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1. chinaXiv:201605.01805 [pdf]

Attention-Dependent Early Cortical Suppression Contributes to Crowding

Chen, Juan; He, Yingchen; Zhu, Ziyun; Peng, Yujia; Zhang, Xilin; Fang, Fang; Chen, Juan; He, Yingchen; Zhu, Ziyun; Peng, Yujia; Zhang, Xilin; Fang, Fang; Fang, Fang; Fang, Fang; Zhou, Tiangang
Subjects: Biology >> Biophysics >> Neurosciences

Crowding, the identification difficulty for a target in the presence of nearby flankers, is ubiquitous in spatial vision and is considered a bottleneck of object recognition and visual awareness. Despite its significance, the neural mechanisms of crowding are still unclear. Here, we performed event-related potential and fMRI experiments to measure the cortical interaction between the target and flankers in human subjects. We found that the magnitude of the crowding effect was closely associated with an early suppressive cortical interaction. The cortical suppression was reflected in the earliest event-related potential component (C1), which originated in V1, and in the BOLD signal in V1, but not other higher cortical areas. Intriguingly, spatial attention played a critical role in the manifestation of the suppression. These findings provide direct and converging evidence that attention-dependent V1 suppression contributes to crowding at a very early stage of visual processing.

submitted time 2016-05-18 Hits3454Downloads1881 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201605.01460 [pdf]

Behavioral Oscillation in Priming: Competing Perceptual Predictions Conveyed in Alternating Theta-Band Rhythms

Huang, Yan; Chen, Lin; Luo, Huan; Luo, Huan
Subjects: Biology >> Biophysics >> Neurosciences

The brain constantly creates perceptual predictions about forthcoming stimuli to guide perception efficiently. Abundant studies have demonstrated that perceptual predictions modulate sensory activities depending on whether the actual inputs are consistent with one particular prediction. In real-life contexts, however, multiple and even conflicting predictions might concurrently exist to be tested, requiring a multiprediction coordination process. It remains largely unknown how multiple hypotheses are conveyed and harmonized to guide moment-by-moment perception. Based on recent findings revealing that multiple locations are sampled alternatively in various phase of attentional rhythms, we hypothesize that this oscillation-based temporal organization mechanism may also underlie the multiprediction coordination process. To address the issue, we used well established priming paradigms in combination with a time-resolved behavioral approach to investigate the fine temporal dynamics of the multiprediction harmonization course in human subjects. We first replicate classical priming effects in slowly developing trends of priming time courses. Second, after removing the typical priming patterns, we reveal a new theta-band (similar to 4 Hz) oscillatory component in the priming behavioral data regardless of whether the prime was masked. Third, we show that these theta-band priming oscillations triggered by congruent and incongruent primes are in an out-of-phase relationship. These findings suggest that perceptual predictions return to low-sensory areas not continuously but recurrently in a theta-band rhythm (every 200-300 ms) and that multiple predictions are dynamically coordinated in time by being conveyed in different phases of the theta-band oscillations to achieve dissociated but temporally organized neural representations.

submitted time 2016-05-12 Hits2998Downloads1329 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201605.01366 [pdf]

Sharpened cortical tuning and enhanced cortico-cortical communication contribute to the long-term neural mechanisms of visual motion perceptual learning

Chen, Nihong; Li, Sheng; Fang, Fang; Chen, Nihong; Li, Sheng; Fang, Fang; Chen, Nihong; Li, Sheng; Fang, Fang; Chen, Nihong; Fang, Fang; Bi, Taiyong; Bi, Taiyong; Zhou, Tiangang; Liu, Zili
Subjects: Biology >> Biophysics >> Neurosciences

Much has been debated about whether the neural plasticity mediating perceptual learning takes place at the sensory or decision-making stage in the brain. To investigate this, we trained human subjects in a visual motion direction discrimination task. Behavioral performance and BOLD signals were measured before, immediately after, and two weeks after training. Parallel to subjects' long-lasting behavioral improvement, the neural selectivity in V3A and the effective connectivity from V3A to IPS (intraparietal sulcus, a motion decisionmaking area) exhibited a persistent increase for the trained direction. Moreover, the improvement was well explained by a linear combination of the selectivity and connectivity increases. These findings suggest that the long-term neural mechanisms of motion perceptual learning are implemented by sharpening cortical tuning to trained stimuli at the sensory processing stage, as well as by optimizing the connections between sensory and decision-making areas in the brain. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

submitted time 2016-05-12 Hits2910Downloads1444 Comment 0

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