Two Sides of the Same Coin: Distinct Sub-Bands in the α Rhythm Reflect Facilitation and Suppression Mechanisms during Auditory Anticipatory Attention

Hesham A ElShafeiAurélie Bidet-Caulet


Anticipatory attention results in enhanced response to task-relevant stimulus, and reduced processing of unattended input, suggesting the deployment of distinct facilitatory and suppressive mechanisms. α Oscillations are a suitable candidate for supporting these mechanisms. We aimed to examine the role of α oscillations, with a special focus on peak frequencies, in facilitatory and suppressive mechanisms during auditory anticipation, within the auditory and visual regions. Magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data were collected from fourteen healthy young human adults (eight female) performing an auditory task in which spatial attention to sounds was manipulated by visual cues, either informative or not of the target side. By incorporating uninformative cues, we could delineate facilitating and suppressive mechanisms. During anticipation of a visually-cued auditory target, we observed a decrease in α power around 9 Hz in the auditory cortices; and an increase around 13 Hz in the visual regions. Only this power increase in high α significantly correlated with behavior. Importantly, within the right auditory cortex, we showed a larger increase in high α power when attending an ipsilateral sound; and a stronger decrease in low α power w...Continue Reading


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