Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2016 Annual Meeting, New York, NY, USA

Poster A10
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Auditory
Date and Time: Saturday, April 2, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Americas Hall I

Title: The role of beta oscillation in sensory prediction and attention

Authors: Andrew Chang, Dan Bosnyak, Laurel J. Trainor

Keywords: Attention, Rhythm, Oscillation

Neural activities of cortical perceptual systems reflect the interactions between sensory prediction and attention. Studies showed that power fluctuations of beta (15 – 25 Hz) oscillatory activity in auditory cortex entrain to the rhythmic tone sequences, such that power decreases following the onset of a tone, and increases again predictive of the onset of the next tone. The current study aimed to investigate whether beta oscillations also predict “what” in addition to “when”, and how beta oscillations affect subsequent attentional responses. We recorded EEG while participants passively listened to isochronous auditory oddball sequences, in which occasional tones are in a deviant pitch. We analyzed the oscillations from primary auditory cortices. In Experiment 1, the results showed that the unpredictable deviances induced stronger power than standards in the low-beta band (15 – 20 Hz), and the effect was larger when the deviances had a lower occurrence rate (10 vs. 20 %), suggesting that beta oscillations reflect prediction violations of “what”. In Experiment 2, the two oddball sequences were at the same occurrence rate (20%), but the deviances were either predictable or not in the sequence. The results showed enhanced beta power entrainment prior to the deviances only in the predictable oddball sequence, and it was negatively associated with amplitude of P3a, a late event-related potential reflecting less exogenous attentional orienting to deviances. Together, we suggest that beta oscillations reflect sensory prediction of both “what” and “when”, and such predictive activities decrease subsequent exogenous attentional responses to deviant pitch.