Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 275–284

Lateralized processing of speech prosodies in the temporal cortex: a 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging study

  • Detlef Stiller
  • Birgit Gaschler-Markefski
  • Frank Baumgart
  • Frank Schindler
  • Claus Tempelmann
  • Hans-Jochen Heinze
  • henning Scheich
Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF02595045

Cite this article as:
Stiller, D., Gaschler-Markefski, B., Baumgart, F. et al. MAGMA (1997) 5: 275. doi:10.1007/BF02595045

Abstract

Prosodic modulation of speech provides information about emotional states of speakers (affective prosodies) or serves as syntactic markers to change linguistic aspects of speech (linguistic prosodies). Previous electrophysiological investigations and studies on patients with right or left hemisphere damage showed nonuniform results with respect to lateralization of prosodic processing. In this study 20 healthy right-handed volunteers were investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging of the acoustically responsive areas on the supratemporal plane while detecting phonemes as control targets or prosodies in strings of nonsense syllables and adjectives, the latter randomly intonated in a declarative, interrogative, commanding, happy, or sad fashion. In control task A the phoneme /a/ was detected in the syllables. In control task B the phoneme /a/ was detected in the adjectives, and in the experimental task C the sad intonations (affective) and in the experimental task D the interrogative intonations (linguistic) had to be detected in the same material. In task A intensity-weighted volumes of activated voxels were not different in the two hemispheres (laterality index 0). In task B with an irrelevant phoneme detection with respect to prosodic material, the population split into two subgroups with similar right or left hemispheric lateralization of activity leading to an absolute laterality index of 26.8 across all subjects. During detection of affective prosodies (task C), lateralization was maintained yet the absolute laterality index reduced to 14.5, while there was no lateralization during detection of linguistic prosodies. The sum of activations in the two hemispheres was the same across all tasks and subgroups, which suggests that the lateralizations occurring with presentation and detection of prosodic material depend on a redistribution of activity between hemispheres.

Keywords

speechprosodyfMRIlateralizationauditory cortex

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Detlef Stiller
    • 2
  • Birgit Gaschler-Markefski
    • 2
  • Frank Baumgart
    • 2
  • Frank Schindler
    • 2
  • Claus Tempelmann
    • 2
    • 1
  • Hans-Jochen Heinze
    • 1
  • henning Scheich
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical NeurophysiologyOtto-von-Guericke-UniversityMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Federal Institute for Neurobiology (IfN)MagdeburgGermany