The Primate Frontal and Temporal Lobes and Their Role in Multisensory Vocal Communication

Lizabeth M. Romanski, Asif A. Ghazanfar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


By exploring how existing primates use their vocalizations, numerous investigators are building a rigorous, testable framework for how speech might have evolved. Some have suggested that the ability to develop/evolve language depends on the ability to form multisensory associations, and imply that this ability is unique to humans. If its multisensory nature is a fundamental feature of human speech, whereby visual/facial and vocal signals are inextricably linked, then how did such a mechanism evolve? This chapter explores this issue by presenting (1) behavioral evidence that nonhuman primates integrate face and voice information; (2) anatomical evidence that the temporal and frontal cortices of primates are reciprocally connected and are part of a circuit that subserves the integration of face and vocal signals; and (3) physiological evidence that cortical areas in the temporal and frontal lobes of primates show integrative responses to combined face/voice stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrimate Neuroethology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864904
ISBN (Print)9780195326598
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Frontal lobe
  • Primate brain
  • Speech
  • Temporal lobe
  • Vocalizations


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