Dynamics of gamma-band activity induced by auditory pattern changes in humans

Jochen Kaiser, Werner Lutzenberger, Hermann Ackermann, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence suggests separate auditory pattern and space processing streams. The present paper describes two magnetoencephalogram studies examining gamma-band activity to changes in auditory patterns using consonant-vowel syllables (experiment 1), animal vocalizations and artificial noises (experiment 2). Two samples of each sound type were presented to passively listening subjects in separate oddball paradigms with 80% standards and 20% deviants differing in their spectral composition. Evoked magnetic mismatch fields peaking ∼190 ms poststimulus showed a trend for a left-hemisphere advantage for syllables, but no hemispheric differences for the other sounds. Frequency analysis and statistical probability mapping of the differences between deviants and standards revealed increased gamma-band activity above 60 Hz over left anterior temporal/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex for all three types of stimuli. This activity peaked simultaneously with the mismatch responses for animal sounds (180 ms) but was delayed for noises (260 ms) and syllables (320 ms). Our results support the hypothesized role of anterior temporal/ventral prefrontal regions in the processing of auditory pattern change. They extend earlier findings of gamma-band activity over posterior parieto-temporal cortex during auditory spatial processing that supported the putative auditory dorsal stream. Furthermore, earlier gamma-band responses to animal vocalizations may suggest faster processing of fear-relevant information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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