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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Temporo-frontal phase synchronization supports hierarchical network for mismatch negativity MacLean, Shannon Elizabeth


Several cortical regions appear active when the mismatch negativity (MMN) scalp potential is evoked automatically in response to detectable auditory changes. It remains debatable whether the activation of regions beyond the auditory cortex is coincidental or functionally significant to the MMN response. We used independent component analysis (ICA) to separate high density EEG data (64-channel) prior to dipole fitting for two reasons: 1) to enhance the spatial resolution of EEG and 2) to provide temporal and frequency information about the cortical sources needed to evaluate their functional relationships during the MMN response. For a group of young adults (n = 12) passively listening to infrequent changes in complex tones while watching a silent movie, event-related activity within sources localized to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) regions accounted for most of the scalp response variance implicating these regions as driving forces in the MMN. For a second group (n = 14) performing both passive and active listening across the same paradigm, cross-coherence (phase synchronization) during the MMN response was consistently found between the OFC and the STG bilaterally. During both paradigms the source in the right inferior frontal gryus (R IFG) was also synchronous with the STG-OFC network. When responding to deviant targets in the active paradigm, synchrony was more bilaterally distributed across the network. For a third group (n = 14) passively listening to infrequent changes in speech syllables, synchrony during the MMN response was found between the STG-OFC again as well as with regions in the R IFG and Broca’s area. This same subject group later attended to the speech syllables responding to deviants and standards with a different button press. Synchrony between the STG-OFC, and Broca’s area was found, as well synchrony with a source in the right anterior cingulate. All paradigms showed synchronous interactions both within and between the temporo-frontal regions that were modulated differentially by deviant and standard stimulus conditions as well as by task demands providing the first evidence of functional coupling within a hierarchical network coinciding with the MMN response evoked at the scalp.

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