Right-hemisphere dominance for the processing of sound-source lateralization

Jochen Kaiser, Werner Lutzenberger, Hubert Preissl, Hermann Ackermann, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cortical processing of change in direction of a perceived sound source was investigated in 12 human subjects using whole-head magnetoencephalography. The German word 'da' was presented either with or without 0.7 msec interaural time delays to create the impression of right- or left-lateralized or midline sources, respectively. Midline stimuli served as standards, and lateralized stimuli served as deviants in a mismatch paradigm. Two symmetrically linked dipoles fitted to the mismatch fields showed stronger moments in the hemisphere contralateral to the side of the deviant. The right dipole displayed equal latencies to both left and right deviants, whereas left dipole latencies were longer for ipsilateral than contralateral deviants. Frequency analysis between 20-70 Hz and statistical probability mapping revealed increased induced gamma-band activity at 53 ± 2.5 Hz to both types of deviants. Right deviants elicited spectral amplitude enhancements in this frequency range, peaking at latencies of 160 and 240 msec. These effects were localized bilaterally over the angular gyri and posterior temporal regions. Coherence analysis suggested the existence of two separate interhemispheric networks. For left-lateralized deviants, both spectral amplitude enhancements at 110 and 220 msec and coherence increases were restricted to the right hemisphere. In conclusion, both mismatch dipole latencies at the supratemporal plane and gamma-band activity in posterior parietotemporal areas suggested a right hemisphere engagement in the processing of bidirectional sound-source shifts. In contrast, left-hemisphere regions responded predominantly to contralateral events. These findings may help to elucidate phenomena such as unilateral auditory neglect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6631-6639
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Auditory dorsal stream
  • Coherence
  • Dipole latency
  • Gamma-band activity (GBA)
  • Human subjects
  • Magnetoencephalogram (MEG)
  • Mismatch response
  • Posterior parietal cortex
  • Sound-source lateralization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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