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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

November 2017, Vol. 29, No. 11, Pages 1829-1844
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01158)
Interhemispheric Binding of Ambiguous Visual Motion Is Associated with Changes in Beta Oscillatory Activity but Not with Gamma Range Synchrony
Article PDF (1.91 MB)

In vision, perceptual features are processed in several regions distributed across the brain. Yet, the brain achieves a coherent perception of visual scenes and objects through integration of these features, which are encoded in spatially segregated brain areas. How the brain seamlessly achieves this accurate integration is currently unknown and is referred to as the “binding problem.” Among the proposed mechanisms meant to resolve the binding problem, the binding-by-synchrony hypothesis proposes that binding is carried out by the synchronization of distant neuronal assemblies. This study aimed at providing a critical test to the binding-by-synchrony hypothesis by evaluating long-range connectivity using EEG during a motion integration visual task that entails binding across hemispheres. Our results show that large-scale perceptual binding is not associated with long-range interhemispheric gamma synchrony. However, distinct perceptual interpretations were found to correlate with changes in beta power. Increased beta activity was observed during binding under ambiguous conditions and originates mainly from parietal regions. These findings reveal that the visual experience of binding can be identified by distinct signatures of oscillatory activity, regardless of long-range gamma synchrony, suggesting that such type of synchrony does not underlie perceptual binding.