Paul Sauseng's research while affiliated with Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich and other places

Publications (120)

Preprint
We aimed to validate a recent approach to explain cognitive enhancements in video game players according to which transfer effects may be related to differential attentional control functions as a result of video game playing. For this, we developed an experimental design where 19 non-video game players performed a visual short-term memory paradigm...
Article
Smmary New research suggests that frontal midline theta EEG activity in humans controls activity in parietal cortex associated with memory maintenance. In turn, the speed of this frontal theta is modulated by the number of items to be handled, potentially indicating strong bidirectional communication within a fronto-parietal network.
Article
Full-text available
Rhythmic flickering visual stimulation produces steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs) in electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings. Based on electrode-level analyses, two dichotomous models of the underpinning mechanisms leading to SSVEP generation have been proposed: entrainment or superposition, i.e., phase-alignment or independence of end...
Article
Full-text available
Based on our prior experiences we form social expectations and anticipate another person’s response. Under certain conditions, these expectations can be so strong that they lead to illusory perception of another person who is actually not there (i.e., seeing a Bayesian ghost). We used EEG to investigate the neural correlates of such illusory social...
Article
Full-text available
Human fluid intelligence is closely linked to the sequential solving of complex problems. It has been associated with a distributed cognitive control or multiple-demand (MD) network, comprising regions of lateral frontal, insular, dorsomedial frontal, and parietal cortex. Previous neuroimaging research suggests that the MD network may orchestrate t...
Article
Top-down predictions of future events shaped by prior experience are an important control mechanism to allocate limited attentional resources more efficiently and are thought to be implemented as mental templates stored in memory. Increased evoked gamma activity and theta:gamma phase-phase coupling over parieto-occipital areas have previously been...
Article
Oscillatory theta activity in a fronto-parietal network has been associated with working memory (WM) processes and may be directly related to WM performance. In their seminal study, Polanía et al. (2012) (de-)coupled a fronto-parietal theta-network by applying transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), and showed that anti-phase tACS led...
Article
Visual motion discrimination involves reciprocal interactions in the alpha band between the primary visual cortex (V1) and mediotemporal areas (V5/MT). We investigated whether modulating alpha phase synchronization using individualized multisite transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) over V5 and V1 regions would improve motion discrimi...
Article
A well-established finding in the literature of human studies is that alpha activity (rhythmical brain activity around 10 Hz) shows retinotopic amplitude modulation during shifts in visual attention. Thus, it has long been argued that alpha amplitude modulation might play a crucial role in attention-driven alterations in visual information processi...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic pain is a major health care problem. A better mechanistic understanding and new treatment approaches are urgently needed. In the brain, pain has been associated with neural oscillations at alpha and gamma frequencies, which can be targeted using transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). Thus, we investigated the potential of tACS...
Article
Visual perception is influenced by our expectancies about incoming sensory information. It is assumed that mental templates of expected sensory input are created and compared to actual input, which can be matching or not. When such mental templates are held in working memory, cross-frequency phase synchronization (CFS) between theta and gamma band...
Article
Full-text available
Video gaming, specifically action video gaming, seems to improve a range of cognitive functions. The basis for these improvements may be attentional control in conjunction with reward-related learning to amplify the execution of goal-relevant actions while suppressing goal-irrelevant actions. Given that EEG alpha power reflects inhibitory processin...
Preprint
Visual motion discrimination involves reciprocal interactions in the alpha band between the primary visual cortex (V1) and the mediotemporal area (V5/MT). We investigated whether modulating alpha phase synchronization using individualized multisite transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) over V5 and V1 regions would improve motion discr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Visual perception is influenced by our expectancies about incoming sensory information. It is assumed that mental templates of expected sensory input are created and compared to actual input, which can be matching or not. When such mental templates are held in working memory, cross-frequency phase synchronization (CFS) between theta and gamma band...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pain protects the body. However, pain can also occur for longer periods without serving protective functions. Such chronic pain conditions are difficult to treat. Thus, a better understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms and new approaches for the treatment of pain are urgently needed. Here, we investigated a causal role of oscillatory brain...
Article
The ability to selectively encode relevant information (filtering ability) is crucial to make best use of the severely limited space that visual working memory (VWM) provides. This review considers why filtering ability is important, how it is measured, and it discusses how filtering might be implemented computationally at the cognitive and neurona...
Article
A new study has found that rhythmical brain stimulation at theta frequency (5Hz) over prefrontal cortex and stimulation at alpha frequency (10Hz) over posterior parietal cortex increase visual working memory capacity, the effects being due respectively to prioritisation of target information and suppression of distracting information.
Article
Event-related potentials (ERPs) and total time-frequency power analyses have shown that performance costs during task switching are related to differential preparation to switch tasks (switch cost) and repeat the same task (mixing cost) during both proactive control (cue-to-target interval; CTI) and reactive control (post-target). The time-frequenc...
Article
Full-text available
It has been argued that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the frontal cortex impacts, directly and indirectly, on oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range, and thus affects working memory. This study aims to clarify whether a tDCS montage with one electrode over a fronto-medial stimulation site and the return electr...
Article
Full-text available
Transiently storing information and mentally manipulating it is known as working memory. These operations are implemented by a distributed, fronto-parietal cognitive control network in the brain. The neural mechanisms controlling interactions within this network are yet to be determined. Here, we show that during a working memory task the brain use...
Article
Full-text available
Action inhibition, the suppression of action impulses, is crucial for goal-directed behaviour. In order to dissociate neural mechanisms specific to motor stopping from general control processes which are also relevant for other types of conflict adjustments, we compared midfrontal oscillatory activity in human volunteers via EEG between action inhi...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic pain is a common and severely disabling disease whose treatment is often unsatisfactory. Insights into the brain mechanisms of chronic pain promise to advance the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and might help to develop disease markers and novel treatments. Here, we systematically exploited the potential of electroencephalo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Chronic pain is a common and severely disabling disease whose treatment is often unsatisfactory. Insights into the brain mechanisms of chronic pain promise to advance the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and might help to develop disease markers and novel treatments. Here, we systematically and comprehensively exploited the potential...
Article
Rhythmical brain activity around 5 Hz can be observed in the prefrontal cortex under conditions requiring high levels of cognitive control. However, its temporal dynamics are still elusive. A recent research paper (Cooper et al. Neuroimage 2019;189:130–140) provides evidence that the temporal evolution of this frontal-midline theta activity reflect...
Article
Recent research suggests alteration of visual working memory capacity by modulation of parietal theta frequency via transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). However, it remains to be clarified whether this effect is partly driven by co-stimulation of prefrontal cortex and subcortical structures. It was hypothesized that focal tACS over...
Article
Nesting of fast rhythmical brain activity (gamma) into slower brain waves (theta) has frequently been suggested as a core mechanism of multi‐item working memory (WM) retention. It provides a better understanding of WM capacity limitations, and, as we discuss in this review article, it can lead to applications for modulating memory capacity. However...
Data
Analysis performed on non-sham-corrected (A) K-values and (B) accuracy for the Experimental and Control Montages: Results (underlying data can be found at: https://osf.io/rm6qp/). Leftmost graphs depict mean K-values and accuracy obtained for trials presented on the left hemifield for each active (4- and 7-Hz) and sham condition, while rightmost gr...
Data
(A) K-values and (B) accuracy values (%) for each montage (Experimental and Control Montages), stimulation condition (4 Hz, 7 Hz, and Sham), Hemifield (left and right), and Load (4, 5, and 6 items) (underlying data can be found at https://osf.io/rm6qp). (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Author summary Our ability to temporarily retain sensory information is limited to a handful of items and is referred to as working memory capacity. Such memory capacity has been shown to vary across the general population, with some people retaining a higher number of items than others. An influential theory suggests that this individual capacity...
Article
Forming episodic memories is often driven by top-down processes of allocating attention towards voluntarily remembering the details of an episode. This attention orientation is needed to make sure that information is encoded for later remembering. Here we designed an episodic long-term memory (LTM) EEG experiment where we examined brain oscillatory...
Article
Full-text available
To explain varying previous results as to whether bilinguals show an advantage over monolinguals in inhibitory control, two hypotheses have been suggested. The Bilingual Inhibitory Control Advantage (BICA) hypothesis proposes a bilingual advantage specific to the presence of conflict. In contrast, the Bilingual Executive Processing Advantage (BEPA)...
Book
Full-text available
Predictive coding (PC) is a neurocognitive concept, according to which the brain does not process the whole qualia of external information, but only residual mismatches occurring between incoming information and an individual, inner model of the world. At the time of issue initiation, I expected an essential focus on mismatch signals in the brain,...
Article
The speed of fronto-parietal theta oscillatory activity is thought to play a key role in determining working memory (WM) capacity. Individual differences in the length of a theta cycle (ranging between 4 Hz and 7 Hz) might act as an envelope for nested gamma cycles (>30 Hz). This would provide the fundamental neurophysiological mechanism for workin...
Article
Directing mental resources, i.e. attention, to a relevant stimulus forms a critical part in the formation and retrieval of memory traces – be it in working memory (WM) or long-term memory (LTM). For the formation of episodic memories the relevant stimuli furthermore need to be processed in relation to each other and/or to their context. Research in...
Article
Full-text available
Working Memory and executive functioning deficits are core characteristics of patients suffering from schizophrenia. Electrophysiological research indicates that altered patterns of neural oscillatory mechanisms underpinning executive functioning are associated with the psychiatric disorder. Such brain oscillatory changes have been found in local a...
Article
Our experience, memories, and knowledge have modulatory influence on how we perceive the world. Top-down expectancies are supposed to be implemented as templates in our minds. Mental templates are compared against the current sensory input, which can match or mismatch with the aim of minimizing prediction error (Friston, 2005). But what are the un...
Article
Full-text available
Exerting inhibitory control is a cognitive ability mediated by functions known to decline with age. The goal of this study is to add to the mechanistic understanding of cortical inhibition during motor control in aged brains. Based on behavioral findings of impaired inhibitory control with age we hypothesized that elderly will show a reduced or a l...
Conference Paper
The spurious increase in coherence of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals between distant electrode points has long been understood to be due to volume conduction of the EEG signal. Reducing the volume conduction components of EEG recordings in pre-processing attenuates this. However, the effect of volume conduction on non-linear signal processing o...
Article
Full-text available
Attentional blink (AB) describes a visuo-perceptual phenomenon in which the second of 2 targets within a rapid serial visual presentation stream is not detected. There are several cognitive models attempting to explain the fundamentals of this information processing bottleneck. Here, we used electroencephalographic recordings and the analysis of in...
Article
Full-text available
Anodal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to be an effective non-invasive brain stimulation method for improving cognitive and motor functioning in patients with neurological deficits. tDCS over motor cortex (M1), for instance, facilitates motor learning in stroke patients. However, the literature on anodal tDCS effects o...
Article
Rhythmical brain activity in the range between four and eight Hz acquired over frontal–midline EEG recording sites – so called frontal–midline theta activity – is regarded as one of the most prominent neural signatures of sustained attention. It is reported to parametrically increase with cognitive load and is thought to be generated in medial pref...
Article
Aging-related decline in short-term memory (STM) capacity seems to be caused by deficient balancing of task-related and resting state brain networks activity. The exact neural mechanism underlying this deficit remains elusive, however. Here, we studied brain oscillatory activity in healthy young and old adults during visual information maintenance...
Article
Full-text available
Functional meaning of oscillatory brain activity in various frequency bands in the human electroencephalogram (EEG) is increasingly researched. While most research focuses on event-related changes of brain activity in response to external events there is also increasing interest in internal brain states influencing information processing. Several s...
Article
In healthy humans, it has been shown that executive functions are associated with increased frontal-midline EEG theta activity and theta phase coupling between frontal and posterior brain regions. In individuals with schizophrenia, central executive functions are supposed to be heavily impaired. Given that theta phase coupling is causally involved...
Conference Paper
Objectives: To investigate the utility of mobile touch-screen technology in the assessment of cognitive function in everyday contexts. A novel visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) task was chosen here to (a) test the technology in the field and (b) examine VSWM performance of participants with mTBI under everyday conditions. Methods: A VSWM task was...
Article
Full-text available
Memory consists of various individual processes which form a dynamic system co-ordinated by central (executive) functions. The episodic buffer as direct interface between episodic long-term memory (LTM) and working memory (WM) is fairly well studied but such direct interaction is less clear in semantic LTM. Here, we designed a verbal delayed-match-...
Article
There are only a few studies using human electroencephalograms (EEGs) to investigate bioelectrical changes in the brain during exercise (running or cycling). These studies report an increase in EEG alpha amplitude during and immediately after exercise. However, only exercises within a relatively short time interval of approximately 1 hour have been...
Article
Inhibitory control of actions is one important aspect in daily life to warrant adequate context related behavior. Alpha activity (oscillatory brain activity around 10Hz) has been suggested to play a major role for the implementation of inhibitory control. In the present study electrophysiological correlates of voluntary suppression of acquired, mem...
Article
New research suggests that auditory stimuli can reset human oscillatory activity in visual cortex. This change in rhythmical brain activity leads to modulation of visual perception.
Article
Pathological synchronization in large-scale motor networks constitutes a pathophysiological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Corticomuscular synchronization in PD is pronounced in lower frequency bands (< 10 Hz), whereas efficient cortical motor integration in healthy persons is driven in the beta frequency range. Electroencephalogram and elec...
Article
Full-text available
Visual attention can be shifted in space without moving the eyes. Amplitude decrease of rhythmical brain activity around 10 Hz (so called alpha activity) at contralateral posterior sites has been reported during covered shifts of visuospatial attention to one visual hemi-field. Alpha amplitude increase, on the other hand, can be found at ipsilatera...
Article
It has been shown that synchrony of neuronal oscillations plays a critical role in effective communication between functionally distinct brain areas involving motor-sensory integration. However, the patterns of cortico-cortical coupling and their relation to behavioural success are widely unknown. Here, we analysed changes in cortico-cortical coher...
Article
The aim of the present electroencephalographic (EEG) study was to investigate neuronal correlates of working memory encoding in a visuo-spatial serial delayed match-to-sample task. A rapid serial visual presentation approach was used to dissociate brain activity related to encoding of visuo-spatial targets and cortical activity evoked by suppressio...
Chapter
Brain–computer interfaces (BCI) are using brain signals to drive an external device outside the brain without activation of motor output channels. Different types of BCIs were described during the last 10 years with an exponentially increasing number of publications devoted to Brain–computer interface research [32]. Most of the literature describes...
Article
Keeping a small number of visual items in memory for a few seconds comprises a variety of cognitive functions. Typically, target items have to be selected from a rich visual scene; targets have to be encoded efficiently while distracter items need to be suppressed; relevant items have to be maintained and distracting items are required not to be st...
Article
Neural correlates of control mechanisms in human working memory are discussed at two levels in this review: (i) at 'item level', where in multi-item working memory information needs to be organized into sequential memory representations, and (ii) at a 'process level', indicating the integration and control of a variety of cognitive functions involv...
Article
Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder in which cortical disinhibition has been proposed as a pathophysiological mechanism involved in the generation of tics. Tics are typically reduced during task performance and concentration. How this task-dependent reduction of motor symptoms is represented in the brain is not yet underst...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of information that can be stored in visual short-term memory is strictly limited to about four items. Therefore, memory capacity relies not only on the successful retention of relevant information but also on efficient suppression of distracting information, visual attention, and executive functions. However, completely separable neural...
Article
The functions of human alpha oscillations ( approximately 10 Hz) were related to cognitive processes such as memory and top-down control. Recent models suggest that alpha phase serves as a mechanism especially relevant for the timing of neural activity, whereas alpha amplitude is important for the inhibition of task-irrelevant brain areas. This stu...
Article
A central topic in cognitive neuroscience is the question, which processes underlie large scale communication within and between different neural networks. The basic assumption is that oscillatory phase synchronization plays an important role for process binding--the transient linking of different cognitive processes--which may be considered a spec...
Article
The involvement of oscillatory activity, especially at theta and gamma frequency, in human working memory has been reported frequently. A salient pattern during working memory is electroencephalographic frontal midline theta activity which has been suggested to reflect monitoring functions in order to deal with a task. In general, theta activity ha...
Article
In this comment we argue that a proof of phase reset is difficult for a variety of reasons. We suggest that a theoretical analysis of the assumptions and empirical evaluation of predictions of the phase reset model offers a promising way to shed new light on mechanisms generating ERPs. The crucial assumption is that the purpose of phase reset is th...
Article
Full-text available
Recent neuroimaging studies have indicated a predominant role of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) in deception and moral cognition, yet the functional contribution of the aPFC to deceptive behavior remains unknown. We hypothesized that modulating the excitability of the aPFC by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could reveal its fu...
Article
Many, but not all patients with congenital hemiparesis (i.e., hemiparesis due to a pre-, peri- or neonatally acquired brain lesion) control their paretic hands via ipsilateral cortico-spinal projections from the contra-lesional hemisphere (CON-H). Patients who still control their paretic hands via preserved crossed cortico-spinal projections from t...
Article
In this comment we argue that a proof of phase reset is difficult for a variety of reasons. We suggest that a theoretical analysis of the assumptions and empirical evaluation of predictions of the phase reset model offers a promising way to shed new light on mechanisms generating ERPs. The crucial assumption is that the purpose of phase reset is th...
Article
To investigate electrophysiological correlates of action observation electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while participants observed repetitive biological (human) or non-biological movements (at a rate of 2 Hz). Steady-state evoked potentials were analyzed and their neural sources were investigated using low resolution electromagnetic tomograph...
Article
There is growing interest in the functional meaning of rhythmical brain activity. For oscillatory brain activity around 10 Hz in the human electroencephalogram (EEG) it is discussed whether it is associated with the level of cortical excitation. However, it is not clear whether the relation between 10 Hz EEG oscillatory activity and cortical excita...
Article
When information which is stored in memory is compared to new visual information there has to be a matching between provided top-down memory information and bottom-up sensory processing. The neural correlates of such memory matching are not yet completely clear. There is evidence that top-down processing and central executive functions of working m...