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Yan Huang, Lin Chen, Huan Luo; Behavioral oscillation in priming: competing perceptual predictions conveyed in alternating theta-band rhythms. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1246. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1246.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Neuronal oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain and contribute to perception and attention. Our recent work (Song et al., 2014), in combination with other studies, by measuring response time (RT) in a high time-resolved manner, demonstrates dynamic oscillatory pattern directly in behavioral measurement (‘behavioral oscillation’) in a spatial attentional task, suggesting that multiple spatial locations are sampled alternatively in various phase of attentional rhythms. However, it remains completely unknown whether such oscillation-based temporal coordination may also mediate processes at the same spatial location. In the present study, we investigate how multiple perceptual predictions are conveyed and coordinated to guide moment-by-moment visual perception at one fixed spatial location, by employing priming paradigms in combination with a time-resolved behavioral approach. We first replicate classical priming effects in slowly developing trends of priming time courses. Importantly, after removing the typical priming patterns, we reveal a new and separable theta-band (~4 Hz) oscillatory component in the priming behavior, regardless of whether the prime was masked or not. Furthermore and critically, these theta-band priming oscillations triggered by congruent and incongruent primes are in an out-of-phase relationship. These findings suggest that multiple perceptual predictions are dynamically yet competitively coordinated in time by being conveyed in different phases of the theta-band oscillations to achieve dissociated but temporally organized neural representation, similar to previous findings in spatial attention. In summary, the results speak to a critical and general role of oscillation-based temporal organization and coordination in visual attention.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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