The effects of auditory attention measured from human electrocorticograms

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 3.1). 04/2006; 117(3):504-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2005.11.009
Source: PubMed


A central question in auditory electrophysiology has been whether selective attention can modulate exogenous components of the scalp-recorded N1 (the 'N1 effect'). Intracranial electrocorticograms were used in the current work to investigate this issue in greater anatomical detail.
Data were recorded from subdural electrodes placed across temporal cortex in 6 patient-volunteers undergoing diagnostic procedures for medically intractable epilepsy. Patients performed a dichotic listening task in which they alternately attended to a series of tones presented to both ears (mean ISI 800 ms) by responding to rare frequency deviants.
Effects of attention were measured on the largest negative and positive waveform deflections observed between 70 and 220 ms post-stimulus for stimuli presented contralateral to grid location. Peak deflections were most often recorded from the upper bank of the posterior superior temporal gyrus at approximately 89 and 173 ms on average (labeled N90stg and P170stg, respectively). Selective attention had little effect on peak latencies but significantly increased the N90stg for 3 subjects, increased the P170stg for two subjects, and decreased the P170stg for two other subjects.
Selective auditory attention can modulate neural response in auditory cortex.
The effects of attention on the scalp-recorded N1 component may arise in part from the enhancement of exogenous responses in temporal cortex.

Download full-text


Available from: Justin C Williams
  • Source
    • "This aspect of our finding is consistent with one recent study that showed larger P2 responses to attended vs. unattended pitch perturbations in voice auditory feedback (Hu et al., 2015). Similarly, previous research on auditory perception showed enhanced brain activity in the auditory cortex (Grady et al., 1997; Petkov et al., 2004), larger P2 responses (Picton & Hillyard, 1974; Woldorff & Hillyard, 1991; Neelon et al., 2006) and mismatch negativity (N€ a€ at€ anen et al., 1993; Alain & Woods, 1997; Woldorff et al., 1998; Sussman et al., 2007) elicited by attended vs. unattended sounds. Our results are also consistent with the effects of selective attention on bimodal sensory processing (e.g., auditory and visual) reported in other neuroimaging studies that showed more activity in the auditory cortex while participants attended to an auditory stimulus than when the same stimulus was ignored (Kawashima et al., 1999; Loose et al., 2003; Johnson & Zatorre, 2005, 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Speakers rapidly adjust their ongoing vocal productions to compensate for errors they hear in their auditory feedback. It is currently unclear what role attention plays in these vocal compensations. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the influence of selective and divided attention on the vocal and cortical responses to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback regarding ongoing vocalizations. During the production of a sustained vowel, participants briefly heard their vocal pitch shifted up 2 semitones while they actively attended to auditory or visual events (selective attention), or both auditory and visual events (divided attention), or were not told to attend to either modality (control condition). The behavioral results showed that attending to the pitch perturbations elicited larger vocal compensations than attending to the visual stimuli. Moreover, ERPs were likewise sensitive to the attentional manipulations: P2 responses to pitch perturbations were larger when participants attended to the auditory stimuli compared to when they attended to the visual stimuli, and compared to when they were not explicitly told to attend to either the visual or auditory stimuli. By contrast, dividing attention between the auditory and visual modalities caused suppressed P2 responses relative to all the other conditions, and enhanced N1 responses relative to the control condition. These findings provide strong evidence for the influence of attention on the mechanisms underlying the auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors. As well, selective attention and divided attention appear to modulate the neurobehavioral processing of pitch feedback errors in different ways. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · European Journal of Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "There has been emerging interest in recording higher-density potentials from the surface of the brain, for both scientific [36] [37] [38] and translational [39] [40] [41], as well as clinical [42], applications . The use of these devices thus far has been centered on modified commercially available electrode grids that have transitioned from more closely spaced macroelectrodes [38] to highdensity microelectrodes [41] [42]. The push in the field is to continue this progression toward custom-fabricated devices that rely on microfabrication capabilities to produce new sensor arrays with a host of capabilities. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Second International Workshop on Advances in Electrocorticography (ECoG) was convened in San Diego, CA, USA, on November 11-12, 2010. Between this meeting and the inaugural 2009 event, a much clearer picture has been emerging of cortical ECoG physiology and its relationship to local field potentials and single-cell recordings. Innovations in material engineering are advancing the goal of a stable long-term recording interface. Continued evolution of ECoG-driven brain-computer interface technology is determining innovation in neuroprosthetics. Improvements in instrumentation and statistical methodologies continue to elucidate ECoG correlates of normal human function as well as the ictal state. This proceedings document summarizes the current status of this rapidly evolving field.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Epilepsy & Behavior
  • Source
    • "N1 latency and amplitude decrease with increasing frequency using pure tone stimuli, especially for unattended tones (Crottaz-Herbette and Ragot 2000; Jacobson et al. 1992; Näätänen and Picton 1987; Alho et al. 1994) consistent with the results of our study 1. It has also been shown that selective attention influences the N1 component (Neelon et al. 2006), and that attention to pitch masks the N1 modulation by frequency (Alho et al. 1994). This suggests that the smaller N1 for female voices seen in study 1 corresponds to automatic pitch processing; this was not observed in study 2 due to attention being directed away from pitch as it was not predictive and subjects were informed that pitch had been modified. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gender is salient, socially critical information obtained from faces and voices, yet the brain processes underlying gender discrimination have not been well studied. We investigated neural correlates of gender processing of voices in two ERP studies. In the first, ERP differences were seen between female and male voices starting at 87 ms, in both spatial-temporal and peak analyses, particularly the fronto-central N1 and P2. As pitch differences may drive gender differences, the second study used normal, high- and low-pitch voices. The results of these studies suggested that differences in pitch produced early effects (27-63 ms). Gender effects were seen on N1 (120 ms) with implicit pitch processing (study 1), but were not seen with manipulations of pitch (study 2), demonstrating that N1 was modulated by attention. P2 (between 170 and 230 ms) discriminated male from female voices, independent of pitch. Thus, these data show that there are two stages in voice gender processing; a very early pitch or frequency discrimination and a later more accurate determination of gender at the P2 latency.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Brain Topography
Show more