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Cerebral Processing of Voice Gender Studied Using a Continuous Carryover fMRI Design

Author(s): I. Charest, C. Pernet, M. Latinus, F. Crabbe, P. Belin

Normal listeners effortlessly determine a person's gender by voice, but the cerebral mechanisms underlying this ability remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate 2 stages of cerebral processing during voice gender categorization. Using voice morphing along with an adaptation-optimized functional magnetic resonance imaging design, we found that secondary auditory cortex including the anterior part of the temporal voice areas in the right hemisphere responded primarily to acoustical distance with the previously heard stimulus. In contrast, a network of bilateral regions involving inferior prefrontal and anterior and posterior cingulate cortex reflected perceived stimulus ambiguity. These findings suggest that voice gender recognition involves neuronal populations along the auditory ventral stream responsible for auditory feature extraction, functioning in pair with the prefrontal cortex in voice gender perception.

Full version: Available here

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ISBN: 1047-3211
Publication Year: 2013
Periodical: Cerebral Cortex
Periodical Number: 4
Volume: 23
Pages: 958-966
Author Address: Charest, I MRC Cognit & Brain Sci Unit, Room 87,15 Chaucer Rd, Cambridge CB2 7EF, England Med Res Council Cognit & Brain Sci Unit MRC CBU, Cambridge CB2 7EF, England Univ Glasgow, Sch Psychol, Glasgow G12 8QB, Lanark, Scotland Univ Glasgow, Inst Neurosci & Psychol, Glasgow G12 8QB, Lanark, Scotland Univ Edinburgh, SFC Brain Imaging Res Ctr, Div Clin Neurosci, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Midlothian, Scotland Univ Montreal, BRAMS Int Lab Brain Mus & Sound Res, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada McGill Univ, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada