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Prior expectations induce prestimulus sensory templates

Kok, P; Mostert, P; de Lange, FP; (2017) Prior expectations induce prestimulus sensory templates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) , 114 (39) pp. 10473-10478. 10.1073/pnas.1705652114. Green open access

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Abstract

Perception can be described as a process of inference, integrating bottom-up sensory inputs and top-down expectations. However, it is unclear how this process is neurally implemented. It has been proposed that expectations lead to prestimulus baseline increases in sensory neurons tuned to the expected stimulus, which in turn, affect the processing of subsequent stimuli. Recent fMRI studies have revealed stimulus-specific patterns of activation in sensory cortex as a result of expectation, but this method lacks the temporal resolution necessary to distinguish pre- from poststimulus processes. Here, we combined human magnetoencephalography (MEG) with multivariate decoding techniques to probe the representational content of neural signals in a time-resolved manner. We observed a representation of expected stimuli in the neural signal shortly before they were presented, showing that expectations indeed induce a preactivation of stimulus templates. The strength of these prestimulus expectation templates correlated with participants’ behavioral improvement when the expected feature was task-relevant. These results suggest a mechanism for how predictive perception can be neurally implemented.

Type: Article
Title: Prior expectations induce prestimulus sensory templates
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705652114
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1705652114
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, prediction, perceptual inference, predictive coding, feature-based expectation, feature-based attention, PRIMARY VISUAL-CORTEX, PERCEPTUAL DECISION-MAKING, WORKING-MEMORY, BAYESIAN-INFERENCE, ACTIVITY PATTERNS, MENTAL-IMAGERY, REPRESENTATIONS, HIPPOCAMPUS, MEG, PREDICTION
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056213
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