Perceived duration is reduced by repetition but not by high-level expectation.
ABSTRACT: A repeated stimulus is judged as briefer than a novel one. It has been suggested that this duration illusion is an example of a more general phenomenon-namely that a more expected stimulus is judged as briefer than a less expected one. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated high-level expectation through the probability of a stimulus sequence, through the regularity of the preceding stimuli in a sequence, or through whether a stimulus violates an overlearned sequence. We found that perceived duration is not reduced by these types of expectation. Repetition of stimuli, on the other hand, consistently reduces perceived duration across our experiments. In addition, the effect of stimulus repetition is constrained to the location of the repeated stimulus. Our findings suggest that estimates of subsecond duration are largely the result of low-level sensory processing.
Project description:Repeated exposure to the same stimulus results in an attenuated brain response in cortical regions that are activated during the processing of that stimulus. This phenomenon, called repetition suppression (RS), has been shown to be modulated by expectation. Typically, this is achieved by varying the probability of stimulus repetitions (Prep) between blocks of an experiment, generating an abstract expectation that 'things will repeat'. Here, we examined whether stimulus-specific expectations also modulate RS. We designed a task where expectation and repetition are manipulated independently, using stimulus-specific expectations. We investigated to which extent such stimulus-specific expectations modulated the visual evoked response to objects in lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and primary visual cortex (V1), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In LOC, we found that RS interacted with expectation, such that repetition suppression was more pronounced for unexpected relative to expected stimuli. Additionally, we found that the response of stimulus-preferring voxels in V1 was generally decreased when stimuli were expected. These results suggest that stimulus-specific expectations about objects modulate LOC and propagate back to the earliest cortical station processing visual input.
Project description:Several fMRI and EEG/MEG studies show that repetition suppression (RS) effects are stronger when a stimulus repetition is expected compared to when a stimulus repetition is less expected. To date, the prevalent way to assess the influence of expectations on RS is via immediate stimulus repetition designs, that is, no intervening stimuli appear between the initial and repeated presentation of a stimulus. Since there is evidence that repetition lag may alter RS effects in a qualitative manner, the current study investigated how perceptual expectations modify RS effects on object stimuli when repetition lag is relatively long. Region of interest analyses in the left occipital cortex revealed a similar activation pattern as identified in previous studies on immediate lag: RS effects were strongest when repetitions were expected compared to decreased RS effects when repetitions were less expected. Therefore, the current study expands previous research in two ways: First, we replicate prior studies showing that perceptual expectation effects can be observed in object-sensitive occipital areas. Second, the finding that expectation effects can be found even for several-minute lags proposes that Bayesian inference processes are a relatively robust component in visual stimulus processing.
Project description:Predictive coding theories argue that recent experience establishes expectations in the brain that generate prediction errors when violated. Prediction errors provide a possible explanation for repetition suppression, where evoked neural activity is attenuated across repeated presentations of the same stimulus. The predictive coding account argues repetition suppression arises because repeated stimuli are expected, whereas non-repeated stimuli are unexpected and thus elicit larger neural responses. Here, we employed electroencephalography in humans to test the predictive coding account of repetition suppression by presenting sequences of visual gratings with orientations that were expected either to repeat or change in separate blocks of trials. We applied multivariate forward modelling to determine how orientation selectivity was affected by repetition and prediction. Unexpected stimuli were associated with significantly enhanced orientation selectivity, whereas selectivity was unaffected for repeated stimuli. Our results suggest that repetition suppression and expectation have separable effects on neural representations of visual feature information.
Project description:Perception of time is susceptible to distortions; among other factors, it has been suggested that the perceived duration of a stimulus is affected by the observer's expectations. It has been hypothesized that the duration of an oddball stimulus is overestimated because it is unexpected, whereas repeated stimuli have a shorter perceived duration because they are expected. However, recent findings suggest instead that fulfilled expectations about a stimulus elicit an increase in perceived duration, and that the oddball effect occurs because the oddball is a target stimulus, not because it is unexpected. Therefore, it has been suggested that top-down attention is sometimes sufficient to explain this effect, and sometimes only necessary, with an additional contribution from saliency. However, how the expectedness of a target stimulus and its salient features affect its perceived duration is still an open question. In the present study, participants' expectations about and the saliency of target stimuli were orthogonally manipulated with stimuli presented on a short (Experiment 1) or long (Experiment 2) temporal scale. Four repetitive standard stimuli preceded each target stimulus in a task in which participants judged whether the target was longer or shorter in duration than the standards. Engagement of top-down attention to target stimuli increased their perceived duration to the same extent irrespective of their expectedness. A small but significant additional contribution to this effect from the saliency of target stimuli was dependent on the temporal scale of stimulus presentation. In Experiment 1, saliency only significantly increased perceived duration in the case of expected target stimuli. In contrast, in Experiment 2, saliency exerted a significant effect on the overestimation elicited by unexpected target stimuli, but the contribution of this variable was eliminated in the case of expected target stimuli. These findings point to top-down attention as the primary cognitive mechanism underlying the perceptual extraction and processing of task-relevant information, which may be strongly correlated with perceived duration. Furthermore, the scalar properties of timing were observed, favoring the pacemaker-accumulator model of timing as the underlying timing mechanism.
Project description:Deviants are stimuli that violate one's prediction about the incoming stimuli. Studying deviance detection helps us understand how nervous system learns temporal patterns between stimuli and forms prediction about the future. Detecting deviant stimuli is also critical for animals' survival in the natural environment filled with complex sounds and patterns. Using natural songbird vocalizations as stimuli, we recorded multi-unit and single-unit activity from the zebra finch auditory forebrain while presenting rare repeated stimuli after regular alternating stimuli (alternating oddball experiment) or rare deviant among multiple different common stimuli (context oddball experiment). The alternating oddball experiment showed that neurons were sensitive to rare repetitions in regular alternations. In the absence of expectation, repetition suppresses neural responses to the 2nd stimulus in the repetition. When repetition violates expectation, neural responses to the 2nd stimulus in the repetition were stronger than expected. The context oddball experiment showed that a stimulus elicits stronger neural responses when it is presented infrequently as a deviant among multiple common stimuli. As the acoustic differences between deviant and common stimuli increase, the response enhancement also increases. These results together showed that neural encoding of a stimulus depends not only on the acoustic features of the stimulus but also on the preceding stimuli and the transition patterns between them. These results also imply that the classical oddball effect may result from a combination of repetition suppression and deviance enhancement. Classification analyses showed that the difficulties in decoding the stimulus responsible for the neural responses differed for deviants in different experimental conditions. These findings suggest that learning transition patterns and detecting deviants in natural sequences may depend on a hierarchy of neural mechanisms, which may be involved in more complex forms of auditory processing that depend on the transition patterns between stimuli, such as speech processing.
Project description:Electrocochleography (ECochG) to high repetition rate tone bursts may have advantages over ECochG to clicks with standard slow rates. Tone burst stimuli presented at a high repetition rate may enhance summating potential (SP) measurements by reducing neural contributions resulting from neural adaptation to high stimulus repetition rates. To allow for the analysis of the complex ECochG responses to high rates, we deconvolved responses using the Continuous Loop Averaging Deconvolution (CLAD) technique. We examined the effect of high stimulus repetition rate and stimulus duration on SP amplitude measurements made with extratympanic ECochG to tone bursts in 20 adult females with normal hearing. We used 500 and 2,000 Hz tone bursts of various stimulus durations (12, 6, 3 ms) and repetition rates (five rates ranging from 7.1 to 234.38/s). A within-subject repeated measures (rate x duration) analysis of variance was conducted. We found that, for both 500 and 2,000 Hz stimuli, the mean deconvolved SP amplitudes were larger at faster repetition rates (58.59 and 97.66/s) compared to slower repetition rates (7.1 and 19.53/s), and larger at shorter stimulus duration compared longer stimulus duration. Our concluding hypothesis is that large SP amplitude to short duration stimuli may originate primarily from neural excitation, and large SP amplitudes to long duration, fast repetition rate stimuli may originate from hair cell responses. While the hair cell or neural origins of the SP to various stimulus parameters remains to be validated, our results nevertheless provide normative data as a step toward applying the CLAD technique to understanding diseased ears.
Project description:Salient nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimuli elicit low-frequency local field potentials (LFPs) in the human insula. Nociceptive stimuli also elicit insular gamma-band oscillations (GBOs), possibly preferential for thermonociception, which have been suggested to reflect the intensity of perceived pain. To shed light on the functional significance of these two responses, we investigated whether they would be modulated by stimulation intensity and temporal expectation - two factors contributing to stimulus saliency. Insular activity was recorded from 8 depth electrodes (41 contacts) implanted in the left insula of 6 patients investigated for epilepsy. Thermonociceptive, vibrotactile, and auditory stimuli were delivered using two intensities. To investigate the effects of temporal expectation, the stimuli were delivered in trains of three identical stimuli (S1-S2-S3) separated by a constant 1-s interval. Stimulation intensity affected intensity of perception, the magnitude of low-frequency LFPs, and the magnitude of nociceptive GBOs. Stimulus repetition did not affect perception. In contrast, both low-frequency LFPs and nociceptive GBOs showed a marked habituation of the responses to S2 and S3 as compared to S1 and, hence, a dissociation with intensity of perception. Most importantly, although insular nociceptive GBOs appear to be preferential for thermonociception, they cannot be considered as a correlate of perceived pain.
Project description:Neural responses to stimuli are often attenuated by repeated presentation. When observed in blood oxygen level-dependent signals, this attenuation is known as fMRI adaptation (fMRIa) or fMRI repetition suppression. According to a prominent account, fMRIa reflects the fulfillment of perceptual expectations during recognition of repeated items (Summerfield, Trittschuh, Monti, Mesulam, & Egner, 2008). Supporting this idea, expectation has been shown to modulate fMRIa under some circumstances; however, it is not currently known whether expectation similarly modulates recognition performance. To address this lacuna, we measured behavioral and fMRI responses to faces while varying the extent to which each stimulus was informative about its successor. Behavioral priming was greater when repetitions were more likely, suggesting that recognition was facilitated by the expectation than an item would repeat. Notably, this effect was only observed when stimuli were drawn from a broad set of faces including many ethnicities and both genders, but not when stimuli were drawn from a narrower face set, thus making repetitions less informative. Moreover, expectation did not modulate fMRIa in face-selective cortex, contrary to previous studies, although an exploratory analysis indicated that it did so in a medial frontal region. These results support the idea that expectation modulates recognition efficiency, but insofar as behavioral effects of expectation were not accompanied by fMRI effects in visual cortex, they suggest that fMRIa cannot be entirely explained in terms of fulfilled expectations.
Project description:Our primary goal was to develop and validate a task that could provide evidence about how humans learn praxis gestures, such as those involving the use of tools. To that end, we created a video-based task in which subjects view a model performing novel, meaningless one-handed actions with kinematics similar to praxis gestures. Subjects then imitated the movements with their right hand. Trials were repeated six times to examine practice effects. EEG was recorded during the task. As a control, subjects watched videos of a model performing a well-established (over learned) tool-use gesture. These gestures were also imitated six times. Demonstrating convergent validity, EEG measures of task-related cortical activation were similar in topography and frequency between the novel gesture task and the overlearned, praxis gesture task. As in studies assessing motor skill learning with simpler tasks, cortical activation during novel gesture learning decreased as the same gestures were repeated. In the control condition, repetition of overlearned tool-use gestures were also associated with reductions in activation, though to a lesser degree. Given that even overlearned, praxis gestures show constriction of EEG activity with repetition, it is possible that that attentional effects drive some of the repetition effects seen in EEG measures of activation during novel gesture repetition.
Project description:Recent work casts Repetition Suppression (RS), i.e. the reduced neural response to repeated stimuli, as the consequence of reduced surprise for repeated inputs. This research, along with other studies documenting Expectation Suppression, i.e. reduced responses to expected stimuli, emphasizes the role of expectations and predictive codes in perception. Here, we use fMRI to further characterize the nature of predictive signals in the human brain. Prior to scanning, participants were implicitly exposed to associations within face pairs. Critically, we found that this resulted in exemplar-specific Expectation Suppression in the fusiform face-sensitive area (FFA): individual faces that could be predicted from the associations elicited reduced FFA responses, as compared to unpredictable faces. Thus, predictive signals in the FFA are specific to face exemplars, and not only generic to the category of face stimuli. In addition, we show that under such circumstances, the occurrence of surprising repetitions did not trigger enhanced brain responses, as had been recently hypothesized, but still suppressed responses, suggesting that repetition suppression might be partly 'unsuppressible'. Repetition effects cannot be fully modulated by expectations, which supports the recent view that expectation and repetition effects rest on partially independent mechanisms. Altogether, our study sheds light on the nature of expectation signals along the perceptual system.