Spectral dynamics of electroencephalographic activity during auditory information processing.

TitleSpectral dynamics of electroencephalographic activity during auditory information processing.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsCacace, AT, McFarland, DJ
JournalHearing research
Date Published02/2003
KeywordsElectroencephalography, event-related brain dynamics, event-related desynchronization, event-related synchronization, psychophysics, spectral analysis, time domain analysis

Dynamics of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during auditory information processing were evaluated in response to changes in stimulus complexity, stimulus discriminability and attention using the oddball paradigm. In comparison to pre-stimulus baseline conditions, auditory stimulation synchronized EEG activity in delta, theta and alpha frequency bands. Event-related synchronization (ERS) effects were greatest at approximately 3 Hz (theta frequency band), and their magnitude depended on stimulus and task demands. Event-related desynchronization (ERD) of EEG activity was observed in the beta frequency band. This effect was greatest at approximately 21 Hz but occurred only for easily discriminable stimuli in attention-related target conditions. Because active discrimination tasks also required a button-press response with the right hand, ERDs involved more complex responses that may be related to a combination of perceptual, motor and cognitive processes. These results demonstrate that oddball and attention-related EEG responses to auditory stimulation could be characterized in the frequency domain. The specific design and analysis features described herein may prove useful since they provide a simple index of the brain's response to stimulation while at the same time provide powerful information not contained in typical time domain analysis.


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