Pre-stimulus Alpha Activity Modulates Face and Object Processing in the Intra-Parietal Sulcus, a MEG Study

Narjes Soltani Dehaghani, Burkhard Maess, Reza Khosrowabadi, Reza Lashgari, Sven Braeutigam, Mojtaba Zarei

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Face perception is crucial in all social animals. Recent studies have shown that pre-stimulus oscillations of brain activity modulate the perceptual performance of face vs. non-face stimuli, specifically under challenging conditions. However, it is unclear if this effect also occurs during simple tasks, and if so in which brain regions. Here we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a 1-back task in which participants decided if the two sequentially presented stimuli were the same or not in each trial. The aim of the study was to explore the effect of pre-stimulus alpha oscillation on the perception of face (human and monkey) and non-face stimuli. Our results showed that pre-stimulus activity in the left occipital face area (OFA) modulated responses in the intra-parietal sulcus (IPS) at around 170 ms after the presentation of human face stimuli. This effect was also found after participants were shown images of motorcycles. In this case, the IPS was modulated by pre-stimulus activity in the right OFA and the right fusiform face area (FFA). We conclude that pre-stimulus modulation of post-stimulus response also occurs during simple tasks and is therefore independent of behavioral responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number831781
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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Copyright © 2022 Dehaghani, Maess, Khosrowabadi, Lashgari, Braeutigam and Zarei.


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