Utilizing the high spatial and temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography in conjunction with magnetic resonance images, the current study explored the underlying electrical patterns of cortical excitation during both contralateral and ipsilateral auditory stimulation. Instead of studying only the peaks of the N100 component of the evoked magnetic field, a 30-msec window was chosen about the area where the peaks occurred and the intracranial sources generating that component were estimated at successive 5-msec intervals. Results indicated that the sources for both contralateral and ipsilateral conditions were best represented as a continuous movement of activation in an anterior–inferior direction along the superior surface of the temporal lobe. Although the peak magnetic fields of the N100 to contralateral stimulation were of shorter latency and higher amplitude, the generating sources of both had very similar time-dependent movement patterns, and comparisons of source localizations were dependent on the latency at which they were contrasted.

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