Our fMRI study investigates auditory rhyme processing in spoken language to further elucidate the topic of functional lateralization of language processing.
During scanning, 14 subjects listened to four different types of versed word strings and subsequently performed either a rhyme or a meter detection task. Our results show lateralization to auditory-related temporal regions in the right hemisphere irrespective of task. As for the left hemisphere we report responses in the supramarginal gyrus as well as in the opercular part of the inferior frontal gyrus modulated by the presence of regular meter and rhyme. The interaction of rhyme and meter was associated with increased involvement of the superior temporal sulcus and the putamen of the right hemisphere.
Overall, these findings support the notion of right-hemispheric specialization for suprasegmental analyses during processing of spoken sentences and provide neuroimaging evidence for the influence of metrics on auditory rhyme processing.