The purpose of this study was to demonstrate interhemispheric differences in activation patterns of the auditory-associated cortex elicited by a series of sounds. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed while different sounds were presented binaurally to 10 healthy subjects with normal hearing. Characteristic activation patterns were elicited although variability was shown between subjects. The activation number was significantly higher on the right than on the left side for non-speech (but not for speech) stimulations. As stimulation increased in complexity (from a pure tone to white noise to ocean wave sounds to classical music), the activation pattern of the superior temporal lobe became more pronounced in both hemispheres while that of the auditory cortex tended to become more sustained and concentrated on the right rather than on the left side. No hemispheric differences in activation pattern were seen in response to speech.
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