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    Perceptual moments of conscious visual experience inferred from oscillatory brain activity

    Smith, Marie L. and Gosselin, F. and Schyns, P.G. (2006) Perceptual moments of conscious visual experience inferred from oscillatory brain activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103 (14), pp. 5626-5631. ISSN 0027-8424.

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    Transient periods of synchronized oscillating neuronal discharges in the brain have been proposed to support the discrete perceptual moments underlying conscious visual experience. However, the information content of these perceptual moments remains a critical challenge to the understanding of consciousness. We uncovered this information content in four observers who consciously perceived each interpretation of the ambiguous Dali painting Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire. For each individual observer, we isolated the stimulus spatial frequency (SF) features underlying their overt judgments of the input as “the nuns” and “Voltaire”. Every 2 ms between stimulus onset and overt response, we derived the sensitivity of the observer's oscillatory brain activity (in the theta, alpha, and beta bandwidths) to these SF features. Then, in each bandwidth, we estimated the moments (between stimulus onset and perceptual judgment) when perception-specific SF features were maximally integrated, corresponding to perceptual moments. We show that the centroparietal beta oscillations support perceptual moments underlying the conscious perception of the nuns, whereas theta oscillations support the perception of Voltaire. For both perceptions, we reveal the specific information content of these perceptual moments.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 16:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


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