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Brain Sci. 2016, 6(3), 27; doi:10.3390/brainsci6030027

Perceptual Temporal Asymmetry Associated with Distinct ON and OFF Responses to Time-Varying Sounds with Rising versus Falling Intensity: A Magnetoencephalography Study

1
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2
Center for Neurobehavioral Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
3
Speech-Language-Hearing Center, School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
4
English Department & Institute for Language, Cognition and Brain Sciences, School of Foreign Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710049, China
5
School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Denki University, Ishizaka, Hatoyama, Hiki-gun, Saitama, 350-0394, Japan
6
School of Information Environment, Tokyo Denki University, 2-1200, Muzai-gakuendai, Inzai-shi, Chiba 270-1382, Japan
7
Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Heather Bortfeld
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract

This magnetoencephalography (MEG) study investigated evoked ON and OFF responses to ramped and damped sounds in normal-hearing human adults. Two pairs of stimuli that differed in spectral complexity were used in a passive listening task; each pair contained identical acoustical properties except for the intensity envelope. Behavioral duration judgment was conducted in separate sessions, which replicated the perceptual bias in favour of the ramped sounds and the effect of spectral complexity on perceived duration asymmetry. MEG results showed similar cortical sites for the ON and OFF responses. There was a dominant ON response with stronger phase-locking factor (PLF) in the alpha (8–14 Hz) and theta (4–8 Hz) bands for the damped sounds. In contrast, the OFF response for sounds with rising intensity was associated with stronger PLF in the gamma band (30–70 Hz). Exploratory correlation analysis showed that the OFF response in the left auditory cortex was a good predictor of the perceived temporal asymmetry for the spectrally simpler pair. The results indicate distinct asymmetry in ON and OFF responses and neural oscillation patterns associated with the dynamic intensity changes, which provides important preliminary data for future studies to examine how the auditory system develops such an asymmetry as a function of age and learning experience and whether the absence of asymmetry or abnormal ON and OFF responses can be taken as a biomarker for certain neurological conditions associated with auditory processing deficits. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEG; auditory ON response; auditory OFF response; equivalent current dipole (ECD); minimum norm estimation (MNE); phase locking factor (PLF); temporal asymmetry index (TAI) MEG; auditory ON response; auditory OFF response; equivalent current dipole (ECD); minimum norm estimation (MNE); phase locking factor (PLF); temporal asymmetry index (TAI)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Cheng, B.; Koerner, T.K.; Schlauch, R.S.; Tanaka, K.; Kawakatsu, M.; Nemoto, I.; Imada, T. Perceptual Temporal Asymmetry Associated with Distinct ON and OFF Responses to Time-Varying Sounds with Rising versus Falling Intensity: A Magnetoencephalography Study. Brain Sci. 2016, 6, 27.

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