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Modulation of tonotopic ventral medial geniculate body is behaviorally relevant for speech recognition

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Mihai,  Paul Glad
Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Chair of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany;

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Trampel,  Robert
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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von Kriegstein,  Katharina
Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Chair of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany;

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Mihai_2019.pdf
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Citation

Mihai, P. G., Moerel, M., de Martino, F., Trampel, R., Kiebel, S., & von Kriegstein, K. (2019). Modulation of tonotopic ventral medial geniculate body is behaviorally relevant for speech recognition. eLife, 8: e44837. doi:10.7554/eLife.44837.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-AF0C-B
Abstract
Sensory thalami are central sensory pathway stations for information processing. Their role for human cognition and perception, however, remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests an involvement of the sensory thalami in speech recognition. In particular, the auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB) response is modulated by speech recognition tasks and the amount of this task-dependent modulation is associated with speech recognition abilities. Here, we tested the specific hypothesis that this behaviorally relevant modulation is present in the MGB subsection that corresponds to the primary auditory pathway (i.e., the ventral MGB [vMGB]). We used ultra-high field 7T fMRI to identify the vMGB, and found a significant positive correlation between the amount of task-dependent modulation and the speech recognition performance across participants within left vMGB, but not within the other MGB subsections. These results imply that modulation of thalamic driving input to the auditory cortex facilitates speech recognition.