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Voisin, J., Bidet-Caulet, A., Bertrand, O., & Fonlupt, P. (2006). Listening in silence activates auditory areas: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26(1), 273–278. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (5/2/14, 10:02 AM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2967-05.2006
BibTeX citation key: Voisin2006
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Categories: General
Keywords: Aural Imagery, Cognition, Imagination, Neuroscience
Creators: Bertrand, Bidet-Caulet, Fonlupt, Voisin
Collection: The Journal of Neuroscience
Views: 4/326
Directing attention to some acoustic features of a sound has been shown repeatedly to modulate the stimulus-induced neural responses. On the contrary, little is known about the neurophysiological impact of auditory attention when the auditory scene remains empty. We performed an experiment in which subjects had to detect a sound emerging from silence (the sound was detectable after different durations of silence). Two frontal activations (right dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior frontal) were found, regardless of the side where sound was searched for, consistent with the well established role of these regions in attentional control. The main result was that the superior temporal cortex showed activations contralateral to the side where sound was expected to be present. The area extended from the vicinity of Heschl's gyrus to the surrounding areas (planum temporale/anterior lateral areas). The effect consisted of both an increase in the response to a sound delivered after attention was directed to detect its emergence and a baseline shift during the silent period. Thus, in absence of any acoustic stimulus, the search for an auditory input was found to activate the auditory cortex.
In silence, but directed to expect a sound from a particular location, the subjects' auditory cortices were activated despite the lack of audio stimulus. Where there were sound stimuli, these were noise bursts therefore designed as meaningless. This was also an experiment on the role of attention in activation of neural networks in the brain.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
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