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Superior temporal sulcus - It's my area: or is it?


Hein, G; Knight, R T (2008). Superior temporal sulcus - It's my area: or is it? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(12):2125-2136.

Abstract

The superior temporal sulcus (STS) is the chameleon of the human brain. Several research areas claim the STS as the host brain region for their particular behavior of interest. Some see it as one of the core structures for theory of mind. For others, it is the main region for audiovisual integration. It plays an important role in biological motion perception, but is also claimed to be essential for speech processing and processing of faces. We review the foci of activations in the STS from multiple functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, focusing on theory of mind, audiovisual integration, motion processing, speech processing, and face processing. The results indicate a differentiation of the STS region in an anterior portion, mainly involved in speech processing, and a posterior portion recruited by cognitive demands of all these different research areas. The latter finding argues against a strict functional subdivision of the STS. In line with anatomical evidence from tracer studies, we propose that the function of the STS varies depending on the nature of network coactivations with different regions in the frontal cortex and medial-temporal lobe. This view is more in keeping with the notion that the same brain region can support different cognitive operations depending on task-dependent network connections, emphasizing the role of network connectivity analysis in neuroimaging.

Abstract

The superior temporal sulcus (STS) is the chameleon of the human brain. Several research areas claim the STS as the host brain region for their particular behavior of interest. Some see it as one of the core structures for theory of mind. For others, it is the main region for audiovisual integration. It plays an important role in biological motion perception, but is also claimed to be essential for speech processing and processing of faces. We review the foci of activations in the STS from multiple functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, focusing on theory of mind, audiovisual integration, motion processing, speech processing, and face processing. The results indicate a differentiation of the STS region in an anterior portion, mainly involved in speech processing, and a posterior portion recruited by cognitive demands of all these different research areas. The latter finding argues against a strict functional subdivision of the STS. In line with anatomical evidence from tracer studies, we propose that the function of the STS varies depending on the nature of network coactivations with different regions in the frontal cortex and medial-temporal lobe. This view is more in keeping with the notion that the same brain region can support different cognitive operations depending on task-dependent network connections, emphasizing the role of network connectivity analysis in neuroimaging.

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196 citations in Web of Science®
219 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2008
Deposited On:02 Mar 2009 15:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:09
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN:0898-929X
Additional Information:Copyright: MIT Press
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2008.20148
PubMed ID:18457502

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