Monday 25 Feb 2019Dynamics Seminar: How does attention shape the perception and cortical representation of sound?

Alex Billig - UCL

LSI Seminar Room B 14:30-15:30

Our perceptual experience of the world depends on how we direct attention. l will present two experiments examining the neural processes associated with such dependencies. In one study, participants try to influence their perception of bistable tone sequences. I use magnetoencephalography to demonstrate that success in perceiving one versus two sound sources is reflected in early cortical responses. In another experiment, patients listen to acoustically degraded sentences while implanted with intracranial electrodes to localise epileptic seizure foci. These highly spatiotemporally resolved recordings reveal that perceptual "pop-out" of degraded speech following an informative visual cue is associated with enhanced representation of the signal in primary auditory cortex. This work illustrates that a variety of effects of attention on auditory perception are reflected at early stages of the cortical hierarchy.

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