The Commissural Auditory System



We consider the anatomy and the function of the forebrain auditory callosal system. We begin with an anatomical description of callosal organization, drawing on comparative evidence, present evidence for common principles and area-specific departures from these in audition and other modalities, and consider this system in its own right. We also consider experience-dependent development of commissural connectivity and how it is perturbed by experience and disease. We then explore the functional correlates of this anatomical organization with particular attention to the empirical link between callosal and intrahemispheric connectivity on the one hand, and binaural processing on the other. We conclude by exploring the hypothesis that callosal connectivity supports continuity of sensation across the midline to create perceptual unity.


Interaural Level Difference Interhemispheric Connection Binaural Interaction Callosal Projection Callosal Axon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



anterior auditory field (non-primate cortex)


auditory processing disorder


auditory area 1 (primary auditory cortex)


auditory area 2 (non-primate cortex)


characteristic frequency




excitatory (contralateral)—excitatory (ipsilateral)


excitatory (contralateral)—inhibitory (ipsilateral)


excitatory (contralateral)—no effect (ipsilateral)


gamma-aminobutyric acid


horseradish peroxidase


interaural level difference


interaural time difference


medial geniculate complex (thalamus)


posterior auditory field (non-primate cortex)


predominately binaural


parietal ventral area (primate somatic sensory cortex)


somatic sensory area 1 (non-primate cortex)


visual area 1 (area 17)


visual area 2 (area 18)


ventral posterior auditory field (non-primate cortex)



Some of the work described in this chapter was supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, and the Killam Trust (D.P.P.)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hearing and Speech SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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