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The neural dynamics of perceptual priors in audition

Description du projet

Le mécanisme de prédiction des sons par notre cerveau

La perception du son débute au niveau du système auditif, qui détecte les vibrations acoustiques de l’air ou des os et transmet l’information au cerveau par le nerf auditif. Le cerveau interprète les signaux comme des sons, en tenant compte non seulement des informations sensorielles actuelles, mais aussi de ses expériences antérieures. Les mécanismes neuronaux précis par lesquels le cerveau exploite les informations issues du passé récent pour prédire les prochains stimuli et s’y adapter demeurent toutefois méconnus. Le projet PriorDynamics, financé par l’UE, vérifiera l’hypothèse selon laquelle les prédictions sensorielles s’appuient sur des oscillations neuronales spécifiques. Les chercheurs s’intéresseront aux oscillations dans le cortex auditif et le thalamus, puis détermineront le mécanisme des prédictions sensorielles.

Objectif

To maintain a coherent and continuous percept over time, the brain relies on past sensory information to predict forthcoming stimuli. Combining novel behavioural methods with advanced neuroimaging techniques, the present research project aims to determine the neural mechanisms by which the auditory system uses information from the recent past to overcome signal noise and ambiguity. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that sensory predictions involve neural oscillations at alpha rhythm, ~9-10 Hz, that mediate the propagation of perceptual priors. The first part of this research project investigates the neural structures underlying such predictive oscillatory mechanism. To this end, we adapt a novel time-resolved sampling technique used to examine rhythmic fluctuations in perceptual performance for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We hypothesise that cortical and subcortical activation, especially in the auditory cortex and thalamus, will exhibit rhythmic modulations that correlate with oscillations in decision bias during the detection of a brief auditory signal masked by white noise. The second part of this project examines whether the resolution of perceptual ambiguities by prior contextual information involves similar oscillatory mechanisms. For this purpose, we combine the time-resolved sampling technique with a classic paradigm (involving Shepard tones) for inducing ambiguous pitch shifts. By presenting a single tone before the ambiguous stimulus, listeners can be biased toward a perceived upward or downward pitch shift. If resolving perceptual ambiguities involves oscillatory mechanisms, we expect to observe periodic fluctuations of decision bias (that is, the tendency to make certain responses) at alpha rhythm over time. The results of this research project will shed light on a potentially crucial and yet unknown core process of perception, useful in every interaction we have with the world.

Régime de financement

MSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships

Coordinateur

ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 190 734,72
Adresse
45, RUE D'ULM
75230 Paris
France

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Région
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Type d’activité
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Liens
Coût total
€ 190 734,72

Partenaires (1)