Frontal cortex functional connectivity changes during sound categorization

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Using functional connectivity analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we investigated the role of the inferior frontal gyrus in categorization of simple sounds. We found stronger functional connectivity between left inferior frontal gyrus and auditory processing areas in the temporal cortex during categorization of speech (vowels, syllables) and nonspeech (tones, combinations of tones and sweeps) sounds relative to an auditory discrimination task; the hemispheric lateralization varied depending on the speech-like properties of the sounds. Our results attest to the importance of interactions between temporal cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus in sound categorization. Further, we found different functional connectivity patterns between left inferior frontal gyrus and other brain regions implicated in categorization of syllables compared with other stimuli, reflecting the greater facility for categorization of syllables.

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