Auditory imagery for songs was studied in two groups of patients with left or right temporal-lobe excision for control of epilepsy, and a group of matched normal control subjects. Two tasks were used. In the perceptual task, subjects saw the text of a familiar song and simultaneously heard it sung. On each trial they judged if the second of two capitalized lyrics was higher or lower in pitch than the first. The imagery task was identical in all respects except that no song was presented, so that subjects had to generate an auditory image of the song. The results indicated that all subjects found the imagery task more difficult than the perceptual task, but patients with right temporal-lobe damage performed significantly worse on both tasks than either patients with left temporal-lobe lesions or normal control subjects. These results support the idea that imagery arises from activation of a neural substrate shared with perceptual mechanisms, and provides evidence for a right temporal- lobe specialization for this type of auditory imaginal processing.
Link to Published Version
Zatorre, R.J. and Halpern, Andrea. "Effect of unilateral temporal-lobe excision on perception and imagery of songs." Neuropsychologia (1993) : 221-232.