Cortical beta oscillations reflect the contextual gating of visual action feedback

Neuroimage. 2020 Nov 15;222:117267. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117267. Epub 2020 Aug 18.


In sensorimotor integration, the brain needs to decide how its predictions should accommodate novel evidence by 'gating' sensory data depending on the current context. Here, we examined the oscillatory correlates of this process by recording magnetoencephalography (MEG) data during a new task requiring action under intersensory conflict. We used virtual reality to decouple visual (virtual) and proprioceptive (real) hand postures during a task in which the phase of grasping movements tracked a target (in either modality). Thus, we rendered visual information either task-relevant or a (to-be-ignored) distractor. Under visuo-proprioceptive incongruence, occipital beta power decreased (relative to congruence) when vision was task-relevant but increased when it had to be ignored. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) revealed that this interaction was best explained by diametrical, task-dependent changes in visual gain. These results suggest a crucial role for beta oscillations in the contextual gating (i.e., gain or precision control) of visual vs proprioceptive action feedback, depending on current behavioral demands.

Keywords: Action; Beta oscillations; Sensorimotor integration; Visuo-proprioceptive conflict.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Virtual Reality
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult