Task-specific modulation of human auditory evoked response in a delayed-match-to-sample task

Feng Rong, Tom Holroyd, Fatima T. Husain, Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, Barry Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study, we focus our investigation on task-specific cognitive modulation of early cortical auditory processing in human cerebral cortex. During the experiments, we acquired whole-head magnetoencephalography data while participants were performing an auditory delayed-match-tosample (DMS) task and associated control tasks. Using a spatial filtering beamformer technique to simultaneously estimate multiple source activities inside the human brain, we observed a significant DMS-specific suppression of the auditory evoked response to the second stimulus in a sound pair, with the center of the effect being located in the vicinity of the left auditory cortex. For the right auditory cortex, a non-invariant suppression effect was observed in both DMS and control tasks. Furthermore, analysis of coherence revealed a beta band (12~20 Hz) DMS-specific enhanced functional interaction between the sources in left auditory cortex and those in left inferior frontal gyrus, which has been shown to be involved in short-term memory processing during the delay period of DMS task. Our findings support the view that early evoked cortical responses to incoming acoustic stimuli can be modulated by task-specific cognitive functions by means of frontal-temporal functional interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 85
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2011


  • Auditory evoked response
  • Cognitive modulation
  • Functional interaction
  • MEG
  • Task-specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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