Very slow EEG fluctuations predict the dynamics of stimulus detection and oscillation amplitudes in humans

Monto, S., Palva, S. , Voipio, J. and Palva, J. M. (2008) Very slow EEG fluctuations predict the dynamics of stimulus detection and oscillation amplitudes in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(33), pp. 8268-8272. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1910-08.2008) (PMID:18701689)

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Our ability to perceive weak signals is correlated among consecutive trials and fluctuates slowly over time. Although this “streaking effect” has been known for decades, the underlying neural network phenomena have remained largely unidentified. We examined the dynamics of human behavioral performance and its correlation with infraslow (0.01–0.1 Hz) fluctuations in ongoing brain activity. Full-band electroencephalography revealed prominent infraslow fluctuations during the execution of a somatosensory detection task. Similar fluctuations were predominant also in the dynamics of behavioral performance. The subjects' ability to detect the sensory stimuli was strongly correlated with the phase, but not with the amplitude of the infraslow EEG fluctuations. These data thus reveal a direct electrophysiological correlate for the slow fluctuations in human psychophysical performance. We then examined the correlation between the phase of infraslow EEG fluctuations and the amplitude of 1–40 Hz neuronal oscillations in six frequency bands. Like the behavioral performance, the amplitudes in these frequency bands were robustly correlated with the phase of the infraslow fluctuations. These data hence suggest that the infraslow fluctuations reflect the excitability dynamics of cortical networks. We conclude that ongoing 0.01–0.1 Hz EEG fluctuations are prominent and functionally significant during execution of cognitive tasks.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Academy of Finland, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the KAUTE Foundation, and University of Helsinki Research Funds.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Palva, Professor Satu and Palva, Professor Matias
Authors: Monto, S., Palva, S., Voipio, J., and Palva, J. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1529-2401

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