The EEG signature of sensory evidence accumulation during decision formation closely tracks subjective perceptual experience

Chiara F. Tagliabue (Lead / Corresponding author), Domenica Veniero, Christopher S. Y. Benwell, Roberto Cecere, Silvia Savazzi, Gregor Thut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
151 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

How neural representations of low-level visual information are accessed by higher-order processes to inform decisions and give rise to conscious experience is a longstanding question. Research on perceptual decision making has revealed a late event-related EEG potential (the Centro-Parietal Positivity, CPP) to be a correlate of the accumulation of sensory evidence. We tested how this evidence accumulation signal relates to externally presented (physical) and internally experienced (subjective) sensory evidence. Our results show that the known relationship between the physical strength of the external evidence and the evidence accumulation signal (reflected in the CPP amplitude) is mediated by the level of subjective experience of stimulus strength. This shows that the CPP closely tracks the subjective perceptual evidence, over and above the physically presented evidence. We conclude that a remarkably close relationship exists between the evidence accumulation process (i.e. CPP) and subjective perceptual experience, suggesting that neural decision processes and components of conscious experience are tightly linked.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4949
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Consciousness
  • Decision

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