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Title
The tactile window to consciousness is characterized by frequency-specific integration and segregation of the primary somatosensory cortex / Julia Natascha Frey, Philipp Ruhnau, Sabine Leske, Markus Siegel, Christoph Braun, Nathan Weisz
AuthorFrey, Julia Natascha ; Ruhnau, Philipp In der Gemeinsamen Normdatei der DNB nachschlagen ; Leske, Sabine ; Siegel, Markus ; Braun, Christoph ; Weisz, Nathan
Published in
Scientific Reports, London,
PublishedLondon : Nature Publishing Group, 2016
LanguageEnglish
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (EN)Consciousness / Cortex / Perception / Sensory processing
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-4414 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.1038/srep20805 
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 The work is publicly available
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The tactile window to consciousness is characterized by frequency-specific integration and segregation of the primary somatosensory cortex [0.54 mb]
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Abstract (English)

We recently proposed that besides levels of local cortical excitability, also distinct pre-stimulus network states (windows to consciousness) determine whether a near-threshold stimulus will be consciously perceived. In the present magnetoencephalography study, we scrutinised these pre-stimulus network states with a focus on the primary somatosensory cortex. For this purpose participants performed a simple near-threshold tactile detection task. Confirming previous studies, we found reduced alpha and beta power in the somatosensory region contralateral to stimulation prior to correct stimulus detection as compared to undetected stimuli, and stronger event-related responses following successful stimulus detection. As expected, using graph theoretical measures, we also observed modulated pre-stimulus network level integration. Specifically, the right primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to stimulation showed an increased integration in the theta band, and additionally, a decreased integration in the beta band. Overall, these results underline the importance of network states for enabling conscious perception. Moreover, they indicate that also a reduction of irrelevant functional connections contributes to the window to consciousness by tuning pre-stimulus pathways of information flow.

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CC-BY-License (4.0)Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License