Velocity selective networks in human cortex reveal two functionally distinct auditory motion systems

Jhao An Meng, Kourosh Saberi, I. Hui Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The auditory system encounters motion cues through an acoustic object's movement or rotation of the listener's head in a stationary sound field, generating a wide range of naturally occurring velocities from a few to several hundred degrees per second. The angular velocity of moving acoustic objects relative to a listener is typically slow and does not exceed tens of degrees per second, whereas head rotations in a stationary acoustic field may generate fast-changing spatial cues in the order of several hundred degrees per second. We hypothesized that these two types of systems (i.e., encoding slow movements of an object or fast head rotations) may engage functionally distinct substrates in processing spatially dynamic auditory cues, with the latter potentially involved in maintaining perceptual constancy in a stationary field during head rotations and therefore possibly involving corollary-discharge mechanisms in premotor cortex. Using fMRI, we examined cortical response patterns to sound sources moving at a wide range of velocities in 3D virtual auditory space. We found a significant categorical difference between fast and slow moving sounds, with stronger activations in response to higher velocities in the posterior superior temporal regions, the planum temporale, and notably the premotor ventral-rostral (PMVr) area implicated in planning neck and head motor functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157131
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


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