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Memory and Integration of Face and Vocal Information in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

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Air date: Monday, June 11, 2018, 12:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 118, (28 Live, 90 On-demand)
Category: Neuroscience
Runtime: 01:06:12
Description: NIH Neuroscience Series Seminar

While auditory and visual information are combined in many sites of the human brain, the combining of face and vocal information for effective communication has been shown to occur in specialized regions of the temporal and frontal lobes. Work in Dr. Romanski’s laboratory is focused on how the ventral prefrontal cortex represents high level auditory information and the neuronal mechanisms which underlie integration of complex auditory and visual information, primarily face and vocal information during communication. Studies in their laboratory have shown that neurons within specific regions of the ventral prefrontal cortex are robustly responsive to complex sounds including species-specific vocalizations, while previous studies have shown that adjacent ventral prefrontal regions are selectively responsive to faces. They have shown that neurons within ventral prefrontal cortex are multisensory and respond to both faces and to the corresponding vocalizations. They are also interested in the factors that affect the integration of dynamic faces and vocalizations in the frontal lobe including temporal coincidence, stimulus congruence, as well as the emotional expression conveyed in the face-vocalization and the identity of the speaker. Collaborations with University of Rochester faculty are aimed at characterizing sensory integration deficits in children with autism and the role the frontal lobe may play in autism spectrum disorders. Further analysis of the neural mechanisms which support face and voice integration in non-human primates may help them to understand the mechanisms underlying social communication and social cognition.

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Author: Liz Romanski, Ph.D., University of Rochester Medical Center
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CIT Live ID: 27916
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