A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Auditory Vigilance With Low and High Information Processing Demands

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This study identified the brain activations associated with auditory vigilance tasks, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We created auditory continuous performance tests (CPTs) in which a demanding task (working memory task) was made more difficult than a simple vigilance task by increasing working memory and interference filtering demands. Two cohorts of normal male controls performed significantly worse on the working memory CPT than on the vigilance task. Compared to the vigilance task, performance of the working memory task produced significant signal change in lateral and medial prefrontal cortex, precentral cortex, temporal lobe, including insula and hippocampus, parietal-occipital cortex, cingulate, thalamus, and superior colliculus. Performance and degree of activation was associated with an estimate of IQ. Further research should clarify the contributions of working memory and interference filtering to the activated network.

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