Event-related desynchronization during anticipatory attention for an upcoming stimulus: a comparative EEG/MEG study

Clin Neurophysiol. 2001 Feb;112(2):393-403. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(00)00537-x.


Objectives: Our neurophysiological model of anticipatory behaviour (e.g. Acta Psychol 101 (1999) 213; Bastiaansen et al., 1999a) predicts an activation of (primary) sensory cortex during anticipatory attention for an upcoming stimulus. In this paper we attempt to demonstrate this by means of event-related desynchronization (ERD).

Methods: Five subjects performed a time estimation task, and were informed about the quality of their time estimation by either visual or auditory stimuli providing Knowledge of Results (KR). EEG and MEG were recorded in separate sessions, and ERD was computed in the 8-10 and 10-12 Hz frequency bands for both datasets.

Results: Both in the EEG and the MEG we found an occipitally maximal ERD preceding the visual KR for all subjects. Preceding the auditory KR, no ERD was present in the EEG, whereas in the MEG we found an ERD over the temporal cortex in two of the 5 subjects. These subjects were also found to have higher levels of absolute power over temporal recording sites in the MEG than the other subjects, which we consider to be an indication of the presence of a 'tau' rhythm (e.g. Neurosci Lett 222 (1997) 111).

Conclusions: It is concluded that the results are in line with the predictions of our neurophysiological model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Behavior
  • Cortical Synchronization*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Male
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology