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Preferential encoding of behaviorally relevant predictions revealed by EEG.

Stokes MG, Myers NE, Turnbull J, Nobre AC - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: In this electroencephalogram (EEG) study, we test how task relevance influences the way predictions are learned from the statistics of visual input, and exploited for behavior.The behavioral results confirmed that participants learned and exploited task-relevant predictions even when not explicitly defined.These results show that task relevance critically influences how the brain extracts predictive structure from the environment, and exploits these regularities for optimized behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK ; Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
Statistical regularities in the environment guide perceptual processing; however, some predictions are bound to be more important than others. In this electroencephalogram (EEG) study, we test how task relevance influences the way predictions are learned from the statistics of visual input, and exploited for behavior. We developed a novel task in which participants are simply instructed to respond to a designated target stimulus embedded in a serial stream of non-target stimuli. Presentation probabilities were manipulated such that a designated target cue stimulus predicted the target onset with 70% validity. We also included a corresponding control contingency: a pre-designated control cue predicted a specific non-target stimulus with 70% validity. Participants were not informed about these contingencies. This design allowed us to examine the neural response to task-relevant predictive (cue) and predicted stimuli (target), relative to task-irrelevant predictive (control cue) and predicted stimuli (control non-target). The behavioral results confirmed that participants learned and exploited task-relevant predictions even when not explicitly defined. The EEG results further showed that target-relevant predictions are coded more strongly than statistically equivalent regularities between non-target stimuli. There was a robust modulation of the response for predicted targets associated with learning, enhancing the response to cued stimuli just after 200 ms post-stimulus in central and posterior electrodes, but no corresponding effects for predicted non-target stimuli. These effects of target prediction were preceded by a sustained frontal negativity following presentation of the predictive cue stimulus. These results show that task relevance critically influences how the brain extracts predictive structure from the environment, and exploits these regularities for optimized behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Event-related potentials to target cues and control cues at frontal sensors in the first and second half of the experiment. Conventions are the same as Figure 3. Horizontal bars indicate significant differences between the target cue relative to neutral (in black, p = 0.0039) and directly compared to the control non-target condition (in gray; one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.0472).
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Figure 5: Event-related potentials to target cues and control cues at frontal sensors in the first and second half of the experiment. Conventions are the same as Figure 3. Horizontal bars indicate significant differences between the target cue relative to neutral (in black, p = 0.0039) and directly compared to the control non-target condition (in gray; one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.0472).

Mentions: The effect of the cue stimulus in frontal electrodes is clearly illustrated in Figure 5. In the second half of the experimental session, there is a robust negative potential that is specific for the task relevant cue, and is sustained until the onset of the next time (i.e., the likely target stimulus; 546–752 ms, cluster p = 0.0039). There is also a significant difference between target cue and control cue potentials in the second half of the session (568–772 ms, one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.047), confirming that the learning effect was larger for target cues than for control cues (even though the regression effect above showed only a trend toward significance).


Preferential encoding of behaviorally relevant predictions revealed by EEG.

Stokes MG, Myers NE, Turnbull J, Nobre AC - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Event-related potentials to target cues and control cues at frontal sensors in the first and second half of the experiment. Conventions are the same as Figure 3. Horizontal bars indicate significant differences between the target cue relative to neutral (in black, p = 0.0039) and directly compared to the control non-target condition (in gray; one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.0472).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4151094&req=5

Figure 5: Event-related potentials to target cues and control cues at frontal sensors in the first and second half of the experiment. Conventions are the same as Figure 3. Horizontal bars indicate significant differences between the target cue relative to neutral (in black, p = 0.0039) and directly compared to the control non-target condition (in gray; one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.0472).
Mentions: The effect of the cue stimulus in frontal electrodes is clearly illustrated in Figure 5. In the second half of the experimental session, there is a robust negative potential that is specific for the task relevant cue, and is sustained until the onset of the next time (i.e., the likely target stimulus; 546–752 ms, cluster p = 0.0039). There is also a significant difference between target cue and control cue potentials in the second half of the session (568–772 ms, one-tailed comparison cluster p = 0.047), confirming that the learning effect was larger for target cues than for control cues (even though the regression effect above showed only a trend toward significance).

Bottom Line: In this electroencephalogram (EEG) study, we test how task relevance influences the way predictions are learned from the statistics of visual input, and exploited for behavior.The behavioral results confirmed that participants learned and exploited task-relevant predictions even when not explicitly defined.These results show that task relevance critically influences how the brain extracts predictive structure from the environment, and exploits these regularities for optimized behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK ; Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
Statistical regularities in the environment guide perceptual processing; however, some predictions are bound to be more important than others. In this electroencephalogram (EEG) study, we test how task relevance influences the way predictions are learned from the statistics of visual input, and exploited for behavior. We developed a novel task in which participants are simply instructed to respond to a designated target stimulus embedded in a serial stream of non-target stimuli. Presentation probabilities were manipulated such that a designated target cue stimulus predicted the target onset with 70% validity. We also included a corresponding control contingency: a pre-designated control cue predicted a specific non-target stimulus with 70% validity. Participants were not informed about these contingencies. This design allowed us to examine the neural response to task-relevant predictive (cue) and predicted stimuli (target), relative to task-irrelevant predictive (control cue) and predicted stimuli (control non-target). The behavioral results confirmed that participants learned and exploited task-relevant predictions even when not explicitly defined. The EEG results further showed that target-relevant predictions are coded more strongly than statistically equivalent regularities between non-target stimuli. There was a robust modulation of the response for predicted targets associated with learning, enhancing the response to cued stimuli just after 200 ms post-stimulus in central and posterior electrodes, but no corresponding effects for predicted non-target stimuli. These effects of target prediction were preceded by a sustained frontal negativity following presentation of the predictive cue stimulus. These results show that task relevance critically influences how the brain extracts predictive structure from the environment, and exploits these regularities for optimized behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus