Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Neural Correlates of Rhythm Processing in Speech Perception

Eveline Geiser, Conny Schmidt, Lutz Jancke, Martin Meyer

Department of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

The present study investigates the neural correlates of speech rhythm perception. Metric and non-metric German pseudosentences were compared in an auditory fMRI experiment. One group of subjects was to decide which type of sentence they had heard (explicit processing). A second group performed a prosody task on the same stimuli (implicit processing). As an active baseline condition isochronous syllables were presented. Group analysis revealed activation in the supplementary motor area (SMA) for the explicit processing group. This activation was not present in the implicit processing group. A direct contrast between the metric and the non-metric sentences for the implicit processing group revealed significant activation in the left planum temporale (PT) for the metric condition. Our results suggest that rhythm processing relies on neural correlates different from those related to speech melody processing. The implicit perception of unexpected speech rhythm relies on brain areas which have previously been associated with temporal auditory processing in the left hemisphere.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Geiser, Eveline / Schmidt, Conny / Jancke, Lutz / Meyer, Martin (2006): "Neural correlates of rhythm processing in speech perception", In SP-2006, paper 114.