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Neuroimage. 2012 Mar;60(1):21-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.065. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Steady-state evoked potentials as an index of multisensory temporal binding.

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Institute of Neuroscience (Ions), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium.


Temporal congruency promotes perceptual binding of multisensory inputs. Here, we used EEG frequency-tagging to track cortical activities elicited by auditory and visual inputs separately, in the form of steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs). We tested whether SS-EPs could reveal a dynamic coupling of cortical activities related to the binding of auditory and visual inputs conveying synchronous vs. non-synchronous temporal periodicities, or beats. The temporally congruent audiovisual condition elicited markedly enhanced auditory and visual SS-EPs, as compared to the incongruent condition. Furthermore, an increased inter-trial phase coherence of both SS-EPs was observed in that condition. Taken together, these observations indicate that temporal congruency enhances the processing of multisensory inputs at sensory-specific stages of cortical processing, possibly through a dynamic binding by synchrony of the elicited activities and/or improved dynamic attending. Moreover, we show that EEG frequency-tagging with SS-EPs constitutes an effective tool to explore the neural dynamics of multisensory integration in the human brain.

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