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Superior temporal gyrus

The superior temporal gyrus is one of three (sometimes two) gyri in the temporal lobe of the human brain, which is located laterally to the head, situated somewhat above the external ear.

Superior temporal gyrus
Superior temporal gyrus.png
Superior temporal gyrus of the human brain.
Right temporal lobe (shown in green). Superior temporal gyrus is visible at the top of the green area.
Part ofTemporal lobe
Arterymiddle cerebral
Latingyrus temporalis superior
NeuroLex IDbirnlex_1648
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The superior temporal gyrus is bounded by:

The superior temporal gyrus contains several important structures of the brain, including:

The superior temporal gyrus contains the auditory cortex, which is responsible for processing sounds. Specific sound frequencies map precisely onto the auditory cortex. This auditory (or tonotopic) map is similar to the homunculus map of the primary motor cortex. Some areas of the superior temporal gyrus are specialized for processing combinations of frequencies, and other areas are specialized for processing changes in amplitude or frequency. The superior temporal gyrus also includes the Wernicke's area, which (in most people) is located in the left hemisphere. It is the major area involved in the comprehension of language. The superior temporal gyrus (STG) is involved in auditory processing, including language, but also has been implicated as a critical structure in social cognition.[1][2]



The superior temporal gyrus has been involved in the perception of emotions in facial stimuli.[1][3]) Furthermore, the superior temporal gyrus is an essential structure involved in auditory processing, as well as in the function of language in individuals who may have an impaired vocabulary, or are developing a sense of language. The superior temporal gyrus has been discovered to be an important structure in the pathway consisting of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, which are all involved in social cognition processes.[4][5][6] Including the superior temporal gyrus, areas more anterior and dorsal within the temporal lobe have been linked to the ability of processing information the many changeable characteristics of a face.[7] Research conducted with the use of neuroimaging have found patients with schizophrenia have structural abnormalities in their superior temporal gyrus.[8]

fMRI analysis has evidenced a link between insight based problem solving and activity in the right anterior superior-temporal gyrus, specifically in relation to the sudden flash of understanding commonly referred to as an 'Aha!' moment.[9]

Social contextEdit

The superior temporal gyrus (STG) is important for language comprehension, but studies also suggest that it plays a functional role in the cocktail party effect. A magnetoencephalography study was conducted on participants that were exposed to five differing listening conditions each with a different level of background noise. It was discovered that the STG has a strong connection with the attended speech stream in a cocktail party setting. When the attended speech stream wasn’t disrupted by background noise a bilateral connection was displayed, but as more background noise was introduced the connection became left-hemisphere-dependent.[10]

Additional imagesEdit


  1. ^ a b Erin D. Bigler, Sherstin Mortensen, E. Shannon Neeley, Sally Ozonoff, Lori Krasny, Michael Johnson, Jeffrey Lu, Sherri L. Provencal, William McMahon & Janet E. Lainhart (2007): Superior Temporal Gyrus, Language Function, and Autism, Developmental Neuropsychology, 31:2, 217-238
  2. ^ Jou, RJ.; Minshew, NJ.; Keshavan, MS.; Vitale, MP.; Hardan, AY. (Nov 2010). "Enlarged right superior temporal gyrus in children and adolescents with autism". Brain Res. 1360: 205–12. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.09.005. PMC 2990401. PMID 20833154.
  3. ^ Radua, Joaquim; Phillips, Mary L.; Russell, Tamara; Lawrence, Natalia; Marshall, Nicolette; Kalidindi, Sridevi; El-Hage, Wissam; McDonald, Colm; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Michael J.; David, Anthony S.; Surguladze, Simon A. (2010). "Neural response to specific components of fearful faces in healthy and schizophrenic adults". NeuroImage. 49 (1): 939–946. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.08.030. PMID 19699306.
  4. ^ Adolphs, R. (Apr 2003). "Is the human amygdala specialized for processing social information?". Ann N Y Acad Sci. 985: 326–40. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb07091.x. PMID 12724168.
  5. ^ Takahashi et al., 2004
  6. ^ Bigler, E. et al. (2007) Superior Temporal Gyrus, Language Function, and Autism Developmental Neuropsychology, 31(2), 217-238
  7. ^ Bigler ED, Mortensen S, Neeley ES, Ozonoff S, Krasny L, Johnson M, Lu J, Provencal SL, McMahon W, Lainhart JE. 2007. Superior temporal gyrus, language function, and autism. 31 (2): 217-238
  8. ^ Kasai K, Shenton ME, Salisbury DF, Hirayasu Y, Lee C-U, Ciszewski AA, et al. Progressive decrease of left superior temporal gyrus gray matter volume in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 2003a;160:156–64.
  9. ^ Jung-Beeman, Mark; Bowden, Edward M.; Haberman, Jason; Frymiare, Jennifer L.; Arambel-Liu, Stella; Greenblatt, Richard; Reber, Paul J.; Kounios, John (April 2004). "Neural activity when people solve verbal problems with insight". PLoS Biology. 2 (4): E97. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020097. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 387268. PMID 15094802.
  10. ^ Vander Ghinst, M; Bourguignon, M; Op; de Beeck, M; Wens, V; Marty, B; Hassid, S; Choufani, G; Jousmäki, V; Hari, R; Van Bogaert, P; Goldman, S; De Tiège, X (2016). "Left Superior Temporal Gyrus Is Coupled to Attended Speech in a Cocktail-Party Auditory Scene". J Neurosci. 36: 1596–606. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1730-15.2016. PMID 26843641.

[1] Erin D. Bigler, Sherstin Mortensen, E. Shannon Neeley, Sally Ozonoff, Lori Krasny, Michael Johnson, Jeffrey Lu, Sherri L. Provençal, William McMahon & Janet E. Lainhart (2007): Superior Temporal Gyrus, Language Function, and Autism, Developmental Neuropsychology, 31:2, 217-238

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