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  Young infants process prediction errors at the theta rhythm

Köster, M., Langeloh, M., Michel, C., & Hoehl, S. (2021). Young infants process prediction errors at the theta rhythm. NeuroImage, 236: 118074. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118074.

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 Creators:
Köster, Moritz1, 2, Author              
Langeloh, Miriam1, 3, Author              
Michel, Christine1, 4, Author              
Hoehl, Stefanie1, 5, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Early Social Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2355694              
2Department of Education and Psychology, FU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Faculty of Education, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Faculty of Psychology, University Vienna, Austria, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Electroencephalography; Infant cognition; Predictive processing; Theta rhythm; Violation of expectation
 Abstract: Examining how young infants respond to unexpected events is key to our understanding of their emerging concepts about the world around them. From a predictive processing perspective, it is intriguing to investigate how the infant brain responds to unexpected events (i.e., prediction errors), because they require infants to refine their predictions about the environment. Here, to better understand prediction error processes in the infant brain, we presented 9-month-olds (N = 36) a variety of physical and social events with unexpected versus expected outcomes, while recording their electroencephalogram (EEG). We found a pronounced response in the ongoing 4–5 Hz theta rhythm for the processing of unexpected (in contrast to expected) events, for a prolonged time window (2 s) and across all scalp-recorded electrodes. The condition difference in the theta rhythm was not related to the condition difference in infants’ event-related activity to unexpected (versus expected) events in the negative central (Nc) component (0.4–0.6 s), a component, which is commonly analyzed in infant violation of expectation studies using EEG. These findings constitute critical evidence that the theta rhythm is involved in the processing of prediction errors from very early in human brain development. We discuss how the theta rhythm may support infants’ refinement of basic concepts about the physical and social environment.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-04-072020-10-292021-04-112021-04-182021-08-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118074
Other: online ahead of print
PMID: 33878378
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Project name : -
Grant ID : KO 6028/1–1; I 4332-B
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Funding organization : Max Planck Society and a D-A-CH

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 236 Sequence Number: 118074 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166