Electrophysiological correlates of incidentally learned expectations in human vision

Hall, Michelle G., Mattingley, Jason B. and Dux, Paul E. (2018) Electrophysiological correlates of incidentally learned expectations in human vision. Journal of Neurophysiology, 119 4: 1461-1470. doi:10.1152/jn.00733.2017

Author Hall, Michelle G.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Dux, Paul E.
Title Electrophysiological correlates of incidentally learned expectations in human vision
Journal name Journal of Neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1522-1598
Publication date 2018-01-10
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/jn.00733.2017
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 119
Issue 4
Start page 1461
End page 1470
Total pages 32
Place of publication Bethesda, MD United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Language eng
Subject 2800 Neuroscience
1314 Physiology
Abstract The human visual system is remarkably sensitive to environmental regularities, which can facilitate behavioural performance when sensory events conform to past experience. The point at which prior knowledge is integrated during visual perception is unclear, particularly for incidentally learned associations. One possibility is that expectation shapes neural activity prospectively, in an anticipatory fashion, allowing prior knowledge to affect the earliest stages of sensory processing. Alternatively, cognitive processes underlying object recognition and conflict detection may be necessary precursors, constraining effects to later stages of processing. Here we used electroencephalography (EEG) to uncover neural activity that distinguishes between visual stimuli that match prior exposure from those that deviate from it. Participants identified visual targets that were associated with possible target locations; each location was associated with a high probability target and a low probability target. Alongside a behavioural cost for stimuli that had occurred infrequently at a cued location, compared with those that had occurred frequently, we observed a focal modulation of the evoked EEG response at 250ms following target onset. Relative to likely targets, unlikely targets evoked an enhanced negativity at midline frontal electrodes, and individual differences in the magnitude of this effect were correlated with the response time difference between likely and unlikely targets. In contrast, the evoked response at the latency of the P1, a correlate of early sensory processing, was indistinguishable for likely and unlikely targets. Together, these results point to post-perceptual processes as a key stage at which experience modulates visual processing.
Keyword EEG
statistical learning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID CE140100007
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Wed, 07 Feb 2018, 11:17:17 EST