MEG Reading Group

Journal Club | Neural Microstates Govern Perception of Auditory Input without Rhythmic Structure

Molly J. Henry, Björn Herrmann, and Jonas Obleser (2016) Journal of Neuroscience Our ability to hear faint sounds fluctuates together with slow brain activity that synchronizes with environmental rhythms. However, it is so far not known how brain activity at different time scales might interact to influence perception when there is no rhythm with which brain activity can synchronize. Here, we used electroencephalography to measure brain activity while participants listened for short silences that interrupted ongoing noise. We examined brain activity in three different frequency bands: delta, theta, and alpha. Participants' ability to detect gaps depended on different numbers of frequency bands—sometimes one, sometimes two, and sometimes three—at different times. Changes in the number of frequency bands that predict perception are a hallmark of a complex neural system.