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† New insight into the brainís auditory system

 

Narrator:          This is Science Today. Neuroscientists have gained new insight into how our brains are wired so we can better hear ourselves speak. Study leader Adeen Flinker, a doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, says they found that our brain's auditory system is wired to selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear.

Flinker:            We used to think that auditory cortex is suppressed or not as active when we speak. But what we found is that not all areas of auditory cortex are actually suppressed. Some are very suppressed; some are not suppressed, and some are actually enhanced during speech. 

Narrator:         This new understanding of the brain's auditory system can help neurosurgeons map out brain function and may also lead to a better understanding of schizophrenia.

Flinker:            Individuals with schizophrenia, for example, don't have this suppression of auditory cortex and this may be one of the reasons why they have trouble distinguishing between their own internal voice and other voices and may be part of their auditory hallucinations.

Narrator:          For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.