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Evidence accumulation relates to perceptual consciousness and monitoring

Chang, Wenwen
Wang, Shuo
Rezai, Ali
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Published in Nature communications. 2021, vol. 12, no. 1, 3261
Abstract A fundamental scientific question concerns the neural basis of perceptual consciousness and perceptual monitoring resulting from the processing of sensory events. Although recent studies identified neurons reflecting stimulus visibility, their functional role remains unknown. Here, we show that perceptual consciousness and monitoring involve evidence accumulation. We recorded single-neuron activity in a participant with a microelectrode in the posterior parietal cortex, while they detected vibrotactile stimuli around detection threshold and provided confidence estimates. We find that detected stimuli elicited neuronal responses resembling evidence accumulation during decision-making, irrespective of motor confounds or task demands. We generalize these findings in healthy volunteers using electroencephalography. Behavioral and neural responses are reproduced with a computational model considering a stimulus as detected if accumulated evidence reaches a bound, and confidence as the distance between maximal evidence and that bound. We conclude that gradual changes in neuronal dynamics during evidence accumulation relates to perceptual consciousness and perceptual monitoring in humans.
Keywords AdultAnimalsConsciousness/physiologyDecision MakingDrug Resistant Epilepsy/therapyElectrodesImplantedElectroencephalographyHealthy VolunteersHumansMicroelectrodesNeurons/physiologyParietal Lobe/cytology/physiologyPerception/physiologyPhysical Stimulation/methodsSingle-Cell AnalysisYoung Adult
PMID: 34059682
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Research groups Epilepsie et Chirurgie (149)
Human Neuron Lab (1034)
Swiss National Science Foundation: PZ00P3_167836
Swiss National Science Foundation: P2ELP3_187974
Swiss National Science Foundation: 163398; 80365
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PEREIRA SALA, Michaël et al. Evidence accumulation relates to perceptual consciousness and monitoring. In: Nature Communications, 2021, vol. 12, n° 1, p. 3261. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23540-y https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:154203

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Deposited on : 2021-08-27

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