I have a ""which came first: the chicken or the egg?"-kind of question regarding the processing and understanding of speech / non-speech sounds in the human brain. I'm wondering whether speech and generic non-speech sound processing in the human brain are somehow related and whether one of the two is used as a "basis" mathematically speaking or a reference to understand the other.
Most people use "His voice/It sounds like .." to describe sounds/human voices, besides, we are able to tune out and block any non-speech acoustic activity surrounding us if we are not in a conversation which suggests that we have a special sensibility for hearing speech (or maybe our language or just our names if someone is calling us).
I've read an article which states that :
Knowledge of our mother tongue acts as a sort of auditory "template" that influences the way we perceive the sounds of other languages (scientists call this "native listening").
Hearing other languages differently than its native speakers is easy to grasp but is there any research that studies the difference in brain activity when speech / other sounds are heard and whether there is something special about hearing speech in particular.