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Dissociable Components of Information Encoding in Human Perception

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  • Diego Vidaurre
  • Radoslaw M. Cichy, Free University of Berlin
  • ,
  • Mark W. Woolrich, University of Oxford

Brain decoding can predict visual perception from non-invasive electrophysiological data by combining information across multiple channels. However, decoding methods typically conflate the composite and distributed neural processes underlying perception that are together present in the signal, making it unclear what specific aspects of the neural computations involved in perception are reflected in this type of macroscale data. Using MEG data recorded while participants viewed a large number of naturalistic images, we analytically decomposed the brain signal into its oscillatory and non-oscillatory components, and used this decomposition to show that there are at least three dissociable stimulus-specific aspects to the brain data: a slow, non-oscillatory component, reflecting the temporally stable aspect of the stimulus representation; a global phase shift of the oscillation, reflecting the overall speed of processing of specific stimuli; and differential patterns of phase across channels, likely reflecting stimulus-specific computations. Further, we show that common cognitive interpretations of decoding analysis, in particular about how representations generalize across time, can benefit from acknowledging the multicomponent nature of the signal in the study of perception.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Pages (from-to)5664-5675
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Research areas

  • MVPA, oscillations, stimulus decoding, temporally unconstrained decoding analysis, visual perception

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