Event date: 2018-05-18

Time: 12:00

Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Morillon, from Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, Inserm, Aix-Marseille Université

Place: 24.009 (Campus Ciutadella)

Temporal predictions are fundamental instruments for facilitating sensory selection, allowing humans to exploit regularities in the world. It is proposed that the motor system instantiates predictive timing mechanisms, helping to synchronize temporal fluctuations of attention with the timing of events in a task-relevant stream. I will present a neurophysiological account for this theory in a paradigm where participants track a slow reference beat while extracting auditory target tones delivered on-beat and interleaved with distractors.

At the behavioral level I will show that overt rhythmic movements sharpen the temporal selection of auditory stimuli, thereby improving performance. Capitalizing on magnetoencephalography recordings I will provide evidence that temporal predictions are reflected in Beta-band (~20Hz) energy fluctuations in sensorimotor cortex and modulate the encoding of auditory information in bilateral auditory and fronto-parietal regions. Together, these findings are compatible with Active Sensing theories, which emphasize the prominent role of motor activity in sensory processing.