Effective and structural connectivity in the human auditory cortex

J Neurosci. 2008 Mar 26;28(13):3341-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4434-07.2008.


Language processing involves multiple neuronal structures in the human auditory cortex. Although a variety of neuroimaging and mapping techniques have been implemented to better understand language processing at the level of the auditory cortex, much is unknown regarding how and by what pathways these structures interact during essential tasks such as sentence comprehension. In this study, the effective and structural connectivity at the level of the auditory cortex were investigated. First, blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses were measured with time-resolved functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during audition of short sentences. Once BOLD activation maps were obtained, the effective connectivity between primary auditory cortex and the surrounding auditory regions on the supratemporal plane and superior temporal gyrus (STG) were investigated using Granger causality mapping (GCM). Effective connectivity was observed between the primary auditory cortex and (1) the lateral planum polare and anterior STG, and (2) the lateral planum temporale and posterior STG. By using diffusion tensor probabilistic mapping (DTPM), rostral and caudal fiber pathways were detected between regions depicting effective connectivity. The effective and structural connectivity results of the present study provide further insight as to how auditory stimuli (i.e., human language) is processed at the level of the auditory cortex. Furthermore, combining BOLD fMRI-based GCM and DTPM analysis could provide a novel means to study effective and structural connectivity not only in the auditory cortex, but also in other cortical regions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex / blood supply
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood


  • Oxygen