Everyday human behaviour relies on our ability to predict outcomes on the basis of moment by moment information. Long-range neural phase synchronization has been hypothesized as a mechanism by which ‘predictions’ can exert an effect on the processing of incoming sensory events. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) we have studied the relationship between the modulation of phase synchronization in a cerebral network of areas involved in visual target processing and the predictability of target occurrence. Our results reveal a striking increase in the modulation of phase synchronization associated with an increased probability of target occurrence. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that long-range phase synchronization plays a critical functional role in humans' ability to effectively employ predictive heuristics.
- visual attention
- working memory