Previous neuroimaging studies of perceptual priming have reported priming-related decreases in the extrastriate cortex. However, because these experiments have used visual stimuli, it is unclear whether the observed decreases are associated specifically with some aspect of visual perceptual processing or with more general aspects of priming. We studied within-and cross-modality priming using an auditory word stem completion paradigm. Positron emission tomography (PET) images were obtained during stem completion and a fixation task. Within-modality auditory priming was associated with blood flow decreases in the extrastriate cortex (bilateral), medial/ right anterior prefrontal cortex, right angular gyrus, and precuneus. In cross-modality priming, the study list was presented visually, and subjects completed auditory word stems. Cross-modality priming was associated with trends for blood flow decreases in the left angular gyrus and increases in the medial/right anterior prefrontal cortex. Results thus indicate that reduced activity in the extrastriate cortex accompanies within-modality priming in both visual and auditory modalities.

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