Cortical and subcortical contributions to the attentive processing of speech

Thomas A. Christensen, Sharon M. Antonucci, Julie L. Lockwood, Megan Kittleson, Elena Plante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The neuroanatomical correlates of attentive listening were investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging and an attention task in which listeners responded only to words that combined two specific attributes of voice and semantic content. This task was performed under two different attentive listening conditions: (i) diotically, with words presented sequentially, and (ii) dichotically, with male and female voices presented simultaneously but segregated to different ears. For both conditions, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed bihemispheric but right-lateralized activity patterns in mid-prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and inferior parietal areas, as well as significant anterior insular and subcortical activation. Manipulating attentional demands under different listening conditions revealed an important role for right anterior insula, striatum, and thalamus in the regulation of attentive listening to spoken language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1105
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 16 2008


  • Attention
  • Dichotic listening
  • Frontoparietal
  • Functionalmagnetic resonance imaging
  • Language
  • Striatum
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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