VISION, CENTRALClosing the mind's eye: deactivation of visual cortex related to auditory task difficultyHairston, W. Davida; Hodges, Donald A.d; Casanova, Ramona; Hayasaka, Satorub; Kraft, Robertc; Maldjian, Joseph A.a; Burdette, Jonathan H.aAuthor Information aANSIR Lab, Department of Radiology bDepartment of Biostatistical Sciences cBiomedical Engineering, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina dMusic Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA Correspondence to Dr David Hairston, ANSIR Lab, c/o Department of Radiology, Medical Center Blvd, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, 27257 Tel: +1 336 716 7160; fax: +1 336 716 0798; e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org Received 15 October 2007; accepted 5 November 2007 NeuroReport: January 22nd, 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 151-154 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f42509 Buy Metrics Abstract Blood oxygen-level-dependent signal decreases relative to baseline (deactivations) can occur with stimulation of an opposing sensory modality. Here, we show the importance of the difficulty of an auditory task on the deactivation of visual cortical areas. Participants performed an auditory temporal-order judgment task in conjunction with sparse-sampling functional MRI at both moderate and high levels of difficulty (adjusted for each individual's own threshold). With moderate difficulty, small deactivations were observed not only in parietal and cingulate cortex, but occipital cortex as well. When the same task was more difficult, deactivations increased significantly to include a greater extent of functionally defined visual cortex. Together, these results suggest that cross-modal deactivations occur in compensation for task difficulty, perhaps acting as an intrinsic filter for nonrelevant information. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.