Attention modulates sound processing in human auditory cortex but not the inferior colliculus

Neuroreport. 2007 Aug 27;18(13):1311-4. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32826fb3bb.


Auditory attention powerfully influences perception and modulates sound processing in auditory cortex, but the extent of attentional modulation in the subcortical auditory pathway remains poorly understood. We examined the effects of intermodal attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex in a demanding intermodal selective attention task using a silent imaging paradigm designed to optimize inferior colliculus activations. Both the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex showed strong activations to sound, but attentional modulations were restricted to auditory cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Cortex / blood supply
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Inferior Colliculi / blood supply
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Sound*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Oxygen