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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 15, 1993; 90(18): 8722–8726.

Modulation of early sensory processing in human auditory cortex during auditory selective attention.


Neuromagnetic fields were recorded from human subjects as they listened selectively to sequences of rapidly presented tones in one ear while ignoring tones of a different pitch in the opposite ear. Tones in the attended ear evoked larger magnetic brain responses than did unattended tones in the latency ranges 20-50 msec and 80-130 msec poststimulus. Source localization techniques in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging placed the neural generators of these early attention-sensitive brain responses in auditory cortex on the supratemporal plane. These data demonstrate that focused auditory attention in humans can selectively modulate sensory processing in auditory cortex beginning as early as 20 msec poststimulus, thereby providing strong evidence for an "early selection" mechanism of auditory attention that can regulate auditory input at or before the initial stages of cortical analysis.

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Selected References

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