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Modulation of cortical oscillatory activity during visual causality judgments

Grant number: 17/26235-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 15, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:André Mascioli Cravo
Grantee:Esaú Sirius Ventura Pupo
Supervisor abroad: Simon Hanslmayr
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Birmingham, England  
Associated to the scholarship:16/20042-8 - Discrete perception: experimental evidences and neural correlates, BP.MS

Abstract

Incoming sensorial information seems to us to be processed and perceived in a continuous manner. However, there are theories that will oppose to this continuity and argue that perception is discrete, made up of small temporal intervals. Among others, the perception of causality in the launching effect may be explained by discrete perception, with movement onsets taking place in the same or in adjacent temporal frames, opposed to perceptually non-causal events taking place too much apart in time. Neural oscillations have been pointed as a possible mechanism for a discrete temporal processing. Recently, the phase of alpha oscillations was shown to predict volunteers' causality judgments in the launching effect. However, this result is of correlational nature. To validate further the causal role of alpha oscillations in this process we suggest (1) the replication of said results, (2) the modulation of oscillatory activity during task performance in frequencies below and above alpha, and (3) the analysis of behaviour and brain activity in the different conditions. To achieve these aims, Michotte's classical launching effect experiment will be conducted with concomitant readings of electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial alternate current stimulation (tACS). The results should provide evidence that alpha oscillatory activity has a causal role in the visual causality judgments. (AU)