Functional Topography of Auditory Areas Derived From the Combination of Electrophysiological Recordings and Cortical Electrical Stimulation

Agnès Trébuchon,  F.-Xavier Alario,  & Catherine Liégeois-Chauvel,

Front. Hum. Neurosci. 15:702773

The posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) has long been known to be a crucial hub for auditory and language processing, at the crossroad of the functionally defined ventral and dorsal pathways. Anatomical studies have shown that this “auditory cortex” is composed of several cytoarchitectonic areas whose limits do not consistently match macro-anatomic landmarks like gyral and sulcal borders. The only method to record and accurately distinguish neuronal activity from the different auditory sub-fields of primary auditory cortex, located in the tip of Heschl and deeply buried in the Sylvian fissure, is to use stereotaxically implanted depth electrodes (Stereo-EEG) for pre-surgical evaluation of patients with epilepsy. In this prospective, we focused on how anatomo-functional delineation in Heschl’s gyrus (HG), Planum Temporale (PT), the posterior part of the STG anterior to HG, the posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS), and the region at the parietal-temporal boundary commonly labeled “SPT” can be achieved using data from electrical cortical stimulation combined with electrophysiological recordings during listening to pure tones and syllables. We show the differences in functional roles between the primary and non-primary auditory areas, in the left and the right hemispheres. We discuss how these findings help understanding the auditory semiology of certain epileptic seizures and, more generally, the neural substrate of hemispheric specialization for language.

Posted in Featured publication.