MEG Reading Group

Journal Club | Top-down control of the phase of alpha-band oscillations as a mechanism for temporal prediction

AUTHORS: Jason Samaha, Phoebe Bauer, Sawyer Cimaroli, and Bradley R. Postle SIGNIFICAMCE: In contrast to canonical, stimulus-driven models of perception, recent proposals argue that perceptual experiences are constructed in an active manner in which top-down influences play a key role. In particular, predictions that the brain makes about the world are incorporated into each perceptual experience. Because forming the appropriate sensory predictions can have a large impact on our visual experiences and visually guided behaviors, a mechanism thought to be disrupted in certain neurological conditions like autism and schizophrenia, an understanding of the neural basis of these predictions is critical. Here, we provide evidence that perceptual expectations about when a stimulus will appear are instantiated in the brain by optimally configuring prestimulus alpha-band oscillations so as to make subsequent processing most efficacious.