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Science. 1992 Dec 4;258(5088):1668-70.

Behavioral lifetime of human auditory sensory memory predicted by physiological measures.

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  • 1Department of Physics, New York University, NY 10003.


Noninvasive magnetoencephalography makes it possible to identify the cortical area in the human brain whose activity reflects the decay of passive sensory storage of information about auditory stimuli (echoic memory). The lifetime for decay of the neuronal activation trace in primary auditory cortex was found to predict the psychophysically determined duration of memory for the loudness of a tone. Although memory for the loudness of a specific tone is lost, the remembered loudness decays toward the global mean of all of the loudnesses to which a subject is exposed in a series of trials.

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