Source dipole analysis reveals a new brain response to visual symmetry.

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Description: Abstract: Visual regularity activates a network of brain regions in the extrastriate cortex. Previous EEG studies have found that this response scales parametrically with proportion of symmetry in symmetry + noise displays. The parametric symmetry response happens in many tasks, but it is enhanced during active regularity discrimination (Makin et al. 2020). However, the origins and time course of this selective enhancement are unclear. Here we answered remaining questions with new source dipole analysis. As assumed, the parametric symmetry response found at the sensor level was generated by a pair of dipoles in the left and right extrastriate cortex. This bilateral activity was itself enhanced during regularity discrimination. However, we identified a third, and later, symmetry response in the posterior cingulate during regularity discrimination. Unlike the extrastriate response, this previously unknown activation only indexes strong, task relevant regularity signals. This clarifies the neural circuits which mediate the perceptual and cognitive aspects of symmetry discrimination.

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