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Neuroreport. 2008 Jan 22;19(2):161-5. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f4aa2a.

Auditory stimulus repetition effects on cortical hemoglobin oxygenation: a near-infrared spectroscopy investigation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02129, USA. aweiss@partners.org


The cortical response to repeated sensory stimuli plateaus (or declines) as repetition frequencies increase beyond 2-8 Hz. This study examined the underlying changes in cortical oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin associated with this phenomenon using near-infrared spectroscopy. The optical signal was measured from 11 healthy volunteers listening to noise-burst trains presented at 2, 10, and 35 Hz. In a bilateral region consistent with the posterior superior temporal gyrus there was an inverse relationship between deoxyhemoglobin concentration change and stimulus frequency: greatest at 2 Hz, intermediate at 10 Hz, and smallest at 35 Hz. These findings provide preliminary support for a relationship between the perceptual characteristics of auditory stimuli and modulation of cortical oxygenation as measured via an emerging neuromonitoring technique.

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