Brain Systems Mediating Voice Identity Processing in Blind Humans

Hölig, C, Foecker, Julia, Best, A , Röder, B and Büchel, C (2014) Brain Systems Mediating Voice Identity Processing in Blind Humans. Human Brain Mapping, 35 (9). pp. 4607-4619. ISSN 1097-0193

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Brain Systems Mediating Voice Identity Processing in Blind Humans
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Abstract: Blind people rely more on vocal cues when they recognize a person’s identity than sighted
people. Indeed, a number of studies have reported better voice recognition skills in blind than in
sighted adults. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated changes in the
functional organization of neural systems involved in voice identity processing following congenital
blindness. A group of congenitally blind individuals and matched sighted control participants were
tested in a priming paradigm, in which two voice stimuli (S1, S2) were subsequently presented. The
prime (S1) and the target (S2) were either from the same speaker (person-congruent voices) or from
two different speakers (person-incongruent voices). Participants had to classify the S2 as either a old or
a young person. Person-incongruent voices (S2) compared with person-congruent voices elicited an
increased activation in the right anterior fusiform gyrus in congenitally blind individuals but not in
matched sighted control participants. In contrast, only matched sighted controls showed a higher
activation in response to person-incongruent compared with person-congruent voices (S2) in the right
posterior superior temporal sulcus. These results provide evidence for crossmodal plastic changes
of the person identification system in the brain after visual deprivation. Hum Brain Mapp 35:4607–4619,

Additional Information:The final published version of this article can be accessed in the journal Human Brain Mapping at
Keywords:congenitally blind;, sensory deprivation, plasticity, voice;, person recognition, identity;, functional magnetic resonance imaging
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:32887
Deposited On:20 Aug 2018 13:41

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