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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jun 30;478(1):14-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.04.057. Epub 2010 May 6.

Dissociation of reversal- and motor-related delta- and alpha-band responses during visual multistable perception.

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Institute of Psychology and Cognition Research, University of Bremen, Grazer Str. 4, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.


Multistable visual perception refers to phenomena, in which one invariant stimulus pattern is perceived in at least two different, mutually exclusive ways. In this EEG study we differentiate between perceptual- and motor-related processes during perceptual reversals. Delta- and alpha-band activity was analyzed while participants answered to a perceptual reversal either immediately or with a delay of approximately 1500 ms, thereby separating reversal-related and motor-related activity. On the single sweep level a reversal-related positive delta response and reversal-related desynchronisation of alpha activity could be detected irrespective of the motor response. Both conditions elicited the strongest reversal-related modulations at posterior locations. Contrary, motor-related responses were found predominantly at central locations. These findings were supported by a control experiment, using a slightly modified stimulus that allowed unambiguous perceptual changes to be triggered exogenously. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the brain response to perceptual reversals differs from motor-related processes elicited by the button press indicating the perceptual reversal. The results of this study, therefore, indicate that perceptual- and motor-related processes are achieved in multiple selectively distributed and parallel working oscillatory networks of the brain.

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