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  Neural excitability and sensory input determine intensity perception with opposing directions in initial cortical responses

Stephani, T., Hodapp, A., Jamshidi Idaji, M., Villringer, A., & Nikulin, V. V. (2021). Neural excitability and sensory input determine intensity perception with opposing directions in initial cortical responses. eLife, 10: e67838. doi:10.7554/eLife.67838.

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 Creators:
Stephani, Tilman1, 2, Author              
Hodapp, Alice1, Author
Jamshidi Idaji, Mina1, 2, 3, Author              
Villringer, Arno1, 4, 5, Author              
Nikulin, Vadim V.1, 6, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_2616696              
3Machine Learning Group, TU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: EEG; Alpha; Excitability; Human; Intensity perception; Neuroscience; Oscillations; Somatosensory
 Abstract: Perception of sensory information is determined by stimulus features (e.g., intensity) and instantaneous neural states (e.g., excitability). Commonly, it is assumed that both are reflected similarly in evoked brain potentials, that is, larger amplitudes are associated with a stronger percept of a stimulus. We tested this assumption in a somatosensory discrimination task in humans, simultaneously assessing (i) single-trial excitatory post-synaptic currents inferred from short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), (ii) pre-stimulus alpha oscillations (8-13 Hz), and (iii) peripheral nerve measures. Fluctuations of neural excitability shaped the perceived stimulus intensity already during the very first cortical response (at ~20 ms) yet demonstrating opposite neural signatures as compared to the effect of presented stimulus intensity. We reconcile this discrepancy via a common framework based on the modulation of electro-chemical membrane gradients linking neural states and responses, which calls for reconsidering conventional interpretations of brain potential magnitudes in stimulus intensity encoding.

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 Dates: 2021-02-242021-08-202021-10-05
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67838
PMID: 34609278
PMC: PMC8492057
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Title: eLife
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : eLife Sciences Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: e67838 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2050-084X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2050-084X