Effects of noise from functional magnetic resonance imaging on auditory event-related potentials in working memory task

Nikolay Novitskiy, Irina Anurova, Sami Martinkauppi, Hannu J Aronen, Risto Kalervo Näätänen, Leena Synnöve Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The effects of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acoustic noise were investigated on the parameters of event-related responses (ERPs) elicited during auditory matching-to-sample location and pitch working memory tasks. Stimuli were tones with varying location (left or right) and frequency (high or low). Subjects were instructed to memorize and compare either the locations or frequencies of the stimuli with each other. Tape-recorded fMRI acoustic noise was presented in half of the experimental blocks. The fMRI noise considerably enhanced the P1 component, reduced the amplitude and increased the latency of the N1, shortened the latency of the N2, and enhanced the amplitude of the P3 in both tasks. The N1 amplitude was higher in the location than pitch task in both noise and no-noise blocks, whereas the task-related N1 latency difference was present in the no-noise blocks only. Although the task-related differences between spatial and nonspatial auditory responses were partially preserved in noise, the finding that the acoustic gradient noise accompanying functional MR imaging modulated the auditory ERPs implies that the noise may confound the results of auditory fMRI experiments especially when studying higher cognitive processing.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1320-1328
Publication statusPublished - 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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