Re: speech/music (Neil Todd )

Subject: Re: speech/music
From:    Neil Todd  <TODD(at)FS4.PSY.MAN.AC.UK>
Date:    Wed, 1 Apr 1998 20:21:01 GMT

Pierre Divenyi wrote: > >Well, reading Neil's note could make the mortal think that his cotton-dry >all-black-or-white conclusions are 100% supported by studies in aphasics. >However, not even Geschwind (who was able to put forward a brilliant >theoretical account of **any** particular patient's linguistic deficits, >tying them to a unique lesion pattern -- how sad that he is no longer >arond!) would have supported the simplistic structuralist model of >processing stages Neil appears to be pushing. Maybe his chapter is more >nuanced than the summary... > >Contemporary behavioral neurologists and clinical neuroanatomists >increasingly guard against giving undue emphasis to lesions, for the simple >reason that, even if a stroke- or trauma- or tumor-based lesion can be >absolutely circumscribed, its secondary and tertiary effects remain >basically unknown. The future seems to lie in fMRI studies; the few speech >results I have seen/heard of so far (mind you, there are enormous technical >problems associated with auditory fMRI experiments!) tell us stories >markedly different from what Neil implies: There is activity at cortical >sites often far away from the areas classically identified as speech and >language processors. PET studies, although deprived from the time locking >feature of fMRI, convey essentially the same message. > If you read the chapter, you will see that your characterisation of my position is way off the mark. I certainly have not ignored stimulation or blood flow studies. E.g. Calvert et al (1997) Activation of auditory cortex during silent lipreading. Science, 276, 593-596. which I cited above. Further, it is certainly not the case that I have adopted a naive stageist view or that I have ignored non-classical speech areas. Indeed, I have argued that we need to consider the both basal ganglia and cerebellum which are known to be involved in speech timing. This all goes to show that it's a big mistake to put edited extracts on the list which inevitably will be read out of context. Neil

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