Interruptions in auditory input can be perceptually restored if they coincide with a masking sound, resulting in a continuity illusion. Previous studies have shown that this continuity illusion is associated with reduced low-frequency neural oscillations in the auditory cortex. However, the precise contribution of oscillatory amplitude changes and phase alignment to auditory restoration remains unclear. Using electroencephalography, we investigated induced power changes and phase locking in response to 3 Hz amplitude-modulated tones during the interval of an interrupting noise. We experimentally manipulated both the physical continuity of the tone (continuous vs. interrupted) and the masking potential of the noise (notched vs. full). We observed an attenuation of 3 Hz power during continuity illusions in comparison to both continuous tones and veridically perceived interrupted tones. This illusion-related suppression of low-frequency oscillations likely reflects a blurring of auditory object boundaries that supports continuity perception. We further observed increased 3 Hz phase locking during fully masked continuous tones compared with the other conditions. This low-frequency phase alignment may reflect the neural registration of the interrupting noise as a newly appearing object, whereas during continuity illusions, a spectral portion of this noise is delegated to filling the interruption. Taken together, our findings suggest that the suppression of slow cortical oscillations in both the power and phase domains supports perceptual restoration of interruptions in auditory input. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- auditory perception
- SENSORY-PERCEPTUAL TRANSFORMATIONS
- INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS
- HEARING ILLUSORY SOUNDS