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Cerebral Glucose Consumption Following Verbal Auditory Stimulation

M. Kushner, R. Schwartz, A. Alavi, R. Dann, M. Reivich
Published 1987 · Biology, Medicine

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We studied the effect of auditory stimulation upon cerebral glucose metabolism in young normals. The stimulus consisted of a non-English discourse which was presented monaurally to 10 normal blindfolded subjects (5 left ear, 5 right); the opposite ear was plugged. Six subjects studied blindfolded and with ears plugged served as controls. Sixteen discrete homologous cortical and subcortical regions of interest were examined. Regional glucose consumption and side-to-side differences in glucose metabolism were analyzed. Monaural stimulation produced significant increases in temporal metabolism contralateral to the side of stimulation. Significant asymmetries in metabolism were found at the temporoparietal junction, inferior parietal region, insula and corpus collosum. The left frontal speech areas remained unaffected. These findings demonstrate that in man the primary auditory pathways retain a contralateral organization. Further, cerebral activation induced by non-meaningful verbal stimulation is widespread within the left temporal and parietal regions but does not impact upon the frontal speech cortices.
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