The Progression of Neural Speech Representations Through Auditory Cortex and Beyond, from Acoustics to Language to Semantics

by Professor Jonathan Z. Simon, University of Maryland, College Park, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA

will take place on Tuesday, August 1th, 2023 from 16:00 to 17:00 hours in CBBM Building, Ground Floor, Seminar Room Levi-Montalcini.

Host: Prof. Jonas Obleser
Institute of Psychology I

Abract: As a stimulus, speech drives robust neural responses all along the auditory and language pathways, allowing the simultaneous investigation of multiple speech processing mechanisms at once, even using the same speech stimulus. I will discuss recent results from magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiments regarding the progression of neural representations of speech at different steps along the auditory pathway and beyond, from auditory cortical representations to lexical (language-based) representations, and further. The earliest representations dominantly reflect the acoustic-stimulus (“bottom up”), but later cortical representations become more and more influenced by linguistic, contextual and general cognitive factors (“top down”), and tend to reflect the speech as it is perceived rather than as the bottom-up acoustic input would predict.