Perceptual Oscillations in Gender Classification of Faces, Contingent on Stimulus History

Jason Bell, David C. Burr, Kate Crookes, Maria Concetta Morrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Perception is a proactive ‘‘predictive’’ process, in which the brain takes advantage of past experience to make informed guesses about the world to test against sensory data. Here we demonstrate that in the judgment of the gender of faces, beta rhythms play an important role in communicating perceptual experience. Observers classified in forced choice as male or female, a sequence of face stimuli, which were physically constructed to be male or female or androgynous (equal morph). Classification of the androgynous stimuli oscillated rhythmically between male and female, following a complex waveform comprising 13.5 and 17 Hz. Parsing the trials based on the preceding stimulus showed that responses to androgynous stimuli preceded by male stimuli oscillated reliably at 17 Hz, whereas those preceded by female stimuli oscillated at 13.5 Hz. These results suggest that perceptual priors for face perception from recent perceptual memory are communicated through frequency-coded beta rhythms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101573
JournalIscience
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020

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