Hemispheric shifts of sound representation in auditory cortex with conceptual listening.
ABSTRACT The weak field specificity and the heterogeneity of neuronal filters found in any given auditory cortex field does not substantiate the view that such fields are merely descriptive maps of sound features. But field mechanisms were previously shown to support behaviourally relevant classification of sounds. Here the prediction was tested in human auditory cortex (AC) that classification-tasks rather than the stimulus class per se determine which auditory cortex area is recruited. By presenting the same set of frequency-modulations we found that categorization of their pitch direction (rising versus falling) increased functional magnetic resonance imaging activation in right posterior AC compared with stimulus exposure and in contrast to left posterior AC dominance during categorization of their duration (short versus long). Thus, top-down influences appear to select not only auditory cortex areas but also the hemisphere for specific processing.
SourceAvailable from: Pascale Sandmann[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objective Cochlear implants (CIs) can partially restore hearing, but the cortical changes underlying auditory rehabilitation are not well understood. Methods This prospective longitudinal study used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine the temporal dynamics of changes in the auditory cortex contralateral and ipsilateral to the CI. Postlingually deafened CI recipients (N = 11; mean: 59 years) performed an auditory frequency discrimination task after < 1 week, 8 weeks, 15 weeks, and 59 weeks of CI use. Results The CI users revealed a remarkable improvement in auditory discrimination ability which was most pronounced over the first eight weeks of CI experience. At the same time, CI users developed N1 auditory event-related potentials (AEP) with significantly enhanced amplitude and decreased latency, both in the auditory cortex contralateral and ipsilateral to the CI. A relationship was found between the duration of deafness and the ipsilateral AEP latency. Conclusions Postlingually deafened adult CI users show rapid adaptation of the bilateral auditory cortex. Cortical plasticity is limited after long duration of auditory deprivation. Significance The finding of rapid and limited cortical changes in adult CI recipients may be of clinical relevance and can help estimate the role of plasticity for therapeutic gain.Clinical Neurophysiology 07/2014; 126(3). DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2014.06.029 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Regions along the superior temporal sulci and in the anterior temporal lobes have been found to be involved in voice processing. It has even been argued that parts of the temporal cortices serve as voice-selective areas. Yet, evidence for voice-selective activation in the strict sense is still missing. The current fMRI study aimed at assessing the degree of voice-specific processing in different parts of the superior and middle temporal cortices. To this end, voices of famous persons were contrasted with widely different categories, which were sounds of animals and musical instruments. The argumentation was that only brain regions with statistically proven absence of activation by the control stimuli may be considered as candidates for voice-selective areas. Neural activity was found to be stronger in response to human voices in all analyzed parts of the temporal lobes except for the middle and posterior STG. More importantly, the activation differences between voices and the other environmental sounds increased continuously from the mid-posterior STG to the anterior MTG. Here, only voices but not the control stimuli excited an increase of the BOLD response above a resting baseline level. The findings are discussed with reference to the function of the anterior temporal lobes in person recognition and the general question on how to define selectivity of brain regions for a specific class of stimuli or tasks. In addition, our results corroborate recent assumptions about the hierarchical organization of auditory processing building on a processing stream from the primary auditory cortices to anterior portions of the temporal lobes.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:499. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00499 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed at a deeper understanding of which cognitive and motivational aspects of tasks affect auditory cortical activity. To this end we trained two macaque monkeys to perform two different tasks on the same audiovisual stimulus and to do this with two different sizes of water rewards. The monkeys had to touch a bar after a tone had been turned on together with an LED, and to hold the bar until either the tone (auditory task) or the LED (visual task) was turned off. In 399 multiunits recorded from core fields of auditory cortex we confirmed that during task engagement neurons responded to auditory and non-auditory stimuli that were task-relevant, such as light and water. We also confirmed that firing rates slowly increased or decreased for several seconds during various phases of the tasks. Responses to non-auditory stimuli and slow firing changes were observed during both the auditory and the visual task, with some differences between them. There was also a weak task-dependent modulation of the responses to auditory stimuli. In contrast to these cognitive aspects, motivational aspects of the tasks were not reflected in the firing, except during delivery of the water reward. In conclusion, the present study supports our previous proposal that there are two response types in the auditory cortex that represent the timing and the type of auditory and non-auditory elements of a auditory tasks as well the association between elements. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2015; 41(5):603-14. DOI:10.1111/ejn.12841 · 3.67 Impact Factor