1 Centre of Neurology, Division of Neuropsychology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
1 Centre of Neurology, Division of Neuropsychology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany2 Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208, USA
3 Department of Cognitive Psychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany4 Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany
Localizing sound sources of interest in cluttered acoustic environments—as in the ‘cocktail-party’ situation—is one of the most demanding challenges to the human auditory system in everyday life. In this study, stroke patients’ ability to localize acoustic targets in a single-source and in a multi-source setup in the free sound field were directly compared. Subsequent voxel-based lesion-behaviour mapping analyses were computed to uncover the brain areas associated with a deficit in localization in the presence of multiple distracter sound sources rather than localization of individually presented sound sources. Analyses revealed a fundamental role of the right planum temporale in this task. The results from the left hemisphere were less straightforward, but suggested an involvement of inferior frontal and pre- and postcentral areas. These areas appear to be particularly involved in the spectrotemporal analyses crucial for effective segregation of multiple sound streams from various locations, beyond the currently known network for localization of isolated sound sources in otherwise silent surroundings.