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Anomalous Auditory Cortex Activations in Colored Hearing Synaesthetes: An fMRI-Study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21864461     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Color percept induction in synaesthetes by hearing words was previously shown to involve activation of visual and specifically color processing cortex areas. While this provides a rationale for the origin of the anomalous color percept the question of mechanism of this crossmodal activation remains unclear. We pursued this question with fMRI in color hearing synaesthetes by exposing subjects to words and tones. Brain activations in word condition accompanied by highly reliable color percepts were compared with activations in tone condition with only occasional color percepts and both contrasted to activations in normal subjects under the same stimulus conditions. This revealed that already the tone condition similar to the word condition caused abnormally high activations in various cortical areas even though synaesthetic percepts were more rare. Such tone activations were significantly larger than in normal subjects in visual areas of the right occipital lobe, the fusiform gyrus, and the left middle temporal gyrus and in auditory areas of the left superior temporal gyrus. These auditory areas showed strong word and tone activation alike and not the typically lower tone than word activation in normal subjects. Taken together these results are interpreted in favour of the disinhibited feedback hypothesis as the neurophysiological basis of genuine synaesthesia.
Birgit Gaschler-Markefski; Gregor R Szycik; Christopher Sinke; Janina Neufeld; Udo Schneider; Frank Baumgart; Oliver Dierks; Ursula Stiegemann; Henning Scheich; Hinderk Meiners Emrich; Markus Zedler
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Seeing and perceiving     Volume:  24     ISSN:  1878-4755     ISO Abbreviation:  Seeing Perceiving     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-08-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101531524     Medline TA:  Seeing Perceiving     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  391-405     Citation Subset:  IM    
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Biberach, Germany.
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