Alpha/beta power decreases track the fidelity of stimulus-specific information

Griffiths, B. J., Mayhew, S. D., Mullinger, K. J., Jorge, J., Charest, I., Wimber, M. and Hanslmayr, S. (2019) Alpha/beta power decreases track the fidelity of stimulus-specific information. eLife, 8, e49562. (doi: 10.7554/eLife.49562) (PMID:31782730) (PMCID:PMC6904219)

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Abstract

Massed synchronised neuronal firing is detrimental to information processing. When networks of task-irrelevant neurons fire in unison, they mask the signal generated by task-critical neurons. On a macroscopic level, such synchronisation can contribute to alpha/beta (8–30 Hz) oscillations. Reducing the amplitude of these oscillations, therefore, may enhance information processing. Here, we test this hypothesis. Twenty-one participants completed an associative memory task while undergoing simultaneous EEG-fMRI recordings. Using representational similarity analysis, we quantified the amount of stimulus-specific information represented within the BOLD signal on every trial. When correlating this metric with concurrently-recorded alpha/beta power, we found a significant negative correlation which indicated that as post-stimulus alpha/beta power decreased, stimulus-specific information increased. Critically, we found this effect in three unique tasks: visual perception, auditory perception, and visual memory retrieval, indicating that this phenomenon transcends both stimulus modality and cognitive task. These results indicate that alpha/beta power decreases parametrically track the fidelity of both externally-presented and internally-generated stimulus-specific information represented within the cortex.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: H2020 European Research Council (647954).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanslmayr, Professor Simon and Wimber, Dr Maria
Creator Roles:
Hanslmayr, S.Conceptualization, Supervision, Funding acquisition, Project administration
Authors: Griffiths, B. J., Mayhew, S. D., Mullinger, K. J., Jorge, J., Charest, I., Wimber, M., and Hanslmayr, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:eLife
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
ISSN:2050-084X
ISSN (Online):2050-084X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Griffiths et al.
First Published:First published in eLife 8: e49562
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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