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Sounds reset rhythms of visual cortex and corresponding human visual perception

Romei, V and Gross, J and Thut, G (2012) 'Sounds reset rhythms of visual cortex and corresponding human visual perception.' Current Biology, 22 (9). 807 - 813. ISSN 0960-9822

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An event in one sensory modality can phase reset brain oscillations concerning another modality [1-5]. In principle, this may result in stimulus-locked periodicity in behavioral performance [6]. Here we considered this possible cross-modal impact of a sound for one of the best-characterized rhythms arising from the visual system, namely occipital alpha-oscillations (8-14 Hz) [7-9]. We presented brief sounds and concurrently recorded electroencephalography (EEG) and/or probed visual cortex excitability (phosphene perception) through occipital transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In a first, TMS-only experiment, phosphene perception rate against time postsound showed a periodic pattern cycling at ∼10 Hz phase-aligned to the sound. In a second, combined TMS-EEG experiment, TMS-trials reproduced the cyclical phosphene pattern and revealed a ∼10 Hz pattern also for EEG-derived measures of occipital cortex reactivity to the TMS pulses. Crucially, EEG-data from intermingled trials without TMS established cross-modal phase-locking of occipitoparietal alpha oscillations. These independently recorded variables, i.e., occipital cortex excitability and reactivity and EEG phase dynamics, were significantly correlated. This shows that cross-modal phase locking of oscillatory visual cortex activity can arise in the human brain to affect perceptual and EEG measures of visual processing in a cyclical manner, consistent with occipital alpha oscillations underlying a rapid cycling of neural excitability in visual areas. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 14:16
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:17

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