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Predictive Coding or Evidence Accumulation? False Inference and Neuronal Fluctuations

Hesselmann, G; Sadaghiani, S; Friston, KJ; Kleinschmidt, A; (2010) Predictive Coding or Evidence Accumulation? False Inference and Neuronal Fluctuations. PLOS ONE , 5 (3) , Article e9926. 10.1371/journal.pone.0009926. Green open access

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Abstract

Perceptual decisions can be made when sensory input affords an inference about what generated that input. Here, we report findings from two independent perceptual experiments conducted during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a sparse event-related design. The first experiment, in the visual modality, involved forced-choice discrimination of coherence in random dot kinematograms that contained either subliminal or periliminal motion coherence. The second experiment, in the auditory domain, involved free response detection of (non-semantic) near-threshold acoustic stimuli. We analysed fluctuations in ongoing neural activity, as indexed by fMRI, and found that neuronal activity in sensory areas (extrastriate visual and early auditory cortex) biases perceptual decisions towards correct inference and not towards a specific percept. Hits (detection of near-threshold stimuli) were preceded by significantly higher activity than both misses of identical stimuli or false alarms, in which percepts arise in the absence of appropriate sensory input. In accord with predictive coding models and the free-energy principle, this observation suggests that cortical activity in sensory brain areas reflects the precision of prediction errors and not just the sensory evidence or prediction errors per se.

Type: Article
Title: Predictive Coding or Evidence Accumulation? False Inference and Neuronal Fluctuations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009926
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009926
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Hesselmann et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This fMRI experiment was part of a general research program on functional neuroimaging of the human brain which was sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission (principal investigator Denis Le Bihan). This work was funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (SPONTACT; France). S.S. is supported by the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation (Germany). G.H. is supported by a Minerva fellowship (Max Planck Society). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: ONGOING ACTIVITY FLUCTUATIONS, VISUAL-CORTEX, DECISION-MAKING, PERCEPTION, VARIABILITY, RESPONSES, SYSTEMS, NOISE, BIAS
UCL classification: UCL
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/71938
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