The human brain interprets complex acoustic environments with astounding speed and ease. Although our understanding on the neuronal basis of sound processing has greatly advanced during the past decades, the parallel functional organization of cortical auditory pathways of the human brain is still elusive. This proposal aims to develop, test, and refine a new experimental approach for mapping parallel auditory pathways, by examining a theoretical model of dual pathways for spatial (""""""""where"""""""") vs. identity (""""""""what"""""""") of sound information. Our novel approach combines advanced spatiotemporal brain imaging techniques and behavioral measurements during transient non-invasive deactivation (i.e., """"""""transient lesions"""""""") of individual regions of human auditory pathway. We will utilize anatomical and functional MRI, EEG, and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to identify the locations and time courses of brain activity during sound identification (""""""""what"""""""") and localization (""""""""where"""""""") tasks. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) will be utilized to modulate individual regions of auditory cortex that are activated during task performance. This will allow us to investigate whether spatiotemporally focused transient deactivations in the putative parallel auditory pathways result in a double dissociation of behavioral effects. We will measure EEG simultaneously with TMS, to investigate modulation of auditory evoked responses by transient deactivation of different auditory cortex areas. The proposed studies will use advanced neuroimaging methods to study how the human brain processes auditory information. The spatiotemporally focused TMS approach applies anatomically and temporally focused interference pulses non-invasively and completely safely into the human brain. The anatomical and temporal foci of interference will be obtained from spatiotemporal brain imaging movies, based on combined fMRI/MEG/EEG. This multimodal approach allows us to test the specific behavioral effects of transient deactivation in the different foci of cortical auditory pathway, providing a unique way to verify theories suggested by animal models, human lesion studies, and neuroimaging research. Our research will lead to a better understanding of the neuronal pathways and circuits involved in the processing of sound information in the human brain. Although our current focus is in basic research, greater understanding of the neuronal basis of auditory perception may ultimately benefit investigation of hearing impairments and learning disabilities, as well as development of hearing aids and prosthetics.

Public Health Relevance

We use advanced brain imaging and behavioral methods for mapping of parallel cortical auditory pathways in humans, by specifically testing a hypothesis of distinct """"""""what"""""""" and """"""""where"""""""" streams. This research may also advance investigation of various disorders with auditory abnormalities.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21DC010060-02
Application #
8042539
Study Section
Cognitive Neuroscience Study Section (COG)
Program Officer
Platt, Christopher
Project Start
2010-04-01
Project End
2013-03-31
Budget Start
2011-04-01
Budget End
2013-03-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$257,004
Indirect Cost
Name
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department
Type
DUNS #
073130411
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02199
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Chang, Wei-Tang; Setsompop, Kawin; Ahveninen, Jyrki et al. (2014) Improving the spatial resolution of magnetic resonance inverse imaging via the blipped-CAIPI acquisition scheme. Neuroimage 91:401-11
Huang, Samantha; Rossi, Stephanie; Hämäläinen, Matti et al. (2014) Auditory conflict resolution correlates with medial-lateral frontal theta/alpha phase synchrony. PLoS One 9:e110989
Ahveninen, Jyrki; Kop?o, Norbert; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P (2014) Psychophysics and neuronal bases of sound localization in humans. Hear Res 307:86-97
Huang, Samantha; Chang, Wei-Tang; Belliveau, John W et al. (2014) Lateralized parietotemporal oscillatory phase synchronization during auditory selective attention. Neuroimage 86:461-9
Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Vesanen, Panu T; Nieminen, Jaakko O et al. (2013) Noise amplification in parallel whole-head ultra-low-field magnetic resonance imaging using 306 detectors. Magn Reson Med 70:595-600
Ahveninen, Jyrki; Huang, Samantha; Nummenmaa, Aapo et al. (2013) Evidence for distinct human auditory cortex regions for sound location versus identity processing. Nat Commun 4:2585

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