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J Neurophysiol. 2015 Apr 1;113(7):2342-50. doi: 10.1152/jn.00783.2014. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Early and late beta-band power reflect audiovisual perception in the McGurk illusion.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, St. Hedwig Hospital, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany yadira.roa-romero@charite.de.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, St. Hedwig Hospital, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

The McGurk illusion is a prominent example of audiovisual speech perception and the influence that visual stimuli can have on auditory perception. In this illusion, a visual speech stimulus influences the perception of an incongruent auditory stimulus, resulting in a fused novel percept. In this high-density electroencephalography (EEG) study, we were interested in the neural signatures of the subjective percept of the McGurk illusion as a phenomenon of speech-specific multisensory integration. Therefore, we examined the role of cortical oscillations and event-related responses in the perception of congruent and incongruent audiovisual speech. We compared the cortical activity elicited by objectively congruent syllables with incongruent audiovisual stimuli. Importantly, the latter elicited a subjectively congruent percept: the McGurk illusion. We found that early event-related responses (N1) to audiovisual stimuli were reduced during the perception of the McGurk illusion compared with congruent stimuli. Most interestingly, our study showed a stronger poststimulus suppression of beta-band power (13-30 Hz) at short (0-500 ms) and long (500-800 ms) latencies during the perception of the McGurk illusion compared with congruent stimuli. Our study demonstrates that auditory perception is influenced by visual context and that the subsequent formation of a McGurk illusion requires stronger audiovisual integration even at early processing stages. Our results provide evidence that beta-band suppression at early stages reflects stronger stimulus processing in the McGurk illusion. Moreover, stronger late beta-band suppression in McGurk illusion indicates the resolution of incongruent physical audiovisual input and the formation of a coherent, illusory multisensory percept.

KEYWORDS:

McGurk illusion; beta-band power; multisensory perception; oscillatory EEG activity; speech

PMID:
25568160
PMCID:
PMC4416591
DOI:
10.1152/jn.00783.2014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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