Structure And Function Of The Central Auditory Pathways

The central auditory pathways have been studied extensively in many primate and nonprimate species using a wide range of anatomical and physiological methods. There are far fewer comparable studies in humans, but from them we may conclude that much of the neural circuitry and many of the neural mechanisms underlying mammalian hearing are, to the first approximation, shared by humans and nonhumans alike. Functional studies of the human central auditory system are discussed later. The top of Fig. 5 is a dorsal view of the human brain stem, midbrain, and thalamus showing the relative positions of the major nuclei in the ascending and descending mammalian auditory system. Auditory cortex on the temporal lobe is shown in cross section. The major connecting pathways are illustrated schematically below.

Auditory Pathway

Figure 5 (Top) Dorsal view of the human brain stem, midbrain, thalamus, and cross section of the cortex showing the relative locations of the major nuclei in central auditory pathways. (Bottom) The major ascending (black lines and arrows) and descending (dotted lines and arrows) pathways connecting the major nuclei.

Figure 5 (Top) Dorsal view of the human brain stem, midbrain, thalamus, and cross section of the cortex showing the relative locations of the major nuclei in central auditory pathways. (Bottom) The major ascending (black lines and arrows) and descending (dotted lines and arrows) pathways connecting the major nuclei.

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