Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 5, pp 1279–1287 | Cite as

Common cortical areas involved in both auditory and visual imageries for novel stimuli

  • H. M. Kleider-Offutt
  • A. Grant
  • J. A. TurnerEmail author
Research Article


We examine cross-modality commonalities in visual and auditory imageries during fMRI scanning in a sample of healthy young adults. In a visual task combining viewed and imagined stimuli, 28 participants were asked to imagine novel scenes related to the other images, and in a similar auditory task combining heard and imagined stimuli, to imagine novel sentences spoken by individuals they had heard speaking previously. We identified a common set of regions in medial and lateral Brodmann area 6, as well as inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44/45), partially supporting previous meta-analytic results. Comparing individuals with high or low reported imagery ability, we replicated a previous result showing individuals with lower visual imagery ability showed greater activation in the cerebellum, frontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, while there was no relationship with auditory imagery ability in this sample. The emphasis on imagining novel stimuli, rather than familiar or previously experienced stimuli, confirms the role of the supramodal imagery network underlying creative imagery.


Imagination Auditory imagery Visual imagery fMRI Imagery ability 



This research was supported by a Georgia State University (GSU) Brains and Behavior research seed grant to H.O. and J.T., and the Georgia Institute of Technology Joint Center for Advanced Brain Imaging Seed Grants from the GSU Office of Sponsored Research.

Supplementary material

221_2019_5492_MOESM1_ESM.docx (736 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 735 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and The Neuroscience InstituteGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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