Theta oscillations locked to intended actions rhythmically modulate perception
Ongoing brain oscillations are known to influence perception, and to be reset by exogenous stimulations. Voluntary action is also accompanied by prominent rhythmic activity, and recent behavioral evidence suggests that this might be coupled with perception. Here, we reveal the neurophysiological underpinnings of this sensorimotor coupling in humans. We link the trial-by-trial dynamics of EEG oscillatory activity during movement preparation to the corresponding dynamics in perception, for two unrelated visual and motor tasks. The phase of theta oscillations (~4 Hz) predicts perceptual performance, even >1 s before movement. Moreover, theta oscillations are phase-locked to the onset of the movement. Remarkably, the alignment of theta phase and its perceptual relevance unfold with similar non-monotonic profiles, suggesting their relatedness. The present work shows that perception and movement initiation are automatically synchronized since the early stages of motor planning through neuronal oscillatory activity in the theta range.
Article and author information
European Research Council (EU-ERC-238-567)
- W Pieter Medendorp
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO-VICI: 453-11-00)
- W Pieter Medendorp
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study and experimental procedures were approved by the local Ethical Review Board (Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University, The Netherlands). Participants provided written, informed consent after explanation of the task and experimental procedures, in accordance with the guidelines of the local Ethical Review Board.
- Benjamin Morillon, Aix-Marseille University, France
- Received: January 31, 2017
- Accepted: July 6, 2017
- Accepted Manuscript published: July 7, 2017 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: August 11, 2017 (version 2)
© 2017, Tomassini et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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