Representation of interaural temporal information from left and right auditory space in the human planum temporale and inferior parietal lobe.Cereb Cortex. 2005 Mar; 15(3):317-24.CC
The localization of low-frequency sounds mainly relies on the processing of microsecond temporal disparities between the ears, since low frequencies produce little or no interaural energy differences. The overall auditory cortical response to low-frequency sounds is largely symmetrical between the two hemispheres, even when the sounds are lateralized. However, the effects of unilateral lesions in the superior temporal cortex suggest that the spatial information mediated by lateralized sounds is distributed asymmetrically across the hemispheres. This paper describes a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, which shows that the interaural temporal processing of lateralized sounds produces an enhanced response in the contralateral planum temporale (PT). The response is stronger and extends further into adjacent regions of the inferior parietal lobe (IPL) when the sound is moving than when it is stationary. This suggests that the interaural temporal information mediated by lateralized sounds is projected along a posterior pathway comprising the PT and IPL of the respective contralateral hemisphere. The differential responses to moving sounds further revealed that the left hemisphere responded predominantly to sound movement within the right hemifield, whereas the right hemisphere responded to sound movement in both hemifields. This rightward asymmetry parallels the asymmetry associated with the allocation of visuo-spatial attention and may underlie unilateral auditory neglect phenomena.