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The functional anatomy of the normal human auditory system: responses to 0.5 and 4.0 kHz tones at varied intensities



The functional anatomy of the normal human auditory system: responses to 0.5 and 4.0 kHz tones at varied intensities



Cerebral Cortex 9(1): 65-76



Most functional imaging studies of the auditory system have employed complex stimuli. We used positron emission tomography to map neural responses to 0.5 and 4.0 kHz sine-wave tones presented to the right ear at 30, 50, 70 and 90 dB HL and found activation in a complex neural network of elements traditionally associated with the auditory system as well as non-traditional sites such as the posterior cingulate cortex. Cingulate activity was maximal at low stimulus intensities, suggesting that it may function as a gain control center. In the right temporal lobe, the location of the maximal response varied with the intensity, but not with the frequency of the stimuli. In the left temporal lobe, there was evidence for tonotopic organization: a site lateral to the left primary auditory cortex was activated equally by both tones while a second site in primary auditory cortex was more responsive to the higher frequency. Infratentorial activations were contralateral to the stimulated ear and included the lateral cerebellum, the lateral pontine tegmentum, the midbrain and the medial geniculate. Contrary to predictions based on cochlear membrane mechanics, at each intensity, 4.0 kHz stimuli were more potent activators of the brain than the 0.5 kHz stimuli.

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Accession: 011508905

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10022496

DOI: 10.1093/cercor/9.1.65


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