Ody, E., Straube, B., He, Y., & Kircher, T. (accepted). Perception of self- and externally-generated visual stimuli: Evidence from EEG and behaviour. Psychophysiology
Efference copy-based forward model mechanisms may help us to distinguish between self- and externally-generated sensory consequences. Previous studies have shown that self-initiation modulates neural and perceptual responses to identical stimulation. For example, event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by tones that follow a button press are reduced in amplitude relative to ERPs elicited by passively attended tones. However, previous EEG studies investigating visual stimuli in this context are rare, provide inconclusive results, and lack adequate control conditions with passive movements. Furthermore, although self-initiation is known to modulate behavioural responses, it is not known whether differences in the amplitude of ERPs also reflect differences in perception of sensory outcomes. In this study, we presented to participants visual stimuli consisting of grey discs following either active button presses, or passive button presses, in which an electromagnet moved the participant’s finger. Two discs presented visually 500-1250 ms apart followed each button press, and participants judged which of the two was more intense. Early components of the primary visual response (N1 and P2) over the occipital electrodes were suppressed in the active condition. Interestingly, suppression in the intensity judgement task was only correlated with suppression of the visual P2 component. These data support the notion of efference copy-based forward model predictions in the visual sensory modality, but especially later processes (P2) seem to be perceptually relevant. Taken together, the results challenge the assumption that N1 differences reflect perceptual suppression and emphasise the relevance of the P2 ERP component.
See preprint: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.30.492531
a) Visual ERP’s, averaged b) Auditory ERP’s, averaged c) correlation between P2 peak amplitude suppression and perceived intensity suppression.