Purpose: To use functional MRI (fMRI) methods to visualize a network of auditory and language-processing brain regions associated with processing an aurally-presented story. We compare a passive listening (PL) story paradigm to an active-response (AR) version including online performance monitoring and a sparse acquisition technique. Materials and Methods: Twenty children (ages 11-13 years) completed PL and AR story processing tasks. The PL version presented alternating 30-second blocks of stories and tones; the AR version presented story segments, comprehension questions, and 5-second tone sequences, with fMRI acquisitions between stimuli. fMRI data was analyzed using a general linear model approach and paired t-test identifying significant group activation. Results: Both tasks showed activation in the primary auditory cortex, superior temporal gyrus bilaterally, and left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). The AR task demonstrated more extensive activation, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior/posterior cingulate cortex. Comparison of effect size in each paradigm showed a larger effect for the AR paradigm in a left inferior frontal region-of-interest (ROI). Conclusion: Activation patterns for story processing in children are similar in PL and AR tasks. Increases in extent and magnitude of activation in the AR task are likely associated with memory and attention resources engaged across acquisition intervals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging