Neural Synchrony in Stochastic Resonance, Attention, and Consciousness

Ward, Lawrence M.; Doesburg, Sam M.; Kitajo, Keiichi; MacLean, Shannon E.; Roggeveen, Alexa B.
December 2006
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology;Dec2006, Vol. 60 Issue 4, p319
Academic Journal
We describe briefly three of our lab's ongoing projects studying the role of neural synchrony in human perception and cognition. These projects arise from two main interests: the role of noise both in human perception and in neural synchrony, and neural synchrony as a basis for integration of functional modules in the brain. Our experimental work on these topics began with a study of the possibility that noise-influenced neural synchrony might be responsible for the fact that small amounts of noise added to weak signals can enhance their detectability (stochastic resonance). We are also studying the role of neural synchrony in attention and consciousness in several paradigms. On the basis of our own and related work by others, we conclude that (1) neural synchrony plays an important role in the integration of functional modules in the brain and (2) neural synchrony is profoundly affected and possibly regulated, in part, by the "noisiness" of the brain.


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