Silent Expectations: Dynamic Causal Modelling of Cortical Prediction and Attention to Sounds that Weren’t
The Journal of Neuroscience
Society for Neuroscience
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Chennu, S., Noreika, V., Gueorguiev, D., Shtyrov, Y., Bekinschtein, T., & Henson, R. (2016). Silent Expectations: Dynamic Causal Modelling of Cortical Prediction and Attention to Sounds that Weren’t. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36 8305-8316. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1125-16.2016
There is increasing evidence that human perception is realised by a hierarchy of neural processes in which predictions sent backward from higher levels result in prediction errors that are fed forward from lower levels, in order to update the current model of the environment. Moreover, the precision of prediction errors is thought to be modulated by attention. Much of this evidence comes from paradigms in which a stimulus differs from that predicted by the recent history of other stimuli (generating a so-called “mismatch response”). There is less evidence from situations where a prediction is not fulfilled by any sensory input (an “omission” response). This situation arguably provides a more direct measure of “top-down” predictions in the absence of confounding “bottom-up” input. We applied Dynamic Causal Modelling of evoked electromagnetic responses recorded by EEG and MEG to an auditory paradigm in which we factorially crossed the presence vs. absence of “bottom-up” stimuli with the presence vs. absence of “top-down” attention. Model comparison revealed that both mismatch and omission responses were mediated by increased forward and backward connections, differing primarily in the driving input. In both responses, modelling results suggested that the presence of attention selectively modulated backward ‘prediction’ connections. Our results provide new model-driven evidence of the pure top-down prediction signal posited in theories of hierarchical perception, and highlight the role of attentional precision in strengthening this prediction.
This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council Programme [MC-A060-5PR10 to RH], in addition to grants from the Wellcome Trust [WT093811MA to TAB], the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Evelyn Trust [15/07 to SC].
Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_U105579226)
Medical Research Council (MR/K005464/1)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1125-16.2016
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/256674
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