Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
September 2020, Vol. 32, No. 9, Pages 1654-1671
© 2020 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rhythm Violation Enhances Auditory-Evoked Responses to the Extent of Overriding Sensory Adaptation in Passive Listening
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Sensory systems utilize temporal structure in the environment to build expectations about the timing of forthcoming events. We investigated the effects of rhythm-based temporal expectation on auditory responses measured with EEG recorded from the frontocentral sites implicated in auditory processing. By manipulating temporal expectation and the interonset interval (IOI) of tones, we examined how neural responses adapted to auditory rhythm and reacted to stimuli that violated the rhythm. Participants passively listened to the tones while watching a silent nature video. In Experiment 1 (
n = 22), in the long-IOI block, tones were frequently presented (80%) with 1.7-sec IOI and infrequently presented (20%) with 1.2-sec IOI, generating unexpectedly early tones that violated temporal expectation. Conversely, in the short-IOI block, tones were frequently presented with 1.2-sec IOI and infrequently presented with 1.7-sec IOI, generating late tones. We analyzed the tone-evoked N1–P2 amplitude of ERPs and intertrial phase clustering in the theta–alpha band. The results provided evidence of strong delay-dependent adaptation effects (short-term, sensitive to IOI), weak cumulative adaptation effects (long-term, driven by tone repetition over time), and robust temporal-expectation violation effects over and above the adaptation effects. Experiment 2 ( n = 22) repeated Experiment 1 with shorter IOIs of 1.2 and 0.7 sec. Overall, we found evidence of strong delay-dependent adaptation effects, weak cumulative adaptation effects (which may most efficiently accumulate at the tone presentation rate of ∼1 Hz), and robust temporal-expectation violation effects that substantially boost auditory responses to the extent of overriding the delay-dependent adaptation effects likely through mechanisms involved in exogenous attention.