How Movement Modulates Hearing.
Hearing is often viewed as a passive process: Sound enters the ear, triggers a cascade of activity through the auditory system, and culminates in an auditory percept. In contrast to a passive process, motor-related signals strongly modulate the auditory system from the eardrum to the cortex. The motor modulation of auditory activity is most well documented during speech and other vocalizations but also can be detected during a wide variety of other sound-generating behaviors. An influential idea is that these motor-related signals suppress neural responses to predictable movement-generated sounds, thereby enhancing sensitivity to environmental sounds during movement while helping to detect errors in learned acoustic behaviors, including speech and musicianship. Findings in humans, monkeys, songbirds, and mice provide new insights into the circuits that convey motor-related signals to the auditory system, while lending support to the idea that these signals function predictively to facilitate hearing and vocal learning.
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