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Rufin VanRullen

Perceptual and attentional cycles

CNRS-Centre de Recherche Cerveau & Cognition (CerCo) Toulouse

Neuronal communication between cortical areas heavily relies on oscillatory, periodic mechanisms whose precise timing critically determines the flow of information. Yet little is known about the perceptual and psychological consequences of such periodic neuronal dynamics at the rapid time scale of the oscillatory cycle : what perceptual changes accompany the drastic changes of neuronal activity observed between opposite phases of the cycle ? I will show several experimental examples of these perceptual consequences in the visual domain. To summarize, visual perception and attention seem to wax and wane intermittently at frequencies in the theta ( 7Hz) and alpha ( 10Hz) range, possibly reflecting the underlying periodic neuronal processes.