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Localization of brain activity during auditory verbal short-term memory derived from magnetic recordings


We have studied magnetic and electrical fields of the brain in normal subjects during the performance of an auditory verbal short-term memory task. On each trial 3 digits, selected from the numbers 'one' through 'nine', were presented for memorization followed by a probe number which could or could not be a member of the preceding memory set. The subject pressed an appropriate response button and accuracy and reaction time were measured. Magnetic fields recorded from up to 63 sites over both hemispheres revealed a transient field at 110 ms to both the memory item and the probe consistent with a dipole source in Heschl's gyrus; a sustained magnetic field between 300 and 800 ms to just the memory items localized to the temporal lobe slightly deeper and posterior to Heschl's gyri; and a sustained magnetic field between 300 and 800 ms to just the probes localized bilaterally to the medio-basal temporal lobes. These results are related to clinical disorders of short-term memory in man.

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