AUDITORY AND VESTIBULAR SYSTEMSImpact of task difficulty on lateralization of pitch and duration discriminationReiterer, Susanne M.1 2 CA; Erb, Michael2; Droll, Christina D.1; Anders, Silke1; Ethofer, Thomas1 2; Grodd, Wolfgang2; Wildgruber, Dirk1Author Information 1Department of General Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler Str. 3 2Department of Neuroradiology, Section Experimental MR of the CNS, University of Tübingen, Otfried-Mueller Str. 51, 72076 Tübingen, Germany CACorresponding Author and Address: Susanne.Reiterer@med.uni-tuebingen.de Received 25 November 2004; accepted 30 December 2004 NeuroReport: February 28th, 2005 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - p 239-242 Buy SDC Abstract To investigate lateralization of duration and pitch discrimination processing with emphasis on the influences of task difficulty, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Seventeen healthy volunteers performed paired auditory discrimination tasks at varying levels of difficulty. Analysis of lateralization effects revealed leftward lateralization within the insular and the temporal cortex under both conditions. Moreover, parametric analysis of haemodynamic responses showed increasing activation within the right temporal cortex correlated to increasing accuracy of stimulus discrimination. Thus, highly differential acoustic stimuli seem to be predominantly processed within the right hemisphere, whereas the detection of slight signal differences might be linked to the left hemisphere. In conclusion, we found evidence for preferential involvement of the right hemisphere in holistic feature processing within the auditory domain. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.