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Probing the circuits of conscious perception with magnetophosphenes

Abstract : Objective - We aimed at characterizing, in non-invasive human brain recordings, the large-scale, coordinated activation of distant brain regions thought to occur during conscious perception. This process is termed ignition in the Global Workspace Theory, and integration in Integrated Information Theory, which are two of the major theories of consciousness. Approach - Here, we provide evidence for this process in humans by combining a magnetically-induced phosphene perception task with electroencephalography. Functional cortical networks were identified and characterized using graph theory to quantify the impact of conscious perception on local (segregation) and distant (integration) processing. Main results - Conscious phosphene perception activated frequency-specific networks, each associated with a specific spatial scale of information processing. Integration increased within an alpha-band functional network, while changes in segregation occurred in the beta band. Significance - These results bring novel evidence for the functional role of distinct brain oscillations and confirm the key role of integration processes for conscious perception in humans.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 2:11:12 PM
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Julien Modolo, Mahmoud Hassan, Giulio Ruffini, Alexandre Legros. Probing the circuits of conscious perception with magnetophosphenes. Journal of Neural Engineering, IOP Publishing, 2020, 17 (3), pp.036034. ⟨10.1088/1741-2552/ab97f7⟩. ⟨hal-02798352⟩

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