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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Jun;14(6):797-801. doi: 10.1038/nn.2810. Epub 2011 May 8.

Transitions in neural oscillations reflect prediction errors generated in audiovisual speech.

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Inserm U960 - École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.


According to the predictive coding theory, top-down predictions are conveyed by backward connections and prediction errors are propagated forward across the cortical hierarchy. Using MEG in humans, we show that violating multisensory predictions causes a fundamental and qualitative change in both the frequency and spatial distribution of cortical activity. When visual speech input correctly predicted auditory speech signals, a slow delta regime (3-4 Hz) developed in higher-order speech areas. In contrast, when auditory signals invalidated predictions inferred from vision, a low-beta (14-15 Hz) / high-gamma (60-80 Hz) coupling regime appeared locally in a multisensory area (area STS). This frequency shift in oscillatory responses scaled with the degree of audio-visual congruence and was accompanied by increased gamma activity in lower sensory regions. These findings are consistent with the notion that bottom-up prediction errors are communicated in predominantly high (gamma) frequency ranges, whereas top-down predictions are mediated by slower (beta) frequencies.

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