Right and left perisylvian cortex and left inferior frontal cortex mediate sentence-level rhyme detection in spoken language as revealed by sparse fMRI

Authors

  • Martina A. Hurschler,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Institute of Psychology, Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain (HAB LAB), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    • Institute of Psychology, Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain (HAB LAB), University of Zurich, Sumatrastrasse 30, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: m.hurschler@psychologie.uzh.ch

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  • Franziskus Liem,

    1. Division of Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Institute of Psychology, Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain (HAB LAB), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Lutz Jäncke,

    1. Division of Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Institute of Psychology, Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain (HAB LAB), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    3. International Normal Aging and Plasticity Imaging Center, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Martin Meyer

    1. Institute of Psychology, Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain (HAB LAB), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. International Normal Aging and Plasticity Imaging Center, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    3. Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Abstract

In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural basis of auditory rhyme processing at the sentence level in healthy adults. In an explicit rhyme detection task, participants were required to decide whether the ending syllable of a metrically spoken pseudosentence rhymed or not. Participants performing this task revealed bilateral activation in posterior–superior temporal gyri with a much more extended cluster of activation in the right hemisphere. These findings suggest that the right hemisphere primarily supports suprasegmental tasks, such as the segmentation of speech into syllables; thus, our findings are in line with the “asymmetric sampling in time” model suggested by Poeppel (2004: Speech Commun 41:245–255). The direct contrast between rhymed and nonrhymed trials revealed a stronger BOLD response for rhymed trials in the frontal operculum and the anterior insula of the left hemisphere. Our results suggest an involvement of these frontal regions not only in articulatory rehearsal processes, but especially in the detection of a matching syllable, as well as in the execution of rhyme judgment. Hum Brain Mapp 34:3182–3192, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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