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WE investigated the effects of auditory attention on brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects listened to three word lists, three times each, and were instructed to count the number of times they heard a target word during two of these presentations. For the third, they listened to the words without counting. All subjects showed significant areas of activation in auditory cortex during the listening conditions compared to rest. There was significantly more activation and a larger area of activation, particularly in association cortex, in the left temporal lobe during counting of targets compared to the no-target conditions, with a similar trend in the right hemisphere. These results provide evidence of an attention-related enhancement of both activation magnitude and extent in auditory cortex.