Steady-state evoked potentials as an index of multisensory temporal binding

Neuroimage. 2012 Mar;60(1):21-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.065. Epub 2011 Dec 1.


Temporal congruency promotes perceptual binding of multisensory inputs. Here, we used EEG frequency-tagging to track cortical activities elicited by auditory and visual inputs separately, in the form of steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs). We tested whether SS-EPs could reveal a dynamic coupling of cortical activities related to the binding of auditory and visual inputs conveying synchronous vs. non-synchronous temporal periodicities, or beats. The temporally congruent audiovisual condition elicited markedly enhanced auditory and visual SS-EPs, as compared to the incongruent condition. Furthermore, an increased inter-trial phase coherence of both SS-EPs was observed in that condition. Taken together, these observations indicate that temporal congruency enhances the processing of multisensory inputs at sensory-specific stages of cortical processing, possibly through a dynamic binding by synchrony of the elicited activities and/or improved dynamic attending. Moreover, we show that EEG frequency-tagging with SS-EPs constitutes an effective tool to explore the neural dynamics of multisensory integration in the human brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult