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Time course of electromagnetic activity associated with detection of rare events

Rezaie, Roozbeha; Simos, Panagiotis G.d; Papanicolaou, Andrew C.a; Castillo, Eduardo M.a; Moser, Dana C.a,b; Passaro, Antony D.a; Fletcher, Jack M.c

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283435c37

The neural origins of the cortical response to rare sensory events remain poorly understood. Using simultaneous event-related potentials and magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the anatomical profile of regional activity at various processing stages during performance of auditory and visual variants of an oddball paradigm. The earliest rarity-detection response was found in sensory-specific cortices, rapidly spreading to tertiary association areas, mesial temporal and frontal cortices by 150–200 ms. P3m-related activity was not found in sensory-specific cortices. On the basis of the anatomic distribution of P3m-related activity, this component is likely to reflect more generalized cognitive abilities hosted by association cortical regions.

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aDepartment of Pediatrics, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

bDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine

cDepartment of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

dDepartment of Psychology, University of Crete, Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Correspondence to Dr Roozbeh Rezaie, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, 77030, USA Tel: +1 713 797 7570; fax: +1 713 797 7590; e-mail:

Received November 1, 2010

Accepted December 2, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.