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The visual gamma response to faces reflects the presence of sensory evidence and not awareness of the stimulus

Perry, Gavin 2016. The visual gamma response to faces reflects the presence of sensory evidence and not awareness of the stimulus. Royal Society Open Science 3 (3) , 150593. 10.1098/rsos.150593

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Abstract

t has been suggested that gamma (30–100 Hz) oscillations mediate awareness of visual stimuli, but tests of this hypothesis have produced differing results. We used phase scrambling to vary the perceptibility of face stimuli in order to determine whether gamma is indeed linked to perceptual awareness. Magnetoencephalography was used to measure the gamma response in 25 participants while viewing three conditions in which faces were presented either above, below or at the threshold for detection. In each of 400 trials (100 each for the sub- and suprathreshold conditions, 200 for the threshold condition), participants indicated whether they perceived a face in the stimulus. Gamma-band activity during the task was localized to bilateral ventral occipito-temporal cortex. For the threshold condition, we failed to find a significant difference in gamma amplitude between trials in which a face was perceived relative to those in which no face was perceived. However, we did find that gamma amplitude was significantly increased for threshold relative to subthreshold stimuli and for suprathreshold relative to threshold stimuli. This leads us to conclude that the gamma response to faces is primarily modulated by the presence of sensory evidence of a face rather by perceptual awareness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Additional Information: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 2054-5703
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 25 February 2016
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 13:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87648

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