Alpha-band sensory entrainment alters the duration of temporal windows in visual perception

Luca Ronconi, Niko A. Busch, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The phase and frequency of neural oscillations in the alpha band (8–12 Hz) have been recently proposed as key parameters for the temporal resolution of visual perception. Here, we tested the possible causal links between these oscillatory features and temporal integration/segregation. The individual alpha frequency (IAF) peak as obtained from resting-state electroencephalography was used to set the frequency of sensory (audio-visual) entrainment for the lower (IAF − 2 Hz) and upper (IAF + 2 Hz) alpha. Entrainment at IAF ± 2 Hz was administered in the prestimulus interval to align oscillations to a faster or slower rhythm. We densely sampled in time the accuracy for integration/segregation by using identical stimuli with different instructions. The spectral peaks of performance fluctuations over time were found in the upper or lower alpha band for the IAF + 2 and IAF − 2 Hz entrainment, respectively, implying that faster entrainment resulted in faster behavioral fluctuations. Moreover, the entrainment frequency had opposite effects on temporal resolution: faster entrainment improved segregation while slower entrainment improved integration. Performance fluctuations were almost in anti-phase between the two tasks, such that highest integration performance coincided with lowest segregation performance. These findings provide evidence for a direct link between changes in the alpha band and the temporal resolution of perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11810
JournalScientific reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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