The effects of background noise on brain activation during a verbal working memory task

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Abstract

This study was carried out to investigate the effects of noisy background on brain activation during a working memory task. Fourteen healthy male subjects underwent silent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans while listening to words presented verbally against quiet (WIS) and noisy (WIN) backgrounds. The stimuli were binaurally presented to the subjects at 70 dB sound pressure level (SPL) in both conditions. Group results indicated significant (p < 0.001) bilateral widespread of brain activations in the primary auditory cortex, superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobes during WIS. Additional significant activation was observed in the middle cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during WIN, suggesting the involvement of cingulate cortex in working memory processing against a noisy background. The mean percentage of signal change in all regions was higher during WIN as compared to WIS. Right hemispheric predominance was observed for both conditions in primary auditory cortex and middle frontal gyrus and this could be attributed to the increased difficulty of the tasks. The results obtained from this study demonstrated that background noise increased task demand and difficulty. Task demand was found to play an important role in determining the activation magnitude in the brain areas during working memory task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalMalaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Gyrus Cinguli
Short-Term Memory
Noise
Parietal Lobe
Auditory Cortex
Brain
Temporal Lobe
Prefrontal Cortex
Healthy Volunteers
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Pressure

Keywords

  • Auditory
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Noise
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "The effects of background noise on brain activation during a verbal working memory task",
abstract = "This study was carried out to investigate the effects of noisy background on brain activation during a working memory task. Fourteen healthy male subjects underwent silent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans while listening to words presented verbally against quiet (WIS) and noisy (WIN) backgrounds. The stimuli were binaurally presented to the subjects at 70 dB sound pressure level (SPL) in both conditions. Group results indicated significant (p < 0.001) bilateral widespread of brain activations in the primary auditory cortex, superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobes during WIS. Additional significant activation was observed in the middle cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during WIN, suggesting the involvement of cingulate cortex in working memory processing against a noisy background. The mean percentage of signal change in all regions was higher during WIN as compared to WIS. Right hemispheric predominance was observed for both conditions in primary auditory cortex and middle frontal gyrus and this could be attributed to the increased difficulty of the tasks. The results obtained from this study demonstrated that background noise increased task demand and difficulty. Task demand was found to play an important role in determining the activation magnitude in the brain areas during working memory task.",
keywords = "Auditory, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Noise, Working memory",
author = "Mazlyfarina Mohamad and Yusoff, {Ahmad Nazlim} and Mukari, {Siti Zamratol Mai Sarah} and Asma Abdullah and Hamid, {A. I Abd}",
year = "2014",
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AU - Mohamad, Mazlyfarina

AU - Yusoff, Ahmad Nazlim

AU - Mukari, Siti Zamratol Mai Sarah

AU - Abdullah, Asma

AU - Hamid, A. I Abd

PY - 2014

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N2 - This study was carried out to investigate the effects of noisy background on brain activation during a working memory task. Fourteen healthy male subjects underwent silent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans while listening to words presented verbally against quiet (WIS) and noisy (WIN) backgrounds. The stimuli were binaurally presented to the subjects at 70 dB sound pressure level (SPL) in both conditions. Group results indicated significant (p < 0.001) bilateral widespread of brain activations in the primary auditory cortex, superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobes during WIS. Additional significant activation was observed in the middle cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during WIN, suggesting the involvement of cingulate cortex in working memory processing against a noisy background. The mean percentage of signal change in all regions was higher during WIN as compared to WIS. Right hemispheric predominance was observed for both conditions in primary auditory cortex and middle frontal gyrus and this could be attributed to the increased difficulty of the tasks. The results obtained from this study demonstrated that background noise increased task demand and difficulty. Task demand was found to play an important role in determining the activation magnitude in the brain areas during working memory task.

AB - This study was carried out to investigate the effects of noisy background on brain activation during a working memory task. Fourteen healthy male subjects underwent silent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans while listening to words presented verbally against quiet (WIS) and noisy (WIN) backgrounds. The stimuli were binaurally presented to the subjects at 70 dB sound pressure level (SPL) in both conditions. Group results indicated significant (p < 0.001) bilateral widespread of brain activations in the primary auditory cortex, superior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobes during WIS. Additional significant activation was observed in the middle cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during WIN, suggesting the involvement of cingulate cortex in working memory processing against a noisy background. The mean percentage of signal change in all regions was higher during WIN as compared to WIS. Right hemispheric predominance was observed for both conditions in primary auditory cortex and middle frontal gyrus and this could be attributed to the increased difficulty of the tasks. The results obtained from this study demonstrated that background noise increased task demand and difficulty. Task demand was found to play an important role in determining the activation magnitude in the brain areas during working memory task.

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