Oct 25, 2018

How non-veridical perception drives actions in healthy humans - Evidence from Synaesthesia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Marie Luise SchreiterChristian Beste


We continually perform actions driven by our perception and it is commonly held that only objectively perceived changes within the 'real' world affect behaviour. Exceptions are usually only made for clinical conditions associated with hallucinations, where objectively non-existent percepts can influence behavior. Using synaesthesia as a model condition, we show that even in healthy populations irrelevant non-veridical precepts exert an effect on action. By non-veridical we refer to stimulus dimensions that are only subjectively perceived to be there. Applying electrophysiological (EEG) methods, we show that although these examined peculiarities are perceptual in nature, not primarily perceptual processes underlie the effects of irrelevant non-veridical perceptions on actions. Rather, high-order processes linking perceptions and motor control in medial frontal cortices reflect the underlying mechanism how irrelevant non-veridical perceptions modulate behaviour. Our results challenge assumptions about the determinants of healthy human behaviour but can be embedded within existing frameworks detailing perception action interactions.

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Drug Interactions
Electrophysiological Studies

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