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ERIC Number: EJ909144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Temporal Processing Ability Is Related to Ear-Asymmetry for Detecting Time Cues in Sound: A Mismatch Negativity (MMN) Study
Todd, Juanita; Finch, Brayden; Smith, Ellen; Budd, Timothy W.; Schall, Ulrich
Neuropsychologia, v49 n1 p69-82 Jan 2011
Temporal and spectral sound information is processed asymmetrically in the brain with the left-hemisphere showing an advantage for processing the former and the right-hemisphere for the latter. Using monaural sound presentation we demonstrate a context and ability dependent ear-asymmetry in brain measures of temporal change detection. Our measure of temporal processing ability was a gap-detection task quantifying the smallest silent gap in a sound that participants could reliably detect. Our brain measure was the size of the mismatch-negativity (MMN) auditory event-related potential elicited to infrequently presented gap sounds. The MMN indexes discrimination ability and is automatically generated when the brain detects a change in a repeating pattern of sound. MMN was elicited in unattended sequences of infrequent gap-sounds presented among regular no-gap sounds. In Study 1, participants with low gap-detection thresholds (good ability) produced a significantly larger MMN to gap sounds when sequences were presented monaurally to the right-ear than to the left-ear. In Study 2, we not only replicated a right-ear-advantage for MMN in silence in good temporal processors, but also showed that this is reversed to a significant left-ear-advantage for MMN when the same sounds are presented against a background of constant low-level noise. In both studies, poor discriminators showed no ear-advantage, and in Study 2, exhibited no differential sensitivity of the ears to noise. We conclude that these data reveal a context and ability-dependent asymmetry in processing temporal information in non-speech sounds. (Contains 4 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A