A PET study of human auditory spatial processing

Robert A. Weeks, A. Aziz-Sultan, Khalafalla O. Bushara, Biao Tian, Christopher M. Wessinger, Nguyet Dang, Josef P. Rauschecker, Mark Hallett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


To learn more about human auditory spatial processing, we used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure regional cerebral blood flow in human volunteers engaged in sound localization tasks. Spectral and binaural cues of localized sound were reproduced by a sound system and delivered via headphones. During localization tasks, subjects activated inferior parietal lobules (IPL) bilaterally. In a second experiment, matched in design to the first, subjects made non-spatial auditory discriminations based on frequency, activating the IPL bilaterally with left hemispheric predominance. A between- study comparison revealed that the right IPL was significantly more activated during the sound localization task compared with the feature discrimination task, suggesting a preferential role for the right IPL in auditory spatial processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 12 1999


  • HO-PET
  • Human brain mapping
  • Inferior parietal lobule
  • Sound frequency discrimination
  • Sound localization
  • Space perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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