Auditory information enhances post-sensory visual evidence during rapid multisensory decision-making

Franzen, L., Delis, I., De Sousa, G., Kayser, C. and Philiastides, M. G. (2020) Auditory information enhances post-sensory visual evidence during rapid multisensory decision-making. Nature Communications, 11, 5440. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19306-7) (PMID:33116148) (PMCID:PMC7595090)

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Despite recent progress in understanding multisensory decision-making, a conclusive mechanistic account of how the brain translates the relevant evidence into a decision is lacking. Specifically, it remains unclear whether perceptual improvements during rapid multisensory decisions are best explained by sensory (i.e., ‘Early’) processing benefits or post-sensory (i.e., ‘Late’) changes in decision dynamics. Here, we employ a well-established visual object categorisation task in which early sensory and post-sensory decision evidence can be dissociated using multivariate pattern analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG). We capitalize on these distinct neural components to identify when and how complementary auditory information influences the encoding of decision-relevant visual evidence in a multisensory context. We show that it is primarily the post-sensory, rather than the early sensory, EEG component amplitudes that are being amplified during rapid audiovisual decision-making. Using a neurally informed drift diffusion model we demonstrate that a multisensory behavioral improvement in accuracy arises from an enhanced quality of the relevant decision evidence, as captured by the post-sensory EEG component, consistent with the emergence of multisensory evidence in higher-order brain areas.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philiastides, Professor Marios and Kayser, Professor Christoph and De Sousa, Ms Gabriela and Delis, Dr Ioannis and Franzen, Mr Leon
Authors: Franzen, L., Delis, I., De Sousa, G., Kayser, C., and Philiastides, M. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 11:5440
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence
Data DOI:10.17605/OSF.IO/RHX6Y

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170631Neural correlates of learning and confidence during decision making and their utility in developing "intelligent technologies".Marios PhiliastidesEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L012995/1NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)