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MEL LAB

Entrainment of local synchrony reveals a causal role for high-beta right frontal oscillations in human visual consciousness

Vernet Marine, Stengel Chloé, Quentin Romain, Amengual Julià L., Valero-cabré Antoni

Abstract

prior evidence supports a critical role of oscillatory activity in visual cognition, but are cerebral oscillations simply correlated or causally linked to our ability to consciously acknowledge the presence of a target in our visual field? here, eeg signals were recorded on humans performing a visual detection task, while they received brief patterns of rhythmic or random transcranial magnetic stimulation (tms) delivered to the right frontal eye field (fef) prior to the onset of a lateralized target. tms entrained oscillations, i.e., increased high-beta power and phase alignment (the latter to a higher extent for rhythmic high-beta patterns than random patterns) while also boosting visual detection sensitivity. considering post-hoc only those participants in which rhythmic stimulation enhanced visual detection, the magnitude of high-beta entrainment correlated with left visual performance increases. our study provides evidence in favor of a causal link between high-beta oscillatory activity in the frontal eye field and visual detection. furthermore, it supports future applications of brain stimulation to manipulate local synchrony and improve or restore impaired visual behaviors.


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