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Perception modulates auditory cortex activation

Pollmann, Stefan; Maertens, Marianne

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3280107a98

Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging signal change in Heschl's gyrus and the planum temporale was found to reflect sensory decisions about target presence. In a dichotic listening task, activation was higher for target present responses, irrespective of actual target presence. In fact, activation was highest for false alarms, that is, ‘present’ responses in the absence of a target stimulus, and lowest for missed targets. This shows that activity at the earliest stage of cortical auditory processing reflects subjective perceptual decisions. Whether this activation is driven by bottom-up or top-down factors remains to be investigated.

Department of Experimental Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Professor Stefan Pollmann, Dr phil, Department of Experimental Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Postbox 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany

Tel: +49 391 67 18474; fax: +49 391 67 11947; e-mail:

Received 8 August 2006; accepted 4 September 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.