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Pitch and loudness information encoded in auditory imagery as revealed by event-related potentials


  • This work was supported by the NSFC (30930031, 30900442), and the Ministry of Education, China (PCSIRT, IRT0710), and the Project for Young Scientists Fund, IP, CAS (O9CX042004), and the GSCAS (2006). We thank Professor Sun Junxian for the use of the sound-level meter and Justin Ryder for his editorial assistance.

Address correspondence to: Yue-jia Luo, State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xin Jie Kou Wai Street, Beijing, 100875, China. E-mail:


Two experiments using the ERP method and a task that involved comparing an imagined-S1 (the first stimulus) with a perceived-S2 (the second stimulus) were conducted to investigate whether imagined auditory representations encode pitch and loudness information. It was found that the amplitude of the imagery-related late positive complex (LPC) decreased with pitch but increased with loudness of the imagined sound, which was consistent with amplitude modulations of the auditory perception-related N1 component, thereby providing the first neural evidence that auditory imagery encodes perceptual attributes of auditory experiences.

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