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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2001 Dec;12(3):479-85.

Short-term functional plasticity in the human auditory cortex: an fMRI study.

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Institute of General Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.


Applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques, hemodynamic responses elicited by sequences of pure tones of 950 Hz (standard) and deviant tones of 952, 954, and 958 Hz were measured before and 1 week after subjects had been trained at frequency discrimination for five sessions (over 1 week) using an oddball procedure. The task of the subject was to detect deviants differing from the standard stimulus. Frequency discrimination improved during the training session for three subjects (performance gain: T+) but not for three other subjects (no performance gain: T-). Hemodynamic responses in the auditory cortex comprising the planum temporale, planum polare and sulcus temporalis superior significantly decreased during training only for the T+ group. These activation changes were strongest for those stimuli accompanied by the strongest performance gain (958 and 954 Hz). There was no difference with respect to the hemodynamic responses in the auditory cortex for the T- group and the control group (CO) who did not received any pitch discrimination training. The results suggest a plastic reorganization of the cortical representation for the trained frequencies which can be best explained on the basis of 'fast learning' theories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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