Oscillatory signatures of crossmodal congruence effects: An EEG investigation employing a visuotactile pattern matching paradigm
Engel, Andreas K.
|ALPHA-ACTIVITY; AUDITORY OBJECT RECOGNITION; CORTICAL NETWORKS; Cortical oscillations; Crossmodal congruence; ENHANCEMENT; FEATURE INTEGRATION; GAMMA-BAND RESPONSES; IMPROVES VISUAL-PERCEPTION; MODULATION; Multisensory integration; Neuroimaging; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; Pattern matching; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging; SIMPLE REACTION-TIME; SYNCHRONIZATION; Visuotactile
|ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
Coherent percepts emerge from the accurate combination of inputs from the different sensory systems. There is an ongoing debate about the neurophysiological mechanisms of crossmodal interactions in the brain, and it has been proposed that transient synchronization of neurons might be of central importance. Oscillatory activity in lower frequency ranges (<30 Hz) has been implicated in mediating long-range communication as typically studied in multisensory research. In the current study, we recorded high-density electroencephalograms while human participants were engaged in a visuotactile pattern matching paradigm and analyzed oscillatory power in the theta-(4-7 Hz), alpha-(8-13 Hz) and beta-bands (13-30 Hz). Employing the same physical stimuli, separate tasks of the experiment either required the detection of predefined targets in visual and tactile modalities or the explicit evaluation of crossmodal stimulus congruence. Analysis of the behavioral data showed benefits for congruent visuotactile stimulus combinations. Differences in oscillatory dynamics related to crossmodal congruence within the two tasks were observed in the beta-band for crossmodal target detection, as well as in the theta-band for congruence evaluation. Contrasting ongoing activity preceding visuotactile stimulation between the two tasks revealed differences in the alpha-and beta-bands. Source reconstruction of between-task differences showed prominent involvement of premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, somatosensory association cortex and the supramarginal gyrus. These areas not only exhibited more involvement in the pre-stimulus interval for target detection compared to congruence evaluation, but were also crucially involved in post-stimulus differences related to crossmodal stimulus congruence within the detection task. These results add to the increasing evidence that low frequency oscillations are functionally relevant for integration in distributed brain networks, as demonstrated for crossmodal interactions in visuotactile pattern matching in the current study. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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