Being first matters: topographical representational similarity analysis of ERP signals reveals separate networks for audiovisual temporal binding depending on the leading sense

Cecere, R., Gross, J. , Willis, A. and Thut, G. (2017) Being first matters: topographical representational similarity analysis of ERP signals reveals separate networks for audiovisual temporal binding depending on the leading sense. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(21), pp. 5274-5287. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2926-16.2017) (PMID:28450537) (PMCID:PMC5456109)

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Abstract

In multisensory integration, processing in one sensory modality is enhanced by complementary information from other modalities. Inter-sensory timing is crucial in this process as only inputs reaching the brain within a restricted temporal window are perceptually bound. Previous research in the audiovisual field has investigated various features of the temporal binding window (TBW), revealing asymmetries in its size and plasticity depending on the leading input (auditory-visual, AV; visual-auditory, VA). We here tested whether separate neuronal mechanisms underlie this AV-VA dichotomy in humans. We recorded high-density EEG while participants performed an audiovisual simultaneity judgment task including various AV/VA asynchronies and unisensory control conditions (visual-only, auditory-only) and tested whether AV and VA processing generate different patterns of brain activity. After isolating the multisensory components of AV/VA event-related potentials (ERPs) from the sum of their unisensory constituents, we run a time-resolved topographical representational similarity analysis (tRSA) comparing AV and VA ERP maps. Spatial cross-correlation matrices were built from real data to index the similarity between AV- and VA-maps at each time point (500ms window post-stimulus) and then correlated with two alternative similarity model matrices: AVmaps=VAmaps vs. AVmaps≠VAmaps. The tRSA results favored the AVmaps≠VAmaps model across all time points, suggesting that audiovisual temporal binding (indexed by synchrony perception) engages different neural pathways depending on the leading sense. The existence of such dual route supports recent theoretical accounts proposing that multiple binding mechanisms are implemented in the brain to accommodate different information parsing strategies in auditory and visual sensory systems.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thut, Professor Gregor and Cecere, Dr Roberto and Gross, Professor Joachim
Authors: Cecere, R., Gross, J., Willis, A., and Thut, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474
ISSN (Online):1529-2401
Published Online:27 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Cecere et al.
First Published:First published in Journal of Neuroscience 37(21):5274-5287
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597051Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain Oscillations.Joachim GrossWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098433/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
597911Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain OscillationsGregor ThutWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098434/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING