Auditory and Vestibular Systems

The primary auditory cortex (Fig. 6B; Brodmann area 41) is located along the upper bank of the superior temporal gyrus, within the lateral sulcus on two gyri known as Heschl's gyri. Similar to other sensory cortices, the primary auditory cortex is organized in columns, such that each column of cells responds maximally to an acoustic stimulus of a specific frequency. Moreover, it is organized tonotopically (the anterior auditory cortex receives signals initiated by sounds with higher frequencies, whereas the posterior cortex receives lower frequency sounds) to enable the discrimination of the pitch of sounds. The auditory association cortex (Brodmann areas 22 and 42), which is concerned with the memory and classification of sounds, is inferior and posterior to the primary auditory cortex, along the superior bank of the middle temporal gyrus.

Movements and positions of the head are monitored primarily by the vestibular system. The primary vestibular cortex in humans is thought to occupy a region just posterior to the primary somatosensory cortex in the parietal cortex.

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