Auditory Categorization of Man-Made Sounds Versus Natural Sounds by Means of MEG Functional Brain Connectivity
Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that sounds can be discriminated due to living-related or man-made-related characteristics and involve different brain regions. However, these studies have mainly provided source space analyses, which offer simple maps of activated brain regions but do not explain how regions of a distributed system are functionally organized under a specific task. In the present study, we aimed to further examine the functional connectivity of the auditory processing pathway across different categories of non-speech sounds in healthy adults, by means of MEG. Our analyses demonstrated significant activation and interconnection differences between living and man-made object sounds, in the prefrontal areas, anterior-superior temporal gyrus (aSTG), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and supramarginal gyrus (SMG), occurring within 80–120 ms post-stimulus interval. Current findings replicated previous ones, in that other regions beyond the auditory cortex are involved during auditory processing. According to the functional connectivity analysis, differential brain networks across the categories exist, which proposes that sound category discrimination processing relies on distinct cortical networks, a notion that has been strongly argued in the literature also in relation to the visual system.