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Pathways of sound.

Several investigations have suggested that the brain's visual system contains two separate neural pathways, each originating in primary visual centers at the back of the head and taking its own route to the frontal lobe. Researchers say that a "what" pathway discerns the identity of objects, while a "where" pathway locates objects in space.

A comparable setup exists for addressing the what and where of sounds, according to a study in the December NATURE NEUROSCIENCE. Two distinct neural pathways run from auditory brain tissue near the ears to the frontal-lobe locales favored by the two visual pathways, report Lizabeth M. Romanski of Yale University School of Medicine and her coworkers.

Romanski's team used microscopic electrodes to find the starting points for each acoustic pathway in four rhesus monkeys. By injecting different stains into brain slices, they traced the pathways' routes.
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Title Annotation:auditory research
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 11, 1999
Words:140
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