Ongoing Global Phase Pattern and Visual Signal Detection

  • Daisuke Shimaoka
  • Keiichi Kitajo
  • Kunihiko Kaneko
  • Yoko Yamaguchi
Conference paper


When a stimulus is present on the threshold, it appears that we perceive it by chance. Previous electroencephalogram (EEG) studies have reported that the prestimulus phase and amplitude of alpha band activity at a single channel were correlated with visual perception. However, these factors cannot explain a major portion of fluctuations in perception. We hypothesized that another activity in the prestimulus period should predict the success/failure of perception. This would be phase coherence across cortical areas. We conducted a simple visual discrimination task in which subjects reported whether they had perceived a tiny flash of light by pressing one of two keys. We calculated inter-trial coherence (ITC) of the alpha band phase for the hit and miss trials, respectively. We found that the peak ITC times between hit and miss trials were 250–400 ms apart. These results imply that spontaneous formation of coherent alpha band activity and its timing are crucial in the processing of visual perception. These results suggest the importance of neural dynamics in the form of coherent alpha band activities in the frontal and occipital regions for the processing of visual perception.


Phase Coherence Alpha Band Left Frontal Region Prestimulus Activity Alpha Band Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank H. Nakatani and J. Ito for helpful discussion. This study was partially funded by MEXT Grant-in-Aid for scientific research (No. 21120004: K Kaneko, No. 21120005: K Kitajo and YY), JST PRESTO program (K Kitajo) and by JSPS Fellows (DS).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Shimaoka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Keiichi Kitajo
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kunihiko Kaneko
    • 1
  • Yoko Yamaguchi
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Basic ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Lab for Dynamics of Emergent IntelligenceRIKEN BSIWako-shiJapan
  3. 3.Lab for Cognitive Brain MappingRIKEN BSIWako-shiJapan
  4. 4.Rhythm-Based Brain Computation UnitRIKEN BSI - Toyota Collaboration CenterWako-shiJapan
  5. 5.Japan Science and Technology AgencyPRESTOKawaguchiJapan
  6. 6.Laboratory for Dynamics of Emergent IntelligenceRIKEN Brain Science InstituteWako CityJapan

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