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Interactions within and between specialised cortical networks

how are specialized networks developed?

The model describing two pathways, or networks, for the treatment of auditory information is based on neuroanatomical and functional studies that were conducted over the last 10 years. In this model one pathway, called the “what” pathway, is involved in processing the semantic aspect of the auditory information, while the other, called the “where” pathway, is involved in localizing the sound in space. These two pathways have distinct neural bases: the “what” pathway involves the temporal convexity while the “where” pathway extends to the parieto-frontal convexity. Our current studies, based on this model, aim to determine:

  • how new semantic representations are created,

  • how the two pathways interact when semantic and spatial information have to be processed simultaneously,

  • how learning influences these pathways and their interaction.

This project involves a multidisciplinary approach using fMRI at 7T and 3T to study functional connectivity, DSI imaging to study structural connectivity, and electroencephalography. These studies provide not only basic and conceptual information about how a normal brain processes auditory information; they also have an important clinical impact on the neurorehabilitation of patients with brain damage.