Selective tuning of the left and right auditory cortices during spatially directed attention

Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 1999 Jan;7(3):335-41. doi: 10.1016/s0926-6410(98)00036-6.


Effects of spatially directed auditory attention on human brain activity, as indicated by changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), were measured with positron emission tomography (PET). Subjects attended to left-ear tones, right-ear tones, or foveal visual stimuli presented at rapid rates in three concurrent stimulus sequences. It was found that attending selectively to the right-ear input activated the auditory cortex predominantly in the left hemisphere and vice versa. This selective tuning of the left and right auditory cortices according to the direction of attention was presumably controlled by executive attention mechanisms of the frontal cortex, where enhanced activation during auditory attention was also observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Cortex / blood supply
  • Auditory Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed