Brain Areas Involved in Sound and Spoken Word Memory

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified January 2015 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ) Identifier:
First received: June 16, 2011
Last updated: January 15, 2015
Last verified: January 2015


- Studies have shown that animals such as monkeys and dogs have excellent sight and touch memory but perform poorly on sound memory tasks. Human brains have certain areas that are important for speaking and understanding language. These areas may be involved in sound and spoken word memory. Researchers want to study these areas of the brain to find out if the memory for sounds requires brain structures that are usually associated with language learning and are unique to humans.


- To use magnetic resonance imaging to study areas of the brain involved in sound memory.


- Healthy right-handed volunteers between 18 and 50 years of age. They must be native English speakers and have completed high school.


  • The study requires a screening visit and 1 or 2 study visits to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
  • At the screening visit, volunteers will have a medical history taken. They will also have physical and neurological exams, and complete a questionnaire. Women of childbearing age will give a urine sample. Participants who have not had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan in the past year will have one at this visit.
  • At the second visit, participants will have tests of sound memory. They will listen to a set of nonsense words spoken through earphones and memorize the words. Then they will listen to the words again to judge if the words were part of the earlier list. Participants will have a 1 hour break, then do the sound memory test again. During the second test they will have repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which stimulates different regions of the brain.
  • If the group results from the testing sessions are positive, there will be a third visit. At this visit, participants will have a sound perception test. They will listen to words spoken through earphones and judge whether the words in the pair are the same or different. Participants will have rTMS during these tests as well.

Brain Mapping
Language Disorder
Memory Disorder

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Role of the Inferior Frontal Gyrus in Long-Term Auditory Memory a rTMS Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The primary outcome of this study is the error rate during the recognition memory task. The error rate is defined by the amount of stimuli that are correctly classified as familiar or unfamiliar.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The secondary outcome measure of this study is the reaction time of participants to make judgments concerning the familiarity during the recognition memory task.

Estimated Enrollment: 75
Study Start Date: May 2011
  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 40 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

To be eligible for this research study participants must:

Be between the ages of 18 and 50 years of age

Be free of any neurologic condition that might affect performance of the tasks in these experiments

Be right handed

Be native English speakers

Have a finished high-school education or equivalent, such as GED


Participants will be excluded from this research study if they:

Are taking medications that include antidepressants, anxiolytics, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, antiparkinson, hypnotics, stimulants, and/or antihistamines

Have a diagnosed neurologic or psychiatric condition

Have a history of seizure disorder

Have implanted devices such as pacemakers, medication pumps, or defibrillators, metal in the cranium except the mouth, intracardiac lines, history of shrapnel injury or any other condition/device that may contraindicate or preclude the acquisition of MRI

Have severe back pain or any other condition which might prevent them from lying flat for up to 1 hour

Have Claustrophobia (a fear of tight spaces), which prevents them from lying still in a tight or small space for up to 1 hour

Are currently pregnant

Have known hearing loss

Have an alcohol or substance abuse problem as determined by the screening we will do

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01375595

Contact: Elaine P Considine, R.N. (301) 435-8518
Contact: Mark Hallett, M.D. (301) 496-9526

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Mark Hallett, M.D. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ) Identifier: NCT01375595     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 110182, 11-N-0182
Study First Received: June 16, 2011
Last Updated: January 15, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Working Memory
Repetitive TMS (rTMS)
Healthy Volunteer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Language Disorders
Memory Disorders
Communication Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on October 02, 2015