Frequency-specific contributions to auditory perceptual priors: Testing the predictive-coding hypothesis

Itay Lieder, Aviel Sulem, Merav Ahissar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Perceptual priors formed by recent stimuli bias our immediate percept. These priors, expressing our implicit expectations, affect both high- and low-level processing stages. Yet, the nature of the inter-level interaction is unknown. Do priors operate top-down and bias low-level features toward recently experienced objects (predictive-coding hypothesis), or are low-level biases bottom-up driven and formed by local memory circuits? To decipher between these options in auditory perception, we used the “missing fundamental illusion”, enabling the dissociation of low-level components from the high-level pitch. Surprisingly, in contrast to predictive coding, when the fundamental frequency was missing, pitch contraction across timbre categories was not found to the previously perceived high-level pitch, but to the physically present frequency. This bottom-up contribution of low-level memory components to perceptual priors, operating independently of recent high-level percepts, may stabilize the perceptual organization and underlie continuity between similar low-level features belonging to different object categories in the auditory modality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108946
JournaliScience
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 833694) and the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1650/17), both awarded to M.A. Initialization of the project: I.L.; Design of the experiments: I.L. and M.A.; Conceptualization of the study: I.L. A.S. and M.A. Collection of data: I.L.; Analysis of the data: I.L. and A.S.; Funding acquisition and supervision: M.A. All authors contributed to the interpretation of data and writing of the manuscript. These authors contributed equally: I.L. and A.S. The authors declare no competing interests. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 833694 ) and the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1650/17 ), both awarded to M.A.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
European Research Council
Israel Science Foundation1650/17
Horizon 2020833694

    Keywords

    • Biological sciences
    • Neuroscience
    • Sensory neuroscience

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