Electrophysiological correlates of gist perception: a steady-state visually evoked potentials study

Autor(en): Radtke, Elise L.
Schoene, Benjamin
Martens, Ulla
Gruber, Thomas 
Stichwörter: ATTENTION; CONTEXT; CORTEX; EEG; Gist perception; INTEGRATION; Intermodulation frequency; MEMORY; Multi-stimulus displays; NEURAL SIGNATURE; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; OBJECTS; RESPONSES; Steady-state visually evoked potentials; TOP-DOWN FACILITATION
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: SPRINGER
Volumen: 238
Ausgabe: 6
Startseite: 1399
Seitenende: 1410
Gist perception refers to perceiving the substance or general meaning of a scene. To investigate its neuronal mechanisms, we used the steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) method-an evoked oscillatory cortical response at the same frequency as a visual stimulus flickered at this frequency. Two neighboring stimuli were flickered at different frequencies f(1) and f(2), for example, a drawing of a sun on the left side of the screen flickering at 8.6 Hz and the drawing of a parasol on the right side of the screen flickering at 12 Hz. SSVEPs enabled us to separate the responses to the two distinct stimuli by extracting oscillatory brain responses at f(1) and f(2). Additionally, it allowed to investigate intermodulation frequencies, that is, the brain's response at a linear combination of f(1) and f(2) (here at f(1) f(2) = 20.6 Hz) as an indicator of processing shared aspects of the input, that is, gist perception (here: a beach scene). We recorded high-density EEG of 18 participants. Results revealed clear and separable neuronal oscillations at f(1) and f(2). Additionally, occipital electrodes showed increased amplitudes at the intermodulation frequency in related as compared to unrelated pairs. The increase in intermodulation frequency was associated with bilateral temporal and parietal lobe activation, probably reflecting the interaction of local object representations as a basis for activating the gist network. The study demonstrates that SSVEPs are an excellent method to unravel mechanisms underlying the processing within multi-stimulus displays in the context of gist perception.
ISSN: 00144819
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-020-05819-6

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