Evidence for Dissociation of Spatial and Nonspatial Auditory Information Processing

Irina Anurova, Vadim Nikulin, Risto J. Ilmoniemi, Jaakko Hotta, Hannu J Aronen, Leena Synnöve Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Several lines of evidence suggest that visual information processing is segregated into the ventral “what” and dorsal “where” pathways. But the question whether information processing in the auditory system is also parceled to spatial and nonspatial domains remains open. In the present study, we performed simultaneous EEG and MEG recordings during auditory location and pitch delayed matching-to-sample tasks to find out whether working memory processing of the auditory stimulus attribute affects the transient components of the evoked potentials. In both tasks, identical blocks of tone stimuli of one of two frequencies were presented in one of two locations; the only difference between the tasks was the instruction to attend either to the frequency or to the location. In the match condition, the N1 latency was shorter and the N1m amplitude larger in the location task compared to the pitch task. Furthermore, the right-hemisphere generator of N1m elicited in the match condition of the location task was situated significantly medially to the N1m generator in the match condition of the pitch task. Latency and amplitude task-related differences in the N1/N1m components as well as the source location differences indicate at least partial segregation of neuronal mechanisms involved in working memory processing of spatial and nonspatial auditory information.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1268-1277
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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