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Int J Psychophysiol. 2007 Apr;64(1):31-8. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

What's that sound? Matches with auditory long-term memory induce gamma activity in human EEG.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, P.O. Box 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract

In recent years the cognitive functions of human gamma-band activity (30-100 Hz) advanced continuously into scientific focus. Not only bottom-up driven influences on 40 Hz activity have been observed, but also top-down processes seem to modulate responses in this frequency band. Among the various functions that have been related to gamma activity a pivotal role has been assigned to memory processes. Visual experiments suggested that gamma activity is involved in matching visual input to memory representations. Based on these findings we hypothesized that such memory related modulations of gamma activity exist in the auditory modality, as well. Thus, we chose environmental sounds for which subjects already had a long-term memory (LTM) representation and compared them to unknown, but physically similar sounds. 21 subjects had to classify sounds as 'recognized' or 'unrecognized', while EEG was recorded. Our data show significantly stronger activity in the induced gamma-band for recognized sounds in the time window between 300 and 500 ms after stimulus onset with a central topography. The results suggest that induced gamma-band activity reflects the matches between sounds and their representations in auditory LTM.

PMID:
16959348
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2006.07.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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