Phase entrainment of human delta oscillations can mediate the effects of expectation on reaction speed

Gábor Stefanics, Balázs Hangya, I. Hernádi, I. Winkler, Péter Lakatos, I. Ulbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

213 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The more we anticipate a response to a predictable stimulus, the faster we react. This empirical observation has been confirmed and quantified by many investigators suggesting that the processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli is facilitated by probability-based confidence of anticipation. However, the exact neural mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are largely unknown. Here we show that performance changes related to different levels of expectancy originate in dynamic modulation of delta oscillation phase. Our results obtained in rhythmic auditory target detection tasks indicated significant entrainment of the EEG delta rhythm to the onset of the target tones with increasing phase synchronization at higher levels of predictability. Reaction times correlated with the phase of the delta band oscillation at target onset. The fastest reactions occurred during the delta phase that most commonly coincided with the target event in the high expectancy conditions. These results suggest that low-frequency oscillations play a functional role in human anticipatory mechanisms, presumably by modulating synchronized rhythmic fluctuations in the excitability of large neuronal populations and by facilitating efficient task-related neuronal communication among brain areas responsible for sensory processing and response execution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13578-13585
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume30
Issue number41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 2010

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Delta Rhythm
Reaction Time
Electroencephalography
Communication
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Observation
Brain
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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Phase entrainment of human delta oscillations can mediate the effects of expectation on reaction speed. / Stefanics, Gábor; Hangya, Balázs; Hernádi, I.; Winkler, I.; Lakatos, Péter; Ulbert, I.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 41, 13.10.2010, p. 13578-13585.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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