Modulation of auditory cortex activation by sound presentation rate and attention



We studied the effects of sound presentation rate and attention on auditory supratemporal cortex (STC) activation in 12 healthy adults using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 T. The sounds (200 ms in duration) were presented at steady rates of 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2.5, or 4 Hz while subjects either had to focus their attention to the sounds or ignore the sounds and attend to visual stimuli presented with a mean rate of 1 Hz. Consistent with previous observations, we found that both increase in stimulation rate and attention to sounds enhanced activity in STC bilaterally. Further, we observed larger attention effects with higher stimulation rates. This interaction of attention and presentation rate has not been reported previously. In conclusion, our results show both rate-dependent and attention-related modulations of STC indicating that both factors should be controlled, or at least addressed, in fMRI studies of auditory processing. Hum Brain Mapping, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.