The superior temporal gyrus (STG) is on the inferior-lateral brain surface near the external ear. In macaques, 2/3 of the STG is occupied by an auditory cortical region, the "parabelt," which is part of a network of inferior temporal areas subserving communication and social cognition as well as object recognition and other functions. However, due to its location beneath the squamous temporal bone and temporalis muscle, the STG, like other inferior temporal regions, has been a challenging target for physiological studies in awake-behaving macaques. We designed a new procedure for implanting recording chambers to provide direct access to the STG, allowing us to evaluate neuronal properties and their topography across the full extent of the STG in awake-behaving macaques. Initial surveys of the STG have yielded several new findings. Unexpectedly, STG sites in monkeys that were listening passively responded to tones with magnitudes comparable to those of responses to 1/3 octave band-pass noise. Mapping results showed longer response latencies in more rostral sites and possible tonotopic patterns parallel to core and belt areas, suggesting the reversal of gradients between caudal and rostral parabelt areas. These results will help further exploration of parabelt areas.
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