TERM DATABASE

Superior Temporal Gyrus

Last update: September 18, 2022
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By BrainMatters

Summary

This brain region is involved in combining different types of stimuli.

Function

This multi-sensory area is necessary to combine different types of stimuli. This is where auditory, tactile and visual signals come together. This is necessary to know if a particular visual perception comes from the same source as, say, a sound you hear. The neurons in this brain area respond most strongly when three conditions are met. As an example, let's say we throw a ball at a wall. Condition 1: the sight of the ball hitting the wall and the sound that accompanies it must come from the same location. 2: the sound and the seeing of the event must occur at the same time. 3: the sound you hear must match what you know about a ball hitting a wall. Thus, a dull bonk sound may be correct, the barking of a dog may not. When these conditions are met, neurons in the superior temporal gyrus respond very strongly.

Location

This multi-sensory area is located in the middle of the superior temporal gyrus (STG), which is close to the auditory cortex.

Fact

This brain area signals when the auditory and visual stimuli do not match. This is the case, for example, with a very poorly dubbed movie.

Patients

Because damage to this brain region is rare, it is not well understood what this would lead to. Perhaps in such a case, patients have problems recognizing which visual and auditory events belong together.

Auteur: Myrthe Princen (translated by Melanie Smekal)

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