Combining Voice and Face Content in the Primate Temporal Lobe

Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 68)


The interactions of many social animals critically depend on identifying other individuals to approach or avoid. Recognizing specific individuals requires extracting and integrating cross-sensory indexical cues from richly informative communication signals such as voice and face content. Knowledge on how the brain processes faces and voices as unisensory or multisensory signals has grown; neurobiological insights are now available not only from human neuroimaging data but also from comparative neuroimaging studies in nonhuman animals, which together identify the correspondences that can be made between brain processes in humans and other species. These advances have also had the added benefit of establishing animal models in which neuronal processes and pathways are interrogated at finer neurobiological scales than possible in humans. This chapter overviews the latest insights on neuronal representations of voice and face content, including information on sensory convergence sites and pathways that combine multisensory signals in the primate temporal lobe. The information synthesized here leads to a conceptual model whereby the sensory integration of voice and face content depends on temporal lobe convergence sites, which are a midway processing stage and a conduit between audiovisual sensory-processing streams and the frontal cortex.


Auditory Communication Comparative Face areas Functional magnetic resonance imaging Neurons Neurophysiology Oscillations Spikes Superior-temporal sulcus Visual Voice areas 



We thank Christoph Kayser and Nikos Logothetis for useful discussion, support, and encouragement. This work was supported by the Max Planck Society, Wellcome Trust Investigator Award WT092606AIA to Christopher I. Petkov, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship 110238/Z/15/Z to Catherine Perrodin, the European Research Council to Christopher I. Petkov (MECHIDENT), and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council BB/J009849/1 to Christopher I. Petkov jointly with Q. Vuong.

Compliance with Ethics Requirements

Catherine Perrodin declares that she has no conflict of interest.Christopher I. Petkov declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, University College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University Medical SchoolNewcastle upon TyneUK

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