission) or when they are distracted by other tasks. However, it remains unclear what role attention plays in processing speech that is difficult to understand. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the degree to which spoken sentences were processed under distraction, and whether this depended on the acoustic quality (intelligibility) of the speech. On every trial, adult human participants attended to one of three simultaneously presented stimuli: a sentence (at one of four acoustic clarity levels), an auditory distracter, or a visual distracter. A postscan recognition test showed that clear speech was processed even when not attended, but that attention greatly enhanced the processing of degraded speech. Furthermore, speech-sensitive cortex could be parcellated according to how speech-evoked responses were modulated by attention. Responses in auditory cortex and areas along the superior temporal sulcus (STS) took the same form regardless of attention, although responses to distorted speech in portions of both posterior and anterior STS were enhanced under directed attention. In contrast, frontal regions, including left inferior frontal gyrus, were only engaged when listeners were attending to speech and these regions exhibited elevated responses to degraded, compared with clear, speech. We suggest this response is a neural marker of effortful listening. Together, our results suggest that attention enhances the processing of degraded speech by engaging higher-order mechanisms that modulate perceptual auditory processing.
Authors:
Conor J Wild; Afiqah Yusuf; Daryl E Wilson; Jonathan E Peelle; Matthew H Davis; Ingrid S Johnsrude
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-04     Completed Date:  2013-01-17     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14010-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Acoustic Stimulation
Adult
Attention / physiology*
Auditory Cortex / physiology*
Auditory Pathways / physiology*
Auditory Perception / physiology*
Brain Mapping
Female
Frontal Lobe / physiology*
Humans
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Male
Memory, Short-Term / physiology
Noise
Pattern Recognition, Physiological / physiology
Photic Stimulation
Sensory Gating / physiology
Speech Intelligibility*
Temporal Lobe / physiology
Young Adult
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
MC_U105580446//Medical Research Council; //Canadian Institutes of Health Research

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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