Dataset Information


Attentional gain control of ongoing cortical speech representations in a "cocktail party".

ABSTRACT: Normal listeners possess the remarkable perceptual ability to select a single speech stream among many competing talkers. However, few studies of selective attention have addressed the unique nature of speech as a temporally extended and complex auditory object. We hypothesized that sustained selective attention to speech in a multitalker environment would act as gain control on the early auditory cortical representations of speech. Using high-density electroencephalography and a template-matching analysis method, we found selective gain to the continuous speech content of an attended talker, greatest at a frequency of 4-8 Hz, in auditory cortex. In addition, the difference in alpha power (8-12 Hz) at parietal sites across hemispheres indicated the direction of auditory attention to speech, as has been previously found in visual tasks. The strength of this hemispheric alpha lateralization, in turn, predicted an individual's attentional gain of the cortical speech signal. These results support a model of spatial speech stream segregation, mediated by a supramodal attention mechanism, enabling selection of the attended representation in auditory cortex.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2832933 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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