Transitions in neural oscillations reflect prediction errors generated in audiovisual speech

According to the predictive coding theory, top-down predictions are conveyed by backward connections and prediction errors are propagated forward across the cortical hierarchy. Using MEG in humans, we show that violating multisensory predictions causes a fundamental and qualitative change in both the frequency and spatial distribution of cortical activity. When visual speech input correctly predicted auditory speech signals, a slow delta regime (3–4 Hz) developed in higher-order speech areas. In contrast, when auditory signals invalidated predictions inferred from vision, a low-beta (14–15 Hz) / high-gamma (60–80 Hz) coupling regime appeared locally in a multisensory area (area STS). This frequency shift in oscillatory responses scaled with the degree of audio-visual congruence and was accompanied by increased gamma activity in lower sensory regions. These findings are consistent with the notion that bottom-up prediction errors are communicated in predominantly high (gamma) frequency ranges, whereas top-down predictions are mediated by slower (beta) frequencies.

from Nature Neuroscience


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Posted on May 26, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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