Pre-stimulus influences on auditory perception arising from sensory representations and decision processes

Kayser, S. J., McNair, S. W. and Kayser, C. (2016) Pre-stimulus influences on auditory perception arising from sensory representations and decision processes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(17), pp. 4842-4847. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524087113) (PMID:27071110) (PMCID:PMC4855557)

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Abstract

The qualities of perception depend not only on the sensory inputs but also on the brain state before stimulus presentation. Although the collective evidence from neuroimaging studies for a relation between prestimulus state and perception is strong, the interpretation in the context of sensory computations or decision processes has remained difficult. In the auditory system, for example, previous studies have reported a wide range of effects in terms of the perceptually relevant frequency bands and state parameters (phase/power). To dissociate influences of state on earlier sensory representations and higher-level decision processes, we collected behavioral and EEG data in human participants performing two auditory discrimination tasks relying on distinct acoustic features. Using single-trial decoding, we quantified the relation between prestimulus activity, relevant sensory evidence, and choice in different task-relevant EEG components. Within auditory networks, we found that phase had no direct influence on choice, whereas power in task-specific frequency bands affected the encoding of sensory evidence. Within later-activated frontoparietal regions, theta and alpha phase had a direct influence on choice, without involving sensory evidence. These results delineate two consistent mechanisms by which prestimulus activity shapes perception. However, the timescales of the relevant neural activity depend on the specific brain regions engaged by the respective task.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kayser, Dr Stephanie and Kayser, Professor Christoph and McNair, Mr Steven
Authors: Kayser, S. J., McNair, S. W., and Kayser, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 National Academy of Sciences
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(17):4842-4847
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
658701Pathways and mechanisms underlying the visual enhancement of hearing in challenging environments.Christoph KayserBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L027534/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING