Public Release: 

Selective attention increases both gain and feature selectivity of the human auditory cortex

PLOS

On Sept. 19, a research report by Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Computational Engineering scientists will appear in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, showing that selective attention increases both gain and feature selectivity of the human auditory cortex.

The ability to select task-relevant sounds for awareness, whilst ignoring irrelevant ones, constitutes one of the most fundamental of human faculties, but the underlying neural mechanisms have remained elusive.

While most of the literature explains the neural basis of selective attention by means of an increase in neural gain, a number of papers propose enhancement in neural selectivity as an alternative or a complementary mechanism.

The results of Kauramäki and colleagues suggest that auditory selective attention in humans cannot be explained by a gain model, where only the neural activity level is increased, but rather that selective attention additionally enhances auditory cortex frequency selectivity.

The results were obtained by measuring electroencephalographic event-related potentials during task performance in healthy volunteers.

###

Disclaimer

The following press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS ONE. The release has been provided by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

Contact:
Jaakko Kauramäki
Tel: +358-9-451-6156
Email: jaakko.kauramaki@tkk.fi

Citation: Kauramäki J, Jääskeläinen IP, Sams M (2007) Selective Attention Increases Both Gain and Feature Selectivity of the Human Auditory Cortex. PLoS ONE 2(9): e909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000909

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL live from Sept. 19): http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000909

PRESS ONLY PREVIEW: http://www.plos.org/press/pone-02-09-kauramaki.pdf

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.