Temporal binding and the neural correlates of sensory awareness

Trends Cogn Sci. 2001 Jan 1;5(1):16-25. doi: 10.1016/s1364-6613(00)01568-0.


Theories of binding have recently come into the focus of the consciousness debate. In this review, we discuss the potential relevance of temporal binding mechanisms for sensory awareness. Specifically, we suggest that neural synchrony with a precision in the millisecond range may be crucial for conscious processing, and may be involved in arousal, perceptual integration, attentional selection and working memory. Recent evidence from both animal and human studies demonstrates that specific changes in neuronal synchrony occur during all of these processes and that they are distinguished by the emergence of fast oscillations with frequencies in the gamma-range.