Rate-dependent activation of a prefrontal-insular-cerebellar network during passive listening to trains of click stimuli: an fMRI study

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Eight volunteers underwent fMRI during passive listening to click trains. Using a parametric approach, rate–response profiles across the frequency band considered (2–6 Hz) were determined. Several cerebral structures outside the central-auditory pathways and target areas displayed distinct activation patterns each: rate–response profiles resembling high-pass (left side) or low-pass filtered (right side) signal series emerged at the level of the anterior insula, band-pass like characteristics (center frequency: 3–4 Hz) were observed within the left inferior frontal gyrus, and click train rates > 4 Hz yielded enhanced activation of the right cerebellar hemisphere. A variety of clinical and experimental data indicate that the left and right cerebral hemispheres act as high- and low-pass filters, respectively, on auditory input (double filtering by frequency theory). In light of the present fMRI data, the anterior insula contributes to the assumed double filtering by frequency functions. Furthermore, these intrasylvian areas seem to join up with the right cerebellum and the left inferior frontal gyrus to a network subserving parsing/timing functions within the auditory-verbal domain.

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