The three phases of the applied acquired equivalence learning test, i.e. acquisition, retrieval and generalization, investigate the capabilities of humans in associative learning, working memory load and rule-transfer, respectively. Earlier findings denoted the role of different subcortical structures and cortical regions in the visual test. However, there is a lack of information about how multimodal cues modify the EEG-patterns during acquired equivalence learning. To test this we have recorded EEG from 18 healthy volunteers and analyzed the power spectra and the strength of cross-frequency coupling, comparing a unimodal visual-guided and a bimodal, audio-visual-guided paradigm. We found that the changes in the power of the different frequency band oscillations were more critical during the visual paradigm and they showed less synchronized activation compared to the audio-visual paradigm. These findings indicate that multimodal cues require less prominent, but more synchronized cortical contribution, which might be a possible biomarker of forming multimodal associations.
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