Phase-coded oscillatory ordering promotes the separation of closely matched representations to optimize perceptual discrimination

Sanne Ten Oever*, Tobias Meierdierks, Felix Duecker, Tom A De Graaf, Alexander T Sack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Low-frequency oscillations are proposed to be involved in separating neuronal representations belonging to different items. Although item-specific neuronal activity was found to cluster on different oscillatory phases, the influence of this mechanism on perception is unknown. Here, we investigated the perceptual consequences of neuronal item separation through oscillatory clustering. In an electroencephalographic experiment, participants categorized sounds parametrically varying in pitch, relative to an arbitrary pitch boundary. Pre-stimulus theta and alpha phase biased near-boundary sound categorization to one category or the other. Phase also modulated whether evoked neuronal responses contributed stronger to the fit of the sound envelope of one or another category. Intriguingly, participants with stronger oscillatory clustering (phase strongly biasing sound categorization) in the theta, but not alpha, range had steeper perceptual psychometric slopes (sharper sound category discrimination). These results indicate that neuronal sorting by phase directly influences subsequent perception and has a positive impact on discrimination performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101282
Number of pages19
JournaliScience
Volume23
Issue number7
Early online date24 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • ATTENTION
  • DECISION
  • GAMMA
  • MECHANISM
  • NEURAL OSCILLATIONS
  • NEURONAL OSCILLATIONS
  • SPEECH
  • THETA-OSCILLATIONS
  • WORKING-MEMORY

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