People-selectivity, audiovisual integration and heteromodality in the superior temporal sulcus

Rebecca Watson, Marianne Latinus, Ian Charest, Frances Crabbe, Pascal Belin

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57 Citations (Scopus)
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The functional role of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) has been implicated in a number of studies, including those investigating face perception, voice perception, and face–voice integration. However, the nature of the STS preference for these ‘social stimuli’ remains unclear, as does the location within the STS for specific types of information processing. The aim of this study was to directly examine properties of the STS in terms of selective response to social stimuli. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan participants whilst they were presented with auditory, visual, or audiovisual stimuli of people or objects, with the intention of localising areas preferring both faces and voices (i.e., ‘people-selective’ regions) and audiovisual regions designed to specifically integrate person-related information. Results highlighted a ‘people-selective, heteromodal’ region in the trunk of the right STS which was activated by both faces and voices, and a restricted portion of the right posterior STS (pSTS) with an integrative preference for information from people, as compared to objects. These results point towards the dedicated role of the STS as a ‘social-information processing’ centre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
Early online date1 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Audiovisual integration
  • Superior temporal sulcus
  • Face sensitivity
  • Voice sensitivity


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