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Cognitive brain potentials and regional cerebral blood flow equivalents during two- and three-sound auditory "oddball tasks".

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MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Park, UK.


Ten healthy volunteers were examined with single photon emission tomography and 99mTc-exametazime. They were studied on 2 occasions, during a 2- and a 3-sound auditory discrimination (oddball) task. Twenty healthy volunteers were used as controls, studied once at rest. During the 2-tone task there was a bilateral posterior (occipito-) temporal and medial frontal activation, a left pericentral increase, and posterior cingulate suppression. During the 3-sound task activation was again found in posterior (occipito-) temporal, medial frontal cortex, left pericentral, with a small non-significant reduction in posterior cingulate uptake. Compared with the 2-tone task, there was a trend towards higher activity in left medial frontal, right posterior temporal and posterior cingulate cortex in the 3-sound task. P3b amplitudes were negatively correlated with posterior cingulate tracer uptake during both tasks. Positive correlations with P3b amplitudes were found in various frontal and temporal regions. These results are consistent with more invasive localisation studies of P3b. Posterior cingulate cortex appears to be inhibited during the oddball tasks, the more so, the more restricted the range of stimuli, and the greater the task-related recruitment of neurones (P3b amplitude). As expected from its more frontal distribution, P3a amplitude was positively correlated with anterior cingulate tracer uptake, and negatively correlated with temporal cortical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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