Sophie Scott


Sounds, speech and actions: towards a new model of human auditory processing

We have known for over twenty years that the auditory system in humans and non human primates is organised into anatomical and functional streams of processing: a rostral stream associated with recognition processes and a caudal stream links variously to sensors-motor processing and/or spatial processing of sound. However, there were two clear limitations to this approach.  The first being that there was no unifying, domain general framework emerging around these studies – all the theoretical models were focussed on more domain specific approaches (e.g. speech, language, music, prosody etc.). The second limitation was a lack of organisational or computational principles that might distinguish the kinds of processing that occurred within these different streams that might underlie these functional differences. Using new data from non human and human studies of audition, I will present a new domain general approach to this issue, using the different temporal response characteristics of the rostral and caudal streams as an example of their different computational properties.