Anatomical substrates of auditory selective attention: behavioral and electrophysiological effects of posterior association cortex lesions

David L Woods, R. T. Knight, D. Scabini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Even-related brain potentials (ERPs) and reaction times (RTs) were recorded in an auditory selective attention task in control subjects and two groups of patients with lesions centered in (1) the temporal/parietal junction (T/P, n = 9); and (2) the inferior parietal lobe (IPL, n = 7). High pitched tones were presented to one ear and low pitched tones to the other in random sequences that included infrequent longer-duration tones and occasional novel sounds. Subjects attended to a specified ear and pressed a button to the longer-duration tones in that ear. IPL and T/P lesions slowed reaction times (RTs) and increased error rates, but improved one aspect of performance - patients showed less distraction than controls when targets followed novel sounds. T/P lesions reduced the amplitude of early sensory ERPs, initially over the damaged hemisphere (N1a, 70-110 ms) and then bilaterally (N1b, 110-130 ms, and N1c 130-160 ms). The reduction was accentuated for tones presented contralateral to the lesion, suggesting that N1 generators receive excitatory input primarily from the contralateral ear. IPL lesions reduced N1 amplitudes to both low frequency tones and novel sounds. Nd components associated with attentional selection were diminished over both hemispheres in the T/P group and over the lesioned hemisphere in the IPL group independent of ear of stimulation. Target and novel N2s tended to be diminished by IPL lesions but were unaffected by T/P lesions. The mismatch negativity was unaffected by either T/P or IPL lesions. The results support different roles of T/P and IPL cortex in auditory selective attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Auditory
  • Cortex
  • Event-related potential
  • Hemisphere
  • Lesion
  • Orienting
  • Parietal
  • Reaction time
  • Temporal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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