project

Attentional modulation of auditory steady-state responses


Provided by   Western Sydney University

Research Project

Researchers: Associate Professor Jeesun Kim (Associated with) ,  Doctor Yatin Mahajan (Associated with) ,  Professor Christopher Davis (Associated with)

Full description

Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioural evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.

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