Synchronisation signatures in the listening brain: a perspective from non-invasive neuroelectrophysiology

Hear Res. 2014 Jan;307:16-28. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2013.07.009. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Abstract

Human magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) are capable of tracking brain activity at millisecond temporal resolution in an entirely non-invasive manner, a feature that offers unique opportunities to uncover the spatiotemporal dynamics of the hearing brain. In general, precise synchronisation of neural activity within as well as across distributed regions is likely to subserve any cognitive process, with auditory cognition being no exception. Brain oscillations, in a range of frequencies, are a putative hallmark of this synchronisation process. Embedded in a larger effort to relate human cognition to brain oscillations, a field of research is emerging on how synchronisation within, as well as between, brain regions may shape auditory cognition. Combined with much improved source localisation and connectivity techniques, it has become possible to study directly the neural activity of auditory cortex with unprecedented spatio-temporal fidelity and to uncover frequency-specific long-range connectivities across the human cerebral cortex. In the present review, we will summarise recent contributions mainly of our laboratories to this emerging domain. We present (1) a more general introduction on how to study local as well as interareal synchronisation in human M/EEG; (2) how these networks may subserve and influence illusory auditory perception (clinical and non-clinical) and (3) auditory selective attention; and (4) how oscillatory networks further reflect and impact on speech comprehension. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Brain Waves*
  • Cognition
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory*
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Speech Perception
  • Time Factors