Pascal Belin – A Vocal Brain: Cerebral Processing of Voice Information

Speaker: Pascal Belin (Institut des Neurosciences de la Timone, Université d’Aix Marseille)

Title: A Vocal Brain: Cerebral Processing of Voice Information

The human voice carries speech but also a wealth of socially-relevant, speaker-related information. Listeners routinely perceive precious information on the speaker’s identity (gender, age), affective state (happy, scared), as well as more subtle cues on perceived personality traits (attractiveness, dominance, etc.), strongly influencing social interactions. Using voice psychoacoustics and neuroimaging techniques, we examine the cerebral processing of person-related information in perceptual and neural voice representations. Results indicate a cerebral architecture of voice cognition sharing many similarities with the cerebral organization of face processing, with the main types of information in voices (identity, affect, speech) processed in interacting, but partly dissociable functional pathways.