Symposium: Attention, perception, and memory in scene analysis
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
Hörsaal 3

Brain oscillations are causal for cognitive processes

Christoph Herrmann

Experimental Psychology, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany

Event-related brain responses can be viewed in two way: 1) In the time domain they are regarded as event-related potentials (ERPs). 2) In the frequency or time-frequency domain they are regarded as event-related oscillations (EROs). It is a matter of debate whether one of the two views is superior to the other. However, it is without doubt that brain oscillations are important for multiple cognitive processes. Especially, modulating brain oscillations and observing resulting changes of cognitive functions allows the demonstration of a causal relationship. Therefore, the ERO approach offers some advantages over the ERP approach that will be highlighted here. Special emphasis will be given to studies that have applied time–frequency analysis to mismatch negativity paradigms. The deviant stimulus of such a paradigm evokes an ERO in the theta frequency band (4-8 Hz) that is stronger than for the standard stimulus. Conversely, the standard stimulus evokes a stronger response in the gamma-band (30-80 Hz) than does the deviant. This is interpreted in the context of the so-called match-and-utilization model.