EEG-Informed fMRI Reveals Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Perceptual Decision Making

Single-unit and multiunit recordings in primates have already established that decision making involves at least two general stages of neural processing: representation of evidence from early sensory areas and accumulation of evidence to a decision threshold from decision-related regions. However, the relay of information from early sensory to decision areas, such that the accumulation process is instigated, is not well understood. Using a cued paradigm and single-trial analysis of electroencephalography (EEG), we previously reported on temporally specific components related to perceptual decision making. Here, we use information derived from our previous EEG recordings to inform the analysis of fMRI data collected for the same behavioral task to ascertain the cortical origins of each of these EEG components. We demonstrate that a cascade of events associated with perceptual decision making takes place in a highly distributed neural network. Of particular importance is an activation in the lateral occipital complex implicating perceptual persistence as a mechanism by which object decision making in the human brain is instigated.

Available Online http://www.jneurosci.org/content/27/48/13082
Accepted 28 November 2007
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