Activation of Auditory Cortex by Anticipating and Hearing Emotional Sounds: An MEG Study

K. Yokosawa, S. Pamilo, L. Hirvenkari, R. Hari, E. Pihko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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To study how auditory cortical processing is affected by anticipating and hearing of long emotional sounds, we recorded auditory evoked magnetic fields with a whole-scalp MEG device from 15 healthy adults who were listening to emotional or neutral sounds. Pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sounds, each lasting for 6 s, were played in a random order, preceded by 100-ms cue tones (0.5, 1, or 2 kHz) 2 s before the onset of the sound. The cue tones, indicating the valence of the upcoming emotional sounds, evoked typical transient N100m responses in the auditory cortex. During the rest of the anticipation period (until the beginning of the emotional sound), auditory cortices of both hemispheres generated slow shifts of the same polarity as N100m. During anticipation, the relative strengths of the auditory-cortex signals depended on the upcoming sound: towards the end of the anticipation period the activity became stronger when the subject was anticipating emotional rather than neutral sounds. During the actual emotional and neutral sounds, sustained fields were predominant in the left hemisphere for all sounds. The measured DC MEG signals during both anticipation and hearing of emotional sounds implied that following the cue that indicates the valence of the upcoming sound, the auditory-cortex activity is modulated by the upcoming sound category during the anticipation period.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere80284
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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