Side of the stimulated ear influences the hemispheric balance in coding tonal stimuli
ABSTRACT To evaluate whether the side of stimulated ear affects the hemispheric asymmetry of auditory evoked cortical activations.
Using a whole-head neuromagnetometer, we recorded neuromagnetic approximately 100 ms responses (N100m) in 21 healthy right-handers to 100 ms 1 kHz tones delivered alternatively to left and right ear.
Although the peak latencies of N100m were shorter in contralateral than in ipsilateral hemisphere, the difference was significant only for the left ear stimulation. Based on the relative N100m amplitudes across hemispheres, the laterality evaluation showed a rightward predominance of N100m activation to tone stimuli, but the lateralization toward the right hemisphere was more apparent by the left than by the right ear stimulation (laterality index: -0.27 versus -0.10, p=0.008). Within the right hemisphere, the N100m was 2-4 mm more posterior for left ear than for right ear stimulation.
The hemispheric asymmetry in auditory processing depends on the side of the stimulated ear. The more anterior localization of right N100m responses to ipsilateral than to contralateral ear stimulation suggests that there might be differential neuronal populations in the right hemisphere for processing spatially different auditory inputs.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the long-term cortical changes in auditory evoked potential (AEP) asymmetries associated with profound unilateral deafness. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from 68 channels were used to measure auditory cortex responses to monaural stimulation from 7 unilaterally deaf patients and 7 audiogram-matched controls. Source localization of the AEP N100 response was carried out and regional source waveform amplitude and latency asymmetries were analysed for activity in the N100 latency range and for the middle latency response (MLR) range. Asymmetry indices (contralateral-ipsilateral)/(contralateral+ipsilateral) showed that matched control subjects, like normally hearing participants, produced activity in the N100 latency range that was more contralaterally dominant for left compared to right ear stimulation. Contrary to expectation, source waveforms and asymmetry indices in the MLR and N100 latency range were similar for unilaterally deaf patients, their matched controls and a group of normally hearing participants. Regional source waveform analysis revealed no evidence of systematic cortical changes in hemispheric asymmetries associated with long-term unilateral deafness. It is possible that a reorganization of cortical asymmetries to a 'normal' pattern had taken place in the years between deafness and testing. Electrophysiological measures of auditory hemispheric asymmetries do not suggest long-term cortical reorganisation as a result of profound unilateral deafness.Clinical Neurophysiology 04/2008; 119(3):576-86. DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2007.11.010 · 2.98 Impact Factor