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Slow-delta phase concentration marks improved temporal expectations based on the passage of time

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Wilsch,  Anna
Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Henry,  Molly
Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Herrmann,  Björn
Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Maess,  Burkhard
Methods and Development Group MEG and EEG - Cortical Networks and Cognitive Functions, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Obleser,  Jonas
Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Psychology, University of Lübeck, Germany;

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Citation

Wilsch, A., Henry, M., Herrmann, B., Maess, B., & Obleser, J. (2015). Slow-delta phase concentration marks improved temporal expectations based on the passage of time. Psychophysiology, 52(7), 910-918. doi:10.1111/psyp.12413.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-784C-E
Abstract
Temporal expectations enhance neural encoding precision, reflected in optimized alignment of slow neural oscillatory phase, and facilitate subsequent stimulus processing. If an event's exact occurrence time is unknown, temporal expectations arise solely from the passage of time. Here, we show that this specific type of temporal expectation is also reflected in neural phase organization. While undergoing magnetoencephalography, participants performed an auditory-delayed matching-to-sample task with two syllables (S1, S2). Critically, S1-onset time varied in the 0.6–1.8-s (i.e., 0.6–1.7 Hz) range. Increasing S1-onset times led to increased slow-delta (0.6–0.9 Hz) phase coherence over right frontotemporal sensors during S1 encoding. Moreover, individuals with higher slow-delta coherence showed decreased alpha power (8–13 Hz) during subsequent memory retention. In sum, temporal expectations based on the passage of time optimize the precise alignment of neural oscillatory phase with an expected stimulus.